You all asked for more of the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival so we went back to try out three more marketplaces. My friend and travel agent from Kingdom Magic Vacations and Must Love Travel, Bill Wingate is with me and we try out food and beverages from the Urban Farm Eats, La Isla Fresca and the Jardin De Fiestas marketplaces!
I even sneak over solo to the Pineapple Promenade and try a Spicy Hot Dog and a Pineapple Soft-serve with rum!
This week on Travel With Rick, Marc Bigbie and Rick take you around Epcot’s World Showcase for the Flower and Garden Festival. They enjoy some food and wine from the marketplaces and tell you what they like best and point out some of their favorite flowers and topiaries along the way!
Take your pick from garden-grown treats, savory meats and spring-inspired flavors—including tempting TRYit! selections, featuring fun foods made with fresh ingredients—this year at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival!
Experience a taste of several fresh Florida ingredients, each grown and produced locally. It’s a perfect opportunity to treat your senses to some of the most delightful fruit and drink the Sunshine State has to offer! Florida Fresh can be found next to the Germany Pavilion.
Watermelon salad with pickled onions, BW Farm baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction
Shrimp and stone ground grits with andouille sausage, sweet corn, tomatoes and cilantro
Florida kumquat pie (TRYit!)
Watermelon passion fruit slush featuring Simply Lemonade®
Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria featuring Simply Lemonade, Florida Orange Groves (St. Petersburg, Florida)
Garda Italian Wine Blend, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
Blonde Ale, Orlando Brewing Company (Orlando, Florida)
Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Swamp Head Brewery (Gainesville, Florida)
Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale, Florida Beer Company (Cape Canaveral, Florida) – Festival Exclusive!
Beer Flight – Blonde Ale, Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale and Florida Avenue Blueberry
Journey near the Japan Pavilion where the annual ritual of admiring springtime flowers is in full bloom. From delectable bites to refreshing beverages, uncover how Hanami’s flavors reflect the season.
Frushi – Fresh pineapple, strawberries and melon, rolled with coconut rice, topped with raspberry sauce, sprinkled with toasted coconut and served with whipped cream on the side
Temaki hand roll – Sliced Panko fried chicken, curry sauce, rice and pickled julienne carrots wrapped with Nori
Hanami sushi – A flavorful combination of salmon, scallop and beef-topped rice balls served atop a shiso violet sauce (TRYit!)
Japanese puffed rice cakes with green tea whipped cream and azuki
Kirin draft beer
Pinepple Paradise with Yuzu Slushie – Frozen blend of sweet sake, pineapple juice and crème, flavored with a hint of Yuzu citrus juice
Orange Mango Slushie – Frozen blend of Nigori sake, mango and orange juice
Jardin de Fiestas
Make your way near the Mexico Pavilion where the tapas are spring light and cooked just right. Don’t miss your chance to take part in this festival of flavors, complete with savory tacos and mouthwatering cocktails.
Tacos al pastor – Corn tortilla filled with achiote-marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions and cilantro
Quesadilla de hongos con queso – Flour tortilla filled with mushrooms and cheese
Flan de chocolate Abuelita – Mexican chocolate custard
Tecate draft beer
White Mexican sangria
Franbuesa (raspberry) margarita on the rocks
Tequila flight – blanco, reposado and añejo
Dasani bottled water
Fleur de Lys
Indulge your senses in extravagance at this tasty milieu influenced by the “flower of the lily.” Once a royal emblem used by the French monarchy, the symbol now serves as inspiration for this decadent stop where you can refine your palate with some of the France Pavilion’s most magnificent culinary masterpieces!
Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal – Parisian-style dumplings with vegetables and mushrooms
Confit de canard, pommes de terre Sarladaise – Pulled duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes
Macaron à la fleur d’ Oranger – Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache (TRYit!)
La Vie en Rose frozen slush – Vodka, Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liquor, and white and red cranberry juice
Kir Imperial – Sparkling wine, Chambord and black raspberry liquor
Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – Fruity white beer with citrus notes
Hit the pavement near the China Pavilion for a garden-fresh take on spring-influenced flavors. Appease your cravings with a wide variety of Chinese cuisine, including popular street foods and bubble tea!
Beijing-style candied strawberries
Spring pancake with grilled chicken and green apple
Vegetable spring rolls
Popping bubble tea
Kung Fu Punch – Vodka and triple sec with mango and orange juice
South Sea Storm – Guava juice with light and dark rum
Lychee aerated water
Enjoy the Great White North with a tropical twist at the Canada side of World Showcase promenade. Then, get ready to hear your sweet tooth say, “Thank you!” as you bite into all kinds of treats featuring this popular golden fruit.
Pineapple soft serve
Pineapple soft serve with Myers’s dark rum
Pineapple soft serve with Parrot Bay coconut rum
Sweet potato cinnamon waffle with pineapple soft serve (TRYit! selection)
Tropical Mango Pale Ale, St. John Brewers (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc
Say, “Ciao!” to spring as you set sail for a land of garden-fresh foods near the Italy Pavilion. On your stop, be sure to explore the countryside’s many flavors—caprese, manicotti, torte di ricotta and fine Italian wines.
Caprese – Fior di latte mozzarella, roasted peppers and olio verde
Three cheese manicotti – Egg pasta stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce and béchamel
Torta di ricotta – Lemon cheesecake with limoncello-marinated strawberries
Placido Pinot Grigio
Bosco del Merlo Prosecco
White peach bellini – Prosecco and white peach puree
Strawberry rossini – Prosecco and marinated strawberries
Frozen Italian primavera – Assorted fruit slushy with limoncello and vodka
Moretti La Rossa
Taste of Marrakesh
Embark on a trek near the Morocco Pavilion and educate your tastes on North African spices. Each unique flavor has been paired with fresh ingredients and can be sampled with Moroccan beer and wine at this garden oasis.
Lamb brewat roll with prunes and sesame
Harissa chicken kebab with couscous salad
Baghrir – Moroccan pancake with honey, almonds and argan oil
Mint iced tea
Desert Rose – Sparkling wine with pomegranate liqueur
Urban Farm Eats – NEW!
Honor the earth and all it grows with a refreshing selection from this location’s all-natural menu. Choose from a hearty array of foods and beverages, many of which have been cultivated entirely from the soil!
Pickled beet salad with goat cheese cream, mizuna and pistachios
Land-grown eggplant “scallop” with romesco sauce and spaghetti squash (TRYit!)
Ghost pepper-dusted tilapia with crisp winter melon slaw and mint oil featuring The Original Sauce Man’s Kick It Up Rub
Cucumber lemon spa water, finished with a sprig of fresh mint
Celebrate the truly American tradition of slow-cooked flavors near The American Adventure Pavilion. Sink your teeth into savory barbecue meats and then pair each one off with craft brews from across the country.
Pulled pig slider with cole slaw
Smoked beef brisket with collard greens and jalapeño corn bread
Smoked turkey “rib” (TRYit!)
“Piggylicous” bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch featuring Nueske’s® Applewood Smoked Bacon
Magic Hat #9, Magic Hat Brewing (South Burlington, Vermont)
Maduro, Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida)
Fat Tire, New Belgium Brewing Company (Ft. Collins, Colorado)
Billy’s Chilies, Twisted Pine Brewing Company (Boulder, Colorado)
Beer Flight – Magic Hat #9, Maduro, Fat Tire and Billy’s Chilies
The Original Rib Shack Red Wine
The Buttercup Cottage
Delight in elegant afternoon-tea offerings and fresh garden flavors near the United Kingdom Pavilion. Drop by this charming locale to sample scrumptious treats, British teas and beverages inspired by lovely English fruits and fragrances.
Freshly baked potato and cheddar cheese biscuit with smoked salmon tartare
Field greens with Plant City strawberries, toasted almonds and Farmstead stilton (TRYit!)
Pork and apple sausage roll with house-made piccalilli
Freshly baked lemon scones with berry preserves and crème fraÎche
Chilled rose blush lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade with Raspberry (nonalcoholic)
Twinings® Cold Brewed English Classic with lemon grass syrup
Berry tea cocktail – Twinings Cold Brewed Mixed Berry Tea with Florida Cane vodka and Plant City strawberry, flavored with raspberry and açaí syrup
Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvee
Deloach Pinot Noir
Dig into your day or turn over the evening at this charming stop found right within the Festival Center. Pop inside to find all kinds of fine food and beverages—wine, cheese, wraps, salads and more!
Fruit & cheese plate
Southwest chicken wrap
Tuna salad with pita
Asian tuna salad with noodles
Caprese Push-Pop – Tomato, mozzarella and balsamic (TRYit! selection)
Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria, Florida Orange Groves (St. Petersburg, Florida)
Garda Italian Wine Blend, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
Strongbow Cider, Bulmers Cider Company (White Plains, New York)
SweetWater Blue, SweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia)
Instead of photos of the gorgeous flowers and topiaries, we want to show off some of the delicious new delights for your taste buds at the 21st annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival that opens March 5 and runs through May 18 – that’s 75 days to take it all in.
Last year was the first year that food starred alongside the flowers, and this year 11 Outdoor Kitchens debut around World Showcase Lagoon, each with an artful produce and herb-raised garden bed that showcases something that you can taste in the dish they’re offering, say, corn at the Florida marketplace, or pineapples in Japan.
Chef Jens Dahlmann had fun with the new Urban Farm EATS with its sustainable garden featuring tilapia swimming around that help fertilize the veggies. All three dishes are gluten free and two are vegetarian. There’s a pickled beet salad with goat cheese cream, mizuna (greens) and pistachios, eggplant grown at The Land pavilion at Epcot with Romesco (sweet pepper sauce) and spaghetti squash, and a ghost-pepper-dusted tilapia with crisp melon slaw and mint oil – and if you’ve never tried ghost pepper, it’s a kicky treat. They even have a vegan chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon and a gluten-free beer.
In all there are 16 vegetarian dishes and a dozen gluten-free choices. Each marketplace has three to four dishes, adding up to more than 50 beverages and 40 different food items. It’s your chance to try anything from pulled-duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes in France to a “piggylicious” bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch at The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews. Craft beers abound again this year, from a Tropical Mango Pale Ale from St. John Brewers in the U.S. Virgin Islands to Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale brewed right here in Florida just for the festival.
You may recall that we introduced topiary artwork last year to our merchandise assortment. This fun and festive artwork was created by our Yellow Shoes Marketing group and it was wildly popular with guests attending the event. This year, we have used that artwork on new softlines, home décor and more.
Topiaries also found their way onto new pins created especially for this year’s Festival. There is a limited release pin featuring Mickey Mouse that will be found in multiple locations through Epcot. There are also a series of limited-edition pins that include characters like Kermit the Frog or Mater and Lightning McQueen.
Finally, the Vinylmation team will introduce a new “revealed/concealed” mystery set with figures shaped like topiaries on March 28. Disney Design Group artist Caley Hicks designed the 3-inch figures. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey topiary is the revealed figure in the set, and it will be found on the top of each mystery box. The other four figures will be randomly packaged, so you won’t know which one you get.
I invite you to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog in the coming weeks as I will be offering a first look inside the Festival Center located between Mission: SPACE and Universe of Energy pavilions at Epcot.
The lineup will feature two new-to-the-festival-acts: Gary Lewis and The Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) and Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”).
An eclectic mix of festival-fan favorites includes Village People (“Y.M.C.A.”), who debuted for the Flower Power series in 2013, Paul Revere & The Raiders (“Good Thing”) and more. The Guess Who kick off the concert series March 7-9.
Here is this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):
March 7-9 The Guess Who “American Woman”
March 14-16 NEW! Gary Lewis and The Playboys “This Diamond Ring”
March 21-23 The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
March 28-30 The Lovin’ Spoonful “Summer in the City”
April 4-6 Paul Revere & The Raiders “Good Thing”
April 11-13 Village People “Y.M.C.A”
April 18-20 The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions”
April 25-27 Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VII, I Am”
May 2-4 Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
May 9-11 Chubby Checker & The Wildcats “The Twist”
May 16-18 NEW! Alan Parsons Live Project “Eye in the Sky”
CHECKERED FLAG FINISH: Topiary Mater has been added to the array of characters revving up for a dash to the finish with Pixar’s 25th Anniversary Weekend May 13-15, 2011, celebrating “Cars 2” during the 18th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV.
The 18th annual Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival is coming spring 2011. Amid a colorful tableau of flowers, plants and topiaries, Walt Disney World® guests of all ages can explore myriad exhibits and activities geared toward gardening and outdoor fun. Weekend Flower Power concerts will pump up the volume and spread a groovy vibe at America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase
March 2 – May 15, 2011
Free with Admission to Epcot® required.
Toy Story 3 Topiary – Presented by Disney·Pixar – Main Entrance
Don’t miss Buzz, Woody and Lotso as they come out of the Toy Story 3 toy box as topiaries. The newest living sculptures at the Festival and the newest Disney·Pixar movie take you to infinity and beyond.
Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden – Presented by Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games – Test Track Walkway
Take flight into the garden world of Pixie Hollow and see some of your favorite fairies presented in topiary. Play structures designed for ages 2 -5.
Bambi’s Butterfly House – Presented by HGTV – Imagination Walkway
Experience a Festival favorite, now, more than double the size! Wander among hundreds of native butterflies and see some of your favorite characters from Bambi, presented in topiary. Join us as we celebrate the release of Bambi Diamond Edition, the timeless classic now for the very first time on Blu-ray™ Hi-Def.
Healthy Living Garden – Presented by Syngenta – Imagination Walkway
Experience fun activities that can help lead to improved health and well being.
Cars 2 Topiary – Presented by Disney·Pixar – Coming to Theaters June 24th – World Showcase Plaza
Lightning McQueen and Mater zoom back into action, but this time they’re pruned and trained in topiary form. Rev up your engines for this unforgettable collection of characters seen in living art form like never before.
Winnie the Pooh Topiary – Presented by The Pooh Movie – Coming to Theaters this Summer
Between Future World & World Showcse
Take a glimpse into the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger and Friends in a stunning display of topiary show gardens. Vibrant varieties of striking wild flower combinations make this a “must see” of the Festival.
Beauty and the Beast Topiary Gardens – Presented by Beauty & The Beast Diamond Edition
Be our guest and see some of your favorite characters from Beauty & The Beast come to spectacular life in this stunning floral garden of topiaries and colorful arrays of flowers and foliage. Join the beloved Belle and Beast in a dance of manicured landscape and magical gardens.
The Art of Green Living – Adjacent to the Morocco Pavilion – Presented by FNGLA
Discover how you can create an environmentally friendly, low-input garden of your own as you explore this unique garden.
Rapunzel’s Tower – Presented by Tangled – On Blu-ray™ Combo-pack & DVD
Between the Germany and Italy Pavilions
Rapunzel’s secret tower comes to life in the Tangled Magical Garden inspired by Walt Disney Pictures newest animated film, Tangled. You won’t want to miss this breathtaking photo location where whimsy and splendor meet floral beauty and garden design as only the Disney Horticulture team can create.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A constellation of HGTV design stars lights up the 18th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 2 through May 15, while “Toy Story 3” heroes Woody and Buzz take Disney topiary magic “to infinity and beyond!”
Genevieve Gorder, Vern Yip and nine other HGTV design gurus appear for the first time at the Walt Disney World Resort festival during weekend presentations that cover topics ranging from “Life, Love and Landscaping” (Yard Crashers’ Ahmed Hassan, April 8-10) to “Curb Appeal Projects from Concept to Construction” (Curb Appeal: The Block’s John Gidding, April 29-May 1).
Disney’s topiary craftsmen pack powerful curb appeal into the festival’s Future World front-entrance garden where the lead toys of Disney’s Oscar-nominated film “Toy Story 3” meet arch-enemy Lotso (a.k.a. Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear) in a larger-than-life floral spectacle. The popular Disney-Pixar characters hit the sandbox as seven- and eight-foot-tall topiaries surrounded by a sand castle, strawberry-scented field and playground toys featured in the film. With bold strokes of seasonal color, the topiary display marks the first time that “Toy Story” characters have been featured at the festival. It’s also the first time in seven years that the front-entrance floral display showcases all-new topiary characters, says festival horticulture manager Eric Darden.
“It created unique challenges,” Darden says, “and it’s meticulous work. Woody is skinny, and it was a challenge to create his legs. The detail on Buzz is pretty daunting.” And the buzz on the pink-floral Lotso (a.k.a. Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear) is that he will smell like strawberries, just like his big-screen character, when guests stroll by.
This year’s 75-day festival showcases more than 100 expertly crafted topiaries, and another show-stopper will be the brand-new “Cars 2” display at the World Showcase plaza, Darden says. Large floral topiaries of “Cars” characters Mater and Lightning McQueen will park their colorful chassis beneath a black-and-white checkered arch. To complete the scene, gardeners will create floral flags representing Japan, France, Italy and the United Kingdom – destinations of the car characters in the sequel due in theaters June 24.
And Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and pals appear in topiary splendor among a Hundred Acre Wood wildflower display between Future World and World Showcase. They’re just in time to spread the happy news about the “Winnie the Pooh Movie” debuting Summer 2011.
New in the Park!
HGTV’s festival sponsorship adds fresh excitement to an event that has expanded and endured through the years. Festival Center presentations showcase HGTV and HGTV.com celebrities on weekends and other experts seven days a week. Located next to Mission: Space in Future World, the center presents workshops and talks by a solid lineup of master gardeners, Walt Disney World horticulturists and a mix of TV and radio personalities, authors and educators.
Also adding fresh fun to the festival:
A roomier-than-ever Bambi’s Butterfly House more than doubles in size this year in its new location along the Imagination Walkway by Innoventions West in Future World. It’s the first time the popular garden has expanded since its 2005 debut, and guests will see more butterflies than ever, Darden says.
For the first time at Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden, favorite Disney Fairies will pose for photos and sign autographs throughout the day. Young fans who enter this whimsical garden also discover play structures for children ages 2-5.
HGTV presents a Sustainable Beauty Garden with ideas for your own home garden.
Rapunzel lets down her hair at Rapunzel’s Tower in the Tangled Magical Garden inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ animated film, “Tangled,” located between the Germany and Italy pavilions.
Flower Power grows with new-to-the-festival pop acts. Melissa Manchester, March 25-27 (Don’t Cry Out Loud) and Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., April 8-10 (You Don’t Have to Be a Star) are set to light up America Gardens Theatre with their timeless tunes.
A new Festival Special Weekend is slated for May when Disney*Pixar presents a Pixar Animation Studios celebration in conjunction with the upcoming “Cars 2” big-screen debut set for June 24.
Throughout the festival, elaborate floral beds and entertaining exhibits will decorate the park landscape and showcase the extraordinary talents of Disney gardeners. A blooming Guerlain Fragrance Garden at the France pavilion returns with its never-ending “love story” of the relationship between plants and perfume. At the Japan showcase, the art of bonsai will mesmerize guests who stop at the pavilion’s vermilion torii gate.
Flower Power concerts – Popular bands will rock the open-air America Gardens Theatre every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. Jose Feliciano is scheduled to kick off the concert series March 4-6. The Flower Power lineup also will feature pop favorites like Davy Jones and Chubby Checker & The Wildcats.
The Festival Center – Guests can shop for festival merchandise, attend workshops and demonstrations and get ideas and tips from master gardeners.
Disney Gardening at Home presentations – Disney horticulturists will share gardening tips and lead guests in a hands-on, take-home activity.
Special Festival Weekend Celebrations – Art in the Garden celebration of plein air artists March 25-27; Fresh from Florida Farmer’s Market salute April 29-May 1; Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and Guerlain’s Enchanted Gardens events May 6-8; and the Disney*Pixar weekend celebration May 13-15.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The 17th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival kicks off March 3 – earlier than ever – and continues for 75 days through May 16, 2010, with bold strokes of seasonal color and brand-new topiary whimsy. Last year’s festival began March 18; now Walt Disney World guests get a head start on the gardening season as they explore exhibits and activities geared toward discovery and outdoor fun.
Even before spring has sprung, Donald Duck and his topiary pals set up camp in full floral color to celebrate the Great Outdoors at the Epcot front entrance. The elaborate topiary with a North American theme, live waterfall and pond features Goofy in a fly-fishing misadventure, Daisy Duck roasting marshmallows over a campfire and Pluto in his “pup tent.” It’s a must-stop photo op for guests as soon as they pass through the park turnstiles. Packing more floral punch this year, the festival showcases more than 100 expertly crafted topiaries — including a new American Gothic Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
“The advantage of starting earlier is that we’ll be able to feature more brilliant color than ever, with richly hued petunias, violas, snapdragons and other hardy flowers,” says festival horticulture manager Eric Darden. “By starting earlier and going through mid-May, it allows more guests than ever to experience the festival and to plan ahead for their spring and summer gardening.”