Over The Top Mommy

2018 Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival Kicks off Feb. 28

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

 

The 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will kick off spring at Walt Disney World Resort February 28 and continue through May 28, 2018, with seasonal fun for all. epcot-flower-and-garden-monorailA brand-new Epcot front-entrance topiary garden will set the milestone anniversary scene with a kaleidoscope of blooming color where topiary icons Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy will greet festival guests. What began in 1994 as a 38-day celebration of Disney-style gardens and topiaries has grown over the years to a 90-day spring extravaganza with something for every generation. We can’t wait to experience it in person! beauty-and-the-beast-topiariesThe 2018 festival will take place during the 35th anniversary of Epcot and will showcase millions of brilliant blossoms.The 90-day festival will open with an irresistible array of sights, sounds, tastes, aromas and tactile discoveries and here are some of the offerings guests can explore:
Flavor-rich cuisine from 15 Outdoor Kitchens
New and creative dishes will debut at 15 Outdoor Kitchens encircling the World Showcase Promenade. Guests can sip and savor their way around Epcot, enjoying chef-inspired noshes and refreshing libations.epcot-flower-and-garden-foodEach Outdoor Kitchen will feature its own raised-bed or in-ground garden of herbs and produce that can inspire the growing numbers of guests who want to learn to grow what they eat.

“The culture of growing your own food continues to trend, and our guests each year have quite a few questions related to edible gardens. They get a big kick comparing items in our gardens with the herbs and produce our chefs incorporate into the festival’s Outdoor Kitchen recipes.” – Eric Darden, festival horticulture manager

epcot-flower-and-garden-food-2Disney Topiary Stars
A bonanza of Disney character topiaries, including classic-character favorites Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and many others, will play a starring festival role. Returning this year, Belle will be featured in France along with Beast, Snow White in Germany with the Seven Dwarfs, and Anna and Elsa in Norway. snow-white-topiaryAmong the nearly 100 festival topiaries will be returning favorites like the pandas and Bromeliad dragon at the China pavilion, The Three Caballeros at the Mexico pavilion, Disney-Pixar’s Woody at the American Adventure pavilion and Buzz Lightyear in Future World. The back-by-demand Figment topiary garden between Future World and World Showcase will offer the perfect selfie backdrop and family photo opportunity. Dozens of Disney-crafted “flower towers” and beds of multi-colored blooms will transform the park’s landscape. At least 70,000 bedding plants will surround the Future World east and west lakes alone; on the water, 220 mini-gardens will be set afloat.epcot-flower-and-garden-lady-and-the-tramp-topiaryGarden Rocks Concert Series
The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series will feature live chart-topping musical acts  of the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s on the America Gardens Theatre stage. From March 2 through May 28, 3 evening concerts each Friday through Monday will be offered and present musicians that span multiple genres. Garden Rocks Dining Packages will be available on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants. For more information about these packages, please go here.epcot-flower-and-garden-concertInteractive Play Gardens
A brand-new Future World interactive play garden and a revved-up Road to Florida 500 garden featuring new games and play challenges will set the pace for family festival fun. The new interactive area in Future World will feature a play maze, a sensory garden, an activity zone and a covered seating area. The redesigned “Cars”-themed garden based on the Disney•Pixar sequel, “Cars 3,” will add more fun activities like highway bingo for families.

epcot-flower-and-garden-festival-butterfly-topiaryThe Royal Tea Garden Tour will return for a second year each festival morning at the United Kingdom pavilion. For a small fee, guests can follow a knowledgeable guide through the tranquil tea garden setting to learn the history and artistry behind growing and blending tea. A post-tour treat of tea and scones is included. The shorter, complimentary English Tea Garden Tour also will be offered on select days. For more information or to book your Royal Tea Garden Tour, visit hereflower-and-garden-festival-tourFor more information about the 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, please visit EpcotInSpring.com or call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639). The festival, including all gardens and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Images are property of Walt Disney World and used with permission. 

 
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Spring-a-Palooza Returns at Great Wolf Lodge March 9 + New Mission to Fight Pediatric Cancer

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

 

Spring is in the air at Great Wolf Lodge as their annual Spring-a-Palooza celebration returns March 9- April 15. Spring-a-Palooza is the perfect way for families to celebrate the changing of the season.spring-a-palooza-logo
Guests staying at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California can enjoy special offerings such as spring picnics and bubble dance parties, character-inspired flower gardens and more in the Grand Lobby.  great-wolf-lodge-spring-a-palooza-lobbyA highlight this year, for the first time Great Wolf Lodge is partnering with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation at all 14 U.S. Great Wolf Lodge locations to generate funds and raise awareness to help end childhood cancer.spring-a-palooza-violets-lemonde-stand

“We’re honored to partner with such an important organization as Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation during our Spring-a-Palooza celebration. Our goal each and every day is to bring joy to families and what could be more joyful than for us to stand together as a pack to raise funds to end childhood cancer.” – says Erin Wallace, Chief Operating Officer of Great Wolf Resorts.

great-wolf-lodge-spring-a-palooza-lemonade-stand-2During Spring-A-Palooza, families can visit a lemonade stand in the Grand Lobby for complimentary lemonade to be enjoyed together picnic-style. As a special twist this year, exclusive color changing cups will be sold for $2.50, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the cups will be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a charity whose mission is to change the lives of children with cancer through funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families and empowering everyone to help cure cancer.  Great Wolf Lodge anticipates at least $15,000 will be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation through the sale of the keepsake Spring-A-Palooza cups.spring-a-palooza-violets-basketIn addition to the partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, other highlights of Spring-a-Palooza include:

  • Spring Cinema: Families can unwind after a fun-filled day and enjoy a family movie in the Grand Lobby.
  • Spring Picnic: A time-honored spring tradition gets a Great Wolf twist, as guests can grab a blanket, spread it out on the floor and enjoy an afternoon picnic in the Grand Lobby. Guests can sip complimentary Minute Maid beverage available from the Great Wolf Lodge character-themed Lemonade Stand and play a few rounds of “Take A Wiley Guess” card game.
  • Bubble Dance Party: This special Spring-a-Palooza event fills the Grand Lobby with cascading bubbles while Great Wolf Lodge’s Ambassadors of Fun keep energy-levels high with a family-friendly dance party.great-wolf-lodge-spring-a-palooza-bubble-dance-party
  • Spring-a-Palooza Story Time: Great Wolf Lodge’s nightly Story Time takes on a spring themed tale featuring the Great Wolf Lodge characters called “Natural Wonders.” Kids are encouraged to wear their favorite jammies to the Grand Lobby for this event and will have the opportunity to meet one of the Great Wolf Lodge characters in person.great-wolf-lodge-spring-a-palooza-storytime
  • Spring Scavenger Hunts: Great Wolf Lodge features two self-guided scavenger hunts as part of Spring-a-Palooza. The “I Spy Spring” scavenger hunt will have guests looking high and low in the Grand Lobby to find a dozen hidden objects. The “Spring Sprint” scavenger hunt has guests solving clues that will take them on a journey throughout the lodge. When all 10 clues are solved, guests are rewarded with a prize.
  • Character Themed Flower Gardens: A highlight of the Spring-a-Palooza celebration is the colorful springtime gardens found in the Grand Lobby. The gardens are designed and handcrafted by Pack Members from the resort. The collection of flower pots are inspired by the Great Wolf Lodgecharacters. Guests are encourage to stroll around the garden and vote for their favorite display.
  • Jelly Bean Guessing Game: A gigantic jar filled to the brim with jelly bean candies sits in the Grand Lobby and guests are invited to enter a contest guessing how many delicious treats are within the jar. The guests closest to the correct number without going over will be entered for a chance to win a Great Wolf Lodge Gift Card.spring-a-palooza-jelly-beans-guessing
  • Spring Themed Crafts: During Spring-a-Palooza, the resort’s Ambassadors of Fun will host several spring-inspired craft making events for kids of all ages. Character-themed crafting projects include Oliver’s Crazy About Bugs Jar, Violet’s Springtime Noodle Doodle, Brinley’s Don’t Blow Away Kite and Wiley’s Can You Spot It Binoculars.spring-a-palooza-spring-craft

In addition to two days of play in the water park for each night stayed at Great Wolf Lodge, all of the Spring-a-Palooza activities are included as part of an overnight stay for no extra charge. Activities vary daily and based on location.  A complete listing of daily activities and times can be found in the Lodge Life event schedule provided to guests upon check-in, verified in advance at GreatWolf.com or by calling Great Wolf Lodge directly at 888.960.9653.

spring-a-palooza-funFor more information on Great Wolf Resorts and its brands of indoor water park resorts, visit greatwolf.com.

Some images are property of Great Wolf Lodge and used with permission. 

 
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Kaleidoscope Center to Host Free Easter Party Saturday, March 31

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

 

The Easter bunny will hop into town on Saturday, March 31 from 12 to 2:30pm, when he visits with youngsters at Kaleidoscope’s annual Easter Party.

kaleidoscope-center-spring-logoThe free family event will kick off with an Easter egg hunt at 12 noon, beginning in Kaleidoscope’s courtyard. Passport cards will be given out to the first 350 children, directing them to the participating shops and restaurants where they will receive candy-filled eggs and prizes. The completed passports can then be handed in for a chance to win a Grand Easter Basket. Children should bring their own baskets to collect eggs.easter-brunch-evite-butterfliesKaleidoscope’s Easter Party will also offer a complimentary photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny for guests who bring their own camera, as well as:

  • free face painting
  • a balloon artist
  • a petting zoo.kaleidoscope-easter-garden-partyWhile you’re at Kaleidoscope, why not stop by Union Market Mission Viejo, which is also located in the center? There are a variety of eateries and retailers.

union-market-mission-viejoFor more information about this fun, free family event, please call Kaleidoscope at (949) 542-4407. Connect with Kaleidoscope on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Some images are property of Kaleidoscope and used with permission. 

 
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