March Feature: Flower and Garden Festival Fun

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FashionEarsta Shares our Top Tips for Surviving the Festival at Epcot and Recreating the Spirit of Flower and Garden at Home!

Spring means one thing at Epcot: It’s Time for the 2022 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! This year’s celebration is a long one: the festival runs until July 4, 2022!

So get ready for our annual discussion of all things floral! We visited the festival and have some practical tips for the parks, and then Belle of the Ball has ideas for how to celebrate at home without spending your entire retirement fund on gas getting there.

Keep reading for more!

Top Three Tips from the 2022 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

I (the Fancy Floridian) just returned from a birthday trip to Disney World and you know I spent a day at the Flower and Garden Festival! Despite being the second year in a row that the Festival has returned after the pandemic closure, things are still a little… wild… at Epcot right now. So I thought I’d share my top three tips for making the most of this fan-favorite festival in 2022:

1 – Pack Your Patience

The Flower and Garden festival usually falls right in the middle of Spring Break season at Disney World. With how the nation’s different school systems have their breaks spread out from February to April, there is no real “down” week to enjoy low-crowd parks.

We visited on the second Monday of the festival and Epcot was still bursting at the seams. If you’re trying to ride the (relatively) new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure ride and are waiting in the standby queue (or if you lost the 7am Lightning Lane Lottery) expect a 95 minute wait at Extra Magic Hours rope drop! The queue for this ride snaked all the way back to the International Gateway bridge at 8:30am. There was even a point when we spotted a 70 minute wait time for Spaceship Earth!

Photo credit: BlogMickey.com

That being said, some of the best parts of the Festival are queue-free. Strolling around to find the various Disney topiaries has no wait time, and the Spike the Bee Scavenger Hunt is great for keeping kiddos occupied during the walk.

Interestingly, we noticed that some of the more popular food booths, such as the Italy and Japan booths, had surprisingly short lines! Our tip: be flexible and don’t go with a plan for what you absolutely have to eat at a certain time. We ended up walking up to a table at La Cava del Tequila instead of the Encanto booth we had our hearts set on, but in the heat of the afternoon we enjoyed it immensely!

2 – Have a Flower and Garden Merch Backup Plan

If you’re like me you see pictures of new festival merch online before your trip, fall in love, and plan park outfits around that new pair of ears or spirit jersey. “I’ll grab it when I get there,” I foolishly told myself about the Orange Bird ears.

Photo Credit: allears.net

Alas, the parks are still very impacted by supply chain woes, and we don’t anticipate this improving any time soon. That adorable pair of ears wasn’t in the parks at all for my entire trip (they ended up dropping in Epcot on the day after I left!)

Our tip: don’t count on any one piece of Disney merchandise or souvenir being available at the parks, even if it makes complete logical sense for it to be there. And definitely don’t promise your kids anything that you haven’t already seen in person in a store!

Fortunately, most merch eventually shows up in the parks or shopDisney. The Festival of the Arts Figment bags that were MIA in January were lining the walls of the Journey Into Imagination ride gift shop last week. If you follow FashionEarsta on social media, we do our best to alert you to new drops on shopDisney, even if it’s a 2021 Christmas Ornament showing up in March 2022!

3 – Pack the Poncho

It’s March. It’s Florida. It’s going to happen. It may not be every day, but you will experience rain at the Flower and Garden Festival. Sometimes you’re lucky and it’s a passing afternoon shower. But sometimes you’re unlucky like me and you end up literally swimming through Epcot.

Don’t forget that Disney World is built on a swamp and therefore there is very very limited drainage. When Epcot gets more than an inch/hour of rain, it backs up the storm drains and creates large pools of standing water that are frankly dangerous for anyone in a stroller, ECV or with mobility challenges.

If you’re unprepared like us, you try to tough it out in a fancy skirt and hat, get totally soaked, and then wait 2 hours at the Yacht Club bus stop because the skyliner is closed. You can still embrace the full-body-soak look (I’ve done photoshoots in the past !) or you can bring a poncho and at least keep your bag and phone dry.

It seems like simple advice, but I’m a Disney uber-veteran and I still took my poncho out of my bag to save space the morning of that downpour. Our tip: don’t be like me – bring or buy that $12 rain insurance policy! (And if you’re staying at a skyliner resort, know how to get back to your hotel in case of inclement weather).

It was a bit of a whirlwind, rainy visit for me, so I think I might try some of Belle of the Ball’s tips for enjoying the spirit of the festival in the comfort of my own home! Keep reading for some great ideas that don’t involve a 125-minute queue for Frozen Ever After!

Flower and Garden Festival at Home

Spring is blooming and so is the 2022 Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot! While The Fancy Floridian definitely got the lucky part of this writing assignment, I am here to help you recreate this incredible festival at home! Because we all need a little more Disney in our lives!

Festival Fashion

At FashionEarsta, first things first – fashion. We need to get our festival gear on! While shopDisney is planning on releasing the festival merchandise online soon, we do love these new ears available now. These are perfect for any trip during the Spring or Summer months, but I think they are a great way to get into the spirit of an at home Flower and Garden Festival.

If you are someone who loves to collect the festival merchandise, keeping checking shopDisney as they will be releasing some of the collections online. For a full sneak peek, check out this blog post on the Disney Parks Blog. There are 5 sections to the collection: Orange Bird, Mickey Mouse Home Garden, Spike The Bee, Figment’s Garden and the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Collection. Here are a few photos to get you thinking of what you would want to add to your collection! Personally, we are big fans of anything with the Orange Bird because it’s a little bit of sunshine and cheer!

Garden Party

The topiaries and gardens are magnificent during this festival and while you probably don’t have Mickey’s budget to landscape your home quite the same way, we can always take inspiration from Disney.

I do not have a green thumb but I am willing to try anything! With Spring Break and Easter vacations, this is also a great way to spend creative time with your kids!

We found a few step by step tutorials on how to build a Mickey Mouse topiary from Pinterest.

Feeling confident? This 26-minute step by step YouTube video will walk you through every step on creating a Mickey topiary! She even shows you every product she purchased and used in this incredible creation!

If flowers are more your speed, there are so many things to do with flower arrangements to bring the magic into your home!

We love this YouTube tutorial that shows you how to create a subtle Mickey Mouse bouquet!

This next tutorial will definitely bring spring into your home!

And, if you are looking to create and design your own flower pots with beloved Disney characters, check out this easy to follow DIY video on how to create a Winnie the Pooh Hunny Pot!

If the DIY seems too daunting, don’t worry! Here are some of our favorite Disney inspired garden items you can order and pretend to have done it yourself!

Bambi’s Butterfly House Inspiration

According to the festival’s website, one of the interesting attractions to visit is Bambi’s Butterfly House which is located near the Imagination Pavilion. This exhibit “lets you view a kaleidoscope of butterflies up close to learn about their life cycles and observe their extraordinary colors and beauty.”

This exhibit gave us some inspiration for a butterfly craft that you can do at home with kids! I love this marbled paper plate butterfly craft because it uses items you probably already have around the house!

And, there’s this fun buttery kaleidoscope project you can do with kids as well!

Bonsai Beauty

This year’s EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival also includes a Bonsai Collection in the Japan Pavilion. According to the Disney website, this exhibit is where you can “learn about the art of bonsai, some of the finest living sculptures. Bonsai masters carefully shape and tend these miniature works of art, creating peace and balance with the earth.”

I have always been mesmerized by bonsai trees. Did you know that if properly cared for a bonsai tree can last hundreds of years and be an heirloom? With each bonsai tree embodying its own spirit, it can bring joy into a home.

Part of the fun about taking care of a bonsai is that it can help teach kids an appreciation of nature! That’s why I thought it would be a fun part of the Festival to recreate at home.

Amazon is a great place to go for a complete starter kit for a Bonsai kit. Check out these affordable options below!

Tea Party Etiquette

The United Kingdom Pavilion houses some fun events during the Festival. As big tea drinkers, we love to visit the English Tea Garden and Shakespeare Garden. During the Festival you might even be lucky enough to spot Mary Poppins or Alice “gardening” in this secluded spot!

A tea party is a fun idea to do at home and dress up as princesses! For more inspiration on how to dress as a practical princess, check out our article!

To recreate this part of the Festival at home, there’s no better choice than Twinings Tea & Walkers Shortbread. Both of these are sold in the United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot but you can buy them at your local grocery store or on Amazon. And, this Princess Tea Set is a magical addition to any tea party!

And, the perfect entertainment for a tea party is to take an English legend like Shakespeare and read aloud a kid’s version or act out a play!

So, FashionEarstas, we hope we covered all the bases for how to celebrate the Flower and Garden Festival this year! Are you planning to visit before July 4th? Let us know here, on Instagram and Facebook (@fashionearsta) and our brand new YouTube channel! Be sure to follow us so that you’re always in the loop and can follow along with our adventures!

Pixie dust and glamour!

The Fancy Floridian and Belle of the Ball

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