Walt Disney World Wednesday: The Best of Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot. Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. I love Epcot! I love Epcot even more when it's Flower and Garden, or Food and Wine Festival! Since Flower and Garden Festival is about to end (the official ending is Monday, May 30) I thought it might be fun to talk about my favorite parts of the festival. I was lucky enough to go to Flower and Garden Festival five times this year, and I really tried to experience as much as I could, from the Festival Center, to all of the food and topiaries, to talking to Cast Members about their favorite part of the Festival.
Out of those five times I was able to go to Flower and Garden Festival I tried 16 out of the 40 food offerings at the outdoor kitchens. This might not sound like very much, but when you're walking around World Showcase you try to eat everything, and eventually you get full. What I did was I tried to switch what direction I started my journey. So one time I would start at Mexico, and another time I would start in Canada.
If you start going towards Canada one of the first outdoor kitchens is Pineapple Promenade. This is home to the most Instagrammed, talked about, and well-loved drink of Flower and Garden Festival, violet lemonade!
This sweet drink is the perfect way to cool off on the hot Epcot days. A great thing about this drink is that it's non-alcoholic, so kids and your designated driver (because when you're drinking you always need one of those, unless you took Disney transportation to the parks!) can enjoy it! I really wish Disney would make this a year round drink, but I don't think it's going to happen. So we're all going to have to rush to Epcot to get it before Moday, May 30, or just wait patiently until next year.
As our journey around World Showcase continues one of my favorite topiaries is at the Canada pavilion, right outside of the walkway down to Le Cellier.
I mean really, how cute are Bambi, Thumper, and Flower?! I love the attention to detail that Disney horticulturists put into each and every one of their topiaries! They are all so beautiful, with vibrant colors, and full of life.
While there are a few outdoor kitchens between Canada and France, the real star of the day at Flower and Garden Festival is Fleur De Lys, outside of the France Pavilion! They had some of the best offerings of the whole festival when it came to drinks. The one I loved the most was the La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush. It's a perfect combination of orange vodka, St. Germain Liquor, and white and red cranberry juice. I can tell you from tasting things with rose water in them, that this slush taste very similar to a rose flavored treat! This was definitely my favorite drink that I tried.
The France Pavilion is also home to another one of my favorite topiaries, The Beauty and the Beast set, including Cogsworth and Lumiere in the back garden!
Pro Tip: If you're headed to Epcot and want some empty pavilion pictures before World Showcase officially opens, head back towards France via Canada for breakfast! France has a great quick-service restaurant, and it's open starting at 9 am when the park opens! Just tell the CM at the bridge at International Gateway that you're going to breakfast. I did this on my last trip and enjoyed a quiet breakfast with literally no one around, and a beautiful view of France!
Continuing on our journey around the world, if you didn't get Frushi at Flower and Garden Festival, did you really go to Flower and Garden Festival? Frushi is a glorious treat at the Hanami outdoor kitchen! It's coconut rice, with fresh pineapple, strawberry, and melon, sprinkled with coconut, and raspberry sauce! This is also a major crowd favorite at the Festival. I can't tell you how many people I passed saying "Where did you get that? I have to get one." or "Wow, that looks great."
If frushi isn't your thing, then I bet bbq is. I know what you're thinking. "Megan, Disney can't make better bbq than my Uncle Tom. He's won 135 bbq competitions." Well friend, I'm here to tell you that Disney can definitely compete with your Uncle Tom. The burnt ends hash at The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews was a family favorite when I took my parents to Flower and Garden Festival! The dish is a potato hash with corn and peppers, a white cheddar fondue, the delicious burnt ends, and pickles jalapenos. The best part of this area of Flower and Garden Festival was that you could see the smoker and the chef's checking on all different cuts of meat! That's when you know it's legit.
As you round the corner by The Outpost there is a really awesome Lion King topiary set up! On one side you see Simba, Mufasa, Sirabi, and Rafiki. Then on the other side of the walkway you see Timon and Pumbaa. This is an area where you might see a lot of dads pick up their small children and reenact the famous scene from The Lion King where Rafiki shows off Simba for the first time. My favorite part of this area is Timon and Pumbaa though. Why? You get some awesome views of parts of World Showcase and Future World.
If you're headed off to Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival this weekend be sure to try some of the things I listed here, and have the best adventure! I'll list everything I tried this season down below, and it was all awesome! You can't choose anything bad at Flower and Garden Festival!
Let me know in the comments what your favorite thing about Flower and Garden Festival is!
Currently Listening Too: "Lights" by Ellie Goulding
Everything I Tried at Flower and Garden Festival:
Urban Farm Eats:
Watermelon salad with pickled onions
Vegetable and white bean "Naanwhich"
Frozen dessert violet lemonade
La Isla Fresca:
Jerk spiced grouper
Jerk spiced chicken
Jardin De Fiestas:
Elderflower watermelon sangria
Vegetable spring roll
The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews:
Smoked pork ribs
Beef brisket burnt ends hash
Warm chocolate cake
Orlando Brewing Company Uncle Matt's Organic Grapefruit Pale Ale
Taste of Marrakesh:
Shrimp and stone ground grits
Watermelon cucumber slush (non-alcoholic)
Fleur De Lys:
Tarte a l'onion Alsacienne (Onion Tarte)
Macaron Chocolat Framboise (Raspberry Chocolate Macaron)
Ice pop Grand Marnier peach cocktail
La Vie en Rose frozen slush
Pear cider-brined shredded corned beef
Freshly baked lemon scone and creme fraiche
Cider and beer flight