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Don't miss the Festival Center at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Scenes from inside the Festival Center at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
Scenes from inside the Festival Center at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
Barb Nefer

Once upon a time it was the Wonders of Life pavilion, home to the "Body Wars" simulator ride and a host of interactive health-related experiences. Now the gold round-topped building between Ellen's Energy Adventure and Mission: Space has new life during special events at Epcot. Stop in during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and you'll find presentations, demonstrations, movies, souvenirs, and more.

Click the slideshow accompanying this article for some scenes inside the Festival Center in Epcot, which opens at 10 a.m. every day. When you arrive at the park, check your schedule to find out what's going on inside it. There are special talks by master gardeners and demonstrations that will help you in your garden at home. On the weekends, you can see and meet HGTV and DIY stars. Jump to this article for the schedule of who you can see each weekend through the end of the festival and to get a peek at Vern Yip's opening weekend appearance.

I particularly enjoy the hands-on activities (you might just get a live plant to bring home), the movie about the making of the festival, and the display of meticulous bonsai trees. I recommend seeing other parts of the festival first, then coming back to the Festival Center later, when the outside areas get crowded. Of course, if there's a particular talk you want to see, you'll need to be there early to make sure you get a seat. The talks are free, but they're first come, first served, so latecomers are often left out.

The Festival Center is a nice, quiet little spot to enjoy some down time, but there's so much more to do throughout the park. Jump to this article for a slideshow overview of the entire festival, or go here to peek inside the butterfly house.

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