Walt Disney World is a busy place in the spring, particularly at Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The main fun in April is centered at Epcot, where the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival continues its annual run, but Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates Earth Day with three days of special activities. Here are the highlights:

The Flower and Garden Festival as absolutely beautiful.

Epcot: The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival runs through May 19. That means you can join in the fun any day you visit the park in April.

Although the topiaries are on display every day of the festival, along with the playgrounds, butterfly garden, and special talks in the Festival Center, weekends are extra special for two reasons. First, since HGTV sponsors the event, celebrities from the cable network’s shows come out on the weekends for in-personal presentations. Second, the Flower Power concert series runs on the weekends. April artists include Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Village People, and The Orchestra, which features former members of ELO and ELO II.

The concerts, talks, and access to the playgrounds and butterfly garden are all included with park admission, and you’ll find the topiaries and colorful flower gardens all around Future World and World Showcase. Stick around until nightfall and admire the new lighting this year that showcases the topiaries in a special never-before-seen way. You can also enjoy Illuminations, the nightly lagoon show that features fireworks, fountains, a floating globe, and a stirring musical score. It runs every evening, so grab a good viewing spot around the lagoon.

 

Also new is the Garden Marketplace, a collection of food and drink booths set up around World Showcase. They offer a wide variety of delicacies, but the common theme is freshness. If you love the famous Dole Whips served up at the Magic Kingdom, try one with rum at this event.

The kids will love getting a free passport that they can get stamped at various festival-related locations. If they manage to collect all the available stamps, they’ll get a special one commemorating their accomplishment. Click here for more information on EPCOT.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened on Earth Day in 1998, and the park still celebrates the conservation-related holiday every year. For 2013, it’s holding its annual “Party for the Planet” on April 19, 20, and 22. Come over to see special vendors and merchandise and meet artists like photographer Carlos Cuba, silver designer Tim “Bushman, and artist William Silvers.

April is always a great time to visit this park in general, even if you don’t make it over for the Earth Day celebration. The animals are most active in cool weather, and April temperatures are usually still mild. Hop aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris and scan the savannah, where you may be rewarded with sightings of creatures like hippos, rhinos, giraffes, ostriches, lions, cheetahs, warthogs, elephants, and other elusive animals. If you haven’t been on the ride in a while, or if it’s completely new to you, you’ll enjoy seeing the finale that now features zebras.

The walking trails are very pleasant in April, too. Take a stroll to see meerkats, bats, gorillas, and tigers on display in natural habitats.

If you’re planning your Walt Disney World trip, go to www.orlandovacation.com or phone 1-800-641-4008 to find out about their attractive money-saving packages.