Get a sneak peek of the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – what’s new for families, best foods & more! Post sponsored by Walt Disney World. All fresh opinions are my own
2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival | Why It’s The Best Yet
Spring is here in Florida! That means one of my favorite Walt Disney World Festivals is back! The 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival returns with even bigger, better and tastier offerings for guests. Why is it the BEST festival yet? Check out the full details, including what’s new for 2016!
It’s a record! The 2016 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival will be the LONGEST running Flower and Garden Festival in the history of Disney. From March 2, 2016 – May 30, 2016, that’s 90 days. Is Disney ready to tackle the Florida heat? You bet. The horticulturists have already planned out a second planting around the festival when the weather gets hot, and even a third if need be. And with more days, that’s more demos, more photo opps, more eats, more memories at one of the most popular Epcot happenings.
It’s the signature piece of the Flower and Garden Festival, and definitely my personal favorite part. Disney and Topiaries….works of art! And for 2016, the Epcot Flower and Garden team promises even MORE topiaries for you to love. In fact, a whopping 70+ Topiaries are in store for guests at the Flower and Garden Festival this year.
And what’s the new favorite? In celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the National Parks Service, you’ll find an amazing Ranger Mickey Mouse inspired topiary, right between the center walkway between Future World and the World Showcase. Dressed in uniform, this smiling face is definitely a welcoming new addition to the topiary spread. Did you catch Chip and Dale in the back of the scene too? Me thinks they’ve been pilfering from Mickey’s lunchbox! The entrance topiary display will also get a face lift, with Huey, Dewey and Louie along with Donald and Daisy greeting guests at their first glance of the Festival. I’m really LOVING how Disney is highlighting the original characters this year!
More Food & Drink Offerings
Epcot has been growing delicious food at the Flower and Garden Festival since 1996. But it’s hard to believe that back then, there weren’t even talks about eating it. Today you can find some of the BEST food and drinks offerings, including a record 50 featured beverages and 30 foods at a record 13 Outdoor Kitchens for 2016. While lots of amazing dishes are making it’s return, here are my favorite newbies!
- Watermelon Cucumber Lemonade Slush. Location: Florida Fresh
- Jerk-spice Grouper or Chicken with Mango Salsa, Chayote and Green Papaya Slaw with Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette. Location: La Isla Freca
- Beef Teriyaki Udon Thin-sliced Beef, Onions and Noodles tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger. Location: Japan
- Land-harvested Field Greens with Apples, Dried Blueberries, Stilton Cheese and Apple Cider Vinaigrette: Location: Cider House
- House-made Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare. Location: Cider House
3 new large gardens are promised for 2016, according to Disney Horticulture Area Manager, Eric Darden, including a new spice garden in Morocco (as a further garden exploration of the spice display they had in 2015). Lots of your favorite gardens from the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival are returning too, including the Bonsai Garden, Hot Peppers Garden and the Shakespeare Garden.
What do you get when you combine Disney and play? It’s the new Music Garden Melodies playground! Just follow the sounds of music, along the Imagination Walkway between Future World and the World Showcase and discover a huge play area for climbing, running and playing music. There are HUGE drums, chimes and xylophones to be located throughout the area. I cannot wait to hear the sweet music the kids will be making!
AND, Disney’s “Fab Five” topiaries will be there to welcome your children too. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald and this musical playground will keep your kids busy and hands-on all day (even lights up at night).
The Cactus Road Rally, inspired by the characters of Cars also makes a return this year. It’s always a kid-favorite (especially with my kids) with a great canopied playground!
Your Flower and Garden Festival Weekend Concerts have just gotten bigger. The Garden Rocks™ Outdoor Concert Series has expanded for 2016 to include 4 new artists. Here’s the full concert series line up:
- March 4-6: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
- March 11-13: STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
- March 18-20: Little River Band “Reminiscing”
- March 25-27: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
- April 1-3: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”
- April 8-10: The Guess Who “These Eyes”
- April 15-17: *NEW* Blood, Sweat and Tears starring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
- April 22-24: *NEW* Bad Company starring Brian Howe “Can’t Get Enough”
- April 29-May 1: *NEW* Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
- May 6-8: Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
- May 13-15: *NEW* Darlene Love “Wait ‘Til My Bobby Comes Home”
- May 20-22: Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
- May 27-30: The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”
With more days, more displays, more food and more play, you can guarantee that you and your family will have more reasons to experience more Disney this year! Love everything Flower and Garden Festival? Be sure to check out these posts from the 2015 Festival before you go:
Check out more details and the full festival line up at www.freshepcot.com. Follow all of the latest Flower and Garden happenings with hashtag #FreshEpcot. And be sure to stop by the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival from March 2, 2016 – May 30, 2016! It’s definitely the BEST year yet for this most popular Disney festival!