Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Special Edition

Quick…look away and then back at the image below. It takes a second to figure out but that’s what makes it so special.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The image is a unique sight from a past Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The 2011 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV is a spring special event filled with Disney character topiaries, a colorful array of flowers, gardens, live music and special presentations. It's where Disney springs to life! The festival is held from March 2 to May 15, 2011.

For additional details, download the festival guide.  

You'll find over 75 Disney character topiaries among the over 100 topiaries arranged throughout Epcot. Plus, for the very first time, the festival includes Disney·Pixar character topiaries. See beautiful topiaries representing Buzz, Woody and Lotso from Toy Story 3. Plus, don't miss Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars 2.

Festival Highlights
View the festival highlights including must-see attractions, themed weekends and special experiences.

Designer Presentations
See how green your thumb can be as some of the nation's top designers help you plan everything from planting your first garden to enhancing your home's curb appeal. With opinions from HGTV stars like Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder—plus Epcot gardening experts—you'll have new ideas blooming around your home in no time! View the schedule of HGTV designer presentations or download the festival guide with the complete presentation schedule.

Flower Power Concert Series
Enjoy unforgettable live music from the 1960s and 1970s during the Flower Power Concert Series. You'll find a different artist—including Melissa Manchester, Davy Jones and Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone—every weekend during the festival at the America Gardens Theatre!

Special offer for Florida Residents
Florida residents can take advantage of a special 4-day ticket offer to visit the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Learn more about the offer!

Epcot admission is required. Most Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival events are included with admission to Epcot. Availability is limited for some events. Events may be cancelled at any time.

Festival Center – Presented by HGTV

Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Festival Center, located inside the former Wonders of Life Pavilion, features presentations by View the schedule of HGTV designer presentations, designers and gardening experts. Presentation times vary and are subject to change, but events are often scheduled for 11:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Download the complete schedule.

Bambi's Butterfly House – Presented by HGTV

Experience a festival favorite! Plus, this year, the butterfly house is more than double the size of previous years. Wander among hundreds of native butterflies and see topiary versions of some of your favorite characters from Bambi.

Rapunzel's Tower – Presented by Tangled

Rapunzel's secret tower comes to life in the Tangled Magical Garden—inspired by Walt Disney Pictures new animated film, Tangled. You won't want to miss this beautiful photo location designed by the expert Disney Horticulture team.

Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden – Presented by Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Take flight into the garden world of Pixie Hollow and meet some of your favorite Disney Fairies from Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games—coming this fall on Disney Channel! Play structures are designed for children ages 2 to 5.
Themed Weekends

Art in the Garden Weekend

Dates: March 25 to 27
Watch artists showcase their skills in multiple mediums—including pottery, painting and glass. You can also observe as "plein air" artists paint the scenic backdrop of World Showcase.

Fresh From Florida Weekend

Dates: April 29 to May 1
Discover Florida's natural bounty—from Apalachicola to Zellwood! Featured growers are available to chat about fresh items from throughout the state, including produce and honey.

It's a Disney·Pixar Weekend to Celebrate Cars 2

Dates: May 13 to 15
The festival's final weekend is all about Pixar Animation Studios—and especially Cars 2, which debuts in theaters on June 24, 2011. Kids will love the Cars 2-themed scavenger hunt around World Showcase.
Special Experiences

Garden Explorations – Epcot Gardens of the World Tour

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Days: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
Ages: 16 and older
Cost: $59.00 (tax included, requires theme park admission)
Take a fascinating guided tour designed especially for garden enthusiasts! A Disney Horticulturist will give you the inside scoop on a 3-hour tour of special displays and award-winning international gardens.
Register at Guest Relations when you arrive at Epcot or call (407) WDW-TOUR or (407) 939-8687. Guests under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian's permission to call.

Flower Power Concert Series

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the festival, finish off the day at the America Gardens Theatre adjacent to the American Adventure Pavilion. Groove to live music from artists of 60s and 70s during the 2011 Flower Power Concert Series.

Showtimes are at 5:15, 6:30 & 7:45 p.m.

Date Performer Known For
March 4 to 6
Jose Feliciano
Light My Fire
March 11 to 13
The Guess Who
American Woman
March 18 to 20
Chubby Checker and the Wildcats
The Twist
March 25 to 27
New - Melissa Manchester
Don't Cry Out Loud
April 1 to 3
Starship starring Mickey Thomas
We Built This City
April 8 to 10
New - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
You Don't Have to be a Star (to be in My Show)
April 15 to 17
New - Juice Newton
Queen of Hearts
April 22 to 24
Ricky Nelson Remembered featuring The Nelsons
Poor Little Fool
April 29 to May 1
Paul Revere & The Raiders
Good Thing
May 6 to 8
Davy Jones
I'm a Believer
May 13 to 15
Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone
I'm Henry VIII, I Am
Entertainment is subject to change without notice. Songs listed are for artist recognition only and may not be in the playlist.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 8, 2011) -- HGTV kicks up the "curb appeal" of the 18th Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival March 2 through May 15 with a first-time sponsorship featuring weekend appearances by its acclaimed designers and landscaping experts. The star-studded lineup includes Genevieve Gorder, Lisa LaPorta, Kim Myles, Brian Patrick Flynn, Taniya Nayak, Ahmed Hassan, Patti Moreno, Michele Beschen, John Gidding, Frank Fontana, and Vern Yip.

The country's leading home and lifestyle television brand brings an addictive blend of design, decorating and landscaping inspiration to the enduring, 75-day gardening extravaganza at Walt Disney World Resort.

At the Festival Center presented by HGTV, popular celebrity experts will appear each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival on the HGTV Stage. The HGTV hosts will deliver valuable tips to Disney guests on topics including "Mobile Gardens," "Secrets to Bringing Indoor Style Outside" and "Gardening with Kids."

"We are thrilled to welcome HGTV and so many of the network's great Talent to Epcot this spring," said Dan Cockerell, vice president of Epcot. "HGTV's design and gardening personalities add an exciting, and entertaining new element to a festival that reinvents itself year after year."

As part of the sponsorship, HGTV also will present a new, twice-its-previous-size Bambi's Butterfly House along the Future World Imagination Walkway. Inside this popular festival stop are hundreds of native butterflies and character topiaries from the timeless Disney classic film, "Bambi." This year's display celebrates the upcoming release of "Bambi" Diamond Edition, for the first time on Blu-ray Hi-Def.

"People visit Disney for a memorable experience where they are inspired, enlightened and entertained," said Jim Samples, president, HGTV. "Our star designers will provide just such an experience for the Disney guest during The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV.  Disney is the ideal venue and destination for us to connect face-to-face with our passionate viewers."

The HGTV celebrity lineup includes:

Genevieve Gorder, HGTV Design Star and Dear Genevieve (March 4-6)
The Art of Sculpting Space

Lisa LaPorta, Designed to Sell (March 11 - 13)
Design It Yourself: Easy-to-follow Tips for Designing Your Favorite Rooms

Kim Myles, Myles of Style (March 18 - 20)
The 5 DIY Secrets That Can Transform Any Space

Brian Patrick Flynn, Design Happens, HGTV.com (March 25-27)
Mobile Gardens

Taniya Nayak, Designed to Sell and Destination Design (April 1-3)
Adding Value to Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

Ahmed Hassan, Yard Crashers (April 8-10)
Life, Love and Landscaping

Patti Moreno, Garden Girl, HGTV.com (April 15-17)
Gardening with Kids: Fun Seed Starting Projects

Michele Beschen, B. Original (April 22-24)
When Nature Calls: Creative, Back-to-Basics Style for All Things Natural and Decorative

John Gidding, Curb Appeal: The Block (April 29-30, May 1)
The Design Process: Curb Appeal Projects from Concept to Construction

Frank Fontana, Design on a Dime (May 6-8)
Beautiful on a Budget: High Style, Low-Cost Secrets to Bringing Indoor Styling Outside

Vern Yip, HGTV Design Star (May 13-15)
Top Design Trends Made Affordable and Accessible

In addition to its own celebrity stage appearances, HGTV will present the popular twice-daily Disney Gardening at Home series, where guests can join a workshop and take home projects ranging from hanging baskets to water garden features. The Festival Center's HGTV Theater will present a special-engagement film featuring tips and hints from HGTV shows.

Dozens of Disney character topiaries are back by popular demand at this year's festival. Woody, Buzz Lightyear and chief villain Lotso of the Oscar-nominated Disney blockbuster, "Toy Story 3," make their first topiary appearance in front of Spaceship Earth at the park's front-entrance garden. Topiary craftsmen also will debut floral versions of Lightning McQueen and Mater, stars of "Cars 2," to be released in theaters this June.

Flower Power concerts will rock the open-air America Gardens Theatre stage three times each Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening with popular acts like Davy Jones and Chubby Checker & The Wildcats. New-to-the-festival performers will include Melissa Manchester, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.

More information about the 18th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is available by calling 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or by visiting disneyworld.com/flower. The festival, including all gardening programs, presentations and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Hi everyone, I’m Debbie Mola Mickler from Disney Horticulture. In about a week, (March 3rd) the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be opening. And there’s no better way for us plant lovers to spend the day than at Epcot during the festival. Now in its 17th year, this festival will have more topiary, container gardens and flower beds filled with color than ever.

Behind the Scenes: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Backstage at the Walt Disney World Nursery things are moving, or should I say growing, quickly. Topiary, one of the main stars of the show, is getting their final touches in preparation of making their move to Epcot. With so many new plant varieties available to the horticulture industry our Disney topiary are really “coming to life.”

Behind the Scenes: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

So, how do we create signature Walt Disney World topiary? To produce one of our sphagnum topiary it takes a lot of imagination and a few good horticulturists to put it all together. It all starts with a Disney Imagineer who designs a maquette figure. From there, a skilled welder forms the frame, an irrigation specialist adds watering mechanisms and then our Gardeners will stuff and plant the frame. This whole process can take several weeks and depending on the plant material it may take a while to grow, filling out the frame. To make the topiary appear more life-like we create faces or embellishments from dried mosses, palm fibers and even seeds. 

We are asked quite often, “How can I create topiary at home?” There are many great online resources available to purchase the pre-made topiary frames, just type in “sphagnum topiary” to any search engine. You even can buy them pre-stuffed with sphagnum moss; just water and add some plants. These online topiary frames are not as big as our 14 foot tall Goofy, but if you know a good welder anything is possible.

posted on February 23rd, 2010 by Debbie Mola Mickler, Disney Horticulture

Behind the Scenes at Disney Floral & Gifts

posted on February 11th, 2011 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG

When I walked into our shop this morning, I took time to “smell the roses.”
Roses at Disney Floral & Gifts, By: Regina Blaney

Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. And even though I have been here at Disney Floral & Gifts for 8 years, I’m always so impressed with the volume of beautiful Disney bouquets we create. Disney has perfected the art of designing and delivering mass bouquets to guests all over Disney property – it’s really quite impressive. So with you in mind, I quickly got a hold of one of our Disney Fine Art photographers, Regina Blaney, to shoot some images to share with you.

As you walk into our shop, the room is filled with roses, mixed floral and rose bouquets that are being prepped and designed for delivery today to the resorts. As we get closer to Valentine’s day, it will get even busier…and it’s wonderful.

Roses at Disney Floral & Gifts, By: Regina Blaney

In a recent post, I featured our “Disney Dozen” rose bouquet. It’s our most popular floral gift which features the wishing rose in the center.

Roses at Disney Floral & Gifts, By: Regina Blaney

Here are the wishing roses, freshly sprinkled with pixie dust by Tinker Bell. Yes, she really does visit our shop each day.

The Wishing Rose, By: Regina Blaney

And take a look at these adorable Minnie Mouse floral bouquets. Guests love these clever designs set in a Minnie Mouse “mug”. Did you notice her skirting. So Disney!

The Minnie Mouse Bouquet, By: Regina Blaney

What makes Disney Floral & Gifts “magical”… one of our secrets is that each bouquet which leaves our shop includes an exclusive card and hidden surprise…

The Disney Floral & Gifts Exclusive Card, By: Regina Blaney

Overall though, we truly enjoy creating a one of a kind special moment just for you…. so you feel special.

The Disney Floral & Gifts, By: Regina Blaney

Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 2nd, 2010 by Garth Vaughan, Photographer, Walt Disney World

Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Finishing touches are being put in place for this years’ International Flower & Garden Festival. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at a truly massive effort to put the scene just beyond the turnstiles. Simply amazing! And they beat the rain.

Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

80,000 Bedding Plants Featured During Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot

posted on March 2nd, 2010 by Debbie Mola Mickler, Disney Horticulture

The countdown has begun! In less than 24 hours, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be blooming with color. Guest frequently ask me, “What are your biggest challenges?” Well, this year it has to be the frequent drop in temperatures that have blanketed much of the south. We usually get a few cold nights with temperatures freezing or below. This year has certainly been an exception; our festival planning has had to be adjusted on several occasions. On average it takes over 24,000 man hours to plan and install the entire festival.

80,000 Bedding Plants Featured During Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot

We start growing many of our topiary, floating gardens and flower towers months before the show starts. We place our forty-four large (around 9 feet tall) flower towers outside the greenhouse to get the maximum sun they need to grow. But, when temperatures drop they are brought back inside the greenhouses each night. Even the topiary that is outside get a white blanket (frost cloth) of protection and heaters warm their feet from the cold. The positive side of colder weather allows us to plant annuals that do not like the warmer temperatures.

One of my favorite bedding plants we are using throughout the festival is blue and yellow violas. With close to 500 varieties of violas distributed throughout the world, their heart shaped scalloped leaves will be easily recognized by most Guests.

Pictured (from 2009) is one of our largest flower beds planted just for the festival. During the rest of the year the area is turf; a few weeks before the festival starts gardeners pull up the turf, lay out the beds and plant up to 80,000 bedding plants. Guests can get a good view walking from the fountain to Showcase Plaza or an aerial view by monorail. The theme changes each year and I think it is one of the best picture taking spots if you love color!

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