While a good portion of the country is experiencing a polar vortex and the rest of it is smack dab in the middle of winter, I’m going to think ahead to warm spring-time and one of my favorite traditions at Epcot – the annual International Flower & Garden Festival!
This year marks the 26th anniversary of the International Flower & Garden Festival and Disney has announced it will run from March 6 through June 3 in 2019. There is so much for plant lovers to enjoy and this article is going to highlight the top must see and must do things for those lucky enough visit Epcot while the festival is going on. Tip #1: Make sure to pick up your Garden Passport as you enter Epcot or at various display areas around the Festival. This booklet has all the details of the outdoor kitchen offerings, special tours, and the locations of each specially designed garden.
The eye-catching and absolutely stunning topiaries are always the stars of the Flower & Garden Festival. There are over 25 signature topiaries scheduled for 2019. Ever wonder how the Disney horticulturists create these larger than life beauties?
First, a Disney Imagineer designs the model figure and scene. Following that, expert welders form the frame with irrigation specialists taking care to place the watering mechanisms in appropriate areas. Once the frame and watering components are in place, the gardeners take special sphagnum (peat moss)to stuff and fill the frame. After this multiple weeks long process is complete, the plant material grows and develops. As a final touch, the horticulturists add life-like faces and embellishments from dried mosses, palm fibers, and seeds.
As you wander around exploring the topiaries and magnificent gardens they are set in, make sure to stop and visit the Outdoor Kitchens that are in the World Showcase. Similar in concept to the food booths during the Food & Wine Festival, these booths feature small plates of food and drinks showcasing fresh recipes and farm-to-table concepts.
Garden Rocks Concert Series
Expanded for 2019 to now include every evening is the Garden Rocks Concert Series! With three shows taking place each evening (5:30, 6:45, 8:00) at the American Gardens Theatre in the American Adventure Pavilion you can surely find a time to sit back, relax those feet, and rock out with the classic performers scheduled! All of these shows are included with your park ticket at no additional charge.
Special Gardens and Tours
Disney offers additional tours, areas, and “how-to” shows during the Flower & Garden Festival for those that want to dig deeper into the experience. Two of the special garden houses that I highly recommend seeing are the Butterfly House and the Purple Martin House. Seeing both of these animals up close and personal is an amazing experience!
If you are a true garden lover, the Gardens of the World Tour is a 3-hour long journey spent with Disney Horticulturists learning tips and tricks of the trade, learning ways you can apply their techniques yourself, and hearing the behind-the-scenes stories about making the festival come to life.
For families exploring the festival with kids, Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration map and stickers debuted in 2018 and is expected to be back with even more stops! These maps are for sale and help give the kids something to look for in every garden – the flower that has been pollinated by Spike the Bee! When you complete your journey through the gardens, you can return your completed map for a special prize. There are two interactive play areas highlighted for the kids to explore in while the adults relax in a covered seating area.
Ready to plan your trip to the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival? Send me an email today! I am a full service travel agent that specializes in Disney Destinations, Universal Orlando, and the Sandals and Beaches Resorts. I am with Key to the World Travel, the official travel partner of Chip and Company. My planning services are entirely FREE when a vacation package is booked through me! To receive a no-hassle, no-obligation quote, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or follow me on Facebook.
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