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Butterflies are free to fly at Epcot’s garden fest

Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 10:52 am

By Peter Covino

A&E Editor

How does your garden grow?

It’s time to compare it with the experts with the official return of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Show, continuing now through May 29.

For area residents, now is the time to sample all the big Epcot event has to offer, before the heat of summer officially arrives and it doesn’t feel like spring in Central Florida.

There are many, many highlights, including lots of food options (food options at the event were mentioned at a sneak peek story in The Guide, Feb. 23), more than 70 Disney-themed topiaries, including some never seen before, the Garden Rocks Outdoor Concert Series, and of course, all the gardens, walkways, seminars and exhibits.

If this is your first time or even if you are a veteran, don’t miss the butterfly exhibit, Butterflies on the Go at Future World. It’s a great photo opportunity, and features a rare chance to get up and close, sometimes very close, with several kinds of butterflies.

Other garden spot encounters include Alpine Containers, a look at plants that grow at high elevations and the Bonsai Collection at the Japan Pavilion will increase your knowledge of this ancient art for in miniature.

Among the many tours offered this year is Behind the Seeds at the Living With the Land attraction.

It’s a one-hour walking tour of the fish farm and 4 greenhouses that make up the Land Pavilion.

You will visit the fish farm during feeding time, release ladybugs into the greenhouse; see gigantic fruits and vegetables, discover the latest growing techniques and take home a handout.

The tour is offered several times daily and is a separate ticket item. Go to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/behind-the-seeds/ for more information and ticket reservations.

Among the many things for kids to do at the festival are play areas, including the Music Garden Melodies Playground between Future World and World Showcase and Road to the Florida 500, along the Test Track Walkway.

Check out the Festival Center on weekends for an assortment of events, including demonstrations, planting tips and more. There is even a garden information desk staffed by Master Gardeners from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences.

You might want to plan your Epcot visit on what stars will be shining at the Garden Rocks Concert Series at the America Gardens Theatre.

The performance schedule includes:

Simple Plan, March 17-18; Plain White T’s, March 19-20; Night Ranger, March 24-27; Little River Band, March 31-April 3; Blood, Sweat and Tears, April 7-10; Gin Blossoms, April 14-17; The Orchestra, featuring former members of ELO, April 21-24; Expose, April 28-29; Berlin, April 30-May 1; Starship, May 5-8’ The Guess Who, May 12-15; Herman’s Hermits, May 19-22; The Spinners, May 26-29.

You can pair you music, with breakfast, lunch or dinner at select Epcot restaurants. Guaranteed seating is included with a performance on the same day. Call (407) 939-3378 for reservations or online at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/garden-rocks-dinner-package/.