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 too!

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 Get Moving.

  • 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 lily.

  • 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 pavilion.

  • 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 vetivergrass.

  • 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 diameter.

  • 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 www.disneyworld.com/flower  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.


  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row