Review: Flower and Garden Festival for Adults 2019
Review: 2019 Flower And Garden Festival Guide for Adults
The Flower and Garden Festival is one of our favorite Epcot festivals. This year, we were lucky enough to attend the first 3 days of the 2019 Flower and Garden Festival. This post covers the basics of the Flower and Garden festival. We also include some of our recommendations and tips for visiting this year’s festival.
What Is The Flower And Garden Festival?
The Flower and Garden festival is one of four annual festivals held at Disney’s Epcot theme park. This year, the Flower and Garden Festival runs from March 6th until June 3rd. Access to the festival is included with Epcot theme park admission. The festival includes special food and drink booths (Disney calls them outdoor kitchens), a free concert series, Disney-character topiaries, some really cool limited-release merchandise, and other garden-related displays.
Is This Festival Fun For Adults?
The Flower and Garden Festival, like most Epcot festivals, is 99% for adults and 1% for kids. And yes, it is a ton of fun for adults in Disney. The main reasons we recommend this festival are: the atmosphere of Epcot, the food and drinks, and the concert series. We will go into each of these aspects in more details below and provide some recommendations. Our main takeaway is, if you get the chance to attend this festival, do it! Get ready to eat, drink, and take 10 million pictures of topiaries.
Atmosphere and Flowers
We believe that the atmosphere in Epcot is the best when the Flower and Garden Festival is taking place. Why? Because the Disney horticulture cast members have been hard at work planting thousands of flowers and plants throughout the park for the festival. The colors and variety of flowers are beautiful and impressive. In addition to the enhanced landscaping, there are numerous topiaries of Disney characters scattered throughout the park. Exploring all of the topiaries adds a special element of fun when visiting during this festival.
All of the topiary locations are provided here.
In addition to the topiaries, there are a lot of other garden-related displays throughout the country pavilions. One display that is easy to walk past, but that I love, is the spice area in the Morocco pavilion. It is located just outside of the restrooms and it has a ton of the different herbs and spices. It is fun to see what all of the different spice plants looks like. Similarly, in the UK pavilion, just behind the Twinings tea shop, there is a garden dedicated to tea. The garden has various tea plants and informative signs about tea. If you’re a tea fan, we definitely recommend taking a stroll through this area.
Flower and Garden Food
In general, we categorize the food at the Flower and Garden festival as lighter/fresher than the food at any of the other festivals. The Food and Wine festival often has a lot of rich and savory foods, while many of the Flower and Garden dishes emphasize fresh ingredients. Does this mean the Flower and Garden dishes are all healthy and vegetarian? Definitely not.
While we will provide a few recommendations, we want to provide an important disclosure: everyone’s preferences are different. When it comes to the food and drinks, we recommend looking at the menus and starting with the items that interest you. For us, the best part of the festival is that the dishes are small, so you are able to try a lot of different foods. When you enter Epcot, look for the festival passport. This small book lists all of the festival information and is a great way to keep track of the food and drink items that you try.
Food To Try
Our favorite food item is the Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread from the Honey Bee-stro booth. The flatbread costs $5.50. The Frushi from the Hanami booth in Japan is another one of our favorites ($5.95). It is a unique and delicious dish. We get it every year and definitely recommend giving it a try.
If you have a sweet tooth like I do, I highly recommend the Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse from the Flavor Full Kitchen Booth. The tart costs $4.50 and it was delicious. It is also makes for a really cute photo!
Food to Avoid
The one dish I wanted to love, but hated was the Vichyssoise aux Concombres: Chilled Cucumber Soup from the Fleur de Lys Booth in France ($4.50). As a disclaimer, I love cucumber. The soup was really bad. It was super rich and the flavor was pretty blah. I hate wasting food, but this one ended up in the trash.
The Vegetable Spring Rolls from the Lotus House booth in China were horrible ($4.50). The flavor was really bad and they tasted like they had been sitting out for a while. We would avoid this dish.
Flower and Garden Drinks
The festival offers a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. In general, we feel the alcoholic drinks are overpriced. However, if there is one you really want to try, go for it. This year also debuted the Orange Cream Slushy in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper Cup ($14.00). The sipper cup is extremely popular, so if you see a long line at the Citrus Blossom booth, the sipper cup is most likely the reason.
Drinks to Try
The most popular drink for the Flower and Garden festival is the Frozen Violet Lemonade from the Pineapple Promenade Booth ($4.25). Many people love the taste and it is also very pretty (a must-do for Instagram). We both think it is good, but it isn’t the best thing we have ever drank. The drink is non-alcoholic, which may be a good or bad thing for you.
One “drink” that we loved was the Cookie Butter Worms and Dirt from the Flavor Full Kitchen Booth ($4.25). The reason it is in quotes is because it was categorized as a beverage and we technically drank it, but it was a weird consistency. We would put it closest to a milkshake/drinkable mousse. If you like chocolate or cookies and cream, we recommend it!
As I mentioned above, I love cucumber. If you love cucumber too, I strongly recommend the Watermelon Cucumber Slushy from the Florida Fresh booth ($4.25). There is an option to get it with gin ($11.75). It is pretty small, and they just pour the gin in the bottom and you stir it in. When factoring in the cost, I would just get the one without the gin.
Drinks to Avoid
One drink Jeff hated was the Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale from the Pineapple Promenade booth ($4.50). I also thought the Desert Rose, which is sparkling Wine with pomegranate liqueur, from the Taste of Marrakesh booth was not good and definitely not worth the $8 price tag.
All of the food, drinks, booths (outdoor kitchens) can be found on Disney’s website here.
Disney has free concerts taking place every night of the Flower and Garden festival. We saw Journey’s former lead vocalist Steve Augeri. There are typically 3 shows a night: 5:30, 6:45, and 8pm. If the concert is someone you really want to see, we recommend going early and waiting in line for a seat. We wanted to see Steve Augeri, but didn’t care if we were close. We went to the 8pm show just after it started and were still able to get seats in the back. We definitely recommend checking out the schedule to see if any of the performers are of interest to you. Even if you do not know the band, the concerts are usually a ton of fun (and free!).
The full concert line-up for this year can be found here.
The Festival Is Free, But It Can Still Be Expensive
Yes, the festival is free. Checking out the displays is free. The concerts are free. But the food and drinks, are NOT free. Most of the food and drinks tend to range in price from $4.50 to $8. There are other expensive items such as Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky for $11.75 or the Bloomin’ Blueberry Lemon and Ginger Tea served in a mason jar for $15.00.
While the prices may not seem too bad at first, the catch is that the food and drinks are “sample size.” This means that you will need several dishes to make up a meal. As you try multiple food and drink items, the total amount of money spent can add up quickly.
Advice For Sticking To A Budget At The Festival
As a general rule of thumb, the drinks are the most expensive. The beers in particular are pretty small. If there is a drink that interests you, try it. But if you are trying to keep to a budget while exploring Epcot, one option is to get a normal beer/drink from an Epcot country (not a festival booth) and it will be a much better value. Be warned, any alcoholic drink in Disney is relatively expensive. Rose and Crown in the UK pavilion is a great place to grab a non-festival beer. The Spice Road bar is a good location for non-festival mixed drinks.
Another way to not to spend over your budget on festival food and drinks is to put money on a Disney gift card. The amount of money on the gift card will serve as your check to stay within budget at the festival.
A final suggestion is if you are on a Disney dining plan, you can use your snack credits at most of the festival booths. Look for the dining plan symbol on the festival booth menus. Depending on the item that you are getting, this can be a great value for your snack credit. (The more expensive the item, the better the use.)
Our Overall Recommendation
The Flower and Garden festival is made for adults visiting Disney World. If your trip overlaps when the festival is taking place, or if you can plan your trip to coincide with the festival, we highly recommend it! Our favorite part of this festival is all of the plants and topiaries. Epcot is absolutely gorgeous during this festival. The food and drinks at this festival are also some of our favorites. If you have been to the Flower and Garden festival or if you have any questions about this year’s festival, please leave us a comment below!
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