The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is perfectly located, as it’s an agricultural take on Walt’s vision for the park. “EPCOT will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing, and testing, and demonstrating new materials and new systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world of the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise.” – Walt Disney. With this vision for EPCOT in mind, the first ever Epcot Flower and Garden Festival ran in 1993 and has since been an annual event to showcase new ideas, designs, products and recipes as the Northern Hemisphere heads into spring.
Of course the main focus of the festival is gardening and more than a year is spent planning each year’s event. One of the main highlights of the festival are the topiaries that are scattered throughout the park. Of course they’re Disney themed and make for perfect picture opportunities. This year Anna and Elsa have been added and join such favorites as Peter Pan, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, and Buzz Lightyear.
Besides the flowers, food is also showcased with outdoor kitchens scattered around the park. Fresh ingredients create some amazing dishes from around the world and even add some unique twists on old favorites. Next time out, I plan on trying the sparkling pineapple wine.
This year, each weekend features a different performer in the Garden Rocks Concert Series, including The Guess Who, The Village People and Taylor Dane. Throughout the event, every day gives you the opportunity to learn from experts that can help you plan, plant and grow your very own garden, full of all your favorite flowers.
One of my favorite things at the festival is the art that is added to the gardens. Sculptures and even movie props can make a display more than just a fragrant arrangement of color and texture; it can add character and create a theme. There’s also the butterfly garden where you can walk among the flowers as butterflies flutter around you, creating some great opportunities for beautiful photos. (*TIP: the tented area that houses this display is extremely warm, so keep your visit brief and re-hydrate quickly after exiting. Shortly after visiting this exhibit, I was gently told to “have a snickers” as I was handled a bottle of water and guided to the shade as I had become irritable and confused due to heat stroke.)
Of course what Disney outing would be complete without some souvenirs? Each year brings new colors and designs to the one of a kind take home items that include everything from gardening tools and accessories to the traditional t-shirts and hats.
Bottom line, if you’re a fan of spring and the outdoors, the flower and garden Festival is a fantastic way to bring a bit of Disney expertise and charm to your own garden and home.