Calling all foodies and garden aficionados!
Last week, we attended a sneak peek of the 26th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort – and we’re happy to share that it’s more colorful and delectable than ever before! With 17 outdoor kitchens filled with fresh flavors and finds – including four new exciting dining locations, as well as dozens of Disney-crafted topiaries, nearly 70,000 festival blooms, a rockin’ concert series, and instagrammable event merchandise around every corner, we can’t wait for you to experience the magic of this festival for yourself.
So, what’s new at this year’s festival? We have all the latest and must-see places!
And don’t stress about missing out on the fun – the festival lasts 90 days this year, March 6 – June 3, 2019. Which means you have plenty of time to see – and taste – everything this exquisite annual event has to offer.
Fresh Food Finds
First and foremost, let’s start with the scrumptious new food and beverage options making their festival debut this year. Keep in mind that all the tasty menu items featured at the outdoor kitchens are inspired by fresh ingredients or springtime flavors. And thanks to this refreshing, natural approach, there’s an impressive selection of both vegetarian and gluten/wheat-friendly menu options. This means everyone can take part in eating around the world – World Showcase, that is!
New outdoor kitchens at this year’s festival include:
• The Arbor at the Gardeners features unique food and beverage options – including a tasty smoked salmon stack and refreshing cider flight. And of course, you can’t pass on trying the classic dish of fried green tomatoes!
• Flavor Full Kitchen is part of the new Health Full Trail presented by AdventHealth. This invigorating addition includes the new Play Full Garden experience, a delightful dining stand featuring fresh finds for all ages (cookie butter worms and dirt, anyone?), and the Mind Full Retreat area where guests can decompress and relax for a bit of reprieve before trying more tasty treats.
• The Citrus Blossom, located near Showcase Plaza, is a must-try addition to this year’s festival. Featuring savory lobster tail, crispy citrus chicken, and a delightful citrus shortcake with fluffy orange chiffon cake, slightly sweet lemon curd, mandarins, whipped cream, citrus crumble, and apple cider sorbet – and yes, it tastes as delicious as it sounds!
• We have a feeling that Trowel & Trellis is going to be a new favorite at this year’s festival. Featuring a grilled street corn on the cob, farmhouse meatball topped with a creamy herb dressing, and refreshing tea-based beverages. And how about the picture-perfect chocolate pudding terrarium with avocado cream, matcha crumbs, pomegranate, and baby herbs? It looks too gorgeous to eat…almost.
And these delicious offerings are just the beginning. Most of the outdoor kitchens at the Flower & Garden Festival are located around Epcot’s World Showcase, which means you can taste and sip all the way around the world with your family and friends. We can see the caption now – eat around the world in 80 minutes. However, we encourage you to take your time to experience all this wonderful festival has to offer!
Good food and good music go together like daisies and daffodils. That’s why the Garden Rocks Concert Series has been expanded to every day of the festival this year, with chart-topping artists taking the stage three times each day on the America Gardens Theatre stage. That’s a grand total of270 concerts over the course of three months!
The lineup features artists across genres and generations, from classics like Herman’s Hermits featuring Peter Noone, Rick Springfield, and Flock of Eagles, to Steven Curtis Chapman, TobyMac, and even Simple Plan. These talented acts will have you dancing while you dine from one country and outdoor kitchen to the next. You can even purchase a special dinner package to make it a memorable dinner and a show.
Fabulous Floral Blooms
It’s time to talk about the festival’s namesake – the aromatic flowers and topiaries on display throughout the park. The vibrant colors are simply breathtaking as you walk towards Spaceship Earth and on to World Showcase, and that’s not including all the perfectly-tended Disney gardens throughout the park.
The Disney-inspired topiaries often steal the show of this fabulous floral display. Featuring favorite classic Disney characters, including Tigger and Eeyore from Winne the Pooh, Thumper and Flower from Bambi, and of course Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Plus, new to the festival this year is the addition of a fun playground and garden located at Bo Peep’s Training Grounds, presented by Toy Story 4. Here, guests can spot Bo Peep as she joins topiaries inspired by her Toy Story pals, Buzz and Woody.
And the topiaries are simply the start of the spectacular vistas at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival! Click here to see all the blooming beauty of the festival’s topiaries, gardens, and exhibits.
If you think the fresh-inspired food and beverage options are springtime splendid, wait until you see the sun-kissed fun of the festival merchandise. From flirty lavender tumblers and jersey t-shirts to a garden-graced line of kitchen must-haves, you won’t want to leave the festival empty-handed. And we’ll let the signature event Mickey ears speak for themselves…can you say floral fabulous?
This year’s festival merchandise collections include:
• Minnie’s Garden Party – a fun spring collection with a touch of pink to commemorate the festival, including drinkware, apparel, and more.
• Mickey’s Garden Shed – get inspired to start planting with this garden collection including headwear, garden stake, and stationary.
• Violet Lemonade Collection – add a little flavor to your festival fun with this violet lemonade-inspired collection (a festival-favorite beverage).
• Figment’s Imagination Goes Wild – a colorful collection of apparel and drinkware featuring the one-and-only Figment.
• Spike and Donald – bring a bit of Spike the Bee and Donald Duck home with you with this fun apparel and headwear collection.
Oh, and we almost forgot the adorable souvenir Orange Bird sipper cup, which pairs perfectly with the orange cream slushy you can fill it with at The Citrus Blossom new outdoor kitchen!
If you can’t tell, we had an incredible time at the sneak peek event and are excited to go back to Epcot and take in all the amazing offerings when the festival officially opens on Thursday, March 6. Dust off those gardening gloves and be ready to get inspired by all the fresh fun this festival has to offer. We hope to see you there!
News Source: Courtesy of: Experience Kissimmee