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Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival Archives

March 3, 2016

Opening Day Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Deb's Digest Blog
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March 2nd was the opening day for the 2016 Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot! I arrived about 8:30 to a fairly long line of folks. It was a cloudy day but the sun was predicted to break through the clouds mid morning.

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The turnstyles opened about 8:45 and it seemed most everyone was headed either to Test Track or the Pin Station for LE pins. Since I was not interested in either, I began my tour around Future World to see what gardens and topiaries I could find.


The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Passport is back with expanded checklists so you don't miss anything! I highly recommend you get a Passport as it contains all the important information in one place. And if you like to collect "stamps" each location has their own themed mark to include in your passport.

The highlight for me was the entrance topiaries of Daisy Duck greeting guests to Fresh Epcot and on the back side a great grouping of Donald Duck and his nephews! I really think this display is first rate and a wonderful way to start my day at the Flower and Garden Festival.

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I had my first glimpse at a Pin Trading Cast member using a "trash can". I thought that was creative. No idea if this is new, I just haven't see it or what.

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On the south side of Spaceship Earth was this year's new display called Floral Sun Garden with yellow sunbursts. While pretty, I have gotten used to this area being a color full topiary display. According to the Press Release, this area "will sprout in a new Future World topiary garden featuring Minnie Mouse and Pluto." I 'll check it out later in the festival.

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As a huge fan of our National Parks, I was very happy to learn that there would be a display honoring the 100th anniversary of the parks. Ranger Mickey is all set with his binoculars and camera bag. I loved the detail and color arrangements. It was interesting that as I stood there taking photos, a mother brought her sons over to show them "Indiana Jones"!! She seemed excited and so did the kids.

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On the opposite side facing World Show Case Chip and Dale were out having fun by a small waterfall. Looks like Chip is ready for lunch!

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Over to the West side of Innoventions the Butterfly House looked fairly empty (usually its packed) so I went in. I didn't see anything new or different and being so early in the festival the chrysalises were not yet emerging. Also due to the cloudy cool morning, there were no butterflies flitting about.

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Happy to see Fantasia Mickey along with the broom water buckets, the dancing hippo and other related topiaries return.

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The Pollinator Paradise Garden was back. My favorite part of these are the seed created pollinators :) Take some time to check out the garden destinations (page 8 in the Passport) as they are not only beautiful to look at but you might learn something too (I did :)

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The new Edible Garden by the Land was colorful highlighting hibiscus and other edible plants.

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The Kids Play Area that had been Monsters Inc themed the last few years is all changed this year with new play equipment and a new theme -- Harmony Gardens Musical Playgrounds. Lots of interactive displays for kids (ok, so a few adults too) creating musical sounds with drums and a variety of xylophones. Lots of children running here and there. Returning is the nice shaded tent area for adults to watch their kids!

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Cactus Road Rally is back with it's play area - great photo ops with both Mater and Lightening McQueen.

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As you walk around World Showcase there are many topiaries to see. Some have moved to new locations, such as Winnie the Pooh characters and Anna and Elsa.

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In terms of merchandise, there are lots of fun Figment items including t-shirts and mugs.

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Even a cute Stitch shirt:

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We had lunch at the popular Smokehouse in the American Adventure area.

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I tried 3 of the new items and overall they were good.

Smoked Pork Ribs with Roasted Corn Salad (GF) $6.50 ddp snack -- The ribs were a bit light in meat but tasty. The roasted corn salad was tasty.

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Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapenos $5.75 ddp snack -- The hash was tasty (although I removed the Jalapenos) Beef Brisket had two meaty pieces and 2 fatty pieces. I don't care for the fatty parts of meat so if you do, you might really like this item!

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Finally the Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-Salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans (V) $3.75 ddp snack - The new Warm Chocolate Cake was moist and quite tasty.

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I didn't' try any other foods and and about this time the park was getting very crowded so I headed out, stopping first to get my Annual Passholder print.

Annual Passholders should be sure to get their complimentary Ducky Williams artwork. This month the print features Donald. Future months will be Goofy and Mickey. The location is behind Club Cool and there is signage.

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Of course there is MUCH MUCH more see and experience at the Flower and Garden Festival. In fact, I'll be back in a couple days!

I have lots more photos to get on AllEars. Be sure to visit our comprehensive Flower and Garden section! I have lots more photos to get online too!


March 2, 2015

Preview Epcot's 2015 22nd International Flower and Garden Festival Part 2

Deb's Digest Blog

Epcot's annual Flower and Garden Festival begins March 4th with new displays, topiaries, mini-gardens, garden rocks bands, food and beverages. This is Part 2 of our preview.

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Our Festival Preview also included tasting some of the new food and beverages offered this year in the Outdoor Kitchens. Here are interviews with Epcot Executive Chef Gregg Hannon and Content Manager. Following the videos we share photos and our thoughts on the food and beverages.

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Our Preview Tastes -

Cachapa con Queso Sweet Corn Pancake with Farmers Cheese - Botanas Botánico

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LINDA: I really like the touch of sweetness in the pancake. The cheese has a very mild flavor. While this item is tasty, it is not one I would seek out.

DEB: This was tasty and something non-adventurous folks (like myself) would enjoy. I think kids will like it too

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Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash - With White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapenos - THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews

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LINDA: While this was a flavorful dish, the brisket was a bit fatty for me and I thought the fondue was too much and overpowered the dish.

DEB: Not a big fan of fatty meats of which this is. However, just about everyone else around me really enjoyed it.

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Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits - With Andouille Sausage, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes

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LINDA: This was by far my favorite!!! I loved the creamy, slightly cheesy tasting grits. Adding the Andouille Sausage gives it a slight kick while the corn a touch of sweetness. Both the grits and shrimp were cooked perfectly.

DEB: I took a pass due to my shellfish allergy

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Kale Salad - Dried Cherries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese with White Balsamic Vinaigrette - Urban Farm Eat

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LINDA: This salad is very refreshing. I am not a fan of dried fruit so I pushed the cherries aside. I thought the goat cheese was the best part of the salad. It is so creamy and light tasting.

DEB: I really enjoyed this salad. I was a tad leary because I am not a kale fan, but the blend of all the flavors and the light vinaigrette had me going back for another helping.

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Quinoa Vegetable Nannwich - With Arugula Pesto and Oven Dried Tomatoes - Urban Farm Eat

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LINDA: This was my second favorite tasting! I am allergic to pine nuts and they are present in the arugula pesto so I asked to have mine served without the pesto. It was still very delicious. I love the vegetarian quinoa patty and tomatoes together. This seems to be fun food. As you can wrap the naan bread around the patty and eat it like a sandwich. This could be a nice walk around food item.

DEB: I really enjoyed this item. The quinoa patty was on the loose side so it might make for a slightly messy sandwich... but I loved the flavors and look forward to trying it again.

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Smoked Debreziner Sausage With House made Kraut and Mustard - THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews

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LINDA: I normally do not care for sausage, but this little dish was full of tasty heat and spice flavor. I believe the mustard was where the heat was. It was subtle heat. It did not burn the mouth but gave plenty of flavor.

DEB: I enjoyed the sausage.. I only put a little mustard on mine since I'm not a heat fan.

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Coconut Tres Leches - Botanas Botánico

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LINDA: This by far my favorite dessert! The cake was so moist, the icing light and airy with a hint of caramel and coconut flavor. I am not a big sweet dessert person but I could easily have stuffed myself with several pieces of this cake.

DEB: My favorite dessert too. Light, moist, flavorful.. simply yummy. I have to tell you I haven't seen Linda eat a whole piece of cake in a long time LOL

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Florida Blueberry & Lemon Curd Tart - Florida Fresh

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LINDA: Again, not being a big dessert person, this did not do much for me. It wasn't bad, just meh for me.

DEB: It tasted good and the blueberries were very fresh. However, after tasting the Coconut Tres Leches, I only took one bite of the tart and went back to my piece of Coconut cake.

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Macaron Guimauve a la Fraise - Large Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron - Fleur de Lys

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LINDA: This was my least favorite because it was so sweet. If you like a really sweet dessert, this could be for you.

DEB: Agreed! If you are into super sweet this is a dessert for you!

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La Tizana with or without Santa Teresa RHUM Orange Liqueur - Botanas Botánico

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LINDA: Too sweet for me.

DEB: A tasty sweet Ruhm beverage with great fresh fruit pieces on top. I think the kids will enjoy the non-alcoholic version!

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Ace Pineapple Hard Cider - Sacramento, California - Pineapple Promenade

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LINDA and DEB: Not hard cider fans, but the pineapple flavoring was certainly there!

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Key Lime Sparkling Wine - Florida Orange Groves, St. Petersburg, FL - Florida Fresh

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LINDA and DEB: When this was served as a simple white wine in 2014, neither of us cared for it. Too sweet for our tastes. However by adding the effervescence it made it a great beverage to start our noshing with!

DISCLAIMER: AllEars was invited by Disney to the Epcot Flower and Garden Media Preview on February 27, 2015. We were given a special horticulture tour, and complementary tastes of the food and beverages.

Preview Epcot's 2015 22nd International Flower and Garden Festival Part 1

Deb's Digest Blog

Epcot's annual Flower and Garden Festival begins March 4th with new displays, topiaries, mini-gardens, garden rocks bands, food and beverages. This is the first of our 2 part blog Previewing the Festival!

The Flower and Garden team has created new and different experiences for this year's festival. Linda Eckwerth and myself were part of the invited media to experience a preview of the festival. Horticulture Manager Eric Darden and Landscape Architect Carla Shuman provided an in-depth look at some of this year's displays.

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Just in cause you were wondering just how detailed the festival plans are, Carla shared a glimpse of the incredibly detailed horticulture planning document.

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Here is just a sampling of the highlights for the 2015 festival.

This year's butterfly topiary garden takes flight showing the butterflies landing on the flowers.

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Lightening McQueen and Mater are back, this time in an expanded play area garden called "The Cactus Road Rally Garden". Check out the radiators :). Learn more about how cactus store water in the hot dry climates. Look for the not so hidden radiators :)

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Butterflies on the Go has a new wider sidewalk for folks to use. The butterflies will be released for the first time on Tuesday and by the Festival's official opening on Wednesday hundreds of butterflies will be around. Ever wonder why the Butterfly House is closed at night, well, simply, the butterflies don't fly at night! Each week about 1,000 chrysalis are delivered to the butterfly house. Watch the butterfly emerge from the chrysalis - takes 20-30 minutes to watch them begin to fly.

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One of the highlights of this year's festival are the topiaries of Anna and Elsa. Last year's experiment with Snow White's eyes worked really well. So, Anna and Elsa have much more expressive faces. The scene is from the end of the film, when Elsa realizes she can make everything right again. So the flowers are half winter and half summer.

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Another new area this year is called Urban Farm Eats showcasing that it's not that hard to grow your own food. The garden not only shows vegetables but also an aqua-ponics system with tilapia - the fish waste fertilize the plants, the plants clean the water that the fish live in. Learn more about this ancient technique by talking to folks in the Urban Farm Eats garden.

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All this and we haven't even started to explore World Showcase! This year's festival guide is the actual Epcot map, so no need to jostle around 2 maps to figure out what to do.

Our interview with Eric Darden highlights a few other new areas:


Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Preview as we highlight the Outdoor Kitchens new foods and beverages.
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AllEars was invited by Disney to the Epcot Flower and Garden Media Preview on February 27, 2015. We were given a special horticulture tour, and complementary tastes of the food and beverages.

April 6, 2013

Captain Hook Topiary - Is Alive!

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On the DisneyWorld Passholders facebook page, an announcement was made earlier in the week that the Captain Hook "living topiary" would make an appearance on Friday, April 5th. We sent our reporters to get "dirt".


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March 19, 2013

Top 10 Marketplace Picks - Flower and Garden Festival

Deb's Digest Blog

I'm excited about the addition of the festival marketplaces to the Flower and Garden Festival. I hope Disney does not increase the number of booths as that would really take away from the focus of the flowers. I will admit, it is nice to nosh around in the temperate springtime and enjoy the color!


TOP PICKS

These are my favorites from the new marketplaces (in order around World Showcase)

1) Florida Fresh: Watermelon Salad with pickled red onion, feta, arugula $3.50
Who knew watermelon and feta went so well together! I don't care to eat onions so just removed them.

Flower and Garden Festival Marketplace Items


2) Taco de Carnitas - pork carnitas topped with Taramindo salsa, served over flour tortilla with pork rinds $4.95
Loved the crunch the pork rinds added!

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3) Rosita Margarita on the rocks - tequila, triple sec and rose infusions $8.50
What can I say, went well with the Taco de Carnitas (see #2)

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4) Potato Pancake with house made Apple Sauce $2.75
Light, flavorful and crispy - I took off all the apple sauce - way too sweet!

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5) Panna Cotta al Limoncello and Chianti- Limoncello flavored Panna Cotta with wild berries $5.00

One of the best Panna Cotta - had zest of lemon which gave a new extra to the flavor - Of course Chiati - I"m in Italy after all!

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6) Smoked Beef Brisket with Collard Greens and Jalapeño Corn Bread $6.75
Not sure why I included this one as I don't eat collard greens or care for Jalapeno. I think the smells from here influenced me, yea that's it! But seriously, I thought the brisket was very good.


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7) Frushi - Fresh strawberries, pineapple and cantaloupe rolled with coconut rice atop a raspberry sauce sprinkled with toasted coconut and whipped cream $4.50

Something different and refreshing.

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8) Baghrir - Moroccan pancake with honey, almonds and Argan Oil $3.00

Tell them LIGHT on the honey and easy on the oil and you'll have a most enjoyable munch.

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9) Chocolate Trifle $1.50

Chocolate - should I say more?

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10) Potato, Chive and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour Cream $4.25

Ok, this one isn't mine but Linda's. I needed a #10. She raved about the savory biscuit and the salmon went perfectly.

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Over the course of several visits I ate just about everything my palate would try. I'm allergic to shellfish and tend to stay away from fish. I also don't like things really sweet anymore (there was a time.....) I thought some of the food was over sauced/ over sweet - don't be afraid to ask for anything on the side or just for a little.

RELATED LINKS:

-- Marketplace Foods Photo Gallery

-- Marketplace Menus

-- Rate and Review the Festival Marketplaces

-- Even more comprehensive Flower and Garden Festival Information and Photos


March 8, 2012

Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival Opens

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The 19th Annual Epcot Flower and Garden Festival opened on March 7th.

I spent several hours in Epcot and just scratched the surface on what to see this year.

The floral displays begin before you enter Epcot with the Fantasia mushrooms.

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This year's grand entrance topiary is Sorcerer Mickey conducting Floral Magic.

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Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

First thing to do as you enter Epcot, is pick up a Flower and Garden Festival Guide Map and the new Topiary Scavenger Hunt flyer. I didn't see any Scavanger Hunt flyers at the main entrance, but did find them at the Information Booth (back side of pin store). You can also download your own!

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There is also a mobile website called Epcot in Bloom: http://m.epcotinbloom.com. You can look at it from home but certain features can only be unlocked when you scan a QR code inside Epcot. There are 12 audio tour locations and 14 topiaries that have QR codes.

Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival Mobile Map

I liked the map feature of the mobile app. Also, if you are new to Epcot's Flower and Garden festival the audio tour provides interesting information. While it is true the there is in-depth information on the topiaries, the photos are from previous festivals so don't get confused if the photos don't match the locations in the app. Would be great if the photos were updated now that the topiaries are on display.

Here's more information on the Epcot in Bloom Mobile app!



Bambi's Butterfly House
is always a favorite with adults and kids. This year it has moved across the way and is larger than before. It can get crowded in here which can make stroller and wheelchair maneuvering difficult.

Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

There is a butterfly identification poster at each end of the exhibit. It is great to know what you are actually seeing. The butterflies are quite plentiful and found my bright yellow shirt particularly interesting. Several landed on me, briefly.

Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

This is a Mangrove Buckeye butterfly.

Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

The ever popular Bambi, Flower and Thumper topiaries are now in the Butterfly house.

Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

As you make your way to towards World Showcase, the fab 5 as farmers and gardeners greet you!


Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival


Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

New this year is the Haiti exhibit. Be sure to check it out, there are even Haitian beverages for sale!

Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Be sure to check out the Flower and Garden Festival Kids Activities blog

AllEars will be bringing you lots more photos and information about this year's Flower and Garden Festival so be sure to check back for updates on our website!

Now, sit back, relax and enjoy a 10 minute tour of the Festival:

March 20, 2009

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Here are a few photos I took during my trip last week. These are all pre-opening.

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For more Flower and Garden Festival Information visit:

An Interview with Eric Darden, Horticultural Manager

Our Flower and Garden Festival Information Center

Return to Blog Central

About Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Deb's Digest in the Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Epcot's 30th Anniversary is the previous category.

Epcot's Food and Wine Festival is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.