The days stretch longer and warmer, the flowers begin to bloom, and fresh fruits and vegetables become more abundant as spring approaches. While this might well the scene at your house, it’s also true at Walt Disney World, where the Taste of Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival has kicked off another season of fresh flowers and fine food.
From food and concerts to scavenger hunts and character topiaries, there’s a lot to see and do at the 2021 Taste of Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Here’s what you should know before you go.
A Feast for Your Eyes
This year, the Taste of Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival runs through July 5. From the moment you walk into Epcot, you’ll be greeted by colorful character topiaries that are masterfully crafted by Disney’s team of plant experts.
At the front of the park you’ll find Sorcerer Mickey and his team of brooms making magic in the flower gardens. Cuddly pandas populate the China pavilion, Remy from Ratatouille blooms in the France pavilion, and Winnie the Pooh favorites Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore add a splash of fun at the United Kingdom pavilion. Near the front of the park, you can find Bo Peep and Woody from Toy Story, along with characters from The Lion King.
Each day, Disney’s team of horticulturalists snip, cut, and replace pieces of each character topiary so they look exactly the same on day one of the festival as they do on day 90.
Munching around World Showcase
All around World Showcase there are outdoor kitchens with unique menus featuring some of the best and freshest fruits and vegetables available during spring.
A few favorites include The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board, Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods, and Epcot Farmers Feast. Each of the kiosks have a whimsical menu with dishes that include things like Tupelo Honey and Sweet Corn Spoon Bread with Jalapeños, Bacon, and House-made Whipped Honey Butter; Boneless Impossible Korean Short Rib with Cilantro-Lime Rice, Danmuji Slaw, and Kimchee Mayonnaise; and Off the Beet-en Path: Profiteroles with Red Beet Mousse, Golden Beet Pastry Cream, Whipped Goat Cheese Cream, and Candied Walnuts.
Speaking of the Epcot Farmers Feast kitchen, the menu here will be changing three times throughout the festival. The first menu features dishes inspired by late winter and early spring, the second menu is inspired by late spring produce, and the final menu showcases the harvest of early summer, marking the first time Epcot has featured a festival booth with a rotating menu.
For the family who wants to explore Epcot’s culinary offerings, consider experiencing the Garden Graze self-guided food tour of the festival. To start, you’ll need to pick up a festival passport that lists all of the food locations and menu items. Near the end of the book you’ll find pages for the Garden Graze, along with which foods you need to purchase to participate. As you buy each item, have the Cast Member at the register stamp your booklet. When you get all of your stamps you can return your book for a sweet surprise.
The best part about this food tour is that you don’t have to complete it all in one day. If you choose to do it over multiple days just be sure to bring the original festival passport you started getting your stamps in back to Epcot.
Entertainment for Everyone in the Family
Even though entertainment at Walt Disney World is still limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few spots around Epcot where you can kick back, relax, and enjoy some music.
At the Canada Mill Stage you’ll find the Jammin’ Gardeners (a.k.a. the Jammitors) as they bring some spring flair to their normal percussion routine. Just steps away inside World Showplace (between Canada and the United Kingdom pavilions) you’ll find a rotating group of pianists playing some relaxing songs as you wine and dine on some of the offerings inside. Over at the America Gardens Theatre you’ll be able to sit down in the warm Florida sunshine and enjoy either the Voices of Liberty or Mariachi Cobre.
Just like anything at Disney, you’re going to want to check the times for all of these groups since they do vary day-by-day. If you only plan to see one, I recommend making time to see the Voices of Liberty singing some of your favorite patriotic songs.
Other Kid-Friendly Activities
If you’re looking for a few things that kids can take the lead on while learning something at Epcot, consider walking with them through The Goodness Garden Butterfly House. This interactive area allows you to walk through a busting garden filled with butterflies, learn how caterpillars become butterflies, and even see a few butterfly houses where you can spot the winged creatures coming out of their cocoon.
For little explorers, consider one of the two scavenger hunts available during the season: Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration and the Egg-stravaganza Scavenger Hunt. Both scavenger hunts cost $7.99, and maps can be purchased around the park.
After searching World Showcase for Spike the Bee or character-themed Easter eggs and filling in everything on your map, you can redeem a prize at Disney Traders or World Traveler.