2023 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival Photo Highlights Guide

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival (Photo via Brooke McDonald)
Brooke McDonald
by Brooke McDonald
Last updated: 2:20 PM ET, Sun March 5, 2023

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival Highlights

EPCOT is blooming with colors and flavors now that the 2023 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival has kicked off at Walt Disney World. Now through July 5, see stunning topiaries and colorful gardens, taste seasonal foods and drinks from outdoor kitchens, hear top bands at the Garden Rocks concert series, and shop nostalgic lines of festival merchandise. Here's our guide to the 2023 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.

Pick Up Your Festival Passport

This booklet offers a handy overview of all the festival has to offer - from topiaries and tours to garden locations and outdoor kitchen menus. Be sure to check My Disney Experience for up-to-date entertainment offerings and showtimes.

Admire the Topiaries

Throughout the park, Disney and Pixar characters are brought to life as elaborate topiaries, each more beautiful than the next. You could easily spend an afternoon strolling through the park and discovering all 26 stunning displays, like this one in the France pavilion.

Tiana Topiary

New this year, Princess Tiana stuns as a majestic topiary in the American Adventure pavilion, where she -appropriately - holds court near the Magnolia Terrace Outdoor Kitchen. The kitchen serves Southern and Creole classics like Spicy Chicken Gumbo, Crawfish Pie, Bananas Foster Bread Pudding and a Bayou Cocktail.

Creating the Elaborate Displays

It takes the collective effort of character artists, film studios, welders and the horticultural team to create each topiary. In the UK pavilion, the crocodile from Peter Pan emerges from a sea of blue flowers as Peter Pan and Captain Hook topiaries duel nearby.

Succulent Figment Topiary

EPCOT's purple dragon darling, Figment is a returning topiary, but this year he's made of colorful succulents. Find him outside the Imagination pavilion on your way to riding Journey Into Imagination With Figment.

'Encanto' Gets a Bigger Stage This Year

Last year's festival introduced an "Encanto"-themed garden in World Showcase but this year the hit animated film gets center stage. Four stunning topiaries of the Madrigal sisters and Antonio greet guests at the park entrance, with Spaceship Earth as a backdrop. Be sure to check out the display at night for an even greater wow factor.

Outdoor Kitchens Spotlight Seasonal Produce and Ingredients

Outdoor kitchens showcase fresh, seasonal produce and many highlight a particular ingredient, like pineapple at Pineapple Promenade and honey at Honey Bee-stro, where you can pick up a pair of antennae to buzz your way around the festival.

Grilled Street Corn

Our favorite dish last year - Grilled Street Corn on the Cob - returns this year in two variations, both plant-based. Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread is coated in a creamy, garlicky coating and either plant-based cotija cheese or spicy corn chips. Find it at the Florida Fresh outdoor kitchen.

Trowel & Trellis Leads the Plant-Based Charge

Hosted by Impossible, Trowel & Trellis has been serving up the fest's best protein-packed, plant-based dishes year after year. One of our favorites for two years running, the Boneless Impossible Korean Short Rib with cilantro-lime rice, danmuji slaw and kimchee mayonnaise is back again and is a must-try.

A Delicious New Impossible Dish

New this year at Trowel & Trellis, Impossible Lumpia with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is a substantial serving for the $5.50 price tag. Crispy lumpia are filled with savory ground Impossible meat and fried crisp. With five pieces in a serving, this is a great dish to share. It reminded us more of taquitos than the lumpia we're used to in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

A Celebration of Orange Bird

Originally debuted as a mascot for the Florida Citrus Commission, Orange Bird was a beloved character for Walt Disney World fans in the '70s and '80s and has resurged in popularity in recent years. Orange Bird joins Spike the Bee as another mascot for the festival, and his festival "home" is in the Odyssey, which houses The Citrus Blossom kitchen. This is where you can get one of this year's main collectibles, a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper that comes with an Orange-Lemon Smoothie. Mobile Order your sipper in My Disney Experience and pick it up at the Odyssey.

Sunny Flavors From The Citrus Blossom

Also on the menu at The Citrus Blossom in the Odyssey are citrus-forward dishes and drinks like the delicious Citrus Baked Brie, made with preserved lemon marmalade, limoncello-macerated blueberries and spiced Marcona almonds. This complex dish is definitely one of our favorites this year.

Fruity and Floral Brews

Beer drinkers will want to check out the huge variety of fruit- and floral-infused beers brews, like Sakura Cherry Blossom Pilsner from Hanami in the Japan pavilion, Tangerine Cream Ale from Refreshment Outpost, and perennial favorite Violet Lemonade Ale from Playalinda Brewing Company, available in 6- and 12-ounce servings from Pineapple Promenade.

Orange Bird Stars in a Festival Merchandise Collection

While you're in the Odyssey pavilion, check out the collection of other Orange Bird-themed souvenirs, one of three festival merchandise collections. The Orange Bird collections features '70s-inspired retro designs and color schemes on Spirit Jerseys, Minnie ears, a Loungefly backpack, and more.

Snow White Merchandise Collection

Another festival merchandise collection showcases Show White and her favorite florals and animal friends in pretty pastel tones.

Figment Merchandise Collection

No EPCOT festival is complete without an appearance from Figment. His merchandise collection includes exclusive Passholder merchandise, T-shirts, tumblers and a fun pair of festival Crocs.

Gardens Grow Around the Park

In addition to the 26 topiaries, there are also 26 themed gardens growing around the park, like the Shakespeare Garden in the UK pavilion, the new Shishi-odoshi, a collection of traditional Japanese water fountains originally crafted to ward wildlife away from gardens, and the Garden Italiano, showcasing ingredients that often find their way into classic Italian dishes.

Scavenger Hunts Are the Best Way to Make the Rounds With Kids

Sipping and snacking around the festival is always a blast for adults, but sometimes kids need some extra motivation. Spike's Pollen-Nation Exploration is a scavenger hunt that takes guests in search of Spike the Bee hiding within the various gardens.

A Prize for Every Player

Purchase a map for $9.99 and track your progress with a sticker when you find Spike alongside a featured flower or plant. Take home a souvenir prize (even if you don't find them all). Choose either a cup or a plate from four different designs.

Egg-Stravaganza Scavenger Hunt

A second limited-time scavenger hunt begins on March 13. The Egg-Stravaganza Scavenger Hunt takes participants around the park in search of giant, Disney character-adorned eggs hidden throughout the World Showcase. The process is the same - purchase a map, find the eggs, and take home a prize.

Do the Garden Graze and Get a Free Treat

If edible challenges are more your style, EPCOT festivals always include some type of culinary scavenger hunt too. The Garden Graze showcases 10 of the festival's best plant-based dishes, like this colorful and inexpensive Hummus Trio from Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina in the Morocco pavilion. Collect a stamp in your Festival Passport each time you order one of the designated dishes. Once you've collected five stamps (you can also double up on your favorites and get to five that way), get a complimentary festival treat from Pineapple Promenade.

Try a Wearable Gift Card

A wearable gift card makes paying for snacks and sips easier. Available in two designs, load one with $15 or more and wear it around your wrist for easy scanning to pay for your food and merch.

'Blossoms of Fragrance' Returns

Returning for a second year, "Blossoms of Fragrance" by Scentsy highlights the role of scent in memories and showcases memorable scents in a pretty display along the bridge to World Showcase.

Butterfly Landing

Marvel at countless fluttering butterflies inside this screened-in space filled with flowers, foliage and educational displays about butterfly life cycles and habitats.

Spaceship Earth's New Nighttime Show

Spaceship Earth has debuted a new temporary show inspired by "Encanto" for the festival. Spaceship Earth's "points of light" are illuminated in a spectrum of colors to the tune of "What Else Can I Do?" The show alternates throughout the evening with several other segments, including "Colors of the Wind" from Disney's "Pocahontas," another limited-time show during the festival.

Garden Rocks Concert Series

Nightly at the America Gardens Theatre, see live music from big-name bands and Orlando up-and-comers. This year's lineup includes A Flock of Seagulls, Blue Oyster Cult, Rick Springfield, Kool and the Gang and more. To guarantee a great seat, check out the Garden Rocks Concert Series Dining Package, which includes reserved seating for a one of the night's shows as part of the package.

Flowers, foliage, food and fun at the annual EPCOT festival.

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