While I was Wandering: Celebrating the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

Two Floral Visits to EPCOT and a Day in the Magic Kingdom

Ten years ago Jeff and I “discovered” the beautiful EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival. This year the Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary and we have already been there twice, with at least one more trip planned.

My first visit this year was with my Mom and Aunt. This was a “chilly” day to my Floridian standards, which means I had to wear a sweatshirt and jeans! We had a great day together despite the chilly weather. Our second visit was a trip with my parents. This was an ideal Florida day – warm, but not too hot, and we could wear our t-shirts and shorts. Again, another fantastic day was enjoyed.

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While I was Wandering: Celebrating the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

As with the Christmas and Art Festivals at EPCOT this festival is celebrated all over the park with specialty food “huts”/outdoor kitchens dotted around the World Showcase. In addition to food there are topiaries all over the park in the shape of favorite and classic characters. Finally, there are also beautiful flower beds installed around the park and a fun butterfly habitat that is a must to experience.

Between the two visits someone in our party ate or drank at the Canada, England, France, Japan, USA, and Germany outdoor kitchens. We also ate at the Berry Basket kitchen. Not a one of us had any complaint about any of the food or drink (except one). There were compliments for the French Duck Confit, English Lemon Scone, American Sliders, and Berry Basket Lamb Chop and Berry Buckle. The only disappointing item was the Frushi in Japan. This is a sushi style roll made with pineapple, strawberry and melon rolled in coconut rice. This was very bland. Maybe we got it on a bad day, but we would not recommend that treat.

In addition to eating from the outdoor kitchens we also ate or drank Prosecco from Italy, Beer from Germany, England, and Mexico, and Mimosas from France’s permanent food locations. In France we also had a quiche, and baguette and croissant sandwich from the bakery. Seriously, you cannot go hungry or thirsty in EPCOT!

We did do more than eat and drink while in the park. My Dad and I rode the Test Track ride. What a thrill! We took advantage of the single rider line early in the morning and literally walked on the ride instead of waiting 40 minutes in the “regular” line. I highly recommend the single rider line to anyone. This is a great way to get on this ride quickly without using up a FastPass.

Our FastPass was used to ride Soarin’. This is the second time Jeff and I have ridden the re-imagined ride with a tour of the world instead of a tour over California. The cinematography in this is great. I would love to have been with the camera crew filming these locations in real life, especially France!

We watched the Impressions of France movie in France, what a great way to bring back all of our memories of our trip to France – and make us want to go back NOW! We walked through the display in China showcasing Disneyland Shanghai. This also makes us want to pack our bags and go there too!

After our day in EPCOT with my parents we were off to the Magic Kingdom for a second day of fun. Jeff had to work, so it was just me and my parents for this day of fun.

What a beautiful day we had in the park. I even had a first after 84 visits to Disney – I rode Splash Mountain for the first time! As you can see from the photos I loved it!  I was always afraid I would get soaked, and I am sure some people do, but we happened to not get too wet at all, just a few refreshing splashes on a hot day. Our damp shirts were quickly dried as we timed our FastPass times to have us walk off of Splash Mountain and onto Big Thunder Mountain. We conquered two of the three Magic Kingdom Mountains on this trip (are there four now with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train?).

We also rode the classic Jungle Cruise. We never get tired of this ride. The jokes are great, the boat captains have a great sense of fun and share that with everyone on the ride.

In a need to cool down and have a sweet treat we had ice cream sundaes at the Plaza Inn on Main Street. Lucky timing allowed us to watch the Festival of Fantasy parade during our 30 minute wait. The AC was a welcome addition to our ice cream when we were seated.

We closed out our day in a perfect way for a Walt Disney (the person) fan. We took a ride on the full loop on the Walt Disney World Railroad. Having been to Griffith Park in LA to pay homage to the barn that Imagineering was born in as well as Walt’s backyard railroad, the train is always a treat for me and Jeff. We both love sharing our knowledge of Walt’s love of trains with anyone who is with us when on the train.

Whether we are in EPCOT for a Festival for one day, or at Disney for a long weekend getaway we always enjoy our time. The time is extra sweet when shared with family and friends. Just how Walt dreamed it: “The idea of Disneyland is a simple one. It will be a place for people to find happiness and knowledge. It will be a place for parents and children to share pleasant times in one another’s company…”

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