Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival – Featuring Our Stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

This is the second time going to the Disney’s Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, once in 2017 and this past March and if you have the chance, try to make it because this event ends June 3rd!

My two cousins and I went on March 16th and it was pretty crowded that day for it just opening up the weekend before. I firmly believe that Epcot is just as crowded as the Magic Kingdom, so, just pick your poison.

We got to the park at 9:00 am and this is what the park looks like when you first walk in.

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(This morning we had SUPER cloudy weather!)

This area was right after showing your Disney ticket and giving them a fingerprint. Even at 9:00 am, this area was starting to get congested and this was an area we could find that didn’t have too many people in the background for photo taking.

The world showcase doesn’t open until 11:00 am, which means you need to wander around the front of Epcot riding the few rides they offer: Frozen Ever After, Mission: SPACE (we did the least intense option), and Test Track. (These are the rides we rode. I personally don’t care for Epcot rides, they leave me wanting more.

(Beginning of the Frozen ride)

This was my first time on this ride and I really liked it, but I would never wait more than 30 minutes for this ride because it’s short and I wasn’t a huge fan of the drop at the end.

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(I’m in the second row, all the way to the left. My two cousins are sitting next to me)

But, of course, the part in the ride where they play ‘Let It Go’ was obviously EPIC and my cousins and I were belting our lungs out along with our main girl, Elsa!!

After we got off Frozen Ever After, the world showcase was about to open its doors in roughly 30 minutes, so we made our way to the first country (Mexico) and waited in line at the La Cava del Tequila. We noticed there were only two groups standing in line for this lounge, that we jumped right in to be the third group to be seated once the doors opened.

We ordered chips and queso with a round of margaritas!! I stick with the Classic Marg 😉

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The chips and queso came with the white queso pictured above and with two other red salsa-type sides. And, the water is there to remind you that you should drink water during every country or every other country because water is free (except for bottled water) and you need to stay hydrated while drinking outside in the Florida heat!

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(Beautiful flowers right next to the Mexico Pavilion)

The next country on Epcot’s world showcase route is Norway, but I only have the video from the Frozen ride. However, I wish I was able to get a video of the two Norwegian Vikings walking around talking to the guests.

The third country on the route is China and we spent the whole time in this country looking for our Chinese Zodiac (Chinese New Year Animal). I was born in 1993, which means that I am a Rooster according to the Chinese Zodiac.

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For anyone born in 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, or in the future year 2029, does this description sound like you?

“The Rooster is a hard worker; shrewd, outspoken, and definite in decision making. Because of this, you tend to seem boastful to others. You are a dreamer, flashy dresser, and extravagant to an extreme. Born under this sign, you should be happy as a restaurant owner, publicist, soldier, or world traveler.”

Next on the route, which happens to be one of my favorite countries at Epcot: Germany! And the reason it’s my favorite country is because of their Werthers Caramel store. It’s seriously drool worthy!

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( Waiting in line to get my bag of Caramel-covered popcorn!!)

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 (Just staring at chocolate while I wait. Look at those chocolate-covered apples in the back!)

Next on our list is Italy, and honestly, unless you’re hungry you will leave this country feeling extremely underwhelmed. Since we made our lunch reservations for Japan, we went to the one restaurant that offers a wine bar so my one cousin could order her wine to-go.

The next country we walked to after Italy was…The United States!!! Hello, my home country!!! I personally think they did a great job of recreating colonial America.

But, if you’re a key lime lover like my cousin is then you definitely need to purchase the Key Lime Funnel Cake at the American Pavilion. I don’t like key lime but I had a piece of the funnel cake and it was perfect; so warm and soft.

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(The key lime flavor is only available during the Flower & Garden Festival. Just an FYI!!)

The next country on the list is Japan and this is where our lunch reservations at Tokyo Dining were. If you like sushi, then I HIGHLY recommend this place for either lunch or dinner. I literally made a sound when I made my first bite the guy at the table next to us said ‘isn’t it good?’ it was seriously that good and fresh!

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(Front view of Tokyo Dining & Teppan Edo)

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(The view from up top. Straight ahead are shops)

(The yummy salmon & tuna sushi I ordered and the napkin display when we were first seated at our table)

Before and after our lunch reservation you could hear Japanese woman play the drums that seem to echo across the whole park. There is a station where you can watch someone open up an oyster revealing a pearl and in that area is a HUGE area to shop Japanese merchandise.

Morocco is one of my favorite countries to walk around in at Epcot and thankfully that was next on our route because we were all feeling a little full after lunch. I also really enjoy Morocco because it is very shaded and that is basically solid gold here in Florida; even during our cloudy weather (hello, humidity!!!).

The one area that made me stop in my tracks was, however, smack dab in the sun but that was okay because it was totally worth it!

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I mean, COME ON, how beautiful is this tree and with the lamp post right there, it seriously looks unreal!

I loved this little spot so much, I shamelessly started taking selfies in front of it!

SHAMELESS SELFIES!!!!

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This area is a serious hidden gem because look how amazing this shot looks of my cousins! The tree is big enough that it can be seen while standing in this spot, the wooden ceiling above them is the cutest thing to ever exist, and there are flower petals scattered across their feet. I’m obsessed with this photo!!!

We’re starting to get towards the end of our journey across the 11 countries at Epcot and we can definitely feel how crowded the park has gotten while heading towards France! Holy moly! We didn’t even want to spend time in France because of how crowded it was and it just felt more claustrophobic than anything else. While leaving France, we saw Belle in her village outfit and it was so sweet seeing her hug the next child going up to see her.

Of course, I got the most important picture of all though while at France.

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Belle and the Beast! 🙂 (sorry this was the only angle that didn’t have people)

Next is the United Kingdom and it was honestly WAY too crowded to get a drink or even stroll through. We immediately went in and out, so to make up for not having photos from the United Kingdom area of Epcot, here are more photos of characters disquised as plants.

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We got The Lion King!!!

We got Mickey & Minnie!!!

& we got The Toy Story characters: Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Bo Peep, and her sheep!!!

I will say that Canada grew on me this time at Epcot. I usually don’t like this country because they pretty much only serve beer and their attraction is a movie narrated by Martin Short, and honestly, that sounds boring to me and we passed on the O’ Canada Movie (Sorry, not sorry Disney).

BUT, what Canada lacks in attractions they completely win in flowers and being one of the most visually stunning countries at Epcot!!!

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(My fanny pack is from Amazon, but it’s by Lounge Fly)

And, tucked away in the back where the movie plays is a stunning waterfall that makes you feel like you’re in the Canadian wilderness.

SHAMELESS WATERFALL SELFIES!!!

(This video will pan up to the top of the waterfall so you can see the full effect)

AND THOSE ARE THE ELEVEN COUNTRIES AT EPCOT AND WE ARE FINALLY FINISHED WALKING AROUND THE PARK!!!

All three of us at this point are completely beat after walking around Epcot twice, once for drinks and then we got hungry around 5 pm (the time we got to Canada), and a second time for small bites that were set up throughout Epcot specifically for the Flower & Garden Festival. Before leaving though I bought a Flower & Garden Festival jersey shirt because I love long sleeves and the color is absolutely stunning! I just couldn’t say no. I also didn’t want to say no to the Mickey Ears specifically designed for the festival, but both together would have been too expensive.  And, knowing myself I would wear this long sleeve enough to justify the higher price tag.

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Don’t mind my couch! But can we all please drool over this amazingly bright fuchsia!!

Once we were finished walking around Epcot we took the Disney bus back to our hotel room at the Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. If you’re looking at places to stay on Disney property, then I highly suggest looking into the Port Orleans Riverside or the French Quarter Resort.

We stayed at this resort for one night then we drove back to our homes not too far away. So, I wish I could have a more in-depth review of the Riverside Resorts amenities but unfortunately, I just have some photos. I will give us some slack though because we really wanted to try out their barside pool after a LONG day at Epcot, but it was a complete downpour on the bus drive back to our hotel room and it ended up raining the rest of the night. Freaking bummer! AND, THEY WERE HAVING SMORES UNTIL 7 PM THAT WE MISSED BECAUSE OF THE RAIN!! BUMMER!!

Some of the hotel rooms.

The area near our breakfast. SO CUTE!!!

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My boyfriend and I are also magnet collectors, so I purchased this one from their gift shop. Well, it was the only magnet they had for this resort, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Good thing it’s really pretty and looks good on my fridge.

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And this was my drive home. This photo was taken when I was about to turn into my neighborhood and good timing because I got this sunset at the right time! I hope you enjoyed this blog post about my time at Disney’s Epcot Flower & Garden Festival and staying the night at Riverside Resort. I had such a blast that day and can’t wait for my next Disney trip!

Have you been to Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival? Did you love it or are you more of a Food & Wine Festival lover? Or have you stayed on Disney property before? I need to know if they’re worth the price or not! I thought the Port Orleans Riverside (even French Quarter) was a great option because they’re usually one of the cheaper Disney resort options and I really loved the theme of this resort; felt like I was in New Orleans and I could see Princess Tiana at any moment. I’m DYING to stay at the Grand Floridian, but other resorts such as the Contemporary or the Boardwalk Villas, I would like to know from you all if the price matches the expectations.

With love,

A Simple Wildflower

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