The 19th Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival will begin March 7 and end on May 20. This year’s floral icon will be an eight-foot-tall floral Sorcerer Mickey topiary. Above the park’s front-entrance topiary bed, the commanding Sorcerer Mickey will direct the manicured shapes of dancing broomsticks, buckets, mushrooms, hippos, alligators and elephants straight from the classic Disney film, “Fantasia.”
It takes more than one full year and 400 Walt Disney World horticulturists to plan and prepare for the 75-day festival. Thirty million blooms, 240 floating mini-gardens on two ponds, 700 container gardens of flowers, herbs, plants and vegetables, dozens of Disney character topiaries, 30 “flower towers” of impatiens and sweeping beds of floral designs will create a tapestry of brilliant color across the 260-acre Epcot landscape.
This year’s festival will feature new displays, guest speakers and hands-on activities. Guests can explore topiaries and gardens, learn planting, style and design techniques and rock to the tunes of popular Flower Power concerts.
Event features include:
Bambi’s Butterfly House will be a-flutter with multiple species of butterflies at Imagination Walkway by Innoventions West.
Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden Disney fairy topiaries are inside a garden designed with play structures for children ages 2-5 at the Test Track Walkway.
The HGTV Designers Stage will present HGTV celebrities each Friday through Sunday and nationally recognized garden personalities Monday through Thursday at the Festival Center.
HGTV stars scheduled to appear this year include:
-March 9 to 11: John Gidding, HGTV’s Curb Appeal: The Block
-March 16 to 18: Sabrina Soto, HGTV’s The High/Low Project
-March 23 to 25: Jason Cameron, DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves
-March 30 to April 1: Camille Styles, HGTV.com Entertainment contributor
-April 6 to 8: Dan Faires, HGTV.com’s DanMade, Fan Favorite HGTV Design Star Season 5
-April 13 to 15: Brandon Johnson, host of HGTV’s My Yard Goes Disney
-April 20 to 22: Meg Caswell, HGTV’s Meg’s Great Rooms
-April 27 to 29: Monica Pedersen, HGTV Dream Home Tour 2012 and Designed to Sell
-May 4 to 6: Antonio Ballatore, HGTV’s The Antonio Treatment
-May 11 – 13: To be determined
-May 18 – 20: Genevieve Gorder, HGTV’s Dear Genevieve and HGTV Design Star
The Flower Power concert series will take place at the America Gardens Theatre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and features both return artists as well as new acts.
The 2012 Flower Power Lineup:
-March 9 to 11: Jose Feliciano
-March 16 to 18: Starship Starring Mickey Thomas
-March 23 to 15: The Guess Who
-March 30 to April 1: The Spinners
-April 6 to 8: Chubby Checker and The Wildcats
-April 13 to 15: Paul Revere and The Raiders
-April 20 to 22: The Turtles Featuring Flo and Eddie
-April 27 to 29: Chuck Negron, Formerly of Three Dog Night
-May 4 to 6: The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO
-May 11 to 13: Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone
-May 18 to 20: Micky Dolenz
The Festival Center will become an area for guest to shop for festival merchandise and get ideas and tips from master gardeners in Future World between Universe of Energy and Mission:SPACE.
• An Art in the Garden celebration of plein air artists is scheduled for March 23 to 25.
• A Florida Federation of Garden Clubs gathering will be April 27 to 29.
• Fresh from Florida Farmer’s Market salute is slated for May 4 to 6.
More information about the 19th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is available by calling 407-W-DISNEY (934-7639) or by visiting disneyworld.com/flower. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.