The 2015 Flower and Garden Festival ended yesterday. So now it is time to reflect on things we enjoyed and would like to see back next year.
Let’s start with the topiaries this is the Flower and Garden Festival so you know they will be there. They always do a fantastic job and I think a large part of the draw for people is what will they come up with this year. One of the staples is what they create with the fab five (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald). This year, the moment you go through the turn stiles, you are greeted by Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Chip and Dale. They are posed as if they are working in the garden complete with Goofy holding the working garden hose. Further down past the fountain of nations are Farmer Mickey and Minnie. Mickey made another appearance this year with the brooms from the Sorcerers Apprentice as you head toward the Imagination Pavilion. Others that were not to be missed were Buzz Lightyear in front of Mission Space, Mike Wazowski and Sully at the Monstrous Garden play ground. Anna and Elsa greeted you at the entrance to World Showcase. There was a large line for photo ops however, I didn’t think they were as elaborate as a few of the other topiaries. Take the Peter Pan scene, I thought this was incredibly done, Captain Hook and the Tick Tock Croc on the ground and for those who looked up Peter Pan was high upon the roof top dagger in hand waiting to challenge Captain Hook. Seeing these inspired me to try my own topiary, I purchased a wire Mickey Mouse frame at the festival to try my hand at it, although I haven’t started yet.
Although there were a lot of activities for adults at the festival the kids got their fair share of attention too namely in temporary play grounds. As mentioned before, Mike and Sully’s Monstrous Garden was great for our kids since they could all play here. Some of the play grounds had age restrictions. Cactus Road Rally play ground featuring a Lightning McQueen topiary was for preschool aged children as we found out to the disappointment of my older three kids. My girls were more than thrilled with the Butterfly garden. My boys tolerated this until they were handed GoGo Squeez (the sponsor) applesauce at the exits, after that they wanted to do it again.
A new component that was started last year was adding food kiosks. Seeing the menus online was a big draw that sealed the deal for our last minute trip. I had kept up to date on the offerings even before we knew we were going and had an idea of the menus before our first day at Epcot, we avoided foods that we felt we could get anytime at Epcot or at home. Here is a list of our favorites from the samplings we had. In China at the Lotus House we thought the Kung Pow Chicken Bun was great. It was flavorful and had a slight kick. At the American Pavilion’s Smokehouse Barbecue and Brews, we tried a few things but the Beef Brisket Burnt Ends with hash, white cheddar fondue and pickled jalapeños was top dog here. In Japan, Hanami had Frushi, which was a big hit with my oldest daughter. The Frushi is exactly as it sounds, fruit rolled in rice with sesame seeds on it, similar to sushi. The Fleur De Lys in France had the Grand Marnier, peach, raspberry vodka iced tea, ice pop calling my wife’s name the moment we arrived. This was a very potent treat but we really enjoyed it, had we stayed on property this trip and could take buses we probably would have enjoyed a few more. Lastly on our food favorites was at the Pineapple Promenade the pineapple soft serve (Dole Whip) with coconut rum was great. This was another favorite of my mine and my wife’s.
While we ate we also were partaking in a few of the drinks around World Showcase too. Some were better than others so here are the stand outs. At Florida Fresh, the watermelon passion fruit slush (non-alcoholic) was fantastic the kids loved them and so did my wife and I. I had to get the beer flight at the Smokehouse Barbecue and Brews. Here there were four different samples however two really stood out, the Billies Chilis and the Maple Bacon Stout. The Billies Chilis had a little bite to it but was fantastic, it is definitely a one at a time and done beer but one I would like to have again. The Maple Bacon stout was not what I expected, it was very sweet but a good mix, I do my own home brewing and it may be one I have to try and clone. Our final beverage stand out was at the Pineapple Promenade. Here the Violet Lemonade (non-alcoholic) was incredible and we wish we hit it both days we were at Epcot.
So that is our Flower and Garden Festival wrap up. We couldn’t comment on the seminars offered because we didn’t go to any, or the Garden Rocks concerts because we were not there on the weekends but there was more than enough to keep us engaged and wanting more. Please leave a comment here and follow us on Twitter @disneyhelp or on Facebook at disneyhelp, we would love to hear from you.