Welcome, Spring, to Epcot!
And with Spring comes the 2018 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival! Today is the very first day, and now through May 28th Epcot guests will enjoy Disney-themed topiaries all over the park, specialty tours, extra family fun, and the Garden Rocks Concert Series (complete with Dining Packages once again this year).
Click Here to visit our 2018 Flower and Garden Festival Menu Page to see the full booth menus and pics of ALL THE FOOD at the Festival!
In fact, 2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Flower and Garden Festival? So what better way to celebrate than to try ALL THE EATS — and DRINKS! — at this year’s Festival? Yep, we did it! And now we’re here to tell you what we think are the MUST EATS at this year’s Festival!
It’s the Best of the Fest for the 2018 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival!
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle at Smokehouse: The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews
At $7.25, this delicious item is also available as a super great value Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit. Now, that’s my kind of snack! Here we have Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider garnished with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and a House-made Pickle. This dish alone makes a stop at The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews a good bet.
OK, so Smokehouse has always had that awesome burnt ends dish, which is back this year, too. But now they’ve added a killer slider that incorporates everything that’s great about the burnt ends…AND ADDS PORK BELLY!
I love it. Even the bun. And that craziness on top? Super fun.
Frushi at Hanami
At Hanami, dig in to the sweet taste of Frushi. It’s made with Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry, and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice. Plus, it’s sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with a bit of Raspberry Sauce on the side.
This is super fun, and a great item to get your kiddos to introduced to different types of food!
Ginger Beef Yaki Udon at Hanami
Ginger Beef Yaki Udon features Thin-sliced Beef, Onions and Noodles tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger. Another hit at Hanami!
If you like Udon, you’ll like this. I know, right? Noodles. Meat. Broth. How can it go wrong?
Pineapple Momo Sake Cocktail at Hanami
And to wash it all down – we recommend the Pineapple Momo Sake Cocktail at Hanami. Yep, we’re pretty much including almost every item on the Japan menu here, but…that’s because they’re all great. Seriously, Japan is one of booth winners for the Flower and Garden Festival (not surprising — they’ve been a great booth for the past few festivals, too).
This is light, sweet-tart, and refreshing! Loved it.
Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley, and Chili Ranch Sauce at Taste of Marrakesh
Next, we’re highlighting the Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley and Chili Ranch Sauce at Taste of Marrakesh.
OK, so how to describe this… it’s that hard, crunchy breading that you find on chicken fingers sometimes? You know what I mean? It’s exactly what you want to have when you’re dipping in a spicy, remoulade-like sauce! This is a super great vegetarian dish — plus VITAMINS FROM VEGGIES! Win.
Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette at Fleur de Lys
On to France! Everyone in the family will enjoy the Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop at Fleur de Lys.
This one is brand new, and as is often the case with the France booth — it’s a winner. I mean, come on. How is a giant chocolate macaron not a winner, right? But this is France…and they do it RIGHT. Chewy outside, creamy, decadent inside. And the chocolate has that strong, dense, not too bitter flavor we love. A cookie to be sure, but sophisticated nonetheless.
Tarte à la Tomate Provençale at Fleur de Lys
You’ll want to linger in France — it’s another of our best-booths-of-the-festival (nope, we don’t have an official list of those, but we think you’ll be able to tell which ones they are, eh?). Next up is the Tarte à la Tomate Provençale. It’s a light, fresh Tomato Tart with Sautéed Onions, Fresh Thyme, and Rosemary on a Flaky Pastry Crust at Fleur de Lys. Vegetarian goodness for all festival-goers!
This looks boring. I totally get that. I wasn’t expecting to see it on the best of the fest list, either. But the flavor caught me off guard! Those onions were amazing. The one thing that would improve this one would be a light layer of great cheese.
La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy at Fleur de Lys
Don’t pass by the Eiffel Tower without stopping for this beautiful concoction. A returning favorite — La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy — features Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice at Fleur de Lys.
This is a sweet-tart slushy that’s been a guest favorite now for…well it seems like forever. And what can I say…I love it, too! In addition to great baked goods, France has always known its alcoholic slushies.
Freshly Baked Lemon Scone with Crème Fraîche and Mixed Berries at Cider House
Stopping by Cider House? Order up a Freshly Baked Lemon Scone with Crème Fraîche and Mixed Berries.
This is another that’s been a guest favorite for ages, and it’s deserved. I know — you’re all “scones are boring, AJ.” But I beg to differ…at least when it comes to this one. This is NOT a crumbly, dry scone. It’s moist, rich, doused in icing, and to tell the truth, I might choose this over the most decadent cake or cookie. I’m almost ready to choose it over the Mara peanut butter brownie. I SAID ALMOST.
Cider Flight at Cider House
For the over-21 crowd, celebrate your Flower and Garden Festival day with the Cider Flight at Cider House.
This one runs from McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider at the front (SHOUT OUT TO WEST SENECA, NY!!!), the Florida Beer Company Caribé Pineapple Tropical Hard Cider in the middle, and the Ciderboys Grand Mimosa Apple Orange Hard Cider. These were all amazing.
Granted, this is the flight for the person who doesn’t like beer very much — it’s very fruity and sweet, not hoppy or bitter at all. But maybe you beer devotees will enjoy this one as well. At least give it a shot.
Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake at The Honey Bee-Stro
This dessert starts with a Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake. For further decadence, it’s then garnished with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream and Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses. Do your own taste-test at The Honey Bee-Stro Hosted by National Honey Board.
The ice cream on this one melted too fast and there wasn’t too much flavor to it. But the cheesecake was really something. I loved the texture and the light, not-too-cloying sweetness of the cheesecake.
Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade at Pineapple Promenade
Simply gorgeous! The non-alcoholic Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade is a crowd-pleaser at Pineapple Promenade.
This one became an instant instagram hit last year, and it really is delicious. Worth the wait at the promenade booth (which also offers that cult classic Dole Whip!
Pineapple Beer Flight at Pineapple Promenade
But there are also more potent options at Pineapple Promenade. We’re recommending the Pineapple Beer Flight! This was a standout flight of the festival for one of the DFB taste-testers!
Included are the Coastal Empire Beer Co. Coco Piña Gose, Maui Brewing Co. Pineapple Mana Wheat, and SweetWater Brewing Company Goin’ Coastal IPA. This is a good mix of flavors, but they’re all relatively light and refreshing.
Warm Wild Berry Buckle with Pepper Berry Gelato at The Berry Basket
At The Berry Basket, the Wild Berry Buckle is served warm and topped with Pepper Berry Gelato. Yum!
This one is unique, but with familiar flavors. It’s one of our must-do desserts at the festival.
Chilaquiles at Jardin de Fiestas
Lots of flavors going on with the Chilaquiles served with Chorizo, Mexican Cream, and Cotija Cheese at Jardin de Fiestas.
Seriously, who doesn’t love Chilaquiles? But c’mon…you haven’t had them like this. It was a clear, stand-out winner for us at the Mexico booth today! Creamy and savory, this is Mexican comfort food at its best.
Rose Margarita at Jardin de Fiestas
And you know us — when in Mexico, we always stop for a margarita. Try the Rose Margarita at Jardin de Fiestas.
This one’s been around for a while at various Mexico functions and events, but we love it’s lightness and uniqueness full-size at this year’s festival!
Spicy Meatballs with Crispy Tofu at Lotus House
The Spicy Meatballs made with pork are wrapped in Crispy Tofu. Stop by the Lotus House and try them out.
This is mostly about the meatballs and less about the tofu as you can see, but we’re OK with that. China’s been on fire the past few festivals, changing things up and bringing in new flavors and concepts to their booth instead of relying on tired repeats. And we’re grateful! Festival of the Arts was awesome, and Flower and Garden is turning out the same way!
The spiciness and depth of flavor here is great. Coupled with a recognizable dish like meatballs, this offers an option that’s familiar and new at the same time.
Fried Chicken Dumplings with Peanut Sauce at Lotus House
While at at Lotus House, order the Fried Chicken Dumplings with Peanut Sauce.
Another brilliant mix of familiar and exotic here! (Well, exotic for some folks.) We loved this one!!
Toasted Pretzel Bread at Baurnmarkt: Farmer’s Market
If you like cheese (and you know we do), the Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese at Baurnmarkt: Farmer’s Market is a winner!
This one was a clear winner…and kind of blew everything else away for one of our DFB taste-testers! A Germany-made pretzel (great) smothered with melted cheese (yes) and Black Forest Ham (perfect). This is a no-brainer.
You can see ALL THE FOOD — from each new dish to all returning items — by visiting our Flower and Garden Festival Menus page here!
And check out ALL the details of the Festival below!
What are YOU most excited to try at the Flower and Garden Festival this year? Please let us know with a comment!