- Travel and Places»
- Specialty Travel & Tours
A Day at Disney's Epcot - With My Best Friend!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - the Flora, the Food, the Friendship!
What could be better than a day at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival? A day at Epcot with your best friend! Oh sure, as Floridians my husband and I visit the Walt Disney World Theme Parks quite often - but it's a rare occasion that we get to enjoy them with our best friends from Pennsylvania.
Despite the distance between us, we have forged a friendship and bond that cannot be broken. Our fifteen year relationship started in a little church up North, and continues to blossom into something beautiful. Life can be hectic (and quite serious), but we've made a commitment to visit each other at least once a year (and laugh, laugh, laugh!).
We affectionately call them Ricky and Lucy, and we are Fred and Ethel to them. (Yes, our reunions are guaranteed to ignite spontaneous craziness, just like our beloved "I Love Lucy" episodes!) Recently, we spent fourteen fun-filled days together. One of the highlights was our visit to the 20th Annual Epcot Flower & Garden Festival. We had a blast. Join us as we showcase the flora, food and friendship of that day!
(Image Credit: All photos in this article taken myself with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150)
Epcot International Flower & Garden Keepsakes - Official Festival Merchandise
Every year Disney creates limited edition gifts and products made exclusively for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
The Amazon products I've selected are the "official" keepsakes that were sold at the Festival's specialty shops throughout Epcot. For most items, the supplies are very limited.
Disney Vinylmation Figures
If you're a Disney Vinylmation collector or just a huge fan of all things Disney, this is the perfect product to add to your collection. The Vinylmation Figures were created for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and are a very limited edition. They include the matching tin.
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival - A Huge Event
Walt Disney World's Largest Theme Park Event!
According to Disney, the Flower & Garden Festival is the largest Theme Park event at the Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, in 2016 it was extended from 75 days to 90 days. That should give you some idea of its popularity.
Epcot is my favorite Disney Theme Park any day of the year, but with the backdrop of the Flower and Garden Festival it created a dazzling day with Ricky and Lucy. Everything was in full bloom! There were gorgeous gardens, hundreds of topiaries, thousands of plant types, dozens of seminars and presentations… and ONE flourishing friendship!
We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh? asked Piglet. Even longer, Pooh answered.
~ A. A. Milne ~
If I Had To Choose Just ONE Favorite Topiary… this might be it!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Topiaries - Photo Tour! These Plants Have Real Character!Click thumbnail to view full-size
What's New at Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival?
In 2013, for the first time in it's 20 year history, Epcot Flower & Garden Festival added culinary creations that continue to be a big hit with foodies from around the world. These are tapas-size gourmet tasty treats, celebrating eclectic international flavors.
There were 12 Garden Marketplaces inspired by the gardens around World Showcase. Each booth represented a different country, quite similar to the concept found at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival held every year in the Fall. Each Marketplace showcased live plantings with some of the ingredients featured in their offerings.
We especially liked this new addition to the Festival, as we love to try new ethnic foods! My photo tour represents the selections we sampled from Canada, France, Japan, America, Germany and China. We chose to have dessert from Norway's bakery (which is one of the permanent restaurants at Epcot).
I have to confess… there is one photo missing. It's my snack from China - a Spring Pancake with Grilled Chicken and Green Apple. I had almost finished it by the time I remembered the photo… my bad!
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival - The Food Photo Tour!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tinkerbell's Butterfly House - Butterflies in Flight. And, LOTS of Fairy Dust!
Lucy Loves Butterflies!
Lucy LOVES butterflies! We've often talked about visiting a butterfly conservatory, but never have. For her sake, I was so happy to see this butterfly pavilion as part of the Festival. In honor of Tinkerbell, there were a plethora of fairy topiaries and hundreds of beautiful butterflies amongst the flowers and greenery. We even witnessed one butterfly landing on a guest's hand!
We spent almost 30 minutes in the butterfly exhibit. It was a pleasant (and quite peaceful) experience that we truly enjoyed.
Tinkerbell's Butterfly House at Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival - Photo TourClick thumbnail to view full-size
A Fairy Topiary - One of My Favorites!
A Fairy Topiary - Another Favorite! The Colors On this One Were Crazy Cool!
An Electrifying Burst of Color!
Photo Opportunities Abound
Epcot not only looks lavish and vibrant this time of year, but SMELLS wonderful too! And… did I mention the outstanding photo opportunities? It's a photographers paradise! Everywhere you look, there are fantastic photo spots.
Flower and Garden Festival - The Flora Photo Tour!Click thumbnail to view full-size
English Tea Garden at United Kingdom in Epcot
Tour the English Tea Garden… For Free!
Lucy and I both love specialty teas. We used to be avid coffee drinkers until we BOTH started having issues with acid reflux. I know, I know… best friends are like having one soul occupying two bodies! But that's when we were forced to switch to tea - now we've come to enjoy it.
Two to three times a day Epcot offers guided tours of the English Tea Garden. This only occurs during the Festival each year. Only 12 guests are allowed in each tour, so it's virtually impossible to get a ticket unless you're at the Tea Caddy Store (in United Kingdom) right when it opens in the morning. The knowledgeable tour guides, all from England, feature the 12 types of Twinings Teas, and everyone gets a couple tea bags at the end of the tour. I was disappointed we could not participate in this, especially since it's a rare Disney "freebie!"
Flower and Garden Festival - The Friendship Photo Tour!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Celebrating Our Friendship with Fireworks!
Another blockbuster day of memories to add to our journal! It was a challenge to see everything that the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival had to offer, but we gave it our best shot. Disney not only stretched our imaginations, but our leg muscles as well. An outstanding day of colossal color culminated in an explosive fireworks display that Epcot calls, "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth."
What was my favorite part of the Festival? Well, you probably already guessed. My focus was not so much on the food or flowers… but continuing to cultivate a forever friendship!
© 2013 Glenda Motsavage