International Flower and Garden Festival
Celebrating the big 25 this year, the International Flower and Garden Festival is one of Disney World’s longest and oldest celebrations, on par with Epcot’s popular Food and Wine Festival.
Lately the two have similar setups with food and drink stations around the World Showcase, making it a nice alternative for foodies turned off by the fall’s crushing crowds. What sets Flower and Garden apart are the explosion of colorful gardens, topiary displays cleverly crafted as Disney characters and its emphasis on conservation.
Wednesday through May 28.
From Simple Plan and Smash Mouth to the Village People and Rick Springfield, the Garden Rocks Concert series has wide variety of post-food coma entertainment. There are also interactive play gardens, aromatic tea and spice gardens and a lineup of HGTV stars offering demonstrations.
New this year is the Honey Bee-stro kitchen, which shows off local honey in sweet and savory dishes like honey-mascarpone cheesecake with fennel pollen meringue. More than a dozen food and drink stations ring the World Showcase where you can munch on chocolate macaron lollipops in France, pork tacos in Mexico and harissa chicken kebabs in Morocco. There’s even a Florida booth with carne guisada, spicy shrimp and cheese grits and key lime tarts.
Much of the selection of craft beverages are Florida-based, including beers from Tampa Bay Brewing Co. and Big Top Brewing Co. St. Petersburg’s Florida Orange Groves Winery is there with a key lime sparkling wine and an orange blossom honey wine.
The Egg-stravaganza scavenger hunt has returned. Purchase a $5.99 map at Disney Traders to find themed eggs around the park and turn it back in for a special Disney character egg.
The exhibits and concerts are included with park admission, starting at $102. Food, drinks and special packages sold separately. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (food kitchens open at 11 a.m.) through May 28. 200 Epcot Center Drive, Orlando. disneyworld.com.