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2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival–See It!

Last year I wrote about the “Not So Fresh Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.” I’m pleased to say that this year’s festival is really great. It really seems that they have taken seriously the input that the experience was coasting, and pulled out the stops to make it the best festival possible. There is so much to see this year!

Admittedly, the three big festivals of the year do have some overlap. Figment was introduced at the beginning of the year with the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. It had a modest collection of purple flowers around it. But now with the Flower & Garden Festival, a big kaleidoscope of floral treats spread in every direction:

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
Figment is also found on so much of the merchandise for this event. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Likewise, food & beverage is such a part of both festivals. It feels at times like the Epcot Flower & Food Festival. Still, who doesn’t like food? I checked out some of these offerings, and wasn’t the least bit disappointed. Try the very filling crab-less crab cake:

Paper dish doesn't impress, but the vegetable slaw with the dish does. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Paper dish doesn’t impress, but the vegetable slaw with the dish does. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

But more than food and souvenirs, this year the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival had so many–and I mean many–exhibits focusing on all aspects of gardening. I remember in years past there was nothing happening near The Land pavilion. This year there were several exhibits. One was even tasty:

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
Hopefully you know what part of the plant is edible before you start sampling. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Moreover, some of the legendary exhibits seemed better than ever. Here’s the flower bed in 2010:

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
The flower bed in 2010. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Here’s that same bed two years ago:

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
The same flower bed a couple of years ago. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Here’s the bed this year:

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
The main flower bed between Future World and World Showcase. Photo by J. Jeff Kober

Moving into World Showcase, there is so much to see. I’ve never seen so many orchids as I did in Mexico. Stunning!

Don't walk too quickly along the promenade that you miss details like this. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Don’t walk too quickly along the promenade that you miss details like this. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

As always, there is lots of topiary–more than any other year. I check out the festival every year, but I don’t remember ever seeing this trio. They seem new.

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
The Three Caballeros. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

What is more impressive is the use of moss to better sculpt the faces. Beauty and the Beast is a great example of this. Here’s what it looked like originally:

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
Serious problems with Beast. Photo by J. Jeff Kober

Then came this version–still with a blank green face for Belle:

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
Beast is better, but Belle still has problems. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
Here they are today–a remarkable version of Belle. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

You may want to catch the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival in the daytime hours, or you might miss a whole lot of tiny touches. Here’s one of the tiniest. There have always been beautiful Japanese bonsai, But this year I saw for the first time:

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
These are the size of a large pot. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Then again, make sure you also catch it at night as there are more exhibits than I’ve seen before lit at night. This started a few years ago, but in the more recent years I haven’t seen it much as I’ve strolled the park. Here is Snow White at her best:

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
Snow White at Night. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Again, maybe some of these exhibits have been around before, but there seems to be so many more of them, and so many of them seem updated. One other stop I should recommend is the Festival Center in the old Wonders of Life Building. Inside you’ll find a tribute to some of the horticulture leaders that have made Walt Disney World so fantastic. This is long overdue recognition. I think having your name on this festival makes you want to make the festival even better.

Katy Moss Warner is one passionate leader I got to know. She was a key figure in creating the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.
Katy Moss Warner is one passionate leader I got to know. She was a key figure in creating the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

I strongly suggest you check out the annual Epcot Flower & Garden Festival. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

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