One thing I’ve been excited about since we moved to Orlando is the prospect of being able to go to all of the special events throughout the year at all of the Disney properties. With this in mind, the second that I saw that the Flower and Garden Festival had begun, I was ready to go and check it out. After all, I’d never been to one before and after the International Arts Festival, I was super curious as to what types of things would be new and different this time. With my camera in my pocket and Carl leading the charge by way of the map and event booklet at the park entrance, we made our way around the world, ready to experience everything the Festival had to offer. Let’s see how we fared.
Part One – Topiaries, Flowers and Gardens
A big part of the Flower and Garden Festival is, of course, the flowers and gardens. However, one of the more fun outlets of this is the fact that there are several character themed topiaries all of over the park to look at and enjoy. In fact, many of these also have photo pass opportunities in front of them. From the moment we stepped into future world, to our trek around the world, we took in A LOT of greenery, each more fascinating than the last.
As we entered the park, we were greeted by one of my favorite characters, Figment.
Then, not much further in, Stitch awaited us in a small garden.
We waved hello to Buzz Lightyear as we took in the West Side of Future World. We then left as Carl’s stomach became nauseous at even the prospect of being close to Space Ship Earth.
The great thing about the festival is, as the name implies, there are gorgeous gardens laid all about the park that were often just as inspiring to look at as the topiaries themselves. I saw a man getting way up close and personal with these flowers and decided to do the same.
Just outside the Festival Center, which was closed to us since we visited on a weekday, we caught up with the best of the best. Donald, Pluto, Mickey and Minnie were hanging out together because, well, who said Disney characters don’t hang in clicks?
Goofy in particular stood out as he was eagerly jogging to get somewhere. Perhaps he was hoping to catch a tram to Magic Kingdom in time for the parade.
And while the topiaries were big and grand and hard to miss, there was plenty of detail to be found by slowing down and looking a little closer.
We got a sneak peak oat Cars 3 as we headed out of the West side. I really liked the way the tires seemed to shine on these cars.
And again, I stopped to take in the scenic beauty all around us.
Back near the center of Future World, we took advantage of our Annual Passholder photo pass to take a photo with Chip and Dale, who I was hastily trying to welcome every spare moment in the Disney Magic Kingdoms mobile game.
Behind them, we found Donald and his nephews which got me excited for the new Duck Tales TV show all over again.
Everywhere you looked there was something colorful and vibrant to see, like these floral arrangements floating on the water’s surface.
And then a cast member was kind enough to stop and take a photo of us on this forced perspective painting which made it seem as though we were flying atop massive butterflies.
Speaking of which, we headed to the butterfly pavilion which was full of adorable butterflies as you’d expect, but also housed several fun facts on the insects as well as small enclaves where you could actually watch them hatching from their cocoons!
On the other side of Future World, we ran into a very famous sorcerer conducting a whole host of magical spells.
He wasn’t the only ode to Fantasia though, as several ballet inclined animals surrounded him on all sides.
Even the toadstools were getting into the festivities as they hid away in a small enclave of trees.
There are so many beautiful patches of flowers all around you as you walk from one topiary to the next, it felt as though my eyes were racing everywhere, trying desperately not to miss a thing.
As he headed to the back of Future World, ready to take on the world, we ran into Phineus and Ferb, as they seemed to be working on an intricate plan.
Our time in Future World complete, we took to the world showcase. I’ll only be showing the topiaries here, but be sure to click down the page to see my next post all about the delicious treats we ate along the way.
As we headed into Mexico, my favorite Caballeros sang us in.
Each country had something a little different and Norway gave us this troll and a brief history on their mythological relevance to the landscape of Norway.
We also ran into Anna and Elsa, and somehow Carl convinced me to pose like them. I hadn’t had anything to drink yet so I suppose this was just a fluke. The girls that were next in line loved it so much that they did the same thing!
China was home to a family of pandas as well as one of my favorite topiaries, a dragon which took up residence in a small lily pond.
On our way through trading post, we ran into the cast of The Lion King.
We were fairly surprised to see that Simba was completely colored, while his parents remained green. If nothing else it helped him to stand out for sure.
We simply couldn’t pass the opportunity by to get our photo taken with Snow White, though I’ll never know why Carl felt the need to eat the gems.
Love was in the air in Italy as we passed by Lady and the Tramp, surrounded by all sorts of flowers.
And in the United States, we saw the main Cowboy himself, sheriff Woody.
There was also an amazing collection of bonzai trees in Japan and we spent quite some time looking at how intricately they twisted and turned on themselves.
The Beauty and the Beast topiary in France was actually gorgeous and was not to be missed. It was certainly a fan favorite what with the film on the way next week.
And if you are really excited for the film, there’s a really cool photo pass worth check out in front of the Belle and the Beast, which later came to us as a nice surprise.
In London, we ran into a fairy who was tending her garden.
And high above her was Peter Pan, having some difficulty locating the second star to the right, given the cloudy weather that day.
As we left the UK, we waved Hello to some of our favorite friends, Pooh and company.
Our last topiary met us in Canada as Bambi, Thumper and Flower all played in a garden patch.
The topiaries were pretty incredible. As you can see, it was pretty possible to spend the bulk of the day just looking at them and searching for them throughout the park. Luckily, the handy guide you get on the way in is a great tool for hunting them down. I had meant to jump into all the food and other activities we partook in here at the end of this post, but given all the topiaries I think I’ll save it for a second part. In our next article together, we’ll enjoy food, beer and the hunt for eggs!! In the meantime, let me know your favorite topiary, either here on the page or that you’ve seen in the park before!