It’s that time of year (Spring) that all Disney fans look forward to and that is the annual Flower and Garden Festival here at EPCOT. This perennial favorite is again in full swing and along with some pics, I have a little info on this year’s doings for those who cannot make the trip this year.
As always, flora experts and Disney horticulturists will conduct seminars during the festival (Check your times guide for locations and times). There will be over 100 topiaries on display, accompanied by over 220 floating mini-gardens on the waters and over 70,000 plants around the World Showcase and Future World. Also returning are Bambi’s Butterfly House, the Radiator Springs interactive play zone, the English Tea Garden, Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden, The Land of Oz play area, the very popular “Ask an Expert”, the GoGo on the Go Challenge and last but not least, the “Flower Power Concert series” in the American Garden Theater. At the designers stage you will find your favorite HGTV in informative presentations.
New this year is Kermit and Miss Piggy topiaries, a Muppets Most Wanted Scavenger Hunt. Stop at the World Showcase Plaza to get your clues and choose which team to be on… Either Team Napoleon or Team Eagle, the names of the two investigators in the film. Pumbaa will now have Timon with him on the topiary display between Germany and China. Guests can also enjoy the Outdoor Kitchens where tasty snacks can be enjoyed while you enjoy the flowers. Something else new is the Urban Eats Outdoor Kitchen… This will feature sustainably farmed food, the bulk which will be grown in the Land Pavilion. Available will be gluten free beer, Eggplant Scallop, ghost pepper sprinkled on Tilapia, Mango chutney and even Vegan wines. And do not forget to check out the Smokehouse Barbecue marketplace where you can sample smoked turkey ribs and Barbecue chicken legs.
HGTV will again sponsor the Festival. They will be onstage at the Festival Center which is located between the Universe of Energy and Mission- SPACE in Future World on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On Mondays and Thursdays there will be other flower and garden experts present. All presentations will be at noon and 3 pm. The “Ask an Expert” will be available From 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, to give answers to your gardening questions, courtesy of the “Master Gardeners” from IFAS at the University of Florida. There will also be three-hour guided tours conducted by Disney Horticulturists of special displays and award-winning international gardens. The cost is $64.00 (does not include tax, guests must be age 16+, theme park admission required). To arrange a tour, register at Guest Relations or call 407-WDW-TOUR. Also while in the Festival Center, there will be Flower & Garden Festival-themed merchandise and more. This is open daily from 10:00am – 5:00pm. And if you are a bit hungry, just stop by the Intermissions Cafe and sample some of their selections of wine, cheese, wraps and salads. Around World Showcase the pavilions will showcase some delectable foods, such as the French Pavilion, with offerings such as Macaron à la fleur d’ Oranger – Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache, or Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal – Parisian-style dumplings with vegetables and mushrooms. In Japan, try the Japanese puffed rice cakes with green tea whipped cream and azuki. Over in the Moroccan Pavilion, sample Harissa chicken kebab with couscous salad. And don’t forget our American pavilion where Smoked Beef Brisket with Collard Greens and Jalapeno Corn Bread, or try the sampling Beer Flight offering Magic Hat #9, Maduro, Fat Tire and Billy’s Chilies. And that’s just an example of what’s offered for eats at this year’s festival.
For the Flower Power Concert Series, the lineup for this festival is… March 7-9 The Guess Who “American Woman”, March 14-16 Gary Lewis and The Playboys “This Diamond Ring”, March 21-23 The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”, March 28-30 The Lovin’ Spoonful “Summer in the City”, April 4-6 Paul Revere & The Raiders “Good Thing”, April 11-13 Village People “Y.M.C.A”, April 18-20 The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions”, April 25-27 Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VII, I Am”, May 2-4 Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”, May 9-11 Chubby Checker & The Wildcats “The Twist”, and May 16-18 Alan Parsons Live Project “Eye in the Sky”.
Some of the Exhibits shown will be… The Gardener’s Palette (Presented by Transitions) – Future World East, near Universe of Energy, the Orchids by the Mexico Pavilion, Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House (Presented by HGTV) by the Imagination Walkway, Backyard Habitat (Presented by National Wildlife Federation), again by the Imagination Walkway. One feature I thought unbelievable was the Bears Sand Sculpture (Presented by Disney nature Bears) by the Test Track Walkway. By the Japan pavilion, the awesome Bonsai tree collection is another example of just how much skill and art goes into the Festival. There are also quaint gardens around the Showcase; by Italy, the Container Gardens, the Water Wise Herbs & Vegetables, sponsored by Rain Bird, Imagination Walkway; Next to Germany is the Florida Fresh Garden. And again by the Imagination Walkway, the Everglades garden.
So, again, Disney ups the ante for amazing creative and imaginative skills associated with the Flower and Garden Festival. Thousands of hours of work go into making EPCOT this time of year a floral paradise. For those unfortunate who cannot attend this year, I have some pics for your enjoyment. And not to knock my photography skills, the pics do not do the real thing justice!
Please enjoy this gallery of pictures that Bill Iadonisi took around Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival!