Your Guide to Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival 2019
If you ask me my favorite time of year to visit Walt Disney World, I always say spring and for one very good reason—Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival! This event runs from March 6th until June 3rd for the 2019 run. It is filled with topiaries, food booths and more merchandise than you can count. As my family and I visited the festival at the end of March, we made it a point to do as much possible with the festival! Let’s dive into each portion of the event you shouldn’t miss, shall we?
No lie, this is my favorite part of the festival. While I am a picky eater, I can find at least 1 thing to eat at every single booth! I was lucky to be accompanied by my mom, dad and sister, so eating as much as possible became more realistic this trip. As a side note, none of us drink so we did not try any alcoholic beverages, so I don’t have any advice there. But anything else we tried, I will give you a review for!
In total, there are 18 booths this year, with 4 of them being brand new! We did try something from every single booth, which was a big challenge honestly. Below I am going to list the booth, what we tried at each location and a rating for the item.
Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake | 5/10
The cake was a little dry and lacking in flavor, but the berries and ice cream were good. I would skip this if I go again.
Berry Tea Mint Julep (non-alcoholic) | 9/10
My whole family loved this tasty drink. It was cold outside and it is a frozen drink, so we would have probably enjoyed it more had we been warm.
Flavor Full Kitchen
Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse | 9/10
Blood Orange Aqua Fresca | 8/10
Both of these were really yummy and I would get both again. I would have liked the drink to have a bit more blood orange flavor than it did.
The Honey Bee-stro
Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread | 5/10
Local Wildflower Honey-mascarpone Cheesecake | 7/10
I had higher hopes for this booth and was ultimately let down. The flatbread wasn’t very hot and had been sitting for a while. The dessert was good, but was almost too overwhelming with the different honey flavors.
Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market
Toasted Pretzel Bread | 7/10
Warm Cheese Strudel | 8/10
I expected more from the pretzel bread, but the cheese wasn’t as melty as I would have liked it. The warm cheese strudel was a winner and definitely worth trying!
The Citrus Blossom
Lobster Tail | 7/10
Crispy Citrus Chicken | 7/10
Citrus Shortcake | 7/10
Orange Cream Slushy | 8/10
Out of all these, the slushy was the best… even if it is more of a milkshake consistency. My mother liked the lobster but found it difficult to eat. The chicken was good, but a little cold and the shortcake was yummy.
Spicy Hot Dog | 9/10
Violet Lemonade | 10/10
This booth is long standing and an icon, which is why it has merchandise themed from one of its menu items. We had 3 violet lemonades, 1 per day. The hot dog is so yummy, but a bit messy. Both are must-dos for us.
La Isla Fresca
Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer | 8/10
My mother tried this and really enjoyed it. She is picky with her shrimp and found it well prepared with a great flavor.
Trowel & Trellis
Grilled Street Corn on the Cob | 10/10
Bloomin’ Blueberry Lemon and Ginger Tea (non-alcoholic) | 10/10
We had this corn several times and still wanted more. It is delicious, warm and oh so good. Do yourself a favor and get 2! My mother tried the drink and really loved it as well.
Jardin de Fiestas
Tres Leches | 7/10
Classic tres leches, very moist and flavorful. We just aren’t huge fans of the dish to begin with, but if you like tres leches be sure to grab one!
Szechuan Spicy Red-braised Beef Shank | 7/10
House-made Crab and Cheese Wontons | 8/10
Vegetable Spring Rolls | 8/10
Specialty Cotton Candy | 10/10
You may have seen the Instagramable cotton candy coming from the Chinese pavilion during the festival. While it can have a long line, it is so cool! Line up early to not wait as long. The dishes were all decent, but the vegetable spring rolls stood above the rest.
The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews
Pulled Pig Slider | 7/10
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider | 8/10
I’ve never loved any of the items here, but the pork belly slider came close. I feel like with any other item, I have to douse it in BBQ sauce. I didn’t feel that with the pork belly slider. It is worth a try!
Coffee-rubbed Pork Poutine | 9/10
This is not your average poutine, but it is still delicious. The pork is well seasoned, the corn relish is tasty and the cheese curds are classic. We highly recommend it!
Frushi | 9/10
Chilled Soba Noodle Salad | 8/10
Frushi is another iconic festival food and a must get in our books. My mother liked soba noodle salad and said the tuna was nicely done.
Taste of Marrakesh
Fried Cauliflower | 10/10
Spicy yet absolutely delicious. We were not expecting to love this one as much as we did. But it is a favorite on our list!
Tri-colored Cheese Tortellini | 9/10
This pasta dish was killer! My only complaint was the sauce was a little watery, but the flavor was incredible. I wanted this one each day but had to restrain myself.
Key Lime Tart | 7/10
Watermelon Cucumber Slushy (non-alcoholic)| 7/10
This is a solid dessert, but nothing to rave about. It has a strong key lime taste and a yummy meringue top. The drink light and refreshing, so it’s nice to have on a hot, sunny day!
Beef Tenderloin Tips | 9/10
My father tried this one without us, but really raved about it in his own way, meaning he wanted to go back on another day. We recommend trying it!
Fleur de Lys
Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette | 9/10
I already am obsessed with french macarons. But this one was a showstopper. The peanuts made it taste just like a peanut butter cup, but with a french flair.
Our Top Picks
Berry Mint Julep, Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse, Spicy Hot Dog, Violet Lemonade, Coffee-rubbed Pork Poutine, Grilled Street Corn on the Cob, Bloomin’ Blueberry Lemon and Ginger Tea, Vegetable Spring Rolls, Specialty Cotton Candy, Tri-colored Cheese Tortellini, Frushi, Fried Cauliflower, Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette and Beef Tenderloin Tips.
This year, there are 3 themes of merchandise scattered throughout the park. You will find festival ears, clothing, magnets, hats, gardening tools and so much more.
There are 7 locations to find the various merchandise. The largest selections will be located at the Odyssey Center and Festival Markets, as well as Mouse Gear. Other booths are located around the world showcase. Some of the merchandise I purchased this year included the floral ears, a passholder exclusive festival pin, a violet lemonade keychain, violet lemonade socks and a Minnie’s Garden Party watering can. These are just a few of the amazing pieces available!
One of the most iconic aspects of the festival are the topiaries. I mean, it isn’t called “flower & garden” for any old reason. The gardens and topiaries are show stopping and are scattered throughout all of Epcot. There are 25 topiaries in total, some of my favorite are Anna & Elsa in Norway, Huey, Dewey and Louie in Showcase Plaza and Snow White in Germany.
After admiring all 25 topiaries, you can move onto the gardens scattered throughout the park as well. These each have themes depending on the location and are stunning, but also very unique. My personal favorite was the Chinese Zodiac Topiary Garden. You can find your Chinese Zodiac sign by birth year and learn more about the animal representing you. I’m the dog and loved learning more about my sign! There are 21 gardens for you to find and enjoy.
The biggest special event that takes place during the festival is the Garden Rocks concert series. These take place at the America Gardens theatre nightly for several shows a night. Some of the bands include Simple Plan, The Smithereens, Dennis DeYoung and Sister Hazel just to name a few. These are a fun added bonus with no extra cost! If there is a concert you know you want a good seat for, you can consider booking a dining package for the show.
There are several tours that go on during the festival, some are an added cost, but others are free! Stop by the United Kingdom and join the English Tea Garden Tour.
But my personal favorite “special event” is the butterfly tent. Enter into a garden filled with butterflies and soak it all in. You will feel like a Disney princess before you know it!
For children, there are several added bonuses as well. There are two children’s playground in future world, one by Test Track and another by Canada. Another fun kid-friendly activity are the scavenger hunts, both at a small added cost. Stop by most merchandise locations to purchase the activity.
Be sure to pick up a Festival Passport for free at any location that sells food or merchandise for the festival. It is the perfect guide as you travel through the festival itself. It lists all booths, menus, topiaries, gardens, merchandise, special activities and even more. We love checking things off as we go, so we know what we have left to do!
This year had some of the best food and merchandise I have ever seen. All of my family absolutely had a blast and in total, we went 3 times in one trip to keep eating festival food! We did have a rainy time so the lines were short, but as a tip, start early in the day and you can beat a lot of the lines you will see forming later at night.
Enjoy the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, eat to your heart's content and take lots of photos.