Sunday, March 22, 2015

Disney's Flower & Garden Festival 2015: Let the Fun Begin


After missing Disney's Food & Wine Festival for the first time in forever (it still haunts me), I swore that nothing on this planet would stop me from attending Epcot's other annual festival: Disney's International Flower & Garden Festival.

This is not my favorite festival of the two. March is usually sweltering, and it certainly is again this year. Right on time. Also, my mom is notorious for jumping and screaming at the mere wing-beat of a bee or wasp - they are very, very attracted to her (she's like a Bella Swan for devilish insects). So all the beautiful flowers can be a (funny) obstacle course at times.

But in recent years, Disney has added a few irresistible new features, including food booths. Ooooooh yes.

I was so prepared this year to kick foodie butt with my passport and gift card loaded with money for eats (the gift cards are WAY easier to use that juggling cash, and way prettier too).

The new design for the festival too? Cute. I love the icons growing from the vines.

With only one day to spare this spring for the festival, I studied the menus ahead of time and planned what I was going to try from the booths. Some old favorites and new ones. What I hadn't expected was to be wowed by the gardens set up around Epcot. They are, as usual, very beautiful, but I lingered in some of the gardens and took too many pictures.

Both of my favorite gardens were in England. The first was the Shakespeare Garden. Be still, my English major heart! The Shakespeare bust in the back was charming, and I loved reading the quotes Disney had chosen to plant among the flora.

The other garden is the classic English Tea Garden, where you can wander in a maze of flowers and Twinnings tea, looking for your favorite among the bunch.

During the Flower & Garden Festival, you can get stamps from not only the food booths, but also the gardens around Epcot. So of course I got my stamp in this lovely garden as well:

I always have to stop at my favorite little German village, especially when there is a festival afoot. Quite the celebration, it looks like:


Then, there was the food. From left to right:

Teriyaki Curry Bun, from Hanami, the Japan Booth. 
(Totally delicious, but then, I have a weak spot for curry.)

"Piggylicious" Bacon Cupcake with Maple Frosting and Pretzel Crunch, from The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews, the America Booth
(This could have easily been a disaster. I wasn't brave enough to try it last year, but... wow. I was wrong. The flavor combinations strangely worked well together. I really enjoyed it.)

Pulled Pig Slider with Cole Slaw, from The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews, the America Booth
(Nothing fancy but... you can't go wrong with pulled pork.)

Oolong Peach Bubble Tea and Beijing Style Candied Strawberries from Lotus House, the China Booth
(Okay, two different items here. I've had bubble tea before, and I love it, and it was THE perfect drink to have when walking in the 88-degree heat back to the car. So... thank you. 

I have two old favorites that made triumphant returns to the festival this year, and the candied strawberries are one of them. I LOVE THEM. I think the sesame seeds in the sugar is what makes this dessert so wonderful. And without fail, people always ask us where we got it. Usually with drool glistening on their chins, haha.)

Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade, Pineapple Promenade
(My other favorite oldie. Violet flavoring in anything is delicious.) 

Macaron Guimauve a la Fraise (large strawberry macaron), Fleur De Lys, France Booth
(I love it when Disney makes macarons, and this new one was fantastic. Marshmallow with strawberry jam packed into the middle? WRAPPED IN FRENCH NEWSPAPER. Perfection.)

The strawberries and bubble tea were the last items I ordered before going home. I missed a few of the foods that did not make it back this year (Oooh, how I loved thee, Hamani Sushi, with your violet sauce), but even if I had wanted to try a few more, my stomach was like, "Noooo, it's too hot outside, Kim. I can't." 

So I called it a day. 

Have you had any early springtime adventures or are you still stuck in the snow? No matter the weather, it's ALWAYS a good time to try new food and have fun.