Themed Weekends Pack Extra Flower Power Into 2008 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Beekeepers, plein air artists, dolls, teddy bears and beloved Disney characters make special appearances on different themed weekends during the 15th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 19 through June 1. Each of the 11 festival weekends features a special theme with events and activities that add to the daily festivities.

Premiere -- March 21-23

The festival opens with 30 million blooms, special Easter activities, topiary magic, gardening activities and new exhibits.

Easter Brunch is served Sunday, March 23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at World ShowPlace. Guests can call 407/WDW-DINE for reservations.

The Guess Who launches the weekend Flower Power concert series (3/19-22) at America Gardens Theatre; Petula Clark appears March 23. Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m.

Joe Lamp'l (aka joe gardener) entertains guests with practical tips to help homeowners "go green" when revamping home landscapes as part of the Great American Gardeners series presented by the American Horticultural Society. 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. in Garden Town at Future World East next to Universe of Energy.


Characters in Bloom -- March 28-30

Dozens of Disney characters pop up throughout the park for a character extravaganza.

Paul Revere and the Raiders (3/28-29) and The 5th Dimension (3/30) make Flower Power concerts sing each weekend day. Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre.

Great American Gardener Ellen Zachos tackles "Prehistoric Planting" and explains how to grow a dinosaur garden. 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. in Garden Town.

Peter Pan's Never Land Garden showcases Peter Pan and Captain Hook topiaries, providing fun for everyone, especially younger children. The new Pluto's Play Zone features climbing fun for kids 6 and up.

Art in the Garden -- April 4-6

Guests get a first-hand look at nature through the eyes of more than 25 plein air artists who will paint at several locations throughout World Showcase.

New Flower Power musician Jay Black ("This Magic Moment") entertains guests (4/4-5); Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone (4/6) return by popular demand. Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre.

TV garden host Shirley Bovshow offers "out of the box" ideas to give gardens artistic edge. Great American Gardener series 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. in Garden Town.
The renowned Highwaymen Artists appear with their legendary Florida landscape paintings.

Children can enjoy the Kids Paint Out experience (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) in the Sculpture Garden at Future World East. Easels and special paint bottles are set out for kids to paint freehand (or any other style) with the assistance of a professional artist nearby.

Wellness -- April 11-13

Field Day activities designed to enhance well-being include aerobic fun in the Sculpture Garden and at Garden Town.

The Grass Roots featuring Rob Grill in concert (4/11-13) belt out nostalgic tunes during the Flower Power concert series. Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre.

Author of Get Fit Through Gardening, Jeffrey Restuccio offers a game plan for turning gardening into a lifelong wellness program. Great American Gardener series 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. in Garden Town.


Green -- April 18-20

The Department of Agriculture hosts special activities for children.

Guests learn that it is easy being "green" at the new Green Garden and at the Lush Xeriscapes exhibit.

Peter & Gordon flex their Flower Power with hits like "A World Without Love" (4/18); Starship starring Mickey Thomas draws crowds for "We Built This City" (4/19-20). Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre.

Tovah Martin, TV guest on PBS's "Cultivating Life," serves up tips for going "green" in home gardens and landscapes. Great American Gardener series 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. in Garden Town.


I Dig Bugs -- April 25-27

Guests discover that bugs are fun and keep gardens healthy.

Beekeepers meet guests and share the buzz on bees with displays and free honey samples.

Disney's Animal Kingdom bug specialists appear to give guests a close-up look at caterpillars, spiders and other creatures.

The Ventures bring "Hawaii Five-O" sizzle to the Flower Power concert stage (4/25-26) and B.J. Thomas keeps raindrops from fallin' on your head (4/27). Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre.

Author of award-winning Passalong Plants, Felder Rushing shares secrets to year-long garden beauty with herbs, flowers and even "designer" veggies. Great American Gardener series 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. at Garden Town.

Jiminy Cricket and friends make special appearances in Future World throughout the weekend at various times.

Ladybugs will be released more frequently throughout the I Dig Bugs Weekend at Green Garden and Growing Future Gardeners.

Florida Farmer's Market -- May 2-4

Visit the ultimate Florida Farmer's Market at Garden Town. From Zellwood to Apalachicola, the bounty is vast.

Arlo Guthrie strikes a nostalgic note for music fans (5/2-3) and The Searchers (5/4) make their Flower Power concert debut. Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre.

Central Florida gardening celebrity Tom MacCubbin piques interest with talks on edible landscapes. Great American Gardener series 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. at Garden Town.

Coming Up Roses -- May 9-11

Members of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs exhibit a spectacular display of floral arrangements at the Garden Town festival center.

Families can celebrate mom at the Mother's Day Brunch on Sunday, May 11, at World ShowPlace (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Guests can make reservations at 407/WDW-DINE (939-3463).

The Tokens rev up concert audiences with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (5/9-10); Flower Power great Davy Jones makes moms swoon during Mother's Day concerts (5/11). Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre.

Guerlain perfume specialist Raymond Western talks about the intimate relationship between perfumes and plants like those displayed at the France pavilion's Fragrance Garden. Great American Gardener series 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. at Garden Town.

Children can craft a dried-rose-petal "dream pillow."


Garden Party -- May 16-18

Beloved Disney characters host a series of whimsical garden parties.

The 20th Teddy Bear & Doll event is open to all festival guests Saturday, May 17, 1-5 p.m. and Sunday, May 18, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at World ShowPlace. Meet more than 30 artisans showcasing their handcrafted dolls and teddy bears.

Jose Feliciano (5/16-17) and Felix Cavaliere's Rascals (5/18) rock the concert series audience. Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre.

Robert Bowden, director of lush Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, showcases plants with unusual textures, habits and colors for weekend landscaping fun. Great American Gardener series 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. at Garden Town.

Outdoor Living -- May 23-25

Children can take part in Fun in the Sun activities in Future World East with beanbag tosses, relay races and other outdoor fun.

Fans dig Gary Puckett (5/23-24) and see The Cowsills (5/25) in their concert debut. Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre.

TV host and gardening expert Melinda Myers shares creative ideas for maximizing a small garden space or creating an intimate garden in a large lot. Great American Gardener series 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. at Garden Town.

Festival Farewell -- May 31-June 1

Jon Carloftis, author of First a Garden and Beyond the Windowsill, offers ideas for integrating plants and nature in every aspect of life, from interior spaces to urbanscapes. Great American Gardener series 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. at Garden Town.

Tony Orlando "ties a yellow ribbon" to wrap the Flower Power concert series. Shows at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre.

Surprise craft activities let kids enjoy end-of-festival fun.

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is included with regular Epcot admission.