WHAT TO DO AT EPCOT’S FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL WITH KIDS
Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival is by far one of my favorite events to attend at Disney World. The gorgeous flowers in bloom around the park and the extra food and activities make it a can’t-miss celebration!
However, Epcot has a reputation for not being the most kid-friendly park at the Walt Disney World Resort, so some parents might be wondering if they should even bother bringing their kids to the Flower and Garden Festival, or if they would be better off leaving the kids with a babysitter and drinking their way around the world showcase for a date night.
As fun and amazing as that sounds (and you should do that, too), I truly think you should bring your kids along to Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. There are SO many kid-friendly activities, and you can tell they worked really hard to make this event perfect for the entire family.
Epcot really is an awesome park to visit with kids if you know what to look for, and it’s even better during this springtime festival. .
Disclosure: We received complimentary park tickets to visit the Flower and Garden Festival as part of a Family Media Day at Epcot. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We love this Festival so much we’ve also gone as a family on our own dime.
This post also contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL
The 2019 Flower and Garden Festival run March 6- June 3. You do not need to buy anything extra - the Festival is included in the price of a regular park ticket. How’s that for getting more bang for your buck?
This is so much more than gardening tips and pretty flowers. It’s a celebration of spring and nature in general, and even if you have no interest in gardens (like me), I guarantee you’ll still love the feeling of hope and new life around Epcot. Spring has sprung!
To get the most out of the Flower and Garden Festival, grab a free Festival Guide Map and Festival Passport as you enter the park. You’ll find the locations of all the outdoor kitchens, topiaries, gardens, and everything else specific to the celebration.
Read my other post 11 Reasons You’ll Love Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival to get an idea of what the celebration is all about!
Also read up on how to make your trip easier, cheaper, and more magical!
ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS AT THE FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL
There are actually so many extra activities to do at Flower & Garden Fest that you will feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. Between the normal rides and attractions at Epcot and all of the extra festival activities, you’ll never run out of kid-friendly things to do.
THE GOODNESS GARDEN BUTTERFLY HOUSE
Nature is the star of the show at Epcot this time of year, and it is on full display in the Goodness Garden Butterfly House. You get to enter a tent full of butterflies in every life stage flying around gorgeous gardens. There are displays all around to educate you on the life cycles of butterflies and how to create a butterfly garden at home.
My kids love just sitting quietly and watching the butteries flit from flower to flower. If you stand still enough, you might even get a butterfly to land on your finger!
I would suggest hitting this attraction first thing in the morning or closer to sunset. We walked in around 10 a.m. and it was already roasting in the tent. It’s located fairly near the entrance in Future World West, so it’s easy to hit on your way in or out of the park.
One of the reasons I love visiting the Flower and Garden Festival with my family is the extra play areas for young children. This year one of the playgrounds was Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Ground in honor of Toy Story 4 coming out soon. This playground is located in Future World East near Test Track, and is surrounded by stunning Toy Story topiaries of Bo Peep, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear.
My kids would have happily spent hours on this playground if I hadn’t hustled them along to see more of the park.
The other play area dedicated to kids is the Play Full Garden hosted by AdventHealth. This whole area is dedicated to health and nutrition. It’s combined with the Mind Full Garden which focuses on a quiet rest area in the shade for adults while the kids climb, play, and experiment with musical instruments. The Flavor Full Outdoor Kitchen is nearby, too, where families can grab a healthy snack.
SPIKE’S POLLEN NATION EXPLORATION SCAVENGER HUNT
Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration scavenger hunt was one of my 3-year-old’s favorite activities at the park this year. He’s kind of sensitive to loud noises and crowds, so it helped him to have a quiet activity to focus on as we walked around Epcot.
For $5.99 you can buy a map with stickers, and your job is to find Spike the Honey Bee hidden in the gardens around the park. He’s not very well hidden, so even a 3-year-old will be able to spot him, since the map tells you which gardens to look for.
Whether or not you complete the scavenger hunt, you can turn in the map at the Port of Entry or Disney Traders for a special prize.
My kids still talk about how fun it was to find Spike, and it kept them really engaged throughout the day.
TOPIARIES & GARDENS
Obviously, the flowers, gardens, and topiaries are one of the biggest attractions of the Flower and Garden Festival. You might think these would be of no interest to kids, but the character-themed topiaries really draw them in.
My kids loved seeing their favorite characters around the park, and my 3-year-old kept asking why the characters were “covered in grass.”
It’s such a fun and creative way to combine nature and Disney, and you can tell so much work and artistry go into creating these beautiful displays.
GARDEN ROCKS CONCERT SERIES
In full disclosure, we’ve always skipped the Garden Rocks Concert Series because my middle child is very sensitive to noise and would have a meltdown if we tried to attend, but it’s such a fun idea for those who don’t mind loud music.
Every night of the Flower and Garden Festival there’s a different performer putting on a free concert. You don’t have to pay to watch, but you’re not guaranteed a seat. Your options are to get there early and wait, or you can buy the Garden Rocks Dining Package to reserve a spot at the concert and get a delicious dinner.
KID-FRIENDLY FOOD AT THE FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL
The gardens aren’t the only superstars at the Flower and Garden Festival. The food at the temporary outdoor kitchens is inspired by nature, and the dishes are both creative and mouthwatering. I would say that some of the food wouldn’t necessarily appealing to kids (unless your kids have adventurous palettes - that’s awesome!). However, lots of the drinks, dishes, and desserts are perfect for any age group.
ORANGE CREAM SLUSHY
In my opinion, this is a must-try beverage that’s unique to the Flower and Garden Festival. The main reason is because it’s refreshing and delicious and tastes like a cold melted creamsicle. The other reason is that it comes in an adorable souvenir sipper cup. As you can imagine, my children have been fighting over who gets to use ours at home. Find this at The Citrus Blossom outdoor kitchen located in the Showcase Plaza.
GRILLED STREET CORN ON THE COB
My kids won’t touch a pile of corn on a plate, but if it’s on a cob they’ll devour the entire thing in seconds. I think kids will really enjoy the Grilled Street Corn on the Cob from Trowel and Trellis in the Showcase Plaza. It’s simple, flavorful, and somewhat healthy compared to all the sweets you’ll be devouring!
PINEAPPLE SOFT SERVE + FROZEN DESSERT VIOLET LEMONADE
Basically, it’s a Dole Whip. Who doesn’t love Pineapple Soft Serve? You can find this at (where else?) the Pineapple Promenade in the Showcase Plaza. Hint: parents can get theirs with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum.
The Violet Lemonade is so pretty and popular that it has sparked an entire line of merchandise so you can instagram your kids drinking Violet Lemonade in Violet Lemonade mouse ears and shirts. Amazing.
TOASTED PRETZEL BREAD TOPPED WITH HAM AND CHEESE
This is a really kid-friendly dish that’s a little more substantial and might actually keep them full for awhile, and it’s also really budget-friendly at $5.25. You can find it at the Bauernmarkt Farmers Market in Germany.
What kid doesn’t love pizza? This is a flatbread version topped with sausage, onion, and a few different types of cheese at the Primavera Kitchen in the Italy.
PULLED PIG SLIDER AND FROZEN LEMONADE
I put these two together because they’re both from The Smokehouse in America. Some good old fashioned American food will hit the spot. There are plenty of places to sit in the shade back there, too. Do not sleep on the frozen lemonade on a 90 degree day. It’s exactly what you need.
MACARON AU CHOCOLAT EN SUCETTE (CHOCOLATE MACARON LOLLIPOP)
It’s chocolate. It’s on a stick. Kids love it. Just get out the baby wipes because it’s going to be all over their face and hands. Find this at Fleur de Lys outdoor kitchen in France.
FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL PHOTO SPOTS
Planning out my photo opps is usually one of my biggest concerns before we go to Disney. I like to research photo walls, spots in the park that make good backgrounds for photos, and where the photo pass people are stationed. Here are a few of my favorite spots around Epcot, specifically at the Flower and Garden Festival, to take pictures of or with your kids.
AT THE PARK ENTRANCE IN FRONT OF THE BUTTERFLIES
You might have to wait your turn to grab this shot, but if you’re there before the park opens you might not have to contend with many crowds. The butterfly topiaries along with the Spaceship Earth in the background makes for a lovely photo.
IN FRONT OF TOPIARIES
Kids love to pose in front of their favorite character topiaries! The lines get really long around the main entrance and the Showcase Plaza, so look for quieter topiaries around the World Showcase. There are tons of them!
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST TOPIARY IN FRANCE
This is a more specific take on my last point, but it’s my favorite topiary in the park with the fake Eiffel Tower in the background, the fountain, and the blooms all around. There was a photo pass cast member taking photos, so I just asked her to grab one of my son and me with my camera and phone. She was more than happy to oblige!
IN FRONT OF THE LAKE OVERLOOKING FUTURE WORLD
If you’re standing in the Showcase Plaza looking back toward Future Wold, you’ll get the prettiest view of Spaceship Earth (or the big golf ball as my son calls it) with gorgeous festival blooms and floating gardens. The whole scene is so spring-y and fresh.
ON BO PEEP’S TRAINING GROUND PLAYGROUND
I just love candid shots of kids playing! This is a quieter area of the park and you can catch your kids in their element having the time of their life.
I do have a few other photo spots in Epcot, but they’re not specific to the Flower and Garden Festival.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON EPCOT’S FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL WITH KIDS
We had such a wonderful time playing on the playgrounds, seeing the topiaries, flowers, and gardens, and just enjoying the festival that we had to be intentional about actually getting on rides!
My kids really enjoyed being at Epcot in spring, and I loved seeing it through their eyes. If you’re not able to make it out to Flower and Garden this year (it ends June 3rd, 2019), then definitely add it to your Disney plans for next spring. You don’t want to miss it!