WW GOES TO WDW at Yesterland.com More Flowers & Gardens at Epcot
20th Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
March 6 to May 19, 2013

A few days ago, I ran Flower & Garden & Food & Beverage about the new Garden Marketplaces—food and beverage kiosks—at the 2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

Today, I’ll take you to other parts of the Festival.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, March 11, 2013


2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Flowers among the Leave a Legacy monuments

Epcot looks good all year, but it looks its best during the 75-day run of the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival. Even the Leave a Legacy monuments—often maligned as Epcot’s “tombstones”—look festive with colorful vertical planters between them.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Welcome to the Festival!

Guests who visit Epcot during the busy weeks of spring break and the slower weeks afterwards are treated to flower beds in place of grass, playgrounds in place of ground cover, and colorful container gardens in place of concrete.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Festival Blooms, Presented by Miracle-Gro

Sponsorships are everywhere: HGTV, National Audobon Society, Disney Vacation Club, Miracle-Gro, Rain Bird Corporation, Walt Disney Pictures, GoGo SqueeZ, Sears, Dole, Twinings of London, and others.

In a way, it’s a shame that Epcot doesn’t always look this spectacular.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Silver Mist in the Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House, Presented by HGTV

On the first morning of the Festival, I visited Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House. The plantings inside were gorgeous—but it was apparently too cold for the butterflies. A closer look revealed motionless butterflies clinging to the screen material. When it’s warm enough for the butterflies to flutter around and land on guests, it should be a wonderful space.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

The Land of Oz, Presented by the new Disney movie, Oz The Great and Powerful

Thanks to the promotional budget for Oz The Great and Powerful, I now have a button and a seed packet that I didn’t have before the Festival began. Guests earn these items by playing free carnival games: ring toss and bean bag toss. There are signs introducing the movie’s main characters, and there’s an opportunity to have your photo taken in the basket of the Oz Balloon.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Playground in the Land of Oz

For children, the highlights of the Land of Oz will be the play areas—Cozy Domes for ages two to five, and Evos and The Vibe play structures for ages five to 12.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Radiator Springs with Disney•Pixar Cars topiaries

There’s another playground at Radiator Springs near Mouse Gear.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Water Wise Herbs & Vegetables, Presented by Rain Bird Corporation

Rain Bird shows off their watering solutions, while also showing off all sorts of different plants the provide food.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Disney•Pixar Monsters University topiary, Presented by Monsters University

The Monsters University topiary is very well done. And it’s in a location that hard to miss—right at the main entrance to World Showcase.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Peter Pan Topiary, Presented by Disney Peter Pan Diamond Edition on Blu-ray and HD Digital

Tic Toc Croc and Captain Hook from Peter Pan guard the restrooms at the United Kingdom pavilion. But where’s Peter?

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Peter

Observant guests will spot Peter Pan high atop the United Kingdom pavilion. Guests who don’t look up will miss him.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Tea Garden, Presented by Twinings

Twinings of London is the longtime sponsor of the Tea Caddy at the United Kingdom pavilion. The garden behind and around the shop has become a tea garden for the Festival. Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, is joined by the other plants that provide flavors to teas from Twinings.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Twinings Tea Tour with Jordanna

Guided tours of the tea garden are available twice daily Monday through Thursday and three times daily Friday through Sunday. With a capacity of just 12 guest per tour, it’s necessary to pick up tickets at the Tea Caddy soon after the store opens each morning. My wife and I took the tour with Jordanna from London, England, who was delightful as she told us about twelve types of Twinings teas. Each guest received two specialty tea bags at the end of the tour.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Backyard Play Garden, Presented by GoGo squeeZ

The most elaborate garden in World Showcase is the Backyard Play Garden, filled with inventive ideas and instructions on how to implement those ideas at home.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Footwear flowers at the Backyard Play Garden

Who would have thought of using boots and Crocs as pots for planting?

Each of the countries of World Showcase has horticultural displays, such as a spectacular topiary dragon in China, orchids in Mexico, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs topiaries in Germany.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Disney•Pixar Lotso topiary at the American Adventure pavilion

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Dragon in China

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

One of the Flower & Garden Festival merchandise locations

Numerous merchandise locations around World Showcase Lagoon sell Disney Flower & Garden Festival merchandise. In addition, temporary vendors offer goods appropriate to the theme.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Festival Center

The former Wonders of Life pavilion does duty for 75 days as the Festival Center for the Flower & Garden Festival, just as it does each year for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

A hands-on activity at the Greenhouse Stage

Two stages inside the Festival Center provide scheduled presentations every day of the Festival. These are included in the price of Epcot admission.

Local gardening experts and Disney Cast Members appear at the Greenhouse Stage. Guests who arrive early can participate in hands-on activities.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Robert Bowden at the Greenhouse Stage

On Saturday, March 9, we caught the lecture “Magic or Myth: How Does Your Garden Grow,” presented by Robert Bowden, Director of the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando. It was an entertaining examination of common beliefs about how to raise healthy plants—which turn out to be completely wrong.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

“Going Yard for Your Lifestyle” with Chris Lambton at the Designers’s Stage on March 9

Each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, an HGTV personality appears live, twice daily. I don’t watch HGTV, so I have no idea who these people are. But for guests who enjoy HGTV, these presentations could be a real treat.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Garden Gifts at the Festival Center

The Festival Center also offers places to eat, shop, relax, watch HGTV videos, and learn about Disney’s horticultural heritage.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

A display about Disney Legend Morgan “Bill” Evans (1910 – 2002)

As someone who is fascinated by Disney park history, I particularly enjoyed the display about Morgan “Bill” Evans. In 1951, Walt Disney hired Bill Evans, a landscaper to the stars of Hollywood, to landscape his Holmby Hills house. Walt liked Evans’s work, so he asked him to work on Disneyland. As was so often the case, Walt chose the right person for the job.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

A display about how Disney horticulturalists create topiaries

Eventually, Evans became director of landscape design at Walt Disney Imagineering. Along the way, Evans figured out how to create detailed topiaries, and how to do so quickly. Although Bill Evans retired from Disney in 1975 and passed away in 2002, his accomplishments are still essential to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

The back side of Monsters University

I have to admit I’m more of a Food & Wine guy than a Flower & Garden guy. I’m someone who considers my efforts around the exterior of our house to be yardwork, not gardening. But I enjoy it when others do beautiful things with plants.

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Good night!

If you can’t make it to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival this year, mark the 2014 dates on your calendar: Wednesday, March 5, 2014, through Sunday, May 18, 2014.

 

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Updated November 1, 2013.