With new, vibrant gardens, popular Disney character topiaries and colorful celebrations, it’s time to party during the 16th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, presented by Disneynature, March 18-May 31 at Walt Disney World Resort.
I attended last year's Flower and Garden Festival and it was a blast. There are topiaries everywhere (like Snow White and the gang seen above) and the butterfly garden is neat (so long as you're ok with butterflies landing on you!). I saw Paul Revere and the Raiders at one of the Flower Power concerts - they still know how to put on a good show. Even though it was Easter week, the park wasn't packed to capacity. It was busier than normal, but not so packed that you couldn't do anything. FastPasses were a must, though.
If you have the chance to go to the Flower and Garden Festival, I highly recommend it. The topiaries alone are worth it!
Here are some fun facts about this year's Flower and Garden Festival:
30 million blooms dress the park throughout the festival, which runs 75 colorful days.
As part of this year’s Celebration theme, guests can enjoy a commemoration of Cinderella’s coronation day as a “Cinderellabration” featuring royal guests including Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty and Belle – all as intricately designed topiaries. Other topiary merriment includes: Simba’s Birthday Celebration in a classic scene based on the Disney animated film “The Lion King” and Be Our Guest featuring the entertaining characters from “Beauty and the Beast.”
More than 50 Disney character topiaries include Aladdin, Lady and the Tramp, and Snow White and the seven dwarfs. Classic Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy strike topiary poses doing their favorite outdoor activities in the new, garden-themed playground Let’s Get Moving.
Little princesses can come dressed up and show off their costumes in the all-new daily Fairy & Princess Procession in the new Pixie Hollow-themed play area.
More than 500 native butterflies representing up to 10 species reside in Minnie’s Magnificent Butterfly Garden, a gazebo-type enclosure filled with lush plants and measuring more than 40 feet in diameter. Guests can stroll through the screened habitat to view the colorful butterflies. Among the garden’s two dozen nectar plants are Cape Royal plumbago, passion flower, coral honeysuckle, blazing star, butterfly bush, scarlet milkweed and canna lily.
300,000 bedding plants are installed for the festival.
Two butterfly topiaries are on display. Also, Doc, Grumpy and the rest of the seven dwarfs appear at the Epcot entrance with intricate topiary detail that includes beards of palm fiber. Perfume bottle topiaries represent Guerlain perfumes in the Fragrance Garden at the France pavilion.
At least 25 different plants, grasses and mosses of various colors, including pink and red begonias, dusty miller, palm fiber, palm seeds, ficus and lichen, are used to create and define features of the festival topiaries. More color has been added to the topiaries than in any previous topiary presentation.
More than 15 floral, herbal and spice ingredients of 10 popular perfumes are revealed in the Fragrance Garden presented by Guerlain at the France pavilion. Guests can sniff the enduring fragrance Shalimar to discover botanical notes that include lemon, Arabian jasmine and vanilla. Some components of nine other Guerlain fragrances include mimosa, magnolia, rose, nutmeg and vetivergrass. At the Green Garden exhibit, guests can learn tips on how to create their own environmentally safe garden, including information about low-water-use, native plants and recycling.
Forty-five “flower towers” of impatiens line Innoventions Plaza.
100 floating mini-gardens, each three feet in diameter, of multi-hued impatiens provide splashes of color on two ponds that border the walkway between Future World and World Showcase. There are also 15 large gardens, each eight feet in diameter.
750 container gardens of flowers, herbs, plants and vegetables in clay pots, barrels and urns enhance the landscape throughout Epcot.
300 Walt Disney World horticulturists are needed to install the festival landscape, topiaries and many exhibits; 100 Epcot horticulturists maintain topiaries and other festival displays.
It takes more than one full year to prepare for the annual festival.