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January 29, 2014
Flower & Garden & Food & Music
Amid today's news that SeaWorld has salvaged its "Bands, Brews & Barbecue" concert series and food fest (Alan Jackson kicks it off at 5 Saturday; Kid Rick plays Super Bowl Sunday ) I thought I would update you on another popular park fest: Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival.
Or should we just permanently rename it "Flower & Garden & Food & Wine & Music?"
That's because Disney recently confirmed it will run March 5 to May 18 this year, and like 2013, the fest is branching out beyond topiaries & "Tinker Belle's Butterfly Garden" and into "outdoor kitchens." Last year, we saw a handful of these "Food & Wine Fest" -style booths. This year -- there will be one at each World Showcase Nation, focusing on food from field to table.
Here are some of the menu highlights Disney is touting (quoting from their website):
- Crab tostadas with chipotle aioli and salsa in the Jardin de Fiestas in Mexico.
- A spring pancake with grilled chicken and green apple at the Lotus House in China.
- Savory bread pudding with spring peas and wild mushroom ragout at the Bauernmarkt in Germany.
- Green asparagus and lobster with a garden cocktail sauce at Primavera Kitchen in Italy.
- Stir-fried veggies and soba noodles served in a bun at Hamai in Japan.
- Spiced lamb kebabs with couscous salad at Taste of Marrakesh in Morocco.
- A pork slider with cole slaw at The Smokehouse at American Adventure.
- A ratatouille tart with goat cheese at L'Orangerie in France.
- Heirloom tomatoes with house-made mozzarella, Minus 8 Vinegar and basil at The Cottage in the United Kingdom.
- Sweet beverages at Fruits by the Glass Marketplace, with watermelon passion fruit cocktail, non-alcoholic wild berry slush, blueberry beer and wine, mango wine, gluten-free
- raspberry ale, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
- Dole Whip with Florida-made spiced rum at the Pineapple Promenade.
- Watermelon salad with pickled red onions, baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction; shrimp and stone-ground grits with andouille sausage, zellwood corn, tomatoes and cilantro; and angel food cake with Florida berries at Florida Fresh Marketplace.
Like SeaWorld's "Bands, Brew & Barbecue" and Universal's Mardi Gras, Epcot features a cornucopia of live entertainment.
This year's "Flower Power concert series" will feature performances Friday - Sunday at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m in the America Gardens Theater. I hope you have as much fun as these people:
Here is this year's lineup.
- March 7-9: The Guess Who
- March 14-16: Gary Lewis and The Playboys
- March 21-23: The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO
- March 28-30: The Lovin' Spoonful
- April 4-6: Paul Revere & The Raiders
- April 11-13: Village People
- April 18-20: The Grass Roots
- April 25-27: Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone
- May 2-4: STARSHIP Starring Mickey Thomas
- May 9-11: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
- May 16-18: Alan Parsons Live Project
Oh, yeah, at its heart the fest is about Flowers and Gardens, right? Well, once again Disney is teaming up with HGTV/DIY to bring in talent for talks at the Festival Center
New this year -- Epcot is bringing in the "Crashers"-- shows where the hosts "randomly" pick couples to makeover a room in their homes in 3 days.
The gentleman above is Matt Muenster who hosts "Bath Crashers." Joining him are Matt Blashaw from "Yard Crashers," and Alison Victoria from "Kitchen Crashers."
Like the music -- look for these seminars on the weekends. Here is the tentative schedule
- March 7-9 - Vern Yip, "Design Star"
- March 14-16 - Chris Lambton, "Going Yard"
- March 21-23 - Matt Blashaw, "Yard Crashers"
- March 28-30 - Matt Meunster, "Bath Crashers"
- April 4-6 - Taniya Nayak, "House Hunters on Vacation"
- April 11-13 - Amy Matthews, "Renovation Raiders"
- April 18-20 - John Gidding, "Curb Appeal"
- April 25-27 - David Bromstad, "Color Splash"
- May 2-4 - Chip Wade, "Elbow Room"
- May 9-11 - Genevieve Gorder, "Design Star"
- May 16-18 - Alison Victoria, "Kitchen Crashers"
A reminder -- those seminars (and the concerts) fill up fast. So if there is someone you really want to see, plan to line up at least an hour early. Here's a link to Epcot's Flower & Garden Web Site.
keep your emails, questions, tips and comments coming! I always appreciate the feedback. You can always find all of my blog entries at www.clickorlando.com/themeparks
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