We are about a month away from the start of the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot. Since winter weather blankets most of North America, I figured a look ahead to spring was a perfect idea. I recently dug up details about new items guests will see starting March 4 when this annual festival returns to Walt Disney World Resort.
The merchandise events team has created a variety of items especially for this event including apparel, drinkware, accessories and more. This year, the Sorcerer Mickey topiary takes center stage as the main logo on several items including a coffee mug, magnet, and tote bag (the mug features a hidden broom topiary image inside). I love the new topiary-inspired headband with a Sorcerer’s hat and a gardening hat with mouse ears.
The Disney pin team created several limited edition pins featuring the topiaries that will be found throughout the theme park including the new Anna and Elsa topiaries inspired by Disney’s “Frozen”.
Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen” will join Mickey and Minnie Mouse as new garden decorations (the thought of Olaf next to the rain gauge makes me laugh!).
Finally, we will release a new Dooney & Bourke collection designed by Disney Design Group artist Paola Gutierrez. This black-and-white pattern shows silhouettes of Disney characters riding vintage bicycles (you may recall seeing the artwork in this story from early January. Select bags released during the Festival will include a specially designed hangtag. There are no immediate plans to carry these bags at Disneyland Resort or on our Disney Parks online store; they will only be found at Epcot during this initial release.
These items will be released at the Festival Center, a themed shopping and demonstration area located between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions at Epcot. This year, the Festival Center will be open Friday-Sunday during the Festival Weekends. Items will also be found in other merchandise locations in Future World and World Showcase.
Stay tuned as I’ll provide a first look inside the Festival Center around the start of the event in March. I’ll also have details about a new retail MagicBand created for this event that you won’t want to let go.
Spring is always a wonderful time to visit Walt Disney World Resort with little ones, especially with the fun of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. The annual event now has more activities than ever to delight, entertain and educate even our youngest guests.
The festival’s whimsical topiaries featuring favorite characters are a great way for children to learn about different types of flowers and plants, while marveling at the elaborate detail in each piece. Fans of “Frozen” will be transported to Arendelle with a new scene straight from the film’s finale featuring Anna and Elsa. This year, families can turn checking out the topiaries into a kid-friendly game with an interactive Pinterest Pin scavenger hunt. Parents print the Pin at home and, once at Epcot, little ones can follow the map to discover topiaries of their favorite characters throughout the park.
One of things my kids love the most about the festival is the presence of the creatively themed play gardens with state-of-the-art climbing equipment and hands-on activities. This year, there are two play areas: Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden and Cactus Road Rally Garden with Mater and Lightning McQueen topiaries. When the sun sets, the fun doesn’t stop thanks to illuminated topiaries and play gardens that glow brightly for an after-dark festival experience.
The butterfly garden returns this year, and Butterflies on the Go! offers kids the chance to see up to 10 species of butterflies up close, and maybe even watch them emerge from their chrysalises!
In addition to the daily fun, there are special events such as an Earth Day Weekend April 17-22 with nature activities for kids and families, Disney’s Animal Kingdom specialists on select dates, and a sand-sculpture creation to showcase Disneynature’s soon-to-be released “Monkey Kingdom” film. And don’t forget to pick up your Garden Passport, a festival favorite that’s fun for the whole family!
What do your children love about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival?
I’m thrilled to kick off my first story for the Disney Parks Blog as one of the authors who will be sharing updates from this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. It begins March 4 and blossoms for 75 days.
Fittingly, “Fresh Epcot” is the theme this year. And today I have a trio of freshness to share with you:
All the way from Arendelle, Anna and Elsa topiaries will make their royal debut at this year’s Festival. Set in a garden vignette from the icy “Frozen” world, it’ll be a perfect selfie opportunity at World Showcase Plaza.
The new Outdoor Kitchen between France and Morocco pavilions will showcase treats like Cachapas with Farmer’s Cheese, a sweet yellow corn pancake, and Seafood Ceviche with shrimp, scallops and grouper with mango and avocado. Wash it down with the fresh non-alcoholic punch, La Tizana. Add a splash of Santa Teresa RHUM Orange Liqueur for an adult twist.
Our new concert series, Garden Rocks, spans the decades. Pablo Cruise and The Little River Band will perform on the America Gardens Theatre stage for the first time, while Gin Blossoms (opening weekend!) En Vogue, John Secada and Taylor Dayne are Festival newbies.
To learn more, visit EpcotInBloom.com.
As we usher in the New Year, I wanted to give you an update on Disney’s Night of Joy 2015.
We are excited to announce the 33rd year for this special event will take place Friday and Saturday nights September 11 and 12 at Magic Kingdom Park.
Next year’s group of talented artists includes four recent Grammy nominees, who each received two nominations: Night of Joy stalwarts MercyMe, brother duo For King & Country and Central Florida’s own Francesca Battistelli in the “Best Contemporary Christian Performance/Song” and “Best Contemporary Christian Album” categories and Pop Urban Gospel sensation Lecrae for “Best Gospel Performance/Song” and “Best Contemporary Christian Performance/Song.”
Night of Joy veterans like TobyMac, Skillet and Jeremy Camp will fill the park with masterful melodies along with some great up-and-coming artists like: Seventh Time Down, I Am They, and Veridia, who are all new to the event.
2015’s full lineup includes: (entertainment subject to change)
- Friday, September 11 - TobyMac, MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Colton Dixon, Big Daddy Weave, Francesca Battistelli, Rend Collective, and I Am They
- Saturday, September 12 - Skillet, Lecrae, For King & Country, Mandisa, Matt Maher, Jamie Grace, Seventh Time Down, and Veridia
It should be two fantastic nights!
Tickets will go on sale in the Spring. Keep checking back to the Disney Parks Blog and NightofJoy.com for all the info.
Planning a trip to Epcot this spring for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival? This year, 11 pop bands are set to appear in the Garden Rocks Concert Series, which will take place March 4-May 17, 2015. Several acts will join this festival lineup this year, including En Vogue, Little River Band, Jon Secada, Pablo Cruise and Taylor Dayne.
Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and are included with Epcot admission. Check out this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):March 6-8: Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
March 13-15: Pablo Cruise “Love Will Find a Way”
March 20-22: En Vogue “Free Your Mind”
March 27-29: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
April 3-5: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
April 10-12: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
April 17-19: Jon Secada “Just Another Day”
April 24-26: The Guess Who “These Eyes”
May 1-3: Taylor Dayne “Tell It to My Heart”
May 8-10: Little River Band “Reminiscing”
May 15-17: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
Which band are you most excited to see? Tell us in the comments section below!
It’s official! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival launches September 25 and runs through November 16 this year – 53 days of sweet and savory tapas-sized dishes and beverages, plus tasting seminars, culinary demos, signature dining experiences, live entertainment and more.
Check back for more information. We’ll share right here as details unfold.
Considering a vacation at Walt Disney World Resort this spring or early in the summer? If so, now is the perfect time to book, as guests can save up to 30% off on stays at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels with our latest offer.
Springtime at Walt Disney World Resort means the return of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and so much more.
Vacations must be booked by March 28, and the trip must take place between March 2-June 15, 2015. Get more details on this offer – and learn how you can also upgrade to a package with a (minimum) 4-day park ticket and receive an additional ticket day free – by clicking here.
For more about visiting Walt Disney World Resort in 2015, visit the posts below:
By far one of the happiest holiday sights I enjoy here at Walt Disney World Resort each year is “Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade,” which steps off during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
This year, Disney photographer Charlie Champagne went out and captured dozens of new photos of the parade that you just can’t miss. Be sure to check out the gallery above for dancing gingerbread men, marching toy soldiers, our friends from “Frozen,” Santa Claus and much more.
If there ever was a merry sight that could instantly fill you with holiday joy, it’s “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”
Performed during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party event nights, this parade celebrates everything merry about the holiday season – friends (like Mickey, Minnie and pals dressed in holiday attire), family (look for Anna and Elsa in the line-up), food (watch as dancing gingerbread men and a cookie-baking float pass by), toys (especially on that “Toy Story” float). Santa Claus, of course, also makes a special appearance.
See “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” for yourself by attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Find details on that here.
What’s your favorite part of this parade? Tell us in the comments section below.
Attention fans of The Force – get ready to plan your trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in spring 2015, because today, we’re unveiling the dates for next year’s Star Wars Weekends.
Star Wars Weekends will be held every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from May 15-June 14, 2015.
- Weekend I: May 15-17, 2015
- Weekend II: May 22-24, 2015
- Weekend III: May 29-31, 2015
- Weekend IV: June 5-7, 2015
- Weekend V: June 12-14, 2015
Star Wars Weekends combines the fun and adventure of the Star Wars film franchise with the magic of Disney Parks. The event features the largest collection of official Star Wars characters found at any theme park in the world, conversations with Star Wars celebrities, a Star Wars motorcade through the park and much more.
Be sure to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog and disneyworld.com/starwars for more.