It’s time for yet another Epcot festival. My favorite festival has begun and World Showcase is looking beautiful! The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs from March 4th to June 1st this year. During this festival you can find stunning topiaries, tons of food, and activities for the whole family. We set out on the hunt first thing this morning to see what was and wasn’t vegan.
A huge improvement with this festival is that they’re using the plant-based logo!! No longer do we have the vegetarian logo at the festivals, it has been replaced completely and only plant-based options are marked now.
One of the coolest parts of this festival for us vegans is that we can actually do the Garden Graze Stroll. This is similar to other festivals where they have you eat certain items throughout the festival and after you complete them all, you get a prize. This year, the Garden Graze Stroll is entirely plant-based! So for the first time ever, we get to participate in this activity!
Returning this year is the Trowel & Trellis booth. This booth is sponsored by Impossible Foods and everything here is plant-based. All of the options here are the same as last year, but it seems they made some improvments.
The stand-out here is the Grilled Street Corn on the Cob. This has obviously been improved from last year, as our ears of corn were loaded in the garlic spread and crunchies that were on it. We got a hint of bacon (bit) flavor in it too, but when we asked we were told its just vegan cheese and tajin. Our ears of corn were absolutely covered in the topping, as opposed to last year where it was usually a small sprinkle. This is such a great item but a total pain to eat, but also absolutely worth it.
Just as last year, I didn’t totally love the Impossible Farmhouse Meatball. The meatball itself was great, but the whole thing is very dry. It comes with a lentil based bread that is super dry and they don’t usually put enough of the creamy herb dressing (they’re very inconsistent with this) on it. I would be happy just eating the insides and skipping the bread next time as the meatball is super flavorful.
For dessert here they have a Chocolate Pudding Terrarium. This has been updated a little bit since last year. Last year it had chia seeds (and glitter for a hot minute), but this year they cut those out and now the base is a chocolate dirt, which is kind of powdery. The actual pudding itself (which is avocado based!) is still incredible, this is one of the best desserts in Disney World.
Two other returning festival favorites are at the Pineapple Promenade. Here you can get both a Dole Whip and the Violet Lemonade. The Dole Whip is the same you can get elsewhere, but you can also get this bad boy with rum!
For some reason the Violet Lemonade doesn’t have a plant-based logo on it, but we checked with a chef and it’s good to go. I (am going to probably get some flack for this) really don’t understand the hype on this drink. It’s basically just purple lemonade, but it sure is pretty! It’s a little too sweet for me personally and is a one and done.
A new option this year was found at the Refreshment Outpost. The Pineapple Skewer with Tajin Seasoning is the vegan option here. We had higher hopes for this one. It was a cold chunk of pineapple, we were hoping it would be grilled or something. I would say pass on this, but it’s needed for the Garden Graze Stroll completion.
My personal favorite of the festival is at the Bauernmarkt booth in Germany. Here you can find VEGAN POTATO PANCAKES! The pancakes in the past were never vegan, but this year they’re using JUST Egg as the binder. Potato Pancakes are basically a happy medium of a hash brown and mashed potatoes. You get two decent sized pancakes, that are topped with applesauce.
Next at Florida Fresh you can find a Watermelon Cucumber Slushy. This wasn’t open when we were there in the morning. But this slushy is also part of the Garden Graze Stroll.
Edited to add: Marci went back the next day (it stayed closed all day March 4th) and was able to get the Slushy. She said it was incredibly refreshing and would get again, especially the version with gin.
The last vegan option in the festival is at the Flavor Full Kitchen. Last year we had a great salad option here with a cashew cheese, that has been replaced with the Grilled Baby Vegetables. This wasn’t our favorite, but it was still good. It reminded us of a side from a cookout, the vegetables were cooked well with a smoky flavor, but unseasoned. The hummus was just a basic plain hummus and didn’t add much. The red pepper coulis was more flavorful but there wasn’t enough of it.
If you complete the Garden Graze Stroll you get a complimentary treat at the end. You have to head to Pineapple Promenade to get this treat, as well as your keepsake item. We checked with the chef about this to be sure it was vegan. We were told it is a Lime Mango Dole, but we only tasted lime. You also get a cute cup to keep and some purple basil to plant!
We didn’t ask at the Cool Wash about the Frozen Coca-Cola Slushies, because I honestly couldn’t do any more sweets at this point. But depending candy on topping, those should be safe.
As for what was not vegan. We had hopes that some things had changed, but alas they have not. In Japan at Hanami, the Frushi still contains Cochineal making it not vegan even without the whipped cream. In Morocco at Taste of Marrakesh the Fried Cauliflower is still not vegan as there is egg in the batter for the cauliflower. Lastly, we were hoping that the new option at Refreshment Port was vegan, however the Popsicle Trio contains heavy cream.
We have our little cheat sheet set up for you all easy to print and bring to the parks so you can eat around the world! Be sure to tag us on Instagram if you use this (or if you don’t, we love to see what you guys get!)
Are you heading to this years Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival? What are you most looking forward to trying?