A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to visit the 2017 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. I was thrilled at the opportunity to return again and was very impressed with how much the festival has grown in the past couple of years. The thing that I love most about this festival is how inspiring it is to the backyard gardener. The festival is filled with gardening ideas that are as fun to look at as they are practical. From backyard chickens, bees, growing food and their stunning topiaries, I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite scenes from this year’s 24th festival.
As you enter through the front of Epcot you are greeted by Mickey and the gang. They’re all here ready to introduce what they have been busily working on since the last festival. Pick up a free passport to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and you soon discover everything that you don’t want to miss as you work your way around the World Showcase- including lots of small plates of delicious food set up in kiosks. These kiosks also had some pretty spectacular ethnic cocktails and beverages that were ready to delight the tastebuds as well.
Prior to entering the World Showcase, there was a butterfly house exhibit near Figment’s Imagination. Filled with all sorts of hatching butterflies and a wonderful garden dedicated to their well-being, guests were treated to a magical experience of hanging out with a plethora of butterflies. I could have spent days in there alone, but there was so much more to see.
One of my favorite spots in Epcot is France. I adore it for the amazing boulangerie tucked way in the back. But first, we were greeted by Belle and Beast. Super life-sized they were stunning near the fountains. I loved how they captured the facial expressions, but what made me even more excited about visiting these topiaries again was the way they were lit in the evening. The special lighting techniques added another layer of design and dimension to this garden art.
But back to the boulangerie…..it is my favorite spot to grab breakfast in the park. It’s quiet in the morning and the bakery smells like heaven. French goodness fills the shelves. Everything you can dream up. As it was Easter Sunday, the pastry chef created these darling meringue chickens for the occasion.
Next up we trekked over to Norway to try the new Frozen ride. It was really worth the wait. I really didn’t even mind waiting in line because there were so many things to look at. It’s amazing how Disney just makes you feel as though you are really in a certain place- even Arendelle.
Next up back near at the entrance of the park, was the homesteading site, or at least this is what I am calling it. I was SO thrilled to see that since I had been last they added a couple of beehives.
Of course, the chicken coop is there. Unfortunately, they are forbidden to bring in real chickens for the event. Something to do with the local town’s permitting. I’m hoping for next year as a die hard advocate of chickens. The sweet little wooden hens did add a nice touch though.
Back over in England, where I usually found Captain Hook and Croc, I discovered they had been replaced by Tinkerbell and her fairy garden. It was so nice to see them mixing up the displays and designs from years past. I absolutely loved spying the Tillandsia (airplants) on the tops of her shoes!
As it was getting warm, we decided to cool off on the attraction, Living with the Land. I’m thrilled to see the attraction updated to reflect many of the global changes and concerns that many of us feel regarding over-farming, chemical use, and thinking about Mother Earth in the process. This boat ride, brings your through various scenes and growing conditions including the use of greenhouses, hydroponics, integrated pest management (IPM) and more.
I spent five days at the festival and truthfully, could have added a few more days. There was just so much to see and do and I can’t wait to return again. The festival runs each year from March to the end of May. For more information, please check out Walt Disney World’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. It’s a great way to get excited about spring.