The 17th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has begun and will continue through May 16, 2010.
Even before spring has sprung, Donald Duck and his topiary pals set up camp in full floral color to celebrate the Great Outdoors at the Epcot front entrance. The elaborate topiary features Goofy in a fly-fishing misadventure, Daisy Duck roasting marshmallows over a campfire and Pluto in his “pup tent.” Packing more floral punch this year, the festival showcases more than 100 expertly crafted topiaries – including a new Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse topiary among a bed of flowers and vegetables in an “American Gothic” parody located at World Showcase Plaza.
“The advantage of starting earlier is that we’ll be able to feature more brilliant color than ever, with richly hued petunias, violas, snapdragons and other hardy flowers,” said festival Horticulture Manager Eric Darden. “By starting earlier and going through mid-May, it allows more guests than ever to experience the festival and to plan ahead for their spring and summer gardening.”
New This Year
New Community Garden
Disney’s “fab five” topiary pals – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy – gather at American Adventure to tend tomatoes, beans, peppers, herbs and other edibles in their first Community Garden for a salute to the many community gardens being planted across the country.
Newly Expanded Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden
Colorful topiaries of Tinker Bell and friends from Walt Disney Pictures’ latest DVD release “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue” will sprinkle pixie dust over this playful, expanded garden for kids. In a synergistic turn, the “Great Fairy Rescue” DVD includes a bonus feature on “The Making of the Fairy House,” featuring a child’s fairy house design brought to life by Disney’s horticulture team, along with the movie’s producer and director, who helped plan the garden.
Fawn’s Butterfly House at Pixie Hollow
Formerly known as Minnie’s Magnificent Butterfly House, the butterfly garden this year is part of the Expanded Pixie Hollow and named after fairy Fawn from the popular Tinker Bell films.
Princess Tiana’s Wedding Bayou
This picturesque garden tucked into a corner of Future World near the Test Track walkway features full-size cut-outs of Tiana, Prince Naveen, Mama Odie, Louis the alligator and other animal friends gathered beneath a stand of trees. Disney gardeners created a pond with water lilies nearby, and bright bottles dangle from the trees as in the movie’s bayou scene. Coloring and rubbing stations are set up for children.
First-Ever American Gothic Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse
Topiary experts pull out all the stops to create an American Gothic Mickey and Minnie topiary scene based on the 1930 Grant Wood painting. It’s located at World Showcase Plaza.
The Art of Green Living Garden
This Tuscan-themed garden is located between the France and Morocco pavilions and shows guests how to create an environmentally friendly garden that showcases the beauty of Tuscany. Olive and loquat trees, bubbling fountains, a “green” wall, a patio kitchen and a kids play area are just some of this large garden’s features.
Returning favorites include:
Flower Power concerts
Popular bands will rock the open-air America Gardens Theatre every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m.
March 5-7 – Jose Feliciano
March 12-14 – Paul Revere & The Raiders
March 19-21 – David Cassidy
March 26-28 – Starship featuring Mickey Thomas
April 2-4 – Tony Orlando
April 9-11 – Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone
April 16-18 – Ricky Nelson Remembered Featuring the Nelsons
April 23-25 – Atlanta Rhythm Section
April 30-May 2 –Fran Cosmo (former lead singer of Boston)
May 7-9 –Davy Jones
May 14 – 16 – Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
The Great American Gardeners series
Gardening celebrities and authors from across the country will reveal their gardening secrets. Opening weekend, Robert Bowden, author and director of lush Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, kicks off the series.
The Garden Town Festival Center
Guests can shop for festival merchandise, attend speaker presentations and demonstrations and ask gardening questions of the experts.
Special Festival Celebrations
An Art in the Garden celebration of plein air artists is scheduled March 26-28; a Florida Farmer’s Market celebration is April 23-25, and the popular I Dig Bugs event is set for April 30-May 2.
Here’s a quick video overview submitted by reader Don Gworek.
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