by Disney Magic Diva
Okay, be truthful. How many of you love the festivals at Epcot because of the food? Sure, there’s typically great music and, depending on the festival, cultural, culinary, artistic, or horticulture seminars, but what really matters is the food. Right? Well…maybe the food AND the beverages.
We only had a couple of hours to try as many goodies as we could at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, so we weren’t able to sample everything on our list, but we did our best. Here’s what we tried:
The Honey Bee-stro: This is a new outdoor kitchen at the Flower and Garden Festival, and we were anxious to give it a try. It’s listed as being in Showcase Plaza, but it’s really on the walkway in Future World West, just past the Butterfly House and the Imagination Play Garden. We ordered the Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake, and it was as delicious as it was beautiful! (Of course, it’s cheesecake…what’s not to like?) You could definitely taste the honey flavor, and the honey sauce drizzled on top actually sparkled! I’m not sure if Tinker Bell sprinkled pixie dust on it, or if it was just some Disney Magic, but it was incredibly sparkly! The crust was almost like a spongecake, making the entire dessert light, fluffy, and scrumptious.
Pineapple Promenade: Located in the Showcase Plaza, we considered this a MUST stop. Here’s where you can find the popular Violet Lemonade, and I was excited to sip it once again. A frozen lemonade which has gorgeous lavender hue that would make the Purple Wall jealous, the Violet Lemonade is the perfect way to cool down.
It is a wonderful combination of sweet and tart, and it’s topped off with an edible flower, grown right next door in The Land! It’s a smaller cup than most frozen lemonades at Walt Disney World, so if you are traveling World Showcase with a friend, you may want to get two. It’s so good you probably won’t want to share!
My son Matt tried the Pineapple Beer Flight, a tasting size portion of three different brews. He thought the Goin’ Coastal IPA with Pineapple from SweetWater Brewing Company unquestionably was an IPA with little pineapple flavor. The Pineapple Mana Wheat from Maui Brewing Co. was sweeter, and definitely had a wheat flavor. Finally the Coco Pina Gose from Coastal Empire Beer Co. was the sweetest, which was surprising since a gose typically is a little salty and tart. None of them had a heavy pineapple flavor, and since he finished them all I think he enjoyed them!
Northern Bloom: We started working our way around World Showcase and our first stop was Canada. Since LeCellier is one of our favorite restaurants, I was looking forward to trying the Beef Tenderloin Tips. Sadly, I was a little disappointed. While the potatoes were delicious, the beef was a little tough and the carrots were undercooked.
Matt had to try the Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky. I’m not a whisky person, but he loved this unique drink! The shake had a strong maple flavor – I could even smell the maple! The whiskey separated from the shake and was on top of the drink along with the popcorn, so be sure to give it a good stir before you indulge.
Diva Tip: To help mix the alcohol with the shake, try blowing air through the straw. It really seemed to do a better job of mixing the ingredients than just stirring.
Cider House: We always enjoy stopping in United Kingdom, so I knew we had to try some goodies at Cider House. I absolutely loved the Freshly Baked Lemon Scone. It was a perfect scone – dense but not heavy and served warm. The lemon flavor was just right, and the berries and cream were a wonderful compliment to its tartness.
Matt tried the Hard Cider Flight. The McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider had a definite cherry taste with a slightly tart aftertaste. The Ciderboys Grand Mimosa Apple Orange Hard Cider was a good blend of apple and orange, with both flavors present but not overpowering. The Florida Beer Company Caribe Pineapple Tropical Hard Cider was his favorite. It had a strong but not overwhelming pineapple taste. He thought it was a good balance of pineapple and cider, not super fruity, and he could see himself drinking a lot of this!
Hanami: When I first read about Frushi, I was intrigued. I’m not a sushi fan, but this sounded so interesting I had to give it a try as we stopped in Japan. The description is “Fresh pineapple, strawberry, and melon rolled with coconut rice, sprinkled with toasted coconut, and whipped cream with raspberry sauce on the side.” Everything there sounded pretty harmless. And it was. It was sweet, light, and fruity. Something most kids would love!
The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews: I’m a choco-holic, so I wanted to try the Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans at the American Adventure. I must admit, though, I was a little apprehensive because I don’t enjoy bourbon. I was worried that taste would overpower the chocolate. But Matt selflessly said he would eat it all if I didn’t enjoy it, so I channeled my inner Merida and bravely took my first bite. Nothing to fear! The chocolate taste won out, and while there was a slight hint of bourbon, it was nothing you’d really notice. The cake was spongy, moist, and warm; and the caramel and pecans were a delicious touch.
Jardin de Fiestas: The last country we had time for was Mexico. We had really enjoyed the tacos de Puerco there during the Festival of the Arts (read my review about all the snacks we enjoyed at the Festival of the Arts, here), so we were excited to stop by again. For the Flower & Garden Festival, the tacos were naturally different, but still delicious. The pork taco is served on a tortilla and consisted of slow-braised pork served with apple relish, goat cheese, and chile de arbol sauce.
The meat was flavorful and juicy, and the goat cheese was a wonderful accompaniment. Matt tried a Daisy Spicy Beer, and said he didn’t get much taste of Daisy. It was Tecate beer (which is a Mexican beer, similar to Budweiser or Miller for Mexico) and Ancho Chile tequila. It wasn’t spicy in terms of temperature, but a slightly different taste from a normal Tecate. And to add a little extra Disney Magic, when you order from Jardin de Fiestas, you will also receive a mini guitar inspired by the movie Coco! It’s made of heavy pressed paper, and is embedded with seeds so you can plant it at home!
When you plan your trip to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, don’t forget to pick up a passport! It’s a wonderful way to keep track of what you sampled and what you’d like to try. We especially liked referring to it to see what options were coming up in countries we had yet to explore. Whatever you do, bring your appetite! There are plenty of options to enjoy!! And don’t forget, many of the dishes available qualify as snack credits on Disney’s dining plans. (Pixie Dusted Diva explains all you need to know about 2018 Disney Dining Plan, here.)
There IS more to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival than just snacks. Music lovers should check out Disney Bride Diva’s article on the Garden Rocks Concert Series and kids of all ages will love Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration (see my review here)
It’s not too late to plan your trip to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival! Patricia at All for Dreams Travel can make all the arrangements for you, and her services are FREE so you have more money left over for snacks!! Bon Appetit!
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