Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival 2019
I’m baaaack! I’ve been having a busy and fun month. Making my happiness a priority and taking some unnecessary pressure off of the blog, I feel refreshed and motivated. I finally made it to Epcot’s 2019 Flower and Garden Festival not once, but twice! It’s truly one of the very best festivals at Epcot. The spring weather has been beautiful and the crowds haven’t been too bad yet.
Like I always say, it’s nearly impossible to have a taste at every booth in the World Showcase and beyond, but I’m here to help you out! I’ve taste tested a dish at every single booth, asked cast members for their favorites, and compiled this list of some of the best. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. 😉 Of course, I haven’t tried everything, but I know if you’re heading to Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival this year, these favorites will help guide you around the world. And, hopefully, save you a little bit of money on the ones that aren’t worth it.
Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival 2019 runs from March 6, 2019 – June 3, 2019.
The busiest times will be during the peak of Spring Break, April 13 – 27.
New Booths for 2019:
Arbor at the Garden’s Terrace
Located at the Odyssey Center between Test Track and the World Showcase, this is one of the only “booths” that’s indoors with air conditioning. If you need a break from the sun and heat, make a stop in here where they also have exclusive Flower and Garden Festival merchandise.
Fried Green Tomatoes [favorite]: This dish took a few minutes to get, but it had quite the presentation compared to other dishes. The fried green tomatoes were warm and delicious, topped with a Blue Crab-fennel salad, remoulade, and smoked paprika oil. The mix of the warm tomatoes and the cool salad topping was tasty and refreshing. It’s one of my top picks for the festival!
Seadog Brewing Company Sunfish Ale: This beer from Clearwater, Florida is one of the best.
Flavor Full Kitchen
Hosted by AdventHealth, this new booth is located on the outskirts of the World Showcase, between Refreshment Port and Imagination.
Citrus-poached Salmon: I’m usually pretty skeptical of seafood for events like this because it’s essentially “fast food” at these booths. However, Epcot continues to surprise me with the quality. The salmon was a great size and really good. Accompanied by an ancient grain salad, roasted vegetables, and citrus greens, it was a healthy and tasty option for the festival.
Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse [favorite]: I have a feeling this is going to be a really popular option not just for the delicious peanut butter mousse, but for the adorable Mickey presentation. I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, but this little treat was amazing and so fun to eat. A crowd-pleaser, for sure.
The Citrus Blossom
Another new booth for Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival is located just before the Refreshment Port and has some impressive options. While I didn’t get to try it all, I was told by other passholders that the Crispy Citrus Chicken and Orange Cream Slushy were not to be missed.
Lobster Tail: A grilled lobster tail for a snack?! Um, yes, please! Skeptical about just how good it could be, it more than satisfied me with the lemon emulsion on top.
Tuna Tataki [favorite]: The tuna and crisp are topped with a spicy yuzu glaze, mango, and avocado. The mango mixed with the fresh tuna was divine and I’m already dreaming of getting it again.
Trowel & Trellis
I didn’t even realize this was new until I was flipping through my Festival Passport, but it’s another great addition.
Farmhouse Meatball [favorite]: I had zero expectations, but wow. This was so good. It’s served in lentil bread with spinach, marinated veggies, and a creamy herb dressing. Definitely a new favorite of mine.
Want to stay at a Disney Resort walking distance to the World Showcase?! Check out the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts.
Returning Festival Favorites:
The Honey Bee-Stro
The Honey Bee-Stro was new last year and I’m so happy they brought it back! It features one of my favorite desserts and a healthier cauliflower that I love.
Roasted Cauliflower: Made with buckwheat honey carrot pureé, wild rice pilaf, asparagus, honey-blistered grapes, sunflower brittle, and coriander flowers, this dish will make your taste buds dance. There’s a lot going on, but I love cauliflower and this doesn’t make you feel terribly full like a lot of the other dishes at the festival.
Local Wildflower Honey-mascarpone Cheesecake [favorite]: So freaking delicious. I love indulging in this sweet treat at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. If I could only choose 2-3 things to eat the entire day, this would be one of them.
Most people love the Pineapple Promenade for the famous Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade or pineapple soft serve ice cream, but they serve one of my all-time favorite beers, Maui Brewing Co. Pineapple Mana Wheat. I always tell myself I’m going to get the pineapple soft serve with coconut rum, but I always end up getting two servings of the Pineapple Mana. I honestly believe that Pineapple Promenade is one of the best booths at the entire festival. Even the spicy hot dog is a delicious dish, especially with a cold beer.
Northern Bloom: Canada
Seared Scallops: I’ve had these every year at the festival and I always like them! Scallops can be a little tricky, but I’m impressed with how perfect these turn out every time. They sit on top of green beans, butter potatoes, a brown butter vinaigrette, and smoked bacon.
Beef Tenderloin Tips: This is always one of Marc’s favorites because it’s consistently very good. However, ever since the Refreshment Port started offering poutine, he chooses that over the beef tenderloin tips, and for good reason.
Maple Popcorn Shake with Whiskey: I’ve always wanted to try this, but this is the first year I got it. It’s very sweet, but the size is just right. The popcorn on top is a fun ingredient. The whiskey makes it pricy, but I think the non-alcoholic version would be way too sweet.
Fleur de Lys: France
Vichyssoise aux Concombres [Skip It]: I’ve officially discovered that chilled cucumber soup is not for me. It was just not very good at all.
Macaron au Chocolat en Sucetee [favorite]: I don’t know why, but the fact that this little macaron is on a stick makes me so happy. Being able to walk around and enjoy the macaron on a stick is so much more fun. It’s always a go-to sweet treat for me at the festival.
La Vie en Rose Slushy: Grey Goose vodka, L’Orange, St. Germain liqueur, and white and red cranberry juice makes this ice cold slushy the perfect choice for a hot day. Even though I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, it’s always one of the best drinks to sip on around the world.
Key Lime Tart: Oh my goshhhh. I know I keep saying I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but I wanted a variety during my trip around the World [Showcase]! I’m so happy I got this and I would get it again and again. The toasted meringue on top was the perfect addition!
Taste of Marrakesh: Morocco
Fried Cauliflower: Another win for a cauliflower dish! I didn’t think I’d like it fried, but it was served on a bed of shredded cabbage and topped with a soy and vinegar-based dressing that lit up my taste buds. The Casa Beer is also one of my favorite light beers.
Chilled Soba Noodle Salad [Skip It]: This is pan-seared tuna with wasabi dressing on top of the chilled noodles. And as much as I love tuna, I can’t get on board with noodles that are gray. I just can’t. If that’s your thing, you might like this, but I suggest getting tuna at Citrus Blossom.
Frushi [favorite]: Fresh pineapple, strawberry, and melon are all rolled up with coconut rice, and sprinkled with toasted coconut. No soy sauce needed. This spin on sushi gives you whipped cream and raspberry sauce on the side. It’s always been a festival favorite for good reason.
The Smokehouse: The American Adventure
Beef Briskey Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider [favorite]: The explosion of yumminess in your mouth makes every calorie worth it. It has so much flavor and the garlic sausage and house-made pickle are the perfect toppings. For the past two years, this seems to be the biggest crowd pleaser at The Smokehouse.
Primavera Kitchen: Italy
Pizza Toscana: We decided to split this dish. It’s described as a rustic Italian flatbread with sweet sausage, caramelized onion, mozzarella, asiago, and parmesan cheeses, and it was really delicious. The toppings did add some flavor, but it was a little underwhelming. I loved the portion size. We each got one little slice, which is more than enough when you’re eating your way around the world!
Toasted Pretzel Bread: This seems to be a popular choice and they brought it back again this year. People (including Marc-André) seem to like the Black Forest ham and melted Gruyere cheese on top, but I think it tastes about as good as it looks. So, I guess you can decide if you want to try it. For me, I’d rather skip the extra-filling bread and save my appetite for something else.
Potato Pancake topped with Caramelized Ham, Onions, & Herb Sour Cream: This was a very German dish and they did an incredible job with the potato pancake itself. I can’t say I was crazy about how many onions were on top, but again, very German. The other option would be to get a Potato Pancake with just applesauce on top and I bet that’s delicious, too!
Lotus House: China
Vegetable Spring Rolls: Normally, I would’ve ordered the House-made Crab and Cheese Wontons but the cast member suggested the Spring Rolls and I’m so happy she did (considering this was like my 8th stop of the day). They were delicious and the perfect size. Not the prettiest thing to photograph, but a perfect choice if you’re getting stuffed.
Jardin de Fiestas: Mexico
Mexico’s booth disappointed me last year, but I knew to skip the Rosé Sangria this year.
Damiana Flower Margarita: A much better choice than the Rosé Sangria, this margarita was so refreshing with the citrus juices and agave nectar. The black ant salt rim is so yummy and I normally order my margys without salt.
Beef Torta: I don’t think they had this last year, but it was a really tasty addition to Jardin de Fiestas. It’s braised beef served on a crispy sourdough roll with queso, avocado, pickled onions, and jalapenos in a spicy habanero sauce. It’s not as spicy as it sounds, which could be good or bad for some. I like a little spice so I thought it was perfect.
La Isla Fresca
If you’re starting clockwise at the World Showcase, La Isla Fresca will be one of the first booths you see.
Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer: I decided to try the shrimp this year and it was the only seafood that I wasn’t impressed with for some reason. It just seemed pretty bland and my particular serving wasn’t very warm. Maybe it’s because it was the last stop of my very filling day, but I would recommend the Jamaican braised-beef over the shrimp.
Jamaican-Braised Beef: This photo is from last year, but it’s still the same! Not the most appetizing dish at first glance, it surprised me with how tasty it was to me. It’s also a great dish to share because of the size. Gotta leave room for as much as possible!
I honestly can’t decide if I’m hungry or stuffed after writing this post! But I did notice that I must’ve missed Taste Track. So next time I’m at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival this season, I’ll be picking up a Violet Blueberry Vanilla Croissant Doughnut! If it tastes half as good as it sounds, that would be a sweet surprise. 😋
Heading to Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival this year?! Be sure to try one of my favorites (and DM me a picture on Instagram!). If you’ve already been, let me know of some of your favorites that I need to try next!