Monday, March 25, 2013

Fun at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Today I posted this on the other blog I run along with my two friends, the Glass Slipper Blog, but I figured I'd cross-post it here for my readers!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Today I want to talk about one of my favorite things about the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival, the free gardening classes! We got to the Festival Center, located at the old Wonders of Life pavilion, as soon as it opened at 10 AM on opening day of the festival. We were excited to see the merchandise available at the festival and to get ready to wait in line for the class that was starting at 11 AM.

When you walk into the Festival Center you're greeted by this gorgeous wall of plants and some orchids in the planters.

At the bottom of the ramp and to your right, are the goods, ehem, I mean the merchandise for the festival. ;)

There are lots of cute things like t-shirts, mugs, hats, pictures, gardening paraphernalia, and some garden friends.

They even had these awesome strawberry Mickey ears! So adorable!

At the Festival Center info booth, my sister picked up these Garden Passports. This is a fantastic idea if you have kids and you're looking for something to keep them busy. Inside the passports are spots where you get a stamp at different places around the park (be sure to keep an eye out for a cast member at each location, sometimes they're hiding and you'll have to ask them for a stamp). On the back, is a checklist of all the topiaries in EPCOT, so you can be sure you didn't miss any! Be sure to head back to the Festival Center at the end for a stamp to show you completed the passport. All the stamps are different, so it's fun seeing what you'll get at each spot.

While my sister was getting our passport, I was standing in line for the gardening class at the Greenhouse Stage. Last time my mom and I came to one of these, we were really lucky and got one of the last two spots with a plant. This time, there were only 40 spots with pots and plants, so we wanted to make sure we got their early! We started waiting in line at about 10:15 AM and they let us in around 10:45 AM for the class at 11 AM. By that time, there were already over 40 people in line and by the time 11 AM rolled around, the entire seating area was full. Did I mention this class is FREE?

As we walked in, we were handed a ticket and a free Flower & Garden Festival bag (can you see now why I love coming to these things?)

At 11 AM, after everyone was situated, we were introduced to two of Disney's landscape architects that were giving the talk, "Chic Garden Style". Both of them were lead designers for different areas in the Magic Kingdom and they talked to us about how they came to work for Disney. It was pretty interesting hearing their stories! I believe one of them had a few internships in the landscape program at Disney and then ended up working after their internship was over and the other worked as a landscaper in their home state and decided to up and move to Florida! After their brief introductions, they started talking about all the fun ways you can spice up your garden.
There were suggestions like, old tin cans for a summer herb garden that could be brought inside for a year-round one ( for that they mentioned using small cans, like the ones loose leaf tea comes in).

Another fun thing to brighten up your patio was to use tiki torches as planters to hold bromeliads that look like flames.

And using an old muffin pan to plant moss or other flowers.

After about 20 minutes, we were instructed to plant our little garden that was on the table in front of us. Since my mom, aunt and I were going to be traveling home via plane with our little pots, we just stuck the little plants in the pot and wrapped the blue gloves around the dirt so it wouldn't move. They also included some tissue paper to wrap the plant so your bag didn't get dirty. They just think of everything!

At the end of the talk, we could go up and look at all the different things they had shown us. I particularly liked the way they used the plants in these odd head shaped pots (which they said they bought online), the old desk lamp turned planter, and this cute rack of jars. They also showed us ways to add plants to an old chiminea, attach mason jars to your fence using metal clamps, and adding an arrangement to an old tool box. Really, the possibilities are endless!

If you're headed to the Flower and Garden Festival and you're interested in taking a class, be sure to check the schedule (here's the only link I could find). They offer them twice a day (the same class 2 times), 11 AM and 2 PM, they fill up quick, so be prepared to wait almost an hour for it. I'm not sure if every class offers a free plant, but the two times I've been we got something! Be sure to show us your photos of what you get to make if you go - we'd love to see what else there is to offer!

I'm planning on posting more of my updates from Disney very soon so stay tuned! :)


  1. Great photos from the F&GF. Liked the detail about the FREE classes, too.

  2. I remember seeing the F+G festival in action when I did Grad Nite senior year of high school. We did the Grad Nite+ package that year, where you stay at the parks the whole weekend. Epcot was all flowered up, and I thought it was awesome. I didn't really get a chance to come back for many many years buuuut....still one of my favorite times to visit


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