As the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival comes to a close, it seems like a good opportunity to reflect on this spectacular Walt Disney World seasonal event. While most people anxiously await the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall, I actually prefer the Flower & Garden Festival, and work hard to make it to WDW during this spring festival every year. I know, I know…. all the Food & Wine fans are now rolling their eyes. Let’s take a look at what I love about the Flower & Garden Festival that gives it an edge up over its competition in my opinion.
There is one undeniable area where the Flower & Garden Festival takes the cake: crowds. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival pulls epic crowds, especially on weekend evenings. I have been in the World Showcase on these evenings and have felt so miserably claustrophobic! Honestly, I have had more than a few less-than-family-friendly interchanges with less-than-sober individuals during Food & Wine evenings. I have never had any such issues during Flower & Garden, either with the atmosphere being uncomfortably adult or with claustrophobic crowds. I would much rather stroll World Showcase on a Saturday night in April than one in November.
Let’s not forget that this is called the Flower & Garden Festival… so there is my second plus to this festival… flowers! The sheer beauty of the grounds takes this time of the year at Epcot over the top for me. I love the elaborate flower beds, various garden displays, and of course the amazing topiaries! Everywhere I turn there is something eye-catching and colorful to explore! Checking out the topiaries are worth the trip to Epcot alone. As an avid WDW photographer, I relish in the beauty and color that I can capture through my lens during this time period.
Sure, the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival doesn’t have quite as many food and beverage booths as the Food & Wine Festival, but in 2017 there were 15 booths with wonderfully diverse food and beverage options available. There is a focus on fresh ingredients, and there are many unique offerings. Use the available Passport to find just which options deserve a try! While the Food & Wine Festival has the Eat to Beat Concert Series, the Flower & Garden Festival has the Garden Rocks series, with similar types of artists performing.
Epcot Food & Wine Festival does definitely beat out the Flower & Garden Festival in special seminars, demonstrations, and special dining events/pairings available for guests. There are, however, garden demonstrations and a few select tours available during Flower & Garden Festival as well. Since I am not such a huge fan of cooking, and am not very likely to pay for an exclusive extra event, I don’t mind missing out on these Food & Wine offerings.
Overall, I definitely prefer the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The lower/less “boisterous” crowds and the pure beauty of Epcot in full bloom make this my favorite time of year to visit Epcot!