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Epcot Flower & Garden Features International Flavors from Around the World
Woo hoo… this year Disney has increased the length of the super-popular Epcot Flower and Garden Festival from 75 days to a full 90 days. That’s perfect for me, as I always visit multiple times throughout the dazzling display. Not only am I captivated by the horticultural genius of the Disney topiaries and spectacular bursts of color as far as the eye can see, but it takes several visits just to sample the fantastic food made especially for the festival — food offerings that are not available any other time of year.
During the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, Outdoor Kitchens are erected around World Showcase Lagoon. These temporary kitchens (pictured below) are small kiosks which look a lot like the Marketplace Booths at Epcot’s Annual Food and Wine Festival (one of my favorite events of the year!). They feature delectable little morsels served on small plates that would be similar to an appetizer portion or tapas-sized menu item. Keeping in line with the theme of World Showcase, each Outdoor Kitchen features food from a different country. It’s a great and inexpensive way to try international flavors and cuisines from cultures you may never have the opportunity to visit.
Epcot’s Outdoor Kitchens Around World Showcase Lagoon
This year the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival included 13 Outdoor Kitchens, with most menu items priced between $3 and $8. Hubby and I have gone twice thus far, and spent an average of $50 each visit. Not bad for a date night out, including dinner! Of course, entrance into Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival requires a Disney Theme Park Ticket. (We use our Florida Resident Weekday Select Pass, which is an incredible value for us.)
TIP: For those of you participating in the Disney Dining Plan, many of the food items from the Outdoor Kitchens are available as a snack credit, a welcomed addition to the typical snack choices at Epcot!
Here’s What We’ve Sampled So Far at the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival…
The Garden Passport: A Great Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Souvenir
A fun thing to do (and a great souvenir as well) is to pick up a free little booklet called “Garden Passport” available at each Outdoor Kitchen location. As you embark on your mouthwatering Disney-foodie mission around World Showcase Lagoon, you can have your Passport “stamped” every time you purchase food or drink from the corresponding country. It’s a wonderful reminder of all the delicious goodies that you tried. Since hubby and I are local and attend the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival often, we do not usually bother with the stamps, however, we rely heavily on the Garden Passport to pre-plan our dining choices along the way. The Garden Passport includes a complete listing of all the Outdoor Kitchens along with their respective food and drink offerings. Each kiosk typically has about 3 food items and 3-8 unique beverage choices.
When you plan your visit to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, be sure to factor in time to try at least a few of the Outdoor Kitchens. It’s kinda like gourmet globe-trotting. Trust me, you will not regret it!
TIP: Standing in line is not usually my favorite thing to do, but in regard to the Outdoor Kitchens, it’s not a bad thing. Whenever there is no line, the food is almost always dried out from sitting in the warmers or under the heat lamps. For example: during our 2nd visit to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival we repeated 2 of the same food items that we especially liked during our 1st visit. The Shrimp Tacos from Mexico and the Onion Tarte from France were both somewhat disappointing the 2nd time around because they had been warmed. Do yourself a favor and choose an Outdoor Kitchen where people are waiting in line. The food will likely be freshly prepared and worth the wait!
Hey Disney Foodies…
The dates for Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2018 have been announced!
February 28 – May 28, 2018
Have you been to Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival? If so, what was the highlight of your trip? Please share your experience or any helpful tips for our readers in the “comment” box below!