Spring into Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival

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Photo from Disney.com

Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival, a springtime special event focusing on the flora and fauna of the park, is underway. You can enjoy this festival, included in your park admission, until May 18, 2014. The festival begins in early March (March 5 of this year).

Topiaries and Gardens

Epcot has grand topiaries throughout the year, featuring favorites like Lady and the Tramp, Mickey and Minnie and Phineas and Ferb. Disney floral artists create topiaries exclusively for the Flower and Garden Festival every year. Be sure to check out the display at the entrance of Future World, showcasing Goofy, Donald and Daisy and their love of Spring.

Photo from D23.com
Photo from D23.com

I’m most excited about the new garden area, Mike and Sulley’s Monstrous Garden. Located in Future World near Innoventions, this play area features James P. Sullivan and Wazowski with one I.

Are you a Frozen fan? Be on the lookout for a troll topiary in the Norway pavilion in World Showcase.

Festival Center

My mom and I outside Festival Center in 2013.
My mom and I outside Festival Center in 2013.

Festival Center, located in Future World, is the hub of the event. With meet and greets and sessions led by HGTV stars, local vendors and exhibits on how Disney garden artists create the magic, it’s a farmer’s market with flair. Many of the local vendors offer free samples, such as seeds and gardening supplies. Even if you’re not a gardener, I recommend stopping by.

Meet and Greets:

  • April 25-28: David Bromstad
  • May 2-4: Chip Wade
  • May 9-11: Genevieve Gorder
  • May 16-18: Allison Victoria

Food

No Epcot festival is complete without seasonal treats (the Food and Wine Festival and Christmas Around the World both offer seasonal dishes throught the park).

  • Florida Fresh: Located near the Germany pavilion, this station highlights Florida produce, such as watermelon and citrus fruits. Try a refreshing watermelon salad or dive into adventure with a kumquat pie. Fresh lemonade and local Florida wines are also served here.
  • Jardin de Fiestas: Near the Mexico pavilion, this is the perfect stop for tapas, small Spanish appetizers packed with flavor. Try a mushroom and cheese quesadilla or chocolate flan for a sweet treat. Mexican libations, such as Mexican white sangria, margaritas and Mexican beer are also available.
  • Buttercup Cottage: This cutely named spot is located in the United Kingdom pavilion. With English-themed treats like potatoes, cheese biscuits and lemon scones, it’s a place fit for Mary Poppins. Chilled varieties of Twining’s tea are offered to quench your thirst with your pinky out.

Music

Concerts take place throughout the festival at the amphitheater in the America pavilion. Arrive early if you would like a seat. You will be able to hear the concert if you don’t nab a spot, but you won’t be able to see. I recommend arriving at least three hours early for a big act.

Upcoming concerts

  • April 25-27: Herman’s Hermitts Starring Peter Noone
  • May 2-4: Starship featuring Mickey Thomas
  • May 9-11: Chubby Checker and the Wildcats
  • May 16-18: Alan Parson’s Live Project

I haven’t been to a Disney festival that I haven’t enjoyed, but this is by far the most beautiful festival they host. You can also enjoy milder temperatures (mild for Florida) during this time.

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