This article was update with more photos and a video on February 17th.
One of the highlights of my year will be when the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival kicks off on March 1st, 2017! This is our 11th year of covering it (Mousesteps turned 10 this year), and I always head out to preview the Festival as it takes shape in the few weeks prior to Festival opening. The main flower quilt was installed last week, and topiaries are now springing up around World Showcase and Future World. There should be something new every day now until the Festival starts, and the Festival changes even as it takes place. Here is a look at Epcot as it transforms! This is also the final weekend of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, which has been a huge hit in its debut year.
The water was so still on February 17th, it was easy to take beautiful reflection shots.
There are two flower quilts, and this is the newer and less visible of the two. This was actually added in several days last weekend.
A butterfly can be seen in the quilt.
I took this photo a few days ago of the main flower quilt which has been here for up to two weeks now. I will show what it looks like today later in the article.
I always see Pac-Man in the flowers when I pass this area.
It’s fun to see what topiaries have been added each day and where. Elsa and Anna are in Norway again, but in the newer location near their meet and greet.
We are looking forward to seeing Belle with her sculpted face this year, as Anna & Elsa have (and Snow White originated a few years back). There are upwards of 100 topiaries and around 70 character topiaries that will be part of the Festival.
Check out our preview video, and there are many more photos following it.
I think it has been a couple of years since we’ve seen the troll. He’s been here on and off for years, though I heard comments about him being one of “Kristoff’s trolls” while taking photos.
Here is a close up on the troll.
From the side, you can see where he is located.
Pandas are back! I believe they took a break last year, but this is their usual location.
This is the larger panda.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are out as of February 17th. There is signage up this weekend for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, but soon the signs will be for the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.
Snow White was the first character with a sculpted features like this.
Here are the Seven Dwarfs.
Happy leads the dwarfs.
Grumpy and Sleepy.
Dopey brings up the rear.
Flowers are decorating Italy beautifully.
Woody is out in America as of February 17th.
His face looks different than in past years.
Here is a closer look.
Woody’s string on the back.
The butterfly at the Interntional Gateway is filling in with flowers.
We skip ahead to the UK, where the Tea Garden now has saucers (but no signage yet).
Tinker Bell makes her UK debut. She used to be at the butterfly tent.
She is now in this location.
The Shakespeare Garden has its namesake.
This garden can be found near the UK restrooms.
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival “Food Studios” are up, alongside the food booths for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.
This view is along the Imagination walkway, on the other side of the main flower quilt.
There are signs around the park for the Festival.
A couple of playgrounds are going up.
Here are a couple of monorail photos as they pass the flower quilt (from two days).
A monorail passes over the main flower quilt.
The colors were brilliant today! There are actually a couple of quilt plantings each year, one is for winter plants and then for spring. Our weather has been really mild this year, I’m not sure we are having much winter at this point.
Fantasia with Sorcerer Mickey is back again in Future World West.
Fantasia ostriches stand with Spaceship Earth in view.
The Fantasia mushrooms are again enveloped within these trees.
The lighting was a little harsh today, but I’ll be getting more photos over the next couple of weeks. On March 2nd, I should have a tips article and a separate photo article.
The butterfly tent is progressing.
The area where the Cars playground and walkway has been for a few years looks a little different than usual. It will be fun to see what happens with it.
Figment was added early, for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. He’s six feet tall!
Check back this weekend for more on the progress of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, and on March 2nd for full coverage!