Where Orlando - - Where Now - BY JEN­NIE HESS

For more than two decades, Walt Dis­ney World’s Ep­cot has wowed spring visi­tors with a gar­den party like no other. This year’s record 90-day festival launches spring early on March 2 with boun­ti­ful blooms, gar­den-fresh food and fan­ci­ful Dis­ney char­ac­ter top­i­aries that will grace the park through Me­mo­rial Day.

Fam­i­lies with young chil­dren should veer to­ward the new “Fab Five” mu­si­cal play gar­den fea­tur­ing top­i­aries of “leader of the band” Mickey Mouse, plus Min­nie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Don­ald. Chil­dren can get in the groove play­ing with drums, chimes and xy­lo­phones built into play sys­tems that fea­ture in­no­va­tive net tech­nol­ogy for safe climb­ing.

While the kid­dos play, grown-ups rel­ish the fla­vors of tapas-sized sa­vory and sweet treats from the festival’s 13 out­door kitchen kiosks. Work up an ap­petite for more great tastes while me­an­der­ing past festival gar­dens filled with ed­i­ble flow­ers, pep­pers, pol­li­na­tor plants and a stun­ning col­lec­tion of Bon­sai at the Ja­pan pavil­ion.

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