We went to St. Augustine's Ripley's back in ohhh 1986 I think? Maybe later 80s, but it was somewhere in that timeframe.
I'm so glad it's still there. I remember the 2 story balcony room didn't have that Ferris wheel, it actually had like the world's tallest and shortest men down there and it was creepy looking at them from above for some reason.
Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival usually runs from early March through mid-May. And it's a great time to go--because, unlike many special events that can sometimes interfere with a park's normal charm, this one really doesn't detract from Epcot in any way. It's just sort of "extra."
And so is this report. Be warned, this is about flowers. Not Test Track, not "drinking around the world," not the Phoneticians. Flowers. All that stuff will be covered elsewhere in this thread (eventually). But for now, you get this.
Hey, I never promised you a rose garden.
Okay, that was bad.
This year's theme (though, I'm not really sure why it needs one) is "Celebrate the Great Outdoors."
Those two parking lot characters. (That's a little joke for you west coast Disney fans out there.)
The weirdest walk-around characters ever.
Synergy doesn't always work: Suddenly I want to be at SeaWorld.
Since the Flower Festival plays right into Epcot's normal strengths and weaknesses, some temporary playgrounds get erected right alongside the topiary.
I used up everything I wanted to say on that last caption. These are ostriches.
A-mouse-ican Gothic. I came up with that myself. (Though it could actually be the name of the thing. Who knows?)
Somehow, I doubt that Peter Pan would really much enjoy peas.
And now we head to the World Showcase, where we learn that Bambi is Canadian--which is good, because it means that Americans didn't kill Bambi's mom, those damned Canucks did--and that Thumper is a big giant pervert.
Next up is the United Kingdom, home to alligators, pirates, and effeminate little boys. (Well....)
Between England and France, we find two sets of princes and princesses: Aurora and Phillip from Sleeping Beauty...
...and Cinderella and Prince Charming. (Apparently, that's his actual name.)
France really makes out compared to the other World Showcase countries, as they also have this perfume garden...
...and, like, six characters from Beauty and the Beast.
"Okay...you guys know this isn't my true form, right? It was just kind of a temporary thing."
Morocco gets Aladdin. Eh, close enough.
Since there don't seem to be any Disney movies set in Japan, let's just go with a small banzai display.
The best characters are, of course, American.
Inspired by my posing with Mickey and Minnie, these young ladies decide to give it a try themselves--with disastrous results.
We'll give Italy 'Lady and The Tramp,' since its iconic scene involves spaghetti. That seems good, right?
Germany gets 'Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs.' Which actually does kind of make sense, so we'll let that one go.
Germany also gets some extra little outdoor shops and stuff, 'cause they're cool like that.
China says, "Screw Mulan. We're gonna make an effing flower dragon!" And thus, wins.
Norway dances with who brung 'em, and goes with a troll.
And Mexico, presumably knowing that they'll never beat China's flower dragon, just kind of gives up and puts some potted plants out on the stairway. (Way to play into your laziness stereotype, guys.)
Another set of outdoor shops and such.
Misty really wanted this outdoor shower thingy, but it was quite expensive and we actually don't have an outdoors.
Hey, what's that over there?
Why, it's a fairy garden and butterfly house!
See? A butterfly.
Okay, so apparently Tinker Bell has a whole mythology that she fits into now, with different fairies having different powers and such.
For example, this is...well, I don't know her name, actually. But she's a water fairy, and she has dominion over cheap Home Depot lawn ponds.
I'm not touching this one. I'm gonna be in enough trouble over that whole "lazy Mexicans" bit.
So the new film just gets some cardboard cutouts. Shame, really. I'm not much of a Disney movie buff, but I really like 'The Princess and the Frog.'
Stitch holding things down over by Mission: Space.
On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the old Wonders of Life Pavilion hosts "Garden Town." (I'm not sure why only on those three days, though. It's not like Epcot is any less busy on weekdays. But whatever.)
And just what is "Garden Town"? Well, it's kind of like Innoventions for old people.
Not to be confused with "The Making of Me."
There's a small exhibit where you learn how to arrange flowers, Japanese-style.
And lots of outside people trying to sell you stuff. (Just like Innoventions, you see.)
Oh well, at least it was nice to see the inside of 'Wonders of Life' again.
The highlight of the festival: The Epcot Jammin' Gardeners!
There's a surprising amount of Flower & Garden Festival-specific merchandise, like these T-shirts. (Then again, merchandise is what Disney is all about, so I guess I really shouldn't be surprised.)
The backside of the "Celebrate the Great Outdoors" display at the front of the park.
Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival. It's Epcot, but with flowers!
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