It’s only November, but I’m already “thinking Spring.” I miss the warmth of the sunshine and the brilliant colors of leaves and flowers. With that in mind, I’m pleased that Walt Disney World has announced some news on the 21st Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this week.
Kermit the Frog, with his blooming banjo, and Miss Piggy will be joining the other artfully-crafted topiaries during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival from March 5 – May 18, 2014 at the Walt Disney World Resort.
During the 75 days that Epcot hosts the Annual International Flower and Garden Festival, almost 100 topiaries will adorn the Park, transforming Epcot into a colorful wonderland of gardens and exhibits. The outdoor food and beverage marketplaces will also be back for a second year, offering many tasty treats, both savory and sweet. Perhaps taking a nod from Epcot’s Food and Wine festival, new menu items will include Piggylicious Bacon Cupcakes and a Barbecued Chicken Leg at the Smokehouse Barbecue marketplace. Previous menu favorites, such as the Watermelon Salad with baby arugula, feta cheese, pickled red onions and balsamic reduction, will be back to wow guests. In addition to new menu items, several lemonades, cocktails, wines and beers, all with floral inspirations, will be available to pair with food choices.
Featured topiaries this year will include:
- Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck topiaries will appear in a new Epcot front entrance garden vignette, celebrating spring with a butterfly hunt adventure. This garden will feature a waterfall and pond with water lilies.
- Timon and Pumbaa topiaries will be featured near the park’s Outpost location between China and Germany.
- Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Croc can be found in the United Kingdom showcase again this year.
- Dozens of additional character topiaries, including Mickey Mouse, will delight guests throughout the Park.
- Florida agriculture will be in the spotlight at a large World Showcase garden, exhibiting fresh Florida crops to include citrus, sugar cane, berries and vegetables.
- As the sun sets each night, the illuminated gardens will cast a festive glow across the Park.
- In World Showcase, the spotlight will shine on topiaries of Disney princesses, storybook characters and even pandas and trolls.
- Back by popular demand, the Disney-Pixar “Cars” garden and playground will bring favorite movie characters to life for the younger festival-goers. Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House will thrill with hundreds of the winged beauties and fairy topiaries of Tinker Bell and Periwinkle.
- At the Festival Center in the Park’s Future World, twice-daily interactive gardening workshops will set the stage for outdoor do-it-yourself inspiration, and gardening guest speakers will appear daily. The Festival’s sponsor, HGTV, will have design celebrities host home, garden and design seminars between Fridays and Sundays during the Festival.
The Flower Power Concert Series welcomes two new acts in 2014: Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) March 14-16, and The Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”) May 16-18. During opening weekend, the series kicks off at America Gardens Theatre with fan-favorite band, The Guess Who (“American Woman”) March 7-9. Other pop acts set to perform include Chubby Checker & the Wildcats, The Village People and Paul Revere & The Raiders. (Entertainment is subject to change).
Kids can explore the multiple-themed gardens and children’s play areas, while dozens of Disney-crafted “flower towers,” herb gardens and beds of multi-colored blooms will add to the floral splendor of the park’s landscape will delight adult festival attendees. Disney’s gardeners estimate 70,000 bedding plants will surround the Future World east and west lakes alone. On the water, 220 mini-gardens will be set afloat. Several special weekend happenings, including the popular Art in the Garden Weekend, will be scheduled.
The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.
Have you been to Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival? What are you favorite topiaries?