For the 20th anniversary of the International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot, the park is pulling out all the stops. The topiary are just the beginning, as the park rolls out more HGTV guests, new Garden Fresh Marketplaces, and even brightly lit topiaries at night. The annual event which started in March, runs all the way until the end of May. We stopped a bit to smell the roses…and bluebells, and orchids…and just about every other plant in full bloom at the park. We also caught a glimpse of the Flower and Garden Festival coming to life…quite literally.
Friday April 5th, a special new topiary was wheeled out into Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival. While Captain Hook already resides in the UK area of World Showcase, he made another special appearance.
Check the video below for the special surprise:
The special Captain Hook Topiary was a “living topiary” in which a plain topiary was “brought to life” using Disney Magic….okay, so it was a guy in a topiary suit. The Topiary spent hours freaking out guests and posing for pictures. The special topiary has only used once this year, and made it’s debut last year. Unfortunately there is no word on whether or not Captain Hook will make his return later in the event or not.
This year Monster’s University from Pixar will be hitting theaters. Before Mike and Sully hit theaters, they’re hitting the Flower and Garden Festival. An all new Monster’s University display is a huge hit at the festival, and features both Mike and Sully as well as some of their friends.
Of course it wouldn’t be the same without some old friends. You can find many different topiary scattered throughout the entire park. Be on the look out, however, you never know where they’ll pop up.
Getting ready for Spring, Disney’s favorite friends start the festival by having a picnic. The huge display at the main gate of EPCOT makes for an amazing photo op and a great way to kick off your day.
Know what you’re going to do today? Make a plan, and map it out. Phineas and Furb are some of the newer displays, with thousands of blooms making up the ones who are going to do it all.
Pixies find their homes in the most beautiful places, so it’s no surprise that this year they call the Butterfly garden home. In the Butterfly garden you can find dozens of varieties of butterfly, as well as see Tinkerbell and all her pixie friends.
Guests can learn about all the different butterfly varieties and learn about the life cycle of butterflies. If you’re quiet and still enough you can even catch up with a butterfly kissing the flowers.
The night comes to life as countless topiary are illuminated around the park. From simple spotlights, to intricate LED lighting, every single topiary is lit up so that the fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun sets.
All new merchandise is available this year as well. Scattered throughout the park, and along the many booths in World Showcase, guests can get Minnie in her topiary form, or even a pair of strawberry, or grass mouse ears!
Also new this year is the Garden Fresh Markets. The markets feature food and drink choices, often featuring fresh fruit and vegetable choices. Our favorite is the Pineapple Market with their Desert Violet Lemonade (non-Alcoholic) and Dole Whip with Spiced Rum.
Of course the hands down favorite food comes from the smokehouse. You just can’t go wrong with cornbread, brisket and greens. Most food runs around 4 dollars or so for a “sample” size. While it’s not the biggest portion, it is cheaper than most counter service restaurants. There also seems to be a smaller line for many of the booths than for any of the other food lines, so take advantage!
Check out over 600 pictures from around the festival including all the food, topiary and more in our gallery below!
The International Flower and Garden Festival runs until May, and happens every day. The flower power concert series also happens daily and features a huge variety of acts from all ranges in the musical spectrum.