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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: What’s New for 2014
The 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV is back! March 5 to May 18, 2014 at Walt Disney World Resort we can all go and enjoy the annual event. So what’s new that we haven’t seen in the 20 years before this one? There’s really no way to list it all because new details are being revealed constantly. But here is what is standing out for now:
Nearly 100 whimsical topiaries (some are brand new!)
A new Timon topiary will be added to the Pumbaa topiary between China and Germany.
Kermit the Frog will find it is easy being green when his artfully-crafted character topiary debuts. With flamboyance to spare, a floral Miss Piggy will join Kermit and his blooming banjo. Look for this one in the World Showcase topiary display. Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck topiaries will appear in a new Epcot front entrance garden vignette celebrating spring with a butterfly hunt adventure. The topiaries will have a new computer-generated look while telling an entertaining story. Goofy’s butterfly net will prove useless as topiary butterflies light on the back of his floral garb. A topiary bee buzzes on an exasperated Donald’s head. The garden will also feature a new real waterfall and pond with water lilies.
A new Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden welcomes families with a whimsical play land of activities. Dozens of additional character topiaries, including Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan will surprise guests beyond the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth.
Outdoor Kitchens and new menu items!
Now in their second festival year, the food and beverage garden marketplaces aren’t really a new idea, but they have a new name. Now dubbed Outdoor Kitchens, chefs will be cooking a variety of new and popular returning menu items, including vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, in 2014. Urban Farm Eats is brand new and will be on the promenade with a sustainable garden featuring tilapia, eggplant and other farm-raised treats. Guests can try new menu items including the Land-Grown Eggplant “Scallop” with Romesco Sauce, Ghost Pepper Dusted Tilapia with Winter Melon Salad and Mango Chutney, plus red and white vegan wines and gluten-free beer.
Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake with Maple Frosting and Pretzel Crunch, Barbecued Chicken legs and Smoked Turkey Ribs are all new and will be featured at The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews Outdoor Kitchen. (Located in the American Adventure Courtyard.)
Pineapple Promenade Outdoor Kitchen (near the Canada Pavilion.) New this year is Pineapple soft serve with Myers’s dark rum instead of last years’ Siesta Key Spiced Rum. Pineapple soft serve with Parrot Bay coconut rum, and Sweet potato cinnamon waffles with pineapple soft serve are also new. New to drink this year is Tropical Mango Pale Ale, St. John Brewers (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc
Cold Brewed Mixed Berry Tea with Florida Cane vodka and Chilled Rose Blush are new at The Buttercup Cottage Outdoor Kitchen near the UK. Also new here are feild greens with Plant City strawberries, toasted almonds and Farmstead stilton. (This Outdoor Kitchen had was previously called The Cottage: Savories, Trifles and Tea.)
Each Outdoor kitchen will have a new stamp for your (free!) passport this year. Remember you can get the passports at all DVC kiosks or at the Outdoor Kitchens in Epcot.
Fleur de Lys near France (last year called L’Orangerie) will have Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal – Parisian-style dumplings with vegetables and mushrooms, a Pulled duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes and a Macaron à la fleur d’ Oranger which is an Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache.
New at Jardin de Fiestas in Mexico is Tacos al pastor, which is a corn tortilla filled with achiote-marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions and cilantro. Quesadilla de hongos con queso, which is a flour tortilla filled with mushrooms and cheese and Flan de chocolate Abuelita, which is a Mexican chocolate custard.
Lotus House in China will have a new vegetable spring roll.
Primavera Kitchen will have Caprese – Fior di latte mozzarella, roasted peppers and olio verde as well as Three cheese manicotti – Egg pasta stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce and béchamel. Top those off with a brand new Torta di ricotta – Lemon cheesecake with limoncello-marinated strawberries!
Hanami in Japan will feature Japanese puffed rice cakes with green tea whipped cream and azuki.
New Flower Power Concert Series Acts!
Gary Lewis and the Playboys will perform March 14-16. With 8 Gold Singles, 17 Top 40 Hits, 4 Gold Albums, and 45 Million records sold worldwide, Gary Lewis and the Playboys are still one of the hottest acts around. Some of their hit titles include This Diamond Ring. Count Me In, and She’s Just My Style. Here’s hoping they will play one or more of these hits!
Also new this year,The Alan Parsons Live Project can be heard May 16-18.
Hummingbirds at Home, a new exhibit presented by the National Audubon Society, will feature walk-through hummingbird gardens and tips on how to attract the magical creatures to your garden. Hummingbirds naturally migrate to Florida from Central America each year.
A World Showcase garden will feature fresh Florida crops such as citrus, sugar cane, berries and vegetables!
While Disney guests celebrate spring, they also can explore the reimagined, design-centric Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, the hang-gliding sensation of Soarin’ and other high-tech Future World marvels. In World Showcase, the spotlight will shine on topiaries of Disney princesses, storybook characters and even pandas and trolls, guests can discover the attractions, shops and restaurants that represent cultures and cuisine of 11 countries. Spice Road Table, which debuted in January at the Morocco showcase, will be open for lagoon-side noshing on tasty tapas. For more information about the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or visit www.epcotinspring.com for your most recent list of all that is new. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.