We just got back from our mini honeymoon at the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival in Walt Disney World. We had the best time eating and drinking our way around the world! Check out the dish we think stole the top spot and what I wish we would’ve skipped.
Our honeymoon isn’t for a few months and we desperately needed to get away for a few days after the wedding, so we headed up to WDW to go to the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.
We always have the best time at the festivals, so we knew it was exactly the escape that we needed! You can see our reviews of all of the other Epcot festivals we’ve been to, including the awesome brand-spankin’ new Epcot Festival of the Arts that ran from January to February.
The entrance to the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival is my favorite one yet!! The characters around the maypole are so creative and decorative, I just loved it!
They have a really cool painted butterfly mural on the ground leading to the butterfly garden too. The butterflies look super stretched out when you look directly at them, but when you take a picture of them at the right angle they look like they’re flying right off the ground. It’s amazing!
Make sure you take a picture at the other photo-op with chip and dale right across from the painted butterflies!
Ways To Cool Down at the Parks
We always start the festival off with a Margarita from Mexico! Unfortunately, the margarita stand is no longer in Mexico but luckily, they moved the margarita machines to the La Cantina quick-service counter. Travis gets a half lime half mango margarita but I get a full mango margarita…so delicious and definitely a necessity!
Do you see that pink box around my neck? It’s a super convenient necklace fan that I can’t live without when I’m at Disney! It gets VERY HOT on a sunny day and I get overheated very easily so I let the fan run all day long to stay cool. I love that the air blows directly up at my face but my hands are still free to eat and drink! I used to carry a small handheld fan but I was always dropping it or leaving it somewhere…no Bueno!
I’ve used this fan for our last couple of trips and I’ve had no problems with it and the batteries last forever. If you’re in the market for an inexpensive way to keep cool, I highly recommend this fan!
The Butterfly Garden
After you take a picture with the painted butterflies, make sure you follow the path to the real butterfly garden! We were there on the first day of the festival and it was loaded with butterflies flitting around! It’s a nice place to get out of the sun and cool off a bit too.
2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Booths
After you visit the butterfly garden it’s time to start tasting and drinking your way around the world showcase! I hope you’re hungry!
Urban Farm Eats
We left the butterfly garden and followed the path to our first stop of the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, the Urban Farm Eats Booth!
The pork tenderloin was good but not great, it was borderline dry but still enjoyable. I wish it had more of the mushroom ragout, our plate had just a tiny spoonful. What I did love were the fingerling potatoes! They were piping hot, crispy on the outside and buttery on the inside. I wanted a bowl just of the potatoes!
The crabless crab cake was surprisingly delicious! It’s made of tofu but somehow the texture is very similar to a real crab cake. It was seared crispy on both sides so that really helped with the crab cake texture. The remoulade sauce was tasty and it really drove home the “crab cake” flavor.
Travis tried the Wildflower pale ale because I liked the name but he said it was just okay.
- Seared Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragoût, Spring Vegetables and Fingerling Potatoes – $6.25
- Crabless Cake with Crispy Vegetable Slaw, Lemon Vinaigrette and Old Bay Remoulade (V) – $6.25
- Wildflower Pale Ale, Forbidden Root Brewery, Chicago, IL – $4.25
I had really high hopes for this booth because it’s where the Canada booth is during the Food & Wine Festival so I was hoping that the beef tenderloin would be just as delicious as the wild mushroom filet (our favorite taste at the Food & Wine Festival) but it wasn’t anywhere close. Bummer!
The beef tenderloin tips were dry and very hard to cut, they should’ve been fork-tender, and again it was lacking sauce. The potatoes were tasty but the one carrot was hard.
The scallops were delicious! At the F&W festival, you only get one scallop for a similar price so I was happily surprised that you get two perfectly cooked scallops! I would definitely get these again.
Travis enjoyed the beer flight but it wasn’t his favorite of the festival.
- Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Applewood Smoked Bacon (GF) – $6.25
- Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables – $6.50
- Beer Flight – $11.00
We didn’t get any food at the Cider House booth because all the food was the same as last year and it wasn’t great last year so we didn’t want to waste our money.
Travis did try the flight because he loves cider beers and it ended up being his favorite flight of the festival! The beer flight had black cherry, blood orange, and strawberry cider, but the blood orange was his favorite.
Don’t forget to look up above the gift shop to catch a glimpse of Peter Pan!
Fleur de Lys
The topiaries in France are my favorite! I love the brand new Belle topiary, her face is so life-like now! If you’re interested, click here to see how her face used to look at last years festival. You can read more about the new sculpture topiary process here.
We didn’t get any food at this booth because we tried the onion tart last year (it was delicious) and our friends got the baked chicken with crawfish, so we wanted to see what they thought before we tried the new item.
I’m glad we didn’t also get it because they didn’t care for it at all. They said the rice was undercooked and the rest was just okay. Blah.
- Tarte à l’Onion Alsacienne: Alsatian Onion Tart with Sautéed Onions, Fresh Thyme and Rosemary on a Flaky Puff Pastry Crust (V) – $4.75
- Poulet aux Écrevisses, Riz Pilaf: Baked Chicken with Crawfish served with Rice Pilaf – $5.75
This booth was one of our favorites!
We got the shrimp and grits three times during our trip and it was perfect every time! The shrimp were hot and fresh, seasoned perfectly, and the grits were super creamy and flavorful with the chunks of spicy sausage mixed in.
I really enjoyed the larder board too! It’s a generous platter with a giant dollop of creamy ricotta cheese, pickled vegetables, and pâté. I especially loved dipping the pickled cauliflower in it!
The key lime tart was our favorite dessert of the festival! It’s big in size and flavor! I was pleasantly surprised to see that the tips of the meringue were actually toasted just like the menu said it would be and the crust was fresh and crisp. It has a light key lime flavor that was just enough for Travis but I thought it could be a tiny bit more intense for my taste. Overall, it was very delicious and big enough for us to share.
Travis got the beer flight here too and really enjoyed it!
- Shrimp and Stone-ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, and Cilantro (GF) – $6.50
- Florida Larder Board: Orlando-made Ricotta Cheese, Cahaba Farms Micro Onions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic, Country Pâté and House-made Pickles – $5.75
- Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue – $4.25
- Beer Flight – $9.50
Note – Make sure you get a festival passport and add the corresponding sticker to the booths you visit, they don’t offer the stamps anymore! Grab a celebration button if you’re celebrating any special occasions!
We tried the beef teriyaki udon because it was recommended to us. I do love udon noodles, however, this was our least favorite taste of the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.
The udon noodles were the only decent part of the dish. The beef was cold and unseasoned and the dish desperately needed more sauce. It lacked flavor and I only tasted a tiny bit of ginger in the very last bite. I would definitely not get this again.
- Beef Teriyaki Udon: Thin-sliced Beef, Onions, and Noodles tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger – $6.20
The bonsai trees were very beautiful to look at, the pink-flowered tree was my favorite!
The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews
Every year, the Smokehouse is consistently one of our favorite booths. The food is always hot, flavorful, good value, and tasty!
Travis’ #1 favorite taste of the festival is the pulled pig slider with extra BBQ sauce! It’s always one of his favorites.
Our friends got the brisket burnt ends and they said it was delicious!
I got the chocolate cake and it didn’t disappoint! The bourbon salted caramel sauce is what really put it over the top! I think I got extra salted caramel bourbon sauce so it was extra delicious!!
- Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw and Crispy Onions – $6.00
- Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños – $6.25
- Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-Salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans (V) – $3.75
- Beer Flight – $9.50
When you’re walking through Mexico, make sure you look up above the area where Señor Donald usually poses for pictures. A couple of the palm trees are covered in the most beautiful multi-colored orchids for the festival! The colors are stunning!
Jardin de Fiestas
We were both stuffed by the time we got to this booth so we opted for a drink to share instead of the food. The hibiscus margarita was just as delightful as it sounds! It was a tad sweet from the strawberry puree but still very refreshing on a hot day.
- Hibiscus Margarita – $10.25
La Isla Fresca
Travis really enjoyed this shrimp dish, he said the sauce was very flavorful and the shrimp were large, hot and fresh! They were stuck on the skewer pretty tight so he didn’t bother trying to get them off. At least, that was his excuse, I think he just didn’t want to wait for me to get a fork and a knife. Ha!
- Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut Lime Sauce – $6.50
After this last taste, we were stuffed! We walked it off by making a few more laps around the world showcase until the fireworks started. I’d say the day was a success, we had such a great time at the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival!