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Ever since my first spring visit to Disney in 2009, my favorite time to go to Epcot is during the Flower and Garden Festival, which runs from March to May. On that first festival trip, I was amazed by the topiaries shaped like characters.

On each subsequent visit through the years, I enjoyed the festival more each time, noticing some of the smaller gardens, taking advantage of the food stands that pop up, wandering through the butterfly house, discovering the festival center theater that played a making-of-the-festival video, taking notice of individual flowers in my macro photography endeavors, and so much more.

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This year, I was so excited to experience the festival that I was there in time for park open on the first day. Even though I could only stay for a few hours before leaving for a trip to Bradenton, I knew it would be worth it for a morning visit.

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After realizing I wouldn’t be doing much in the way of photography due to having forgotten my camera’s memory card, I had a quick stroll around some of the Future World gardens on my way over to the butterfly house.

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I continued to admire the flower displays as I walked toward the festival center building. When I got there, I was excited to see that the little theater had the behind-the-scenes video playing, even if it was footage from last year. (I haven’t had a chance to go back since this day and see if they’ve updated the film for this year.)

On my way out, I passed by the section where they hold workshops, and a cast member held out a ticket and asked if I wanted to attend that morning’s workshop. Assuming that it would cost extra, I almost turned her down, but I happily said yes upon learning it was free.

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(Usually the workshops are just held on weekends, but because this was the first day of the festival, they were doing one so that the media team could shoot promo photos of the event. I even received a cool Mickey Mouse pin for signing a release form if they decided to use one of the pictures I was in!)

I was seated at a table with a few other people, and we all bonded over our love of the festival while waiting for the workshop to begin. When the speakers came out, I was thrilled that I recognized one of them from the aforementioned behind-the-scenes video.

The presentation included some cool DIY ideas on how to incorporate plants around the house and in gardens, and then it was time to make our own plant project. It was a simple little activity, but a lot of fun to do something hands-on that we all got to take home.

I was very excited for the freebie but skeptical at my ability to be a good plant parent. (Five weeks later as I write this post, and they’re starting to shrivel.)

Regardless of my ability to keep plants alive, I couldn’t be happier with my first visit of the year to the Flower and Garden Festival. It lasts until the end of next month, and if you need me before then, you can find me soaking up the colorful plant life at Epcot!

Love, Elizabeth