There is no more colorful theme park than EPCOT when the Flower & Garden festival is in full bloom. For 20 years it has been a must stop destination for Disney fans who also appreciated the colors of spring, talents of the gardener, and who hoped to maybe pick up a tip or two for their own home garden. If you wanted food and drink you had to go to that other festival in the fall.
This year, Disney decided to import a little of the fall flavor into the spring lineup and the result is a new mix of floral and food. While I don’t have Disney’s internal numbers, my personal observations and the reports of others indicate that the food and drink offerings haven’t been all that popular. That’s a shame because there really is some great food out there.
I hope Disney doesn’t throw out this idea after just one attempt. Next year guests will know what to expect and Disney will have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Disney has pulled off a great bit of video fun with their latest viral marketing effort for the Flower & Garden Festival at EPCOT. They created a ‘topiary’ of Captain Hook to advertise the festival then set it up in various spots around town. Next… Read More »Disney Topiary Featured In Surprise Viral Video
I definitely recommend arriving to EPCOTon the Monorail when the Flower & Garden Festival is underway. It’s gorgeous from above and on the ground. (Click for Larger.)
I was out of town for the opening of the 2012 Flower & Garden Festival at EPCOT. But finally made it over for a quick jaunt around the park on Monday. I only had time to hit the highlights and, while there’s technically a bit less this year than last, what they did install is amazingly beautiful.
Looks to be something of a butterfly theme this year. The new larger butterfly tent is back too. (Click for Larger.)
Sorcerer Mickey graces the entrance. (Click for Larger.)
EPCOT’s 2011 International Flower & Garden Festival opens today. While I won’t be able to make it out until this weekend, I did send a spy today who took these sneak peeks of the preparations still underway for one of my favorite events at Walt Disney World.
Familiar toy shaped Topiaries from Toy Story 3 will great guests as they enter EPCOT.
And there will be sand sculptures again. This year highlighting Wild Cats from the DisneyNature label.
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:
The winner is brought on stage as part of the ceremony where she endured jokes about her height with dignity.
Saturday was another beautiful day at the International EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival, almost like any other. But Tinker Bell and her Pixie friends brought a little bit of extra magic to the park to help reveal the winning house in a Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow “Design A Fairy House Art Contest.”
The winner and her family was flown out from Frazier Park, CA about 100 miles from Disneyland. The fairy house, inspired by 15-year-old winning designer, Zoe P., was revealed during a special ceremony attended by EPCOT VP Dan Cockerell, and director Brad Raymond and producer Helen Kalafatic of “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue”, the third film in the recent Tinker Bell DVD series.
With a dash of pixie dust from Tinker Bell, Zoe revealed her winning fairy house.
“Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue” features Tink’s first encounter with humans. Tink is caught inside a Fairy House built by a little girl to provide shelter for the fairies as they work to bring summer to England. The girl and Tink develop a great friendship, while the other fairies attempt a rescue.
“We were thrilled to honor Zoe and her winning design at this very special celebration,” said Jason Everett, Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow product director. “This contest offered the Pixie Hollow community an exciting opportunity to utilize their love for Disney Fairies as inspiration to create their very own fairy house art design. To see that design come to life and be featured in the Epcot® International Flower and Garden Festival is truly a delight for everyone.”
Zoe and her family (click for larger)
Zoe was the perfect choice for this award. She and her family are huge Disney fans and visit Disneyland at least once a month. After seeing the contest on Pixie Hollow, she new she had to make a drawing. They raced to the post office to drop off their application right at the last minute and never expected to win.
Not only did Zoe’s drawing inspire the winning house, she was able to help build it by assisting Disney’s talented team of fairy house architects. The main focus of the house is the copper and brass fixtures on the front, which Zoe figured would confer and exclusive status to the house. In the concept a rubber band would be hooked to the front door and, through a series of clock gears, would generate music on the attached music box, alas that part didn’t make it into the final build.
The winning drawing, now autographed by the movie’s director and producer. She also wrote a backstory for the house.
Of course there are two hidden mickeys in the design. The vinyl record base makes mickey and there is a bottle cap on the roof with the iconic ears. But even more special is the ‘Ellie Badge’ Grape Soda bottle cap, which you can barely see under the flower on the roof. Zoe’s whole family are huge fans of Pixar and particularly the movie “UP”, when I saw Zoe’s mom wearing an Ellie Badge of her own, I knew right away she was one of us, a Disney fan.
It’s clear Zoe has a talent for telling a story through art. That’s one of the main requirements to be an animator, which, as it turns out, is Zoe’s career choice. I hope someone at Disney Studios is able to make her happy again and arrange a tour through their offices and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Zoe with the plaque that bears her name.
Zoe’s house will spend the rest of the festival as part of the Pixie Hollow playground in a place of honor next to a plaque bearing her name.
More photos from the event, including a close up of the fairy house, below the cut. Video