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Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2017

Wow! Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is here again! This is my second visit to this beautiful and exciting event offering amazing topiaries, delightful outdoor kitchens, live performances, new scavenger hunt and more. The best time to visit the Flower and Garden Festival is when the Festival Center is open and you can enjoy a wonderful concert with the Garden Rocks Concert Series. These were our highlights, focusing on the newest additions this year:

Festival Center

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This should be the first place visit and a wonderful opportunity to learn tips and secrets of gardening, shop for exclusive festival merchandise and more. It’s advisable to get tickets to the closed presentation as it has limited space and tickets that run out fast. On the day of my visit it was Brilliant Blooms Bursting with Color with Robert Bowden. Robert’s presentation was interesting and entertaining and was completely different than the one last year. Although I’m not a gardening fan, I was thrilled to discover a lot of interesting suggestions on how to make your garden looks great. After the presentation you can go to the Garden Theater to learn how this magic is being created. It gives a good introduction to the event that’s not overwhelming with details and great to watch (you can of course get more information, should you want, at other locations in the festival center).

Festival Merchandise

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The merchandise the Flower and Garden Festival is always great. This year the one item that stood out for me was the new poster with Mickey, Pluto topiary and Figment, which looks terrific.

Topiaries

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The beautiful Welcome Sprig Fun, Food and Flowers! topiary at the Main Entrance got me really excited as I entered the park. The topiaries are stars of the event, they look absolutely gorgeous, with some appearing for the very first time like Figment and Cruz Ramirez from the yet-to-be-released Cars 3 movie.

Outdoor Kitchens

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Although the variety of outdoor kitchens is smaller than the Food and Wine Festival, I felt that this year’s selection was really impressive. The ones that caught my eye (and tummy) were:

Warm Wild Berry Buckle with Pepper Berry Sorbet at The Berry Basket (new!) – this was an incredibly delicious dessert with so many contrasts: the soft cake, the crunchy topping and the refreshing cold sorbet. Wow!

Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, and Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables at Northern Bloom (new!) – not a lot to say about this, except that it was amazingly tasty!

Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry, and Melon rolled with Raspberry-Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream on the side at Hanami. One of the more surprising delights in the festival. We all know Sushi, but have you heard of a fruit Sushi? (aka- Frushi). It’s as delicious as it sounds! (and also a wonderful choice for vegetarians).

Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue at Florida Fresh – a wonderful tart that wasn’t too sweet. Who can resist this eye candy? That yummy butterfly was literally the icing on the cake!

Frozen Simply Tropical Juice Drink (non-alcoholic) at La Isla Fresca – it’s a bit more challenging to find non-alcoholic speciality beverages at the Flower and Garden Festival and I wanted to try something other than the amazing Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade that I got in last year’s event. I was therefore happy to find this tropical juice that was as good as the lemonade and very refreshing!

 

Disney EGGstravaganza 2017

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This is the new scavenger hunt game for the 2017 Flower and Garden festival replacing the passport stamps from last year (which are now just stickers that you can use to make note of what you’ve already seen). The EGGstravanganza ($6 for the map, stickers and a chance to win a surprise) is so much fun! The idea is to find eggs that hide at different locations across the park. Some of them are a bit challenging to track, which makes it even more rewarding when you finally find them. Once you find an egg, you place the corresponding sticker on the map to represent that location. The game is highly recommend and the eggs are so cute and look great. The surprise in the end is an egg of your choice. I selected Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland (wish I could get all of them!).

 

Garden Rocks Concert Series

The perfect way to relax between all the attractions, food, and topiaries at the time of the event. Be sure to go to one of the earlier shows so you won’t miss the night time show at the end of the day and arrive at least half an hour earlier to get a good spot. For me it was Jon Secada (Just Another Day) who delivered a high energy and electrifying performance. There were even some hard core fans jumping with happiness in the crowd! It was really nice!

 

What an event!

The Flower and Garden Festival is one of the best events at Disney World. With culinary surprises, amazing topiaries, educational presentations, shopping experiences and an exciting new scavenger hunt – there’s never a dull moment. As Robert Bowden said: Isn’t it the best Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival you’ve ever been too? and every year it gets better!

I heartily agree!

 

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs March 1 to May 29, 2017 at Epcot (Walt Disney World).

Garden Concert Series: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays – 5:30pm, 6:45pm, & 8:00pm

Festival Center: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays – 10:00am – 5:00am

Theme park enthusiast, world traveler, film and animation buff

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