2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Additions

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

Today the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival begins and runs until May 17th, and I was lucky enough to be an invited guest of the Walt Disney World Resort to take a special Behind-the-Scenes tour of some of the things you will find at this year’s Festival.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

Eric Darden, Horticulture Manager for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, and Carla Shuman, a Walt Disney World Landscape Architect, served as our guides as we walked around the Festival as all the pieces were coming together.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World
Eric Darden and Carla Shuman leading our tour

2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival New Additions

1. The 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival can’t Let It Go!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

The Anna and Elsa topiaries are beautiful and are sure to be a hit this year!

One of my favorite touches is that Anna’s side is full of a vibrant assortment of flowers, while Elsa’s side is delicate white flowers representing snow. I personally wish that Olaf was joining them, but I do love their faces and the scale of the topiaries.

This is sure to be a crazy busy spot for photos, and PhotoPass Photographers will definitely be stationed there for the duration of the Festival.

2. Botanas Botánico joins the Outdoor Kitchen line-up

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

This year Botanas Botánico, located between the Morocco and France Pavilions, joins the Outdoor Kitchens group with great food options and a beautiful garden that tells a vivid story of indigenous foods.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

I had the opportunity to taste the Cachapa con Queso (Sweet Cortn Pancake with Farmers Cheese), and it is a light and flavorful treat that will be great on a hot day! The sweet corn and rich cheese are a wonderful combination.

3. Farmer Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Topiaries

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

This year Farmer Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse have Spaceship Earth as their backdrop in an American Gothic-esque photo opportunity.

I loved Goofy here, and can’t wait to take my picture here this year.

4. Fun New Gardens can be found everywhere

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

The Flower and Garden Festival this year features several new mini-gardens that are themed to their surrounding areas, educational experiences, and even upcoming movies.

I especially love the Shakespeare Garden, located near the United Kingdom Pavilion Restrooms, and the Inside Out Emotion Garden, located just outside of Journey Into Imagination with Figment, because while they are completely different their integration with their surrounding areas is a great added touch.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

5. 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

The Disney Parks Blog shared a peek at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise, and I am in trouble!

The Festival Exclusive Disney Dooney & Bourke might be one of my favorite prints of all time!

Steven Miller shared the Festival Merchandise information here.

6. Fun Fresh Weekends

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2015 Epcot Walt Disney World

Every year the Flower and Garden Festival is full of great presentations, performances, and more, but this year the Festival launches Fun Fresh Weekends.

During select Fun Fresh Weekends, guests of the Festival will be treated to additional experiences. You can find the Fun Fresh Weekends schedule here.

I am excited to bring you more coverage of the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, because this year’s additions really make the Festival special!

Disclosure: I was invited guest of the Walt Disney World Resort to experience this Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Behind-the-Scenes tour, however all opinions are my own.

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Short, Short Tip: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

We’re launching a new series on our YouTube channel of Short, Short tips and we are starting off with a tip for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

With so many great activities, shows, demonstrations, concerts, topiaries, and more to see during the 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden festival it is easy to overwhelmed.

If your schedule only permits one or two days at Epcot, you want to make sure that you go in with a great plan for how to see and experience all of your Must Do’s for the trip.

What I find helpful is making a list of highlights from the festival that I show my family to make sure that we include a little something for everyone during our visit. You can find my 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Highlights here.

Short, Short Tip: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

httpv://youtu.be/9IIUa8hLgu0

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Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival Special Event

tiw_flower_garden

Tables in Wonderland – Special Event

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 5:30 pm

East Hall, World ShowPlace Events Pavilion at Epcot

Price: $95.00 per person, plus tax. Gratuity is included

Tables in Wonderland will celebrate the Flower & Garden Festival on April 19th! Our groovy evening will begin at Epcot’s World ShowPlace Events Pavilion, where there will be tasty libations and food samplings from some of the festival’s most popular Outdoor Kitchens. Following dinner, enjoy reserved seating at the Flower Power Concert Series featuring The Grass Roots, best known for their song “Midnight Confessions”!

 

Timeline

  • 5:30pm – Outdoor Kitchen themed Buffet Dinner at East Hall, World ShowPlace Events Pavilion
  • 7:15pm – Move to America Gardens Theatre
  • 8:00 pm – Reserved seats for The Grass Roots show at the Flower Power Concert Series

 

Menu

Station 1

  • Florida Fresh – Watermelon Salad with pickled Onions, BW Farm Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese and Balsamic Reduction
  • Florida Fresh – Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Cilantro

Station 2

  • Buttercup Cottage- Field Greens with Plant City Strawberries, Toasted Almonds and Farmstead Stilton
  • Urban Farm EATS- Land-Grown Eggplant “Scallop” with Romesco Sauce and Spaghetti Squash

Station 3

  • The Smokehouse: Barbeque and Brews – Pulled Pig Slider with Cole Slaw
  • The Smokehouse: Barbeque and Brews – Smoked Beef Brisket with Collard Greens and Jalapeño Corn Bread

Station 4

  • The Smokehouse: Barbeque and Brews – “Piggylicous” Bacon Cupcake with Maple Frosting and Pretzel Crunch featuring Nueske’s®  Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Florida Fresh – Florida Kumquat Pie
  • Buttercup Cottage – Fresh Baked Lemon Scones with Berry Preserves and Crème Fraîche

 

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available around the room,

featuring select Festival Beverages

 

For reservations, please visit the following website www.disneyurl.com/TIWAprilSpecialEvent  for self-booking and instant confirmation.  The website will go live and begin taking reservations on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 10:00am.

 

Please have the following information ready:

  • Tables in Wonderland Ticket Number starting with the “W” (i.e. if you purchased your Membership at Epcot®  your card number would begin WEC)
  • First and Last Name of everyone in your party (maximum is Party of 10)
  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Credit Card Number
  • Billing Address of the Credit Card (Your credit card will be charged at the time of booking, and you will receive an immediate confirmation email.)
  • Personal Email Address (Please use a personal email address as many work email addresses think the confirmation email is spam.)
  • Special Dietary Needs (if any)

 

Guest Policies

  • The event is limited to 240 Guests, and is exclusive to Tables in Wonderland members.
  • You must show your valid Tables in Wonderland ticket to gain entrance into the event.
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2014 Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is here, and I couldn’t be more excited because it is my favorite time of year!

There are some great new additions joining returning offferings making this year’s Festival even more fun (if that’s even possible)!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFLH3_dhIvI&list=UUxhza5Nkv4ukqKmIFLE9dgA&feature=share

While there visiting the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is always a multi-day experience for us, here are some of my ‘Must Do’s’ if you only have a day to visit!

Must Do’s 2014 Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival

1. New Topiaries

This year two new topiaries have joined the line-up for this year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The Muppets Most Wanted topiary perfectly captures the charm and spirit of Kermit and Miss Piggy! I love that Kermit has his banjo and that Miss Piggy is a fabulous as ever.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

I have to say that my favorite new topiaries and bonus photo opportunity at the Flower and Garden Festival is the World Cup area, where you can try your best to stop Goofy and Donald from scoring a goal! It was really fun to actually get into the display to be a part of the Festival. There are Cast Members there to help keep the area organized and help take your photo, because on the day we visited there wasn’t a Photopass Photographer available.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

You will also notice that some familiar favorites, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have had a bit of a face lift. At first it was a little odd seeing this new technique being used on the them, but it has definitely grown on me!

2. Mike and Sulley’s Monsterous Garden

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Tthe play areas of the Flower and Garden Festival are where we spend a lot of time as a family, because it’s a great chance to let Zoe run off some energy! This year Mike and Sulley’s Monsterous Garden is full of fun, vibrant colors, and benches in the shade for parents to take a break. We really loved how close you could get to the Mike and Sully topiaries for pictures!

3. Flower and Garden Passports

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Make suer that you pick up this year’s Garden Passport, because it serves as your interactive guide to all the activities and delicious food that make up the Flower and Garden Festival. Plus collecting stamps is a great way to keep the kids involved in all there is to explore. Passports can be found at the Festival Welcome Center, at any Disney Vacation Club Information Center throughout the Park, at all Outdoor Kitchens, and at several merchandise locations.

4. Flower Power Concert Series

The Flower Power Concert Series is a great way to end your day at Epcot!

This year’s series is full of returning fan favorites, and two new-to-the-festival-acts: Gary Lewis and The Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) and Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”).

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and are included with Epcot admission.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Photo: Disney

Here is this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):

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 VIII, I Am”
May 2-4 Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
May 9-11 Chubby Checker & The Wildcats “The Twist”
May 16-18 NEW! Alan Parsons Live Project “Eye in the Sky” 

 

5. HGTV and DIY Network Stars

I love having the chance to see some of my favorite TV stars up close, and the Superstars of HGTV and DIY Network shows will be appearing at the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV until May 18, 2014.

The popular HGTV celebrities will meet festival guests and showcase expert tips and clever tricks at noon and 3 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday on The Designers’ Stage presented by HGTV at the Festival Center.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Here is the line-up of presenters:

April 4-6 – Taniya Nayak, ”House Hunters on Vacation”

April 11-13 – Amy Matthews, “Renovation Raiders”

April 18-20 – John Gidding, ”Curb Appeal”

April 25-27 – David Bromstad, “Color Splash”

May 2-4 – Chip Wade, ”Elbow Room”

May 9-11 – Genevieve Gorder, HGTV Star

May 16-18 – Alison Victoria, ”Kitchen Crashers”

6. Food

With 11 outdoor kitchens and the Intermission Cafe in the Festival Center offering so many great dishes, it is hard to choose a favorite!

Make sure that when you walk up to the outdoor kitchens, you take a moment to look at the plants and displays around them so you can learn a little more about what they’re offering at each location.

I have to say that my early delicious dishes are the Land-grown eggplant “scallop” with romesco sauce and spaghetti squash from the Urban Farm Eats Kitchen and the Macaron à la fleur d’ Oranger – Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache from Fleur de Lys!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

I hope that you’ve enjoyed taking a look at some of our highlights of the 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! Make sure you keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for ongoing coverage!

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HGTV and DIY Network Stars at 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Top HGTV and DIY Network Stars to Appear

at 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

HGTV DIY Network 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Superstars of HGTV and DIY Network shows will appear at the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV until May 18, 2014. Three HGTV stars will “crash” the festival for the first time: Matt Blashaw from “Yard Crashers,” Matt Muenster from “Bath Crashers” and Alison Victoria from “Kitchen Crashers.”

The popular HGTV celebrities will meet festival guests and showcase expert tips and clever tricks at noon and 3 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday on The Designers’ Stage presented by HGTV at the Festival Center. The Crashers and their crews are known for plucking regular folks out of home improvement stores to help them – in just three days – make over the family’s yard, bathroom or kitchen.  Also new to this year’s festival are “Renovation Raiders” star Amy Matthews and Chip Wade, who started with John Gidding on “Curb Appeal” and now has his own hit show, “Elbow Room.”

HGTV/DIY favorites returning to this year’s festival include Vern Yip, “Design Star” judge, Florida’s own David “Color Splash” Bromstad, John Gidding of “Curb Appeal” and HGTV Star Genevieve Gorder.  Here’s the lineup (subject to change):

HGTV DIY Network 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Vern Yip
  • March 21-23 – Matt Blashaw, “Yard Crashers”
  • March 28-30 – Matt Muenster, ”Bath Crashers”
  • April 4-6 – Taniya Nayak, ”House Hunters on Vacation”
  • April 11-13 – Amy Matthews, “Renovation Raiders”
  • April 18-20 – John Gidding, ”Curb Appeal”
  • April 25-27 – David Bromstad, “Color Splash”
  • May 2-4 – Chip Wade, ”Elbow Room”
  • May 9-11 – Genevieve Gorder, HGTV Star
  • May 16-18 – Alison Victoria, ”Kitchen Crashers”

Presentations by HGTV and DIY Network stars and all gardening programs and exhibits are included with admission to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  For more information, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or visit www.EpcotinSpring.com.

 

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David Bromstad at the Flower and Garden Festival

David Bromstad takes the stage
David Bromstad takes the stage

I don’t know if you all know this, but I am a certified HGTV junkie! I can watch it all day every day from designs, to landscaping, buying and selling, to remodels. So when I heard my favorite HGTV star, David Bromstad, was going to be featured this year at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival, I knew I’d be there. I have been coming to this spring special event for almost fifteen years, but have never been to any of the speaker series since the recent collaboration with HGTV over the past few years.

David Bromstad, HGTV’s first Design Star, and host of his own show Color Splash, has ties to Disney and Florida. He is a former Cast Member who attended Sarasota’s Ringling College of Art and Design (just minutes from where I live). I love the bright, bold colors David uses in everything he does and especially his one of a kind paintings that he often contributes to his redesigns. I was so excited to learn this presentation was entitled the Power of Color since I love bright colors in my design and clothing.

I met my friends Carol, Danny and Jodi at Epcot and after a quick ride on Test Track we ventured over to the Wonders of Life pavilion early to get our seats. I was so glad we got there almost 45 minutes early as the seats were almost full at that time! This only goes to show how popular David Bromstad is. His personality on his shows is as big and bold as the colors he loves to use! This showed in his fantastic presentation about color.

The Power of Color presentation featured about ten colors or so and discussed common representations of the color. For instance blue is often associated with serenity and peacefulness, but David also brought up the negative of each color, like blue can represent depression. In addition, he went over some of the holistic properties of each color and the characteristics of those who typically like each color. After each color was described, he would show slides of the color used in three very different ways to bring out hues and shades to represent different themes.

I absolutely loved the presentation and David Bromstad’s sense of humor was so personable. He was so down to earth, even shouting out to his friends and parents who were in the audience, making it feel like he had invited us in to his living room for a fun chat. Even my friends who didn’t know who David Bromstad was before Sunday and who aren’t fans of HGTV seemed to really enjoy the presentation. It was very accessible to everyone and I think most people walked out thinking of all the new possibilities for design or even for dressing themselves in the morning. My friends even decided that they will now not be painting the nursery yellow for their yet to be born baby because it is the hardest color for the eyes to focus on (gray is the easiest subsequently).

David Bromstad put on a great show and it was a great combination of education and entertainment. After the show ended, he even took a good amount of time to meet and greet with his fans. He didn’t rush anyone along and greeted everyone with a hug and a sincere thank you for coming. Guests asked design questions, gave him gifts and just chatted with him. It was nice to see someone down to earth matching the personality they put out on tv. I have to give a shout out and huge thank you to David Bromstad’s social media manager Augie for making a meet and greet happen for me even though I missed the line cut off. Coincidentally, I ran in to the guys later that night at our resort in the elevator.

If you enjoy design and decoration as much as I do, or even if you are new to the game, I strongly suggest checking out David’s shows Color Splash and HGTV Design Star, which returns June 9th. You are almost guaranteed to learn some new design techniques and you will be entertained each episode for sure. Also, when next year’s International Flower and Garden Festival rolls around, make sure you check out the presentations by some of the best HGTV personalities. Check out David’s blog post about his time at Disney World here.

Designers Stage Presented by HGTV
Designers Stage Presented by HGTV
Greeting the crowd
Greeting the crowd
He was looking right at me
He was looking right at me
Cooling off between meeting guests
Cooling off between meeting guests
A fan made this quilt of pictures of David
A fan made this quilt of pictures of David
He was so sweet to take time with each guest
He was so sweet to take time with each guest
I made him laugh
I made him laugh
We almost matched
We almost matched
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Spring into Adventures

Spring is in the air. Hopefully the pollen and my allergies will clear up soon and it is heating up and starting to feel like summer here in Florida. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of the things I’m most looking forward to over the next couple of months instead of doing that spring cleaning that I probably should be doing. Now that I’ve found out my schedule for the rest of the spring and beginning of summer, I thought I’d start planning some weekend adventures. The parks across the area have some fantastic special events this time of year, and before the kids are out of school it is a great time to get away while the crowds are lower.

Spring in bloom at Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival
Spring in bloom at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival

At Epcot we are already more than halfway through the International Flower & Garden Festival. I love this event each year and have been attending since 1998! I dearly miss Davy Jones of the Monkees, as his was always my go to concert for the Flower Power Concert Series. The thing I think I am most excited about (aside from the newly added food and beverage kiosks) is that my favorite HGTV celebrity, David Bromstad, is going to be hosting presentations May 17 – 19 and I’m now off that weekend!

Star Wars Weekends
Star Wars Weekends

Another of my favorite things that I will get to do for the third year in a row is Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This fabulous event has quickly become a must do for me! I still have so many things I haven’t done yet that are on my to do list. I need to get up early enough and get to the park to see the Stormtroopers on top of the entrance to the park above the turnstiles. Also, I really want to get my picture taken with as many of the characters as possible and go to some of the presentations and shows. And then, of course, there is Hyperspace Hoopla, my favorite of all! My apologies to anyone who now has that song stuck in their head (Hoooooooopla, Hyperspace Hoopla…).

Viva la Música
Viva la Música

Busch Gardens and Sea World are playing host to an awesome special event that I got to experience last year for the first time: Viva la Mύsica! This great offering is one that features Latin American food, merchandise, cuture, and of course, music. I got to go just for an hour or so to Busch Gardens after work last year and got to try to some amazing food, but was too late for the concert. This year I was hoping to catch at least one weekend at Busch Gardens and Sea World each. I was so excited when I found out that my favorite salsa band, El Gran Combo, was going to be playing at both parks. I know where I’ll be that weekend!

One of the greatest things about these three events is that they are all included in park admission. Food and beverages of course are extra, but the entertainment and most of the presentations are free of charge with your ticket. These add tremendous value to your vacation or even just a day in the park for us locals.

Water parks are definitely on my list for the next few months. I’ve lived in Florida for almost 20 years and I’ve only been to Typhoon Lagoon for a couple hours and did the lazy river and snorkled with the sharks before the park closed due to weather. This needs to be rectified. I’ve visited Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach for functions, but haven’t done a single water slide. This is a travesty! I also would love to check out some of the other area water parks like Sea World’s Aquatica and Adventure Island in Tampa.

Now we all know that sometimes with the spring come those showers that we need for those pretty flowers. What to do when it isn’t exactly park weather? Why not catch a film? Two movies I am ridiculously excited to see this spring are Marvel’s Iron Man 3 and Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University (visit this site if you haven’t already – it is hilarious!). I am a huge Avengers fan and loved the first Iron Man movie, enjoyed the second one, and adored the Avengers, so I cannot wait to see what they have in store for Tony Stark in this next installment. Monsters Inc was a great, feel good family flick and I think that this will be very entertaining to see some of Mike and Sulley’s adventures before they were best buds.

What are you looking forward to this spring? Did I miss any of your favorite spring special events? Have you been to any of these before? What are some of your favorite things to do in spring when the weather doesn’t cooperate? Hit us up and let us know.

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My Perfect Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Day

This year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is full of some great new additions, as well as some of my old favorites. I thought I would take you along as I look at what makes a perfect day at the 2013 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

httpv://youtu.be/nLssHT6H_fQ

When you walk in the main entrance to Epcot, it’s hard to miss the new Fab 5 Topiary ‘Party with Mickey & Friends’ as they celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Also as you walk around Spaceship Earth towards Future World, make sure you check out the Phineas & Ferb Topiary.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

I am a big fan of the new ‘Radiator Springs’ interactive play area! Make sure you take a few extra minutes to become a Private Detective with Tow Mater. This area is sure to make the Cars fans in your family happy!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

After taking a stroll through Radiator Springs, it’s a great time to head to the Festival Center. Here you can find all of the great Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival merchandise, see a presentation in the HGTV Theater with some of your favorite DIY gurus, take a class, or even ask an expert a question about your garden at home.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
This year’s Festival Pins!
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
The upcoming release of the Disney Vera Bradley purses are on display in the Festival Center, too!

httpv://youtu.be/XyaZ0FTiSz8

Another area that I could spend all day in is Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House. This year Tinker Bell and her friends play host to a wonderful world of butterflies, and if you look closely you might even find some of their Fairy Houses! For a special treat, make sure you stop by around 11:00 am to watch the butterflies emerge from their cocoons.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
One of the many Fairy Houses in Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House.

You can visit the Land of Oz in the new children’s play area presented by the new Disney film ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’. In this area you can play midway games for prizes, take a break and play for a bit on unique play structures, and relax under a hot air balloon.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

While you’re in this area, a fun activity for the little ones is to decorate a flower pot for their seeds from The Land of Oz at the Water Wise Herbs & Vegetable exhibit.

Luckily the Pineapple Promenade is right next to The Land of Oz Play area, so it was time to grab a Dole Whip (I opted to get one without spiced rum) and a Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  What a great treat!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

This year there are 12 food booths around the World Showcase Lagoon offering a Taste of Spring. While these booths look similar to those used for the International Food & Wine Festival in the Fall, that is where the similarities end. For the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, each booth features fresh foods prepared in the booth with plantings around each one of ingredients used in the foods. The Cottage in the United Kingdom Pavilion was my favorite, but the candied strawberries of Lotus House are unique and worth a try!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Shrimp and Grits from the Florida Fresh booth.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Candied Strawberries from the Lotus House Booth.

 

Also, you will definitely want to pick up one of the Disney Gift Cards on a wristlet to make buying items at the booths super easy! It can be loaded with as little as $5, and is accepted as payment for nearly anything! Plus this year, they are themed to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! Super Cute! You can get them throughout Epcot at ticket booths, Guest Relations, the Festival Center, and almost anywhere they sell Disney Gift Cards!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

And it wouldn’t be Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival without topiaries, and both World Showcase & Future World are full of some great ones! I definitely wouldn’t miss…

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

  • The new Disney-Pixar ‘Monsters University’
  • The Moose in the Victoria Gardens of the Canada Pavilion
  • Hook, Tic Toc Croc, and Peter Pan in the United Kingdom Pavilion
  • Beauty and the Beast in the France Pavilion
  • Woody & Lotso in the American Adventure Pavilion
  • Buzz in front of Mission Space
  • The Troll in the Norway Pavilion

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The Backyard Play Garden is full of whimsical touches that you can add to your garden at home (with instructions), as well as a really nice play area for the kiddos. This is a great place to take a break since the kids have a place that is covered to play on with restrooms close by.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
This little guy can be found, with directions, in the Backyard Play Garden

Two of my perennial favorites are the bonsai on display in the Japan Pavilion and the large terra cotta pots of Italy that are overflowing with beautiful flowers.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Now would be about the time to start queuing up for the Flower Power Concert Series performed at the American Gardens Theater near the American Adventure Pavilion. STOP TO AT LEAST HEAR ONE CONCERT! I know that these are older performers, but once they start going you will be surprised to see how many songs you know. We saw Micky Dolenz, of The Monkees, and he was amazing. I am personally stoked for The Village People to perform later in the festival.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

httpv://youtu.be/pejIzkCvWLg

Make sure you take a moment to take in the Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard & Shirley Kinsey inside of the American Adventure Pavilion. This new exhibit allows you to see authentic documents, books, artifacts, and are art including landscapes and flora in one of the largest collections of African American Art. I had the amazing chance to speak with the Kinseys, and their passion for this collection is breathtaking. We are truly lucky to have such an exhibit visiting Epcot!

After you watch Illuminations, a mandatory watching is included in a perfect day at Epcot, make sure you check out the topiaries as they are illuminated and pixie dust powered at night.

And that would be my perfect day at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival. It’s a great time of year to visit, and I can’t wait to hear what your perfect day at the Festival would be like!

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20th Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival Overview

The 20th Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival presented by HGTV blooms into action March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort. More than 100 topiaries, 240 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers and sweeping beds of multi-colored blooms will add floral splendor to the park landscape.

Flower and Garden Festival

This year Disney’s favorite topiaries and beautiful garden landscapes create the perfect backdrop this year’s new crop of festival additions that include food-and-beverage Garden Marketplaces, new topiaries, a circus-like “Land of Oz” play area, and nighttime illuminated gardens.

Flower and Garden Festival Additions Debuting This Year:

  • Garden Marketplace culinary creations ranging from smokehouse barbecue and shrimp with grits and Zellwood corn to sweet “frushi” made with fresh fruits and coconut rice.  Chefs are perfecting menus for marketplaces that will include Florida Fresh at World Showcase Promenade, Smokehouse Barbecue and Brew at American Adventure courtyard, Primavera Kitchen at Italy showcase, Hanami at Japan showcase and eight others.  Around the World Showcase promenade

Flower and Garden Festival

  • Garden Marketplace refreshing libations with a kick like Hot Sun Tomato Wine from Florida Orange Groves Winery and Dole Whip with Spiced Rum, as well as non-alcoholic drinks like Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade and Wild Berry Slush.  Beverage specialists will feature brews and beverages at food marketplaces and at Fruits by the Glass andPineapple PromenadeAround the World Showcase promenade
  • The Land of Oz Garden circus-like play area, based on the Disney fantastical film adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful” to be released March 8, 2013. The interactive children’s play zone will feature play systems adorned with giant flowers and designed to stretch kids’ imaginations and muscles. Midway-style games, circus-themed game tents and the “Oz Movie Garden” of intriguing plants will capture the spirit of the upcoming film.  Also on tap: photo opportunities and the “great and powerful Oz’s” crashed hot-air balloon. Imagination Walkway
Flower and Garden Festival
I am in love with these glass poppies outside of the Land of Oz play area.
  • Larger-than-life Fab Five Disney character topiary.  Floral versions of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck (with Daisy Duck in a cameo) star in a celebratory cookout scene in living topiary color. The 14-foot-tall Goofy topiary will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms. Epcot Front Entrance

Flower and Garden Festival

  • Illuminated Gardens in the park’s Future World and World Showcase will twinkle and glow over the festival’s world-famous Disney gardens and topiaries each festival evening. Epcot Future World and World Showcase

httpv://youtu.be/Uaok6wbfjuI

When you travel World Showcase, you’ll find each pavilion features its own nation-themed Garden Marketplace (they may even look familiar) featuring great food and drink options for theFlower and Garden Festival! Here’s just a taste of what’s in store:

International Pavilions

  • The Smokehouse – Barbeque and Brews: Get into some finger-lickin’ barbecue—pulled pork and smoked brisket—and ice-cold craft beers at The American Adventure.
  • Lotus House: Delicacies with Far Eastern flair await you at China: a savory spring pancake, taro-bacon puff pastry, bubble tea and more.
  • L’Orangerie: France presents a rustic ratatouille tart, country pâté with cherry compote and, of course, a selection of French wines.
  • Bauernmarkt – Farmer’s Market: Visit Germany, for spring pea and mushroom bread pudding, potato pancakes and a variety of beers.
  • Primavera Kitchen: Italy will be serving lobster with asparagus, spring vegetable lasagna, panna cotta, fruity cocktails and Italian wines.
  • Hanami: Named after the nation’s custom of viewing spring flowers, this location in Japan will feature “frushi,” or fruit sushi, grilled seafood sticks and sake.
  • Jardin de Fiestas: Join the party in Mexico with crab tostadas, pork tacos, the strawberry-infused Rosita margarita and tequila flights.
  • Taste of Marrakesh: Enjoy Morocco’s lamb kebabs and couscous, harissa chicken drumettes with chermoula, desert rose cocktail and more.
  • The Cottage – Savories, Trifles and Tea: Stop by the United Kingdom for tea and delectable dainties, including a salmon tartare-topped cheddar biscuit, an ultra-gourmet Caprese and a trio of trifles.
  • Pineapple Promenade: Take a delicious break in your day, indulging in spiced rum Dole Whip, pineapple upside down cake, fruit cups and more.
  • Florida Fresh: Taste the Sunshine State with watermelon and feta salad, shrimp and grits, and tomato and carrot wines!
  • Fruits by the Glass: Toast to Spring with mango and blueberry wines, nonalcoholic wild berry slush and gluten-free raspberry ale, among others.

Throughout the 75-day garden party, guests will discover festival surprises around every corner including new topiary triumphs, a butterfly bounty, whimsical children’s play areas, HGTV celebrity designers, daily hands-on gardening seminars and a Festival Center packed with events that offer innovative ideas, gardening know-how and design tips.  Weekends, top Flower Power rockers of the 1960s and ’70s will perform.

Every Friday through Sunday, HGTV design celebrities will host Festival Center seminars in the Flower and Garden Festival Center. This is one of my favorite parts of theFlower and Garden Festival, and I absolutely suggest checking it out! If you do plan on attending one of these seminars, you’re going to want to grab a seat early.

Flower and Garden Festival

  • NEW! Chris Lambton of HGTV’s Going Yard
    March 8 – 10
  • NEW! Chris Grundy of DIY Network’s Cool Tools
    March 15 – 17
  • NEW! Egypt Sherrod of HGTV’s Property Virgins
    March 22 – 24
  • Brandon Johnson of HGTV’s My Yard Goes Disney
    March 29 – 31
  • Meg Caswell of HGTV’s Meg’s Great Rooms
    April 5 – 7
  • Jason Cameron of DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves
    April 12 – 14
  • NEW! Sara Peterson of Editor-in-Chief, HGTV Magazine
    April 19 – 21
  • Carter Oosterhouse of HGTV’s Million Dollar Rooms
    April 26 – 28
  • NEW! Casey Noble of HGTV’s Design on a Dime
    May 3 – 5
  • Dan Faires of HGTV’s Design Star and HGTV.com’sDanMade
    May 10 – 12
  • NEW! David Bromstad of HGTV Design Star, Color Splash, Design Star All-Stars
    May 17 – 19

 

MoreFlower and Garden Festival  Family Highlights Include:

Flower and Garden Festival

  • “Monsters University” topiary:  Floral representations of Mike and Sully from the hit Disney-Pixar film “Monsters, Inc.” and stars of Disney-Pixar’s June 2013 release, “Monsters University,” will join the festivities as new topiary family members.  On the Future World Walkway
  • Phineas and Ferb topiary:  The popular Disney Channel animated celebs limit their shenanigans to go green for a family photo-op.  Behind Spaceship Earth
  • “Radiator Springs” interactive play zone:  Race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck “Mater” of the Disney-Pixar film “Cars 2″ will be the well-maintained topiary stars of this play area.  On the Test Track Walkway
  • Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House: Eight fanciful fairy topiaries of Pixie Hollow, including Tinker Bell, Fawn, Vidia and Terrence, take over the Butterfly House this year where hundreds of colorful winged beauties flit to life.  On the Imagination Walkway

Another really fun addition to theFlower and Garden Festival is the Flower Power Concert Series, which kicks off March 8-10 with Micky Dolenz (“I’m a Believer”), and continues each weekend with pop favorites including:

March 15-17:            Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
March 22-24:            The Guess Who
March 29-31:            Nelson
April 5-7:                  The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie
April 12-14:               Paul Revere & the Raiders
April 19-21:               Village People (new!)
April 26-28:               The Orchestra, Featuring Former Members of ELO and ELO II
May 3-5:                  Tommy Roe (new!)
May 10-12:               Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
May 17-19:               Starship starring Mickey Thomas.

Flower and Garden Festival

You’ll notice that there are two really groovy additions to the Flower Power Concert Series this year! The 1970s top disco band the Village People (April 19-21) and 1960s singer-songwriter Tommy Roe (May 3-5) bring on the Flower Power beat when they take the concert stage for the first time.

If you are planning on attending one of the Flower Power Concerts, make sure that you get there early! Seats tend to go quickly and they are always a blast!

While you’ll find a lot of great exhibits and topiaries in Epcot’s Future World, the Flower and Garden Festival keeps growing as you travel around World Showcase, where the spotlight will shine on topiaries of Disney princesses, storybook characters and even pandas and trolls, guests will discover the attractions, shops and restaurants that represent cultures and cuisine of 11 countries.

httpv://youtu.be/gAHllZIQuek

For more information about the 20th Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639), check out the Flower and Garden Festival Guide, or visit www.EpcotinSpring.com.

The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission. Availability is limited for some events. Events may be rescheduled or cancelled at any time.

 

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Wordless Wednesday – Glass Flowers

Wordless Wednesday – March 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday
I am absolutely in love with these glass poppies by Craig Mitchell Smith that are alongside of the Oz the Great and Powerful Play Area for this year’s Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival.

 

 

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