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Central Florida's tourism traditions continue with Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Central Florida's tourism traditions continue with Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

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Here at Orlando Fun Tickets, we take great pride in Central Florida’s garden-based attractions. For over 80 years now (Bok Tower Gardens – this area’s first real tourist attraction – was formally dedicated by then-President Calvin Coolidge in February of 1929), tourists have been traveling to this part of the Sunshine State to experience our lush flora & the fauna. And with this Saturday’s re-opening of Cypress Gardens (which prides itself on being Florida’s first theme park), that tradition continues.

Of course, you don’t have to go all the way to Winter Haven and/or Lake Wales in order to experience some of Central Florida’s beautiful gardens. Right here in Orlando, there are currently 30 million blooms on display at the 16th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

Orlando Fun Tickets Epcot Flower and Garden review
Photo by Angela Ragno

Presented by Disneynature, this year’s Flower and Garden festival is truly a celebration of Spring. Indeed, virtually everywhere you look in this science & discovery park over the next 10 weeks , you’re going to find dozens of festive floral displays. Be it the “Cinderellabration” topiary in front of Spaceship Earth (which depicts Cinderella’s coronation day with fellow royals Prince Charming, Belle and Sleeping  Beauty in attendance) or that “Simba’s Birthday Celebration” display (which recreates a memorable moment from The Lion King) at World Showcase Plaza.

All told, there are now more than 50 Disney character topiaries scattered around this theme park. You’ll find them tucked away in entirely appropriate places (EX: As an affectionate nod to Lady and the Tramp‘s “Bella Notte”  sequence, topiary versions of these two Disney dogs are now on display in Epcot’s Italian pavilion) as well as some rather odd spots (EX: Lumiere, Cogsworth, Chip and Mrs. Potts are currently positioned right in front of Future World’s Fountain Stage. While Beauty & the Beast is admittedly a perfectly charming animated feature, it’s hardly what I’d call a futuristic film).

Orlando Fun Tickets Epcot Flower & Garden review
Photo by Angela Ragno

But – then again – some of this year’s Flower and Garden exhibits are in the exact right spots. Take – for example – the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden. Themed around the characters & settings that will be seen in Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s upcoming video premiere, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, this whimsical garden features play structures as well as topiary versions of your favorite Disney Fairies. And every day at 2 p.m., children dressed as princesses & fairies are invited to take part in a pixie processional.

Mind you, there’s lots for the adults in the family to do this year’s Flower and Garden. You can attend a seminar at the Green Garden exhibit and learn how to create your own environmentally safe garden. (Disney’s hitting the whole save-the-planet angle very hard this year. In fact, April 24 – 26th, they’re actually holding an Environmentality Celebration at Epcot. Where Guests can take part in classes that will talk about low-water use, native plants as well as reducing waste through recycling.)

Orlando Fun Tickets Epcot Flower and Garden review
Photo by Angela Ragno

On the other hand, if plants and saving-the-planet aren’t entirely your thing …  The 16th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival does have a really great entertainment component: Its Flower Power Concert series.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening, hit-makers from the 1960s & 1970s hit the stage at the American Gardens Theatre and entertain the crowds there with their old favorites. This past weekend, Davy Jones was on hand to perform hits from the Monkees’ catalog like “Daydream Believer.” And starting tomorrow night, Paul Revere and the Raiders will be entertaining Epcot Guests.

Epcot Flower and Garden Davy Jones
Davy Jones works the crowd at Saturday's Flower Power Concert.
Photo by Angela Ragno

In the weeks ahead, numerous pop sensations will be performing at this WDW theme park.  Among them:

  • The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie (April 3 – 5)
  • Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone (April 10 – 12)
  • The Ventures (April 17 – 19)
  • Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes (April 24 – 26)
  • Chubby Checker & The Wildcats (May 1 – 3)
  • Ricky Nelson Remembered featuring The Nelsons (May 8 – 10)
  • Jose Feliciano (May 15 – 17)
  • The 5th Dimension (May 22 – 24)
  • Tony Orlando (May 29 -31)

Disney Nature Earth-Epcot Flower and Garden
Photo by Angela Ragno

As for the very best way to experience the 16th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival … I’d recommend getting a Disney Magic Your Way Park Hopper. That way, you can roam the grounds early in the morning and get some great pictures of those 300,000 bedding plants or 100 floating mini-gardens. Then – as the temperature rises and the number of the people in the Park increases – you can catch the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom or take a friendship boat over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and take a little break.

And then – as the sun begins to set – you can head back over to Epcot and then get on line at the American Gardens Theatre for that night’s Flower Power Concert (which typically will get underway around 7:45 p.m.)

Epcot Flower and Garden Beautiful View
Photo by Angela Ragno

If you are looking to pick up a Disney Park Hopper, Orlando Fun Tickets can definitely help you out. Just drop by our office at 8472 Palm Parkway or click on over to the official OFT website and we’ll walk you through what’s available.

Just so you know, though: Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival only runs through May 31st. So if you’re in need of some flower power after this year’s brutal winter, make plans to visit WDW ASAP.

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