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Disney World Prepares For 18th Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Disney World Landscapers are preparing Epcot for the 18th Annual International Flower & Garden Festival which starts on March 2 and runs through May 15, 2011.

This years marks the addition of HGTV as a sponsor and Toy Story 3 Characters as the inspiration for the featured topiaries.

HGTV celebrities Genevieve Gorder and Vern Yip join 9 other HGTV design experts as featured presenters during each weekend of the festival.

Disney's expert topiary artists are crafting a front entrance garden that is sure to excite fans of the Disney Pixar movie Toy Story 3 with a display that will include Woody, Buzz Ligfhtyear and newcomer Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear.  It will be the first time in 7 years that the front entrance topiary display features all new topiary characters.

According to Eric Darden, festival horticulture manager, “It created unique challenges, and it’s meticulous work. Woody is skinny, and it was a challenge to create his legs. The detail on Buzz is pretty daunting.” And the buzz on the pink-floral Lotso (a.k.a. Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear) is that he will smell like strawberries, just like his big-screen character, when guests stroll by.

In all there will be over 100 topiaries on display, including a new display featuring characters from the upcoming animated film "Cars 2."

New Features for the 2011 Flower & Garden Festival
HGTV’s festival sponsorship adds fresh excitement to an event that has expanded and endured through the years. Festival Center presentations showcase HGTV and HGTV.com celebrities on weekends and other experts seven days a week. Located next to Mission: Space in Future World, the center presents workshops and talks by a solid lineup of master gardeners, Walt Disney World horticulturists and a mix of TV and radio personalities, authors and educators.

Also adding fresh fun to the festival:
  • A roomier-than-ever Bambi’s Butterfly House more than doubles in size this year in its new location along the Imagination Walkway by Innoventions West in Future World. It’s the first time the popular garden has expanded since its 2005 debut, and guests will see more butterflies than ever, Darden says.
  • For the first time at Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden, favorite Disney Fairies will pose for photos and sign autographs throughout the day. Young fans who enter this whimsical garden also discover play structures for children ages 2-5.
  • HGTV presents a Sustainable Beauty Garden with ideas for your own home garden.
  • Rapunzel lets down her hair at Rapunzel’s Tower in the Tangled Magical Garden inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ animated film, “Tangled,” located between the Germany and Italy pavilions.
  • Flower Power grows with new-to-the-festival pop acts. Melissa Manchester, March 25-27 (Don’t Cry Out Loud) and Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., April 8-10 (You Don’t Have to Be a Star) are set to light up America Gardens Theatre with their timeless tunes.
  • A new Festival Special Weekend is slated for May when Disney*Pixar presents a Pixar Animation Studios celebration in conjunction with the upcoming “Cars 2” big-screen debut set for June 24.

2011 Festival Guide
For full details on all of the events and special guests for the festival download the:
2011 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Guide.

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