Day 12 of Four Resorts, Two Festivals 2019, the latest of my Disney Trip Reports, is here! Today we are headed to Epcot for the opening day of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival!
The Four Resorts, Two Festivals 2019 Trip Report Index tells you a bit about the planning of this trip, as well as some info about us – me, Michelle; and my husband, Steve. It also, of course, has the full list of days for the trip.
Day 12: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Snacks from Ample Hills Creamery; IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
March 6, 2019
Today we attend our very first ever Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (to give the event its full title), and as a couple who love the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (which starts in the autumn), we were really excited about this one!
I will use shortened terms like Flower & Garden, Flower & Garden Festival or F&G to mention this springtime event in today’s trip report.
The Flower & Garden Festival begins in early March, and continues through the spring months and into summer. In 2019 it ended at the start of June. In 2021, it didn’t end until July 5th!
All of Epcot World Showcase comes a live with colorful blooms, floral displays and gardens as well as lots of amazing Disney character topiaries that are dotted around the park.
Additionally there are several food booths called Outdoor Kitchens (no where near as many as Food & Wine, but plenty to enjoy!) where you can purchase a variety of dishes from around the world. There is live entertainment too.
Most of the festival happens in Epcot World Showcase, but some topiaries and other elements do spill out into Future World.
It’s worth noting that our experience of Flower and Garden in 2019 probably looks very different to what it did in 2021, what with a worldwide panini going on, but I hope by 2022 (when we have our next trip planned!) things will be back to relatively normal.
World Showcase doesn’t actually open until 11am (even though Epcot Future World opens a couple of hours earlier), so at about 10:30, we walked over to the International Gateway from Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, our fourth and final resort on this particular trip.
The International Gateway entrance leads you straight into Epcot World Showcase, between the UK Pavilion and the France Pavilion. We turned right to go over the bridge into France, and stopped for a quick photograph with a Disney Photographer.
As you can see by our clothes, it was a pretty chilly morning. I’ve mentioned the colder temperatures in a previous day, so if you go during March, take a jacket or something to cover up with!
I think the easiest way to go about writing about today is to write about each Pavilion as we visited them, with the different floral displays and Outdoor Kitchens. Then anything else will be in sections on its own.
I think the only thing we missed was the topiaries at the very front of Epcot in front of Spaceship Earth. Because we were entering from the International Gateway, and pretty much stuck to World Showcase, there was no need for us to go all the way to the front. A shame, as I of course don’t have any photos of that, but there are plenty of photos to see!
After our photo, we went straight into France, where we discovered Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog topiary displays, as well as Beauty and the Beast.
Kermit is riding a bicycle with a basket on the front filled with a French baguette, and Miss Piggy is sat on a travel trunk next to a stack of suitcases in front of a trio of vanity mirrors, and several dressmakers dummies with various outfits on them. Very fitting for her!
This pavilion is very pretty anyway, and I love the nod to artists on the Left Bank in the real Paris, with the decorations and theming.
We also stopped at Fleur de Lys, the French Outdoor Kitchen.
Fleur de Lys » Outdoor Kitchen France Pavilion
Our first dish of the day was from the Outdoor Kitchen in the France Pavilion called Fleur de Lys:
- Tarte au Chévre– Goat Cheese Tart with Caramelized Onions on a Flaky Pastry Crust ($5.50)
It tasted SO good! Foods do tend to be the same or similar year on year at the Food & Wine Festival, so I imagine it would be the same for Flower & Garden. If you love cheese pastries, you have to try this one!
The other items on the Fleur De Lys menu were:
- Vichyssoise aux Concumbres – Chilled Cucumber Vichyssoise Soup – $4.50
- Canard Confit à la Provençal – Braised Duck Confit with Tomatoes and Olives on Polenta – $6.00
- Macaron au Chocolate en Sucette – Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop – $5.25
- La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy – Vodka, Grey Goose Orange Vodka, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice – $10.75
- Kir Framboise – Sparkling Wine and Monin Raspberry Syrup – $7.95
as well as Cabernet Sauvignon ($4.95), Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 ($4.50), and Evian Bottled Water ($3.50).
Oh yes, while I remember, make sure to pick up the Festival Passport – this handy dandy booklet has all the info you need for the day:
- A list of the topiaries and where to find them, as well as the different gardens – with checkboxes for you to mark as you see each of them.
- Locations where you can find the festival merchandise.
- The various complementary and paid tours such as the English Tea Garden Tour (free).
- A list of all the Outdoor Kitchens with checkboxes as with the topiaries, and space for stickers (supplied in the middle of the book) to “stamp” your passport with.
There is also the Garden Rocks Concert Series schedule with which artist is going to be playing and when. These concerts happen nightly in the American Gardens Theatre at 5:30pm, 6:45pm; and 8:00pm and there were performances from Sister Sledge, Lonestar, Richard Marx, and Air Supply, to name a few. The concert schedule spans the whole festival and is often available well in advance so you can plan your trip around a particular artist if you want.
We didn’t watch any of these, but did see Boyz II Men at the Food & Wine Festival back in 2015!
Traveling counterclockwise around World Showcase makes Morocco Pavilion next after France.
However, during the festival, the Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen is located between them with some of the produce which grows in this US State.
The sign below says:
Decades ago, Florida’s year-round sunshine made it the ideal location to build Walt Disney World.
But sunshine is great for more than vacations!
When combined with Florida’s diverse soils, moisture conditions, and mild temperatures, it all adds up to twelve months of fresh fruits and veggies!
So, take a stroll through the season in this garden, and see for yourself how many ways your produce is “Florida Fresh!”
I love that all of the plants and flowers have got little signs telling you what they are – and I’ll include the details when I have them.
And naturally, we grabbed some food from the Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen!
Florida Fresh » Between France & Morocco
- Carne Guisada – with Black Bean Cake and Cilantro-lime Sour Cream ($6.50)
- Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits – with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish ($7.00)
The food was good, the Carne Guisada – which is pulled pork – was especially yummy!
The other items on the Florida Fresh menu were:
- Key Lime Tart – with Toasted Meringue – $4.50
- Watermelon Cucumber Slush – non-alcoholic – $4.25
- Tampa Bay Brewing Co. Twisted Strawberry Fest Fruit Ale – Tampa, FL – $4.50
- Big Top Brewing Company Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat – Sarasota, FL – $4.50
- First Magnitude Brewing Monarch Milk Stout – Gainsville, FL – $4.50
- Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Key Lime Wine – St. Petersburg, FL $11.75
- Watermelon Cucumber Slushy – with gin – $11.75
- Beer Flight – $9.50