Kevin takes a closer look at the Flower and Garden Festival. Discuss it here...
I would offer that a lot of the missing items are due to lack of sponsorships. Whether dollars or in kind, sponsorships are the way that any commercial enterprise, event or festival is able to offer so much content to attendees (guests). Examination may prove that timing of reduced offerings coincides with the econonomic slow down. Perhaps these sponsors will return, once conditions improve.
People would want to make a special trip if this event was marketed as such, but I don't see how flower and landscaping exhibits are worth a special trip. I see this as a special bonus to those who travel at this time of the year. Perhaps it won't get any respect, yet I do think people appreciate it on small doses. I'm not convinced people will run out and start redesigning their gardens and yards just because they see it at EPCOT. Disney gardens require a lot of maintenance. People don't have that kind of commitment and money to pursue this hobby.
1. Norway’s “Snow Show” made of flowers,
2. The new “Night Garden” at the Haiti exhibit
3. The new Backyard Play Garden
That being said, there are rumors/plans that Flower and Garden will get spruced up, especially after the new FLE opens. There are talks to add an overall theme, such as a “Mad Hatter Garden Party”, to the show, which would include adding food booths with light snacks, as well as more night-time lighting with specialty LED fixtures, which could include installing a mini-World of Color show in the waterways.
Kevin, lets not forget that they have also eliminated the Characters in Bloom weekend and the character based elements of "I dig bugs". While they did have some rare Pixar characters out last year at Pixar weekend, that had more to do with Pixars anniversary and Cars 2 budget than anything.
For those who are not familiar, in years past rare Disney Characters such as Frances, Tuck, Roll, Hyacinth Hippo, Mlle Upanova, Esmeralda and others made appearances at this once a year event.
I mean, how much can it cost to throw a few characters out? Especially with Spring Break/Easter crowds which could warrant it even without a festival.
I think most people going specifically for F&G are going for the HGTV seminars and the concerts. The flowers and topiaries are just just an added bonus, even though it was once the focus of the event. Are the flower pillars in Future World there this year? I don't remember seeing those this year either. No ladybug releases over in World Showcase for the kids either.
I would bet that any missing water feature would be written off as "We're in a drought and don't want to promote overuse of water".
I agree with others; it's not an event like F&W that people plan their vacations around, but more of a bonus. A very nice bonus, however.
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Hey Kevin, another great article! F&G has always been one of our favorite events; coming from CO where the winter months can be dark and cold we look forward to all the "green" Disney has to offer. We have also noticed a drop in displays from year to year but they do it in such small batches we think most people never know the difference !! We are coming out again none the less at the end of April and hope that Disney will continue to keep the flower beds up and beautiful!!
By far the biggest change from 2005--admittedly not new this year--is the cutback from shows 7 nights a week to 3. Combined with the other cuts, it's taken what was once a compelling reason to visit EPCOT and turned it into a nice plus for locals on the weekends.