There's no better way to welcome the arrival of spring then with the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World. This is the 25th year for the event, which started out as a 38-day celebration back in 1994, but has blossomed into the 90-day extravaganza it is today. The festival offers something for every generation, including beautiful gardens and topiary displays, fun interactive playgrounds for kids, spectacular food and drinks and live concerts from over a dozen chart-topping bands.

Outdoor Kitchens
From February 28 through May 28, families can enjoy flavor-rich cuisine from 15 Outdoor Kitchens located around the World Showcase lagoon. Sip on more than 75 unique drinks including specialty cocktails, craft beers, imported wines and non-alcoholic frozen beverages. Dine on nearly 50 dishes made from fresh ingredients that’ll satisfy appetites large and small. This year, every Outdoor Kitchen will have its own garden featuring herbs and produce you can grow at home to help prepare some of these festival dishes yourself.

New delectable dishes
This year's festival features many new and exciting food and drink options. An all-new kitchen is joining the lineup called "The Honey Bee-stro," featuring an entire menu infused with honey, like the wildflower honey-mascarpone cheesecake with orange blossom honey ice cream on top! Other new standout dishes this year include the beef brisket burnt ends and smoked pork belly slider from The Smokehouse, toasted pretzel bread topped with black forest ham and melted Gruyère cheese from Bauernmarkt and a tropical mousse cake with layers of passion fruit cake and coconut mousse from La Isla Fresca.

Topiary displays, exhibits and gardens
Disney horticulturists bring Epcot to life during the event with millions of brilliant blossoms. You'll encounter nearly 100 topiary figures based on beloved Disney characters throughout the entire park. Festival favorites like Beauty and the Beast in France and Anna and Elsa in Norway will be joined by new displays including a reinvented entrance display featuring Mickey Mouse and his friends set among a kaleidoscope of blooming color. Stroll through more than a dozen breathtaking gardens featuring everything from Bonsai trees to butterflies. Sign up for an exclusive tour to get even closer to nature, including a free English Tea Garden tour available on select days.

Special fun for kids
Children will delight in interacting, playing and learning at new and improved play gardens in Future World. Kids can explore a new maze, sensory garden and activity center at Future World West (while parents enjoy the covered seating area). And families can play together at the redesigned Cars garden near Test Track, featuring characters from Cars 3. Plus, grab a map from participating gift shops and help find Spike the honey bee hiding around World Showcase in this year's brand new scavenger hunt: Spike's Pollen Nation Exploration. If you're able to find him at all 12 gardens you'll earn a prize!

Garden Rocks Concert Series
Guests can dance from their seats while hit-makers of the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s take the stage every Friday through Monday during the event. These incredible concerts are performed at the park’s outdoor America Gardens Theatre overlooking World Showcase lagoon, and are included with your park admission. This year's eclectic mix of popular artists include Rick Springfield, Smash Mouth, Simple Plan and many more! Performances are at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8pm every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday through May 28.

The 25th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs from February 28 through May 28 in 2018. Concerts and garden exhibits are included in regular park admission. Food and drink options, along with some tours, are available for additional cost. Check out our great offers to Walt Disney World when planning your next visit to Orlando.

Garden Rocks Concert Series Lineup
March 2-5:  Night Ranger
March 9-12:  STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
March 16-19:  Simple Plan
March 23-26:  Little River Band
March 30-April 2:  The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
April 6-7:  Foghat 
April 8-9:  Survivor
April 13-14:  Smash Mouth
April 15-16:  Rick Springfield 
April 20-21:  Jo Dee Messina 
April 22-23:  Lonestar
April 27-30:  Blood, Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice
May 4-7:  Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
May 11-12:  Village People
May 13-14:  Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles
May 18-21:  The Guess Who
May 25-28:  The Spinners

(Photo: Walt Disney World)