Today we are spotlighting one of our favorite things to do at Epcot during its many festivals that you might not know is there: a scavenger hunt!
Back in 2013, Disney Parks launched a “Limited Time Magic” “egg” hunt at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. For one week only, guests were able to search for special hidden “Disney Character eggs” at Epcot and Disney California Adventure. This scavenger hunt had you searching high and low throughout both parks looking for these “eggs”. When you found an “egg”, you recorded your discoveries by placing the matching sticker on the specially themed map that you purchased. At the end of your hunt you were rewarded with an adorable miniature version of one of the eggs you worked so hard to find! It was so popular that first year that the next year they named it The Egg-Stravaganza Scavenger Hunt and extended it by 4 days. Bonus, for the Disneyland peeps they added the Disneyland Park as an additional hunt location! By the eighth day they had sold out of all egg hunts maps for both of the California parks.
Now as a family that is usually in Annual Passholder Blackout during these dates and prefers not to visit during high peak times, we were unable to experience these hunts, so it really should come as no surprise to anyone that I was so excited to see that in 2015 Disney Parks cooked up a version to coincide with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This time, guests were asked to search for my favorite little chef Remy as he ventured around Epcot’s World Showcase collecting ingredients for his signature dish, Ratatouille. Or as I like to call it Rat – patootie.
Again, just like the eggs, once you found Remy with each ingredient you place the corresponding sticker on the specially themed map to represent that location. We had an absolute blast searching for Remy! I loved how this gave our entire family (but more specifically our oldest daughter, who was five at the time) something to do as we walked around the festival. And she loved, after finding all the ingredients, going up and choosing one of six Remy pins as her prize. Over the first two years she (and her little sister) added four pins with Remy holding one of the sought after ingredients to their pin trading collection.
In 2017 they expanded Remy to 15 different locations in World Showcase and Future World. They also changed the prize from a pin to (one of four) foam key chains that mirrored the look of that year’s festival decor and merchandise.
I was so excited last year when we were there from Star Wars race weekend and the Egg hunt was still going on. But let me tell you…it was hard. My husband and I became obsessed trying to find those eggs.
Now, I figure we are not the only ones that go bananas for these hunts as Disney Parks has now created Scavenger Hunts for the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts and the 2018 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
I’ll be honest…I didn’t learn of the Arts festival hunt until we were walking to Mexico for dinner on the last night of the festival. Had I known this was there we would have left our “Family Day at the Magic Kingdom” at least an hour or two earlier so we could have searched for that loveable (and our favorite) dragon, Figment. But that didn’t stop me from purchasing Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt map and our “completed” Figment prize pin. We were minutes away from Illuminations beginning so I knew starting this quest would not be wise. That night during our drive home I searched social media and found that Figment’s scavenger hunt had young artists (and the young at heart) searching for Figment in some of the world’s greatest masterpieces, which had been hidden around World Showcase. Man, now I am really upset that we stayed longer at Magic Kingdom! Our oldest has really developed a love for art and creating this year with the inclusion of art classes at her school, so I am sure she would have LOVED to see Figment frolicking about in some of the most iconic works of art, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Monet’s “Water Lilies.” I really hope this comes back next year. If it does, we will be sure to spend a day at the festival, hopefully developing her love, interest, and appreciation of the arts.
If you are like us and you missed out on Figment’s hunt…do not worry, there is more to come! In fact, there are two hunts coming to Epcot in the next few months. The ever so popular Egg-stravaganza scavenger hunt is coming back to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, this time for a record 17 days, March 16 through April 1. This year, maps and stickers can be purchased for $5.99, plus tax.
If you are not going during that time but are attending the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Disney Parks will have an
ALL-NEW Spike the Honey Bee scavenger hunt! This new springtime scavenger hunt follows Disney’s favorite honey bee, Spike, who has been pollinating his way around the festival, giving gardeners of any age the chance to follow his pollination trail around World Showcase at Epcot.
I love this for so many reasons.
First: my kid hates bugs. If it’s not a lady bug or a butterfly, it freaks her out. Especially bees. As much as I try to explain that even though she needs to respect them and she has no reason to fear them, she does. Maybe learning about them will offer a change of heart.
Second: It’s educational. Anything that can spark conversations around learning new things (for instance how flowers are pollinated) I just eat up. Our oldest is a sponge with her Flower and Garden Festival guide, and every year she loves learning about everything to do with flowers, and I know this will prompt several conversations.
Third, and probably most importantly…bees need our help. As pollinators, they play a very important role in our ecosystems worldwide, pollinating many of our plants and food crops. They do this so much that they are called the “super pollinators,” but in recent years there has been a rapid loss in honeybee colonies. It has gotten so bad that some of the 25,000 different types of bees are at risk of being endangered, so I love that Disney Parks has created Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration hunt. And the name? Pollination…as in Pollen Nation…?! I LOVE it!!! Then again it doesn’t take much to humor me. Remember Rat Patootie?! Yeah…but anyway…
I can’t wait for us to pick up a garden map and look for Spike! Rumor has it in each garden, we’ll have to search for Spike and the plant Spike has pollinated. These will be identifiable by Spike himself and a Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration plant stake.
Maps and stickers can be purchased for $5.99 plus tax at Port of Entry for the duration of the Flower & Garden Festival (February 28-May 28). I am sure we will participate in this scavenger hunt quite a few times. I can’t wait to see what the “Springtime Surprise” is. From what I have been able to find (unofficially on Instagram) you get to pick one of four “3 Pack patch” sets.
In short, if you are looking for a fun activity that the whole family can participate in while walking around Epcot, try giving these hunts a go during your next visit!
* For Scavenger Hunt Tips and Tricks, check out this Pixie Dust Pointers blog post.