Spring in Bloom, Disney Style

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Here is an article from the Disney Insider on the 2008 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival beginning tomorrow:

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to enter a lush garden aflutter with hundreds of butterfly wings? Or how about escaping into a serene water garden? These are just some of the adventures awaiting Guests at the Epcot International Annual Flower and Garden Festival. Celebrating its fifteenth year, the flourish-filled fest has extended its run to 75 days, from March 19 to June 1, offering a magical journey into the world of gardening. Guests are greeted by a 14-foot topiary of Goofy riding the waves at the Epcot’s front gate while Mickey and Minnie relax beachside in a nod to this year’s theme, “Fun in the Sun.” More Disney Characters will be blooming than ever before, along with specialty gardens geared toward food lovers, English tea aficionados, and even those with not-so-green thumbs.

The festival’s most popular event is Minnie’s Magnificent Butterfly Garden, where Guests can surround themselves with 500 American butterflies in a 1,400-square-foot enclosed house. With a little patience, you can observe an amazing metamorphosis as the chrysalis opens and a butterfly emerges, gently pumping newborn wings for its first attempt at flight. But there’s more to observe here than just the obvious beauty. Eric Darden, Horticulture Manager for Epcot and the Food and Garden Festival, explains that, “Telling the story of our native butterflies informs our Guests while promoting butterfly-friendly gardening.”

In addition, the festival features numerous activities that focus on green issues. Xeriscapes, a brand-new exhibit, provides an eco-conscious choice for the horticulturally challenged. Taking the country’s recent droughts into account, Eric states, “we are asking Guests to consider the environmental impact when they go home.” This easy-to-care-for garden is packed with plants requiring minimal water aside from natural precipitation, illustrating a worry-free option for the water conscious.

Advanced gardeners looking to unearth some new tips and tricks will enjoy the ongoing lecture series featuring the man in red suspenders himself, Roger Swain, longtime host of PBS’s “The Victory Garden,” along with many of the country’s top horticulturalists. Although Disney might be the “House of Mouse,” 2008’s Year of the Rat is the perfect time to explore the Chinese zodiac at the festival’s Topiary Chinese Zodiac Garden.

There’s plenty to do with little ones in tow. Every year the festival adds more activities the entire family can enjoy. For boys who don’t want to grow up, Peter Pan’s Never Land Garden is a great place to explore, with Captain Hook and Peter Pan topiaries whisking them away to a make-believe world. Proving fun is for kids of all ages, the Flower Power Concert Series, features stars like Davy Jones, the Nelsons, and other memorable acts from decades past. Annual Passholders can unwind from the afternoon grind and get grooving to some of their favorite artists. Whether your thumb’s ever-green or you’re a gardening washout, Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival offers blooms, tunes, and something truly spectacular for every member of the family.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]