The 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Show began last week, March 6, and will run through May 19. We did not have a chance to get to the park until this past Saturday to see the show. There are lots of familiar topiaries around the park that have been rearranged for this year’s show, but the one big addition to the show this year are the food booths; reminiscent of the Food & Wine show.
I don’t know why it took twenty years to add this to the show, but it is a great addition to the experience. At first I was expecting a rehash of the Food & Wine menus at the select booths, but to my great enjoyment these are fresh new menu items offered throughout the park. The Frushi, in Japan, seems to be the early favorite from what I am hearing around the park, but you can try to find your own favorite snack to munch on while wandering the show.
Some of the other items making their debut this year:
- Garden Marketplace culinary creations ranging from smokehouse barbecue and shrimp with grits and Zellwood corn to sweet “frushi” made with fresh fruits and coconut rice. Chefs are perfecting menus for marketplaces that will include Florida Fresh at World Showcase Promenade, Smokehouse Barbecue and Brew at American Adventure courtyard, Primavera Kitchen at Italy showcase, Hanami at Japan showcase and eight others. Around the World Showcase promenade
- Garden Marketplace refreshing libations with a kick like Hot Sun Tomato Wine from Florida Orange Groves Winery and Dole Whip with Spiced Rum, as well as non-alcoholic drinks like Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade and Wild Berry Slush. Beverage specialists will feature brews and beverages at food marketplaces and at Fruits by the Glass andPineapple Promenade. Around the World Showcase promenade
- The Land of Oz Garden circus-like play area, based on the Disney fantastical film adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful” to be released March 8, 2013. The interactive children’s play zone will feature play systems adorned with giant flowers and designed to stretch kids’ imaginations and muscles. Midway-style games, circus-themed game tents and the “Oz Movie Garden” of intriguing plants will capture the spirit of the upcoming film. Also on tap: photo opportunities and the “great and powerful Oz’s” crashed hot-air balloon. Imagination Walkway
- Larger-than-life Fab Five Disney character topiary. Floral versions of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck (with Daisy Duck in a cameo) star in a celebratory cookout scene in living topiary color. The 14-foot-tall Goofy topiary will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms. Epcot Front Entrance
- Illuminated Gardens in the park’s Future World and World Showcase will twinkle and glow over the festival’s world-famous Disney gardens and topiaries each festival evening. Epcot Future World and World Showcase
The Flower Power Concert Series returns this year as well and continues each weekend with pop favorites including:
March 15-17: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
March 22-24: The Guess Who
March 29-31: Nelson
April 5-7: The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie
April 12-14: Paul Revere & the Raiders
April 19-21: Village People (new!)
April 26-28: The Orchestra, Featuring Former Members of ELO and ELO II
May 3-5: Tommy Roe (new!)
May 10-12: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
May 17-19: Starship starring Mickey Thomas.
Wrapping It Up
For more information about the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639) or visit www.EpcotinSpring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.