Single post

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Center in Old Wonders of Life Pavilion

There are a ton of things to do at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot, which runs from March 6th through May 19th 2013. Today we’ll have a look at the Festival Center, which is housed in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion between Universe of Energy and Mission: SPACE.

The pavilion is open seasonally as the center for the Flower and Garden Festival as well as the Food and Wine Festival, which takes place every year in the fall. When you approach the entrance you are greeted by large colorful flowers and background music by the artists playing in the Flower Power Concert Series.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Center

Entrance to Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Center

Here’s a look back from the entrance toward Innoventions.

Entrance to Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Center

The pavilion is a great location for the Festival Center, with its sixty-five foot high domed ceiling and large mobile hung from the center of the dome.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Center



Gardening experts and HGTV hosts share tips at the Spotlight, Designer’s and Greenhouse Stages with several daily presentations.




Intermissions Cafe and shop:



This year’s official Flower and Garden Festival t-shirt features a cute comic book-style Mickey Mouse mowing the lawn:


In the back of the pavilion is a little museum about the history of Disney Horticulture.




On the left side are a series of display cases that contain props that illustrate the creation process of Disney toparies.


flower-garden-b-16 Left sign: “It all starts with the storyline when creating Disney-style topiary. Character artistsw review short stories, movies and style guides for inspiration. To ensure the design is appropriate, many different versions are considered before the final pose is selected.”; Right sign: “A Walt Disney Imagineer designs a small maquette figure (clay replica) from the artist’s rendering. The Imagineer makes sure it looks good from any angle, and that the design will be effective when translated into plants.”

flower-garden-b-17 Left sign: “Topiary specialists, artists and structural engineers finalize the figure, and a digitized or hand-drawn template of the topiary is made to scale. Charater artists and topiary specialists, using the maquette and color images as their guide, select the appropriate plant materials for the frame. It is important when selecting plants that they replicate the different textures of the character’s skin, clothing, fur, hair, eyes and accessories.

flower-garden-b-18 Left: “An internal cage is made to take up space inside the topiary.”; Right: “Irrigation specialists add water mechanisms makign sure all areas of the topiary are covered.”

flower-garden-b-19 Sign: “Gardeners add a skin made of netting, then stuff the frame with moistered sphagnum moss. The sphagnum moss is the base from which all plants grow.”

flower-garden-b-20 Sign: “To make the topiary appear more life-like, we create faces or embellishments from dried mosses, palm fibers and even seeds!”

flower-garden-b-21 Left: “Maintaining the integrity of the topiary is very important: it takes some sharp shears and a bit of imagination. Gardeners constantly pinch, prune and pin the plant material to keep the topiaries in shape.”; Right: “From our production area backstage at the Walt Disney World Nursery to the 75 days of the FLower & Garden Festival, Cast Members are dedicated to bringing our Disney characters to life.”

A circular display in the middle of the Horticulture Heritage area tells the story of Disney legend Morgan Bill Evans, who defined Disney theme park landscaping for half a century.









On the right-side of the museum area is a wall with the history of Disney Horticulture through the decades, starting in 1950 with the creation of Disneyland.



Finally, if you make it to the Festival Center this year you must check out the half hour film “Making of the Festival” at the HGTV Theater. It alternates with show segments from HGTV, but I found the film about the festival extremely entertaining and interesting. In it Disney employees and horticulturists involved with the preparations of the festival explain and show in great detail all the things involved in bringing the many aspects of the Flower and Garden Festival together, from the creation and placement of the topiaries to the building of the playgrounds and butterfly garden. It is a great little film.


November 4th, 2013 at 1:25 am

I think that they forgot to cover up the “Body Wars” sign, I should look for it.


theme by teslathemes