I don’t know about you, but I am not the biggest fan of Winter! I love to celebrate the end of this dismal, cold season with a trip to ring in the Spring season.
One of the best Spring Break trips in the US I can think of is the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Disney World.
Keep reading to learn all of my best Epcot Flower and Garden Festival tips to ensure a spectacular Disney World Spring Break trip.
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1. Before you book, check the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival concert schedule
One of the classic parts of Epcot’s festivals are its concerts and shows. So before you book your resort deal, check the schedule so you can plan your trip when your favorite musical act is scheduled.
Some of the 2019 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival concerts include Rick Springfield, Simple Plan, Sister Hazel, Peabo Bryson, and Lonestar.
You can see the full concert schedule on this web page.
2. For the best Disney World resort deals, book early
Book your Disney World resort package as far in advance as you can for the best deal.
In 2019, the festival runs from March 6 through June 3. At a minimum, you should book more than 6 months ahead of your desired date.
Additionally, most Disney World resort deals for the Spring season will come out more than 6 months ahead, such as the ever popular free dining deals or reduced prices on hotels.
TIP: If you prefer deluxe level resorts, you can save money by renting a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villa via an independent broker. You can learn more about that process here.
In this case, you pay even less if you book less than 6 months ahead – but you also gamble with potentially not getting the reservation you want.
3. Book one of the hotels near Epcot
If you can swing it financially, I recommend booking one of the hotels near Epcot. This will cut down on your commute to Epcot, giving you more time at the park.
The 3 hotels closest to Epcot are the Caribbean Beach Resort, Yacht Club Resort, and Beach Club Resort.
All are excellent resorts, though my pick goes to the Yacht Club Resort or Beach Club Resort, as they have a sand-bottom pool that is quite refreshing to lounge in on a hot afternoon.
If you stay at the Yacht Club Resort or Beach Club Resort, you can walk to Epcot, as these 2 hotels are right next to Epcot!
That said, the Caribbean Beach Resort just finished a massive update that is definitely worth checking out.
The Caribbean Beach Resort is also one of the resorts with a Skyliner stop, so you can hop from the resort to Epcot via the brand new Skyliner air gondola. OooOooohhHhh!
4. Reserve your Epcot restaurant reservations 180 days before your trip starts
At 180 days before the first day of your trip, you can book your restaurant reservations. Reservations fill up FAST, so don’t sleep on this tip!!
Some of the best Epcot restaurant reservations to consider are Le Cellier Steakhouse, Teppan Edo, Monsieur Paul, and La Hacienda de San Angel.
My all-time favorite table service restaurant at Epcot, however, is Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, where you can get delicious Norwegian meatballs. Nom!
Of course, your restaurant reservations don’t have to be at Epcot. But if you’re there for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, I’m betting you’ll be spending most of your time there.
That said, reservations only apply to table service, aka sit-down, meals, so you can always skip this tip if you plan to stick to the food booths and quick service meals.
5. Book your Fastpasses 60 days before your trip starts
This tip is even more important than booking your restaurant reservations.
Fastpasses are FREE and drastically cut down on wait time for your favorite rides.
Want to avoid standing in line for Soarin for over an hour? Book a fastpass.
Dying to try out Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom, but not willing to wait in line for over 2 hours? Book a fastpass.
No one enjoys waiting in line, so you’d be insane to not book your fastpasses. The trick is that you can’t do this until 60 days before your trip starts.
6. Avoid the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival on the weekend if you can’t deal with crowds
The Flower and Garden Festival is more crowded on the weekends, as it’s when local residents are more likely to visit (in addition to out of town tourists).
So if you loath crowds, schedule your visit to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival during the week.
Don’t let the festival’s name fool you – it’s more than just topiaries and gardens!
In fact, I’ll be so bold as to say the biggest (and best) part of the festival are its food booths, like the super popular Pineapple Promenade, The Honey Bee-stro, and Florida Fresh.
New to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival menu in 2019 are Arbor at The Gardeners Terrace, Flavor Full Kitchen, The Citrus Blossom, and Trowel & Trellis.
One of the most popular drinks on the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival menu is violet lemonade.
You can get this delicious drink in two different forms: the original violet lemonade slushy or the Playalinda Brewing Company’s Violet Lemonade Ale, both at the Pineapple Promenade stand.
8. If you have the Disney Dining Plan, save your snack credits
Most of the food and drink at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival can be purchased using Snack credits from the Disney Dining Plan.
Using these credits is a great way to save money and still sample lots of food and drink at the festival.
All of the Disney Dining Plans come with 2 snack credits per day, so even if you’re only visiting for a long weekend, that’s anywhere from 4-6 snack credits to play with.
For more information on the Disney Dining Plan, you can read more about this money-saving tip in this post.
TIP: If you’re also visiting the festival to hit up the Epcot Flower and Garden concerts, you can get VIP reserved seating at your concert in conjunction with an Epcot table service reservation.
You can make your reservation for the Garden Rocks Dining Package right here – and yes, the Disney Dining Plan is accepted.
9. Learn more about the gardens and topiaries with a special tour
If you’re interested in learning more about some of the gorgeous gardens and topiaries throughout Epcot, there are a few tours available to choose from.
Royal Garden Tea Tour
Join the Royal Garden Tea Tour at the UK pavilion for a 45-minute tour of the English tea garden. The tour runs daily at 9:30 am and costs $20 (not including tax).
The Royal Garden Tea Tour includes tea and scones, so it’s perfect for a quick breakfast.
The tour starts before the World Showcase opens to the public, so it’s best to reserve your spot on the tour ahead of time. You can do this by calling (407) WDW-TOUR in advance.
TIP: If you just want a quick intro to the English Tea Garden, sans scones and tea, there is a 20-minute version of the Royal Garden Tea Tour available for free.
The mini tour runs 2-3 times per day during the festival, depending on the day of the week. Stop by The Tea Caddy store in the UK pavilion for times and to reserve your spot.
Gardens of the World Tour
For super gardening and horticulture enthusiasts, the Gardens of the World Tour is right up your alley.
This 3-hour tour takes you through several gardens across the entire Epcot World Showcase. The tour costs $85 (not including tax) and runs from 9am to noon several times a week.
For specific dates and to make reservations for the Gardens of the World Tour, call (407) WDW-TOUR.
10. See Spring’s unofficial mascot at the Epcot butterfly garden
The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival features a butterfly garden, formally known as the Goodness Garden Butterfly House.
The Epcot butterfly garden hosts over 1,000 butterflies and 2 dozen nectar plants and flowers. It is located between Future World West and the Canada Pavilion.
Nothing says Spring like pretty plants, colorful flowers, and fluttering butterflies!
BONUS: Don’t forget your Epcot Flower and Garden merchandise
Epcot Flower and Garden merchandise can be purchased online at ShopDisney or at the MouseGear gift shop in Epcot.
I’m most excited about the violet lemonade merchandise this year! Shop for fun Epcot Flower and Garden merchandise in the widget below.
What are your top Epcot Flower and Garden Festival tips?
I hope you enjoy your trip to Disney World for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.
If you need help planning what to pack for your trip, be sure to check out my shopping and packing guide for a Spring Break trip to Disney World.