« Meet 'Kingdom Keepers' author Ridley Pearson at Walt Disney World | Main | Piloting Walt Disney World paddleboat a magical moment for my son »

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival offers lots of activities for kids

kristinford.jpg

EDITED_FG_playground.jpg

If you think the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, which begins March 7, is just for adults, think again! Sprinkled throughout the beautiful scenery are several interactive opportunities for kids that will make parents smile as well.

For my elementary-age children, the hands-down favorite is the annual "Let's Get Moving" area along Imagination! Walkway. This is the only time during the year that guests will find play structures this elaborate at Epcot.

The first year we saw the crowded play area, my husband and I thought, "Why do we want to waste time at Epcot on a playground -- something we can do anywhere other than Walt Disney World?" But the bright colors and unusual shapes called to my kids, so we went inside to check out the PlayBooster play sets, which are made for ages 5 to 12.

EDITED_FG_playground2.jpg

Our opinion changed after we saw just how much fun our son and daughter had. Honestly, they would stay there for hours each visit if we let them! There is also a PlayBooster Weevos area just for 2- to 5-year-olds and a Sensory Play Center.

The photos pictured above are from the play set from the past few years. I'm told this year's new, larger equipment, the PlayBooster Vibe, is expected to look like this.

EDITED_NEW_butterfly_garden.jpg

Bambi's Butterfly House

While you're on that side of Epcot, be sure to check out Bambi's Butterfly House. Hundreds of native butterflies float through the air and guests can see them growing at different life stages. Topiaries of favorite characters from the movie Bambi lead up to the enclosed gazebo.

EDITED_FG_fairy.jpg

Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden

Another must-do for our family is the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden, which is located in the Test Track Walkway and presented this year by Disney's Secret of the Wings, which will be released in the fall. The garden, which first debuted in 2009, has grown as Disney has released each direct-to-DVD Tinker Bell movie over the last four years.

Inside the lush area, guests will find beautiful topiaries of the Disney Fairies and miniature fairy houses. The creativity and attention to detail in the houses is just amazing, and my kids enjoy trying to find everyday items incorporated in the structures. A Disney landscape artist said they use things like watering cans and teapots because they help illustrate the size of fairies.

Kids of all ages can make crayon rubbings in the garden, and young visitors (ages 2 to 5) can check out the Weevos play set and the Cozy Dome hide-away tucked into the landscape.

Adjacent to the fairy garden is Tinker's Nook, where kids can color and receive fairy stickers and seed packets.

New this year

The Backyard Play Garden, located between Morocco and France in the World Showcase, is a new play area full of unusual gardening ideas for families. See how to turn a concrete block wall into a planter, reuse an old bathtub outdoors or make the roof of your doghouse green. "The whole theme of the garden is getting your kids out of the house and into the yard," said Eric Darden, horticulture manager for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Also new this year is a Haiti garden near Germany -- only at Epcot! This is the first illuminated night garden in the 19-year history of the festival. Kids of all ages can participate and show off their creativity by coloring their very own Haitian “Tap-Tap.” Families will also find other ways to delve into the Haitian culture and refreshments in this produce garden and marketplace.

(Check out the AllEars Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival page for even more details.)

There are many other kid-friendly aspects to the Flower & Garden Festival, from Sorcerer Mickey and Toy Story topiaries to concerts to HGTV presentations. Disney Channel fans won't want to miss Brandon Johnson, who plays Gary Wilde on Shake It Up, talk about his other show, My Yard Goes Disney, on April 13, 14 and 15. (The premiere of My Yard Goes Disney aired Friday, and you can get a sneak peek at what this season holds in my previous AllEars blog post.)

The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

The previous post in this blog was Meet 'Kingdom Keepers' author Ridley Pearson at Walt Disney World.

The next post in this blog is Piloting Walt Disney World paddleboat a magical moment for my son.

Comments (5)

Amy:

I agree..my children love the flower and garden festival too. The playgrounds are amazing, made even better by the artificial turf they put down -- none of those nasty Florida bugs to deal with.

christine:

We usually visit Disney during the summer. A few years ago, we went during the Flower and Garden Festival. It was so pretty! The playground was a big hit with our kids. I've always wondered why that has to be just for the festival. I feel that Epcot is the least kid friendly of the parks and this temporary playground is a great place for them to burn off steam and enjoy themselves. And while they're doing that, we get to rest up!!!

Anne Marie Geary:

It's nice to see that the children can enjoy the Flower & Garden Festival too just like their parents. Also a side note, Raglan Road luncheon 3/15/12 is fulled. They are not taking reservations.

Robert Long:

My 5 year old son and I just came back from our "boy day" trip last week. I had to drag him off the playground to make our dining reservation. He couldn't get enough of the place. The Lightning McQueen and Mater display near Japan really excited him too! People think it's odd, but Epcot is his favorite of the parks.

Michelle geoffrion:

I can't wait to go in May. I have 3 year old that is going to love the butterfly garden. I went with my husband one year and I just remember how beautiful it was. We are going to bring his parents too.

Post a comment

(All comments must be approved before they appear on the entry.)


By submitting this comment I agree I am bound by the AllEars.net Terms of Use agreement

Return to Blog Central

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 28, 2012 8:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Meet 'Kingdom Keepers' author Ridley Pearson at Walt Disney World.

The next post in this blog is Piloting Walt Disney World paddleboat a magical moment for my son.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.