‘Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue’ Filmmakers to Appear at Epcot April 3

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Director Brad Raymond and Producer Helen Kalafatic of 'Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue' Brad Raymond and Helen Kalafatic, director and producer of Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (available on Disney blu-ray and DVD on September 21) will be at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Saturday, April 3 greeting guests at the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden from 2:30 – 3:30 pm.

For more information on the film and to see stills and a sneak peek, click here.

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D23 Announces 2010 ‘Flowers and Fireworks’ Event at Walt Disney World May 15-16

The weekend blossoms Saturday evening as guests gather at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for a delicious beachside cookout. Enjoy a savory salad before diving into a grilled beef burger from the Evo Grill (veggie burgers too!) or chicken breast with Floridian citrus barbeque sauce glaze, served with all the fixings. Make sure to leave room for mouth-watering side dishes like creamy Southern-style cole slaw, slow-cooked vegetarian baked beans and Baked Mac ‘n’ Fine Cheeses. And don’t forget dessert! (We know we won’t!) Choose between Mickey Strawberry Shortcake or Hershey’s Chocolate S’mores Bread Pudding with Vanilla Crème Anglaise Sauce. Or enjoy both! During dinner, some of Disney’s most beloved characters will also hit the sand to visit with you.

Then sit back and watch a private viewing of the delightful Electrical Water Pageant as it sails by on the Seven Seas Lagoon. The Pageant — Disney’s longest-running parade, having launched in 1971 — boasts a bevy of colorful characters on barges illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights. Following the show, guests will be treated to an exclusive presentation about the creation of Walt Disney World’s fireworks spectaculars. And the night wouldn’t be complete without a private lakeside viewing of the Magic Kingdom’s beloved fireworks spectacular Wishes.

Sunday morning meet at 9 a.m. in the Grand Harbor Ballroom of Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts for a morning of special presentations, created just for D23 Members and their guests. After enjoying breakfast from the continental buffet including “A Spoonful of Sugar” breakfast scones with clotted cream and fresh jams and warm cinnamon loaf laced with fondant, “Mad Hatter” scrambled eggs (with assorted “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum toppings”!), Snow (Egg) White Vegetable Frittata, Tink’s Yogurt Parfaits and classic Mickey Waffles fresh fruit toppings and pecans and whipped cream, grab a seat as Epcot Vice President Dan Cockrell will kick off the morning, giving insider insight into the new additions currently being built at Epcot — a new authentic Neapolitan pizzeria at Italy’s pavilion and expanded outdoor for Cantina de San Angel at the Mexico pavilion. Michael Jenner, WDW Park Events Content Development Operations Manager, will give an exclusive sneak peek at what’s to come at this fall’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which will be celebrating its 15th year of cooking up delicious dishes for Disney guests! Eric Darden, Horticulture Manager of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, will present “The History and Behind the Scenes Secrets of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.” Then, Daniel Wasilick of Twinings Tea — one of the original partners at Epcot — will serve up something special just for guests, including a look at their refreshing teas that can only be found at Epcot. And of course, there will be some terrific surprises and gifts!

After a morning of enriching panels and presentations inside, it’s time to hit Epcot to see the International Flower & Garden Festival up close and personal. Guests will have several hours during the day to enjoy the park at their own pace.

That evening, get ready for some Flower Power as you head to the American Gardens Theatre to do the twist with Chubby Checker! D23 Members and their guests will enjoy reserved VIP seating for the concert. And after burning off some calories twisting the night away, it’s time for dessert! A selection of savory sweets — including some of Walt’s personal favorites — will be awaiting guests at Italy Isola, where everyone will also be able to enjoy private viewing of the Epcot signature spectacle, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

Of course, no D23 event would be complete without some extra magic! We look forward to making once-in-a-lifetime memories over these two days of festivities.

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Epcot to Launch Community Garden and Instant Win Contest for Florida Residents March 8

Beginning March 8, Florida residents can head to EPCOTGARDENCONTEST.COM and enjoy two ways to celebrate Epcot’s annual International Flower and Garden Festival.

Through an Instant Win online game, Walt Disney World will be giving 54 pairs of 4 Day Dream Passes (good for one theme park per day, valid from 3/8/10 – 3/26/10 and 4/10/2010 – 5/25/2010). All entrants will also then have the opportunity to compose an original essay nominating a non-profit organization to receive the grand prize of a custom designed garden by Disney’s own professional horticulturists. The garden will even include elements from this year’s Flower and Garden Festival.

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Sneak Peek: Miniature Train Garden at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival

Horticulturist Julia E. Clark tends to the Germany pavilion's miniature train garden at Epcot as part of the 11th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (Photo by Kent Phillips/Disney) Many Walt Disney World Resort guests are familiar with the miniature train garden located outside the Germany pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. But we’re willing to bet a much smaller number of them realize that the garden is actually specially decorated for holiday seasons and festivals going on inside the park. Today, Walt Disney World released this photo showing horticulturist Julia Clark working on the garden for this year’s International Flower and Garden Festival which kicks off March 3 and shows off one of the neatest feature of this year’s decor: miniature horticulturists working on a dollhouse-size topiary of Snow White. Photo by Kent Phillips.

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Epcot 2010 International Flower and Garden Festival Guide Now Available

Walt Disney World has released the Guide for the 2010 International Flower and Garden Festival which kicks off March 3.

Despite the lengthy 2 1/2 month festival, only a few special weekends are noted in the guide: Art in the Garden Celebration (March 26-28) in which guests can get a unique look at nature through the eyes of “Plein Air” artists and see one-of-a-kind works of art; Fresh From Florida (April 23-25) which features Florida’s native agriculture in the Florida’s Farmer Market in Garden Town; and the annual favorite I Dig Bugs (May 1-2) in which experts from Disney’s Animal Kingdom come share some of their favorite friends with Epcot guests.

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First Look: 2010 Flower and Garden Festival Vinylmation

From the official Vinylmation blog comes this first look at the special edition Vinylmation for Epcot’s Flower and Garden festival from Disney Design Group artist Michelle St.L.

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Details Released on Epcot’s Earliest International Flower & Garden Festival Ever – See What’s New!

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The 17th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival kicks off March 3 – earlier than ever – and continues for 75 days through May 16, 2010, with bold strokes of seasonal color and brand-new topiary whimsy. Last year’s festival began March 18; now Walt Disney World guests get a head start on the gardening season as they explore exhibits and activities geared toward discovery and outdoor fun.

Even before spring has sprung, Donald Duck and his topiary pals set up camp in full floral color to celebrate the Great Outdoors at the Epcot front entrance. The elaborate topiary with a North American theme, live waterfall and pond features Goofy in a fly-fishing misadventure, Daisy Duck roasting marshmallows over a campfire and Pluto in his “pup tent.” It’s a must-stop photo op for guests as soon as they pass through the park turnstiles.

“The advantage of starting earlier is that we’ll be able to feature more brilliant color than ever, with richly hued petunias, violas, snapdragons and other hardy flowers,” says festival horticulture manager Eric Darden. “By starting earlier and going through mid-May, it allows more guests than ever to experience the festival and to plan ahead for their spring and summer gardening.”

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