2018 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Review: Part 2
Earlier this week, I took a look at parts of this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Today, I complete my review of the event by taking a look at probably one of the bigger draws to Epcot during their events: the food and alcohol. Let’s face it… this has been so popular for Epcot that all of the special events during the year at this park has ramped up the special food and beverage offerings. From “Eating Around the World” to “Drinking Around the World”, numerous booths with special and limited time menu items have been added to these festivals. This year, there are fifteen booths offering great food and drink items, as well as special drink items at certain Joffrey’s locations.
For this trip around World Showcase Lagoon, my Figment and Orange Bird Pop! Vinyls joined me in showcasing the food.
Without further adieu, let’s get to eating and drinking.
The Honey Bee-stro, Showcase Plaza
New for this year, this booth, featuring honey based items, is hosted by the National Honey Board. Here, I tried the Roasted Cauliflower dish and then the non-alcoholic Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze. There was a spice note in the cauliflower dish that I was not fond of (I think it was in carrot puree) and the freeze drink I feel was made more for the alcoholic version of the drink, which contained blueberry vodka. I did want to try the Cheesecake dish, but never got back to the booth during my ventures.
Pineapple Promenade, Showcase Plaza
Now this was the booth I visited multiple times. In addition to being able to getting my beloved Pineapple Soft-serve (aka Dole Whip), probably one of my newest fascinations was at the booth: the Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade. I had this numerous times this trip, it was that good. I really hope that Disney finds a place for this to be at year round.
La Isla Fresca, Showcase Plaza
At this booth, I had the Caribbean Conch Salad. It had a nice flavor, but was overall too spicy for my liking (I basically do not like spice). My friends had the Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer (not pictured), and they enjoyed.
The Berry Basket, Showcase Plaza
If you are the adventurous type, and don’t mind gnawing on a bone in public, get the Lamb Chop. It was really good, but admittedly a little messy.
Jardin de Fiestas, Mexico
Here we tried both the Pork Taco and the Chilaquiles. I preferred the Chilaquilas, to be honest.
Lotus House, China
This was a booth that we hit up twice. We ended up trying all three of these dishes, with there being multiple orders of Fried Chicken Dumplings being consumed. Yum!
Bauernmarket: Farmer’s Market, Germany
Both of the food dishes we tried here, the Potato Pancake with apple sauce and the Toasted Pretzel Bread, were delicious. My friends also tried the Beer Flight here (not pictured), which consisted of a couple of lagers and a Hefeweizen. They seemed to enjoy them.
Primavera Kitchen, Italy
Though the Ravioli we had here was tasty (it was made with lobster), we didn’t feel that it was worth the pricetag. We have gotten better pasta for cheaper prices numerous places, including other places in WDW.
The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews, The American Adventure
It was all about the beef brisket burnt ends at this booth, as we tried both the slider dish and the hash. The hash was a bit too spicy for me with the jalapenos, but it was very tasty, I was all for the slider and could have had a bunch more of them. Additionally, the group tried the beef flight. While I do not drink, I did try a sip of each, and my favorite was the Orange Hibiscus Wheat Ale.
I tackled this booth on my own one afternoon, and tried both the Ginger Beef Yakiudon and the Frushi, a “fruit sushi”. I really enjoyed the yakiudon dish, but realized part way through eating the frushi that the melon in the dish was actually cantaloupe… which I am mildly allergic to. Thankfully, it was in such small quantities and ate with the yakiudon that it ended up not being too much of an issue. Lesson learned… keep in mind what you are eating, no matter how pretty it looks.
Taste of Marrakesh, Morocco
This was a dessert stop, as we tried the Walnut Honey Baklava. Though it was a little dry, it was very tasty. I would have it again given the chance.
Florida Fresh, Between Morocco and France
This was another dessert stop, where the Key Lime Tart was throughly enjoyed.
Fleur de Lys, France
I swung by this location on a solo excursion and enjoyed the Confit de Canard (duck) dish. It was tasty, but I felt it was too small of a portion for the price.
Cider House, United Kingdom
The first time around this booth I tried the House-made Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit, which came with a generous amount of smoked salmon tartare. I am usually not a big fan of salmon, but this dish was quite good. The next time I was there I had the Shredded Corned Beef dish (not photographed), which was also very good. At this location, my friends also had the hard cider flight, which they enjoyed.
Northern Bloom, Canada
The last booth of this festival was where we tried the Seared Scallops and Beef Tenderloin Tips. While both were tasty, they were not “WOW” to me like the items from Canada usually are. That being said, they were both comfort food feeling, and safe bets for those who can’t do a lot of spice. Here we also tried the Maple Popcorn Shake. I was not a fan of either the alcoholic or non-alcoholic versions.
Four of the Joffrey’s locations in Epcot each featured a special drink choice. We ended up trying the Orange Blossom Twist drink at the Canada location, which was quite tasty. If I drank, that would be a bad one for me to drink. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like a photo was taken.
Overall, it was a successful food adventure around the festival. The number of booths was manageable, especially for it being not a food-centric festival (unlike the Food & Wine Festival). I do hope that they keep the offerings around this number, as too many more would become too much, in my opinion. I am also appreciative that this festival wasn’t filled with too many non-food booths around Showcase Plaza and World Showcase, unlike the expanded Festival of the Arts this past January. The festival was fun and festive without being too much.
And, of course, the flowers and gardens were the stars of the show, even if people do flock to the festivals for a food and beverage options. Disney always does a great job with the foliage at Epcot in general, but for this festival I am always wowed with how much they amp up the flora throughout the park.
If you have a chance to visit the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival before it ends the end of this month, you will not regret it.