LP Lotion: The Playgrounds of the 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
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Lets face it - for a kid, toparies may not be the most fun things in the world. So, as a parent, one of the things I love about Epcot's annual Flower and Garden Festival is that Disney always creates a fun playgrounds for the kids. And what's more, they usually have plenty of comfortable seating for the parents. This year is no exception, and on a recent visit to this year's Festival, I had a chance to try them all out with my 4-year-old son Gideon.
The playground located near Mission: Space has been re-themed to Radiator Springs from Cars this year. The centerpieces are a couple of large rocks kids can climb on that look like they're straight out of the film. Next to the playground are topiaries for Mater and Lightning and a game kids (and adults) can play trying to find car parts among various displays. There are several (very low) chairs in the area for parents though the area is not well shaded (there a few umbrellas near the seats). There are also huge night suns as the area does stay open late.
The Land of Oz
To promote the release of Oz The Great and Powerful, Disney created The Land of Oz Garde this year and actually opened it a couple of weeks before the rest of the Festival. It's located on the pathway between the Imagination Pavilion and World Showcase and features a playground, a few midway games with simple prizes and some Oz-themed picture spots. This is the largest of the playgrounds and the most accomodating to older kids (without leaving out the young ones) with the types of play pieces it has. The seating here is more comfortable than Radiator Springs, and if you're lucky, you can secure one of the cushy chairs or couches ducked away under a shady tarp. On our first trip Rebekah and I spent quite a comfortable while there as Gideon enjoyed all the playground had to offer. This playground is also open late and other than aforementioned seating area, it's mostly unshaded (one of the play areas is covered by a tent).
The Backyard Play Garden
There's no movie tie-in with this one (yet!). It's located right next to Morocco and is accompanied by a great exhibit showing some of the fun things that can be done in your backyard garden (Gideon actually wanted to see this exhibit). In addition to the usual climbing/sliding centerpiece, there is a clubhouse that kids can play in and a couple of large drums for making noise. Sadly, there are only four chairs here so I (and most parents) spent most of the time standing and trying to keep out of the kids' way. Gideon spent the most time at this playground (more than an hour), but that may have been because of the other kids he met there as much as anything. But he did love that clubhouse! This area also stays open late and there is quite a bit of shade as the playground is covered by a tent.
Gideon: I just asked Gideon which one his favorite was. His quote "all three".
Daddy: I'll go with Radiator Springs. Seating is good and the playground is small enough that from one spot I can usually see him wherever he is.
The new Radiator Springs playground
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Topiary Mater just outside
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