Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival 2013

J and I not only live close to Disneyworld (about 20 minutes away) but we are annual passholders. We typically go to one park or the other monthly and never miss out on the special events hosted at Epcot. It being the start of spring (even though we barely have seasons here in Central Florida), it is time for the Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival.

Epcot Flower and Garden 20 Years Disneyworld

Every year I love to see what topiaries are on display.

Cars Topiary Disneyworld Epcot Flower And Garden

J and Goofy Epcot Flower and Garden Disneyworld

Lightening McQueen Topiary Disneyworld Epcot Flower And Garden

My favorite exhibit is the butterfly garden.

Disneywolrd Epcot Flower And Garden Butterfly

Disneyworld Epcot Flower and Garden Butterfly Sign

The wraparound flowers that they do every year are so colorful. Imagining how much work goes into the festival each year is mindboggling.

Disneyworld Epcot Flower and Garden Runway of Flowers

Flowers Disneyworld Epcot Flower And Garden

We saw a special passholder exhibit while we were there.

Disneyworld Passholder Event Epcot

It was a display of innovations throughout the years and memorabilia. Very cool stuff like the tickets they first used at Disneyland in the 1960’s.

There was another reason for this special exhibit.

Disneyworld Epcot MagicBands

MagicBands! MagicBands are an RFID technology that will be used instead of the paper passes. The devices that read the RFID chips look like this.

Disney MagicBands

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The MagicBands are connected to your credit card to pay for items in the park and will be used instead of fast passes. As someone who lives in constant fear of losing my flimsy, paper annual pass, having a wrist band will be so much better. It will be interesting to see all the ways MagicBands are used in Disneyworld in the near future.

What we did receive is a hard, plastic card that replaces our paper annual passes until the MagicBands are ready for consumer use.

The highlight of our trip for J? Ducklings!

Disneyworld Ducklings Epcot

Disneyworld Ducklings Epcot 2

J was even able to pick a few up because they had a difficult time getting over a curb. So freaking cute!

My highlight of the day minus the amazing flowers.

Disneyworld Epcot Flower And Garden More Flowers

Epcot Disneyworld Flower and Garden Lily

I finally found a Hidden Mickey!

Hidden Mickey Disneyworld Epcot UK

I even have a book that points out all the Hidden Mickey’s in the park and I still never see them.

Overall, it was a wonderful day at the Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival.

Epcot International Flower And Garden Festival

Last week, the traffic around the Disney area was unbelievable. It is a combination of an already busy area plus the massive influx of people here on Spring Break. J sat in this traffic attempting to make it to class so long that he missed his class sitting in the traffic. He called and asked me if I wanted to meet him at Epcot for The International Flower And Garden Festival.

As pass holders, we go to the festival every year. I am always blown away by the beauty and creativity that Disney puts into the displays.

This is the entrance to the butterfly tent. I love that they do this every year, it is a great way to mix some educational information (life stages of a butterfly) with beautiful flowers.

Butterfly Epcot Flower and Garden

Spotted one.

Real Butterfly Epcot Flower And Garden

My favorite “ride” at Epcot is Living With The Land. I love to look at the different plants in the greenhouses and never tire of the cheesy animatronic land displays. There is a backstage tour that takes your through the greenhouses called Behind The Seeds Tour but the times are limited and we always miss it. Not this time.

Our tour guide is an advanced intern who is studying horticulture.

Tour Guide Behind The Seeds Epcot

J plus two little kids on the tour were allowed to introduce lady bugs onto this plant.

Disney Epcot Behind The Seeds Tour Lady Bugs

Hydroponic lettuce and an Epcot spotting across the way.

Disney Epcot Behind The Seeds Tour Lettuce

A grape tomato tree with boat riders from The Land ride in the background.

Disney Epcot Behind The Seeds Tour Tomatoes_edited-1

The guide told us that the strawberries were the only plants that they do not start from seed. Central Florida is pretty famous for its strawberry production, starter plants are in great supply.

Strawberries Behind The Seeds Epcot

The one plant we were allowed to touch. It’s called a Sensitive Plant and the leaves fold in when you touch it. This protects it from high winds.

Sensitive Plant Epcot Flower And Garden

The tour lasted about an hour and was well worth the $18 or so dollars. I highly recommend it if you are in Epcot.

They do different variations of this every year. I love the changes in color, so beautiful.

Wrap Around Flowers Epcot Flower and Garden

It was a wonderful and relaxing day that took my mind off of the job searching. Plus, it gave me an excuse to whip out my DSLR and practice a little of what I have learned reading photography books.

If you are in Central Florida from March 7th through May 20th, I highly recommend attending the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

November: The Month I Ran My First Half

Highlights:

Women’s Half Marathon St. Pete: November of 2011 will now be known as the month I ran my first half. Seeing all the planning and training pay off, all while having a great time running, was really the most wonderful part of the month.

Florida Hospital Celebration Health 10K: I learned what not to eat unless you want to run a 10K with a brick in your stomach.

Food Rut: Talking about my recent food rut was a catalyst in actually seeking out new recipes and planning out my meals. When you have a husband (looking at you J), who has a great need for variety, it’s important to keep dinners interesting and varied while at the same time trying to keep it healthy and cost-effective.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival:The Epcot Food and Wine Festival was filled with fun (and beer and food). Even though it was cold and crowded, J and I ate from one country to another. I love Epcot, it’s always interesting to be drunk at Disney and I can imagine it is much more fun to do that without kids.

Biggest Failure:

F Is For Failure: I took a day off of work to see the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn and fell asleep at 8PM.

Favorite Pictures:

Cat Stare

Sleeping Cat Gives The Evil Eye

Cute Cat Ready To Attack

The only picture of me at the Women’s Half Marathon. My number was scrunched up under my FuelBelt which I did not notice until I saw this picture.

St. Pete Women's Half Marathon 2011

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Women's Half Marathon St. Pete Bag

What are your highlights for November?

Walt Disney World Food And Wine Festival 2011

J and I picked the worst day for the Food and Wine Festival. Not only was it cold and windy (for Florida) but it was packed. We have annual passes and go to Epcot regularly, I have never seen this many people there ever.

Disney Food and Wine Festival

Disney Food and Wine Festival Sign

We made do and decided that drinking lots of beer would be the best way to warm up.

Disney Food and Wine Beer

In Canada we had Cheddar Cheese Soup and Moosehead Beer. That soup never fails to impress. If you are in Epcot, I highly recommend eating at Le Cellier.

Disney Food and Wine Canada Soup and Beer

They had a cranberry bog which was new this year. It kind of reminded me of home, we have a lot of these in New England.

Cranberry Bog

Cranberry Bog Food and Wine Festival

I asked J if he would take a picture of me because I am never in any of our pictures.

The first was taken before I realized he was taking one. He found this hilarious.

DinaRuns

Next one was fine.

DinaRuns 2

Look how windy it is.

DinaRuns 3

My favorite beer of the day was the Kona Pipeline.

Kona Pipeline Beer

The description from their website:

Pipeline Porter is smooth and dark with a distinctive roasty aroma and earthy complexity from its diverse blends of premium malted barley. This celebration of malt unites with freshly roasted 100% Kona coffee grown at Cornwell Estate on Hawaii’s Big Island, lending a unique roasted aroma and flavor. A delicate blend of hops rounds out this palate-pleasing brew.

You could smell and taste the coffee flavor. This may be my new favorite beer.

Kona Pipeline Beers

Our last food stop was in America. We had the lobster roll, lobster claw, and the pumpkin moose. The beer is the Sam Adams brewed yearly for the Food and Wine Festival.

Lobster Sam Adams Pumpkin Mouse

I had to include my favorite view in all of Epcot.

Epcot

This is a view from the bridge leading into France. It is also the spot where J proposed.

What’s your favorite beer?