If you’ve ever been to Epcot at Walt Disney World, you might write it off as a place that only grown ups would enjoy. While kids might like some of the rides scattered around the Park, will they really enjoy the global aspect of World Showcase? I’ve taken my young kids and they’ve loved their visits to Epcot, especially during the springtime special, Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. This event in particular has a number of activities geared towards children. Keep reading for the kids guide to Epcot Flower and Garden.
During our previous visits to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival we were visually treated to incredibly detailed topiaries, had our taste buds tickled with international treats and were able to delight in the nighttime show, Illuminations. And all the usual Epcot attractions are still available during this time as well.
In 2018, the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival run from February 28 through May 28, 2018.
Portions of my visit including my Park tickets and a Disney gift card to purchase food were covered during my visit. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please note that I include affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!
Tips for Taking Kids to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
- Park guests receive a pocket guide to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, including where to find topiaries, gardens, demonstrations, dining and shows. Kids can check mark off each item as you visit, eat and watch. The guide makes a wonderful souvenir too, as they can recall & reminisce about your trip.
- While the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is a special event, you do not need a special ticket to attend. You can see all of the gardens and topiaries during this event for the cost of your regular Park ticket. A select few experiences require a separate purchase or a separate admission fee (like some of the cooking demonstrations).
- I recommend purchasing Walt Disney World discount tickets from my partner at Get Away Today.
- I also highly recommend this FREE Disney vacation planning video (click the Disney image). It’s fun to watch pre-trip with your kids to get them familiar with all that Disney World and Epcot has for them to enjoy!
Festival Highlight – Disney Character Topiaries
Every kid is going to love seeing these amazingly detailed topiaries in the shape of their favorite Disney characters! The topiary displays are definitely a highlight of this special event. Topiaries vary each year so the images you see in my post might vary on your visit. The detail and expression of them are simply jaw-dropping. In the World Showcase area, the characters are themed to the country (Belle & Beast in France, for instance).
There are Disney PhotoPass photographers set up near many of these topiaries so you can capture your entire family with these amazing creations.
Try New Foods During the Festival
During the Festival, guests can purchase food at outdoor kitchen locations throughout the World Showcase area of Epcot. These are taster (appetizer) sized portions so you can try a variety of different dishes. These small portions are a great way to introduce new flavors to kids. Just a bite to see if they like it (my son discovered he liked baklava!)
Kid-Friendly Tastes to Try:
- Germany: Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese
- France: Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop
- Honey Bee-stro: Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze (Non-alcoholic version)
- Berry Basket: Lamb chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique
- Japan: Frushi – Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side
- Canada: Maple Popcorn Shake (non-alcoholic version)
- Mexico: Chilaquiles served with Chorizo, Mexican Cream and Cotija Cheese
- Morocco: Walnut Honey Baklava
- Smokehouse: Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw
- Caribbean: Caribbean Conch Salad with Mango, Papaya and Pickled Red Onions
- China: Oolong Peach Bubble Tea
Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration
From February 28 through May 28, 2018, kids and adults alike can participate in a springtime scavenger hunt starring Spike the honey bee. Purchase a special scavenger hunt map for $5.99 plus tax then return it completed for a prize!
Outdoor Concerts to Get Up and Dance
If you have a kid who loves to move and groove, make plans to watch one of the Garden Rocks concerts. These concerts take place three times each evening from March 2 through May 28, 2018 at the outdoor America Gardens Theater. The cost of the concert is included in the price of admission. Older kids may roll their eyes at the more “classic rock” artists but you can be sure they’ll recognize some of the songs (like Y.M.C.A by the Village People and All Star by Smash Mouth).
Give Kids the Camera
Get in the Garden and Play!
Several interactive play gardens encourage kids in active play. The Imagination Play Garden engages all five senses in a musical maze. In the How-To Garden, kids can learn tips for starting their own garden at home as well as building their own butterfly house or making botanical crafts.
My youngster loved the Road to the Florida 500, where Cars favorites are on display!
What is There for Babies to Do?
Babies will enjoy the usual things at Epcot like a few rides and character meet n’ greets. During the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, there are additional delights. Little ones will like the bright colored flower gardens. Make sure to point out the topiaries throughout the Park that are designed as familiar characters (like this adorable Winnie the Pooh).
Let Baby out of the stroller for a walk in the Florida Fresh Garden. They are invited to explore and play in a garden that was planted just for them! For more ideas, see my DisneyBaby post on what to do at Epcot with babies.
Exploratory Gardens for Curious Kids
Curious kids love to learn at these detailed gardens at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. There are many gardens but these three really strike a chord with youngsters.
- Learn about butterflies at the The Goodness Garden Butterfly House. You may even see them emerging from their cocoons.
- Find out what herbs and produce are grown in the Garden Italiano that come together to make many kid’s favorite food – pizza!
- Kids can find out more about which plants can be turned into spices inside the fragrant Urban Spice Garden.
Celebrating Easter at Epcot
From March 16 through April 1, 2018 kids can participate in Egg-stravaganza. This popular scavenger hunt in World Showcase will keep everyone in search of Disney Character-themed eggs. While you don’t have to purchase the map to search for the eggs, it is a fun (and reasonably inexpensive) activity for the kids. A map cost $5.99 plus tax. Return the completed map after spotting all the eggs for a special surprise!
After Dark at Epcot
Stay late during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival and enjoy nighttime entertainment. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is the evening show that takes place on the waters of the World Showcase Lagoon.
What would you most like to explore with your kids at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival?