I attended the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival on opening day, and I plan to go a lot in the next four months. There are a couple of things that I noticed that have slightly changed, so I thought I’d share my initial impressions.
I’ll start with the topiaries. They are more defined than ever! They are full of color, and the details are amazing. They aren’t really traditional topiaries; a bush or shrub that is trimmed and cut to create a shape. Instead, they appear to be frames that have had plants added to them, kind of like living statues. This is not a complaint, I love the details. There are a couple of traditional topiaries if you’d like to see them. They aren’t listed in the Festival Passport under topiaries, they’re part of Topiary Heritage Garden in the United Kingdom Pavilion.
The Garden Rocks Concert Series is mixing up both internationally known and local acts. Disney did the same thing last year. I’ve updated my Garden Rocks post with the latest information. Disney had the schedule for the month of March posted near the entrance to the America Gardens Theatre.
Garden Graze is back, and it’s been modified. Purchase five Garden Graze items and have your Passport stamped each time. You’ll then receive a treat for no extra charge. What has changed is that you now need five stamps, not five different stamps. You can buy the same thing five times if you’d like! Another change is the number of items on Garden Graze, you have ten dishes to choose from. Just like past years, all Garden Graze items are plant-based. Your reward is a Dole Whip flavor that isn’t available any other way. I’ve heard that this year it’s Mango-Lime, I haven’t tried it yet. The reward comes in a collectible cup, and you should also receive a pack of seeds. You’ll receive your reward at Pineapple Promenade.
I did not yet try the scavenger hunt Spike’s Pollen-Natation Exploration. That said, just walking around I saw Spike in several different places. It looks like he’s easy to find.
There are several new gardens this year, as well as some returning favorites. My favorite new garden is Shishi-odoshi in the Japan Pavilion. (Shishi-odoshi means “deer scare”.) It’s relaxing to watch. Check it out, you can thank me later.
I was surprised by the number of butterflies inside the house at Butterfly Landing! I look forward to checking back throughout the festival to see that number grow.
There are three merchandise collections this year; The Orange bird, Figment, and Snow White. Some of the most popular items are already sold out. You can find a great selection inside The Citrus Blossom. That’s also where you’ll buy The Orange Bird Sipper.
These are my opening day impressions of the 2023 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. The new Encanto and Tiana topiaries are worth seeing! You’ll find Encanto at Epcot’s entrance, and Tiana is in the American Adventure. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs through July 5. It’s going to be a great four months.