• First Look at the 2017 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

    By: Shelley Caran

    This weekend I was able to get a sneak peek at the 2017 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, and this year's event is going to be bigger and better than ever with some great new additions.
    The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival takes place March 1 – May 20, 2017, and during the Festival's 90 days guests will get to enjoy beautiful blooms, whimsical topiaries, enjoy delicious treats from outdoor kitchens, fun outdoor play areas, and the chance to enjoy rockin' concerts.
    So let's take a look at the Festival's new additions!
    Gardens and Topiaries
    This year even more gardens and topiaries will fill Epcot during the International Flower and Garden Festival!
    Disney Horticulturists, Artists, and Imagineers have combined their efforts to create a new generation of princess topiaries, and this year the festival will welcome a brand-new Belle topiary as fans remember her from the Oscar-winning Disney film, “Beauty and the Beast.” Located outside the France Pavilion with the Beast topiary, Belle will come to life with sculpted facial features and her yellow ball gown created with golden blooming Joseph’s Coat and Creeping Jenny plants. She is absolutely stunning in person.
    You also won't want to miss the new 6-foot-tall topiary of Figment, the feisty dragon mascot of the park’s Imagination! Pavilion, perched atop a 5-foot-diameter ball fashioned from yellow Joseph’s Coat behind Spaceship Earth!
    In addition to the more than 70 topiaries, three new gardens can be seen at this year's Festival. These gardens are spread throughout the park, and bring the sights and sounds of nature to guests with imaginative flower beds, plots of plant life, and wildlife habitats.
    Outdoor Kitchens
    Fresh, farm-market food and beverage flavors will debut at the new Northern Bloom and The Berry Basket Outdoor Kitchens that will join 13 returning Outdoor Kitchens.
    Delectable chef-inspired bites from Northern Bloom include Seared Scallops with French Green Beans and Butter Potatoes with brown-butter vinaigrette and Applewood smoked bacon. A Maple Popcorn Shake for sipping can become an adult libation with the addition of some Crown Royal Maple Whiskey. At The Berry Basket, the Lamb Chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique can pair with the new Founders Raubeaus Pure Raspberry Ale.
    We had the opportunity to try some of these new dishes at our preview, and there are some fantastic additions to the culinary line-up! My favorites included the Warm Wild Berry Buckle with Pepper Berry Sorbet from The Berry Basket and the Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut-Lime Sauce from La Isla Fresca.
    Fun for Kids
    This year the kids will have two new redesigned interactive play areas at the Flower and Garden Festival! The popular “Cars” play garden in Future World East (behind the MouseGear Shop) will include a new Road to Florida 500 theme that will be introducing the new “Cruz” character topiary from the upcoming June 2017 release of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3.”
    Over in Future World West (on the walkway between the Imagination Pavilion and World Showcase) the Music Garden Melodies play area will return with a new garden design, musical note topiary elements, and climbing nets. This is a great spot for parents and children alike, as there are seating areas with shade and a perfect view of of the fun.
    Garden Rocks Concert Series
    New this year the Garden Rocks Concert Series will expand to four days each week with three concerts each Friday through Monday at 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8:00 pm in the American Gardens Theatre. presenting pop musicians that span multiple genres over five decades. New acts this year include Simple Plan, Exposé, and Berlin featuring Terri Nunn.
    You can find out more about the Garden Rocks Concert Series and the new Garden Rocks Dining Packages here.
    Keep in that admission to Epcot is required, and that while most Festival events are included some experiences require a separate purchase or a separate admission fee. In addition, availability is limited for select experiences, and all events may be rescheduled or canceled at any time.
    We'll be bringing you more information and tips & tricks for making the most of your visit to the 2017 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, and you can find out first by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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