The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is right around the corner. It will begin on March 6. On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, I was invited to be part of a media preview. It looks like this year’s festival is going to be better than ever!
Food is a large part of all of Epcot’s festivals, and this year the Outdoor Kitchens will not disappoint. There is a great combination of new kitchens and returning classics. The most popular dish from last year, the Beef Brisket Slider, is returning to The Smokehouse. Last year’s most popular dessert, Local Wildflower Honey-mascarpone Cheesecake, will return to The Honey Bee-stro as well. One of the most anticipated new kitchens is Trowel & Trellis. This plant-based kitchen is where you will find the Farmhouse Meatball with Lentil Bread. This is made with Impossible meatballs. If you’re not familiar with Impossible Foods, the company has used science to recreate the different components of meat. I’m already a huge Impossible fan, but I talked with several people yesterday who had never tried it before. I was told repeatedly that they never would have thought that it wasn’t beef if they hadn’t been told.
There’s one beverage that I want to mention as well. If you’re an Orange Bird fan, you’ll want to stop by The Citrus Blossom. This is where you can order the Orange Cream Slushy in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper Cup. The slushy is delicious (it tastes like a melted Creamsicle), and the cup is a fun souvenir. We were each given one to take home. The Orange Cream Slushy is going to be available with or without alcohol, but the sipper cup is sold only with the non-alcoholic version.
The topiaries will of course be back this year. One display that Disney is particularly excited about is Bo Peep and Her Sheep. They’ll be keeping watch over Bo Peep’s Playful Playground. Woody and Buzz will be found there as well. The Miss Piggy and Kermit topiaries are returning this year. Another change is that the Lady and the Tramp topiary is in a slightly different place for 2019. It will allow guests a great picture opportunity, you will be able to better recreate a famous scene from the classic movie. The locations of all the topiaries can be found in your Festival Passport.
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We were treated to a performance by Eddie Palmieri, who will be appearing for the first time as part of the Garden Rocks Concert Series. He will be wrapping it up in June 2 and 3. The concerts will now be held seven days a week, and there will be three performances each evening. They are included with park admission. If you want to secure your seat, book a Garden Rocks Dining Package.
Annual Passholders will be happy to know that two new magnets are going to be given away this year. One of them will feature Pluto and the other Daisy. There will also be plenty of Passholder merchandise for sale.
I spoke briefly with Katie Winn Quinn about the transformation that Epcot is about to go through. There was no new information that was not previously released, but she did show me two concept drawings. The first was for the reimagined front entrance, and the second for Epcot Play Pavillion. She assured me that Epcot Play Area is not going to be only for children. The transformation is going to be multi-year, and the Epcot Play Pavillion will be open by the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary in 2021.
The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will run March 6 until June 3. If you go, make sure that you pick up a Festival Passport as you enter the park. That will be your guide. I love this festival, because it changes each time I go, and I go a lot. Most of the activities are included with your Epcot admission, although some things will cost extra.