Celebrating 24 years, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is underway through May 29. This 90-day festival features stunning blooms, life-size topiaries throughout the park and fresh, fun eats. Most impressive are the “flower towers” and beds of multi-colored blooms that truly transform the park’s landscape. At least 70,000 bedding plants surround the park – all in pristine condition despite these 90-degree days.
Fresh, farm-market food and beverage flavors are found at the new Northern Bloom and The Berry Basket Outdoor Kitchens that will join 13 returning Outdoor Kitchens. Chef-inspired bites from Northern Bloom include Seared Scallops with French Green Beans and Butter Potatoes with brown-butter vinaigrette and Applewood smoked bacon. A Maple Popcorn Shake for sipping can become an adult libation with the addition of some Crown Royal Maple Whiskey. At Florida Fresh taste the Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue that’s topped with a chocolate butterfly.
Sample your way through craft beers including a Raspberry Ale from Founders Brewing or Pineapple Mana Wheat Ale from Maui Brewing – both a refreshing departure from your typical craft beer. Additionally, one of the popular Outdoor Kitchen gardens, Urban Farm Eats, will return with savory bites, sweet treats and ideas for planting your own produce.
The new generation of princess topiaries (Snow White, Anna and Elsa – the first to be designed and created with topiary facial features) welcome a brand-new Belle topiary. Located outside the France Pavilion with Beast, Belle comes to life with sculpted facial features and her ball gown is created with golden blooming Joseph’s Coat and Creeping Jenny plants.
The popular Garden Rocks concert series has expanded to four days each week, with three concerts each Friday through Monday presenting pop musicians that span multiple genres over five decades. New acts this year include Simple Plan, Exposé and Berlin featuring Terri Nunn. Festival favorite Jon Secada kicked off the series March 3 and 4, and Dennis DeYoung featuring the music of STYX wraps the long weekend March 5-6.
Beautiful blooms are aglow at Epcot, don’t miss this spectacular festival that’s bursting with flavor and magnificent florals. For more information about the 24th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or visit www.epcotinspring.com.
Photo Credits: Disney World, tart and floral bed taken by Spork