Disney World Dining: Flower and Garden Festival Food

Most people wouldn’t think that flowers and food go together. The folks at Disney are hoping they do indeed go very well together. At Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival this year running from March 6th to May 19th, Disney is counting on food to bring more visitors to this yearly event.

In past years the Flower and Garden Festival has not been as popular as the Food and Wine Festival. So this year Disney has included “international pavilions” to attract some hungry gardeners. There are many websites you can go to and find exactly what each country will offer.

But I wanted to look past all of the fancy dishes I needed a translator for and find the one thing that stood out. The “Florida Fresh” exhibit at the World Showcase promenade provides a very surprising look into the crops that Florida is known for. Everyone knows about all of the wonderful citrus that comes from the perfect growing climate of the state. However, the menu for this exhibit includes angel food cake with macerated Florida berries, sweet corn, watermelon salad, and shrimp with grits.

After doing some research I found some very eye opening facts. In Hillsborough County for instance, they produce 15 percent of the nations strawberry crop. They will produce 20 million flats annually, which brings in over 700 million dollars to the community. I couldn’t find any stats on how many angel food cakes are baked in Florida but I’m  sure it will make a nice place for all those berries to land.

Being from Ohio I am very biased when it comes to sweet corn. I believe we produce the best on Earth. Florida however, ranks number one nationally in the production and value of fresh market sweet corn. I couldn’t find how it will be prepared but roasted with some chipotle butter would be fantasmic ( I know that was lame).

Everyone is aware of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that has severely hurt and tarnished the image of gulf shrimp. It was and still is the most sought after shrimp by chefs around the world. I believe the efforts to clean the gulf have not only brought back the industry but it’s better than ever. It never hurts to publicize the comeback of shrimp in the gulf, and what better way than to let people try it for themselves. I think the public still needs reassured that it is safe and delicious once again.

Last but not least are the watermelons. I always thought of Texas as the big producer of the melon. Florida is not the top producer but it is one of the top three states for watermelon. What is different is there are two growing seasons for the fruit in Florida. Which makes it available mostly all year round.

I am very glad that “Florida Fresh” chose to steer away from the obvious citrus dishes and teach people about other crops Florida is known for. I do hope this will bring more people to the Flower and Garden Festival……just hoping that food doesn’t take over the this wonderful spring event.

Question: Have you been to the Flower and Garden Festival? What did you enjoy most? If not….what event/time of year is your favorite at the Disney parks?

Editor’s Note: As with Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, most of the non-alcoholic items at the different food kiosks may be purchased using Disney Dining Plan snack credits.

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Keith was born and raised in Northeast Ohio.He now lives with his wife a few miles from his childhood home. His first trip to the Magic Kingdom was at the age of two and while the only memories are in pictures, the magic laid dormant within him. Until he saw the animated movie Robin Hood, and his love began to grow. He has always had an interest in food and the togetherness it brings. He became a classically trained chef and all around foodie. His last trip to Disney World was in 2011 and he has been learning, researching, and keeping up on all things Disney since. He hopes to bring you all of the food news from the parks, tips on how to save money on food, and all the tastes and smells from the House of Mouse (especially when smell o vision is invented). You can follow Keith on Twitter @DarthChef79.

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46 Responses to Disney World Dining: Flower and Garden Festival Food

  1. Pingback: Disney World Dining: Flower and Garden Festival Food | DisneyDigest

  2. Brooke says:

    We’ve been to the festival a few times. I always enjoy looking at the different topiary creations. They did the Fantasia Mops one year near Spaceship Earth and I thought that was really cute! I’m always amazed at what they can do!

  3. Johnny Huerta says:

    I usually like going through the Christmas holiday season.. The snow flakes after the parade and all the decorations its something about being in the park that’s magical… I guess that’s why Disney is the happiest place on earth… That’s usually the time I go… I’ll be at Disneyworld this summer but for sure I will be at Disneyland during the holidays.. Disney is Christmas for me… :)

  4. Stephanie says:

    We were there in 2011. The flowers were beautiful and the topiaries were awesome! My favorite was the Beauty and the Beast topiary! GORGEOUS!

  5. Julie B says:

    We went to the Flower and Garden festival a few years ago, and I LOVE all the topiaries and floral displays. They make for such a great photo opportunities and could be a tour in and of themselves just checking them all out. My favorite time to come was in the fall when we went to the Food & Wine Festival years ago. We chose that time not for the festival so much as for the smaller crowds (we went on the early side), but loved all the additional food options. We are going back during Flower and Garden Festival next year, so I will be on the lookout if they do the Florida Fresh food idea then as well. Sounds neat!

  6. Beth M. says:

    I’ve never been to the Flower and Garden Festival, but it sounds lovely! My favorite time of the year to visit Disney is any time I can get there (which, sadly, isn’t often enough!)

  7. Tiffany Schmidt says:

    I haven’t been… YET! One of my favorite times to go is in February. It’s not too crowded, the weather is great and the deals are awesome!

  8. Jasmyn says:

    I have never been to the Flower and Garden Festival, but reading this blog and seeing all the pictures posted here and on Facebook sure makes me wish I had!
    In 2011, my son and I enjoyed our very first visit to Walt Disney World. We were there in early November, and celebrated the season with tickets to the Very Merry Christmas Party! We tried cookies and cocoa at Pinocchio’s Village Haus and walked onto all the rides in (old) Fantasyland we’d heard so much about. Wendy and Peter Pan played ring toss with my son when we exited Peter Pan’s Flight, and Cinderella waved to my son and welcomed him by name after seeing his First Visit Button.
    Prior to this trip, we had been warned about the tremendous crowds, long wait times for popular rides, and the oppressive heat, but we suffered none of these things during our time in Walt Disney World. We had such a relaxing and carefree time there that even with nothing yet to compare it to, this time of year gets top marks from me.!
    During our upcoming trip in September, we look forward to experiencing what Magic the warmth and sun will bring (the highest temp during our fall stay was 76, which was fine by we New Englanders)!

  9. Tiffany says:

    We have been and the character topiaries are amazing. I would like to make my next trip during the food and wine festival.

  10. Tiffany S. says:

    I haven’t been because I am planning our FIRST trip for next may!! :)

  11. Shannon T says:

    We will be going to the Flower and garden festival for the first time in May! Our favorite time of year is definitely Christmas time, which is also our daughters birthday! We love the Osborne lights and the snow on Main Street!
    But then again, I think ANYTIME of the year is a great time to go to Disney! <3

  12. Angela says:

    I am heading to the f&g show this spring and I can’t wait. I am also from your neck of the woods Keith, and I completely agree on the sweet corn. I don’t think you can get it any better anywhere else! Nevertheless I am sure all the snacks and food in Disney will be amazing!!

  13. Kristina Hartsuck says:

    I haven’t been to the Flower & Garden Festival yet as we just came back from our first trip last month, but I would love to either do that, Star Wars weekend, or Christmas next time.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    We were there during March a couple years ago. We were a little disappointed because it rained ALL DAY, but I think our favorite part was the beautiful topiaries. I loved the Winnie the Pooh and Tigger ones. We also enjoyed their butterfly tent. I’m hoping we can make it to the Food and Wine Festival someday.

  15. Cathy says:

    The only time I was able to go during the garden festival I lived it!

  16. Dawn says:

    We have never been to the flower & garden festival but I would love to someday. Our favorite time to go to WDW is in September. Low crowds & not as hot as summer. :)

  17. Christine Richards says:

    We have just returned..it was beautiful, and my 12yr old has just begun a pin collection so this would be perfect for him.

  18. Ryan says:

    I haven’t been to the Flower and Garden Fest. The only “event” I’ve really been at WDW for was July 4th in 2010. I’d love to make it to WDW for the overlap of Food & Wine and Xmas events.

  19. JackieK says:

    Yes, I have been to this year’s Flower & Garden festival already. I love looking at the topiaries, both the new ones and the returning ones. This year the topiaries struck me as being especially green and lush! But I really loved the addition of the food stands. Loved, loved, loved the Spiced Rum Dole Whip! Will be trying more of the foods on my next visit.

  20. Carrie says:

    I have never been, but will be going in May! I can’t wait!

  21. Lois K says:

    We have never been for the flower and garden festival. We have been twice, once over New Year’s, once at the beginning of June. We loved both times we went, but I think we prefer June, because then we can use the pools at the hotel.

  22. Jack Hart says:

    I’ve never been to the Flower and Garden Festival, but it sounds fun,! My favorite time of the year to visit Disney is any time I can get there (which, sadly, isn’t often . Keith I ejoy reading your blog keep up the good work

  23. Cathleen King says:

    I haven’t been to Flower and Garden Festival, but my favorite would be Christmas time.

  24. Janet Glaze says:

    We have been to the Flower and Garden festival twice before and are going again this April. I LOVE the topiaries! They are so amazing, living art! I have no idea how they are made, but I really enjoy them! I also love all of the flowers EVERYWHERE!!

  25. April Turner says:

    We went to the Flower and Garden Festival a couple of years ago and loved it. It was beautiful with all the topiaries. Pluto and the parrots was my favorite. We took so many pictures that year!

  26. Sarah W says:

    I think that I’ve been to Disney World during every time of the year but the time of the Flower and Garden Festival. The time I go the most is the summer time because it is the only time that I can go together with my entire family.

  27. LEEANNE says:

    We just went yesterday and I was able to get the Tipsy Wipsy. The Dole Whip with Rum. So yummy.

  28. Cathy says:

    My favorites during this time are all the different topiaries.

  29. Jen says:

    We have been to WDW twice during the Flower and Garden Festival and are returning in just a few short weeks! My family loves the butterfly tent! My kids can spend hours watching and naming the different varieties.

  30. Vanessa VanWagner says:

    My daughter and I LOVE the Flower n Garden Festival!! We’ve been a couple of times…I’m actually considering booking a surprise trip for the 2 of us in April!!

  31. Vanessa VanWagner says:

    Our favorite part is taking pictures with all of the topiaries…we take our time and walk around and take it all in

  32. Tami G. says:

    I was at the Flower and Garden Festival when I was a teen, don’t remember seeing much as my siblings and I were much more interested in the rides and other attractions. My fave time to visit Disney is whenever I can go (though I wouldn’t go in summer).

  33. Michelle Dellagnese says:

    Keith, I can honestly say that I prefer Ohio sweet corn to Florida sweet corn… I grew up in the Akron, Ohio area and have lived in Fort Lauderdale, Fl for the last 4 years. I have been to the Flower show at Epcot twice and the flowers are very pretty, the addition of food makes it a little bit more enticing for me to try to make it there this year.

  34. Dana W says:

    The last time I was in Disney around this time of year was probably my senior year of high school, 2002. So needless to say, it’s been a few years since I have been to the Flower and Garden Festival! I do remember walking around looking at the topiaries with my mom and aunt, though!! While I would love to come around this time of year, it is more convenient for my husband and I to do a fall trip. We enjoyed the Food and Wine Festival a few years back- we were on the meal plan at that time, and it was so convenient to be able to try different snacks from around the world! I have been going to Disney since 1984, and have gotten my husband, whom I married in 2008, to love Disney (almost) as much as I do! We are looking forward to bringing our family here for years and years and years to come. I love reading your blog, thank you for the hours of Disney happiness you bring! 8(:-) <——- my best attempt at Mickey ears

  35. Teresa says:

    Always wanted to see it. Maybe my next trip. LOL

  36. Holly says:

    It is SO beautiful at the Flower & Garden Festival! All our trips have accidentally coincided with it and we’re never disappointed by the beauty of Epcot!

  37. Kristin B says:

    My first trip to WDW was last summer, but I dream about spending Christmastime there! While that won’t be in the card for some time, we’d love to at least make it to Star Wars Weekends!

  38. Melissa says:

    Question: Have you been to the Flower and Garden Festival? What did you enjoy most? If not….what event/time of year is your favorite at the Disney parks?

    no i havent…..going to MNSSHP!!!

  39. Marsha Randazzo says:

    We haven’t gone to the flower and garden festival yet. February is our favorite time, lower rates, lower crowds, and great weather.

  40. Wendy D says:

    Glad to see they have added the food kiosks… we love going to the Food and Wine Festival in the fall… now this will make our April trip to see the Flower and Garden show that much sweeter!

  41. Angela C says:

    We’ve never been to the Flower and Garden festival :( Its on my bucket list though! Usually we go during the summer because it fits everyone’s schedule best.

  42. Wendy says:

    Looking forward to trying the watermelon salad….they have one at Boma…wonder if they are similar?

  43. Melissa says:

    I never have been during the flower & garden, but we have always gone in the summer time (June) so I have nothing else to compare it to. But we will be going in the fall this year & hopefully will get to make it to the MNSSHP. I can’t wait to see it decorated for the fall & halloween! (:
    I know my girls will love it. It’ll be a change from when we usually go!

  44. Clarissa says:

    I love the Flower festival. It’s so gorgeous. :) I hope to go back again before it’s over!

  45. Erica says:

    I have been to Food & Wine and the best part is walking the world and seeing all the different flavors and scents.
    It is truly amazing! !

  46. Emilia C. says:

    Seen some pictures but we’ve never been to the Flower and Garden festival. We would like to go but it doesn’t usually work with everyone’s schedule. We usually visit during the summer.

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