Oz-themed glass poppies add dramatic flair to Disney flower fest

Orlando Sentinel

When the 2013 edition of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival debuts Wednesday, guests will find new features to explore, including night gardens, and a dozen, festival-first marketplace food kiosks along World Showcase, in addition to the legendary cornucopia of blooms, blossoms, topiaries and Flower Power concerts.

Discovered on a recent photo safari, though, is my favorite of the new stuff added: the stunning, Wizard of Oz-themed glass poppies that have landed in a new garden and playground area, "The Land of Oz."

63 giant poppies are on display, each hand-crafted by Michigan artist Craig Mitchell Smith. The blooms, created in hues of red, orange and yellow, each took 4 days to produce, according to Smith. The artist will appear in person at the festival to greet guests and sell his glass art offerings, April 4 though 7.

• Click here for my photo gallery on the glass poppies on display at the 20th Epcot flower fest.

For more on the glass poppies and other festival offerings, check out the Orlando Sentinel's Calendar section, Friday. The festival runs through May 19. Follow our photography department on Twitter @OSPhoto. Like us on Facebook: Orlando Sentinel Photography.

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