Welcome to Jim Hill Media - Entertainment News : Theme Parks Movies Television

Why the bloom is never off the rose at Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival

Jim Hill

Jim's musings on the history of and rumors about movies, TV shows, books and theme parks including Disneyland, Walt Disney World. Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Why the bloom is never off the rose at Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival

Rate This
  • Comments 2
Since Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival is now headed into the home stretch (this celebration of Spring in Central Florida officially wraps up on May 31st with a Flower Power Concert starring Tony Orlando), you’d think that at least some of the blooms that are currently on display inside of this futuristic theme park would be wilting.

Flower and Garden Festival Walt Disney World
Photo by Diane Zalucky. Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

“How is that possible?,” you ask. It’s simple, really. They’re not the same bedding plants that Epcot started out with when Flower & Garden initially opened back on March 18th.

“When Walt Disney World made the decision to turn Flower & Garden into a 75-day-long festival, we knew that our bedding plants wouldn’t be able to make it through the entire run of the show,” explained Eric Darden, horticultural manager of the show. “Which is why we then made plans to swap out all of our winter bedding plants with warmer season flowers in mid-April.”

This work is typically done in the early morning hours. With Epcot’s gardeners coming in between 3 – 5 a.m. and then using gas-powered augurs and portable light towers to help speed them through their early morning task.

Flower and Garden Festival Walt Disney World
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

“They quickly pull out the original bedding plant, rake that space and refertilize,” Eric continued. “Then they slap in a new flat of bedding plants. And you’ve then got a garden that’s just as colorful as the first one was.”

As a direct result of this practice … Well, it’s like you get two Flower and Garden Festivals in one. Darden talked about how some local gardening enthusiasts make a point of visiting the show when it first opens in March and then returning to Epcot in late April / early May just to see what changes have been made within the park.

Flower and Garden Walt Disney World
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

“We do try and match colors,” Eric admitted. “But given how vibrant the violas are, sometimes that’s just not possible. So sometimes there’ll be subtle changes. While in other cases, the changes to the Park’s bedding plants can be quite dramatic.”

Of course, as the 2009 International Flower & Garden Festival draws to close, Darden’s already been in meetings for next year’s event. Which he promises will be just as this year’s fest.

Flower and Garden Spaceship Earth Walt Disney World
Photo by Diane Zalucky. Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

“I’m not at liberty to discuss the theme. All I can do is tell you that I’ve already been in meeting with the Company’s key creatives,” Eric said. “We’re just starting the approval process and begun setting deadlines for next year’s show. Beyond that, all I can say is that our character topiaries – which the public really seems to love – will be back, bigger & better than ever in 2010.”

And could next year’s International Flower & Garden Festival possibly push out beyond this year’s 75 day run?

Flower and Garden Pixie Hollow Walt Disney World
Photo by Diane Zalucky. Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

“You know, it wasn’t all that long ago that Flower & Garden was just a 38-day-long event,” Darden remembered. “But then it got extended to 45 days, and then 60 days in 2007. So if the Company wants us to push the Festival out beyond 75 days, I’m sure that we could figure out how to make that happen. Maybe we’d then have to a third planting. Replace those warmer weather bedding plants with something that can really take the Florida heat.”

Which would give Central Florida residents a third reason to return to Epcot each spring.

Flower and Garden Show Walt Disney World
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

The 16th Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival continues through next Sunday night, May 31st. For further information on this theme park’s hours and the schedule of events at this year’s fest, please click on this link.

Blog - Post Feedback Form
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Post
Page 1 of 1 (2 items)