The flower beds are blooming, the food booths are being re-branded and there are construction walls around the butterfly garden. Just like Punxsutawney Phil not seeing his shadow, these have come to be sure signs that spring is just around the corner. With spring’s arrival marks the beginning of yet another edition of the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival. The return of the Garden Rocks Concert Series is certainly one of the highlights of this year’s festival as well as two new Global Gardens, one on the World Showcase bridge, the other in France. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort, the festival will also feature an all-new topiary with Goofy and a 50th anniversary cake! While there are no new food booths this year, there are several new food and beverage items to try as you stroll around the park. That being said, I have compiled a list of 5 tried and true favorites that I’m excited to sink my teeth into soon!
- Cookie Butter Worms and Dirt (Flavor Full Kitchen Hosted by AdventHealth)
While I was compiling this list, I thought to myself, “Oh, I’ll pick 5 items and list them in no particular order”. Well folks, I was wrong. Cookie Butter Worms and Dirt is at the top and always will be at the top of my list of things to get, not just at Flower and Garden, but at all festivals held at EPCOT. I am usually very particular about the things I try, not wanting to get the same thing multiple times because there truly are so many great options at the festival, but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you the truth. I get this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I walk into the park come festival season. It’s sweet, smooth and delightfully refreshing. A little more liquidy than a traditional milkshake, this sweet drink topped with a gummy worm is honestly all I could ask for. I could stop the list right here and I would not be doing you a disservice. RUN, don’t walk to the Flavor Full Kitchen to pick one up. You can thank me later.
- Shrimp and Grits (EPCOT Sunshine Griddle)
As a fan of seafood and Southern cuisine, I really can’t go wrong with picking the Shrimp and Grits to make this list. Although it is a bit pricier of an item, coming in at $7.25 during the 2021 festival, the size and amount of shrimp really make it worth the cost. The grits are cheesy and creamy, not powdery and the blackened shrimp topped with brown gravy and sweet corn salsa really put this dish into an echelon of its own.
- Lavender Honey Mustard-marinated Chicken Flatbread (The Honey Bee-Stro)
The Honey Bee-Stro booth is arguably the sleeper booth of the entire festival. Well-known for the Honey-Peach Freeze that comes in the souvenir Spike the Bee Sipper (another great drink choice, by the way), the Honey Bee-Stro never disappoints and always comes to play with solid options. The flatbread is no exception. Topped with whipped honey ricotta cheese, marinated vegetables and Purple Haze lavender goat cheese, this menu item offers a sweet and savory option to enjoy.
- Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (Pineapple Promenade)
Oh Violet Lemonade, how I’ve missed thee so. Perhaps the most famous speciality drink in all of EPCOT, the Desert Violet Lemonade makes its return to the 2022 festival. It’s sweet, it’s refreshing, it’s been the subject of Spirit Jersey designs for quite some time. If you happen to be at the festival early in its run, you may be one of the lucky ones that gets to try this drink with the edible flower on top. The flower seems to be harder to find as the festival goes on due to this drinks popularity.
- Maple Popcorn Shake (Northern Bloom)
A twist on a year round staple, this Maple Popcorn Shake never lets me down. Another sweet option, this drink can be found in the Canada Pavilion, not too far from the Canada Popcorn stand that sells this shakes namesake year-round. As the weather starts to get warmer here in Florida, look to this treat to cool you down and taste great doing it.
- *BONUS* Avocado Toast (EPCOT Sunshine Griddle)
Based on the initial menu listings that have been provided for this year’s festival, it appears that there are only three menu items new to this year’s event. There will be one new beer, one new cider and this new food item, Avocado Toast with Marinated Toybox Tomatoes and Fresh Goat Cheese on Toasted Ciabatta. While it’s nice to see so many old favorites returning, I’m honestly a bit surprised that only one item is new for 2022. That being said, I do love me some avocado and ciabatta, so I’m sure this one will make it on to my list in no time!
The 2022 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival runs every day from March 2-July 4, 2022. Here’s to hoping there is a new show to go along with the Beacon of Magic on Spaceship Earth! What are you most excited to try this year?!
Thank you for following along and have a great day!