Disney World is never more then during the Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot. The annual spring festival has the Disney horticulturalists pulling out all the stops and is truly a sight to see. The Flower & Garden Festival has seen significant upgrades in the last couple of years with an extended operating schedule and the addition of numerous festival kitchens feature tastes of amazing food and drinks. A long time hit of the festival is the Garden Rocks Concert Series featuring musical acts spanning four decades. Disney has released the concert lineup for 2018 and it’s the best lineup yet. Nearly half the acts are new to the Flower & Garden Festival! More details below.
From Disney writer Charles Stoval:
Does your Garden Rock?
Well ours does – at the 2018 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival – with 17 favorite artists whose hits span more than five decades.
This year, our 25th event year, the Garden Rocks series features singers and groups from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s with hit-makers in a variety of genres including rock, pop, country, R&B and dance.
We have brand new acts such as country favorites Lonestar, British rock legends Foghat; and Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles – along with returning treasures disco pioneers Village People and ‘80s supergroups like Night Ranger.
We also have a couple of artists that have played other Epcot festivals like Survivor, Smash Mouth and Rick Springfield, who are joining us for Garden Rocks this year.
Here is this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):
- March 2-5: Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
- March 9-12: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
- March 16-19: Simple Plan “Welcome to My Life”
- March 23-26: Little River Band “Reminiscing”
- March 30-April 2: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
- April 6-7: Foghat (NEW!) “Slow Ride”
- April 8-9: Survivor (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “Eye of the Tiger”
- April 13-14: Smash Mouth (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “All Star”
- April 15-16: Rick Springfield (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “Jessie’s Girl”
- April 20-21: Jo Dee Messina (NEW to Garden Rocks!) “Stand by Me”
- April 22-23: Lonestar (NEW!) “Amazed”
- April 27-30: Blood, Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
- May 4-7: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry VIII I Am”
- May 11-12: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
- May 13-14: Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles (NEW!) “Hotel California”
- May 18-21: The Guess Who “American Woman”
- May 25-28: The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”
Garden Rocks performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and are included with Epcot admission.
REALATED ARTICLE: NEWS: Disney Releases Additional Details on 2018 Flower and Garden Festival
While we are fully immersed in the holiday season, Disney is always planning and looking forward to the next celebration. Disney has released additional information on the 25th Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Since it is the 25th Anniversary of the festival and Epcot’s 35th Anniversary year, Disney is stepping up and delivering on some exciting new additions to the festival. Read all the details below.
Here are all the details from Disney:
The 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will kick off spring at Walt Disney World Resort Feb. 28 and continue through May 28, 2018, with seasonal fun for all. What began in 1994 as a 38-day celebration of Disney-style gardens and topiaries has grown over the years to a 90-day spring extravaganza with something for every generation.
The 2018 festival, which takes place during the 35th anniversary of Epcot, will showcase millions of brilliant blossoms, flavor-rich cuisine from 15 Outdoor Kitchens, Disney topiary stars, interactive play gardens and live chart-topping musical acts during the Garden Rocks Concert Series.
The 90-day festival will open with an irresistible array of sights, sounds, tastes, aromas and tactile discoveries:
- New and creative dishes will debut at 15 Outdoor Kitchens encircling the World Showcase Promenade. Guests can sip and savor their way around Epcot, enjoying chef-inspired noshes and refreshing libations.
- A bonanza of Disney character topiaries, including classic-character favorites Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and many others, will play a starring festival role. Returning this year, Belle will be featured in France along with Beast, Snow White in Germany with the Seven Dwarfs, and Anna and Elsa in Norway.
- A brand-new Future World interactive play garden and a revved-up Road to Florida 500 garden featuring new games and play challenges will set the pace for family festival fun. The new interactive area in Future World will feature a play maze, a sensory garden, an activity zone and a covered seating area. The redesigned “Cars”-themed garden based on the Disney•Pixar sequel, “Cars 3,” will add more fun activities like highway bingo for families.
- A brand-new Epcot front-entrance topiary garden will set the milestone anniversary scene with a kaleidoscope of blooming color where topiary icons Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy will greet festival guests.
- The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series will feature hit makers of the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s on the America Gardens Theatre stage. Three evening concerts each Friday through Monday present musicians that span multiple genres.
- Garden Rocks Dining Packages will be available on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants.
Each Outdoor Kitchen will feature its own raised-bed or in-ground garden of herbs and produce that can inspire the growing numbers of guests who want to learn to grow what they eat.
“The culture of growing your own food continues to trend, and our guests each year have quite a few questions related to edible gardens,” says Eric Darden, festival horticulture manager. “They get a big kick comparing items in our gardens with the herbs and produce our chefs incorporate into the festival’s Outdoor Kitchen recipes.”
And there’s more:
- The back-by-demand Figment topiary garden between Future World and World Showcase will offer the perfect selfie backdrop and family photo opportunity.
- The Royal Tea Garden Tour will return for a second year each festival morning at the United Kingdom pavilion. For a small fee, guests can follow a knowledgeable guide through the tranquil tea garden setting to learn the history and artistry behind growing and blending tea. A post-tour treat of tea and scones is included. The shorter, complimentary English Tea Garden Tour also will be offered on select days.
- Among the nearly 100 festival topiaries will be returning favorites like the pandas and Bromeliad dragon at the China pavilion, The Three Caballeros at the Mexico pavilion, Disney-Pixar’s Woody at the American Adventure pavilion and Buzz Lightyear in Future World.
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.
RELATED ARTICLE: 8 Things We Love About the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Disney World
by D.W. Noonan
Epcot hosts four fabulous festivals every year, drawing countless visitors to celebrate those seasons with special programming. Many events and activities return to Epcot every year, but festival planners also like to create new things for visitors to enjoy. This spring, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival begins February 28 and extends to May 28. It truly showcases the heart of spring, a welcomed change to vacationers who have been thawing out from winter’s chill. We love a lot of things about the Flower and Garden Festival, but the following eight tops the list.
8 – The Weather
While the days in Florida generally range from warm to hot all year long, the springtime days perfectly fall in the middle with temperatures averaging in the mid-70s to low 80s. During the festival, you’re not likely to suffer from relentless heat beating down upon you or cool breezes giving you the shivers. Also, Florida’s dry season occurs from March to May, meaning that during the festival, you’ll usually find clear skies, low humidity, and not much precipitation. These nearly perfect days enhance your experience of the blossoming flowers of Epcot. Any summer guest at Walt Disney World has certainly endured sweltering humidity and heavy thunderstorms that drive them indoors, but we love the fact that we can avoid them during the Flower and Garden Festival.
7 – The Floral Variety
The diversity of flowers that Disney horticulturalists display during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is mind staggering. Disney achieves this through intensive preparation that requires more than a year of work and around 24,000 cast members. The stunning colors draw a multitude of pollen-carrying insects, melodious songbirds, and photo-snapping humans to the festival. Be sure to bring a quality camera to capture the spectacular images that you’re not likely to find elsewhere.
6 – The Fragrances
Naturally, the great floral variety will produce the most pleasant aromas you’ll ever smell. Delight your olfactory senses with fragrances from over 30 million blooms as you stroll through lively gardens, linger among the flower towers, and visit purple martin and butterfly habitats. The experience draws you closer to nature and helps you to appreciate all the tools that flowers employ to attract insects to carry their pollen. Festival attendees love the freshness of nature’s perfume, and you’ll be sure to enjoy it, as well.
5 – The Gardening Tips
Visit the Festival Center in Future World to receive the best gardening tips from experts in the field. You’ll love picking the brains of horticulturalists, master gardeners, and cutting-edge researchers from Walt Disney World and University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Science. The information you can glean from the professionals is first-rate and includes topics like sustainable gardening, current horticultural trends, composting techniques, and more. Use what you learn to plant your first garden or to improve your current gardening skills.
4 – The Kid-Friendly Learning
The festival not only provides lots of educational opportunities for adults, but also for kids. Butterflies on the Go is an exhibit that allows children to encounter a multitude of butterflies, learn about their life cycles, and maybe even witness one or more emerging from a cocoon. Also, kids can learn about migratory purple martins by visiting their habitat. Other educational presentations geared to the children are provided by the National Park Foundation, the National Park Service, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Disney Conservation Fund. The festival serves as the perfect occasion for kids to learn even while having fun at Epcot.
3 – The Character Topiaries
By far, we find the topiaries created for the Flower and Garden Festival to be nothing short of amazing. Disney’s horticulturalists become plant sculptors as they transform shrubbery into three dimensional depictions of popular Disney movie characters. The staple characters appear all over the place, but the festival planners also add new characters and motifs each year. You’ll see everything from Anna and Elsa to Winnie the Pooh, so make sure you snap lots of photos of these incredible topiaries to add to your vacation albums and scrapbooks.
2 – The Outdoor Kitchens
Disney vacationers love Epcot for its variety of cuisine and libations. During the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, the diversity of food and drink increases with the installment of thirteen new booths around the World Showcase. These Outdoor Kitchens feature garden-fresh inspired food and craft brews, ciders, and wines from the nations and regions represented. These creative recipes extend beyond the already delicious cuisine at each pavilion, so you’re bound to find something new. The Outdoor Kitchens serve as reason enough to love the festival, especially for foodies.
1 – The Concerts
We love music, and Walt Disney World pulls out all the stops with their Garden Rocks Concert Series to give us what we want. Located at the America Gardens Theatre, the concert series showcases popular musical acts from the past every weekend. Clap, stomp, or dance to the beats of groups like the Pointer Sisters, Starship, Gin Blossoms, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears, to name a few. No matter what weekend you visit during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, you’ll be sure to find a rockin’ concert to enjoy.
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