Top 10 Not-To-Be-Missed Merchandise at Flower and Garden Festival 2018by Jenna Douglas, contributing writer
The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival celebrates its 25th year at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, and runs through May 28. A little while ago, Disney celebrities Bella and Mother Nature themselves picked me up for some shopping at Epcot—and boy, was the merchandise at the 2018 Flower and Garden Festival the bees knees.
This year, a combination of returning favorites and super-cute new stuff has me so excited that now my house and I are all gussied up for spring. Between the vibrant colors and appearances from some of my favorite (and obscure) characters—Figment, Figaro, and the Orange Bird—I just had to have it all. Minnie Mouse gardening hat? Check. Both a bird house and a bee house? Check and check. A Figment Tervis? Check!
10 – Disney gardening fun
Browse all of the Disney gardening fun around the festival—they have statues, feeders, whirly bits, and more. All of it will make your garden—both veggie and flower—majorly magical and so much fun. Even if you just have a small space, look out for the fairy houses, which return this year to much fanfare.
9 – Rinse lip balms and oils
Rinse, found near Germany, has been at almost all of the festivals, and I love their creamy and delicious (not to mention affordable) lip balms, a savior in the blazing Florida sun. Also, I love the "Handy-tizer," which is a hand sanitizer made with oils that will not dry out your hands.
8 – At Home topiaries
Because who doesn’t need a Mickey or BB8 topiary in their garden? Found near the Honey Bee-stro Outdoor Kitchen.
7 – Orange Epcot ball hats
These are so so cute, and the orange and blue are great together.
6 – Minnie’s Farmhouse Flower Shop Line (featuring… Figaro)
Pastels and vivacious pinks abound on shirts, cups, and hats—also the gardening supplies are so smart and cute for a Disney gardener like me.
5 – Florida-style bird house
Does your garden need a touch of sunny Florida? Found near Japan and Morocco.
4 – Flower and Garden 2018 Tervis
"Unearth the unexpected," says Figment. Tervis tumblers are the perfect vehicle to keep your hydration nice and cold, either while exploring the beautiful festival or when you’re back at home gardening.
3 – Figment 25th Anniversary Cup
Do you see? It’s in the shape of a light bulb—a little spark for your morning joe!
2 – Orange Bird line
When the Orange Bird returned to the Disney stage, my mom told me how much she loved the little bird when she was young—she’s a native Floridian, and was there on opening day in 1971—and we’ve collected all of it ever since.
Invoking a vintage style with a modern twist, Orange Bird pops in to say hello on the burlap bag with sturdy leather straps (perfect for grocery shopping or maybe even the beach. Imagine it paired with a chic 1950s high-rise suit. And for the men, an adorable rust-colored shirt with a vintage orange crate blazoned on the front, which gives a home-style, old Florida feel that I love; and, is a great reminder of a bygone era in my beautiful state. I love the vintage direction the Disney designers and merchandisers have gone lately—but let's save that topic for a future story.
1 – Bee Hotel
Recommended by Eric Darden, Festival Horticulture Manager, you can find the bee hotel between Japan and Morocco.
This is the item I was the most excited about and sought until they finally came in a week after the festival opening. With a diminishing honey bee population, crops and flowers alike are failing; with this little pink house I can do my own part to help!
A bee house is a an artificial nesting place that solitary bees can use to lay their eggs. Gentle and easily attracted, solitary bees are highly valuable pollinators with an awe-inspiring rate of harvesting a nectar supply. Adding a bee house to your yard can provide a space for them that is protected from chemicals, weather, and predators.
Hang bee hotels where the bees can wake up to the morning sun (a necessity for anybody, I think), and plant bee-friendly perennials nearby that are native to your area. For example, Central Florida is good for purple coneflower and goldenrod—I can't wait to see the beautiful purples and yellows of these beauties. And if you plant milkweed, you'll attract monarch butterflies—or so says Carla Shuman, Landscape Architect for Walt Disney World.
Now that you know what my favorites are, let me know which ones you just have to have. Did you buy any of these? Share what you bought—tag @MousePlanet on Instagram and Twitter.
What merch are you loving in the parks? Use the hashtag #MPLoveThis and follow the Hashtag #MPLoves to share your favorites and see new finds from the parks.