Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival begins earlier than ever this year on March 3, 2010

By Heather Leigh Carroll-Landon

It is hard to believe it is almost that time again. Time for the 17th Annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. It seems like only yesterday when the park was filled with the smell of roses and fluttering butterflies. Maybe it only feels that way because this year Walt Disney World has moved the date of the festival up.

The festival this year will begin on March 3, 2010, the earliest date ever, and will continue for 75 days through May 16, 2010. (Last year's event started on March 18.) The earlier start of the festival will hopefully help garden fanatics get a jump-start on the gardening season.

Guests of the festival will be able to stroll through luscious gardens, explore vendor exhibits and enjoy many activities surrounding one theme - gardening. The best thing about last year's event was the array of topiaries featuring the many Disney animated characters.
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Last year's grand topiary was the Cinderellabration, featuring Cinderella and all of the other Princesses and their pals. This year Donald Duck will be hosting the Great Outdoors at the entrance to Epcot, which is a topiary display with a North American theme. This display will feature a live waterfall, a pond, Goofy fly-fishing, Daisy Duck roasting marshmallows and Pluto in his tent. If you enter through the International Gateway at the back of the park, make sure to head up to the front because this is a photo op not to miss.

In addition to moving the date up, Disney has a few new surprises that will be added to this year's festival. Check out some of the ones that have been released:
· Bambi's Butterfly House - this is supposed to be twice the size of Minnie's Magnificent Butterfly Garden.
· New Victory Garden - featuring the fab five in topiary form.
· Newly expanded pixie Hollow Fairy Garden.
· First-Ever American Gothic Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse - topiary scene based on the 1930 Grant Wood Painting.

Annual festival highlights include:
· Flower Power Concert Series - Jose Feliciano is kicking off the event March 5-7.
· Disney Gardening at Home presentations - learn from Disney's Horticulture Team.
· The Great American Gardeners series - learn from celebrity gardeners.
· The Garden Town Festival Center - merchandise and special speaker location.
· Special Festival Celebrations - Art in the Garden, Florida's Farmers Market and I Dig Bugs celebrations.

There are so many things to do at this year's International Flower and Garden Festival it is no wonder why they have moved the date up.

For additional information about the festival call 407.W.Disney. Regular theme park admission is required.

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