2023 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival first taste highlights

While some people might be counting down to the first ride on Tron at Magic Kingdom, Disney food lovers have taken a first and maybe second stroll around Epcot. The 2023 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival runs now through July 5. With so many outdoor kitchens to enjoy, the vibrant, bright flavors from the garden are enticing guests to enjoy another order.

Each Epcot festival has a particular vibe. Festival of the Arts tends to push creativity through food trends. Food and Wine takes a classic approach to a globe flavor journey. With Flower and Garden, it is about the bounty. While fruits and vegetables are a key ingredient to every dish, it is the multi-faceted approach to the dishes that make this festival enjoyable. A celebration of textures and a contrast in flavors is presented on every plate.

At the 2023 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, new offerings are paired with some returning favorites make a lovely spring day memorable. While there will always be room for a Mickey Pretzel or even that frozen margarita, the outdoor kitchens have plenty of offerings that will entice guests away from their favorite Disney food.

2023 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

2023 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, Jardin de Fiesta, photo by Cristine Struble

While many people make a point to try the new Brunchcot, there are several other options that entice with bold flavors. For example, Jardin de Fiesta offers the Quesadilla de Flor de Calabaza and when paired with a Cristal Margarita it is lovely. The masa tortilla is filled with squash blossoms and bacon. It is hearty than a traditional quesadilla but the corn’s sweetness balances the richness of the other ingredients. When enjoyed with the Cristal Margarita might be clear in color but it is vibrant in flavor. The zesty citrus flavors brighten the quesadilla flavor pairing.

Continuing the citrus celebration, the Citrus Blossom is more than a celebration of Orange Bird. The classic lemon meringue pie with UFO Beer Co Citrus Hazy Wheat Beer is refreshing on a warm day. Both sweet, tart and satisfying, the flavors showcase the depth that orange and lemon can have.

2023 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Lemon Meringe Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie, photo by Cristine Struble

Taking a different citrus turn is the Tropical Breeze at La Isla Fresca. When paired with the new Ox Tail, it is a celebration of some classic Caribbean flavors. While some people might be uncertain of Ox Tail is needs to be tried. Served with the pigeon pea rice, it is a hearty dish.

Another boldly flavored option is the crawfish pie from Magnolia Kitchen. The flakey pastry contrasted with the creamy, succulent crawfish hits just the right spice level. When served with an ice cold Wicked Weed beer, it is the right bite to have right before a concert.

These first bites are worthy of a second or third try before the end of the festival run. Even though the bar was set high on the first visit, it is very likely that the Disney chefs can knock it out of the park with the next round of dishes.

The 2023 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival runs now through July 5. Theme park reservations are required but the festival is included with admission.