By Stacy Cacciatore
The skies are bright, the air is filled with the smell of fresh cut grass, you can feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and brightly colored flowers are beginning to bloom. Ah,yes, all signs point towards the arrival of spring. After this tumultuous winter, I’m ready for warmer weather—and what better way to celebrate spring than at Walt Disney World’s annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival? With more than 100 topiaries on display, food kiosks and Illuminated Gardens, you will not want to miss the awakening of spring at the most magical place on earth. There are so many wonderful, new experiences added to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival this year, as well as traditions from years past:
• This year the festival will feature the ‘Land of Oz’ garden with carnival games, fun mirrors and special photo opportunities. Kids will love the ‘Land of Oz’ Play Area filled with bubbles, slides and play equipment. There is even Oz’s crashed hot air balloon.
• An exciting addition this year is the HGTV Designer’s Stage, where you can learn new skills for your home, yard and garden from some of your favorite HGTV stars. Brandon Johnson is presenting “My Yard Goes Disney,” which I’m particularly excited about! Other presentations include Casey Noble from Design on a Dime, Carter Oosterhouse from Million Dollar Rooms and Chris Lambton from Going Yard. All presentations are held at noon and 3 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Check out the HGTV Designers’ Stage Show Schedule for more details.
• My personal favorite part of the festival is the food! You can enjoy delicious international delights from pavilions around the World Showcase. In Mexico you can enjoy a crab tostada with chipotle aioli and valentine salsa. Add an organic Tequila Flight or Mexican beer to wash it down. Then head over to the UK for baked goat’s brie with kumquat chutney and a cup of hot tea. Grab a meatloaf sandwich with a Krombacher Hefeweizen from Germany, Frushi from Japan, spiced lamb kebab from Morocco and tarte à la ratatouille et fromage de chèvre from France to eat your way around the world.
The festival will also include new displays, including topiary of Goofy enjoying an anniversary cake to celebrate the festival’s 20th year. Music from the Sixties and Seventies will be featured at the America Gardens Theatre and numerous seminars on gardening will be held. Come on out and indulge in the culinary delicacies from around the world, admire the character shaped topiaries throughout the park or learn a new gardening skill. It’s all happening now through May 19, 2013, so be sure to check it out!
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Stacy Cacciatore is a member of the 2013 Disney Parks Moms Panel. Panelists have received/will receive a Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Disneyland Resort or Disney Vacation Club vacation for panelist and up to three family members and/or park tickets for their participation on the Walt Disney World® Moms Panel. The views expressed in the Panel are those of the panelists, who are independent contractors. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online, its affiliates, its management, its agents or its employees and have not been reviewed or approved by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online prior to posting.