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HGTV’s Chris Lambton Goes ‘Yard’ – Family-Style – at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 8th, 2013 by Charles Stovall, Public Relations Manager


Well, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, presented by HGTV, is in full swing and, although it’s a tad chillier than normal here in Florida, we are already having some great times.

Chris Lambton, star of HGTV’s “Going Yard,” is here this weekend, giving tips to Epcot guests on how to turn their yards into spectacular, outdoor venues.

We caught up with Chris during rehearsals and he gave us a sneak peek into his presentation, ”Going Yard for Your Lifestyle.” He encourages families to treat their outdoor spaces with the same care and planning that they would any other room in their homes, tailoring the design to their family’s interests.

Guests of the Festival can see Lambton and other favorite HGTV and DIY stars on “The Designers’ Stage Presented by HGTV” at the Festival Center each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Festival at noon and 3 p.m.

    The complete lineup includes:

  • March 15-17 – Chris Grundy, DIY Network’s Cool Tools: “Keepin’ It Green with Grundy”
  • March 22-24 – Egypt Sherrod, host of Property Virgins: “Getting the Inside Scoop on HGTV’s Top Home Features for 2013″
  • March 29-31 – Brandon Johnson, My Yard Goes Disney: “Bringing More Disney Inspiration and HGTV Design to Your Backyard”
  • April 5-7 – Meg Caswell, Meg’s Great Rooms: “Discovering Design Tips to Personalize Your Space & Make a Good Room Great”
  • April 12-14 – Jason Cameron, DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves: “Desperate Landscapes . . . Where Do We Grow from Here?”
  • April 19-21 – Sara Peterson, Editor-in-Chief, HGTV Magazine: “Boosting Your Curb Appeal! 25 Easy Ideas from Front Doors to Flower Pots”
  • April 26-28 – Carter Oosterhouse, Million Dollar Rooms: “Million Dollar Trends”
  • May 3-5 – Casey Noble, Design on a Dime: “Creating Luxury Hotel Floral Arrangements in Your Home”
  • May 10-12 – Dan Faires, HGTV.com, DanMade: “Easy Ideas for Creating a Designer Garden”
  • May 17-19 – David Bromstad, HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars: “The Power of Color”

Presentations by HGTV and DIY Network stars are included with admission to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

The 20th annual festival runs from now through May 19, 2013 at Epcot.

For more information on the Festival, click over to EpcotInSpring.com and check back to the Disney Parks Blog for updates and posts throughout the Festival.

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Believe in the Magic of Oz…See it in Bloom at Epcot

posted on March 8th, 2013 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


The marvelous land of Oz has captured the imaginations of people for over 100 years. Chances are good that this wondrous place has sparked your imagination, whether you’re a school kid, bank teller, rocket scientist—or a horticulturist like Eric Darden.

Eric is the Manager of Horticulture for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This year, the event is presenting one of the most ambitious dreams that Eric, his team and his fellow Disney Parks cast members have ever made come true.

“The Land of Oz Garden is one of the biggest single areas we’ve ever created for the Festival,” said Eric. “It starts in the ‘Kansas’ section, where kids can play midway games in the tents.”

In Walt Disney PicturesOz The Great and Powerful” — which opens today nationwide — you’ll see Kansas in black and white, Oz in dazzling color and all in three-dimensional RealD splendor (at select theaters). But at this new Epcot garden, of course everything’s blooming in full color — from the ring toss game and fun mirrors to the Baum Circus tents (named for L. Frank Baum, author of all 14 original Oz books).

“As you walk along, you’ll seem to travel through Oz, where the kids can enjoy the large playground,” explained Eric. Newly designed, this playground sparkles with details that celebrate the film. As the kids play, grown-ups will appreciate the nearby shaded chairs. Look on the other side of this area and you’ll see that it’s actually themed to the Wizard’s deflated hot air balloon!
The Wizard’s Deflated Hot Air Balloon in The Land of Oz Garden at Epcot
A dazzling array of unusual flowers and plants suggest the setting of Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful,” including a bed of yellow pansies arranged to resemble a very familiar brick road—plus some dazzling red glass poppies. These amazing creations were prepared especially for The Land of Oz Garden by artist/sculptor Craig Mitchell Smith using his own elaborate technique of cutting, heating, shaping and reheating each flower—a process that takes four days per poppy!

Now through May 19, 2013, The Land of Oz Garden is just part of the overall new excitement at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. “Now we have great food and beverage options at twelve Garden Marketplaces,” says Eric. “Now it’s all tied together—from the garden to your table—better than ever.

“And we’ve placed plenty of character topiaries all over Epcot. There’s a picnic scene at the front entrance, with Minnie sitting on a blanket, Donald and Daisy playing badminton and Goofy is about to drop the cake! Mickey is grilling hot dogs—though unbeknownst to him, Pluto has already taken his share.”

Over at Showcase Plaza, you’ll see Mike and Sulley as they will appear in the eagerly awaited Disney•Pixar movie Monsters University. “Almost all of our gardens are now beautifully illuminated at nighttime, so you can make it a complete day and night visit,” Eric adds. “We’ve brought back the butterfly garden, HGTV celebrity designers and Flower Power Concert Series. We couldn’t be more excited about what we have to offer this year.”

For more information, visit EpcotInSpring.com.

Entertainment subject to change without notice.

Read on for more updates about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival:

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Get Your Mini Disney Gift Card and Get a Taste of Spring at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 6th, 2013 by Virginia Scanlon, Manager Alliance Management, Disney Gift Card Services


Get your mini Disney Gift Card and get a taste of spring at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Stop and smell the roses, while sporting this new mini Disney Gift Card with an exclusive Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival design. This Disney Gift Card has all the functionalities of a regular Disney Gift Card, with the convenience of wearing it around your wrist. As you enjoy the sights and scents that the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has to offer, the mini Disney Gift Card will help you quickly satisfy your taste buds by purchasing foods that highlight the taste of spring.

This design will be available exclusively at Epcot for a limited time during the festival.

Activate your Disney Gift Card with as little as $5 and just swipe to pay for food and more. Your Disney Gift Card can even be reloaded as many times as you want at the majority of festival kiosks. When the festival is over, you can continue using your card since, like all Disney Gift Cards, it’s good for practically all things Disney here at the Walt Disney World Resort and beyond.

Read on for more updates about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival:

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Flower and Garden, Food and Beverage a Perfect Match at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 6th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival elevates the “farm to table” trend to new heights, with Festival Farms around each Garden Marketplace to show how the plants grow that are part of the delicious food and beverages served daily at the festival through May 19.

This fun video highlights the synergy between the garden and kitchen teams, and gives a little insight into the connections. We can’t wait for a taste of tomato wine with shrimp and grits, or the Florida watermelon salad with arugula!

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First Look: Merchandise for the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 6th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Merchandise for the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

I’m looking forward to the return of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This year’s event will feature millions of blooms, great entertainment and new food offerings (hello, Dole Whip!) from March 6 to May 19 at Epcot. Last year, I enjoyed visiting Epcot on multiple occasions to photograph many beautiful flowers (I also snapped some wonderful images in the butterfly garden). This year, my photographic journey started at the Festival Center. This highly-themed destination is located between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy, and it’s home to demonstrations, seminars and a merchandise shop.
Mugs for the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

This year, the merchandise location resembles a garden oasis. The sound of gentle water and chirping birds filled the air as I took photos. Last year, we introduced artwork that featured Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck as topiaries. The artwork was incredibly popular with guests, so we added a Minnie Mouse topiary to the mix for this year. You can find her image on apparel, a reusable tote bag and, my favorite, a new coffee mug (look inside the mug for a cool detail).
Merchandise for the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

There were a few other items that caught my eye, including a new topiary-inspired headband, a strawberry ear hat, Duffy the Disney Bear in overalls, D-Tech on Demand iPhone cases and more. We are also introducing new garden statues that look like Grumpy and Dopey. Look for additional character topiary statues in the weeks to come.

Here is a gallery of a few other items that you will find at Epcot during the festival.

I’d love for you to join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #EpcotInSpring. I also hope to see you during the event!

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The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Returns Today

posted on March 6th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Spring has arrived early at Epcot with today’s return of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

The event, which will run through May 19, features more than 100 Disney-themed topiaries, including floral versions of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Phineas and Ferb, Lightning McQueen and Mater, among others.

Looks like one topiary in particular is having a lot of fun celebrating the festival’s return. Check it out:

And have you had the chance to try some of the Garden Marketplace kiosks that are featured at this year’s festival? What a cool addition to this year’s event.

‘TRYit’ Tastes for Kids at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival ‘TRYit’ Tastes for Kids at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The selection of Garden Marketplace culinary creations ranges from smokehouse barbecue and shrimp with grits to Zellwood corn to sweet “frushi” made with fresh fruits and coconut rice. Original beverages are also available, like Hot Sun Tomato Wine from Florida Orange Groves Winery and Dole Whip with Spiced Rum, as well as non-alcoholic drinks like Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade and Wild Berry Slush.

 
Check out these posts for more from the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival:

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Celebrating Springtime at Epcot in the Land of Oz

posted on March 5th, 2013 by Gene Duncan, Photographer, Walt Disney World Resort


Yesterday afternoon was beautiful, and I found myself at Epcot, exploring the Land of Oz Garden – and I was not alone. This very interactive kids’ play zone was one of the happiest places I’ve ever seen, with children climbing, jumping, swinging and just laughing out loud. The theme was all about flowers – the real and the surreal. It was a visual treat for me, and a relaxing space for dozens of parents to just sit back and soak in the afternoon sunlight while the kids played with seemingly tireless energy.
The Land of Oz Garden at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Tomorrow is the first day of the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, and I can’t wait to see what more our horticulture partners have created this year.


Read on for more updates about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival:

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Behind the Scenes: Horticulture Preps 100 Topiaries for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 3rd, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Although the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival doesn’t begin until March 6, preparations have been underway for weeks – especially to ready the festival’s more than 100 topiaries.

Eric Darden, manager of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, recently gave us a sneak peek at some of the work that’s been going on backstage. Take a look.

Visit the Disney Parks Blog next week for more on this year’s festival.

For more from the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, read the posts below:

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Take 5: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 2nd, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


‘TRYit’ Tastes for Kids at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The flowers are in bloom at Walt Disney World Resort for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Beginning this Wednesday, March 6, and lasting through May 19, guests at Epcot can help celebrate our 20th year with new tastes and drinks at the Garden Marketplace, The Land of Oz play area based on the upcoming “Oz The Great and Powerful,” HGTV-related activities with some of your favorite personalities, and more! Read the blog posts below to find out what’s budding in 2013. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s festival? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.

Take 5: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

  1. From Garden to Table at 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort – Pam shares some of the all-new food and drink offerings for the upcoming festival.
  2. The Land of Oz Garden Magically Appears at Epcot – Although the festival officially opens Wednesday, the Land of Oz Garden has appeared a little early at Epcot.
  3. ‘TRYit’ Tastes for Kids at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – Check out the fun dishes the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival chefs have chosen to encourage kids to try something new as part of Disney’s TRYit campaign.
  4. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Brings Perennial Favorites, New Faces From HGTV – The stars of your favorite HGTV and DIY Network shows will once again be on hand to meet festivalgoers and give expert tips and tricks.
  5. 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Will Whisk Children to the Land of Oz – Guests visiting the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival can visit the Land of Oz in the form of an interactive play area.
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Fantastic Food Marketplaces Are the Newest Festival Attractions at Walt Disney World Resort!

posted on February 19th, 2013 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is bigger and better than ever — with gorgeous new gardens and whimsical new Disney character topiaries, plus new Garden Marketplaces serving up tasty culinary creations. And this year, look for topiaries and select gardens to be lit up at night! All this and more gets underway starting March 6, 2013.
Culinary Creations at the New Garden Marketplaces for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

From the bounty of the garden to your table

Twelve new Garden Marketplace locations will sprout up around the promenade, offering culinary creations and special libations inspired by the gardens at World Showcase.

“Our horticulture team recognizes that our guests are curious about where their food comes from and how it is grown,” says Michael Jenner, Park Event Content Development Operations Manager. Garden Marketplaces are a great opportunity for discovery, as guests are able to sample some amazing dishes and learn how to incorporate their own garden harvests into their meals at home.”

“We had been planning to do something like this for many years, and the 20th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is the perfect opportunity,” Michael explains. It became a reality thanks to Walt Disney World Resort guests like you. Last year, just one experimental marketplace was so overwhelmingly popular, it “grew” this year to a dozen different areas with a wide variety of offerings.

It looks good enough to eat!

Each new marketplace will have two small gardens in front of them filled with plantings to match the host of food and beverage (many nonalcoholic) selections. For instance, the garden at the front of World Showcase Plaza will have blueberries growing to tie in with the Blueberry Wine. The garden near the Canada Pavilion will feature pineapples to match the Pineapple Upside Down Cake that you can purchase.

“I don’t think many guests have actually seen pineapples growing, and that should be a treat,” adds Michael. “We will also have ‘TRYit’ opportunities at these marketplaces to encourage children and adults to sample some out-of-the-ordinary delights like Watermelon Salad with Pickled Red Onions, BW Farms Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese and Balsamic Reduction.”

Many of these creative menu selections were developed by Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann, who made sure they would be “tapas-size” items, so that you will be able to explore multiple choices.

Don’t forget the new garden passport!

“We will offer guests a special passport with one page per Marketplace,” said Michael. “It will list the plants and other information so that guests can check off what they tasted, write notes and even get it stamped for free, like a field journal.”

One of the most popular marketplaces is sure to be at The American Adventure Pavilion. A huge smoker will be rolled onto the stage to barbeque brisket and pork. Guests can top off that meal sample with a glass of Mama’s Little Yella Pils from Oskar River Blues in Lyons, CO (Czech-style Pilsner), or Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco, CA (India Pale Ale), or just a delicious Rocky Road brownie.

Oz, monsters and lights into the night

There’s so much to see, do and taste during the 75-day garden party! Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival surprises are around almost every corner.

There will be new topiary creations, including a salute to Disney•Pixar “Monsters University.” You’ll find whimsical children’s play areas, the newest being The Land of Oz Garden, inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful.” Look for a butterfly bounty, HGTV celebrity designers, hands-on gardening seminars and more. On weekends, rock to performances by top Flower Power Concert Series rockers of the 1960s and ’70s.

And the fun won’t end when the sun goes down — almost all the gardens will now be gorgeously illuminated for the first time, making the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival a complete delight, day and night.

For more information, visit EpcotInSpring.com.

*Entertainment subject to change without notice.

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