New Outdoor Kitchens and topiaries to join the 2017 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Nov 29, 2016 in "Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival"

Posted: Tuesday November 29, 2016 1:42pm EST by WDWMAGIC Staff

Epcot's 2017 International Flower and Garden show begins on March 1 2017, with two new Outdoor Kitchens, topiaries and an expanded operating hours for the Festival Center and Garden Rocks concerts.

  • Fresh, farm-market food and beverage flavors will debut at two new Outdoor Kitchens that will join 13 returning Outdoor Kitchens. Guest can sip and savor their way around Epcot, enjoying chef-inspired noshes and refreshing libations with or without a kick.

  • The new generation of princess topiaries (Snow White, Anna and Elsa – the first to be designed and created with topiary facial features) will welcome a brand-new Belle topiary as fans remember her from the Oscar-winning Disney film, “Beauty and the Beast.” Located outside the France pavilion with the Beast topiary, Belle will come to life with sculpted facial features and her yellow ball gown created with golden blooming Joseph’s Coat plants.

  • Another festival first will be a 6-foot-tall topiary of Figment, the feisty dragon mascot of the park’s Imagination! pavilion, perched atop a 5-foot-diameter ball fashioned from yellow Joseph’s Coat.

  • The brand-new Epcot front-entrance topiary garden inspired by a vintage Walt Disney short film will spring to life with a floral-festooned maypole featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Daisy and Pluto.

  • The popular Garden Rocks concert series will expand to four days each week, with three concerts each Friday through Monday presenting pop musicians that span multiple genres over four decades.

  • New Garden Rocks Dining Packages will be available on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants.

  • Reimagined interactive play gardens will include a new take on the “Cars”-themed garden introducing a new character topiary from the June 2017 release of the Disney•Pixar sequel, “Cars 3.” Music Garden Melodies play area will return with new garden and topiary elements.

  • For the first time, the event’s Festival Center will extend operating hours from Wednesday, March 1 through Sunday, March 5. Throughout the rest of the festival, the center will be open each Friday through Sunday with an entertaining mix of gardening seminars and DIY workshops.

One of the popular Outdoor Kitchen gardens, Urban Farm Eats, will return with savory bites, sweet treats and ideas for planting produce that can inspire growing numbers of guests who want to learn to grow their own edibles.

“A lot of people, including young children, are serious foodies now, and they have lots of questions about gardening,” says Eric Darden, festival horticulture manager. “We’re getting more and more people in their 20s and 30s asking, ‘How can I grow this?’ I think we’ll be creating more gardeners because people can see what’s possible.”

The 2017 festival forecast will be sunny with colorful floral bursts by day and a nighttime landscape aglow with twinkling lights:

  • Topiaries of Donald Duck and nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie will share Future World space in front of Spaceship Earth with Chip and Dale for a “Fresh Epcot” selfie and family photo opportunity.

  • Anna and Elsa topiaries will return to the Norway pavilion festival landscape in celebration of the park’s new Frozen Ever After Nearly 100 festival topiaries in all will include up to 70 character creations such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, Simba, Timon and Tinker Bell.

  • Guests will encounter garden surprises and special appearances related to Earth Day and other spring activities.

  • The Butterflies on the Go garden will return with the story of the Monarch’s epic journey across the continent and featuring butterflies emerging from their chrysalises.

  • On the way to the new Soarin’ Around the World film at the Soarin’attraction in The Land pavilion, guests can discover gardens featuring edible flowers, plants that benefit health and healing, and a pollinator paradise.

Dozens of Disney-crafted “flower towers” and beds of multi-colored blooms will transform the park’s landscape. At least 70,000 bedding plants will surround the Future World east and west lakes alone; on the water, 220 mini-gardens will be set afloat

The 24th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs March 1 - May 29 2017.

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matt9112May 03, 2017

Lol the crowds that are attracted to epcot festivals are not the same ones attracted to Pandora....unless Pandora is a giant bar.

nelsonj3May 03, 2017

Thank you for your kind words! I actually prefer Flower and Garden for the simple fact that the crowds are calmer and more family friendly, even at night and on weekends. As you know, F&W can get pretty roudy on weekends at night.

21stampsMay 03, 2017

Just watched it. Wonderful video.. thanks for sharing! One of my girlfriends prefers F&G over F&W immensely.. we're going to F&W this year and she tried to convince to do Spring time instead.. it really is gorgeous! Someday I'll make it there.

nelsonj3May 02, 2017

I did a 4K UHD tour of the Flower and Garden festival over the weekend. Take a look if you're interested. :-)

RSoxNo1Mar 18, 2017

Typically, yes.

Shawn15pMar 16, 2017

Can you use dining plans at the outdoor kitchens ? Specifically snack credits ....

Tony the TiggerMar 13, 2017

We went Friday for just a few hours, no issues. The butterfly area was kind of empty, but as others have suggested, it's early in the season. Have reasonable expectations. If the food booths are generating cash, naturally they are going to focus on the food booths. It should be obvious there are going to be food booths either year-round or nearly year-round from now on. Fine by me. Speaking of which, try the corned beef at the UK! Loved it.

BlueThornessMar 13, 2017

Does anyone know if they are going to offer any kind of complimentary Passholder exclusive, this year, like the art cels from last year? I haven't seen anything about it, in the Passholder communications.

wdwmagicMar 06, 2017

I think the issue this year is more to do with the reduction in gardening exhibits, and the increase in food and drink. As you say, the topiary mix is about the same.

FigmentForver96Mar 06, 2017

They practically use the same topiaries every year. Why are people just now complaining :bored:

gmajewMar 06, 2017

I really hope not I did not go last year as we decided to try June for our summer trip and I will be honest Epcot was boring with out anything going on. The flower show and the food and wine are both big big draws and really makes the park as it is just another added level of entertainment. Now of course if they fixed the rides etc would it be necessary? I say yes as the countries are so much more then just rides.

wdwmagicMar 06, 2017

Nothing will significantly change about the festival though. The exhibits and displays are pretty much set in stone at this point.

IanDLBZFMar 06, 2017


JohnDMar 06, 2017

Are they also on the Epcot guides? (They used to do separate guides for the park itself and one for whichever festival it was. In recent years, everything got combined into one guide.)