General Information

Next Event Scheduled: March 7 to May 20, 2012

Frequency: Annually

Location: Throughout Epcot

Event Began: Spring 1994

Park Admission Required: Yes.

Admission Requirements: Requires standard admission to Epcot.


Event Information

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival starts in early March again this year. The 19th annual springtime event runs for seventy-five days, or nearly eleven weeks, from March 7 - May 20, 2012. The theme of this year's festival is Fantasia, and the featured topiary at the park's main entrance is Sorcerer Mickey, surrounded by 15 other characters from the film.


The festival features such returning activities as the Great American Gardeners lecture series, the Flower Power Concert Series (updated below for 2012) and Disney Gardening at Home presentations, as well as many floral displays and dozens of the topiaries that at one time could be seen all over Walt Disney World.

Here's a rundown on what's going on at the Festival in 2012:

General information | Festival Center events | Great American Gardeners series | Gardens of the World Tour | Child-focused events | Flower Power concert series | Other Festival Events | More Information

Captain Hook's pirate ship welcomes visitors to the 2007 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

General information

  • Including the front entrance topiary display there are 75 topiaries, including Lady and the Tramp, the Fab Five and characters from Toy Story and Cars 2, installed across park grounds for the festival;
  • Festival landscaping includes 30 million blooms, 300,000 bedding plants and 750 container gardens of flowers, herbs, plants and vegetables in clay pots, barrels and urns;
  • At least 25 different plants, grasses and mosses of various colors are used to create and define features of the festival topiaries, including pink and red begonias, dusty miller, palm fiber, palm seeds, ficus and lichen;
  • More than 15 floral, herbal and spice ingredients of ten popular perfumes are revealed in the Fragrance Garden presented by Guerlain at the France pavilion, including lemon, Arabian jasmine, vanilla, mimosa, magnolia, rose, nutmeg and vetivergrass;
  • 45 "flower towers" of impatiens line Innoventions Plaza;
  • 100 floating mini-gardens of multi-hued impatiens, each three feet in diameter, provide splashes of color on the two lakes that border the walkway between Future World and World Showcase, and are joined this year by 15 larger gardens, eight feet in diameter;
  • More than 500 native butterflies representing up to 10 species reside in Bambi's Butterfly Garden, a gazebo-type enclosure filled with lush plants and measuring more than 40 feet in diameter. Guests can stroll through the screened habitat to view the colorful butterflies. Among the garden's two dozen nectar plants are Cape Royal plumbago, passion flower, coral honeysuckle, blazing star, butterfly bush, scarlet milkweed and canna lily;
  • 300 horticulturists from the Walt Disney World nursery are needed to install the festival landscape, topiaries and many exhibits; 100 Epcot horticulturists maintain topiaries and other festival displays.

Festival Center events

Several events take place inside the Festival Center (inside the former Wonders of Life pavilion), open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Intermissions Café – Hosted by Moet Hennessy. Light snacks, sandwiches and salads, English teas and wines by the glass.
  • HGTV Designers Stage – learn tips and secrets that you can use from HGTV and DIY designers (weekends only, noon - 3:00 p.m.) (see below)
  • Great American Gardeners series – respected gardeners and nature experts reveal tips and entertaining stories at noon and 3 p.m. (see below)
  • Planting Pointers – gardening experts from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will present great gardening ideas at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on select days
  • Festival Blooms – the blooms featured in festival displays are all identified for your purchasing convenience
  • Festival Store – anything that you might want to purchase as a souvenir from the event can be found here

The Guerlain fragrance garden at the France pavilion featured perfume bottle topiaries during the 2007 Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

HGTV Designers Stage

Nationally recognized gardening personalities from HGTV and the DIY Network present this popular series at this year's Festival. The sessions run at noon and 3 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the festival as you get an opportunity to learn from design and garden experts at the festival center.

  • March 9-11 – John Gidding, from Curb Appeal: "Designing for Curb Appeal";
  • March 16-18 – Sabrina Soto, from The High Low Project: "Decorating Design Tips, Tricks, and Savvy Shopping Secrets";
  • March 23-25 – Jason Cameron, from DIY Network's Desperate Landscapes: "Working Makeover Magic for Desperate Landscapes";
  • March 30-April 1 – Camille Styles, from's Design Happens: "Planning Garden Parties That Are Simple, But Not Your Garden Variety";
  • April 6-8 – Dan Faires, from's DanMade: "Planning Your Planting with Terrarium, Vertical Gardens, and Small Space Greenery";
  • April 13-15 – Brandon Johnson, from My Yard Goes Disney: "Bringing Disney Inspiration and HGTV Design to Your Backyard";
  • April 20-22 – Meg Caswell, from Meg's Great Rooms: "Tips for Turning a Good Room into a Great Room!";
  • April 27-29 – Monica Pedersen, from HGTV Dream Home 2012: "Make It Beautiful: Designs and Ideas Entertaining at Home";
  • May 4-6 – Antonio Ballatore, from The Antonio Treatment: "Design Outside of the Box: How to Personalize, Customize, and Inspire";
  • May 11-13 – Carter Oosterhouse, from Million Dollar Rooms: "10 Renovation Tips You Need to Know"; and
  • May 18-20 – Genevieve Gorder, from Dear Genevieve and HGTV Design Star: "Turning Your Landscape Inside Out".

Great American Gardeners series

Many expert gardeners from past years return for the popular series of seminars at this year's Festival. The sessions run at noon and 3 p.m. every Monday through Thursday during the festival as some of the most respected gardeners and nature experts in the country reveal tips and entertaining stories at the HGTV Designers Stage in the festival center.

  • March 7-8 – Faith Savage, "Color and its Impact in Your Home Garden";
  • March 12–15 – Paul Zimmerman, "Roses are Plants, Too" and "Beyond Knockout, The Next Generation of Garden Roses";
  • March 19 – Jim Thompson, "Gardening with Bamboo";
  • March 20 – Melanie Palmrose, "Super Hypertufa Planters";
  • March 21 – Redenta Soprano, "Botanical Illustration: A Closer Look!";
  • March 22 – Frank Dasse, "You Too Can Grow Orchids";
  • March 26–29 – Jaret C. Daniels, "Pollinator Gardens: Attracting Butterflies, Bees and Birds to Your Landscape";
  • April 2-5 – Paul Tukey, "Lawn Games for Life" and "Safe Lawns & Landscapes"—presenting April 2 - 5
  • April 9 - 12 – Walter Reeves, "How to be Sherlock Holmes in Your Garden" and "Garden Disasters and How to Avoid Them"
  • April 16 – Jim Thompson, "Gardening With Bamboo"
  • April 17 – Melanie Palmrose, "Super Hypertufa Planters"
  • April 18 – Redenta Soprano, "Botanical Illustration: A Closer Look!"
  • April 19 Frank Dasse, "You Too Can Grow Orchids"
  • April 23-26 – Steve Aitken, "Garden Gear: Tools You Need and Gadgets to Avoid" and "Why Doesn't Mine Look Like That: 10 Questions to Ask About Your Garden's Design"
  • April 30 - May 3 – Erica Glasener, "Gardens with Style" and "Striking Container Gardens"
  • May 7 - 10 Danielle Sherry, "Fantastic New Plants for 2012" and "12 Foolproof Vegetables and Fruits"
  • May 14 Jim Thompson, "Gardening With Bamboo"
  • May 15 Melanie Palmrose, "Super Hypertufa Planters"
  • May 16 Redenta Soprano, "Botanical Illustration: A Closer Look!"
  • May 17 – Frank Dasse, "You Too Can Grow Orchids"

Gardens of the World Tour

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, you can take the Epcot Gardens of the World Tour. The tour runs three hours, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. For $59 including tax, guests ages 16 and up can follow a Disney horticulturist on a tour of special displays and the award-winning international gardens of Epcot. This tour is aimed at gardening enthusiasts. You can register at Guest Relations, or for advance registration information, you can call 407-WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687).

Child-focused events and features:

  • Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden – Returning for another year, this garden has topiaries of Tinker Bell and friends, along with special hands-on activities for kids and a play structure;
  • Bambi's Butterfly House – Adjacent to Pixie Hollow, the butterfly house features topiaries of characters from Bambi. More than 500 butterflies representing approximately 10 species inhabit a screened-in gazebo (hint: go early in the morning while the butterflies are still drowsy, and one might sit on your finger);
  • Let’s Get Moving – This recreational area along the Rose Walk between Future World and World Showcase features climbing structures for kids 2-5 and 6 and up;
  • Backyard Play Garden – This family-oriented activity area is located between the Morocco and France pavilions;
  • Toy Story Alphabet Garden – Topiaries of characters from Toy Story 3 decorate this garden in the American Adventure Pavilion, where each letter of the alphabet is represented by a different plant.

David Cumbie's steel Kinetic Playground attracts much attention during Art in the Garden weekend at the 2007 Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Flower Power Concert Series

This section is updated to reflect the 2012 event's concert series.

Concerts take place three times nightly at the America Gardens Theatre, at 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

This series usually features artists popular back in the "Flower Power" days of the 1960s and 1970s, but is expanding its scope to include music from the 1980s. Performances are weekends-only, leaving the theater dark Monday-Thursday nights.

  • March 9–11: Jose Feliciano
  • March 16–18: Starship Starring Mickey Thomas
  • March 23–25: The Guess Who
  • March 30–April 1: The Spinners
  • April 6–8: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
  • April 13–15: Paul Revere & the Raiders
  • April 20–22: The Turtles Featuring Flo & Eddie
  • April 27–29: Chuck Negron (Formerly of Three Dog Night)
  • May 4–6: The Orchestra (Featuring former members of ELO and ELO Part II)
  • May 11–13: Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone
  • May 18–20: Micky Dolenz

Note that, as always, entertainment is subject to change without notice.

The parterre helps to frame Minnie's Magnificent Butterfly Garden at the 2007 Flower & Garden Festival. This year, the parterres will spell out a message in nautical flag designs. Photo by Cathy Sowa.

Other Festival Events

Still more events await Festival attendees:

  • Themed Weekends – This year, there are four themed weekends: March 23–25 Art in the Garden Weekend, April 13–15 Disney's Animal Kingdom Specialists, April 27-29 Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, and May 4–6 Fresh from Florida Weekend;
  • Garden Town – Start your day here with festival information, demonstrations, shopping and more, and enjoy tips on how to get the most out of your visit in the festival center;
  • Ask an Expert – You can ask gardening experts from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences your gardening questions daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Future World Plaza near the Innoventions Fountain;
  • Haiti: Garden of Many Colors – Frozen cocktails featuring Haitian rhums and liqueurs are for sale, along with Haitian coffee and non-alcoholic mango punch. Children can make crafts, and the whole family can learn about Haitian agriculture.
  • Sustainable Beauty – Presented by HGTV;
  • English Tea Garden – Discover the history and art of tea blending as you stroll through this elegant English Tea Garden and enjoy a complimentary 20-minute guided tour at 4:00 and 6:30 p.m. daily, with additional 2:00 p.m. tours Friday–Sunday. Sign up at the Tea Caddy. Presented by Twinings;
  • Water Wise Herbs & Vegetables – Presented by Rain Bird Corporation;
  • For the Birds – Presented by the National Audubon Society;
  • Bonsai Collection – Discover the elegant, ancient art of bonsai showcased throughout the serene Japanese garden;
  • Orchids – located at the Mexico pavilion;
  • Spice and Herb Garden – located at the Morocco pavilion.

More information

For more information, you can see the official Flower & Garden Festival page on Walt Disney World's web site here.

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History and Trivia

Previous Flower Power Concerts

  • 2010 - Jose Feliciano, Paul Revere and the Raiders, David Cassidy, Starship starring Mickey Thomas, Tony Orlando, Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, Ricky Nelson Remembered featuring The Nelsons, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Fran Cosmo (former lead singer of Boston), Davy Jones, Chubby Checker and the Wildcats