Garden Festival

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Get Your Ruby Slippers Ready! Oz the Great and Powerful – is it Really All That Great?

Published March 11, 2013 by


I wouldn’t have it any other way….between my husband and two teen-aged boys, I am out-numbered by men in my home. Even our pug Gizmo is a boy.

I lovingly joke that (at least for now!) I am the only one who doesn’t get 5 o’clock shadow. You never know what menopause will bring for me.

Besides the occasional popular TV series, my family’s choices in quality viewing entertainment couldn’t be more different. That’s why it was nothing short of a miracle when the Oz previews started to appear on TV and everyone in my house agreed that they wanted to see it.

My reasons of course, Oz is a family Disney movie, it’s rated PG – and (BONUS!) it was playing opening night at the AMC Dine-In Theater Downtown Disney. I followed my heart down the yellow brick road – and in a twitch of Glinda’s wand – I pulled up Fandango on my computer and bought my family’s tickets. I am not one to spend money a movie, especially in a theater. I justified it as being a tax-deductible cost of doing business. Research – for the blog.

My next thought? I wonder if we could use this as a reason to meetup with some Disneyways readers? There are so many that I would really love to meet in person! With that, the facebook and blog invitations went out, and I did my very best to make sure everyone, near and far, knew they were welcome.

Disneyways blogged about Oz fashion. We welcomed our spectacular new guest blogger Jay – who did a fabulous job reviewing the Oz makeup palettes, both the Theodora and Glinda versions. I posted photos of the Oz garden in Epcot – all in anticipation of the movie release.

Just in case we had some folks turn out for the meetup, I prepared some goody bags as a thank you gift. The bags included bubbles, in honor of Glinda the good witch of Oz, and her preferred method of transportation. Before we knew it – March 8th arrived – and it was a GORGEOUS cool Florida evening. The kind of weather I dream of having all year long. Our small yet mighty group of 10 arrived, introductions were made, necks were hugged, and we all settled in to watch this highly anticipated movie. We enjoyed Ghiradelli’s and some shopping afterwards.

I am not a movie critic – so I don’t want to try and act like I understand things like cinematography, visual graphics, or surround sound. I have provided a link below to if you were looking for that sort of thing. But I know what I like, and I just want to share without giving too much away, that in my opinion, this movie was more than great – it was absolutely fantastic.

Oz the Great and Powerful has something for everyone. Children will enjoy the wonder and magic (although there were a couple of startling/scary parts that made ME jump a little in my seat), teenagers will enjoy seeing some of their favorite modern day actors in such different roles, adults will enjoy the beautiful imagery, romance and fun. Those adults who are more “seasoned” will enjoy looking for the quiet subtleties and connections that are reminiscent of the original Wizard of Oz film from 1939.This is all speculation on my part of course – but if you see the movie I think you will recognize all the things I am mentioning here.


In closing – I highly recommend spending the extra money to go see this film in theaters. If you are reading this a year or 10 years from 2013 – check out the DVD – upload it to your flying car – whatever you have to do. I believe it was worth the effort and expense. In fact, you may just want to take it a step further and come see the beautiful gardens that celebrate Oz in this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

In my humble opinion, I think you will be glad you did that too.

Have you seen Oz yet? What did you think of it?

2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – Book a Tour!

Published February 2, 2013 by

March 6 – May 19, 2013 is the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival where you can celebrate the great outdoors!

Every weekend during this special time you can catch a Festival tradition, the Flower Power Concert Series. Head over to the Festival Center, where you can experience a demonstration led by HGTV personalities or get tips from Epcot gardening experts. Be sure to visit Festival Center located in Innoventions East for all the details!

festival center

Don’t want to look at a map? Let someone else be your guide!

The Gardens of the World Tour is only offered on select days during Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival

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.  Did you know that only during the Flower and Garden Festival – you can book a tour of all this beauty?

The Gardens of the World Tour gives participants the chance to study the various gardens of Epcot with one of the experts responsible for helping maintaining it all.

Your “horticultural instructor” will turn Epcot into a living classroom. Discover how seeds are planted and design ideas take root to produce extraordinary botanical backdrops, imaginative themed areas and topiaries of some of your favorite Disney characters. Your guide will describe the basic process of plant design and how it is incorporated in the landscape for the World Showcase pavilions.  Find will even find out how you can design and theme your own home gardens.

Here’s more about what will happen on the tour.

You will:

  • Study the five principles of the Disney horticulture program.
  • Examine the role of landscaping at the Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Discuss ways to adapt the Disney landscaping techniques at home.
  • Discover how landscaping helps develop a theme.
  • Explore plant materials and gardening techniques in World Showcase.

The beauty of each country’s traditional landscaping makes this tour an extraordinary introduction to the World Showcase nations!

Prices are subject to change, but this year you can take the tour for $63.90 including tax. That price also includes a pin and a poster for you to take home.

Book online or call (407) WDW-TOUR or (407) 939-8687 for exact schedule.

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Know Before You Go (Here’s the fine print.)

  • Guests are not allowed to carry backpacks, camera bags, duffle bags or large bags during the tour. Fanny packs and purses are allowed. Lockers are available for bags for a nominal fee (not included in price of tour).
  • For safety reasons, closed-toe and closed-heel shoes, such as sneakers, are required for this experience. No sandals, open-toe or open-heel shoes will be permitted. Guests should wear comfortable shoes as there will be periods of walking and standing.
  • Tour itinerary, content, duration and availability are subject to change without notice.
  • Guests must be 16 years of age or older and have a valid photo ID.
  • Please check in outside the Epcot Main Entrance 15 minutes prior to the start of your experience. You will forfeit the entire price of your tour if you no-show or cancel within 2 days of your reservation.

Please let us know if you will be taking this very special tour!

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