The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival: Watch It Grow

This year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival kicked off one week ago, on Wednesday, March 7.  My most recent trip ended on Friday, March 2.  Was I bummed that I’d be just missing out on this lovely springtime event? Initially. That is, until I arrived at Epcot in late February and early March and, surprise surprise, many of the Flower and Garden Fest displays were already up.

This flower bed was empty the one night...

You see, an International Flower and Garden Festival, like Rome, is not built in a day. It takes weeks of preparation to get the park ready for the official beginning of the weeks-long festival. And after visiting pre-opening, I’m inclined to say that this is the very best time to visit. You get to watch the topiary displays and flower gardens grow, which is only appropriate given that, well, they are plants.

It may sound like a small thing, but it really is delightful to pass by, say, an open patch of flowers one evening–as in the photo to the left–and then return the next day to find that same flower bed filled with characters from Peter Pan. I found myself doing several double takes throughout the trip, saying things like wait–that wasn’t there yesterday!

The nondescript area around the Mexico pavilion was being lovingly adorned with orchids, and the floating pots in the water between Futureworld and World Showcase went from empty to blooming seemingly overnight (ok, it was probably actually overnight). If you are so inclined, you can even try to peek through the green screened off areas to watch cast members work on the larger–and still hidden–displays. But of course I’m not suggesting you do that. I’m just saying…I suppose it is possible. Ahem

...and that same flower bed was dancing with characters the next day!

Finally, if you are considering the Around the World on a Segway tour (detailed post to come), the pre- Flower and Garden Fest days are an ideal time for this, as you will be able to watch the gardeners working on the displays in the early mornings. We watched flowers being added to the area around a Lotso topiary in the American Adventure, and realized just how very much watering goes into this event as we maneuvered our Segways around the hoses and through shallow puddles.

Because I was watching the displays appear throughout the week, I felt that I gave them more attention than when I attended on opening day last year. I returned with more photos of Epcot than of any other park, many including Flower and Garden show previews.  If my words don’t convince you that this is a great time of year to visit, perhaps my photos will. Enjoy! 

Morocco pavilion
Italy pavilion--I'm pretty sure they came for the spaghetti and meatballs!
Italy in the other direction--still in progress.
I don't know why the Germany pavilion makes me so...sleepy...
My personal favorite--it's the year of the dragon in the China pavilion (and everywhere else for that matter!)

Do you love the Flower and Garden Festival?  Share your stories with us or links to your own photos in our comments section!  Thanks! 


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