Review: Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival Part 1 | | DisKingdom.com | Disney | Marvel | Star Wars

It’s crazy to think that this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival was only open for 12 days before the Disney Parks had to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the timetable of when the parks will reopen, it is possible that those 12 days could be the only days of the festival. Fortunately for me, I was on vacation down at Walt Disney World when it opened, and was able to experience the bulk of the festival before I headed back home to NY prior to the closure of the parks.

Today, I will share with you pictures and my thoughts on Part 1 of the festival, with my remaining pictures and thoughts appearing this weekend with Parts 2 (Food Booth centric) and 3.

 

The Epcot Experience

Before we get into the actual festival, I wanted to take some time to share with all of you my take on The Epcot Experience. Located in the former Odyssey Restaurant, between Test Track and Mexico, this “preview center” showcases what’s new and upcoming for the Epcot theme park. From a looping 360 degree video experience and brand new attraction posters to props and items that attractions are inspired from, this experience also includes a couple of photo ops. Here are some pics of the venue.

 

Video Experience

In the video experience, the Disney Imagineering Team previews upcoming attractions and experiences, including the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic RewindRemy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Mary Poppins attractions. Additionally, there are looks at the updated Spaceship Earth, the new PLAY! Pavilion, the new nighttime show HarmonioUS, and the Moana outdoor water playscape.

Posters

Along the outside of the video experience, updated posters of attractions (current, upcoming, and retired) dot the walls. Some of these posters look amazing.

Click thumbnails to see larger images.

 

Props & Photo Ops

Along with the posters, displays showcasing props from Mary Poppins ReturnsRatatouille, and the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise accompany concept art, maquettes, and more. These are there to highlight the upcoming rides. Additionally, there is concept art for the new World Celebration section of the park (former Future World Plaza where the Fountain of Nations once stood) and two photo ops: one for Spaceship Earth and the other for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

Click thumbnails to see larger images.

 

 

 

Okay, now I am going to begin my actual coverage of the Flower & Garden Festival. First up, probably the main attraction of the festival: the topiaries. Located throughout the park, most of these topiaries feature Disney and Pixar characters. However, a few are of special myths and legends of a given country. Let’s check them out.

Click thumbnails to see larger images.

 

Future World

 

 

 

Showcase Plaza

 

World Showcase

 

My favorite topiaries from this year include Kermit & Miss Piggy, Remy, and, of course, Figment. Also of note: the Fantansia topiary structure is the same one that was displayed at the first ever Flower & Garden festival.

 

Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration Scavenger Hunt

Spike the Bee (made famous for tormenting Donald Duck in several cartoons in the 1940s and 50s) is back with his Scavenger Hunt. This year, Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration takes guests on an adventure to twelve gardens throughout Epcot to try and locate Spike and the plants that he is visiting. Each map for this hunt can be purchased at multiple locations throughout the park for $7.99 plus tax, and then redeemed for a surprise gift (you don’t have to actually finish the hunt). This year, the surprise is a choice of one of four plastic cups. These cups feature different characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Orange Bird, and Donald with Spike the Bee.

Photo Credit: Disney Fashionista Blog

 

I really enjoyed this hunt, which I actually took part in this year. Some of the locations where Spike is at aren’t very well lit, so doing the hunt at night I do not recommend. Aside from that, I think it’s a great thing to do for both children and adults alike.

 

Merchandise

The last thing I wanted to highlight for Part 1 of the festival is the merchandise. As with all of the Epcot festivals, a LOT of merchandise is released. For this festival, there were four collections created: Minnie’s World in Bloom, Home Grown (featuring Mickey), Sweet as Can Bee (featuring Spike), and Orange Bird. From pins to clothing, from drink ware to Mickey & Minnie ears, from cookware to Wishables… there is something for everyone’s taste.

 

As far as what I picked up, it was not much. I did get two of the cups from Spike’s hunt (his cup and the Orange Bird cup), as well as a few souvenir items at some of the food booths (I will highlight them in Part 2). I did pick up a couple of the pins, tried my hand at getting the Figment Topiary Wishables (I had to settle for Minnie and the Butterfly), and a pair of Orange Bird Minnie Ears as a gift for a dear friend.

 

Well, that about does it for Part 1 of my Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2020 Review. Part 2, focused on all of the yummy food that can be had at this festival, will be posted later this week. Until then, I invite you to share your thoughts on what you’ve seen from the festival so far, either in person if you had a chance to catch it, or from my review here.

 

Have a great day everyone!

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