Florida Guide > Disney Parks
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Future World
This year the theme was ‘Fun in the Sun’ and on entering the park via the front entrance the first photo opportunity presented itself. Life sized sphagnum topiaries of Mickey and Minnie, backed by Goofy on a surfboard cresting a wave, and the Epcot ‘globe’ in the background provide a colourful and visually stunning introduction to the festival.
The most recent addition to the festival is Garden Town. Housed next to Mission Space in the building that used to be The Wonders of Life, Garden Town features a variety of seminars, exhibits, merchandise stalls, the Garden Town Café and a small theatre which was showing a behind the scenes film of the preparation that goes into the festival. This provided a fascinating look at the design and construction of the various sculptures, topiaries and plantings found throughout the park. The model of Goofy on the surfboard, for instance, had to be created in sections and erected in a four-hour nighttime window. There was also a stand where you could ask experts for help with gardening problems and pick up free leaflets with gardening tips, including help on irrigation, rose and orchid growing and even a leaflet giving a variety of facts regarding aspects of horticulture within the Walt Disney Resort area. Did you know for instance that over 500 horticultural staff are employed at Walt Disney World resort, or that approximately 4, 200 acres, out of a total of 25, 000 acres, are devoted to landscapes and gardens?
Tucked behind Future World East was Minnie’s Butterfly Garden, a mesh enclosed gazebo style structure where butterflies of many varieties, including Black Swallowtails, Zebra Longwings and Gulf Fritillary, fly freely around you and at the same time you can examine pupa in various stages in a couple of hatcheries.
Nearby were the Water Garden Wonders and Green Garden exhibits. The former showing how the use of a cistern to collect rain water could create a beautiful water garden and at the same time save water in the home, while the latter was an example of an environmentally friendly, low-input garden.
As you pass through Future World West towards ‘The Land’ (perhaps to get your Fast Pass for ‘Soarin’), you could be forgiven for missing the Dynamic Vegetable Garden. However this garden demonstrates how vegetables and edible flowers can be planted amongst traditional decorative flowers to create an interesting and edible garden.
Behind Future World West a sculpture garden was neighbour to Peter Pan’s Never Land Garden, complete with topiary models of Captain Hook, Tinkerbell and the Crocodile.
As we moved between the two ‘worlds’ we encountered the Jammitors; a trio of excellent drummers who use dustbins, lids, the floor and other objects to create a thoroughly entertaining piece of ‘street theatre’.
Having intended to spend just a couple of hours, we eventually left after about four hours wondering where the time had gone!
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