My Flower & Garden Favorites: Food
The older I get, the more I appreciate Epcot and what is has to offer. I remember the first time I was in Walt Disney World for Flower and Garden Festival back in 2011. When I compare that trip to my experience with Flower and Garden Festival this year, it’s amazing to see how much the event has grown and changed over the years!
Flower and Garden Festival brings out all of the beautiful things about spring: vibrant colors, magical topiaries, and fresh ideas. Like anything else with Disney, the Flower and Garden Festival foods are no exception! This year was the first time I was truly able to dig into the food that the festival had to offer, so I was sure to document all of my favorites!
As a certified picky eater, I was feeling pretty adventurous with some of the foods that I was trying. So hopefully even the pickiest of eaters will be able to find something to enjoy from this list!
Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer
Surprisingly enough, this Louisiana girl is not usually big on shrimp, but this dish changed my mind! In Showcase Plaza, you’ll find La Isla Fresca which offers Jamaican and Caribbean style dishes. The Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer is served with steamed rice and a coconut-lime sauce. When you put these three items together, it was magical! The skewer comes with three shrimp, so this is perfect to sample with friends and family!
Northern Bloom at the Canada Pavilion makes two appearances on my food favorites list! These Seared Scallops were served with French green beans, butter potatoes, brown butter vinaigrette, and (my personal favorite) Applewood-smoked bacon! I’ve only experienced scallops one in my life, when I visited Martha’s Vineyard, so when I saw this was on the menu I knew I had to try it. This savory dish was one that we went back to for seconds! If you’re looking for something filling yet fresh, I suggest checking it out!
Don’t get me wrong I love fries and mashed potatoes, but when it comes to potatoes other than that I’m usually very picky. Therefore, I was a little hesitant about trying Potato Pancakes from Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market in the Germany Pavilion. Looking back, I’m so glad that I was adventurous because I though this dish was delicious! Germany’s Potato Pancakes are served with either house-made apple sauce or caramelized ham, onions, and herb sour cream. We went for the caramelized ham, onions, and herb sour cream and it did not disappoint!
When you hear about Flower and Garden Festival, you hear about two treats: Frushi and Violet Lemonade! Since my family was able to make it back to the festival in April, I knew I had to try some Frushi. With fresh pineapple, strawberry, and melon all rolled in a raspberry-coconut rice, Frushi was the perfect sweet escape from all of the other savory dishes I had been trying! What amazed me the most was how much the raspberry-coconut rice tasted like regular rice. The taste balanced out the sweet and tangy flavors of the fruit and had no over powering coconut taste, which I appreciated! If you make it to Flower and Garden Festival this year, be sure to stop by Hanami in the Japan Pavilion.
Beef Tenderloin Tips
While the other foods were absolutely delicious, this dish was definitely the hit for our family! Northern Bloom really brought their game this year with two dishes that left us coming back for more. My brother is very particular about his food, but this dish was a home run for him! The Beef Tenderloin Tips were completed with a mushroom bordelaise sauce, whipped potatoes, and garden vegetables. Since we were able to try this more than once, I was able to determine that the mushroom bordelaise sauce was a major factor in the flavor of this dish. Our first time trying it, everything was of perfect proportion, but our second time we didn’t receive as much sauce and it made a difference in flavor.
To truly experience the Flower and Garden Festival to it’s full potential, you’d have to make at least a day of it! Luckily this past trip our family spent all three days park hopping between Magic Kingdom and Epcot so we were really able to take it all in. One of my favorite things about the festival atmosphere is the ability to try so many new things!
If I had any advice for those planning to attend the Flower and Garden Festival, I would say come hungry! There are around 14 outdoor kitchens to explore in the World Showcase, and each has both food and drink choices to choose from. Attend with friends and family so everyone can choose their own dishes to try and determine your favorites! That way if you happen to swing back around, you’ll know which ones you want to try again.
Walt Disney World vacations tend to come with a go-go-go mind set. Hopefully events like these will help guests to step back and smell the flowers. Take in all that the parks have to offer, and focus on making memories instead of trying to do it all!
Which dish would you love to try and Flower and Garden Festival?