The convenient access that I have to the parks at the Walt Disney World Resort never escapes me. We are fortunate to live so close to the fun and chose to take advantage of it yesterday and preview some of the features of the upcoming Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
Some Festival Updates:
- Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck topiaries will appear in a new Epcot front entrance garden vignette celebrating spring with a butterfly hunt adventure. The topiaries will have a new computer-generated look while telling an entertaining story. Goofy’s butterfly net will prove useless as topiary butterflies light on the back of his floral garb. A topiary bee buzzes on an exasperated Donald’s head. The garden will feature a real waterfall and pond with water lilies.
- Now in their second festival year, the festival’s 11 food and beverage garden marketplaces have been dubbed Outdoor Kitchens, where chefs will be cooking a variety of new and popular returning menu items, including vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, in 2014. At The Smokehouse BBQ Outdoor Kitchen, Piggylicious Bacon Cupcakes and Smoked Turkey Ribs are on tap with a lineup of great brews. Last year’s top menu picks like the Watermelon Salad with local baby arugula, feta cheese, pickled red onions and balsamic reduction will be back for an encore at the Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen.
- A new Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden welcomes families with a whimsical play land of activities. Dozens of additional character topiaries, including Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan will surprise guests beyond the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth.
- 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).
- Hummingbirds at Home, a new exhibit presented by the National Audubon Society, will feature walk-through hummingbird gardens and tips on how to attract the magical creatures that migrate to Florida from Central America each year.
- For the second year, illuminated gardens will cast a festive glow across the park when the sun sets each evening.
- Mater of the Disney-Pixar “Cars” film hit is back by demand with the new Mater’s Parts, Plants and Play Garden. Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House will be aflutter with hundreds of the winged beauties and a fairy topiary of Tinker Bell.
- 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. Fridays through Sundays, HGTV design celebrities will host home, garden and design seminars.
Wrapping It Up
We will definitely be there to see the full schedule of events at the festival as well as try some of the treats at the food kiosks along the way. Will you be going this year?