Years ago when I first heard of Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival, I thought, “Meh. Who would want to go all the way to Epcot to see some flowers and stuff? We have flower shows here.” Well, I couldn't have been more wrong with that assessment! The Flower and Garden Festival is now one of the absolute best times to visit the Walt Disney World Resort. My family and I have gone over the last few years and we've gotten completely caught up in the amazing topiary displays, the music, and the food. Let's take a look at Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival: Why You Need To Go.
The Displays & Exhibits –
I'm going to be honest with you here right out of the gate: I'm not a flower guy. I have a hard time keeping anything that's not one of my children alive in my house. I don't have one living plant or flower in my house and my wife and I hired someone to take care of our yard and plants outside. That being said, I find the displays and exhibits at the Flower and Garden Festival absolutely amazing! From the ENORMOUS flower displays to the incredibly detailed topiaries; from the butterfly habitat to the English Tea Garden, everything is just completely over the top at Epcot. Walking through the butterfly habitat was especially cool. I was able to walk through with my five year old daughter (in her princess dress, of course) and convinced her to stand still long enough for a butterfly to land on her arm. How awesome is that?! And if you're a photographer (or even a wannabe one like me!) you'll have photo opportunities literally every ten feet throughout the park!
The Music –
“We Built This City…We Built This City On Rock And Roll!” Come on, who doesn't want to hear that song live? Well the good news is that if you head down to WDW during Flower & Garden this year, STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas will be there and signing their hearts out for you! Joining them on different weekends will be: Gin Blossoms (oh man, 90's me LOVED them!), The Village People (need no description), The Spinners (“I'm working my way back to you, babe!”), and many more! There really isn't anything that's more fun than listening to a blast from the past kind of band while walking around with a bite to eat or a drink from one of the many outdoor kitchens that Epcot sets up in World Showcase for the festival. Oh, and speaking of the outdoor kitchens, how about…
The Food –
These days the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is almost like a mini-Food & Wine Festival. In addition to the regular food and beverage selections that already exist around the park, Epcot introduces 13 outdoor kitchens with some truly amazing (and interesting) food and drink selections. Last year at the very popular Pineapple Promenade stand one of the biggest sellers was the famous Disney Dole Whip topped with rum. Yep, you read that correctly. Has there ever been a more perfect creation in all of the world than a Dole Whip that has alcohol in it? If you're not big on rum you can also order the plain old Dole Whip (which is still amazing) from the stand as well. Of all of the different stands to choose from, however, my favorite was The SMOKEHOUSE (I'm not yelling, it's officially capitalized by Disney!) over by the American Adventure pavilion in World Showcase. This stand featured sliders, brisket, ribs, and other barbecue-inspired foods. And the beer selection there is amazing. It's one of the only places at the festival where you can order a set of four beer flights to try with your meal or snack. And to top all of that off, the Piggylicious cupcake (made with chocolate, peanut butter, pretzels and bacon…yes, bacon) was a crazy way to finish out our day!
The Flower and Garden Festival has gotten bigger and better each and every year and this year will be no exception. I can't wait to see the newest topiaries, try the newest foods, and walk back toward the Epcot monorail tired, happy, and full!
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