EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival 2012

 March 7th through May 20th 2012

 

Here’s the latest information about one of our favorite Disney events.


A little gardening magic will go a long way when an eight-foot-tall floral Sorcerer Mickey topiary holds court at the entrance to the 19th EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival March 7-May 20 at Walt Disney World Resort. Standing atop a 12-foot-tall floral mountain cliff and towering above the park’s front-entrance topiary bed, the commanding Sorcerer Mickey will direct a riot of color in the manicured shapes of dancing broomsticks, buckets, mushrooms, hippos, alligators and elephants straight from the classic Disney film, “Fantasia.”

 

Disney topiary specialists worked to create the striking new design with innovative materials and recycled elements from years past, says festival horticulture manager Eric Darden. An earlier version of Sorcerer Mickey stood less than five feet tall; a larger frame was built, Darden says, to more accurately reflect the character in the front-entrance Fantasia scene. The new Fantasia “mountain” grew from a 2003 topiary piece that once held a “Steamboat Willie” Mickey Mouse display.

 

“The challenge is to use our resources, repurpose them, and keep them fresh every year,” Darden says. “These are some of our most popular characters from a topiary standpoint, and ‘Fantasia’ was a groundbreaking film for its music and animation techniques.”

 

The front-entrance floral spectacle will welcome guests to a festival packed with new displays, featured speakers and hands-on fun for all ages.

 

Don’t Miss!

For 75 festival days, Epcot guests can explore topiaries and gardens, learn planting, style and design techniques and rock to the tunes of popular Flower Power concerts:

 

  • Bambi’s Butterfly House, three times the size of the festival’s original, will be a-flutter with multiple species of brilliant butterflies. At Imagination Walkway by Innoventions West.
  • Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden - Fabulous Disney fairy topiaries alight to greet young fans who enter this whimsical 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.
  • The Flower Power concert series will welcome back 20th century pop favorites this year when Jose Feliciano, Chubby Checker and The Wildcats, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Davy Jones and seven other bands rock the America Gardens Theatre with their timeless tunes. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Performers and appearance dates subject to change.

 

Petal Power

 

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. It takes more than one full year and 400 Walt Disney World horticulturists to plan and prepare for the 75-day festival. One of the most interesting challenges is finding just the right plant materials to bring the park’s topiaries to life.

 

The front-entrance “Fantasia” rock cliff topiary will be carpeted with a “blackish-purple Ajuga,” says Disney plant specialist Heather Will-Browne. White and blue flowers will represent streams of water tumbling down the rock face, she adds, and the “Fantasia” theme will be carried out with masses of hot pink geraniums, blue delphiniums, white poppies, violet petunias and blue pansies, among others. Other show-stopping character topiaries: Lightning McQueen and Mater from “Cars 2″ at the Japan showcase; Buzz, Woody and Lotso the teddy bear from “Toy Story 3;” and the Fab Five – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy — outside the Festival Center.

 

The horticulture team also will plant new landscape looks outside the Italy and Norway pavilions, Will-Browne says. In Italy, gardeners will display a mix of containers overflowing with bright flowers and pots of fragrant herbs used in Italian cuisine. Around Norway, “we’ll do a white show of geraniums, violas, snap dragons, poppies and alyssum,” she says. A small Norway meadow will feature “a mass of brilliant, wild mixed color.” Each of the park’s other nine World Showcase countries will feature special festival landscape elements.

 

More Festival Fun

 

  • The Festival Center- Guests can shop for festival merchandise, attend demonstrations and get ideas and tips from master gardeners. In Future World between Universe of Energy and Mission:SPACE.
  • Disney Gardening at Home presentations - Disney horticulturists will share gardening tips and lead guests in a hands-on, take-home activity at the Festival Center.
  • Special Festival Weekend Celebrations - An Art in the Garden celebration of plein air artists is scheduled March 23-25; a Florida Federation of Garden Clubs gathering will be April 27-29; and a Fresh from Florida Farmer’s Market salute is slated for May 4-6.

 

Educational Presentations

 

  • HGTV Designers Stage: See informative and entertaining presentations from nationally recognized garden personalities. At 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Festival Center.
  • Greenhouse Stage: Gardening experts share tips and secrets that you can use in your own garden. Visit the Festival Center for daily topics. At 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. daily at the Festival Center.
  • Planting Pointers: Get great gardening ideas from the gardening experts at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. Visit the Festival Center for daily topics. At 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily.
  • Ask an Expert: Get your gardening questions answered by master gardeners from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily at the Festival Center.

 

Themed Weekends

 

  • Art in the Garden Weekend: See nature through the eyes of "plein air" artists and behold one-of-a-kind works of art. At World Showcase from March 23 through 25, 2012.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Specialists: Meet the experts and learn about incredible indigenous insects that are part of our world. At the Festival Center from April 13 through 15, 2012.
  • Florida Federation of Garden Clubs: See amazing arrangements that defy description. At the Festival Center from April 27 through 29, 2012.
  • Fresh from Florida Weekend: Discover the bounty of Florida—from Apalachicola to Zellwood! At the Festival Center from May 4 through 6, 2012.

 

Special Displays

 

Delight in special displays presented by HGTV and Twinings of London® Tea, including:

 

  • Bambi's Butterfly House, presented by HGTV: Experience hundreds of native butterflies and see some of your favorite characters from Bambi, presented in topiary. Located at Imagination Walkway.
  • Sustainable Beauty, presented by HGTV: This unique garden showcases sustainable gardening ideas that you can try at home.
  • English Tea Garden, presented by Twinings of London® Tea: Discover the art and history of tea blending during a 20-minute tour of this elegant English Tea Garden, featuring classic tea blends and new herbal teas for 2012. Tours are held Monday through Thursday at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., and Friday through Sunday at 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Register for your guided tour at The Tea Caddy. Located at the United Kingdom Pavilion.

 

Fun Activities

 

  • Epcot Gardens of the World Tour: A Disney horticulturist is your host on this 3-hour, guided tour designed especially for garden enthusiasts. Available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Register at Guest Relations or call (407) WDW-TOUR. Cost is $60.00, including tax, and theme park admission is required. Available to Guests ages 16 and up only. Please note: Price of the tour is subject to change.
  • Let's Get Moving: Unique play structures offer fun for the little ones—the Evos™ play systems for ages 6 and older and the Weevos™ play systems for ages 2 through 5. Located at Imagination Walkway.
  • Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden: Explore the garden world of Pixie Hollow and find some of your favorite fairy characters presented in topiary. Play structures are designed for ages 2 to 5. Located at Test Track Walkway.
  • Sounds of Nature, Presented by Nature Conservancy: Relax as you listen to the soothing sounds of nature. Located next to Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden at Test Track Walkway.

 

Plus, enjoy a variety of unique gardens located throughout EPCOT theme park:

 

  • Bonsai Collection—located at the Japan Pavilion
  • Festival Blooms, Presented by Syngenta—located at Future World East and West Lake
  • Kid Garden (official name to be determined), Presented by Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association
  • Orchids—located at the Mexico Pavilion
  • Spice and Herb Garden—located at the Morocco Pavilion
  • Water Wise Herbs & Vegetables, Presented by Rain Bird Corporation

 

HGTV Designer Presentations

 

Learn to build a better garden with fascinating tips, tricks and techniques from talented HGTV designers and personalities. Presentations are held at the Festival Center at 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV.

 

Location: On the HGTV Designers Stage at the Festival Center, between Universe of Energy and Mission: SPACE in Future World.

 

Show Times: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m., from March 7 to May 20, 2012.

Featured HGTV designers include:

 

  • John Gidding, HGTV's Curb Appeal: The Block—presenting March 9 - 11
  • Sabrina Soto, HGTV's The High/Low Project—presenting March 16 - 18
  • Jason Cameron, DIY Network's Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves—presenting March 23 - 25
  • Camille Styles, HGTV.com Entertainment contributor—presenting March 30 - April 1
  • Dan Faires, HGTV.com's DanMade, Fan Favorite HGTV Design Star Season 5—presenting April 6 - 8
  • Brandon Johnson, host of HGTV's My Yard Goes Disney—presenting April 13 - 15
  • Meg Caswell, HGTV's Meg's Great Rooms—presenting April 20 - 22
  • Monica Pedersen, HGTV Dream Home Tour 2012 and Designed to Sell—presenting April 27 - 29
  • Antonio Ballatore, HGTV's The Antonio Treatment—presenting May 4 - 6
  • To be determined—presenting May 11 - 13
  • Genevieve Gorder, HGTV's Dear Genevieve and HGTV Design Star—presenting May 18 - 20

 

Whether you wish to learn a few new gardening techniques or simply catch a glimpse of one of your favorite television personalities, each HGTV designer presentation is a special experience that you won't want to miss!

Please note that theme park admission is required and HGTV designer presentations are subject to change without notice.

 

Flower Power Concert Series

 

Musical entertainment pairs perfectly with botanical beauty during the nightly Flower Power concert series. Enjoy a varied lineup of performers throughout the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, March 7 through May 20, 2012.

 

Location: America Gardens Theatre at World Showcase

 

Show Times: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

 

Date                       Performer                                                                     Known For

March 9 to 11            Jose Feliciano                                                                   Light My Fire  

March 16 to 18          Starship Starring Mickey Thomas                                       We Built This City  

March 23 to 25          The Guess Who                                                                American Woman  

March 30 to April 1    The Spinners                                                                   Cupid  

April 6 to 8                Chubby Checker & The Wildcats                                        The Twist  

April 13 to 15            Paul Revere & The Raiders                                                Good Thing  

April 20 to 22            The Turtles Featuring Flo & Eddie                                      Happy Together  

April 27 to 29             NEW! Chuck Negron Formerly of Three Dog Night               Black & White  

May 4 to 6                 NEW! The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO        Don't Bring Me Down  

May 11 to 13             Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone                             I'm Henry VIII, I Am  

May 18 to 20             Former Monkey's Star                                                      I'm a Believer  

 

Please note that Epcot theme park admission is required. Entertainment is subject to change without notice. All songs listed are for artist recognition only and may not be included in the playlist.

 

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 when festival time approaches. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Colorful New Gardens, Popular Gardening Workshops and Whimsical Fun in Store

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