Walt Disney World has released the official special event park map for the Disney/Pixar Weekend taking place this Friday through Sunday, May 13-15, as part of the final weekend of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
The map, which you can download here as a PDF, offers meet and greet times and locations as well as other special opportunities taking place during the weekend.
In addition, the event map announces that Cars 2 merchandise, exclusive to the theme parks, will be available for purchase at MouseGear, Test Tracks and Pin Central.
BREAKING: Walt Disney World to Offer Reserved Seating at Disney/Pixar Weekend Talks; Sign-Up Form Linked
Continuing our unparalleled coverage of the special Disney/Pixar Weekend taking place at Walt Disney World, May 13-15, we have learned that reserved seating at the special ‘Presenting Pixar’ talks featuring Cars property guardian Jay Ward, Pixar producer Jonas Rivera and composer Michael Giacchino, will be made available as seating is extremely limited at these events (approximately 800 guests per show according to our sources).
The sign-up form, which can be found here, also reveals the titles of each of the sessions that take place on May 14 & 15 only at the World Showplace located in Epcot’s World Showcase between the Canada and UK pavilions.
The schedule and title of the presentations for both days is as follows:
- Noon – Jay Ward: “Cars 101 – Inspiration for all of the CARacters you know and love”
- 2 p.m. – Jonas Rivera: “Pixar: Celebrating 25 Years of Animation”
- 4 p.m. – Michael Giacchino: “Behind the Music: A Score is Born”
- 6 p.m. – Special presentation by Jay Ward, Jonas Rivera and Michael Giacchino
Registration and attendance for these events are included with the regular cost of admission to the Epcot theme park.
UPDATE: REGISTRATION IS LIVE! AND OFFICIAL.
Via the official Disney Parks blog, Walt Disney World has confirmed Stitch Kingdom’s original report on the gala celebration in honor of Pixar’s 25th Anniversary and the release of Cars 2 during the final weekend of Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival.
The official announcement does make note of a few differences, however, namely that many character greetings will take place inside the World Showplace and around the World Showcase, but not in the Future World area.
Although we did report there would be informal talks held on site focusing on Pixar Animation Studios, Disney has confirmed appearances by composer Michael Giacchino, producer Jonas Rivera and Jay Ward, the Cars franchise guardian on May 14 & 15 only with times and dates to be announced.
Those who are concerned about the wealth of detail we provided earlier that was not confirmed by Disney should take heart in that the announcement completely neglected the ‘Agents on a Mission’ tour stop and that there is plenty more in store that Disney does not apparently want to share at this time. But of course, as always, everything is subject to change.
To revisit our original report on the Disney/Pixar Weekend at Epcot celebration, click here.
UPDATE #1: Walt Disney World has created a website for the event at PixarWeekend.com. Although Future World meet & greets are mentioned, Wall-E has been left off the list, signifying he may not be appearing afterall.
In addition, while the Disney parks blog and the official press release indicated the talks would only take place on the 14 & 15, the new site suggests they will take place each day (but do not count on the 13th at this point) and offers the following schedule:
- Noon: Jay Ward
- 2:00 PM: Jonas Rivera
- 4:00 PM: Michael Giacchino
- 6:00 PM: Special Presentation by Jay Ward, Jonas Rivera and Michael Giacchino
Update #2: We have been assured that while Wall-E cannot officially be confirmed, Disney Parks is working to try to bring him in but since the details haven’t been finalized, they can’t promote his appearance in good faith.
Update #3: Leaking additional information slowly, the Disney Parks blog now mentions the ‘Agents on a Mission Tour,’ albeit not in so many words. They also confirm participation by RIDEMAKERZ and AMC Theaters as we first mentioned. The theater will be showing Cars all weekend while RIDEMAKERZ will be offering some of its new Cars 2 line which we have already previewed here.
EXCLUSIVE: Disney/Pixar Weekend at Walt Disney World’s Epcot to Offer Extremely Rare Treats (May 13-15)
Disney/Pixar has already taken a prominent role in the 2011 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park, but despite the debut of the spectacular Toy Story 3 topiaries, featuring the strawberry-scented Lotso, and the Cars 2 topiaries as well as the Cars 2 ‘Race Around the World Showcase’ activity that leads guests through various checkpoints at countries related to the film for a prize, Walt Disney World is cooking up something extra special for the final weekend of the event, dedicated to Pixar Animation Studios, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and you will not want to miss any of it!
Guests entering Epcot for Disney/Pixar weekend (May 13-15) will be greeted by Green Army Men who will be passing out special park maps commemorating the event. The maps will included marked locations for the exclusive meet & greet photo opportunities being staged around the park as Disney/Pixar pals from the entire Pixar family want to be on hand to help celebrate.
Planned meet & greets for the Disney/Pixar weekend include:
Carl Fredricksen, Russell and Dug from Disney/Pixar’s UP will be at the Fountain of Nations stage along with an inflatable version of Carl’s house; Mike Wazowski, Sulley, Boo, Smitty, Needleman and George Sanderson from Disney/Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. will be at the Universe of Energy pavilion; Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone from Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles will be at Innoventions West; Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and the Rust-eze girls from Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2 will be at Test Track; living coral from Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo at the Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion (and Crush at Turtle Talk, of course — no mention of Nemo unfortunately, but always a possibility); Flik, Atta, Gypsy and Slim from Disney/Pixar’s A Bug’s Life at Village Traders (the African Outpost); Remy and Emile from Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille in France; Buzz, Woody, Jessie, Bullseye, Lotso and Mr. Potatohead from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story at American Adventure; and, making his Disney Parks debut, Wall-E from Disney/Pixar’s WALL-E at Mission: SPACE.
Each of the photo-ops will also have a special background tying their respective films in with the International Flower and Garden Festival (think Rose Parade) and Disney’s PhotoPass will be on hand to help capture the magic.
The Cars 2 topiaries at the World Showcase plaza will be enhanced with additional banners over the lanes promoting the special event.
Meanwhile, over at the World Showplace (located between the Canada and UK pavilions) will celebrate 25 years of Pixar. There will be an interactive garden featuring stills from Pixar Animation Studios productions. Upon entering the venue, guests will be handed a scorecard to see how many hidden ‘easter eggs’ they can find in the photos. Those who find them all will receive an exclusive Cars 2 prize. There will also be informal talks about the company held inside an 800-seat theater (speakers not yet announced). At the exit, a pop-up Pixar Studio Store offering exclusive merchandise.
Lastly (at Epcot), Spaceship Earth gets in on the fun as it showcases the Cars 2 logo projected on it following the performance of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, along with some music from the Cars films.
But, dear readers, the fun does not end at the turnstiles. Disney/Pixar weekend will be extended beyond the perimeters of Epcot by extending into the Downtown Disney district, where not only will Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and Finn McMissle from the State Farm ‘Agents on a Mission‘ tour be there to celebrate, but they will be joined by dozens of classic cars. Other activities, such as an inflatable obstacle course are also planned. Plus, don’t be surprised if some of the DTD friendly residents like RIDEMAKERZ or AMC Theaters get in on the fun too!
Please note that as with all other events, information is provided as-is and is subject to change at any time without notice.
UPDATE #1: 4/11/11 – Another source has provided additional information on how the meet & greets may work and possible changes. It appears that the characters can be considered in sets of threes and will appear individually, trading off every 20 minutes or so. This means that some previously announced meet & greets may be cut out. Disney/Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. was mentioned specifically and may end up consisting of just Mike Wazowski, Sulley and Boo.
The primary exception to this rule is Wall-E whose sets are likely to be about 30 minutes. As we expected, although Wall-E will undoubtedly come out on-stage and exit on his own, he will be stationary for meet & greets, quite similar to how they went at the 2009 Disney D23 Expo.
Our source also informs us that the Cars characters at Test Track may also be joined by the Crash Test Dummies that used to appear by the attraction.
Lastly, our source reports that appearances by Nemo do not seem likely at this point. Evidently Nemo cannot be on stage for extended periods of time.
UPDATE #2 – 4/21/11 – Disney has confirmed our report for the most part, but there are some changes to be noted. Please read the update here.
Disney horticulturists do some final snipping to ready Buzz Lightyear and Woody – of Toy Story fame – for their Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival debut on March 2 as topiaries – living, growing plants that guests will see in front of Spaceship Earth at the front entrance garden. The festival, which runs for 75 days through May 15 at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, will feature dozens of Disney character topiaries.
For more information on the festival, follow this live bookmark.
Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy of the Walt Disney World Resort.
Walt Disney World has released the official guide for the 2011 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival taking place between March 2 and May 15. In addition to the park map indicating where all the new florals and topiaries are including those inspired by Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 and the new Winnie the Pooh film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the guide also covers guest and celebrity presentation schedules, the Flower Power concert series and previews the new merchandise created for the festival.
The guide also confirms that Tinker Bell, Vidia, Rosetta and Terence will be greeting guests at the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden at its traditional location between Mouse Gear and Test Track.
Special designated weekends for the festival are: Art in the Garden, March 25-27; Fresh from Florida Farmer’s Market salute April 29-May 1; Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and Guerlain’s Enchanted Gardens events May 6-8; and a salute to Disney/Pixar from May 13 – 15.
You can view and download the guide from Walt Disney World here. For more information on the festival, including details on all the new topiaries and activities being offered at the 2011 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, follow this live bookmark.
Walt Disney World has confirmed dates for the highly anticipated Disney/Pixar Weekend celebration during the 2011 International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot. In honor of Cars 2, Pixar Animation Studios takes center stage during the annual flora-focused festival.
Pixar pals take the stage front and center in the form of much larger-than-life, reaching heights of seven and eight feet tall. At the park’s main entrance, guests will find a sandbox display complete with sandcastle and playground toys featured in Toy Story 3. Also on display will be a brand new topiary of film villain Lotso who will (needless to say) smell like strawberries.
While a topiary Woody has made a brief appearance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the past, the 2011 Flower and Garden Festival marks the first year that any Pixar pal is represented as a topiary inside Epcot.
To further that, this year also marks the first time in seven years that new topiaries will be featured in this prized location. According to festival horticulture manager Eric Darden, ‘It created unique challenges and it’s meticulous work. Woody is skinny, and it was a challenge to create his legs. The detail on Buzz is pretty daunting.’
In honor of the new film, the World Showcase Plaza area will feature an all-new Cars 2 display featuring buddies Lightning McQueen and Mater beneath a black-and-white checkered arch, surrounded by floral flags representing Japan, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, just like the destinations of the Cars characters in the film.
Also popping in to say hello will be Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and pals who will appear in topiary form in support of their new movie this summer. They’ll be located at the Hundred Acre Wood wildflower display between Future World and World Showcase.
Other special designated weekends for the festival are: Art in the Garden, March 25-27; Fresh from Florida Farmer’s Market salute April 29-May 1; and Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and Guerlain’s Enchanted Gardens events May 6-8.
The Festival Center at the 18th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival presented by HGTV will be alive with expert-led seminars, demonstrations, discussions and Q&A sessions daily throughout the 75-day event that begins March 2 at Walt Disney World Resort.
Located next to Mission: Space in Future World at Epcot, the Festival Center showcases HGTV and HGTV.com celebrities on weekends and other experts — including “Master Gardeners” from University of Florida, Walt Disney World Horticulturists and a mix of national and regional TV/radio personalities, authors and educators — seven days a week. Here’s what’s happening:
- The HGTV Designers’ Stage in the Festival Center features presentations daily at noon and 3 p.m. on a broad range of garden and design topics — beginning with “Butterflies & Beyond” by entomologist Jaret Daniels on the opening two days of the festival. Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through May 15, popular experts from HGTV will take over, beginning with Genevieve Gorder (HGTV Design Star and Dear Genevieve) March 4-6 on the topic “The Art of Sculpting Space.”
- Meanwhile, at the Festival Center’s Greenhouse Stage daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Disney Horticulturists, authors and educators will share tips and secrets guests can plant in their own garden. These limited-space sessions include interactive hands-on discoveries during which guests make something to take home.
- Experts from University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) present Planting Pointers – gardening ideas for everyone — daily at 1 and 4 p.m. Guests also can Ask an Expert – a UF/IFAS “Master Gardener” — their gardening questions from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Here are topics and speakers scheduled for HGTV Designers’ Stage and Greenhouse Stage:
Presentations daily at noon and 3 p.m.
(HGTV/HGTV.com celebrity distinctions are noted in parentheses)
March 2-3: “Butterflies & Beyond” — Jaret C. Daniels
March 4-6: “The Art of Sculpting Space” — Genevieve Gorder (HGTV Design Star and Dear Genevieve)
March 7-10: “Passalong Plants” — Felder Rushing
March 11-13: “Design It Yourself: Easy-to-follow Tips for Designing Your Favorite Rooms” — Lisa LaPorta (Designed to Sell)
March 14-17: “Grow Great Grub” — Gayla Trail
March 18-20: “The 5 DIY Secrets That Can Transform Any Space” — Kim Myles (Myles of Style)
March 21-24: “10 Heirloom Plants You Should Be Growing” / “New & Exciting Plants for Every Garden” — Danielle Sherry
March 25-27: “Mobile Gardens” — Brian Patrick Flynn (Design Happens, HGTV.com)
March 28-31: “Secrets of the Garden Revealed & More Plants For Free” — Ken Druse
April 1-3: “Adding Value to Your Home without Breaking the Bank” — Taniya Nayak (Designed to Sell and Destination Design)
April 4-7: “Four Season Garden & Proven Combinations” — Erica Glasener
April 8-10: “Life, Love and Landscaping” — Ahmed Hassan (Yard Crashers)
April 11-14: “Container Gardening: From Dirt to Design & The Secret to Combining Plants” — Steve Aitken
April 15-17: “Gardening with Kids: Fun Seed Starting Projects” — Patti Moreno (Garden Girl, HGTV.com)
April 18-21: “Year-round Garden-tainment” — Melinda Myers
April 22-24: “Creative, Back-to-Basics Style for All Things Natural and Decorative” — Michele Beschen (B. Original)
April 25-28: “Herbal Blends from Around the World” — Susan Belsinger & Tina Marie Wilcox
April 29-May 1: “The Design Process: Curb Appeal Projects from Concept to Construction” — John Gidding (Curb Appeal: The Block)
May 2-5: “The Small-Budget Gardener” — Maureen Gilmer
May 6-8: “Beautiful on a Budget: High Style, Low Cost Secrets to Bringing Indoor Styling Outside” — Frank Fontana (Design on a Dime)
May 9-12: “Slow Gardening” — Felder Rushing
May 13-15: “Top Design Trends Made Affordable and Accessible” — Vern Yip (HGTV Design Star)
Presentations daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
(Visit the Festival Center for topics on days not noted)
March 4-6: “Groceries from the Garden” — Robert Bowden
March 10-13: “Gardening for all Generations” — Brenda Sandberg & Scott Hulett
March 17-20: “Gardening in Miniature” — Joseph Rainey
March 24-27: “Helpful Mower & Small Equipment Tips” — Scott Franklin
March 31-April 3: “Tropical Edibles” — Jarrod Stewart
April 7-10: “Fun Holiday Projects” — Doug Benedict
April 15-17: “Gardening Challenges” — Tom MacCubbin
April 21-24: “Seed, Sow & Grow” — Ed Buhler
April 28-May 1: “Inspiring Patio Designs” — Allison Brooks
May 6-8: “Mastery & Mind in Living Flowers” — Ricardo Bansho Carrasco
May 12-15: “A to Z on Herbs” — Tracy Fischer
The presentations are included with Epcot admission, but seating is limited and on a first-come basis. Speakers, presentations and guests are subject to change without notice. For more Epcot International Flower & Garden information, visit disneyworld.com/flower.
HGTV kicks up the “curb appeal” of the 18th Epcot International Flower & 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 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
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||Mar 4-6|
|The Art of Sculpting Space|
|Lisa LaPorta, Designed to Sell||Mar 11 – 13|
|Design It Yourself: Easy-to-follow Tips|
|for Designing Your Favorite Rooms|
|Kim Myles, Myles of Style||Mar 18 – 20|
|The 5 DIY Secrets That Can Transform Any Space|
|Brian Patrick Flynn, Design Happens, HGTV.com||Mar 25 – 27|
|Taniya Nayak, Designed to Sell and Destination Design||Apr 1 – 3|
|Adding Value to Your Home Without Breaking the Bank|
|Ahmed Hassan, Yard Crashers||Apr 8 – 10|
|Life, Love and Landscaping|
|Patti Moreno, Garden Girl, HGTV.com||Apr 15 – 17|
|Gardening with Kids: Fun Seed Starting Projects|
|Michele Beschen, B. Original||Apr 22 – 24|
|When Nature Calls: Creative, Back-to-Basics Style|
|for All Things Natural and Decorative|
|John Gidding, Curb Appeal: The Block||Apr 29 – 30,|
|The Design Process: Curb Appeal Projects||May 1|
|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.
The heroes of Toy Story 3 have left the toy box. Woody and Buzz Lightyear meet arch-enemy Lotso the teddy bear on the Future World playground for the 18th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 2 through May 15, 2011, at Walt Disney World Resort.
The popular Disney/Pixar characters hit the sandbox as seven- and eight-foot-tall topiaries at the Epcot front entrance flower bed featuring a sand castle, strawberry-scented field and playground toys. Created by Disney gardeners and topiary experts with bold strokes of seasonal color, the topiary display marks the first time that “Toy Story” characters have been featured at the festival. It’s also the first time in seven years that the front-entrance floral spectacle showcases all-new topiary characters, says festival horticulture manager Eric Darden.
“It created unique challenges,” Darden says, “and it’s meticulous work. Woody is skinny, and it was a challenge to create his legs. The detail on Buzz is pretty daunting.” And the buzz on the pink-floral Lotso (a.k.a. Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear) is that he will smell like strawberries, just like his big-screen character, when guests stroll by.
This year’s festival showcases more than 100 expertly crafted topiaries, and another show-stopper will be the brand-new Cars 2 display at the World Showcase plaza, Darden says. Large floral topiaries of Cars characters Mater and Lightning McQueen will park their colorful chassis beneath a black-and-white checkered arch. To complete the scene, gardeners will create floral flags representing Japan, France, Italy and the United Kingdom – destinations of the car characters in the sequel due in theaters June 24.
And Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and pals appear in topiary splendor among a Hundred Acre Wood wildflower display between Future World and World Showcase. They’re just in time to spread the happy news about the Winnie the Pooh Movie debuting summer 2011.
Also new to the International Flower and Garden Festival:
- A roomier-than-ever Bambi’s Butterfly House grows three-fold this year in its new location along Imagination Walkway by Innoventions West in Future World. It’s the first time the popular garden has expanded since its 2005 debut, and guests will see more butterflies than ever, Darden says.
- The Healthy Living Garden invites park guests to join in fun activities designed for improving their health and well being. Areas of the garden, presented by Syngenta, focus on healthful eating, fitness, relaxation and meditation. An adjacent children’s play area keeps it all in the family.
- A new Festival Center stage brings nationally recognized garden personalities to the festival twice daily.
- Rapunzel lets down her hair at Rapunzel’s Tower in the Tangled Magical Garden inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ animated film, Tangled, located between the Germany and Italy pavilions.
- The Flower Power concert series grows with new-to-the-festival pop acts. Melissa Manchester, March 25-27 (Don’t Cry Out Loud), Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., April 8-10 (You Don’t Have to Be a Star) and Juice Newton April 15-17 (Playing with the Queen of Hearts) are set to light up America Gardens Theatre with their timeless tunes.
- A new Festival Special Weekend is slated for May when Disney/Pixar presents a Pixar Animation Studios celebration in conjunction with the upcoming Cars 2 big-screen debut set for June 24.
Throughout the festival, elaborate floral beds and entertaining exhibits will decorate the park landscape and showcase the extraordinary talents of Disney gardeners. A blooming Guerlain Fragrance Garden at the France pavilion returns with its never-ending “love story” of the relationship between plants and perfume. At the Japan showcase, the art of bonsai will mesmerize guests who stop at the pavilion’s vermilion torii gate.
Special Festival Weekend Celebrations: An Art in the Garden celebration of plein air artists is scheduled March 25-27; the popular I Dig Bugs event is set for April 15-17; and a Fresh from Florida Farmer’s Market salute is slated for April 29-May 1. A date will be announced for the May Disney/Pixar weekend celebration.