Today is a sad day in the Disney World. Today marks the last official day of the 2018 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival. The second best time of the EPCOT year, (right after Food and Wine of course). If you haven't gotten to enjoy this festival before, trust us, it's one you definitely don't want to miss. And if you have enjoyed this festival before, you know exactly what we're talking about!
We lovingly refer to this festival as "Food and Wine Halftime" because that's kind of what it's become. There's about half as many booths as the Food and Wine Fest, but it's growing every year. Honestly, sometimes we kind of like the fact that there's half as many booths. It feels less overwhelming, and you get to try more things at each booth (especially if you only get to visit once). PLUS, there's amazing topiaries and beautiful flowers throughout the park.
Below are some of the highlights for us of this year's festival!
The Honey Bee-stro
This was a new booth for this year, and it's so cute! I love this area, and the food and drinks were great!
One of our favorite stands of the festival!
Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze with Blueberry Vodka and
Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, Charred Veggies, and Clover Honey Sour Cream.
This is somewhat of a famous booth at Flower and Garden festival. It's the booth that not only offers Dole Whip and Dole Whip WITH rum (both classic favorites), but also the ***Violet Lemonade***
This frozen flavored lemonade has built up such a following you can now purchase shirts, pins, hats, and more all over the internet to show your extreme fandom for the drink!
I mean...what can we say? We're fans of it, too. It's THAT good.
La Isla Fresca
Easily the cutest booth of the festival, as you can probably tell by how many pictures we took of it.
AND my own personal favorite drink, as well.
The tropical freeze with mango rum. This was by far my favorite drink this year. It has real chunks of mango on top, and I'm pretty sure I drank the whole thing in about 4 minutes. Oops.
The Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut-lime Sauce was also awesome!
The Berry Basket
To be honest, with a booth dedicated to berries, I definitely thought I was going to enjoy this stand more than I did. The blueberry moscato was not great (didn't even get a picture of it, sorry), and the Green Tea Berry Mint Julep was just okay.
I will say, this drink photographs SO well. And, it did get better when we mixed it around. When they first handed it to us (and you can see this in the photo) all of the liquor sank to the bottom.
The bottom as in, where my straw was, as in, I took a huge gulp of bourbon and was not happy with the taste. But, like I said, it photographs SO well. Haha :)
Jardin de Fiestas
Of course, we also love Mexico! They also have great options, and it kind of feels like home to us.
This year, though, I think was one of Mexico's strongest line-ups yet.
Violet Cassis Punch and Rose Margarita (my fav)
The chilaquiles!!! One of my favorite food options this year. A little different than the chilaquiles we're used to in San Antonio, but still really good! Fried pieces of corn tortillas topped with ranchera sauce, chorizo, Mexican cream, and cotija cheese.
So, China is another booth that's usually a favorite of ours. But, I've got to say- this year I was kind of let down. We didn't even bother ordering the cocktails since they always offer the exact same ones (at both Flower and Garden AND Food and Wine).
I was excited for the Fried Chicken Dumplings, but after trying them, I realized that I like the regular dumplings better. Oh well, hopefully this Fall the China booth will be back on top.
Bauernmarkt: Farmer's Market
Toasted Pretzel Bread with Black Forest Ham and Gruyere Cheese and
Potato Pancake with Caramelized Ham, Onions, and Herbed Sour Cream.
They do offer a potato pancake with applesauce instead of the ham and onions if that sounds more appealing to you.
And you can't stop in Germany without getting a beer! This is the Kostritzer Schwarzbier Black Lager.
Italy's always a safe bet at any EPCOT festival. You know what to expect, and it's pretty much always good!
Maine Lobster Ravioli with Vodka Sauce
Fritto Misto- Crispy Shrimp and Zucchini with a spicy sauce drizzle.
The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews
EPCOT always does a great job making sure America has great offerings during festivals.
And this year was no exception!
Three meats: One Sandwich! If this doesn't scream "'Murica!" I'm not sure what does.
It's a Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with a Chorizo Cheddar Fondue, and topped with Garlic Sausage and a slice of House-made Pickle! Whew! That's a mouthful...of delicious!
And a beer flight to wash it all down. Yum!
Another festival fan favorite item can be found at the Japan pavilion- Frushi aka Fruit Sushi.
Personally, we're not the biggest fans of it. It's okay, but not a favorite on our list by any means.
Also pictured above is the Ginger Beer Yakiudon: Thin-sliced Beef, Onions, and Noodles tossed in Soy and Ginger.
Taste of Marrakesh
Desert Rose- Sparkling Wine topped with Pomegranate Liqueur.
This was another one of the best looking booths of the festival.
So much greenery around this one, plus, you can never go wrong with string lights.
Step aside violet lemonade! The cucumber watermelon slush has arrived and it's giving you a run for your money! (Pictured left the awesome watermelon cucumber slush available with or without gin)
And on the right- First Magnitude Brewing Co. Monarch Milk Stout.
Fleur de Lys
France is home to the best alcoholic slushes in world showcase! And outstanding desserts!
Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: French for Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop!
This was SO good. Not only is it photogenic and easy to eat: it actually tastes great too!
Easily one of our favorite desserts of the year!
Confit de Canard au Gnocchi a la Parisienne: French for Braised Duck Confit with Parisian Gnocchi.
Too many mushrooms for Parker, but other than that he really enjoyed it.
If you recall from previous posts, Parker is the Cider King! So, naturally, this is one of his favorite booths. Although we weren't crazy about the food, if there's a cider flight available, it's a win for him!
Black Cherry, Pineapple Tropical, and Apple Orange Grand Mimosa.
Potato and Cheddar Cheese biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare.
Canada's always a great spot to get some hearty options at the festival. They usually offer some sort of meat and potato and/or thick soup, etc. This festival we absolutely LOVED the Canada booth!
Beef Tenderloin Tips with Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce and Whipped Potatoes and Carrots. YUM!
Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette, and
Applewood-Smoked Bacon. YUM X2!
And of course, the Flower and Garden festival just wouldn't be as magical without the impressive living topiaries scattered throughout the park! Here are some of our favorites!
And there you have it! The 2018 EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival all wrapped up. We're sad to see it go, BUT, that means it's only three months until Food and Wine starts!
Who's ready?? We know we are!
WONDERful Mardi Gras
Welcome, everyone, to this week's Ride or Dine post! It's not too often that we get to blog about something BRAND NEW in our community, so when the opportunity arises, we get very excited!
As many of you probably already know, Six Flags Fiesta Texas announced last year that they would be opening a brand new roller coaster this Spring.
Well, after many days spent waiting, the time has finally come, and we were there to preview it's opening!
The Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster is a first of it's kind single-rail coaster. It features a 90-degree drop, two airtime hills, a 180-degree stall, and a zero-g roll. Basically, this ride is intense! (AND AWESOME)
The ride officially opens May 12th, but the park offered pass member previews last weekend, and we jumped at the opportunity. Diamond and Diamond Elite members were able to ride as many times as they wanted last Fri-Sun from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM.
We rode in the middle, front, and back to try all of the different experiences, and they varied quite a bit. Personally, I thought the back was a bit too intense, but I'm not the coaster lover the way Parker is. The front is very cool because you have a completely unobstructed view, and there's a tiny, microscopic bit of hang time on the first drop! If you're looking for an easy, fun, hands in the air kind of experience then the front is definitely the way to go. If you're looking to be out of your seat and don't mind a rough ride, then the back is for you!
*I have to make a note that Parker rode in the back twice last weekend and when we got home his shoulder area was slightly bruised. So, just be aware of that if you're unsure about the intensity of the back row!
It's seemed that in the last few years Fiesta Texas has kind of become the guinea pig Six Flags park in a sense. We were the first SF to get the 4D coaster (Batman), the first SF to get a water coaster (Thunder Rapids), and now the first SF to get the single rail coaster (Wonder Woman). This is awesome news for San Antonio locals like us! And these are also all awesome additions. Hey, we're all for new, innovative rides like this replacing the boomerangs of the world!
All members and season pass holders will have the chance to preview the coaster this weekend, May 4th - 6th. For everyone else, the ride officially opens May 12th! Let us know in the comments or via social media if you've gotten to ride yet, and if not what you're looking forward to most about Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster!
Mardi Gras Festival
This past weekend was also the kick-off of Fiesta Texas' Mardi Gras Festival! This annual event offers traditional New Orleans-style food and drinks, live music and entertainment throughout the park, and an all new nighttime parade.
The entire park was decorated, even though the majority of the food booths and
entertainment were located in Rockville.
And the characters were out and about in their Mardi Gras gear getting people in the spirit!
As far as the food is concerned, they've got a pretty decent selection.
The items range from about $8 - $14, and they also offer a 5-item sampler for $40. We opted for the sampler since it made more sense monetarily, and we knew we wanted to try a few things!
The beignets were our favorite!
*(Fun fact: that cornbread rolled right off that plate approx. 3.5 seconds after this photo was taken.
The things we do for photos! Haha)
Look at this GIANT Muffaletta!
And it's served with chips! By the way, these Voodoo Zapp's are our new favorite chips!
And of course, it wouldn't be Mardi Gras without Hurricanes!
Pictured above: Left and Center- Hurricane, Right- Pimm's Lemonade
And, last but not least, Po' Boys. We tried the Fried Catfish and the Shrimp.
They also offer a Crawfish Po' Boy if you prefer!
Overall, the food was good, not great. We can tell the park made an effort, and for that we are grateful! And we're hopeful for more events like this in the future!
We'll take this over standard park food any day.
The parade was pretty neat. The floats were well-done, and there were beads galore!
Catching all the beads!!
Some of these were so pretty!
It's a dolphin. It's a shark. It's out of place.
And just like that (with a confetti explosion) the parade was over. It was a lot of fun, and Diamond members get a special viewing area, so that was a nice little perk.
Well, this past weekend was definitely one for the books at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. You can't beat a new coaster AND a food festival. It's literally what our blog is all about! Let us know if you have plans to attend Mardi Gras fest (running through May 28th), or if you have plans to check out the new Wonder Woman Coaster! We love hearing from you guys! Until next time, Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Parker and Brittany Ruhmel- Lovers of all things food and theme park related!