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Category Archives: International Flower & Garden Festival

HGTV and DIY Network Stars ‘Crash’ The 2014 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

You could say that this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be a “crash”-ing good time.

Sponsored once again by our friends at HGTV, they have filled the festival with tons of HGTV and DIY Network experts – including most of the stars we HGTV/DIY insiders call “The Crashers.”

hgtv-stars

The Crashers, for those uninitiated into HGTV/DIY fandom, are HGTV/DIY expert designers and contractors who comb home improvement stores for people who need renovation help. Then – in just three days, mind you – they (with an expert crew of helpers) make over the family’s yard, bathroom, kitchen or whatever. Crashers making their very first appearance at this year’s festival are Matt Blashaw from “Yard Crashers,” Matt Meunster from “Bath Crashers” and Alison Victoria from “Kitchen Crashers.” Very exciting!

HGTV/DIY favorites at this year’s festival include Vern Yip, one of the judges of “Design Star,” Florida’s own David “Color Splash” Bromstad and John Gidding from “Curb Appeal.” Also new to this year’s festival are “Renovation Raiders” star Amy Matthews and Chip Wade, who started with Gidding on “Curb Appeal” and now has his own hit show called “Elbow Room.”

Here’s the list (everything subject to change, of course):

  • March 7-9 – Vern Yip, “Design Star”
  • March 14-16 – Chris Lambton, “Going Yard”
  • March 21-23 – Matt Blashaw, “Yard Crashers”
  • March 28-30 – Matt Meunster, “Bath Crashers”
  • April 4-6 – Taniya Nayak, “House Hunters on Vacation”
  • April 11-13 – Amy Matthews, “Renovation Raiders”
  • April 18-20 – John Gidding, “Curb Appeal”
  • April 25-27 – David Bromstad, “Color Splash”
  • May 2-4 – Chip Wade, “Elbow Room”
  • May 9-11 – Genevieve Gorder, “Design Star”
  • May 16-18 – Alison Victoria, “Kitchen Crashers”

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Kermit and Miss Piggy Topiaries Will Debut at 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Kermit and Miss Piggy Topiaries Will Debut at 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Kermit the Frog will find it is easy being green when his artfully-crafted character topiary debuts during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 5 to May 18, 2014 at Walt Disney World Resort.  With flamboyance to spare, a floral Miss Piggy will join Kermit and his blooming banjo in the World Showcase topiary display.

Kermit and Miss Piggy Topiaries Will Debut at 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Nearly 100 topiaries will animate the landscape during the 75 days when Epcot transforms to a rainbow-hued wonderland of sweeping gardens and exhibits. Back for a second year: outdoor food-and-beverage marketplaces exclusive to this festival that feature sweet and savory bites worthy of indulgence.  After debuting at the 2013 festival, the marketplaces will return with new menu items like Piggylicious Bacon Cupcakes and a Barbecued Chicken Leg at the Smokehouse Barbecue marketplace.  Floral-flavored lemonades will feature rose and violet notes, and specialty cocktails, wines and beers will offer menu-pairing possibilities.  Last year’s top menu picks like the Watermelon Salad with local baby arugula, feta cheese, pickled red onions and balsamic reduction will be back for an encore at the Florida Fresh marketplace.

Kermit and Miss Piggy Topiaries Will Debut at 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

More Festival News . . .

  • Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck topiaries will appear in a new Epcot front entrance garden vignette celebrating spring with a butterfly hunt adventure.  The topiaries will have a new computer-generated look while telling an entertaining story.  Goofy’s butterfly net will prove useless as topiary butterflies light on the back of his floral garb.  A topiary bee buzzes on an exasperated Donald’s head.  The garden will feature a real waterfall and pond with water lilies.
  • A new Timon topiary will join Pumbaa near the park’s Outpost location between China and Germany.  Meanwhile, Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Croc return for a second year to the United Kingdom showcase.  Dozens of additional character topiaries, including Mickey Mouse, will surprise guests beyond the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth.
  • The Flower Power Concert Series welcomes two new acts this year:  Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) March 14-16, and The Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”) May 16-18.  During opening weekend, the series kicks off at America Gardens Theatre with fan-favorite band The Guess Who (“American Woman”) March 7-9.  Other pop acts set to perform include Chubby Checker & the Wildcats, The Village People and Paul Revere & The Raiders. (Entertainment is subject to change).
  • Florida agriculture will be in the spotlight at a large World Showcase garden exhibiting fresh Florida crops to include citrus, sugar cane, berries and vegetables.
  • For the second year, illuminated gardens will cast a festive glow across the park when the sun sets each evening.
  • Back by demand, the Disney-Pixar “Cars” garden and playground will bring favorite movie characters to life.  Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House will be aflutter with hundreds of the winged beauties and fairy topiaries of Tinker Bell and Periwinkle.
  • At the Festival Center in the park’s Future World, twice-daily interactive gardening workshops will set the stage for outdoor do-it-yourself inspiration, and gardening guest speakers will appear daily.  Fridays through Sundays, HGTV design celebrities will host home, garden and design seminars.

As they sample from marketplace menus, guests can wander among multiple themed gardens and children’s play areas.  Dozens of Disney-crafted “flower towers,” herb gardens and beds of multi-colored blooms will add to the floral splendor of the park’s landscape.  Disney’s garden gurus estimate 70,000 bedding plants will surround the Future World east and west lakes alone; on the water, 220 mini-gardens will be set afloat.  Several special weekend happenings, including the popular Art in the Garden Weekend, will be scheduled.

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Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany – Guest Blog Post

When I look back at the last two years of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, as well as at the “Food” & Garden Festival held this past Spring, I think I’m in the minority. When appraising World Showcase’s German Marketplace, I come away very disappointed.

Take 2011’s Food & Wine, for example. Their offering included Goulash Soup, Sausage in a Pretzel Roll, and an Apple Strudel featuring Werther’s Original Caramel and Vanilla Sauce.

Their 2012 effort presented, pretty much, the same Sausage (actually, a Bratwurst) in a Pretzel Roll, a Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese, and an encore of the Apple Strudel.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

2013’s “Food” & Garden Festival – OK, it’s really the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - switched things up a bit. We were served a Savory Bread Pudding with Spring Peas and Wild Mushroom Ragout, German Meatloaf Sandwich with Sweet Mustard and Fried Shallots, and Potato Pancakes with House-made Apple Sauce.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

For me, the menus were just OK. For example, as I look back at my notes, I find that I reported the following:

“The roast bratwurst was a disappointment. It was a relatively tasteless sausage on a VERY small pretzel roll. Both my wife and I gave it two thumbs down.”

“The Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese wasn’t a bad dish. It was just merely ordinary.”

“Both my wife and I came away unimpressed with their 2012 menu. In fact, we left Germany more unenthusiastic than we did from any other F&W kiosk – which must put us in the vast minority because the lines at Germany seemed to be constantly rip-roaring long.”

When it comes to this year’s “Food” & Garden feast, “I mean this next statement in the most complimentary of terms. Take Spam and cross it with a good old hot dog and you’d have Germany’s meatloaf.”

The potato pancake caused me to write, “A bit too much minced onion for my taste and a little too salty. I don’t need another helping, thanks.” Truth be told, after a chance meeting with Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann, where we told him the pancakes were a bit too salty for us (how did we have the nerve?), we DID try them again. The second time around, they were MUCH better.

Where’s all this going? Plain and simple, Germany has been “just OK”, in our opinions. But, for a country that sports great options with regard to cuisine, it should be able to offer much more and much better.

For 2013, given the chance to write the menu, I would lean back on one of my favorite dishes (and, a traditional German favorite) – Pork Schnitzel. I would bread it in Panko and cover it with a delicious gravy.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Then, I would serve Beef Sauerbraten with Potato Dumplings.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Finally, I would finish with a nice slice of Black Forest Cake.

Imagineering Food & Wine: Germany - Guest Blog Post

Yes, I know it’s a complete “reboot” of the Germany kiosk’s menu, but I’m confident those “rip-roaring long” lines will be even longer if we kick the food offering up these few notches.

What do you think?


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

HGTV Magazine’s Sara Peterson Stops by Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival Marketplaces

Sara Peterson, editor-in-chief of HGTV Magazine, will take the HGTV Designers’ Stage at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this weekend to talk tips on boosting your home’s curb appeal.

While she was at Epcot, she took time to sample a few of the Garden Marketplaces located around World Showcase. Check out her review below!

Oz the Great and Powerful Lands at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

The marvelous land of Oz has captured the imaginations of people for over 100 years. Chances are good that this wondrous place has sparked your imagination, whether you’re a school kid, bank teller, rocket scientist—or a horticulturist like Eric Darden.

Eric is the Manager of Horticulture for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This year, the event is presenting one of the most ambitious dreams that Eric, his team and his fellow Disney Parks cast members have ever made come true.

“The Land of Oz Garden is one of the biggest single areas we’ve ever created for the Festival,” said Eric. “It starts in the ‘Kansas’ section, where kids can play midway games in the tents.”

In Walt Disney Pictures “Oz The Great and Powerful” — which opens today nationwide — you’ll see Kansas in black and white, Oz in dazzling color and all in three-dimensional RealD splendor (at select theaters). But at this new Epcot garden, of course everything’s blooming in full color — from the ring toss game and fun mirrors to the Baum Circus tents (named for L. Frank Baum, author of all 14 original Oz books).

“As you walk along, you’ll seem to travel through Oz, where the kids can enjoy the large playground,” explained Eric. Newly designed, this playground sparkles with details that celebrate the film. As the kids play, grown-ups will appreciate the nearby shaded chairs. Look on the other side of this area and you’ll see that it’s actually themed to the Wizard’s deflated hot air balloon!

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

A dazzling array of unusual flowers and plants suggest the setting of Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful,” including a bed of yellow pansies arranged to resemble a very familiar brick road—plus some dazzling red glass poppies. These amazing creations were prepared especially for The Land of Oz Garden by artist/sculptor Craig Mitchell Smith using his own elaborate technique of cutting, heating, shaping and reheating each flower—a process that takes four days per poppy!

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. “Now we have great food and beverage options at twelve Garden Marketplaces,” says Eric. “Now it’s all tied together—from the garden to your table—better than ever.

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Great Time and Money Saver for Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

Stop and smell the roses, while sporting this new mini Disney Gift Card with an exclusive Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival design. This Disney Gift Card has all the functionalities of a regular Disney Gift Card, with the convenience of wearing it around your wrist. As you enjoy the sights and scents that the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has to offer, the mini Disney Gift Card will help you quickly satisfy your taste buds by purchasing foods that highlight the taste of spring.

This design will be available exclusively at Epcot for a limited time during the festival.

Stop and smell the roses, while sporting this new mini Disney Gift Card with an exclusive Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival design.

Activate your Disney Gift Card with as little as $5 and just swipe to pay for food and more. Your Disney Gift Card can even be reloaded as many times as you want at the majority of festival kiosks. When the festival is over, you can continue using your card since, like all Disney Gift Cards, it’s good for practically all things Disney here at the Walt Disney World Resort and beyond.

Sneak Peek at Merchandise for the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

I’m looking forward to the return of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This year’s event will feature millions of blooms, great entertainment and new food offerings from March 6 to May 19 at Epcot. Last year, I enjoyed visiting Epcot on multiple occasions to photograph many beautiful flowers (I also snapped some wonderful images in the butterfly garden). This year, my photographic journey started at the Festival Center. This highly-themed destination is located between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy, and it’s home to demonstrations, seminars and a merchandise shop.

Merchandise at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

This year, the merchandise location resembles a garden oasis. The sound of gentle water and chirping birds filled the air as I took photos. Last year, we introduced artwork that featured Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck as topiaries. The artwork was incredibly popular with guests, so we added a Minnie Mouse topiary to the mix for this year. You can find her image on apparel, a reusable tote bag and, my favorite, a new coffee mug (look inside the mug for a cool detail).

There were a few other items that caught my eye, including a new topiary-inspired headband, a strawberry ear hat, Duffy the Disney Bear in overalls, D-Tech on Demand iPhone cases and more. We are also introducing new garden statues that look like Grumpy and Dopey. Look for additional character topiary statues in the weeks to come.

A Little Disney Magic in Every Topiary at Epcot’s 20th International Flower and Garden Festival

Spring is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate Spring than at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Here is a fun video just released that showcases a not so average shrub.

We hope you enjoy and especially hope you head out to Epcot to experience the festival.

Flower Power Weekend Concerts at 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Feature Artists from the ’60s and ’70s

Pop stars of the 1960s and ’70s will belt out rock ‘n’ roll classics and “best-of” dance tunes for Flower Power concert guests during the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  Beginning March 8 and continuing each weekend, the electric Flower Power lineup of award-winning artists will feature two new-to-the-festival acts:  The Village People (“Y.M.C.A”) and Tommy Roe (“DIZZY”).

Pop stars of the 1960s and ’70s will belt out rock ‘n’ roll classics and “best-of” dance tunes for Flower Power concert guests during the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Kicking off the concert series March 8-10, The Monkees lead singer Micky Dolenz will return for fans who flocked to his May 2012 Epcot festival concerts. Dolenz appeared in concert to honor his beloved late band mate, Davy Jones, who had been a Flower Power fan favorite.

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Here’s the lineup (subject to change without notice):

March 8-10       The Monkees Lead Singer Micky Dolenz “Last Train to Clarksville”

March 15-17     Chubby Checker & The Wildcats “The Twist”

March 22-24     The Guess Who “American Woman”

March 29-31     Nelson “Garden Party”

April 5-7           The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie “Happy Together”

April 12-14       Paul Revere & The Raiders “Good Thing”

April 19-21       NEW! Village People “Y.M.C.A.”

April 26-28       The Orchestra featuring former members of ELO and ELO Part II “Don’t Bring Me Down”

May 3-5            NEW! Tommy Roe “DIZZY”

May 10-12        Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”

May 17-19         Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built this City”

Flower Power performances are included with Epcot admission.

New Festival Attractions and Fantastic Food Marketplaces at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival  is bigger and better than ever — with gorgeous new gardens and whimsical new Disney character topiaries, plus new Garden Marketplaces serving up tasty culinary creations. And this year, look for topiaries and select gardens to be lit up at night! All this and more gets underway starting March 6, 2013.

Twelve new Garden Marketplace locations will sprout up around the promenade, offering culinary creations and special libations inspired by the gardens at Epcot's World Showcase.

From the bounty of the garden to your table

Twelve new Garden Marketplace locations will sprout up around the promenade, offering culinary creations and special libations inspired by the gardens at Epcot’s World Showcase.

“Our horticulture team recognizes that our guests are curious about where their food comes from and how it is grown,” says Michael Jenner, Park Event Content Development Operations Manager. Garden Marketplaces are a great opportunity for discovery, as guests are able to sample some amazing dishes and learn how to incorporate their own garden harvests into their meals at home.”

“We had been planning to do something like this for many years, and the 20th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is the perfect opportunity,” Michael explains. It became a reality thanks to Walt Disney World Resort  guests like you. Last year, just one experimental marketplace was so overwhelmingly popular, it “grew” this year to a dozen different areas with a wide variety of offerings.

It looks good enough to eat!

Each new marketplace will have two small gardens in front of them filled with plantings to match the host of food and beverage (many nonalcoholic) selections. For instance, the garden at the front of World Showcase Plaza will have blueberries growing to tie in with the Blueberry Wine. The garden near the Canada Pavilion will feature pineapples to match the Pineapple Upside Down Cake that you can purchase.

“I don’t think many guests have actually seen pineapples growing, and that should be a treat,” adds Michael. “We will also have ‘TRYit’ opportunities  at these marketplaces to encourage children and adults to sample some out-of-the-ordinary delights like Watermelon Salad with Pickled Red Onions, BW Farms Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese and Balsamic Reduction.”

Many of these creative menu selections were developed by Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann, who made sure they would be “tapas-size” items, so that you will be able to explore multiple choices.

Don’t forget the new garden passport!

“We will offer guests a special passport with one page per Marketplace,” said Michael. “It will list the plants and other information so that guests can check off what they tasted, write notes and even get it stamped for free, like a field journal.”

One of the most popular marketplaces is sure to be at The American Adventure Pavilion. A huge smoker will be rolled onto the stage to barbeque brisket and pork. Guests can top off that meal sample with a glass of Mama’s Little Yella Pils from Oskar River Blues in Lyons, CO (Czech-style Pilsner), or Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco, CA (India Pale Ale), or just a delicious Rocky Road brownie.

Oz, monsters and lights into the night

You’ll find whimsical children’s play areas, the newest being The Land of Oz Garden , inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful .”

There’s so much to see, do and taste during the 75-day garden party! Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival surprises are around almost every corner.

There will be new topiary creations, including a salute to Disney•Pixar “Monsters University.” You’ll find whimsical children’s play areas, the newest being The Land of Oz Garden , inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful.” Look for a butterfly bounty, HGTV celebrity designers , hands-on gardening seminars and more. On weekends, rock to performances by top Flower Power Concert Series rockers of the 1960s and ’70s.

And the fun won’t end when the sun goes down — almost all the gardens will now be gorgeously illuminated for the first time, making the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival a complete delight, day and night.

For more information, visit EpcotInSpring.com.

*Entertainment subject to change without notice.

Visit a Magical World in the The Land of Oz Garden at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

Although the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival officially opens Wednesday, March 6, one new garden has appeared a little early.

Guests enter The Land of Oz Garden guided by a yellow-brick road and soon find themselves in an interactive children’s play area that features carnival-style games.

The Land of Oz Garden is open now and at almost one third of an acre, it’s the largest garden ever created for the festival. The area is based on the new Disney film, “Oz The Great and Powerful,” which opens in theaters March 8.

Guests visiting Epcot will enter The Land of Oz Garden guided by a yellow-brick road and soon find themselves in an interactive children’s play area that features carnival-style games. From here, guests walk past a garden filled with a combination of lush, real flowers and fantastical art-glass poppies. As kids play in and around a giant custom Oz-themed play structure, parents can enjoy shaded, comfy chairs just a few steps away.

The Land of Oz Garden will appear for the complete run of the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, through May 19. Walt Disney World Resort horticulturists will keep updating the flowers throughout the festival as the weather warms up in late April, keeping the garden in a constant state of growth and color.

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival Debuts Illuminated Blooms and Garden Marketplace Dining

The 20th Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV, taking place March 6 – May 19, 2013, at Walt Disney World® Resort, offers new festival additions that include food-and-beverage Garden Marketplaces, a circus-like “Land of Oz” play area and nighttime illuminated gardens. The Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival is a spring special event filled with a colorful array of flowers, gardens, topiaries, culinary creations, live music and educational programs. You don’t have to be a gardening expert to love this event. It’s perfect for Guests of all ages who enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature! Finish off the day with a melodious evening at the Flower Power Concert Series in the America Gardens Theatre and enjoy music from some of your favorite bands of yesterday. Popular bands rock the open-air theatre every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Epcot's 2013 International Flower & Garden Festival

Debuting this year:

  • Garden Marketplace culinary creations ranging from smokehouse barbecue and shrimp with grits and Zellwood corn to sweet “frushi” made with fresh fruits and coconut rice. Chefs are perfecting menus for marketplaces that will include Florida Fresh at World Showcase Promenade, Smokehouse Barbecue and Brew at American Adventure courtyard, Primavera Kitchen at Italy showcase, Hanami at Japan showcase and eight others around the World Showcase promenade.
  • Garden Marketplace refreshing libations with a kick like Hot Sun Tomato Wine from Florida Orange Groves Winery and Dole Whip with Spiced Rum, as well as non-alcoholic drinks like Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade and Wild Berry Slush.
  • A new, circus-like “Land of Oz” play area based on the Disney fantastical film adventure “Oz: The Great and Powerful” to be released March 8, 2013. The interactive children’s play zone will feature play systems adorned with giant flowers and designed to stretch kids’ imaginations and muscles. Midway-style games, red-and-white circus-themed tents and the “Oz Movie Garden” of intriguing plants will capture the spirit of the upcoming film.
  • Larger-than-life Fab Five Disney character topiary. Floral versions of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck (with Daisy Duck in a cameo) star in a celebratory cookout scene in living topiary color. The 14-foot-tall Goofy topiary will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms.
  • Illuminated Gardens in the Park’s Future World and World Showcase will twinkle and glow over the festival’s world-famous Disney gardens and topiaries each festival evening.

Throughout the 75-day garden party, you will discover festival surprises around every corner including new topiary triumphs, a butterfly bounty, whimsical children’s play areas, HGTV celebrity designers, daily hands-on gardening seminars and a Festival Center packed with events that offer innovative ideas, gardening know-how and design tips. On weekends, top Flower Power rockers of the 1960s and ’70s will perform. Every Friday through Sunday, HGTV design celebrities will host Festival Center seminars.

In all, more than 100 topiaries, 240 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers and sweeping beds of multi-colored blooms will add floral splendor to the park landscape.

Epcot's 2013 International Flower & Garden Festival

Flower Power Concert Series – Artists to be Announced

HGTV & DIY Designer Presentation Lineup 

Chris Lambton, Going Yard – presenting March 8 – 10

Chris Grundy, DIY Network’s Cool Tools – presenting March 15 – 17

Egypt Sherrod, host of Property Virgins – presenting March 22 – 24

Brandon Johnson, My Yard Goes Disney – presenting March 29 – 31

Meg Caswell, Meg’s Great Rooms – presenting April 5 – 7

Jason Cameron, DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves – presenting April 12 – 14

Sara Peterson, Editor-in-Chief, HGTV Magazine – presenting April 19 – 21

Carter Oosterhouse, Million Dollar Rooms – presenting April 26 -28

Casey Noble, Design on a Dime – presenting May 3 – 5

Dan Faires, HGTV.com, DanMade – presenting May 10 – 12

David Bromstad, HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars – presenting May 17 – 19

13 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2013

It seems there’s always a new reason to visit Walt Disney World Resort – whether it’s the debut of a new guest offering, an update made to a favorite attraction, or the return of a fun annual event, there’s always something to do and see at our parks.

That said, here are 13 new reasons to visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2013.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes opened at Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort

1. Splitsville Luxury Lanes opened at Downtown Disney exactly two weeks ago on December 19. No doubt this new location will be a big draw for guests of all ages who love to bowl, dance, play pool and dine.

Dining at the new Monsieur Paul restaurant in the France pavilion at Epcot

2. Another recent debut is the Monsieur Paul restaurant in the France pavilion at Epcot. The restaurant now features a new menu created by Chef Francesco Santin.

3. Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort just debuted to guests. I don’t know about you, but I hope to hit up this newly reimagined location for a facial or massage in the coming year.

4. As Disney Parks Blog Author Tom Smith mentioned earlier, we’ll have a lot of fun surprises to look forward to in 2013 with Limited Time Magic.

5. The Atlanta Braves will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for spring training, which means a chance to attend fun preseason games beginning February 22 against the Detroit Tigers.

6. Characters from “Doc McStuffins” and “Sofia the First” will be added into the “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on February 15.

7. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, its fun topiaries, and the Flower Power Concert Series will return for some spring fun March 6. As we previously shared, this year’s festival will also whisk guests back to the land of Oz.

8. We’ve marked some milestone anniversaries at Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot in the last two years. This spring, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate its 15th year.

9. My fellow blog author Darrell Fry just announced that the Drew Brees Passing Academy and Tournament will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, June 27-30. Sounds like an amazing opportunity for football fans!

10. A newly updated California Grill will debut at Disney’s Contemporary Resort this summer (date TBA). In addition to decor, Chef Brian Piasecki is also tweaking the menu, which will continue to focus on fresh, seasonal creations.

11. The 31st Night of Joy returns to Magic Kingdom Park September 6-7, this year featuring Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith as the main acts.

Big Thunder Mountain at the Magic Kingdom Park

12. Last fall, we shared the news that an interactive queue is coming to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park. Should be interesting to see exactly what materializes at this attraction in 2013.

Princess Fairytale Hall coming to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park in 2013

13. Princess Fairytale Hall, another new addition to Magic Kingdom Park, will open in New Fantasyland in 2013 (exact date TBA). This will be the new home for Disney princesses to meet their loyal subjects in the Magic Kingdom Park. To open in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, the regal space will provide the perfect setting for meeting Cinderella, and Aurora and the other Disney princesses.

Which event or new offering are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the “comments” section below.

‘Phineas and Ferb’ Topiaries Greet Epcot Guests for a Summer to Remember

You never know what’s going to pop up at Disney Parks. Last Monday night, Epcot guests enjoyed“IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” and then headed back to their homes and resorts, never suspecting that a team of horticulturists and cast members were backstage, waiting for the last guest to leave. Once they had the “all clear,” the team worked through the night to debut two new character topiaries on Tuesday morning – Disney Channel and Disney XD stars Phineas and Ferb!

What’s next for Phineas and Ferb? Our friends at Disney Channel tell us they’re heading on an African safari vacation later this month, while Perry stays behind to handle a Dr. Doofenshmirtz emergency. Tune into “Where’s Perry? Part One,” July 26 at 9 p.m. EST, to see how it all turns out.

HGTV Stars Return to Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

We love our festivals here at Walt Disney World Resort!

Having just finished the 2012 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, we now turn to the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year’s food and wine extravaganza runs from September 28 to November 12, and we’re excited to announce the return of some your favorite HGTV stars.

As regular watchers of HGTV (and I’m one of them) know, HGTV programs go beyond just home renovation and gardening. They feature ideas and helpful hints for party planning, catering and tons of other food and beverage topics, which makes them a perfect fit for our festival.

Are you watching this season of “Design Star”? I am loving it; and not just because we got to interview judge Genevieve Gorder on the “Design Star” set. I can’t wait to see who wins and gets to come to Epcot.

In addition to the “Design Star” winner, here are the other HGTV stars that are scheduled for this year’s festival:

HGTV Stars

September 28-30  – “Design Star” Season 7 Winner (To be announced July 25)
October 5-7  – Casey Noble – “Design on a Dime”
October 12-14  – Alison Victoria – DIY Network’s “Kitchen Crashers”
October 19-21  – Brian Patrick Flynn – HGTV.com, “Design Happens” contributor
October 26-28 – Meg Caswell – “Meg’s Great Rooms”
November 2-4 – Marianne Canada – HGTV.com, “Design Happens” contributor
November 9-12 – Emily Henderson – “Secrets From a Stylist”

 

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