The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival officially starts on March 6, but if you're at Walt Disney World this week you can catch some glimpses of the topiaries and other special attractions now.
The festival is so extensive that it takes many weeks to get everything into place. That means locals get to watch it blossom in the days leading up to the festival and tourists who visit beforehand get a little taste of the offerings even if they have to leave before the official kick-off date.
What can you see if you're at Walt Disney World right now? Perhaps the most exciting early preview is the "Land of Oz" playground, a major new addition this year. With the movie opening on March 8, the playground opened early as part of the promotion.
The imaginative play structures are a big draw for the kids. If they're feeling rambunctious, turn them loose and let them burn off some energy, They'll also enjoy the cute kiddie games that tie in nicely with the carnival theme, and they can even win small prizes.
The playground is also a great photo spot. Keep an eye out for the glass poppies blooming among a bed of real flowers. Click the slideshow at the top of this article for scenes from this area.
Many of the topiaries are also on display. It's always a treasure hunt to go to Epcot before the festival and search out the colorful character depictions that get more elaborate each year. One special topiary debuted in 2013 is the Fab Five, with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy (you'll also notice Daisy in profile). You won't be able to miss them, since they'll greet guests right near the park entrance.
If you want to see the Flower Power concerts, participate in the presentations, or taste the new food offerings this year, you'll have to wait until the official March 6 kick-off date.