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The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2009
We enjoyed the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival quite by chance one year, when we visited Orlando. This annual festival usually takes place between March and May, and this year the 16th festival starts on March 18th and finishes on May 31st, 2009. Epcot is normally beautifully landscaped and full of floral displays, but during this festival it really excels itself with colourful tableaux of plants and flowers, as well as amazing topiary displays. There are a multitude of exhibitions and activities which are based on gardening and having fun outdoors. As well as this there are the fantastic Flower Power Concerts held each week in the American Gardens Theatre in World Showcase, and which feature popular artists from the 60’s and 70’s in free concerts.
There is plenty to do for both young and old, and you can’t fail to be impressed from the moment you step through the gates. You are immediately greeted by an intricate topiary display in front of Spaceship Earth, called ‘Cinderellabration. ’ Featuring Cinderella, Prince Charming, Belle and the Beast, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty with Prince Phillip, this wonderful topiary shows how talented the Disney gardeners are. They use a variety of flowers, mosses, plants and grasses to make this amazing show, but there are 70 more topiaries decorating the park itself.
Of course there are glorious floral beds and exhibits which feature 30 million blooms. One of our favourite exhibits is always the Japanese Bonsai display. The English Tea Garden at the United Kingdom pavilion has complimentary guided tours each day, where you can learn about the art and history of blending tea plants such as peppermint, ginger, lemon tree and camomile. Other countries offer their own delights such as the Fragrance Garden at the France pavilion, which tells the story of plants and perfumes. Hosts from Guerlain offer information and tours.
With extensive floral beds and exhibits which will feature 30 million blooms, you will be delighted by this wonderful fantasy of flowers. Some are even floating on the various lakes, where a floating garden includes 8 ft exhibits.
Children are not forgotten, with a Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden – bound to be a great success. Here you will find colourful topiaries of Tinker Bell and her friends from the Disney movie. Children can take part in ‘hands on’ activities each day, and join in a pixie procession. There is even a Pirate Zone, Minnie’s Magnificent Butterfly Garden and Simba’s Birthday Celebration which includes a line up of topiary characters from the Lion King.
For the grown ups there is a chance to learn more about creating an environmentally friendly garden, as well as Disney Gardening at Home presentations.
If you are going to visit Disney in March, April or May then do make a visit to Epcot. There is so much for all the family, and you will be even more delighted than usual.
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