walt disney world

Gardens of the World Tour, Epcot

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Another tour I had kept meaning to book was the Gardens of the World tour – this is only offered whilst the Flower & Garden Festival is on. I believe it was about $85 (May 2019).

Described as “Everywhere you look at the Walt Disney World Resort, the trees, shrubs and flowers play a vital role in setting the stage for recreation, entertainment and beauty. Disney landscaping has become a recognized show in itself, providing color and enjoyment throughout the year. This fascinating 3-hour program gives participants the chance to study the various gardens of Epcot World Showcase with one of the experts responsible for helping maintain the horticultural “show.”

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You check in at 8.45am behind Spaceship Earth, get the usual lanyard with your name and a headset. we had two tour guides, but they aren’t you usual tour guides as they are horticulturist’s first and foremost and this is just an extra part of their job. I really liked both of them, they was from South America and both very passionate about what they did. The lady looked after the UK pavilion the most and it was “her pavilion”.

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We walked over to see the new Bo peep this year and then as we walked she talked about all aspects. We went to the butterfly garden and then walked along the main walkway, she talked about the flower towers and how many flowers and layers there actually was!

The tallest topiary this year was Goofy, he was more than 14ft high!

We then walked around each country, with both cast members showing us plants/topiaries of a particular interest, stopping and talking for while. There was always time for questions.

For instance in Norway, it seems like all the roofs have grass growing, but its actually only one roof with real grass!

Everyone in the group seemed very interested in the hanging baskets.

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Its amazing how much care and maintenance go into everything. Did you know there is literally a back up plant for all of them? So there is say 120 hanging baskets around World Showcase, there is 120 back up ones, if one dies etc, they just simply replace it!

This particular tour doesn’t actually go backstage at all, so pictures are welcomed, and always nice to see a empty World Showcase! We got to Morocco before the line was dropped.

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The tour finished in Canada, where we was given another chance for questions, they also gave us a pin and a handout on care/how to for implementing our own gardening at home!

I did like this tour, I always like learning new things (especially about WDW) and how much care and devotion goes into each area of this resort is just astounding.

 

 

 

Disney World · walt disney world

World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered – Walt Disney World Tour

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On my last trip to the world, as I mentioned I did a few backstage tours. One of the ones I had been looking forward to was this Epcot one. This was the World Showcase one! I had done the Future World tour a few years previously so wanted to see the other side of the park.

The tour costs $109 plus tax. It starts at 8.15am, but you need to arrive fifteen minutes before. We chose to drive and park. You meet at Fountain View in Future World, you are given your name badge and head set, also strangely had to choose your lunch! (This tour includes a lunch at Rose and Crown).

The beginning of the tour, was the much known history of the Epcot Centre park and an introduction to the tour. Our tour guide was Christopher and very knowledgeable, He had worked there over 10 years.

There was so many facts and trivia you learnt along the way. One at the beginning, (which I think most people know) was that he pointed out the back of Tower of Terror, from some points you can view it, and it seems like its in the Morocco pavilion, So they changed the back of the Tower and chose a colour that blended it in to the landscape!

You start clockwise in Mexico, and work your way around. You stop at each pavilion, and the guide will share details / history of the country and the pavilion itself. You go backstage a few times, so they can show you example’s and describe facts.

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Also did you know most of the pavilions have a museum/ gallery dedicated to the country? For example in Norway – go inside the Stave Church!!

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One of the best parts was that the park was absolutely empty! (Well except for Norway – that was crazy!!) He encouraged us to take as many photos as we liked whilst there (not backstage!). We made it all the way to Morocco before World Showcase opened! Then I just got lucky with my photos, as it still wasn’t busy.

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I really don’t want to spoil the tour for anyone, as its so much fun to learn whilst you are there! And obviously ask and answer questions. At one point he asked a question, and I answered it – correctly! He was so shocked, he said in all the years he had done this tour no one had answered right! I was SOO proud of myself! (It was about illuminations and the torches – again, not spoiling for anyone).

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The only part to me, which was a not a let down, but seemed a waste of time was the lunch! As it was in the UK pavilion, you are almost at the end of the countries anyway. We was there an hour, and then only had Canada to see! We also got a sneaky ride on Soarin’ .

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I really did like the tour, but it was a long and tiring one. It’s 5 hours long, its an early start, its a lot of walking and the day we had it, it was absolutely roasting so it made it hard going!

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But overall, I suggest if you are a huge Disney World geek like me and love learning about the construction, process and other trivia about the parks – book it! I also hope you like the empty park photos, and get some good shots for yourself!

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