Back in the day when I used to haunt the original Disneyland park in Anaheim, I looked to take whatever walking tour Guest Relations would offer. If there was no new tour on the horizon, there was often an unofficial tour to enjoy too. One… Read More »Disneyland Horticulture and Garden Tour
The first and last photo of many a guest’s Disneyland visit is taken in front of the world renown Floral Mickey. So popular was the first one, that they’re a common feature of every Magic Kingdom style park. Of course, Mickey has seen a few… Read More »Disneyland’s Floral Mickey Through The Years
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.
If you follow me below the jump, I have a short review of a number of the food and drink selections that I’ve had the opportunity to try. Read More »Sampling the Food at EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival
The 2012 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival will begin blooming soon. In just over a month the park will roll out its 19th festival and the third with HGTV as a sponsor. I think it’s been a great partnership and look forward to seeing what the combined forces can bring this year.
One of the highlights promises to be the Sorcerer Mickey topiary that’s part of the largest-ever Disney front-entrance topiary. There will be a stellar cast of HGTV design celebrities and a great line up of artists at the Flower Power concert series.
Here’s a sneak peek of this year’s festival news:
- The 19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV runs March 7-May 20.
- Disney’s gardening magic goes a long way when an eight-foot-tall floral Sorcerer Mickey topiary holds court in front of the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth. Standing atop a 12-foot-tall floral mountain cliff, Sorcerer Mickey directs a riot of color in the manicured shapes of dancing broomsticks, buckets, mushrooms, hippos, alligators and elephants straight from the classic Disney film, “Fantasia.” The scene pops with pink geraniums, white poppies, violet petunias, blue delphiniums and pansies.
- Twice daily each Friday through Sunday of the festival, HGTV designers and hosts share their insights on landscapes and design with Festival Center audiences. John Gidding of “Curb Appeal: The Block” kicks off the series March 9-11 with curb-appeal design tips for homeowners.
- Music fills each festival weekend when pop music hitmakers of the 1960s and ’70s rule the America Gardens Theatre stage with performances of their greatest songs. Jose Feliciano ignites the Flower Power concert series March 9-11 with his treasure trove of tunes. Two new festival acts are in store: Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night (April 27-29) and The Orchestra featuring former members of ELO and ELO Part II (May 4-6).
The front-entrance floral spectacle will welcome guests to a festival packed with new gardens and displays, featured speakers and hands-on fun for all ages, including daily gardening workshops with take-home projects for all who participate.
Thirty million blooms, 240 floating mini-gardens on two ponds, 700 container gardens of flowers, herbs, plants and vegetables, dozens of Disney character topiaries, 30 “flower towers” of impatiens and sweeping beds of original floral designs create a new tapestry of brilliant color across the 260-acre Epcot landscape. It takes more than one year and 400 Walt Disney World horticulturists to plan and prepare for the 75-day festival.
Halfway through the festival, Disney gardeners remove the cold-hardy blossoms that thrive in March and early April to plant a new crop of flowers that flourish in spring’s warmer temperatures. And throughout the event, dozens of gardening experts meet guests daily with fresh landscape ideas for 2012. Daily workshops at the Festival Center let guests dig into projects they can take home at the end of the day.
- The Festival Center– Guests can shop for festival merchandise, attend demonstrations and get ideas and tips from master gardeners. In Future World between Universe of Energy and Mission:SPACE.
- Disney Gardening at Home presentations – Disney horticulturists and local experts like Robert Bowden of Harry P. Leu Gardens will share gardening tips and lead guests in a hands-on, take-home activity. At the Festival Center.
- Special Festival Weekend Celebrations – An Art in the Garden celebration of plein air artists is scheduled March 23-25; a Disney’s Animal Kingdom Specialists weekend presents indigenous insects that are part of our world; a Florida Federation of Garden Clubs gathering will be April 27-29; and a Fresh from Florida Farmer’s Market salute is slated for May 4-6.
- Bambi’s Butterfly House, three times the size of the festival’s original, is a-flutter with multiple species of brilliant butterflies. At Imagination Walkway by Innoventions West.
- Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden – Fabulous Disney fairy topiaries alight to greet young fans who enter this whimsical garden designed with play structures for children ages 2-5. At the Test Track Walkway.
- The HGTV Designers Stage presents HGTV celebrities each Friday through Sunday and nationally recognized garden personalities Monday through Thursday. At the Festival Center.
- Flower Power concert series welcomes back 20th century pop favorites this year when Chubby Checker and The Wildcats, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Davy Jones and eight other bands rock the America Gardens Theatre with their timeless tunes. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Performers and appearance dates subject to change.
Join us below the fold for some topiary trivia: