Preview of the 2018 Flower and Garden Festival
With a new season comes a new festival at Epcot, and the 2018 International Flower and Garden Festival is back with springtime vibes as we enter the home stretch of late winter. This year, the festival sees the return of beloved topiaries from past years (plus a few new ones), landscaping beyond imagination, and…the food kiosks! From World Showcase Plaza all the way around World Showcase, kiosks offering special food and beverages specific to the festival will open their doors to hungry Epcot guests.
The menus for this year’s offerings were just released by Walt Disney World, and there are so, so many options you’d swear you were looking at the list for Food and Wine Festival! I know the popularity of Flower and Garden has skyrocketed in past years, and from the extent of the food offerings, Disney is expecting even more of a guest surge in 2018. I visited during last year’s festival and was lucky enough to sample a few of the menu offerings! From snacks to dessert to beverages, here are the must-try dishes and sips at the 2018 Flower and Garden Festival!
After reading and re reading the dozens of menu offerings for the festival, I didn’t even know where to begin; all I knew was that I was hungry for these eats! Right off the bat, one plate stuck out among the rest, and I know I’ll be making a beeline for the Germany Pavilion the second I hit the festival! Anything served on German pretzel bread is probably pretty good- but top it with smoked black forest ham and melted Gruyere? You know you’ve got a winner.
This next dish comes with a wholehearted recommendation from yours truly. Walk by the American Adventure at any point during the festival and scents of slow cooking meat and top-quality BBQ waft through the area. As you can imagine, it’s nearly impossible to resist the urge to buy up everything they’re cooking up, and you shouldn’t!
Ok, maybe practicing a little self control is something I should try when I visit the festival this year, and if I’m limiting myself to one dish, it is definitely going to be the pulled pig slider from Smokehouse: BBQ and Brews. The heavenly, slow cooked meat served on a soft roll melts in your mouth. The addition of fresh coleslaw adds a fantastic texture to the entire plate!
If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, look no further than the Berry Basket kiosk. The majority of the food offerings at the kiosks are heavy, and the Berry Basket offers a refreshingly light menu that caught my eye immediately. They are dishing up a mixed greens salad topped with fresh strawberries, quinoa, and pecans. Again, this one comes with a recommendation, as its fresh, crisp, and tossed to order, ensuring your salad will never be soggy from sitting for too long.
Not only does every kiosk have 2-3 savory ‘entrées’ on their menu, there are tons of choices for folks with a springtime sweet tooth! At Northern Bloom in Canada, you’ll find a sweet treat I simply cannot wait to taste: grilled maple pound cake with peach compote and sweet corn gelato. To be honest, I’m a little weary about sweet corn gelato, but the Disney chefs have (more than once) proven to know what they’re doing when it comes to pairing flavors, so I trust their decision! Grilled maple pound cake with warm peaches and ice cream…how can that possibly be bad?
The elusive Dole Whips are tough to track down on Walt Disney World Resort property; you have to know just where to look! As of right now, the dessert is only available in three locations: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. That’s all about to change, as Pineapple Promenade’s menu boasts the famed Disney snack on their festival menu!
You’ll be able to order it regularly (just as soft serve in a cup), or with a twist. Or a spike, I should say. Parrot Bay Coconut Rum is poured over pineapple soft serve, creating a warm/cold, sweet/sour combo perfect for cooling off- or warming up- on a hot spring day traveling the world.
I couldn’t choose just one of these desserts, so I’ll let you be the decider here. Both the wild berry buckle with pepper berry gelato from The Berry Basket and the warm chocolate cake with caramelized pecans at Smokehouse are worth writing home about. Both warm desserts, both topped with a little something extra, and man…both oh so tasty. I know I’ll definitely be picking both of these up again this year!
Drinks, Drinks, and More Drinks!
There are tons of beverage offerings for this year’s festival. Take a gander at the full list of offerings and you’ll know just what I’m talking about. With that said, highlighting just a few from the long list seems unfair, so I’ll leave you with this: a rundown of the most popular and most delicious beverages on the menus.
- White Sangria- Taste of Marrakesh
- Pinot Grigio- Primavera Kitchen
- Beer Flight- BAUERNMARKT: FARMER’S MARKET
- Simply Frozen Lemonade with Blackberry Moonshine- Smokehouse
- Watermelon Cucumber Slushy with Florida Gin- Florida Fresh
- Honey Peach Cobbler Freeze with Blueberry Vodka- Honey Bee-stro
- Cider Flight- Cider House
- Rose Margarita- Jardin de Fiestas
You can view the full lineup of menu offerings for the International Flower and Garden Festival here: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2018/02/foodie-guide-to-epcot-international-flower-garden-festival/
Let us know which dishes you’re excited to try in the comments below!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer/musician thrilled to be bringing you all things Disney! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!