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While many people across the country are still snowed in, Spring is in the air at Walt Disney World as they prepare for the 18th annual International Flower and Garden Festival. A special event held at Epcot from March 2nd through May 15th, featuring beautiful topiaries, fun concerts, educational demonstrations, and so much more. Most of the activities are included with park admission, although some special experiences require an additional fee. The festival is a lot of fun, with a lot to take in, and guests will want to be prepared.
Festival Center presented by HGTV
This year, for the first time, the Festival is being sponsored by HGTV, and they will be showcasing their television personalities on the HGTV stage. Celebrities will present interesting design and gardening topics every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A list of the stars and their speaking topics is included at the end of this post.
HGTV will also host a series of workshops entitled Disney Gardening at Home where guests can participate in hands-on demonstrations and even take their projects home. These will be held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11:00am and 2:00pm. Seating is limited and based on a first come, first served basis, so get there early.
Also at the Festival Center, the HGTV Theater will present a film showing hints and tricks from popular HGTV shows, guests can purchase event merchandise, and experts will be available to answer gardening questions.
The Flower and Garden Festival is probably best known for its gorgeous and elaborate topiaries, dozens of which are scattered throughout the park featuring favorite Disney Characters. This year, some new designs are being added. Characters from Toy Story 3 will dominate the Epcot entrance, there will be an intricate Cars 2 display featuring Lightning McQueen and Mater, and Pooh and friends will appear in a Hundred Acre Woods wildflower display.
Flower Power Concert Series
One of the highlights of the event is the Flower Power Concert Series. Popular musical acts from the 60’s and 70’s such as Paul Revere & the Raiders, and Davy Jones, perform at the outdoor America Gardens Theatre every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 5:15, 6:30, and 7:45pm. A performance schedule is provided below.
Bambi’s Butterfly Garden features butterflies and other insects, as well as the plants and flowers on which they thrive. The garden first appeared in 2005, but it is getting its first expansion this year. For 2011, the garden will be over three times its previous size!
Another new addition this year, the Healthy Living Garden, will feature activities for guests “designed for improving their health and well being.” These will focus on a healthy lifestyle, including healthy eating, exercise, and relaxation. There will also be a play area for children in the area.
Tinkerbell and her fairy friends join the festival this year in the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden. Guests can meet and spend time with the fairies in a whimsical garden which includes play areas for young children.
The majority of the festival occurs during Spring Break season which means heavy crowds. Guests attending during this time will definitely want to be prepared. While the festival itself does not have a major impact on wait times, the park will be more crowded. It is always a good idea to use a Touring Plan and consult the Crowd Calendar to plan your visit.
Are you attending the festival this year? What are you most looking forward to?
HGTV Celebrity Presenter/Topics Schedule
- March 4-6: Genevieve Gorder: The Art of Sculpting Space
- March 11-13: Lisa LaPorta: Design It Yourself: Easy-to-follow Tips for Designing Your Favorite Rooms
- March 18-20: Kim Myles: The 5 DIY Secrets That Can Transform Any Space
- March 25-27: Brian Patrick Flynn: Mobile Gardens
- April 1-3: Taniya Nayak: Adding Value to Your Home Without Breaking the Bank
- April 8-10: Ahmed Hassan: Life, Love, and Landscaping
- April 15-17: Patti Moreno: Gardening with Kids: Fun Seed Starting Projects
- April 22-24: Michele Beschen: When Nature Calls: Creative, Back-to-Basics Style for All Things Natural and Decorative
- April 29-May 1: John Gidding: The Design Process: Curb Appeal Projects from Concept to Construction
- May 6-8: Frank Fontana: Beautiful on a Budget: High Style, Low-Cost Secrets to Bringing Indoor Styling Outside
- May 13-18: Vern Yip: Top Design Trends Made Affordable and Accessible
Flower Power Concert Series
- March 4-6: Jose Feliciano
- March 11-13: The Guess Who
- March 18-20: Chubby Checker and the Wildcats
- March 25-27: Melissa Manchester
- April 1-3: Starship starring Mickey Thomas
- April 8-10: Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
- April 15-17: Juice Newton
- April 22-24: Ricky Nelson Remembered featuring The Nelsons
- April29-May 1: Paul Revere & The Raiders
- May 6-8: Davy Jones
- May 13-15: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone