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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive >March 2009 Edition 2


March 2009 Edition 2

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<< Introduction >>

While flowers may be starting to creep out of the ground in your neck of the woods, Epcot is already in full bloom.  In this special edition we cover the in's and out's of 16th Annual Epcot International Flower and Garden festival. From where to stay, what to see, where to eat, and what's new; this flower themed edition covers the festival from root to bloom.  It's insider Time!

<<Park Points>>

Brought to you by The Official Ticket Center

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is for kids of all ages, but here's some actives specifically grown for the littler gardeners: 

~ Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden (adjacent to Mouse Gear in Future World), with special hands-on activities for children, a play structure and colorful topiaries of Tinker Bell and her friends; daily Fairy & Princess Processional at 2 p.m. where kids can come dressed up and show off their costumes; they can also get their face painted with their favorite fairy, flower or insect; plus, meet the director and producer of the upcoming fall release “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure” March 21 at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

~ Pirates Adventure Zone (adjacent to the Germany Pavilion in World Showcase), an interactive play space designed for exploration and adventure greeted by Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Croc topiaries.

~ Let’s Get Moving (adjacent to the Imagination! pavilion in Future World), a recreational garden where children can climb and explore, featuring Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and Goofy topiaries demonstrating their favorite outdoor activities. Here, kids can climb aboard EVOS and Weevos Playsystems.

~ Green Garden (adjacent to the Morocco pavilion in World Showcase), a unique garden, which includes a playground, where guests can learn how to create an environmentally friendly, low-input garden of their own.

~ Earth Station (Test Track Walkway, adjacent to the butterfly garden), where kids can discover fun activities and how to positively impact Earth.

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>> The Official Ticket Center


<<Clubbing Around the World>>  

Brought to you by The Timeshare store


Mikki will be back next month with another edition covering all the ins and outs of a Disney Vacation Club resort, in this special edition we cover the benefits of staying at two resorts that are at the door step of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival:


Want to stay close to the action of the Flower & Garden Festival in a spacious villa?  Then you will want to consider the Boardwalk Villas or the Beach Club Villas.  These resorts are both a short walk or a leisurely boat ride away from Epcot's International Gateway Entrance.  Even though World Showcase opens at 11:00 am, the International Gateway Entrance opens when the park does.  Cast Members and ropes will guide Guests using this entrance out of World Showcase and toward the back side of Future World.  In addition to being typically less crowded than the main entrance, this entrance may also give Guests a bit of a head start on taking in the bountiful blooms of the festival.  At the end of a long day at the festival, it's just a short walk or a leisurely boat ride back to your room; a great advantage over the longer bus ride that would be required if staying at any of the other Disney Vacation Club resorts.


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>> The Timeshare Store


<< New  Blooms and Perennial Favorites >>


The 16th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival has unveiled some new features and actives, but has continued to bud with many of the favorites that keep Guests coming back year after year.  These new features and old favorites include:

~ Grand Entrance Display- A royal topiary court invites guests to celebrate Cinderella’s coronation day at the Epcot entrance. The signature topiary display, showcasing Cinderella’s royal moment, is designed in honor of Disney Parks’ new “What Will You Celebrate?” vacation initiative.  Near by topiaries of Snow White and the seven dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip, and Belle and Beast from “Beauty and the Beast” done their “blooming finery” to round-out grand front-entrance topiary display.


~ Environmentality Celebration – This special event (April 24-26) will showcase how to keep the planet green through solutions like reducing waste and using friendly bugs.


~ Flower Power concerts - Popular bands will rock the open-air America Gardens Theatre every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. The concert lineup is slated to include new acts like Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, plus pop favorites like Davy Jones, Chubby Checker & The Wildcats, Tony Orlando, Jose Feliciano, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone and other top acts.

~ Minnie’s Magnificent Butterfly Garden -- Hundreds of butterflies will flit inside a walk-through screened enclosure that includes a live exhibit showing how caterpillars form a chrysalis and emerge as butterflies.

~ Character Topiaries- Aladdin and Lady and the Tramp will join other cherished characters making topiary appearances throughout Epcot, which is veiled with 30 million blooms of sweeping floral beds and exhibits.


~Fragrance Garden - This exhibit at the France pavilion tells the “love story” of plants and perfume

~ Disney Gardening at Home presentations -Disney horticulturists will share gardening tips and lead guests in a hands-on, take-home activity.


~ English Tea Garden - This exhibit at the United Kingdom pavilion explores the art and history of blending tea plants. 

~ The Great American Gardeners series - Gardening celebrities and authors from across the country will reveal their gardening secrets.

~ The Art of Bonsai- This exhibit is sure to “wow” guests at the Japan pavilion.

~ The Garden Town Festival Center - Guests can shop for festival merchandise, attend speaker presentations and demonstrations and ask gardening questions of the experts.

~ Simba’s Birthday Celebration - A lineup of topiary characters straight from Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Lion King” will greet guests at World Showcase Plaza.

~ Poster Signings - Artist Heather French will sign festival posters each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at Canada Garden Retreat.


<<The More the Merrier>>

Brought to you by All Star Vacation Homes


The Flower and Garden festival is a great event for families and groups of all sizes, but here's two great ways to spend time at the festival for larger groups:


~ Character Topiary Scavenger Hunt.  This activity great for large groups begins behind Spaceship Earth in Future World. This family-oriented challenge tasks Guests to locate favorite Disney character topiaries throughout Epcot.


~International Dinner & Illuminations Dessert Reception.  For groups of 8 or more, this Grand Gathering experience is a great way to top off a long day at the festival.  After a delicious dinner at the Odyssey Restaurant, Guests view Illuminations Reflections of Earth from a private viewing area complete with a dessert buffet.  For more information and reservations contact Disney Dining Reservations via 1-407-WDW-DINE.


All Star Vacation Homes are great place to stay when visiting Walt Disney World with a large group. With over 170 Orlando vacation homes and condo rentals that can accommodate an array of group sizes (some up to 16 Guests), it's easy to stay close to Disney World with all the comforts of home.

>> All Star Vacation Homes

<< Maximizing Your Day >>

Brought to you by Radisson Orlando - Celebration

Many times Guests like to take a break from a day at the parks and enjoy a leisurely meal at one of Disney's many resorts.  When spending a day at the Flower & Garden Festival, Guests have some great options right in walking distance of Epcot itself!  The restaurants conveniently located with-in a short walk of the International Gateway Entrance include the Yachtsman Steakhouse, Captain's Grille, Beaches & Cream, Cape May Cafe, Flying Fish Cafe, Spoodles, ESPN Zone, Big River Grille & Brewing Works, Shula's Steakhouse, Fresh, Todd English's bluezoo, Picabu's, Garden Grove, Kimonos, and Il Mulino.  Between this smorgasbord of cuisines Guests are likely to find a convenient location to please any palate that may arise during a day at the festival.  A short walk (or leisurely boat ride) to and from any of these restaurants saves Guests travel time while still enjoying an intermittent break from the festival.

For a hotel that's convenient on location and on your wallet, consider a stay at the Radisson Orlando - Celebration.  Located in Celebration on 20 beautifully landscaped acres, the Radisson Orlando - Celebration is only 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World and provides scheduled shuttle service to all four theme parks.


>> Radisson Orlando - Celebration


<< Food for Thought with Jeanne >>

A long day at the Flower & Garden festival can dig up a ferocious appetite, Jeanne just so happens to know of a new place that can freeze even the most mammoth of hungers:

Jim and I have talked about checking the new T-Rex restaurant at Downtown Disney out since it opened. We finally made it for lunch today =)

While the food Is very good and most portions are large, I felt that this was another Rainforest Café in the way of design and price.

The restaurant is divided up into themed sections complete with animatronic critters that move about every 20 minutes or so. Dinosaurs, larger than life insects, Pterodactyls and meteor showers are some of the things you can expect to see at T-Rex Café.

I thought the menu had lots to choose from and admittedly, I did have a hard time deciding what I wanted. I finally settled on the Teriyaki Steak Salad which was excellent! Jim ordered the Triassic Tortellini, which was also very good, and our dining companion chose the Omnivore’s Delight which can be ordered with chicken or shrimp at an additional charge.

Once you're done with your meal be sure to check out the small, but well-stocked gift shop complete with a “Build-A-Dino” section. Bring home your own dino complete with birth certificate.

As I mentioned before, I thought the prices were a little high but I would still recommend dining here at least once. You can make reservations but you must call the restaurant directly. Their number is 407-828-TREX (8739).

<< Conclusion >>

Although this special edition of the Insider has come to an end, the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is still in full bloom.  The festival will continue daily through May 31, 2009.  We'll be back in a little bit with more tips, info and news to keep-you-up-to-date and help you plan that next, great Disney vacation. See ya real soon!

<< Thank You To Our Sponsors! >>

The INTERCOT Insider and INTERCOT.com are supported by the following sponsors who in turn, help us bring the Magic to you!

All Star Vacation Homes
Website: Vacation Home Details Here
Choose from the finest selection of vacation homes and condos in the closest locations to Walt Disney World.

Clarion Resort & Waterpark
Website: http://www.clarionwaterpark.com
The perfect hotel for your family's next vacation. Conveniently located in Kissimmee, yet convenient to many Orlando attractions, the Clarion Resort & Water Park is a full-service Orlando area hotel and conference center with four restaurants, a spa, a teen activity area, a children's playroom and a state-of-the-art water park that's perfect for kids of all ages.

The Official Ticket Center
Website: Buy & Price Tickets Now!
The Official Ticket Center is Walt Disney World’s, Universal Studios and Sea World’s #1 guest service provider for the last 3 years. The Official Ticket Center sells tickets only, at a discount price.

Magical Journeys
Website: http://www.yourmagicaljourneys.com
INTERCOT's Official Travel Agency.  An unconventional Travel Agency for the unconventional client, Magical Journeys is dedicated to finding the best pricing for your next magical journey. We work hard to save you money, and still give you the quality service you deserve.

Mandara Spa - WDW Swan & Dolphin
Website: http://www.mandaraspa.com
The spectacular Mandara Spa creates an unforgettable guest experience within a magical setting surrounded by the paradise that is the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

Quicksilver Tours & Transportation
Website: http://www.quicksilver-tours.com
Our drivers are the first personal contact you have when you arrive in Orlando.  No other transportation company goes to the lengths we do to ensure that your trip is exactly how you imagined it. At Quicksilver, we truly believe there's no such thing as going "above and beyond" for our clients. Instead, it's all part of doing our jobs correctly.

Radisson Resort Orlando - Celebration
Resort Details Here
Conveniently located just 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World with free shuttle service. roomy guest accommodations and a Starbucks and Pizza Hut right on property!

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
Website: http://www.swandolphin.com
In the heart of the Walt Disney World® Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is your gateway to Central Florida’s greatest theme parks and attractions. Come discover our 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds®, the luxurious Mandara Spa, and many special Disney benefits.

The Timeshare Store
Website: http://www.dvc-resales.com
This Disney Vacation Club resale site offers the largest selection of DVC Resale's anywhere!  They are the number one Disney Vacation Club Reseller in the world. See how easy and affordable it is to purchase your very own piece of the "MAGIC".

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