Posts Tagged ‘Epcot Flower and Garden Festival’

What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to Epcot

by on April 5, 2016

Spaceship Earth!

Spaceship Earth!

If you are planning your very first visit to Walt Disney World, and you’re like me, you’ve probably done your Disney homework on the parks and resorts. I’m sure you have lists of what attractions you want to see, what characters you want to meet, and I bet you even made those dining reservations the day you booked your trip, right? Still, despite all your planning and newly accumulated park knowledge, it’s still easy to make those Disney World Rookie mistakes. My goal today is to let you in on some tips and info that I wish I had known before my park visits to help your first time trip to Walt Disney World run a little more smoothly. I’ve already covered What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to the Magic Kingdom; and so for today, I’m tackling What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to Epcot!

Epcot Map

The length of World Showcase is what I wish I knew before my trip to Epcot!

Two Parks in One

Epcot is one park, but it has two very different sections: Future World and the World Showcase. Future World was originally intended to educate visitors about the world and to be a showplace for new technology. However, Future World has suffered some criticism in recent years as many of its buildings sit empty and seems to be more representative of the past than the future. Still, Future World is home to some of the park’s most popular attractions such as Soarin’, Test Track, and the iconic Spaceship Earth. Epcot’s other section, World Showcase, sits towards the rear of the park and encircles the World Showcase Lagoon. This part of Epcot features eleven pavilions themed after different countries from around the world, as well as one for the United States.

What’s really awesome about World Showcase is that Imagineers went to great lengths to make each pavilion and its design both historically and culturally accurate, so you feel as if you’re in another country and also getting a sense of its history at the same time. Also, I absolutely love eating at the different World Showcase restaurants and shopping for souvenirs from around the world.

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons March is Going to be AWESOME!

by on March 5, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX presents a brand new concept for us. The first Saturday of each month we are going to give a quick preview of some of the coolest things going on here in the theme park world in Florida, as well as those out there in California. We present to you Six Reasons March is Going to be AWESOME. Now it is going to be hard to top February considering we finally received details on Star Wars Land, had the soft opening of the Wizarding World West, saw the start of Universal’s Mardi Gras, and let’s not forget my personal debut as a YouTube sensation, but I think March just may be able to top it. So sit back, make sure you are wearing something green, and let’s start off with…

# 6 – Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar Has Actual Souvenir Mugs! (Disney Springs)

Our long national nightmare is over. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, one of the coolest new additions to Disney Springs, finally has more souvenir mugs in stock. The Hangar Bar opened last September, and it debuted having a menu filled with pictures of unique souvenir mugs. There was only one catch: none of the mugs were available. Late in the year, the awesome Cool-headed Monkey mug arrived but nothing else. In March 2016, the clouds lifted, and new souvenir mugs are now in stock! Added to the list of available mugs are Reggie’s Revenge and the Hovito Mojito.. The cool mugs, unique stirrers (including a python snake and a blowdart), and a multitude of coasters make the Hangar Bar one of the best places at WDW for collectors.

JockLIndsey_mojito_wallen

The Hovito Mojito. (photo by Dirk Wallen of @WDWNT fame)

# 5 – Zootopia Opens

Having just made its national premier yesterday, Disney’s newest animated film Zootopia is already wowing both critics (with a shockingly high 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences alike. Since Disney bought Pixar, the two companies have seemed to go in opposite directions. The once flawless Pixar has been criticized for churning out sequels and even produced its first ever “flop” with last Fall’s The Good Dinosaur. Meanwhile Disney animation has been killing it with an incredible run that includes Wreck It Ralph, Big Hero 6 and the world wide phenomenon Frozen. Early reaction to Zootopia by the fans are overwhelmingly positive, and right now you’ll be able to catch the two main stars of the film at both the California and Florida parks. If the box office of the film matches the height of that audience score, we just may see more Zootopia in the parks sooner rather than later.

zootopia_meg

Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde posing with a true character, the SATURDAY SIX’s own Megan Stump.

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A Preview of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Passport

by on March 1, 2016

Epcot Flower and Garden FestivalIt’s here! It’s here! The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is finally upon us! This year’s festival kicks on Wednesday, March 2 and will last for 90 whole days, until May 30!

There’s lots to see and do including trying fresh dishes at the Outdoor Kitchens; catching a Garden Rocks concert featuring your favorite performer from the last 40 decades; and hunting for the intricate topiaries that are incredibly gorgeous. Oh plus there’s the ability to explore the different gardens; letting your kids play in the awesome playgrounds or learn about butterflies in the butterfly garden; and catching a seminar about some horticultural lesson (ask me what I learned about bamboo or chickens…both seminars I sat in for and enjoyed last year.) Really, there is a plethora of things to enjoy for those with a green thumb and those like me, with a brown thumb!

So how on earth do you manage it all? Well, you can take a peek at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival Passport! This handy guide will allow you to find out where the topiaries can be found, showcases all the gardens you need to see, and best of all, get stamps of which Outdoor Kiosks you’ve tried. (It is a passport after all!) Take a look in order to create a good action plan and in addition, make sure you pick up a hard copy in the park during your visit.

What are you most excited about experiencing during this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival? I’m excited to be heading there this weekend and enjoying all the festivities myself and you can bet I’ll have my passport ready to go too! (Let’s see, first I want to see Ranger Mickey in topiary form in Future World East, then I’ll want to head to the Butterflies on the Go house in Future World West, and of course, I have to stop and try the new Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-Salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans at the Smokehouse, and then I’ll end the night catching The Orchestra with the Garden Rocks concert series. Plan made! What about you?)

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2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchen Menus

by on February 23, 2016

Smokehouse at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

©Rikki Niblett

We’ve almost made it to spring! (Sort of….) To me, spring starts when the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival debuts and this year’s event starts on March 2 and lasts until May 30! We’ve already found out who the Garden Rocks Concert Series Artists are, as well as what some of the new activities are for this year, but now, it’s time to get to the most exciting part of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – the food and beverages found in the Outdoor Kitchens.

I have the full list of the different Outdoor Kitchens you’ll find this year, as well as the great drinks and food you can experience at each kiosk. Let’s dive right into the deliciousness, shall we?

Urban Farm Eats (Walkway Near Imagination Pavilion)

Food

  • Watermelon Salad with Pickled Onions, B&W Gourmet Farms Baby Arugula, Feta and Balsamic Reduction
  • Vegetable and White Bean “Naanwich” with Arugula Pesto and Oven-dried Tomatoes featuring Seeds of Change Quinoa,Brown & Red Rice
  • Seared Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragoût, Spring Vegetables and Marble Potatoes

Beverages

  • Avivé Natural Peach Sparkling Wine
  • King Estate Acrobat Pinot Noir
  • Sierra Nevada Otra Vez
  • Urban Mary

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Artists Announced for the Garden Rocks Concert Series for the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

by on February 3, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

This year, the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival will take place for an unprecedented 90 days, from March 2 through May 30. Of course, this means that the Garden Rocks Concert Series will include more acts than ever before!

The Garden Rocks Concert Series (which was formerly known as the Flower Power Concert Series) is performed on weekend evenings during the festival at the America Gardens Theatre in the American Adventure Pavilion. Many favorite performers will be returning, but there will also be quite a few new artists on hand to celebrate with Guests.

This year’s lineup includes:

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Updated Information About the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

by on February 2, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

We are officially one month away from the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival! I have to admit, this one always sneaks up on me so fast, but I also love when it’s back because that means that spring is almost here! Details about the event for 2016 are slowly trickling out.

First, we have word that there will be two new Outdoor Kitchens for this year’s event. The first will be known as La Isla Fresca, where they will serve up dishes like Jamaican Braised Beef with Pigeon-Pea Rice and Jerk-Spiced Grouper or Chicken with Mango Salsa. There will also be the Cider House, which will offer a Field Greens salad with greens harvested from The Land pavilion, heirloom apples, Stilton cheese and dried blueberries will pair well with a blueberry hard cider from Plant City, Fla. Of course, the festival’s other 11 booths will also offer delicious returning favorites, as well as some new food and beverage options.

Also new for this year will be the Harmony Gardens musical playground, which will include interactive drums, chimes, and xylophones where children can create their own musical sounds or have fun at the innovative outdoor playground. The area will also debut debut featuring topiaries of the Fab Five with “band leader” Mickey Mouse plus Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck.

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2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Details Announced

by on November 19, 2015

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

As per usual, when one Epcot festival ends, details on the next festival get released, which means that we now have the first details about the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. This will be the 23rd year for the event which will take place for an unprecedented 90 days, from March 2 through May 30.

Each year, new and returning favorites help to make up this unique event. As far as what’s new for 2016, we’ll see a brand new front entrance topiary display featuring Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, alongside their Uncle Donald and Daisy in a display inspired by the 1943 comic book, “The Victory Garden.”

Also on display for the first time ever will be the Ranger Mickey topiary which will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service.

Located behind Spaceship Earth will be a new Floral Sun Garden which will feature golden colors and yellow “sunbursts.” At night, twinkling lights will shine.

For the little ones, there will be an innovative new play garden featuring the Fab 5, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald, in topiary form with musical instruments built into the outdoor climbing system.

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: March 12, 2015

by on March 12, 2015

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. Get ready because this week we’re visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom and taking another look at the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot. Wow, it was a busy week! Let’s get going! 

The weather has been very overcast for the past week or so, but that didn’t make the view below any less sweet! This was my first time seeing the Studios hat free in fifteen years and I made a special trip just to see it.  I vividly remember when I was a little girl that before the park would open Goofy would dance and play in front of the theater. I’d totally forgotten until I saw this again. I also remembered the Rocketeer “flying” from the roof with his jet pack. Anyone else remember these things? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to reminisce with you. :)

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Of course, since I was there I had to check out what else was new for you. Click to read more to see what other trouble we got into this week.

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2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Opening Day Photos and Menus

by on March 7, 2015

2015 epcot flower and garden

Donald, Chip, and Dale star in this display near the entry to the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Though the rest of the country is suffering through a deep freeze, spring is in the air in Orlando, and the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is in full bloom. We stopped by Epcot on the anticipated annual event’s opening day (March 4, 2015) to bring you this photo tour of the flora and food of the this fan-favorite festival.

2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Topiaries and Displays

Here’s a small sampling of the dozens of topiaries and floral displays that currently fill Epcot’s Future World and World Showcase:

 

These butterflies on the back side of Spaceship Earth make a popular photo op.

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: March 5, 2015

by on March 5, 2015

401Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. This week we’re checking out the beautiful new hub expansion at the Magic Kingdom and taking a look at the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot

It was a dark and stormy morning. No really, the weather was a mess last week! I went straight to the Magic Kingdom on Sunday because all weather reports showed there would only be a few cloudy hours before it started raining again. Since all the news was outdoors this week, I was a girl on a mission! At rope drop when everyone else was running for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train I was here taking photos to share with you! And wow, the new hub is looking great!

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Want to see more of the new hub and Flower & Garden Festival? Be sure to click to read more!

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