If you’ve been following my Instagram feed (@childmode), Twitter feed or are friends with me on Facebook, you know that my family and I spent last week at one of the most magical places on earth – Walt Disney World Resort. This is our second time at the Resort and I have to say, it gets better and better each and every time we visit. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll give you the inside scoop on what’s new (trust me there is a lot!) and what’s happening at WDW.
First and foremost, I want to encourage anyone who is living in Florida or currently making plans to visit Disney World to check out Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival. I’ve heard so much about Disney’s gardening magic, but hadn’t experienced the festival until now.
Presented by HGTV, the 19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs from March 7-May 20. The event features stunning displays including the largest-ever Disney front-entrance topiary, an illuminated Haiti produce garden with marketplace and a stellar cast of HGTV design celebrities.
The eight-foot-tall floral Sorcerer Mickey topiary holds court in front of the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth and stands on top a 12-foot-tall floral mountain cliff where he 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.
Take a walk through the World Showcase and visit Haiti where you can enjoy music, art, culture and refreshments while enjoying the displays and rich heritage of Haitian culture. My girls loved it here! It was our first trip through the World Showcase and I have to say each and every country offered such an authentic feel. The gardens at Haiti are gorgeous, but be sure to check out the other countries as well as each one has something unique to offer.
It takes more than one year and 400 Walt Disney World horticulturists to plan and prepare for the 75-day festival.
The displays are incredible and take an incredible amount of preparation to pull off. There is over 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 that are displayed across the 260 acre Epcot.
Want to take part in the festivities? Disney gardening experts are at hand to meet with guests every day. You can swap landscape ideas for 2012 or even dig into projects that you can take home at the end of the day. Just head over to Future World between Universe of Energy and Mission:SPACE to take advantage of this.
Kids will love the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden where play structures are designed in a whimsical manner with Disney fairy topiaries around every corner. The garden offers a nice break from the craziness as well. It was nice to enjoy the garden after a day at the rides and my kids were able to calm down quite a bit by walking through the gardens. The magic does wonders for the mind and soul .
More information about the 19th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is available by calling 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or by visiting disneyworld.com/flower. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission, but remember it only runs until May 20th, so make a point to visit while the festival is underway!
Photos courtesy of Child Mode and Walt Disney World.