Nesting instincts

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pretty gift tags available for Spring and Easter from my Mulberry Muse shop

Magician Mickey Mouse Appearing at Different Magic Kingdom Location Beginning April 1st


Mickey Mouse is moving to a new location in Magic Kingdom to meet and greet his friends at Walt Disney World Resort. As of April 1, 2011, guests can go backstage at Town Square Theater for photos and autographs with Mickey -- without waiting in a standby queue!

 The New Town Square Theater

And that's no April Fools' Day trick! Nor is it "magic." Rather, it's the result of the first-ever use of Disney's FASTPASS Service for a character meet-and-greet experience. FASTPASS allows guests to reduce waiting by designating a window of time when they can return for a theme park experience.

But there IS magic in the air at the Town Square Theater presented by Kodak, located just inside the Magic Kingdom entrance. Previously known as Town Square Exposition Hall, the venue has been re-imagined as a turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century theater where posters proclaim Mickey Mouse as the star of a magic show.

Town Square Exposition Hall (Now Town Square Theater)

A glistening marquee with gold-leaf trim and sparkling lights beckons guests to enter a lobby that serves as a hub for character meet-and-greet queues, the Box Office Gifts merchandise shop and Tony's Town Square Restaurant. Lush curtains with gold rope tie-backs, polished-brass chandeliers and a huge tile floor mosaic of the Town Square Theater logo adorn the space.

Just beyond the lobby, guests pass through an ornate arch and enter a queue to meet Magician Mickey Mouse -- or a queue to meet the Disney princesses, for whom Town Square Theater will be a meet-and-greet location during New Fantasyland construction.

The meet-and-greet experience begins when magical posters featuring Mickey's various magic acts come to life, enhancing guests' journey through queues into the backstage corridors of the theater. Mickey greets guests in a rehearsal-room environment amid posters, steamer trunks and stage props. It's a classic backstage area with a wood floor and ceiling. One wall is brick, the others are papered in red and black -- Mickey colors.

During the Princesses' limited engagement at Town Square Theater, they will greet guests in an area fit for royalty -- replete with plush carpeting, lush velvety-blue drapes with gold tiebacks, and a large mural backdrop of a chateau amid green, tree-covered hills and fields.

Exiting the meet-and-greet areas, guests pass through Curtain Call Collectibles, a shop with design elements suggesting a backstage area used for theater shipping and receiving -- with large, barn-like doors through which props and set pieces could pass. Adorning the room are some of the apparatuses used in magic tricks, including the dunk tank, sword basket and saw of dread.

Guests wanting to meet Mickey or the Princesses can either obtain a Disney's FASTPASS ticket or get in standby queues. FASTPASS tickets, which are available near Town Square Theater, designate an hour window of time during which the guest can return to the theater and have their "magic moment" with Mickey or the Princesses without joining the standby queues.

Take Root and Flourish

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I was weeding in the garden today and found a dead plant, as I pulled it cleanly from the earth I was instantly inspired and amazed by the beautiful root system.
My daughter Tabitha Emma photographed it for me and gave it the title:)

Slow down life can be beautiful....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fine art Print from magalerie

It is time to slow my life a little too many things happening and a body that is too ill to keep up.
I love to create and make beautiful things but my health is deteriorating and constant pain is making it difficult to manage the amount of time and effort needed to create the unique handmade items.
Publishing work is a blessing but I have also decided to open a Zazzle shop and allow them to do the hard work while I enjoy the designing and creative part.
Introducing the Mulberry Muse Zazzle store with many new things to come as time and health permit.
Request for special merchandise orders will be considered if at all possible:)

Join Jack’s Crew Tonight for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Sneak Peek’

posted at the Official Disney Parks blog on March 25th, 2011 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Since its debut at Disneyland park in 1967, the Pirates of the Caribbean adventure has thrilled guests with its rollicking fun and detailed storytelling. The attraction inspired the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie in 2003, and now a new, engaging entertainment experience at Disneyland park will give guests an exclusive, 3D “peek” at the newest Pirates film.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Sneak Peek” debuts tonight at Festival Arena, just after nightfall. In this exciting pirate experience, guests will join Captain Jack Sparrow and his rowdy crew for an extended film sequence from “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (opening May 20). 

Here’s a look at the Disney crew getting everything ready to hoist the sails. Show Director Glenn Kelman says he hopes guests “feel like they’ve become a Pirate of the Caribbean.”

As night falls, look for scallywags and pirates along Big Thunder Trail. Guests will start the adventure there and may be surprised to find a special, peg-legged parrot among the pirates. 

The “sneak peek” previews will begin after dusk and run continuously until park closing – weather permitting, of course.

If you can’t make it tonight, you can join Jack’s crew on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through May 30, and seven nights a week from April 15 through May 1. You can find additional information on the Pirates of the Caribbean – Sneak Peek page.

A spoonful

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Image from PaperPhine

Image from Sadie Olive

The Epcot Outpost - Village Traders & Refreshment Outpost

The Epcot Outpost is located between Germany and China in the World Showcase.

Technically, it is not a country but if it were, it would be Africa. This small area has a refreshment stand, a shop and even live entertainment for guests to enjoy.

Village Traders - The outdoor market features soapstone sculptures, wood cravings including canes, hats and African masks.  

Directions: From the entrance pass the large ball of Spaceship Earth and continue on to the World Showcase which surrounds the lagoon. Follow the path left (Mexico) around the lagoon till you pass China and go over the bridge. The shop/stand is on the left. 

R E F R E S H M E N T    O U T P O S T

The Refreshment Cool Post offers cold drinks, soft serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, chips and fruit.

OrisRisi- is a pair of African storytellers. This couple tells folktales that they heard as children in Nigeria. The storytelling includes the playing of the drums which most people find hypnotic. Children especially love the drums.

This duo is very entertaining, as they should be. He is a music researcher and a folklorist and she grew up hearing the stories that they share with park guests. The two of them together are very animated and very good storytellers. Be sure to check a times guide for specific performance times. 

Kids should stick around after the storytelling is over for a chance to play the drums.

Click Here to see the menu (and price) and click here to see family photos at this location!

Buttons and Bows

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Buttons and Bows and inspiring ideas for Spring Weddings
Edible sugar vintage buttons from the delicious andiespecialitysweets
Art deco silk clutch from viabella
Fabulous corset from la belle fairy
French Mannequin Wedding Dress by Cafe Baudelaire

St. Patrick's Day 2011 at Disney Parks

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
 Display at Emporium - Main Street U.S.A. - Magic Kingdom

Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland. It originated as a Catholic holiday and became an official feast day in the early 17th century. It has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Irish culture.

St. Patrick's Day Earhat

The hat has a retail of $14.95, and is the perfect accent to your St. Patrick’s Day outfit. It can also be found on the Disney Parks on-line store.

Erin go bragh! It means Ireland Forever. You won't get pinched on St. Paddy's Day wearing this green St. Patrick's Day 2011 Mickey Mouse Ear Hat. A little leprechaun hat sits between Mickey's ears and ''St. Patrick's Day 2011'' is embroidered on front.

W h y    G r e e n ?

Originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century. He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. In the 1798 rebellion, in hopes of making a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention. The phrase "the wearing of the green", meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing, derives from a song of the same name.

My son and I found a four-leaf clover in our yard about two years ago,” said Jeanne. “We pressed it in a book with the hope it would bring us good luck. It has so far.”

- Jeanne Lewis, developer for the two St. Patrick’s Day limited edition pins,

Top o' the mornin' to you! Celebrate March 17th with pie-eyed Mickey who's dressed up in traditional green on this St Patrick's Day Mickey Mouse Plush Toy. He even has a four-leaf clover in his hat so with luck you'll give him a nice big hug! 

Look who found your pot of gold -- it's Mickey on this 2011 St. Patrick's Day Leprechaun Mickey Mouse Pin. Glittering gold and four-leaf clovers add sparkle and a touch of Irish charm to this limited edition pin.

Being an alien, Stitch doesn't have much in the way of Irish roots, but that doesn't stop him celebrating the patron saint's day on March 17th with this glittering St Patrick's Day Stitch Pin.

2010 Celebration at Raglan Road at Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney Goes Green for St. Patrick’s Day

Ready to be Irish for the day? The Downtown Disney District is preparing to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 with special entertainment, kids activities, food specials and lots of green. Traditional Irish music, along with folk and rock tunes, will set the mood. With this much fun, you just might want to pinch yourself!

Not party-ready when you arrive? Before you get pinched for not wearing green, hurry to one of the many merchandise carts set up throughout Downtown Disney and grab a green feather boa or novelty bowler hat, beads and other colorful accessories for the party.

The festive atmosphere kicks into overdrive when the high energy Irish folk band Shillelagh delivers spirited songs accompanied by accordion, fiddle, and percussion on the District’s main stage at the ESPN Zone.

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Catal Restaurant in Downtown Disney

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen along with the ESPN Zone, House of Blues, Catal, Tortilla Jo’s and La Brea Bakery are all offering St. Patrick’s Day drink specials including Irish whiskey, themed martinis, margaritas and, of course, green beer.

Not to be outdone, Uva Bar will feature a special menu throughout the week leading up to March 17 along with drink specials and an assortment of Irish beers. We’ve been told that even the hosts and hostesses will be getting into the act, but we don’t want to give away all their surprises.

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Build-A-Bear Workshop in Downtown Disney

Your little leprechauns can be set loose to find the Downtown Pot ‘o’ Gold in a fantastic treasure hunt. If they’re lucky enough to find the hidden clovers throughout Downtown Disney District, they could win prizes and maybe even a gold doubloon or two. Need more great reasons to follow this rainbow? Build-A-Bear Workshop and the LEGO Store will both have special four leaf clover activities and merchandise available while Kaman’s Art Shoppe will offer themed face painting and henna tattoos for adults and children.

Update on Tokyo Disney Resort, Aulani, and the Disney Wonder

Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan Earthquake Update – March 15

posted on March 15th, 2011 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks

First and foremost, our hearts go out to all of the people in Japan who have been impacted by last week’s devastating earthquake in Japan. In response to this disaster, The Walt Disney Company is making a $2.5 million contribution to the Red Cross to help aid in the disaster relief. The company has also coordinated a charitable giving program for all Disney employees and will match donations, dollar for dollar, up to an additional $1 million.

In regards to our theme park operations, Tokyo Disney Resort will remain closed this week so that a comprehensive safety investigation can be performed. While there was only minimal damage to the resort, the safety of our guests and cast members is always our top priority so we want to be as thorough as possible in our inspections. The quake caused considerable damage to the local infrastructure and transportation systems in the area so we need to take that into account as well. Fortunately, all of the guests who were at the resort when the quake hit have been able to leave despite these transportation challenges.

A decision regarding operations at the Tokyo Disney Resort will be made on March 21 and we will continue to post updates on the Disney Parks Blog as the situation progresses. The thoughts and good wishes of the entire Disney company go to our colleagues in Japan, their friends and families and all of the Japanese people as they begin their recovery efforts in this difficult time.

[Update: March 13, 2011 - 11:35am]

The official park operational calendars show Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea closed through March 21.

Daps Magic (@mrdaps), a Disney blog that has been in contact with visitors and employees via Twitter and Facebook, reports that power, water and gas are operating inside the parks. Minor injuries were reported, including a few people treated for anxiety.

New York Post travel editor David Landsel (@davidlandsel), who has been tweeting from inside Tokyo DisneySea, said about half the visitors have been allowed to return to their hotels or leave the park. The 30,000 visitors who remain in the parks have been treated to tea, cookies, chocolates and pork buns, he said.

"What a bizarre (and wonderful) place to be trapped!" he wrote to his followers.

Tokyo Disneyland closed after earthquake

Tokyo Disneyland and TokyoSea are closed in the wake of the major earthquake that hit Japan on Friday, several websites report

The Disney Blog says that theme-park management has said the theme parks will be closed Saturday and possibly Sunday as the damage is assessed. The resort says there were no injuries.

Disney has since confirmed that through a statement from the Oriental Land Company. It reads:

"Following the earthquake that occurred today, we [OLC] have decided to suspend operations at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea on Saturday, March 12 in order to conduct inspections at all facilities. As for operations from March 13 and beyond, that has yet to be determined at this point in time. As of now, we have not confirmed any injuries among our guests or cast members."

Inside the Magic website reports that 70,000 guests were forced to stay overnight at Tokyo Disneyland. Pictures show standing water in the resort's parking area.

The theme parks are about 200 miles away from the center of damage from the 8.9-magnatude quake.

Read more at and

As many of you know, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck near the coast of Japan on Friday and Tokyo Disney Resort was one of the many areas affected. Fortunately our team on the ground has reported only minor injuries and minimal property damage at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. The safety of our guests and cast members is always our first concern so both parks will remain closed on Saturday to allow for a thorough inspection of our attractions and facilities. Cast members at the Tokyo Disney Resort are also providing humanitarian aid in the form of blankets, food and water for guests who are still at the resort due to the transportation challenges associated with the earthquake.

Because of the quake’s effect on the waters of the Pacific, the Disney Wonder’s itinerary was altered slightly due to the closure of the Port of Cabo. Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, currently under construction in Ko Olina, Hawai’i, was not impacted.

Our thoughts and sympathy go out to our guests, fellow Disney cast members and all of the people in Japan affected by this terrible disaster. We’ll share any additional information today by posting updates at the top of this page.

by: Thomas Smith

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Special Edition

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quick…look away and then back at the image below. It takes a second to figure out but that’s what makes it so special.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The image is a unique sight from a past Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The 2011 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV is a spring special event filled with Disney character topiaries, a colorful array of flowers, gardens, live music and special presentations. It's where Disney springs to life! The festival is held from March 2 to May 15, 2011.

For additional details, download the festival guide.  

You'll find over 75 Disney character topiaries among the over 100 topiaries arranged throughout Epcot. Plus, for the very first time, the festival includes Disney·Pixar character topiaries. See beautiful topiaries representing Buzz, Woody and Lotso from Toy Story 3. Plus, don't miss Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars 2.

Festival Highlights
View the festival highlights including must-see attractions, themed weekends and special experiences.

Designer Presentations
See how green your thumb can be as some of the nation's top designers help you plan everything from planting your first garden to enhancing your home's curb appeal. With opinions from HGTV stars like Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder—plus Epcot gardening experts—you'll have new ideas blooming around your home in no time! View the schedule of HGTV designer presentations or download the festival guide with the complete presentation schedule.

Flower Power Concert Series
Enjoy unforgettable live music from the 1960s and 1970s during the Flower Power Concert Series. You'll find a different artist—including Melissa Manchester, Davy Jones and Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone—every weekend during the festival at the America Gardens Theatre!

Special offer for Florida Residents
Florida residents can take advantage of a special 4-day ticket offer to visit the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Learn more about the offer!

Epcot admission is required. Most Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival events are included with admission to Epcot. Availability is limited for some events. Events may be cancelled at any time.

Festival Center – Presented by HGTV

Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Festival Center, located inside the former Wonders of Life Pavilion, features presentations by View the schedule of HGTV designer presentations, designers and gardening experts. Presentation times vary and are subject to change, but events are often scheduled for 11:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Download the complete schedule.

Bambi's Butterfly House – Presented by HGTV

Experience a festival favorite! Plus, this year, the butterfly house is more than double the size of previous years. Wander among hundreds of native butterflies and see topiary versions of some of your favorite characters from Bambi.

Rapunzel's Tower – Presented by Tangled

Rapunzel's secret tower comes to life in the Tangled Magical Garden—inspired by Walt Disney Pictures new animated film, Tangled. You won't want to miss this beautiful photo location designed by the expert Disney Horticulture team.

Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden – Presented by Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Take flight into the garden world of Pixie Hollow and meet some of your favorite Disney Fairies from Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games—coming this fall on Disney Channel! Play structures are designed for children ages 2 to 5.
Themed Weekends

Art in the Garden Weekend

Dates: March 25 to 27
Watch artists showcase their skills in multiple mediums—including pottery, painting and glass. You can also observe as "plein air" artists paint the scenic backdrop of World Showcase.

Fresh From Florida Weekend

Dates: April 29 to May 1
Discover Florida's natural bounty—from Apalachicola to Zellwood! Featured growers are available to chat about fresh items from throughout the state, including produce and honey.

It's a Disney·Pixar Weekend to Celebrate Cars 2

Dates: May 13 to 15
The festival's final weekend is all about Pixar Animation Studios—and especially Cars 2, which debuts in theaters on June 24, 2011. Kids will love the Cars 2-themed scavenger hunt around World Showcase.
Special Experiences

Garden Explorations – Epcot Gardens of the World Tour

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Days: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
Ages: 16 and older
Cost: $59.00 (tax included, requires theme park admission)
Take a fascinating guided tour designed especially for garden enthusiasts! A Disney Horticulturist will give you the inside scoop on a 3-hour tour of special displays and award-winning international gardens.
Register at Guest Relations when you arrive at Epcot or call (407) WDW-TOUR or (407) 939-8687. Guests under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian's permission to call.

Flower Power Concert Series

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the festival, finish off the day at the America Gardens Theatre adjacent to the American Adventure Pavilion. Groove to live music from artists of 60s and 70s during the 2011 Flower Power Concert Series.

Showtimes are at 5:15, 6:30 & 7:45 p.m.

Date Performer Known For
March 4 to 6
Jose Feliciano
Light My Fire
March 11 to 13
The Guess Who
American Woman
March 18 to 20
Chubby Checker and the Wildcats
The Twist
March 25 to 27
New - Melissa Manchester
Don't Cry Out Loud
April 1 to 3
Starship starring Mickey Thomas
We Built This City
April 8 to 10
New - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
You Don't Have to be a Star (to be in My Show)
April 15 to 17
New - Juice Newton
Queen of Hearts
April 22 to 24
Ricky Nelson Remembered featuring The Nelsons
Poor Little Fool
April 29 to May 1
Paul Revere & The Raiders
Good Thing
May 6 to 8
Davy Jones
I'm a Believer
May 13 to 15
Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone
I'm Henry VIII, I Am
Entertainment is subject to change without notice. Songs listed are for artist recognition only and may not be in the playlist.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 8, 2011) -- HGTV kicks up the "curb appeal" of the 18th Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival March 2 through May 15 with a first-time sponsorship featuring weekend appearances by its acclaimed designers and landscaping experts. The star-studded lineup includes Genevieve Gorder, Lisa LaPorta, Kim Myles, Brian Patrick Flynn, Taniya Nayak, Ahmed Hassan, Patti Moreno, Michele Beschen, John Gidding, Frank Fontana, and Vern Yip.

The country's leading home and lifestyle television brand brings an addictive blend of design, decorating and landscaping inspiration to the enduring, 75-day gardening extravaganza at Walt Disney World Resort.

At the Festival Center presented by HGTV, popular celebrity experts will appear each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival on the HGTV Stage. The HGTV hosts will deliver valuable tips to Disney guests on topics including "Mobile Gardens," "Secrets to Bringing Indoor Style Outside" and "Gardening with Kids."

"We are thrilled to welcome HGTV and so many of the network's great Talent to Epcot this spring," said Dan Cockerell, vice president of Epcot. "HGTV's design and gardening personalities add an exciting, and entertaining new element to a festival that reinvents itself year after year."

As part of the sponsorship, HGTV also will present a new, twice-its-previous-size Bambi's Butterfly House along the Future World Imagination Walkway. Inside this popular festival stop are hundreds of native butterflies and character topiaries from the timeless Disney classic film, "Bambi." This year's display celebrates the upcoming release of "Bambi" Diamond Edition, for the first time on Blu-ray Hi-Def.

"People visit Disney for a memorable experience where they are inspired, enlightened and entertained," said Jim Samples, president, HGTV. "Our star designers will provide just such an experience for the Disney guest during The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV.  Disney is the ideal venue and destination for us to connect face-to-face with our passionate viewers."

The HGTV celebrity lineup includes:

Genevieve Gorder, HGTV Design Star and Dear Genevieve (March 4-6)
The Art of Sculpting Space

Lisa LaPorta, Designed to Sell (March 11 - 13)
Design It Yourself: Easy-to-follow Tips for Designing Your Favorite Rooms

Kim Myles, Myles of Style (March 18 - 20)
The 5 DIY Secrets That Can Transform Any Space

Brian Patrick Flynn, Design Happens, (March 25-27)
Mobile Gardens

Taniya Nayak, Designed to Sell and Destination Design (April 1-3)
Adding Value to Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

Ahmed Hassan, Yard Crashers (April 8-10)
Life, Love and Landscaping

Patti Moreno, Garden Girl, (April 15-17)
Gardening with Kids: Fun Seed Starting Projects

Michele Beschen, B. Original (April 22-24)
When Nature Calls: Creative, Back-to-Basics Style for All Things Natural and Decorative

John Gidding, Curb Appeal: The Block (April 29-30, May 1)
The Design Process: Curb Appeal Projects from Concept to Construction

Frank Fontana, Design on a Dime (May 6-8)
Beautiful on a Budget: High Style, Low-Cost Secrets to Bringing Indoor Styling Outside

Vern Yip, HGTV Design Star (May 13-15)
Top Design Trends Made Affordable and Accessible

In addition to its own celebrity stage appearances, HGTV will present the popular twice-daily Disney Gardening at Home series, where guests can join a workshop and take home projects ranging from hanging baskets to water garden features. The Festival Center's HGTV Theater will present a special-engagement film featuring tips and hints from HGTV shows.

Dozens of Disney character topiaries are back by popular demand at this year's festival. Woody, Buzz Lightyear and chief villain Lotso of the Oscar-nominated Disney blockbuster, "Toy Story 3," make their first topiary appearance in front of Spaceship Earth at the park's front-entrance garden. Topiary craftsmen also will debut floral versions of Lightning McQueen and Mater, stars of "Cars 2," to be released in theaters this June.

Flower Power concerts will rock the open-air America Gardens Theatre stage three times each Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening with popular acts like Davy Jones and Chubby Checker & The Wildcats. New-to-the-festival performers will include Melissa Manchester, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.

More information about the 18th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is available by calling 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or by visiting The festival, including all gardening programs, presentations and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Hi everyone, I’m Debbie Mola Mickler from Disney Horticulture. In about a week, (March 3rd) the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be opening. And there’s no better way for us plant lovers to spend the day than at Epcot during the festival. Now in its 17th year, this festival will have more topiary, container gardens and flower beds filled with color than ever.

Behind the Scenes: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Backstage at the Walt Disney World Nursery things are moving, or should I say growing, quickly. Topiary, one of the main stars of the show, is getting their final touches in preparation of making their move to Epcot. With so many new plant varieties available to the horticulture industry our Disney topiary are really “coming to life.”

Behind the Scenes: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

So, how do we create signature Walt Disney World topiary? To produce one of our sphagnum topiary it takes a lot of imagination and a few good horticulturists to put it all together. It all starts with a Disney Imagineer who designs a maquette figure. From there, a skilled welder forms the frame, an irrigation specialist adds watering mechanisms and then our Gardeners will stuff and plant the frame. This whole process can take several weeks and depending on the plant material it may take a while to grow, filling out the frame. To make the topiary appear more life-like we create faces or embellishments from dried mosses, palm fibers and even seeds. 

We are asked quite often, “How can I create topiary at home?” There are many great online resources available to purchase the pre-made topiary frames, just type in “sphagnum topiary” to any search engine. You even can buy them pre-stuffed with sphagnum moss; just water and add some plants. These online topiary frames are not as big as our 14 foot tall Goofy, but if you know a good welder anything is possible.

posted on February 23rd, 2010 by Debbie Mola Mickler, Disney Horticulture

Behind the Scenes at Disney Floral & Gifts

posted on February 11th, 2011 by Jean Volante, Manager of Dream Making, Disney Floral & Gifts/DEG

When I walked into our shop this morning, I took time to “smell the roses.”
Roses at Disney Floral & Gifts, By: Regina Blaney

Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. And even though I have been here at Disney Floral & Gifts for 8 years, I’m always so impressed with the volume of beautiful Disney bouquets we create. Disney has perfected the art of designing and delivering mass bouquets to guests all over Disney property – it’s really quite impressive. So with you in mind, I quickly got a hold of one of our Disney Fine Art photographers, Regina Blaney, to shoot some images to share with you.

As you walk into our shop, the room is filled with roses, mixed floral and rose bouquets that are being prepped and designed for delivery today to the resorts. As we get closer to Valentine’s day, it will get even busier…and it’s wonderful.

Roses at Disney Floral & Gifts, By: Regina Blaney

In a recent post, I featured our “Disney Dozen” rose bouquet. It’s our most popular floral gift which features the wishing rose in the center.

Roses at Disney Floral & Gifts, By: Regina Blaney

Here are the wishing roses, freshly sprinkled with pixie dust by Tinker Bell. Yes, she really does visit our shop each day.

The Wishing Rose, By: Regina Blaney

And take a look at these adorable Minnie Mouse floral bouquets. Guests love these clever designs set in a Minnie Mouse “mug”. Did you notice her skirting. So Disney!

The Minnie Mouse Bouquet, By: Regina Blaney

What makes Disney Floral & Gifts “magical”… one of our secrets is that each bouquet which leaves our shop includes an exclusive card and hidden surprise…

The Disney Floral & Gifts Exclusive Card, By: Regina Blaney

Overall though, we truly enjoy creating a one of a kind special moment just for you…. so you feel special.

The Disney Floral & Gifts, By: Regina Blaney

Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

posted on March 2nd, 2010 by Garth Vaughan, Photographer, Walt Disney World

Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Finishing touches are being put in place for this years’ International Flower & Garden Festival. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at a truly massive effort to put the scene just beyond the turnstiles. Simply amazing! And they beat the rain.

Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Finishing Touches – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

80,000 Bedding Plants Featured During Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot

posted on March 2nd, 2010 by Debbie Mola Mickler, Disney Horticulture

The countdown has begun! In less than 24 hours, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be blooming with color. Guest frequently ask me, “What are your biggest challenges?” Well, this year it has to be the frequent drop in temperatures that have blanketed much of the south. We usually get a few cold nights with temperatures freezing or below. This year has certainly been an exception; our festival planning has had to be adjusted on several occasions. On average it takes over 24,000 man hours to plan and install the entire festival.

80,000 Bedding Plants Featured During Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot

We start growing many of our topiary, floating gardens and flower towers months before the show starts. We place our forty-four large (around 9 feet tall) flower towers outside the greenhouse to get the maximum sun they need to grow. But, when temperatures drop they are brought back inside the greenhouses each night. Even the topiary that is outside get a white blanket (frost cloth) of protection and heaters warm their feet from the cold. The positive side of colder weather allows us to plant annuals that do not like the warmer temperatures.

One of my favorite bedding plants we are using throughout the festival is blue and yellow violas. With close to 500 varieties of violas distributed throughout the world, their heart shaped scalloped leaves will be easily recognized by most Guests.

Pictured (from 2009) is one of our largest flower beds planted just for the festival. During the rest of the year the area is turf; a few weeks before the festival starts gardeners pull up the turf, lay out the beds and plant up to 80,000 bedding plants. Guests can get a good view walking from the fountain to Showcase Plaza or an aerial view by monorail. The theme changes each year and I think it is one of the best picture taking spots if you love color!