7 things we’re looking forward to at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival

Disney Diary artist’s rendering

Olaf could be made from alyssum, one of the flowers
that will be used in the “Frozen” display. 

If you haven’t been counting the days until the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, let us help you: Opening day, March 4, is just seven days away.

To start the countdown, here are seven things we’re looking forward to:

“Frozen” topiaries: Anna and Elsa — and  hopefully Olaf! — will make their debut at the Flower & Garden Festival this year, anchoring the display at the World Showcase Plaza. Also new: Chip and Dale will be joining the “Goofy About Spring” tableau at the front entrance.

Gardens of the World tour: Talk topiaries and much more with a Disney horticulturist during a 3-hour walking tour offered only during the Flower & Garden festival. The tour is restricted to guests 16 and older. Cost is $64. You can get more information by calling (407) WDW-TOUR.

Secret gardens: Okay, they’re not secret, but around the park this year you’ll find a series of small gardens that are bound to get less attention than the 100 or so character topiaries. Each of these 10 mini-gardens has a “storytelling element.” Keep your eyes peeled for a dinosaur plant garden; a health garden featuring medicinal plants like chamomile, aloe and garlic; and a Shakespeare Garden with roses representing Romeo and Juliet, rosemary from Hamlet, and more.

Garden Rocks concert series: Need a break from flower blossoms? How about some Gin Blossoms instead? They’re among the 11 bands scheduled to play on weekends as part of the Garden Rocks series.

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Shopping: For some of us, the shopping at Disney World counts as an attraction all by itself. During special events it’s a treat to check out the event merchandise. In addition to the usual array of t-shirts, hats and pins, the Flower & Garden Festival brings garden decorations and a new Dooney & Bourke bag collection.

Outdoor kitchens: Around the World Showcase you’ll find a sort of mini Food & Wine Festival with dishes inspired by the garden and the grill. The drinks, too, are special: La Cava del Tequila will be serving a Hibiscus Margarita and the Shipyard Brewing Company will debut its Maple Bacon Stout at the Festival. And that’s just a small taste!

Cooking demonstrations: Let’s stay with the food theme for the moment. Free 15-minute cooking demonstrations have been added to the Flower & Garden lineup this year. At 3 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a Disney chef will prepare a dish from the Festival. If you’re lucky, maybe it will be the Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake. The demonstrations are short, but you will have a chance to meet the chef. For gardeners, the weekends bring gardening seminars and workshops to the Festival Center.