Every spring, Disney gardeners channel their creative energy into presenting an intricate topiary display against the backdrop of Spaceship Earth. This year, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and all of their friends debut in all their “blooming finery” as the grand front-entrance topiary during the 75-day festival.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

An elaborate “Cinderellabration” topiary and an environmentally friendly Green Garden bring fresh springtime flair to the 16th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, presented by Disneynature, March 18-May 31, 2009. Amid a colorful tableau of flowers, plants and topiaries, Walt Disney World guests of all ages can explore myriad exhibits and activities geared toward gardening and outdoor fun. Flower Power concerts pump up the volume and spread a groovy vibe each weekend at America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase.

Preview

Wandered around the park this past weekend and they already had a few items up and ready, although there is sure to be much more for today.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIDLR2ZbI1c

Highlights to the festival

  • Green Garden – Guests discover how anyone can create an environmentally friendly garden as they learn about low-water-use gardens, incorporating native plants into their garden and recycling.
  • Pixie Hollow Fairy GardenColorful topiaries of Tinker Bell and her friends from Walt Disney Pictures’ “Tinker Bell” sprinkle pixie dust over this whimsical garden. Every day, kids can participate in hands-on activities and, at 2 p.m., children dressed as fairies or princesses can join in a pixie processional.  On March 21, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the director and producer of “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure” will be on hand to meet and greet guests.
  • Pirates Adventure ZoneCaptain Hook and Croc topiaries lure young swashbucklers to this interactive space designed for exploration and adventure.
  • Floral Floating GardensGuests strolling the concourse between East and West lakes will discover a new twist to the colorful floating gardens: larger-than-ever 8-foot floaters of brilliant blooms serve the eco-function of drinking up excess nutrients like nitrates and phosphates in order to keep pesky pollutants at bay.
  • Special Environmentality Celebration (April 24-26)This special event showcases how to keep the planet green through solutions like reducing waste.
  • Flower Power concertsPopular bands rock the open-air America Gardens Theatre every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The concert lineup is slated to include new acts like Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes plus pop favorites like Davy Jones, Chubby Checker & The Wildcats, Tony Orlando, Jose Feliciano, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone and other top acts.
  • Minnie’s Magnificent Butterfly GardenHundreds of butterflies will flit inside a walk-through screened enclosure that includes a live exhibit showing how caterpillars form a chrysalis and emerge as butterflies.
  • Disney Gardening at Home presentationsDisney horticulturists will share gardening tips and lead guests in a hands-on, take-home activity every Friday-Sunday.  Got kids? They can learn how to grow a pizza garden during “Kids Gardening-It’s More Than Mud Pies” April 24-26. Want to discover your gardening style? Experiment with styles and techniques May 1-3 at “Contain Yourself-Consider Your Style.”
  • The Great American Gardeners seriesGardening celebrities and authors from across the country will reveal their gardening secrets. Meet dynamic diggers like “Ground Breakers” host Joe Washington, Shirley Bovshow of “Garden Police” and Joe Lamp’l a.k.a. “joe gardener.”
  • The Garden Town DiscoveriesEvery weekend, guests can attend speaker presentations and demonstrations and ask the experts their gardening questions.
  • Simba’s Birthday CelebrationA lineup of topiary characters straight from Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Lion King” will greet guests at World Showcase Plaza.
  • Poster Signings — Artist Heather French will sign festival posters each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at Canada Garden Retreat.
  • More Festival CelebrationsAn “Art in the Garden” celebration of plein air artists and a “Kids Paint Out” will occur March 27-29; a “Florida Farmer’s Market” celebration will take place May 8-10. More celebrations will bloom throughout the festival.
  • Epcot Gardens of the World TourFor an in-depth exploration of Epcot’s many different gardens, this tour is scheduled Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for the festival’s duration. Guests get the inside scoop on World Showcase gardens that re-create landscapes from around the world, as well as tips for adding some landscape magic to their own gardens. For guests 16 and up, $59 plus Epcot admission.

Wrapping it Up

The festival is always a wonderful tradition here in Central Florida. From the opening day, through Mother’s Day and into its final bow, the event is always as popular with the tourists as it is with the locals. If you are visiting the parks during this time, take advantage of he beautiful weather and this awesome event at Epcot.

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