by Fairy Diva
Each spring brings a new growth of beautiful gardens, topiaries and special events at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival! This event, to be held from March 2 to May 30, 2016, offers something for all ages and interests. This year will also expand from 75 days to 90, allowing a few more days to enjoy all that the festival has to offer. Here are some things you can expect to see and experience when you visit during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
The gardens are breath-taking! Throughout Epcot, you will find large spaces filled with some of the most beautiful flower gardens. The many colors and patterns create the perfect backdrop for this annual event. For 2016, the horticulture artists will create the Floral Sun garden, which will celebrate the brightest star in Earth’s orbit, along with yellow “sunbursts” to accent the landscape.
Character topiaries! One of our family’s favorite things to locate at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival are the character topiaries. These perfectly sculpted works of plant art are spread throughout Future World and the World Showcase and feature many of the most popular and beloved Disney characters. Photo opportunities with Disney Photopass Photographers are available in front of most of the topiaries. The park’s entrance of 2016 will feature Donald Duck, Daisy, and those mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. In addition to great photo opportunities in front of the topiaries, guests can meet Ranger Mickey Mouse, who will be appearing in Future World in celebration of the National Parks Service centennial for a first time event!
Playground and interactive areas for young ones! The rides at Epcot are exciting and fun, but my children still can’t get enough of playground time. Epcot provides two themed playground areas during the Flower & Garden Festival. These areas are perfectly organized and provide a great environment for children to release some energy. My daughter, who is usually transported by stroller throughout the park, loves the playtime, and I love the many benches and seating areas available for tired parents, that offer unobstructed views of the playground areas, so that I can keep a close eye on my little ones. Definitely check these out if you are traveling with children. The 2016 festival will feature an innovative new play area celebrating the “Fab Five”- Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald. Musical instruments will be built into the children’s outdoor playground stations. This area will be a treat for young ones!
Educational designer presentations! While enjoying the beauty of Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival, you can get tips from some of the top experts on how to improve your gardening skills. These events, typically sponsored by HGTV, are listed in the Times Guide and change daily according to the guest presenters.
Garden Rocks Concert Series! On select evenings, Epcot offers the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Formally called the Flower Power Concert Series, these outdoor concerts are held at the America Gardens Theatre every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the Flower & Garden Festival. In the past, three performances were held on each of these nights. In 2015, 11 different pop bands were featured. Be sure to check the Walt Disney World website to find up-to-date information on which bands will be appearing at this year’s festival.
Special Featured Areas! Last year’s event hosted the Flower & Garden Festival’s Butterfly House. Spacious enough to hold many occupants, but small enough to feel personal and inviting, the Butterfly House allowed us to view and follow the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly. My daughter loved having all of the butterflies flying around us inside the Butterfly House! Hopefully, this will return for the 2016 festival.
In addition to all of these great happenings, Epcot offers seasonal foods prepared at various Outdoor Kitchens throughout the World Showcase. Enjoy savory and sweet treats as you travel throughout the countries. Unique and event-specific merchandise is available in select locations and booths throughout Epcot. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is a great event that will appeal to visitors of all ages and interests! For an additional look at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, check out Florida Diva’s article here.