Looking for something different that’s fun for kids and extra-special for grownups? Guests visiting Disney World from March 6th through May 19th can check out Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. First-time visitors with young children often overlook Epcot, assuming that it’s mainly for older kids, but there’s so much hands-on learning and fun at the Festival that a visit is well worth your time. In addition to flower towers, playgrounds, over 100 topiary, 240 floating mini-gardens, and countless beds with hundreds of blooms, this years festival offers a few surprises:
- For the first time, Future World and the World Showcase will have illuminated gardens full of sparkly lights each night. I think this is my favorite new addition.
- There will be a new circus-like play area based on the film Oz: The Great and Powerful, which is being released on March 8, 2013. The play area will feature various play systems that will cultivate your kids’ imagination while they exercise, red and white circus tents, and plants that will recall the movie.
- The Garden Marketplace will feature drinks like Hot Sun Tomato Wine from a local Florida winery and everyone’s favorite Dole Whip, this time with spiced rum. There will also be non-alcoholic beverages like Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade.
- Kids will love the all the topiary featuring their favorite characters, including Phineas and Ferb, Mike and Sully, and Tinkerbell and Friends.
- A Radiator Springs interactive raceway located on the Test Track walkway will have Lightening McQueen and Mater in attendance.
Preparations are underway at Walt Disney World’s popular EPCOT theme park for the 18th annual International Flower and Garden Festival. It opens March 2nd and runs through May 15th. In addition to the usual fun exhibits and beautiful displays, Disney welcomes a new sponsor to the festival this year with the home improvement channel HGTV importing the celebrities and how-to that will help the festival bloom.
Also returning to EPCOT’s Flower & Garden Festival are Tinker Bell and her Pixie friends promoting the fourth and final (?) film in their direct-to-DVD series. That series continues to improve every year and Disney’s in park promotion for the pixies gets better too. Can’t wait to hear what they bring this year, I hear that they’re introducing a new winter pixie from the next film.
HGTV’s first-time sponsorship will feature weekend appearances by its acclaimed designers and landscaping experts. The star-studded lineup includes Genevieve Gorder, Lisa LaPorta, Kim Myles, Brian Patrick Flynn, Taniya Nayak, Ahmed Hassan, Patti Moreno, Michele Beschen, John Gidding, Frank Fontana, and Vern Yip.
“We are thrilled to welcome HGTV and so many of the network’s great Talent to Epcot this spring,” said Dan Cockerell, vice president of Epcot. “HGTV’s design and gardening personalities add an exciting, and entertaining new element to a festival that reinvents itself year after year.”
Expected appearance dates and more festival information is below the jump: