Sunday, March 31, 2019

Epcot's Flower & Garden Fest 2019: And Of Course, The FOOD!

Last week John and I got to visit Epcot's latest Festival (because there's always one going on these days, right?): Flower & Garden!




The topiaries are the big draw for this fest, plus the food, of course. As with all the big Epcot events, there are stands selling pretty drinks and special edibles throughout the park. There's also a butterfly tent, special music, and of course, MERCH.


The new Minnie art on this year's stuff is super cute! I'll show you a few more things as we go along.


Afternoon photos in the glaring Florida sun are a challenge; you pretty much have to point your phone and just start clicking blindly, ha.


Eat your heart out,  JJ Abrams.

(Lens flare joke. Heyooo.)

I took that with a cheap fish-eye lens on my phone. I've also applied so many filters that if you listen closely, you can actually hear the pixels screaming.


Bo Peep is new this year to advertise Toy Story 4, which will no doubt find new and exciting ways to grind our hearts into a sobby pulp. (Am I bitter, Pixar? Noooooo.)


My favorite is the 3-headed sheep! Although I wish it only had 2 heads, so I could name it W. 

(Give it a second.)

(Now say it out loud.)

("DOUBLE EWE.")

(Eh? EHHH?)

My face right now.

Believe it or not, this is the same photo taken at different heights:


For one I'm kneeling, the other I'm standing. Isn't that cool? 

Or am I too easily entertained?

(Don't answer that. We all know after the W thing.)

Right, first food of the day, comin' up!


THIS is a Blueberry Vanilla Croissant Donut from Taste Track. The blueberry icing is VERY sweet, very good, but needs the cream in the middle to cut it. (Really it could use more cream.) 

The cronut itself - in case you've never had one - tastes exactly like you'd imagine a croissant/donut hybrid to taste: flaky, greasy, fried dough. I'm not a big cronut fan, but this was pretty dang good. It's also huge (split it with someone!) and IMPOSSIBLE to eat. Prepare to hack away with your plastic cutlery for a good 5 minutes, because trying to pick it up with your fingers will surely end in disaster, possibly tears. 


These river banks are some of my favorite views at Flower & Garden:


John and I were there with friends who got the cider flight over in the Odyssey building:



The Strawberry Rose was the winner for our group; it's the sweetest. Honestly I didn't like any of them very much, but I prefer sweet ciders like Angry Orchard. These were more like wine, very dry.

Our friends also got the Fried Green Tomato with Blue Crab Salad, which may have been the best thing I tried that day:

I only had a little bite of the tomato itself, but MMMM. The breading and sauce were delish, savory with a little tang.

There's also more Festival merchandise in that building:


I was *this close* to buying this bee hat, since I forgot to bring a hat that day... plus it's just super adorable:

If you keep a close watch you'll see a lot of this bee around the World Showcase, since there's one hidden in or around each country:

Does he even have a name? Anyone know?
[Update: A-ha! His name is Spike. Thanks, gang!]

I wasn't really looking, but a few bees are right out in the open and hard to miss. Just like with the Easter Egg hunt, you can buy special maps to mark down where you find each one.

Moving on to the Three Caballeros: 

Digging Panchito's jacket.

(I had to google his name; I'm not THAT good. :p)

I can't have milk anymore, so sadly I had to miss out on this Tres Leches cake in Mexico:


It looks verrrry pretty, though, and the rest of the group made noises of approval while eating it. 

I will say it didn't look nearly soggy enough; I like my Tres Leches to be completely saturated in a pool of sugary milk, but this was more of a dry cake plated on top of some caramel drizzle.  

Mmmmm, now I'm thinking about soggy cake. And soggy Oreos. And soggy toast.

Awww yeeeeeah.

Ahem. Moving on.

Oh! I am SUPER excited about this: did you know Miguel from Coco is finally here at WDW, too?!

The crowd was insane and I am very short, so I never actually SAW Miguel - but I had John hold my camera up reeeeeal high and take this picture for me.  It's like Where's Waldo: can you spot Miguel?

Here's a close-up my friend Christie took:

Christie actually knows/works with the puppeteer! It really is a small world around the parks, and I still fangirl over my friends who work there. (I won't tell you exactly what Christie does for Disney, but it's basically the coolest thing on property and rhymes with PUPPETS.)

(I KNOW RIGHT??)

If you've never seen Miguel in action, then go look up his show on Youtube, it's amazing.


Here come the Fried Green Tomatoes from Italy: these have mozzarella cheese & balsamic vinegar on them:

Everyone else in our group loved these, but my bite tasted like fried donut batter, which is weirdly sweet with tomato. I usually love anything with balsamic on it, though, so maybe I just got a bad bite?

More sun flares, because somehow we were facing into the sun the entire way. How do you do that, Disney? HOW?


Remind me to never leave the house without a hat again.


I kept our group on a strict timetable: we had to - HAD TO - reach France before sunset.

Why?

Because this:




Look at this beautiful boy!


I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

Kermit is new this year, and he's the perfect topiary since the moss looks just like his green felt!

Piggy is just behind him in the maze garden:

Sorry I don't have a better shot of her up close; the sun foiled me at every turn. 

::shakes fist blindly in sun's direction::

Beauty and the Beast are still the most popular topiaries in the park, so be prepared to wait to get a clear shot:


Before I could take more John texted to tell me to rendezvous back at Kermit, STAT. Turns out there was a cute Miss Piggy Disneybounder over there! So of course I asked for a pic:

 That's MinnieMariaMouse, go follow her on IG for more great 'bounds!


Funnily enough my favorite food at the Festival is the one I didn't photograph, because I was too busy devouring it. Here's a photo from Disney Food Blog, which has pictures of every food and drink at the Festival:

It doesn't look all that appetizing, I know, but that's Duck Confit on a bed of polenta with green olives, and I ate the whole thing. I wouldn't say it's mind-blowing - my standards are stupidly high thanks to John's cooking - but it's very tasty, especially if you love polenta as much as I do.


Heading in to the UK for Peter Pan and the Hundred Acre Wood gang:



I love all the cheerful yellow and orange flowers around Rabbit!


And purple for Eeyore, of course.


Bambi has the best expression for a fish-eye lens, if you have one:


Plus I like to get right over Thumper's head, which is quite a stretch for me:


Here he is with Flower:
SO CUTE.

Our prettiest treat was this Orange Chiffon Cake:

The bites with the mandarin oranges are the best; otherwise it's a little dry. I was hoping for more punch with the lemon curd, but it's more of a mild citrus cake. So... good, but not a Must Have.


More river bank flower 'splosions:


That's the butterfly tent in the background. We didn't get in there this trip, unfortunately; just ran out of time.

Speaking of running, I did a healthy jog to reach the best sunset photo opp in time:

Then I couldn't decide which I like better, so here's another one with a bonus foreground tree:


If you're looking for Figment this year, he's back over by the Imagination Pavilion:

Looking majestically derpy, as always. (Love you, Figgie! ::MWAH::)

And last but not least, here's Goofy showing us the door on the way out:

"Buh-by! A-hyuck!"

:D

I hope you enjoyed your virtual Epcot visit with me, gang! Hopefully we'll get to go again for Dapper Day next month. Fingers crossed!


*****

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17 comments:

  1. LOVE THESE!!! We're going at the very end of May, and when Disney announced they were extending Flower & Wine (TM Pete Werner at Dis Unplugged) to June 3, I was BESIDE myself with joy. The last time I got to see it was 3 years ago when the kiddo was still in elementary school and I could abscond with him for a week without the district freaking out. I cannot WAIT to try the two fried green tomato dishes, and pics with Kermit WILL OCCUR, although definitely not as cool as yours with that FANTASTIC Disneybounder!!!!

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  2. I have sad news about the three-headed sheep. He's not actually three-headed. If you look closely, you will see that he has the correct number of legs for three separate sheep. They are apparently just standing very close together. You will still love him, right? I think the bee's name is Spike, by the way. :)

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    1. I'm choosing to ignore the sheep legs, lol. LET ME HAVE THIS, LISA.

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  3. Here's Spike the bee: https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Spike_the_Bee

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    1. Thank you! Just added his name into the post. #TheMoreYouKnow

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    2. Funny, I thought it was Buzz Buzz the bee https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Buzz-Buzz_the_Bee but apparently there are multiple Disney bees. Per the wiki it looks like Spike is right.

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  4. Oh, lovely - thanks for the reminder of our last day! <3 Fwiw, we got the citrus chicken...thing that's at the booth with the infamous Orange Bird cup (which yes of course I bought, don't be silly...hey, the wait was only ten minutes when we made our way back, I CAN'T FIGHT THAT ;) ), and it was my favorite nibble - I'd legit order it as a full entree somewhere!

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  5. The only time I made it down there for the festivities, they had a freeze the week before which killed off most of the living plants. It was so barren, still starkly beautiful, but sad too. I adore your pictures, it gives me a bit of that trip back :-)

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  6. I get to go April 24th! Soooo excited! (Polenta is just really expensive grits, btw)

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  7. It would be great to post your mystery lady's Wonderful Miss Piggy costume mashup on social media to discover who she is. Personally I would love to know her costuming history and philosophy.

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    1. I *just* found her through my post on IG! Her name is Maria, I linked her account in the post - and yes, she has TONS of awesome Disney Bounds!

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  8. Textbook AquarianApril 1, 2019 at 4:20 PM

    I'm chuckling while reading your post. My family visited the parks during the first week of March and I shot most of the topiaries at night. So I have an opposite set of photos. LOL

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    1. Oooh, night photos are so hard with the topiaries! At least with camera phones; I've seen some gorgeous long-exposure shots, but those take more equipment than I'm willing to lug around most of the time. ;)

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    2. Textbook AquarianApril 2, 2019 at 8:32 AM

      That's understandable. :) My smart phone takes questionable photos during the daytime. So I used my Canon Rebel T2i that night and with just the standard lens I think they came out OK. Hard part was dealing with the spotlights. Some would cast weird shadows while others washed the topiaries out and there are only so many positions around some of those planters. LOL

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  9. Love your pics! I hope I get to see the flower and garden show in person one year. Until then I will enjoy it through your eyes <3

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  10. Love seeing your pictures and was hoping you were going this year. On my bucket list of things to do at some point.

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  11. Love these pics! We were supposed to be going in May but things fell through, so it's still nice to live vicariously!

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