Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Celebrate Spring at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival




If you're like me, you spend your days dreaming of the wonderful days when the snow will melt away and warmth will once again return. A certain pesky groundhog tells us that we can still expect more cold and snow- but there's a wonderful land of magic and sunshine where preparations are already underway to help you enjoy that lovely time we call "spring". 

The annual Epcot Flower and Garden festival is a wonderful celebration of all things spring. Epcot is already a gorgeous and well landscaped park, and the perfect canvas to showcase the talents of Disney horticulturists. Beautiful flower displays are found throughout the entire park, including several garden exhibits and intricately formed topiaries of famous Disney characters (over 100 in all!).

2015 festival dates are March 4th to May 17th.

FESTIVAL CENTER


The festival center can be found near the Universe of Energy attraction, and is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the festival. Here, you'll find garden experts offering tips and demonstrations.

From 10 to 4 each day, Disney Gardening Experts are on hand to talk about how that gardens are maintained throughout Walt Disney World. From 10 to 5, you can chat with "Master Gardeners" from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science at the University of Florida.
Each weekend features a different

FUN FOR KIDS


For kids, you'll find activity and play areas for different age groups. These are so fun and well themed, I admit that I wish I could have played on them! 2014 play areas included Mater's Parts, Plants and Play Garden is located near Test Track, while Mike and Sulley's Monstrous Garden can be found on the Imagination walkway.  The Backyard Play Garden, located between Morocco and France, features more play equipment and activities to help encourage healthy habits in children. Tinkerbell's butterfly friends are fluttering throughout Tinkerbell's Butterfly House in Future World. Kids (and adults) can also enjoy picking up a free Garden Passport and having it stamped as they make their way through the World Showcase.


OUTDOOR KITCHENS


A newer addition in recent years are the Outdoor Kitchens. Similar to the kiosks at the Food and Wine Festival in the fall, you'll find a variety of food and drinks from around the world to try. These are smaller portions, so you'll be able to enjoy multiple flavors from around the world!
Some of my favorites: the Eggplant Scallop at the Urban Farm Eats Kitchen, Frushi (pictured) in Japan- fresh fruit rolled with coconut rice, and Pineapple Dole Whip with rum at the Pineapple Promenade near Canada.  Be sure to pick up a Garden Passport and have it stamped at each Outdoor Kitchen to track your progress around the World Showcase!

2015 Outdoor Kitchens:

  • Botanas Bot├ánico 
  • Fleur de Lys
  • Florida Fresh
  • Hanami
  • Intermissions Cafe
  • Jardin de Fiestas
  • Lotus House
  • Pineapple Promenade
  • Primavera Kitchen
  • Taste of Marrakesh
  • THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews
  • Urban Farm Eats

GARDEN ROCKS FESTIVAL


On the weekends, you can also experience great entertainment at the Garden Rocks Festival Series in the American Gardens Theater. These concerts take place Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00 pm.

2015 line up:


3/06 - 3/08: Gin Blossoms
3/13 - 3/15: Pablo Cruise
3/20 - 3/22: En Vogue
3/27 - 3/29: STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
4/3 - 4/5: The Orchestra
4/10 - 4/12: The Village People
4/17 - 4/22: John Seceda
4/24 - 4/26: The Guess Who
5/01 - 5/03: Taylor Dane
5/08 - 5/10: Little River Band
5/16 - 5/18: Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone 





Carissa

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