Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

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Spring Has Sprung! Epcot’s annual International Flower and Garden Festival begins TODAY, so I thought I would do a little post about how much I am completely in love with this event!

Last spring if I wasn’t scheduled at work, there was a really good chance that I was at Epcot! Looking back, I can definitely say that Flower and Garden was one of my most favorite events I got to experience during my College Program (the other being Awaken Summer at Animal Kingdom). No matter how many times I visited Epcot during this time (which was a lot since Epcot is the closest park to where I worked at Disney Springs), it never seemed to get old! There was always more to see, more to eat, and more fun to be had!

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“Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do today!”

The festival has multiple components, so I was glad I had a lot of time to soak it all in. Between The Festival Center, shopping for super cute merchandise, the Garden Rocks concerts, the amazing flowers and character topiary displays, Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House, and the Outdoor Kitchens; there is just SO MUCH to experience. This year’s festival runs from March 1st through May 29th giving Guests 90 days to enjoy everything the festival has to offer 🙂 In 2017, the festival will also see the addition of several new topiaries as well as two new Outdoor Kitchens!

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If any of you know me at all, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Outdoor Kitchens were my favorite part of the festival, and the main reason I visited Epcot so frequently last spring. In 2016, there were a total of 13 Outdoor Kitchens, and I challenged myself to eat at least one thing from each of them. I am proud to say that I succeeded in accomplishing that goal 🙂  I also had a lot of fun keeping track of everything I tried with a Flower and Garden Festival Passport. 

Below are some of my favorite dishes I sampled during the festival! (5th place is tied; I couldn’t make up my mind)

Top 5:

  1. Macaron Chocolat Framboise (Fleur de Lys)
  2. Beef Teriyaki Udon (Hanami)
  3. Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (Pineapple Promenade)
  4. Watermelon Cucumber Slush (Florida Fresh)
  5. Pulled Pig Slider (The Smokehouse) & Jamaican-braised Beef (La Isla Fresca)

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If any of you are planning to visit Epcot during Flower and Garden, I hope you love it as much as I do! ❤

See ya real soon,

Ryan

 

PROTIP: It is worth noting that Eggstravaganza also occurs during this time (as supplies last), so you can have a little Easter fun in addition to Flower and Garden. Trust me when I say, this egg hunt is not just for kids!

PROTIP: I would suggest trying to avoid visiting the festival on the weekends as many local Annual Passholders tend to attend Fridays-Sundays which can make the park quite crowded.

 

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Sanaa-Lunch Review

I thought I would start a bit of a “series” on some of my favorite restaurants I’ve gotten to try since I’ve been here at Walt Disney World. First up, Sanaa!

Sanaa is located on the bottom floor of Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The restaurant looks out onto the Sunset Savannah and it was SO cool to eat lunch while there were giraffes and zebras literally right outside the window! I had heard really great things about this restaurant on the internet and as Cast Members we get a good discount at this dining location, so I was very eager to try it out. Sanaa apparently means “Work of Art” in Swahili and there is certainly nothing boring or bland about their Eastern African and Indian cuisine!IMG_5531IMG_5525I was most excited to try the Indian-style Bread Service. We opted to get all five breads and all nine sauces to share! The breads included Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kucha and Paneer Paratha accompanied by Cucumber Raita, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mango Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Tamarind Chutney, Coriander Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Red Chile Sambal, and Spicy Jalapeño-Lime Pickle.

We ended up loving every bit of it! Honestly, the five breads didn’t taste all that different from each other to me, but each of the sauces were distinct and delicious my favorites being the spicier ones.IMG_5523For my entree, I ordered the Pojite Inspired Butter Chicken and Braised Beef with the Five-Grain Rice Pilaf. The meat was super tender and flavorful and I loved every bite! Caitlyn ordered the same thing as me while Parker ordered the Tandoori Chicken, Rachel opted for the fish, and Amber got the Grilled Beef Sirloin Steak. Some of the girls also shared a Kenyan Press Pot Coffee which they were extremely impressed by and compare all other coffee to till this day.
IMG_5526IMG_5528.JPGIMG_5530I hope to go back to Sanaa at some point because all of the desserts looked amazing and we unfortunately were too full to order any after having both the bread service and entrees. Overall, we all enjoyed our meal and I can’t wait to return to one of the most unique and delicious restaurants on Disney property!

Kwaheri

Ryan

Breakfast on the Boardwalk

So in my last post I said that these posts would be extremely “picture heavy” and then I only put one picture…. This post will contain tons of pictures of one of the prettiest places on Disney property: The Boardwalk!

Last Sunday was my first day on Disney property in 8 years!!! It was so great to finally be back!! My parents and I made reservations Saturday night to go eat breakfast at Captain’s Grille at the Yacht Club. The restaurant offered a breakfast buffet, but we just decided to order off the a la carte menu.IMG_0181

After we finished eating, we walked all around the Boardwalk. The clouds had gone away by this point and the sun had come out, so we got to enjoy the blue sky! Like I said earlier, the Boardwalk is one of the prettiest places at Disney in my opinion. It’s crazy to me that a lot of people don’t even know it exists or where it is! The Boardwalk resorts are considered “Epcot Area Resorts” and are located in between Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Guests can enter Epcot through the International Gateway which will put them directly into World Showcase (in between France and the UK), or take a boat over to Hollywood Studios. Continue reading