It’s true. The very first Epcot Festival of the Arts is wrapping up this weekend. And while that’s a bit of a sad thought, let us give you some news that may cheer you… the 2017 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is just DAYS AWAY now, so get ready! The Festival runs from March 1 – May 29, 2017!
And today — thanks to the Tables in Wonderland Flower and Garden Festival Preview Event — we already have FOOD PHOTOS detailing some of the NEW eats and sips that YOU will be able to enjoy at the 2017 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival!
So be sure to visit our 2017 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens Menu Page to see pictures of all the items we’ve tried so far!
But if you JUST. CAN’T. WAIT to start making your own list of what you’d like to try at this year’s spring celebration, we’re here to share some of the items we are most excited about after today’s Preview! Here’s a small hint …
Before we dive into the food, though, let’s take a look a look at what the Festival is likely best known for, especially since the scenery is about to get especially beautiful for Spring in Epcot… Let’s Talk TOPIARIES!
Though Belle from Beauty and the Beast has had a presence at the Festival in the France Pavilion for a few years now, we got to take a look at the new Belle Topiary hitting the scene this year!
Disney’s goal for the face characters is to make their topiaries more lifelike (instead of…um…like creepy scary). We saw the beginnings of that last year with Anna and Elsa from Frozen, and the brand new Belle topiary will follow suit with enhancements to the process, ushering in the next era of topiary design for face characters.
Look for FIGMENT to stick around and join in the fun this year!
And upon entering the park at the front entrance, guests will immediately be able to spot the Fresh Food, Fun, & Flowers topiary scene, inspired by The Victory Garden (a 1943 Donald Duck comic book). Be sure to give a welcome to the brand new Huey, Dewey, and Louie topiaries that will be featured with Uncle Donald!
Okay, now for what we promised… FOOD!! The Flower and Garden Festival will feature 15 Outdoor Kitchens (that’s what Disney is calling the food booths) this year, with the spring focus on fresh garden flavors. With 70 beverage choices (over 20 of them new), and more than 40 featured food items, there will be plenty to taste all over the park. Here are some of the NEW items we were able to sample today!
Just take a gander at the gorgeous Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Apple wood Smoked Bacon that will be served at the brand new Northern Bloom Outdoor Kitchen.
Northern Bloom will celebrate the produce that’s harvested in springtime in certain regions of Canada as the accompaniments to proteins like the Seared Scallops. (Landlubbers can look forward to the Beef Tenderloin Tips with Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables).
And fans of Unibroue will be happy to learn that À Tout Le Monde Saison will be served at Epcot for the first time at the Festival.
You’ll also be able to find Unibroue Maudite Amber Ale and Éphémère White Ale at Northern Bloom as well.
The Berry Basket
Also brand new to the Festival this year will be The Berry Basket. You may recall the Greenhouse Guru Booth from the 2016 Food and Wine Festival, which featured dishes focused around one shared ingredient: the tomato. The Culinary team decided to replicate the concept for Flower and Garden, only this time with a spring focus on fruit, featuring berries.
And if the Warm Wild Berry Buckle with Pepper Berry Sorbet is any indication, then we can’t wait to explore everything this Kitchen has to offer! We learned that the huge amount of berries baked with a bit of cake mix falls — or “buckles” — upon baking, and that fun texture along with the slight peppery bite from the sorbet made this one a hit. Also look for a Lamb Chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique, among other items, when The Berry Basket makes its debut.
South Florida cuisine will receive a tasty nod at the Florida Fresh booth with the Carne Asada with Black Bean Cake and Cilantro Lime Sour Cream.
And the Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue will bring a little friend along…
… so keep an eye out for the tiny butterfly tucked within the “garden” of meringue topping!
La Isla Fresca
Another hit from the Preview is the new Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut Lime Sauce which will be found at La Isla Fresca.
And the Jamaican-braised Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice and Micro Cilantro will make its return to this Outdoor Kitchen, too.
Urban Farm Eats
It was fun to listen to the Chef remind us of the intent behind Urban Farm Eats, which serves to bring awareness to plant-based diets while offering a full flavor experience. This year it will be home to a Crabless Cake with Crispy Vegetable Slaw, Lemon Vinaigrette and Old Bay Remoulade. (You may remember a similar dish from the Terra Booth at the Food and Wine Festival a few years ago).
Follow it up with an Absinthe-based (infused with botanicals) adult beverage, the Urban Fairy Cocktail.
Stick around Urban Farm Eats to pick up some tips about growing your own fruits and veggies!
I think we all need just a little more dessert, don’t you? For your consideration ;), we present the new Warm Cheese Strudel with Mixed Berries, which you’ll find at Bauernmarkt.
Merchandise and More
Before we go, here’s a quick peek at some of the fun merchandise that will be available around the park to commemorate your Flower and Garden Festival visit.
Love Figment’s appearance here on the ear!
These salt and pepper shakers representing trash cans are getting a work-out as they’re redesigned for every. single. festival. ;-D
And we’ve got a few more tidbits! We learned that the English Tea Garden Tour will be enhanced with Assorted Scones for participating guests this year. Look for the Royal Tea Garden Tour to be offered throughout the Festival in the UK pavilion (cost: $15.00). We reviewed the original tea tour, like, a million years ago, so I think we’ll surely have to revisit it now that there’s actual FOOD involved!
Also, don’t forget that the Garden Rocks Concert Series comes complete with Dining Package offerings for the first time in 2017, so check out the lineup — and participating restaurants — before you go!
Alrighty, friends, that’s a wrap… for now . We’ll have SO MUCH MORE to share with you next week, when the Festival begins on Wednesday, March 1st!
Are you ready to welcome Spring at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival? Please let us know with a comment!