The Massive Tree Farm at Disney World

Disney World tree farm

The massive Tree Farm at Disney World from the air.

If you’ve been to the Cast Connection building located off of Western Way and Bear Island Road, you’ve driven by the massive Tree Farm that supports Disney World operations.

A few of the greenhouses at the Tree Farm.

A few of the greenhouses at the Tree Farm.

The Disney Tree Farm is where a variety of plants, trees and shrubs are grown for use in the parks and resorts on property.  Think of all the stuff Disney grows in there year-round!

All the pretty topiaries from Epcot’s 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival are stored there for next year’s festival.

Let’s take a quick look at the topiaries being moved from Epcot to the farm starting tonight. It’s a big job!

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Let’s Dance!  Belle and the Beast

There are over 70 topiaries being moved back.  This is where they were located at Epcot for the 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival:

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Completely new is the Bo Peep figure, flanked by three wide-eyed topiary sheep.  These characters can be seen in “Toy Story 4,” coming to theaters on June 21st.

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Lady and the Tramp were in Italy.

In the France pavilion, Kermit pedaled past with baguettes in his bike’s basket. The festival team made a few adjustments to the frog figure, which previously was seen playing the banjo. Nearby, Miss Piggy stared in a scene that screams “moi.” She was ready for her close-up and flanked by three mirrors.

“We only could do that because he was already sitting on the crates last time so he was almost in the right pose,” Darden says. “We didn’t have to create a whole new character.”

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Kermit riding a bike!

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Miss Piggy waving.

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Daisy was in front of her garden of daisies.

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Queen Elsa and Princess Anna.  Look at their hair!!!

Festival Blooms – Future World East and West Lake

Fantasia – Future World West

Ranger Mickey & Friends – Future World

Figment – Future World behind Spaceship Earth

Stitch – Fountain-side of MouseGear

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Look right behind Buzz Lightyear and you can see the Purple Martin birdhouses.

Disney Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear

Disney Pixar’s Cruz Besouro from the – Near Test Track

Phineas and Ferb – Near Odyssey Bridge

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto – Showcase Plaza

Anna and Elsa – Norway

Bromeliad Dragon – China

Panda presented by Disneynature – China

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Christian at the Lion King topiaries.

The Lion King Featuring Mufasa, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Sarabi, Simba and Timon – The Outpost between the Germany and China Pavilion

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Germany

Lady and the Tramp – Italy

Disney Pixar’s Woody – The American Adventure

Beauty and the Beast – France

Belle – France

The Three Caballeros – Mexico

Winnie the Pooh and Friends – United Kingdom

Peter Pan, Tinker Bell & Fairy Houses from Pixie Hollow – United Kingdom

Bambi and Friends featuring Bambi, Flower, and Thumper – Canada

Mickey & Minnie Located between Future World and World Showcase

Bambi & Friends Featuring Bambi, Flower and Thumper Located at the Canada Pavilion

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Peter Pan and Captain Hook.

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Lovely!  Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip dancing at sunset.

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Mickey and Minnie in front of sunflowers…my favorite flower!

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Cogsworth & Lumiere

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Christian and Caroline went to the Festival twice this year. So much good food to try!

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As a Disney cast member, Christian has been to the Festival a lot this month and his roommate is working at it!

It's a 27/7/365 operation that is constantly growing the next season's flowers and plants.

It’s a 24/7, 365 days of the year operation that is constantly growing the next season’s flowers and plants.

For every three trees you see in the Magic Kingdom and the other parks, there is one “behind the scenes” tree growing at the huge Tree Farm that is similar in size and looks.

These trees are kept in case a tree is damaged by wind or lightning during a thunderstorm – it can be replaced that night without anyone knowing it was missing!

To meet some of the horticulture cast members, take a Behind the Seeds tour at The Land in Epcot:  Behind The Seeds Tour.

Behind the Seeds Tour at The Land.

Behind the Seeds Tour at The Land.

How Horticulture Cast Members Keep Walt Disney World Looking Beautiful

Landscaping is an essential part of the appeal of the Disney’s theme parks.

The WDW resort sits on 25,000 acres of what was essentially Florida swampland, and all plant life has to deal with the hot, humid Florida climate and a host of hungry insects.

Disney established a huge nursery and tree farm, and experimented with different plant species until it found ones that looked appropriate and were capable of thriving.

Nowadays, some 4,000 acres are landscaped across the resort’s theme parks, hotels, golf courses and other public areas. An army of more than 600 Cast Members is responsible for maintaining this acreage, and carries out a wide range of tasks to do just that.

Flowers surrounding Friendship Bay at Epcot

Beautiful flowers surrounding Friendship Bay at Epcot for the International Flower and Garden Show in the spring.  This area will be re-sodded June 5th.

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All these flowers are dug up and composted when the International Flower and Garden Festival ends in June.  30 million blooms!

Eight Great Roles for Cast Members with Green Thumbs:

1.  Setting up the Flower & Garden Festival in the Spring

Cast Members produce thousands of floral displays and over a hundred topiaries in advance of the event.

These vegetables will be served in the restaurants at Epcot!

These vegetables will be served in the restaurants at Epcot!

2.  Feeding the Guests

The plants in Epcot’s The Land Pavilion are not just for show. More than 30 tons of fruits and vegetables grown in the pavilion are served at Walt Disney World restaurants every year, including lettuce, cucumbers and peppers.

3.  Creating Edible Landscapes at DAK

The animals that roam around the savannas are browsers and grazers, and the landscape provides plenty of options for them to chew on. Cast Members have to constantly add plants to the savannas to replace those that have been gobbled and to keep the animals interested. Disney also “cheats” by introducing thousands of pounds of pre-cut leaves every week, to discourage the animals from devouring all of its pretty plants.

4.  Planting Species from all over the World

The team plants around three million bedding plants annually across 300,000 square feet of flowerbeds, as well as tending to 175,000 trees and more than four million shrubs. There are 13,000 rose bushes alone at the resort.  There are over 3,000 species of plants representing flora gathered from all over the United States and more than 50 foreign countries.

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Christian and Mitch walking around the World Showcase enjoying the Festival. Flowers everywhere!

5.  Creating Topiaries

A team of around 30 Cast Members staffs the nursery, which produces more than 4,000 hanging baskets every year. It also produces the topiaries that add to the theme of the various theme parks and resorts, with more than 200 designs.

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Mary Poppins topiary at the Grand Floridian

6.  Carrying out Daily (and Nightly!) Maintenance

Cast Members at Walt Disney World are up bright and early, allowing them to carry out maintenance tasks by the time guests arrive. Every day, they weed gardens, chop dead heads off flowers and replace withering flowers with new ones.  When a theme change is demanded, i.e., from Halloween to Christmas, the Cast Members work through the night to completely transform the garden flowers overnight.

7.  Mowing the Lawn

There are 2,000 acres of turf at Walt Disney World, and all of its gets mowed at least twice a week. This requires an astonishing 450,000 mowing miles every year to keep the grass in shape.

8.  Setting the Scene

The landscaping sets the scene in every area of WDW’s theme parks.

For example to recreate the lowlands surrounding Mount Everest for Expedition Everest’s Forbidden Mountain, more than 900 bamboo plants, 10 species of trees and 110 species of shrubs were planted.

We <3 The Land at Epcot!!

We ❤ Living with The Land at Epcot!

Growing corn.

Growing corn.

******************* 

We’ve written two books about our time working and playing at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

*****

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Fly Over Epcot on May 2, 2019

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WOW!!!

Blue Angels Flyover at Epcot

In honor of Military Appreciation Month, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flew over Epcot Thursday morning, May 2nd at approximately 9:30 a.m.

The main viewing area was located between Spaceship Earth and the entrance to Epcot’s World Showcase.

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Blue Angels flying right over Spaceship Earth.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels made two passes over Spaceship Earth between 9:30am and 10am.

Video Link:  Blue Angels Fly Over Epcot

blue angelThe six F/A-18 Hornet jets roared overhead at more than 250 miles an hour on a first pass before executing what is called a Delta Break over Spaceship Earth on their 2nd pass over the park.

The Blue Angels made two VERY LOUD and VERY FAST flight passes over Epcot before continuing their flight to the Fort Lauderdale Air Show in Florida.

Go Navy!  🙂

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Delta Break over Spaceship Earth on 2nd pass.

This continues a tradition of the Blue Angels flying over Disney World every 2 years.

The last flyover was performed over the Magic Kingdom in April 2017.

Note that the Blue Angels do not fly over Disney’s Animal Kingdom to avoid frightening the animals.

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Perfect viewing spot for the flyover….Spaceship Earth. The 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival is going on right now.

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U.S. Navy Blue Angels Fly Over Magic Kingdom on April 6, 2017

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April 7, 2017, 9:50am.  WOW!!!!!!

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They did this 2x!  The Delta Break pattern over the Cinderella Castle.

All eyes were focused on the skies on Thursday morning, April 6th,  as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flew over Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom!

The Blue Angels made two passes above the Magic Kingdom at Disney World between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m.

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WOW!!!

This is a special treat as the airspace over the Magic Kingdom is restricted and requires special permission from the FAA!

Video link: Blue Angels Fly Over Magic Kingdom 4/07/2017

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Parade Mickey saluting the Blue Angels flying high above the Magic Kingdom!

In 2015, the Blue Angels performed similar flyovers to the cheers of thousands of guests at the Magic Kingdom.

Blue Angels Flying over Magic Kingdom 2015

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You could see them in the sky from everywhere at Disney World.

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How Walt would have loved to see this!

******************* 

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Fun day at Epcot!

We’ve written two books about our time working and playing at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

Castle two disney sisters

Two Disney Sisters at the Magic Kingdom

*****

Ice Cream Treats at L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Come on in!

L’Artisan des Glaces. Come on in!

One of our favorite sweet spots at Epcot is the L’Artisan des Glaces (The Artisan of Ice Cream) in the France pavilion.

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Ice cream sandwich macaroons!

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Mickey in the sherbet!

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So hard to choose! Luckily, there were 3 of us!

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This was delicious! So perfect on a hot day. $4.22

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This is also where you can buy Caroline’s favorite ice cream sandwich: The Croque Glacé!

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Cast member with fresh brioches.

There’s an entire table of rows and rows of stacked brioche buns.

You pick your ice cream flavor, then a topping sauce (chocolate, caramel, or raspberry).

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Adding ice cream to her Croque Glacé.

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Huge Brioche bun – check!, chocolate ice cream – check!, sauce – check!, hot waffle grill – check!

At the end of the ice cream counter is what looks like a Belgium waffle maker.

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Next, some chocolate sauce drizzled on top! Time to close the lid.

Then, voilà!  30 seconds later, it’s warm and ready to eat.

It smelled so good!

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This is one of Epcot’s best snacks!  $6.33

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Caroline and Christian with their ice cream snacks.

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Taking our treats outside so we can walk around the World Showcase with them.

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Christian, Mitch and Caroline at the 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot.

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Belle and the Beast at the Epcot France pavilion.

It’s been very warm at Disney World all month, sunny and in the 80s with little rain.

When Christian was at Epcot last weekend checking out the 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival, he decided to take an ice cream break.

The ice cream there is as good as Ben & Jerry’s!  Maybe even better!

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Christian’s Blueberry ice cream cone.  $4.69

He said it was delicious!

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Don’t forget to pick up a few souvenirs while at Epcot France.

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❤ this shirt and purse!

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Don’t leave without buying some new merchandise!!! Paris mug

*******************  

We’ve written two books about our time working at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

*******

The Magical Walls of Epcot at Disney World

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Welcome to Epcot!

It’s a fun photo scavenger hunt to find these special walls at Epcot and take your photo in front of them.

The best Epcot walls for your next Instagram photo are:

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#BubbleGumWall

#1:  Epcot’s #BubbleGumWall – This tri-color wall is just outside the exit of Spaceship Earth on the right.

Action:  Next time you’re walking out of Spaceship Earth, stop for a few seconds at the #BubbleGumWall and take some photos.

Action Rating:  Worth it!  This is probably the most famous Epcot Instagram wall.

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#BlueberryWall

#2:  Epcot’s #BlueberryWall – Two steps away from the #BubbleGumWall is the bright #BlueberryWall.

Action:  Next time you’re walking out of Spaceship Earth, stop for a few seconds at the #BlueberryWall and take some photos.

Action Rating:  Worth it!

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#TheBigBlueWall

#3:  Epcot’s #TheBigBlueWallYou can find the #TheBigBlueWall upon exiting The Seas With Nemo and Friends pavilion.

Action:  Next time you’re walking out of The Living Seas, stop for a few seconds at the #TheBigBlueWall and take some photos.

Action Rating:  Worth it!

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The Living Seas at Epcot. The wall is on the left.

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#TheGalaxyStarWall

#4:  Epcot’s #TheGalaxyStarWall at Guardians of the Galaxy

Action:  Next time you’re walking near the Guardians of the Galaxy construction wall (by the old Energy ride with Ellen), stop for a few seconds at the #TheGalaxyStarWall and take some photos.

Action Rating:  Worth it!

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More Special Walls to Find in Epcot:

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#SalutetoSpace

Epcot’s ‘Salute to Space’ Wall – Next to the Imagination Pavilion in Future World West.

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Living with the Land:  Hidden Mickey in the bubbles on the wall.

The Living with The Land wall with its Hidden Mickey in the bubbles.  Did you find it too?

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Fichwa! wall at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. (“Hidden Mickey”!)

There are other special walls all around Disney World all with their own Instagram Hashtag.

Interested in where they’re located????

Click here:  The Magical Walls of Disney World

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This is the famous #PurpleWall in the Magic Kingdom!

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The Purple Wall has it’s own Magic Bands! 🙂

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The Purple Wall Slushie in Tomorrowland! It has purple sprinkles on top!

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walls

How many walls have you ‘captured’ at Disney World???

*******************  

We’ve written two books about our time working at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

******* 

Epcot Flower

Two Disney Sisters

Epcot’s IllumiNations Fireworks Show Ending September 2019

epcot Illuminations

March 2019: Watching IllumiNations for the last time!

Disney Parks announced this week that IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth will have its final show on September 30, 2019.  It premiered on October 1, 1999.

The new fireworks show called Epcot Forever will debut at 9pm on October 1, 2019.

Watch preview of Epcot Forever:  Epcot Forever – New Fireworks Show at Epcot

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Kites flying high during new the Epcot Forever fireworks show preview this week.

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Epcot Forever

This is a temporary fireworks show until the new IllumiNations replacement show premieres in early 2020.

The official replacement for IllumiNations, yet unnamed, will debut in 2020 and will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, and lasers. The yet-unnamed show will celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world.

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We watched IllumiNations one final time last month:

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All the World Showcase pavilions illuminated during the IllumiNations fireworks.

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Red, white, and blue fireworks set to wonderful music.

CP Moment Illuminations

CP Moment #18: Watching IllumiNations for the first time with your DCP roommates.

VIP Seating for Illuminations

9pm at Epcot.  We’ll miss this fireworks show!  We’ve grown up with it.

******************* 

 We’ve written two books about our time working at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

*****   

IllumiNations

It’s 9pm…so you know where we are! #TwoDisneySisters

     

2019 Giant Easter Egg Hunts at Epcot and Disneyland

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Look for the giant Easter Eggs at Epcot all over the World Showcase.

Disney World:  Giant Easter Egg Hunt at Epcot

From April 5 – April 21, 2019, guests at Epcot can search for special hidden “eggs” themed to Disney characters and record their discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the specially themed “Egg-stravaganza” map.

Maps and stickers can be purchased for $6.99 at the entrance to World Showcase.

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Epcot’s Egg Hunt map and stickers for 2019, $6.99, and you get a free prize.

Maps and stickers can be purchased for just $6.99 at the following parks and locations:

Epcot – Pin Central, Port of Entry (Showcase Plaza), Heritage Manor (The American Adventure) and World Traveler (International Gateway)

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The 2019 Easter Egg prize eggs.

Look how cute the mini prize eggs are this year!  🙂

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Look for Spike here!

Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration for the International Flower and Garden Festival

There’s also a springtime scavenger hunt going on at Epcot called Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration. In this hunt, Disney’s favorite honey bee, Spike, has been pollinating his way around the flower and garden festival, giving gardeners of any age the chance to follow his pollination trail around World Showcase at Epcot.

It’s easy to start this new scavenger hunt.  Just pick up a garden map and stickers at Port of Entry, $6.99. Then, it’s time to look for Spike!

As you explore the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, be on the lookout for Spike as he pollinates Epcot’s gardens. In each garden, you’ll have to search for the plant Spike has pollinated, identifiable by Spike himself and a Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration plant stake. Once you find him, add the corresponding sticker to your map.

honey flower epcot1After your journey is complete, return your map for a springtime surprise.

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Spike’s Pollen-nation Exploration 2019

Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration will run for the duration of the 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival , March 6 – June 3, 2019.

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Both Festival maps are $6.99 each.

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DLR Walt and Mickey

Welcome to Disneyland!

Disneyland’s Giant Easter Egg Hunt

And, Epcot isn’t the only Disney Park that’s holding an Giant Easter Egg Hunt this year.

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You’ll need to buy 3 maps ($6.99 each) to complete Disneyland’s egg hunt!!!

Disneyland Resort

The Easter egg scavenger hunt at Disneyland will take place from April 5 – 21, 2019, at Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park, and Downtown Disney District.

You can buy maps at:

Disney California Adventure Park – Elias & Co., Humphrey’s Service & Supplies, Off the Page, Oswald’s, Sarge’s Surplus Hut and Treasures in Paradise

Disneyland Park – Disneyana, Disney Showcase, “it’s a small world” Toy Shop, Little Green Men Store Command, Pieces of Eight, Pioneer Mercantile and Stromboli’s.

Downtown Disney District – Anna & Elsa’s Boutique, D Street, Disney Pin Traders, WonderGround Galleryand World of Disney Store

Disneyland Resort Hotels – Acorns Gifts & Goods, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa; Mickey in Paradise, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel; and Fantasia Shop, Disneyland Hotel

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Easter Egg cake pops at Disneyland!  Yummy!

Whether you choose to hunt for eggs or not, return your map to a redemption location for a special surprise – a mini Easter egg to remember your hunt by.  You get to keep your map, they just mark it with a star!

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Disneyland’s Easter Egg Hunt starts April 5th.  So much fun!

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April 2019: New Spring cupcakes from the Main Street Bakery for Easter!! YUM!

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We love doing the Giant Easter Egg Hunt at Epcot!

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Finding an Easter Egg by China.

Here are some clues on where to look for the Easter Eggs at Epcot:

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Now it looks so obvious!!!

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The cast members we asked followed us outside and laughed when we finally found it!

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Triumphant Elly!  1st egg found!!

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Sometimes, they’re a little hard to spot.

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These Easter egg pins are so cute!

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Belle and the Beast at Epcot France Pavilion.

The extended 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival  runs March 6 – June 3, 2019 this year.

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March 2019:  The 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival is going on right now at Epcot. 🙂

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Caroline and Christian at the 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival.

Orange Birds

Don’t forget to pick up an Orange Bird Sipper!  We each got one!

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Easter

Meeting Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny at DAK.

Note:  Easter Sunday is April 21, 2019 and special characters will be out and about at several of the Parks for meet and greets, including Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny!!!!!

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April 2018: Look who was out at DAK!

Mr Bunny

Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny are greeting guests at the Magic Kingdom all month.

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Hi Minnie!  🙂

******************* 

 We’ve written two books about our time working at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

*****

easter1

Two Disney Sisters

easter bunny

 

The Orange Bird Sipper is Back at Epcot!

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Caroline buying an Orange Bird Sipper at Epcot last weekend.

After selling out the entire Orange Bird Sipper inventory for the 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival the very first weeka new shipment of Sippers arrived last Saturday.  Yeah!

Orange Birds

We each got one…So cute!

Orange Bird

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orange bird sipper

This little guy is soooo cute!

The star of the 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival is this adorable little Orange Bird Sipper.  He’s a cutie!  ❤

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Orange Cream Slushy, $14

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Limit 10 sippers per guest (that will cost you $140!).

The wait line at The Citrus Blossom booth to get one of these sippers filled with Orange Slush has consistently been about an hour.

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Guests were lining up at the Citrus Blossom booth before it opened!

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One hour wait line to buy an Orange Bird Sipper!

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There’s citrus-flavored food available at The Citrus Blossom booth too…including Lobster Tail!!!

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♪♫♪ So this is love…♫♪♪♫♪

orange4No time?  They’re available on ebay for between $30-$60 a sipper!

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April 2, 2019: Orange Bird Sippers available on ebay.

Disney initially only ordered 45,000 Orange Bird sippers for the 90 day Festival that runs into June this year.  That’s 500/day.  Right now, they’re selling 3x that many a day.  They put in a huge reorder March 12th after selling out.

Insider Tip:  They might totally run out before the Festival ends on June 3, 2019. Get one quick if you want one!

*******************  

We’ve written two books about our time working at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com:  Adventures in the Animal Kingdom and Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

******

epcot two sisters

Two Disney Sisters