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2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Food Tour Video!

 

I recently got back from an incredible trip to the Walt Disney World Resort! This spring time trip was extra exciting because we visited during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! This annual festival takes place every spring in Epcot! The event puts Epcot in full bloom with floral displays covering every inch of the park, character topiaries and some incredible outdoor kitchens offering springtime inspired food and beverage items!

 

 

Last week I took you on a tour of some of the beautiful and detailed character topiaries that could be found around the festival! Now this week I am excited to show you more about the outdoor kitchens at the Event! Let’s dive into the culinary offerings at this year’s 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!

 

 

On our first visit to the festival of this trip we made our first outdoor kitchen stop at Trowel and Trellis! This booth was hosted by Impossible foods. Everything at this outdoor kitchen is vegetarian and vegan. From here we tried our first festival food item, the Grilled Street Corn on the Cob! It was a 5 out of 5! The corn was cooked to perfection and popped right off when you ate it. The corn was doctored up with a savory garlic spread that added the perfect amount of flavor without being too overpowering.

 

 

The next festival booth we stopped at was the Bauernmarkt in Germany! Here we had the Toasted Pretzel Bread. The pretzel bread was topped with black forest ham and melted gruyere cheese! YUM! It was the best comfort food! Declared this to be another 5 out of 5!

 

 

As we continued a lap around World Showcase we then stopped off in America for The Smokehouse! Here we got 3 festival items! The first was The Pulled Pig Slider that was accompanied with coleslaw on top. Then we had the Beef Brisket Burnt ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider which also featured garlic sausage, chorizo, cheddar fondue and a house-made pickle. The third item we got here was the Shredded Beef Brisket which featured a smoked potato, chorizo fondue and green tomato relish! All of these items were excellent! The Smokehouse always hits it home year after year at this festival! The Beef Brisket Burnt ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider ended up being my favorite out of the 3 items with tried here! The barbecue sauce had a bit of sweetness to it and accompanied the cheddar fondue so well!

 

 

 

The next day that we visited the Flower and Garden Festival we began with a stop at The Honey Bee-stro! This was my favorite booth during the previous 2018 festival so I was so looking forward to stopping here this year! It lived up to my year long wait! We got the Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread which featured white cheddar cheese, charred vegetables, clover honey sour cream, and micro citrus greens. This was my favorite item of the festival! I loved it! The second item we tried here was the Roasted Cauliflower which featured a buckwheat honey carrot puree, wild rice pilaf, asparagus, honey-blistered grapes, sunflower brittle, and coriander flowers. We also indulged in a dessert item here, the Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake! This dish is so decadent and delicious! It features orange blossom honey ice cream garnished with fennel pollen meringue kisses and petite lavender shoots. This item is a must-try!

 

 

 

Next we made our way over to The Citrus Blossom. I had one very special item in mind that I know I wanted to get here, the Orange Cream Slushy! This slushy taste just like an orange creamsicle and it is served in a souvenir orange bird sipper cup! I am a huge Orange Bird fan so this item was a must for me! It is the perfect refreshing treat!

 

 

From the taste of Marrakesh booth in Morocco we tried the Harissa Chicken Kebab. It was served with a dried fruit couscous salad! Another big hit for this year’s festival!

 

 

The final item I enjoyed at this year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival was a festival icon! The Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade! The Violet Lemonade is a very popular Instagram phenomena! It is a pretty purple color and is adorned with an edible flower! This item has been a must-get beverage for me at the flower and garden festival year after year! I am not the only one who loves this very photogenic drink! People love this item so much that this year it was actually used in a lot of the Flower and Garden Festival merchandise designs! Everyone loves this drink! Be sure to check it out!

 

You can watch my full festival journey in our new YouTube video!

 

I hope you enjoyed this 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival culinary tour! Be sure to contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner today to plan your next trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth or to any destination you are dreaming of traveling to next!

My Experience at the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! Topiary Tour VIDEO!

 

Last week I was on vacation at the Most Magical Place on Earth… Walt Disney World! My family and I had such an amazing time! One of the highlights was getting to attend the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! This event has always been a favorite of mine and it seems to get better and better year after year! I love every aspect about this springtime event, the colorful landscapes, the whimsical character topiaries and of course the delicious outdoor kitchens food and beverage offerings!

 

 

Over the course of the next few weeks I am excited to share with you my full 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival experience! I can’t wait to tell you everything that I loved about this year’s event! To start off this week I want to highlight the incredible character topiaries!

 

 

What is a topiary you may ask?! A topiary is a Disney character created entirely out of the use of flowers and natural materials! The Disney horticulture teams has been crafting these works of art for years at the parks and it is these character topiaries that paved the way for the start of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! Over the years there have been several additional elements added into the event but these amazing topiaries still remain the heart of it all!

 

 

Every year the Disney horticulture team outdoes themselves with the topiaries they create and with the various surrounding displays that they produce to showcase each topiary! I have enjoyed watching the progression of the topiaries year after year and I always look forward to seeing what the Disney horticulture team will think of next!

 

 

This year was no exception! The Disney horticulture team went above and beyond with this year’s displays! Speaking of above and beyond… ‘to infinity and beyond!’  One of the new displays making its debut at this year’s 2019 festival was the Toy Story display. In past years, they have had Woody and Buzz in topiary form but they were located in separate parts of the park. Buzz in recent years had been over by Mission Space and Woody previously could be seen near the America Adventure Pavilion in World Showcase. In celebration of Toy Story 4 coming out this summer, Buzz and Woody are now right next to each other in a very special Toy Story Display. This year also saw the introduction of a brand-new topiary, Bo peep and even her sheep! The characters are all located in the same area out front of a brand-new Toy Story themed playground that has been brought in specially for the Flower and Garden Festival!

 

 

 

Additionally, there were some new character topiaries introduced this season such as Kermit and Miss Piggy! Also, many return character topiaries received a special revamp with new locations and new surrounding displays. Some personal favorites for me included the Lady and the Tramp topiaries! Lady and the Tramp have been icons in the Italy Pavilion for years at the Flower and Garden Festival! This year they have moved from against the one wall in the Italy Pavilion to across the way, down by the World Showcase Lagoon right in front of the Italy Pavilion. With their new location, you can now take an amazing photo of them with the backdrop of the lagoon and Spaceship Earth in the distance!

 

 

To see an overview of some of this year’s topiaries and floral displays at the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, check out our new YouTube video!

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner today to plan your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort or to whatever destination you are dreaming of traveling to next!

What I am Most Excited for at the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! – Walt Disney World

 

 

Spring has officially sprung at Walt Disney World! The 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is now in full swing! This annual event transforms Epcot into a springtime paradise! Everywhere you turn you will find Disney character topiaries and gorgeous floral displays. In addition to the many breathtaking landscapes you can also taste the flavors of springtime with the many outdoor kitchens that can be found throughout Epcot! The Flower and Garden Festival is one of my favorite festivals that Epcot puts on. You have the culinary element with the food booths, the visual element with all the breathtaking displays and so much more to discover!

 

 

This year’s festival runs from March 6, 2019 to June 3, 2019! This festival has a nice long duration and there is still time to plan an awesome springtime getaway to Walt Disney World to experience the event for yourself! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner today to talk about package options! I personally just booked my visit and I am so excited to attend the Flower and Garden festival during its 2019 season! From what I have seen online there have been some incredible additions added to the festival offerings this year! Today I am excited to share with you my top 5 things I am looking forward to at the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!

 

 

1. New Outdoor Kitchens!

 

I always love the food and beverage offerings available from the outdoor kitchens during the Flower and Garden Festival! This year four brand-new outdoor kitchens are being introduced for their very first festival season! The new outdoor kitchens are:

  • The Citrus Blossom
  • Flavor Full Kitchen hosted by AdventHealth
  • Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods
  • Arbor at The Gardeners Terrace

These four new booths making their festival debut will each bring many new offerings to the event! At The Citrus Blossom, I am most excited to trying the Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion and Grilled Lemon! From Flavor Full Kitchen, I am looking forward to trying this booth’s featured sweet treat, the Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse with Strawberry Jam and Boba Pearls. Trowel & Trellis is hosted by Impossible Foods and will feature many vegan and vegetarian options. I am most interested in trying the Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread. From Arbor at The Gardeners Terrace I want to try the Fried Green Tomatoes with Blue Crab-fennel Salad, Remoulade and Smoked Paprika Oil. Each of these new outdoor kitchens look like they will become instant fan-favorites at the festival! I love all the unique offerings that each of these new booths is bringing to the event!

 

 

2. Returning Outdoor Kitchens with New Offerings and Old Favorites

 

So I’ve mentioned how excited I am for the 4 new outdoor kitchens but I also can’t wait to revisit the returning booths that are festival icons! From looking over the menu offerings from these outdoor kitchens, all of these returning booths will be returning with a twist! Many of the menus have received an update with brand new offerings for guests to enjoy! I always love when there are so many new items added to experience for the first time! This year we are in luck because there seems to be new food and beverage offerings practically everywhere! Here’s a quick list of a few new items I am going to be sure to get my hands on!

  • From: Jardin de Fiestas – Beef torta: Braised Beef served on a Crispy Sourdough Roll with Queso Oaxaca, Avocado, Pickled Onions and Jalapenos in a Spicy Habanero Sauce
  • From: Lotus House – House-made Crab and Cheese Wontons
  • From: Primavera Kitchen – Pomodori Verdi e Mozzarella: Fried Green Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese, Balsamic Reduction
  • From: Taste Track – Violet Blueberry Vanilla Croissant Doughnut

 

 

In addition to trying all these new items I am equally as excited to get to enjoy many returning favorites! If you attend the festival each year than you will know exactly what I am talking about! We all have those classic favorite items that we love so much and wait all year to get to enjoy it again! Here’s a few of my go-to items that I am thrilled to see back on the menu!

  • From: The Honey Bee-stro – Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, Charred Vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream and Micro Citrus Greens
  • From: The Honey Bee-stro – local Wildflower Honey-mascarpone Cheesecake with orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses and Petite Lavender Shoots
  • From: La Isla Fresca – Caribbean Conch Salad with Mango, Papaya and Pickled Red Onions
  • From: Hanami – Frushi: Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice garnished with Whipped Cream, Berry Sauce Drizzled and Toasted Coconut
  • From: Pineapple Promenade – Frozen Desert Violet lemonade

 

 

 

3. Topiaries!

 

The incredible character topiaries are the heart of the Flower and Garden Festival! Over the years the food booths, concert series and all the other favorite activities associated with the event became exciting additions. The festival beginnings stem back to being all about showcasing the incredible work of the Disney floral team who create topiary masterpieces that resembled different Disney characters. These topiary displays are beautiful! Over the years, the topiaries themselves have become more and more defined and detailed, and the displays around the topiaries have become more and more elaborate each year! These floral displays are always a festival highlight for me! These pieces are works of art and so creative!

 

 

From the pictures I’ve seen online this year, I think Disney just dialed it up 10 more notches when it comes to incredible displays! There are brand new characters such as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy from the Muppets and Bo Peep and her sheep from Toy Story! From the pictures I’ve seen it appears many of the returning topiaries have been given even more elaborate backdrops and details! For example, Lightning McQueen looks like he is driving down an actually road that is made up entirely of flowers! Also, Lady and the Tramp who can always be found in the Italy Pavilion have been given a new backdrop down by the gondolas on the terrace part of the Italy pavilion! It looks absolutely beautiful!

 

 

 

4. Festival Merchandise

 

This year’s merchandise is the cutest I’ve ever seen! One of my favorite items to enjoy at the Flower and Garden Festival is the Desert Violet Lemonade! This frozen drink complete with an edible flower on top is a fan-favorite at the festival and because it is so photogenic it is probably safe to say it is the most Instagrammed festival item!

 

 

Disney knows how much us guests love our Desert Violet Lemonade and they have actually created an entire line of merchandise inspired by the drink! You can rock some dessert Violet Minnie Mouse ears, a spirit jersey and more!

 

 

There are also some very adorable items featuring this year’s festival logo! I love to collect the Disney Dooney and Burke bags and this year they have an exclusive flower and garden print available in multiple bag styles! The design is set on a white backdrop and features butterflies that are styled after many classic Disney characters! I think that might just have to come home with me!

 

 

 

5. Springtime!

 

Finally, I am simply just so excited to enjoy this beautiful time of year in my favorite place Walt Disney World! Spring always comes early in beautiful sunny Florida! As I type this I am currently up north where I am looking outside at piles of snow! Planning a getaway to Disney World this time of year is the perfect way to experience the beauty of spring that we are all so ready for! The Flower and Garden Festival does the most incredible job of capturing the beauty and excitement of springtime! This festival has such a happy and fresh atmosphere! After all, Disney does give this event the slogan and hashtag, #FreshEpcot

 

 

Are you ready for springtime?! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner to book your next visit to Walt Disney World or to any destination that you are dreaming of visiting next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Bounty to Feature Blooms, Flavor-Rich Cuisine, Interactive Gardens, Concerts

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will kick off spring at Walt Disney World Resort Feb. 28 and continue through May 28, 2018, with seasonal fun for all. What began in 1994 as a 38-day celebration of Disney-style gardens and topiaries has grown over the years to a 90-day spring extravaganza with something for every generation.

The 2018 festival, which takes place during the 35th anniversary of Epcot, will showcase millions of brilliant blossoms, flavor-rich cuisine from 15 Outdoor Kitchens, Disney topiary stars, interactive play gardens and live chart-topping musical acts during the Garden Rocks Concert Series.

The 90-day festival will open with an irresistible array of sights, sounds, tastes, aromas and tactile discoveries:

  • New and creative dishes will debut at 15 Outdoor Kitchens encircling the World Showcase Promenade. Guests can sip and savor their way around Epcot, enjoying chef-inspired noshes and refreshing libations.
  • A bonanza of Disney character topiaries, including classic-character favorites Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and many others, will play a starring festival role. Returning this year, Belle will be featured in France along with Beast, Snow White in Germany with the Seven Dwarfs, and Anna and Elsa in Norway.
  • A brand-new Future World interactive play garden and a revved-up Road to Florida 500 garden featuring new games and play challenges will set the pace for family festival fun. The new interactive area in Future World will feature a play maze, a sensory garden, an activity zone and a covered seating area. The redesigned “Cars”-themed garden based on the Disney•Pixar sequel, “Cars 3,” will add more fun activities like highway bingo for families.
  • A brand-new Epcot front-entrance topiary garden will set the milestone anniversary scene with a kaleidoscope of blooming color where topiary icons Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy will greet festival guests.
  • The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series will feature hit makers of the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s on the America Gardens Theatre stage. Three evening concerts each Friday through Monday present musicians that span multiple genres.
  • Garden Rocks Dining Packages will be available on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants.

Each Outdoor Kitchen will feature its own raised-bed or in-ground garden of herbs and produce that can inspire the growing numbers of guests who want to learn to grow what they eat.

“The culture of growing your own food continues to trend, and our guests each year have quite a few questions related to edible gardens,” says Eric Darden, festival horticulture manager. “They get a big kick comparing items in our gardens with the herbs and produce our chefs incorporate into the festival’s Outdoor Kitchen recipes.”

And there’s more:

  • The back-by-demand Figment topiary garden between Future World and World Showcase will offer the perfect selfie backdrop and family photo opportunity.
  • The Royal Tea Garden Tour will return for a second year each festival morning at the United Kingdom pavilion. For a small fee, guests can follow a knowledgeable guide through the tranquil tea garden setting to learn the history and artistry behind growing and blending tea. A post-tour treat of tea and scones is included. The shorter, complimentary English Tea Garden Tour also will be offered on select days.
  • Among the nearly 100 festival topiaries will be returning favorites like the pandas and Bromeliad dragon at the China pavilion, The Three Caballeros at the Mexico pavilion, Disney-Pixar’s Woody at the American Adventure pavilion and Buzz Lightyear in Future World.

Dozens of Disney-crafted “flower towers” and beds of multi-colored blooms will transform the park’s landscape. At least 70,000 bedding plants will surround the Future World east and west lakes alone; on the water, 220 mini-gardens will be set afloat.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival With Guest Bill Wingate On Travel With Rick

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!


Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2016 With Travel With Rick

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!


2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

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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!


Florida Fresh

Florida FreshExperience 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.

To eat:

  • 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!)

To drink:

  • 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!
  • Florida Avenue Blueberry, Cold Storage Craft Brewery (Tampa, Florida)
  • Beer Flight – Blonde Ale, Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale and Florida Avenue Blueberry
  • Simply Orange

Hanami

HanamiJourney 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.

To eat:

  • 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

To drink:

  • 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

Jardin de FiestasMake 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.

To eat:

  • 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

To drink:

  • Tecate draft beer
  • White Mexican sangria
  • Franbuesa (raspberry) margarita on the rocks
  • Tequila flight – blanco, reposado and añejo
  • Dasani bottled water

Fleur de Lys

Fleur de LysIndulge 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!

To eat:

  • 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!)

To drink:

  • 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
  • Rosé pamplemousse cocktail – Rosé wine mixed with natural grapefruit syrup
  • Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – Fruity white beer with citrus notes

Lotus House

Lotus HouseHit 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!

To eat:

  • Beijing-style candied strawberries
  • Spring pancake with grilled chicken and green apple
  • Vegetable spring rolls

To drink:

  • 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
  • Plum wine
  • Tsing-Tao beer
  • Lychee aerated water

Pineapple Promenade

Pineapple PromenadeEnjoy 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.

To eat:

  • 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)

To drink:

  • Frozen desert violet lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade (nonalcoholic)
  • Tropical Mango Pale Ale, St. John Brewers (U.S. Virgin Islands)
  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc

Primavera Kitchen

Primavera KitchenSay, “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.

To eat:

  • 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

To drink:

  • Placido Pinot Grigio
  • Placido Chianti
  • 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 Lager
  • Moretti La Rossa

Taste of Marrakesh

Taste of MarrakeshEmbark 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.

To eat:

  • Lamb brewat roll with prunes and sesame
  • Harissa chicken kebab with couscous salad
  • Baghrir – Moroccan pancake with honey, almonds and argan oil

To drink:

  • Mint iced tea
  • White sangria
  • Guerrouane red
  • Casa Beer
  • Desert Rose – Sparkling wine with pomegranate liqueur

Urban Farm Eats – NEW!

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!

To eat:

  • 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

To drink:

  • Cucumber lemon spa water, finished with a sprig of fresh mint
  • The Vegan Vine Chardonnay
  • The Vegan Vine Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Redbridge Gluten-Free Sorghum Beer, Anheuser-Busch (St. Louis, Missouri)

THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews

THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and BrewsCelebrate 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.

To eat:

  • 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

To drink:

  • 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

The Buttercup CottageDelight 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.

To eat:

  • 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

To drink:

  • 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

Intermissions Café

Intermissions CaféDig 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!

To eat:

  • Grapes
  • Fruit & cheese plate
  • Vegan trio
  • Southwest chicken wrap
  • Tuna salad with pita
  • Side salad
  • Asian tuna salad with noodles
  • Caprese Push-Pop – Tomato, mozzarella and balsamic (TRYit! selection)

To drink:

  • 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)
  • Martini Prosecco
  • Strongbow Cider, Bulmers Cider Company (White Plains, New York)
  • SweetWater Blue, SweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia)

2014 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens

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.

epcot-flower-garden

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.

epcot-food-1

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.

epcot-food-2

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.


New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is returning to Walt Disney World Resort on March 5. Disney Parks Blog shared new details about the merchandise being offered this year. Here is a first look at some of my favorite items coming to Epcot.

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden 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.

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

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.

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

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.

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

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.

New Merchandise to Bloom at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival


2014 Epcot Flower Power Weekend Concert Line Ups

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

At Epcot this spring, guests can boogie to their favorite “far out” pop tunes and rock ‘n’ roll classics of the 1960s and ’70s at the Flower Power concert series during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 5-May 18.

Alan Parsons Live Project

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”).

Village People

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.

paul-reveere

Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and are included with Epcot admission.


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”


Topiary Mater Installed in Epcot Just in Time for Pixar’s 25th Anniversary Weekend

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Mater TopiaryCHECKERED 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.

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Enjoy Spectacular Topiaries and So Much More at Epcot’s 18th Annual International Flower & Garden Festival

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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

Event Dates:
March 2 – May 15, 2011

Event Tickets:
Free with Admission to Epcot® required.

Festival Highlights
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
France Pavilion
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.

HGTV Stars Meet ‘Toy Story 3’ Heroes at 18th Epcot Flower & Garden Festival March 2-May 15

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.

Don’t miss:
  • 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.

17th Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Shifts Dates Earlier Than Ever – March 3-May 16, 2010

butterfly300LAKE 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 gardenears3001Mouse.

“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.”

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