Epcot 2009 International Flower & Garden Festival May 2009
I had always wanted to go and
see this but could never seem to fit it into any of my schedules but this
year I tried something different after coming back from my Chelsea tour. I
flew into Orlando for two nights. I got smart and even made my hotel
reservation at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport. That made things really
easy. This hotel is at the airport and was a dream to get to from the
baggage area. I had arrived late, so fell into bed and was up bright and
early the next morning to catch a shuttle over to the show. The times were
great for the shuttle. I could leave the show later on in the afternoon and
get back to the hotel to sleep and leave the next morning for home. Perfect!
I guess I was a bit excited as I didn’t need a whole lot of sleep that
night…goodness knows the room was wonderful, a huge bed to splay out on and
the quietness of the room surely made for slumber divine, but I guess the
kid in me was excited about going to Epcot. The last time I was there was in
1984 with my husband Tom and I fully expected things had changed.
Taking the shuttle over I was amazed at how much they had changed. Huge
parking lots and each of the different Disney World Theme Parks seemed miles
from each other…I reached the Epcot Center and bounded out the shuttle,
excited as I imagine all children might be.
To me Epcot is the more ‘grown-up’ Theme Park of them with all the wonderful
international pavilions set up to visit. Epcot theme park, one of 4 Theme
Parks at Walt Disney World Resort, sprawls across 300 acres—twice the size
of Magic Kingdom theme park—and is divided into Future World and World
Showcase. You can take the monorail around a good portion of the theme park
to get a wonderfully different view of it as well. All guests staying at the
Walt Disney Resorts have complimentary monorail access to this theme park
The theme this year was Celebrate Springtime and walking around you knew
that not only was it for adults, it was also for the children. MOST
important to me though, was that it was flowers and gardens and that is what
I shall focus on.
Among this year’s fun festival facts:
30 million blooms dressed
the park throughout the festival, which ran 75 colorful days.
As part of this year’s
Celebration theme, guests can enjoy a commemoration of Cinderella’s
coronation day as a “Cinderellabration” featuring royal guests including
Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty and Belle – all as intricately designed
topiaries. Other topiary merriment included: Simba’s Birthday
Celebration in a classic scene based on the Disney animated film “The
Lion King” and Be Our Guest featuring the entertaining characters from
“Beauty and the Beast.”
More than 50 Disney
character topiaries include Aladdin, Lady and the Tramp, and Snow White
and the seven dwarfs. Classic Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie
Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy strike topiary poses doing their
favorite outdoor activities in the new, garden-themed playground Let’s
More than 500 native
butterflies representing up to 10 species reside in Minnie’s Magnificent
Butterfly Garden, a gazebo-type enclosure filled with lush plants and
measuring more than 40 feet in diameter. Guests can stroll through the
screened habitat to view the colorful butterflies. Among the garden’s
two dozen nectar plants are Cape Royal plumbago, passion flower, coral
honeysuckle, blazing star, butterfly bush, scarlet milkweed and canna
300,000 bedding plants are
installed for the festival.
Doc, Grumpy and the rest of
the seven dwarfs appear at the Epcot entrance with intricate topiary
detail that includes beards of palm fiber. Perfume bottle topiaries
represent Guerlain perfumes in the Fragrance Garden at the France
At least 25 different
plants, grasses and mosses of various colors, including pink and red
begonias, dusty miller, palm fiber, palm seeds, ficus and lichen, are
used to create and define features of the festival topiaries.
More than 15 floral, herbal
and spice ingredients of 10 popular perfumes are revealed in the
Fragrance Garden presented by Guerlain at the France pavilion. Guests
can sniff the enduring fragrance Shalimar to discover botanical notes
that include lemon, Arabian jasmine and vanilla. Some components of nine
other Guerlain fragrances include mimosa, magnolia, rose, nutmeg and
At the Green Garden
exhibit, guests can learn tips on how to create their own
environmentally safe garden, including information about low-water-use,
native plants and recycling.
Forty-five “flower towers”
of impatiens line Innoventions Plaza.
100 floating mini-gardens,
each three feet in diameter, of multi-hued impatiens provide splashes of
color on two ponds that border the walkway between Future World and
World Showcase. There are also 15 large gardens, each eight feet in
750 container gardens of
flowers, herbs, plants and vegetables in clay pots, barrels and urns
enhance the landscape throughout Epcot.
300 Walt Disney World
horticulturists are needed to install the festival landscape, topiaries
and many exhibits; 100 Epcot horticulturists maintain topiaries and
other festival displays.
It takes more than one full
year to prepare for the annual festival.
Guest information for Epcot
International Flower & Garden Festival is available at
or call 407/W-DISNEY.
The Hotel was perfect and if anyone chooses to go to the show and flies in
for it, I heartily recommend a stay here. It then gives you so much more
time to enjoy the show. You can also rent a car here and drive over, but for
me, this was perfectly placed for a very short stay.