Theme Park News

Walt Disney World flower garden festival coming soon

Nothing can stop Walt Disney World ®, not even the temporary closing of their parks on Wednesday as they hit capacity for the holiday rush. And with just a few days left until the Orlando theme park rings in 2012 it’s time to start thinking beyond the holiday season and into the New Year.

As always, Disney ® has already planned out their 2012 well into the holidays next year but it’s an annual event in March that is capturing all the buzz at today.

Guests can expect a little floral magic at this year’s 19th Epcot™ International Flower & Garden Festival as an 8-foot-tall Sorcerer Mickey Mouse topiary sits at the entrance, luring guests in beginning March 7 – May 20. The giant Mickey will stand atop a 12-foot-tall floral mountain cliff, towering over the park’s front-entrance topiary bed, directing the manicured shapes of dancing broomsticks, buckets, mushrooms, hippos, alligators and elephants from the classic Disney film, “Fantasia.”

Disney topiary specialists worked to create the massive new design with innovative materials and recycled elements from years past, says festival horticulture manager Eric Darden.  An earlier version of Sorcerer Mickey stood less than five feet tall; a larger frame was built, Darden says, to more accurately reflect the character in the front-entrance Fantasia scene.  The new Fantasia “mountain” grew from a 2003 topiary piece that once held a “Steamboat Willie” Mickey Mouse display.

“The challenge is to use our resources, repurpose them, and keep them fresh every year,” Darden says.  “These are some of our most popular characters from a topiary standpoint, and ‘Fantasia’ was a groundbreaking film for its music and animation techniques.”

Sorcerer Mickey is just one of the new displays featured in this year’s festival.  For 75 days Epcot ™ guests can also expect new speakers and hands-on fun the whole family will enjoy. Here are just a few of the festival’s highlights this year:

• Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden - Fabulous Disney fairy topiaries alight to greet young fans who enter this whimsical garden designed with play structures for children ages 2-5.  At the Test Track Walkway.• The HGTV Designers Stage will present HGTV celebrities each Friday through Sunday and nationally recognized garden personalities Monday through Thursday.  At the Festival Center.• The Flower Power concert series will welcome back 20th century pop favorites this year when Jose Feliciano, Chubby Checker and The Wildcats, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Davy Jones and seven other bands rock the America Gardens Theatre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

There are lots more floral fun happening at the 19th Epcot ™ International Flower & Garden Festival so stay tuned for more details.