If you’re lucky enough to be able to plan your Disney vacation between the months of March & May and Epcot is on your agenda, then you’ll get the chance to see the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival that happens every year during those months. This year the festival is March 7, 2012 thru May 20, 2012. You’ll get to see some awesome Disney character topiaries, live music & other events and programs scheduled throughout the duration of the festival.
This year was my first year to get to go to Epcot during the Flower & Garden Festival, so I was super excited to get a chance to go, since Disney had an awesome Florida resident deal this year, so you could buy a 3 day ticket for $99. Couldn’t pass that up, now could I?! When you first walk in you’ll be greeted by several topiaries right away, so this makes for some great photo opts! And if you’re with a group of people…don’t be shy to ask someone you don’t know to take your picture, as they will usually jump at the chance in hope you’ll do the same for them.
A good portion of the topiaries are actually located around the World Showcase, in which 11 different countries are represented & there are shops, restaurants and attractions that represent each country. The World Showcase opens a little later than the rest of the park, so you have a couple hours to ride some rides and visits some of the different lands. A couple of the most popular rides are Test Track and Soarin’, so it’s a good idea to grab Fast Passes for those rides right off the bat. Unfortunately, I believe Test Track is temporarily closed for refurbishment at the moment and won’t be open again until this fall. So definitely head for “Soarin”! It’s an awesome ride. My favorite part is that you can smell the orange orchard when you fly over it. Trust me, it will not disappoint.
Then you’ve got to make sure you head over to “The Living Seas”. The sign for this area cracks me up every time because they have the seagulls from “Finding Nemo” around it constantly yelling, “Mine, mine”! It’s a hoot! While in The Living Seas, you can see dolphins, sharks, various other fishes & my favorite….the manatees. When I was there he was super playful and kept swimming back and forth doing barrel rolls…it was too cute!
After that, I would recommend heading over to “The Land” and hopping on that ride, which takes you through the Disney greenhouses where they grow all sorts of fruit and veggies from all over the world. You’ll even see square watermelons! It’s very informative and quite interesting. I see things growing on the ground that I thought grew on trees and vice versa.
Around 11:00 you’ll be able to make your way into the World Showcase. By that time, you may have worked up at appetite from all the walking, so you’ll have an abundance of choices. We were hungry for some Chinese food, so we checked out the restaurant, but didn’t really feel like dining in, so we hit up the fast service counter and chowed down. It was some good stuff, but we were stuffed by the time we were done and were glad we had a lot more to see, so we could walk it off.
It was cool, because they put the character topiaries in or near the country they most related to or took place. For instance, Lady & the Tramp was in Italy, Beauty & the Beast was in France, they had a chinese dragon located in China, along with a topiary of some pandas. It was all organized really well. It’s so neat to see all of your favorite characters made out of flowers! I think my top favorite topiaries I got to see where Lady & the Tramp, Lots-O-Huggin Bear from Toy Story 3, & Snow White & all 7 Dwarfs, which was kind of hard to get them all in one photo.
When you’ve seen all that you think you can handle & you’re ready to give your feet a rest, a good ride to go on is Spaceship Earth. You can just kick back and relax for the 15-20 minute ride & it might give you that extra boost of energy that you decide to stay throughout the evening for the fireworks. There’s no fireworks show, like a Disney one! So it might be worth sticking around for if you can handle it.
Well, I hope I was able to give you a good glimpse of what you have to look forward to seeing if you’re able to attend the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. For more information on Epcot & there different events throughout the year, check them out on their website at: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot.