2019 Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival – Garden Rocks Concert Series [UPDATED]!

“Food” & Garden approaches, my friends!  By now, you’ve already seen the festival’s UPDATED concert line-up, I presume?  No?  Well, take a look!

Journey former lead vocalist STEVE AUGERI – NEW to Garden Rocks!
March 6 through 8

Glass Tiger – NEW to Garden Rocks!
March 9 through 10

Jon Anderson of Yes – NEW!
March 11 through 12

Tony Orlando
March 13 through 14

Simple Plan
March 17 through 20

Ambrosia – NEW!
March 21 through 22

Magic Giant – NEW!
March 23 through 24

Air Supply – NEW to Garden Rocks!
March 25 through 27

Berlin, featuring Terri Nunn
March 28 through 29

The Smithereens – NEW to Garden Rocks!
March 30 through 31

Rick Springfield
April 1 through 2

Christopher Cross – NEW to Garden Rocks!
April 3 through 4

The Spinners
April 5 through 7

Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group Styx
April 8 through 9

John Michael Montgomery – NEW!
April 10 through 11

Sister Sledge – NEW to Garden Rocks!
April 12 through 13

Night Ranger
April 14 through 16

Sister Hazel – NEW to Garden Rocks!
April 17 through 19

Steven Curtis Chapman – NEW!
April 20 through 21

TobyMac – NEW!
April 22 through 23

April 24 through 26

The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO
April 27 through 30

Herman’s Hermits, starring Peter Noone
May 1 through 4

Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles
May 5 through 7

A Flock of Seagulls – NEW!
May 8 through 9

Marshall Tucker Band – NEW to Garden Rocks!
May 10 through 11

Richard Marx – NEW to Garden Rocks!
May 14 through 15

Starship, starring Mickey Thomas
May 16 through 19

Colin Hay of Men at Work – NEW!
May 20 through 21

War – NEW!
May 22 through 23

The Guess Who
May 24 through 27

Jon Secada
May 28 through 29

Blood, Sweat and Tears
May 30 through June 1

Disney reports … “Concerts take place at the America Gardens Theatre in the American Adventure Pavilion and are included in Epcot admission.  Shows are 7 nights a week during the festival at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM, and 8 PM.”

Which three (3) acts would you go out of your way to see?  Leave a comment, here, on this post, on Facebook, or Twitter, and let us all know!

For me, it would be …

  1. Christopher Cross
  2. The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO
  3. Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles

I’ve seen Starship, starring Mickey Thomas before, and I’d be tempted to add Air Supply, Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group Styx, or Night Ranger, but those are my Top 3!

The Best Thing About World Showcase is … Beer?! [Poll]

By John Peters

Hey, folks!  You bet beer is!  Seriously, our podcast crew had a great time sitting around the Main Street Pub and ranking World Showcase’s pavilions!

If you missed it, catch that show at:  Episode #371 – Ranking World Showcase’s Pavilions!

Then, we had an even better time watching you vote to determine which were your favorite spots!

Catch the re-cap of that poll at:  World Showcase Pavilions … What DO We do with the “Bottom of the Barrel”?

Today, however, I’d like to look at one of the MANY reasons I love World Showcase so much … BEER!

Catch Episode #373 – Drinking Around World Showcase!

Oh, there is no doubt in my mind that the best place to find quality beer at Walt Disney World is in Epcot’s World Showcase.  With that in mind, in order from last to first, let’s tour through my “Hit List”.

11. Tsingtao – China – Very light.  Not too flavorful.

10. Kronenbourg 1664 – France – Well, the French DO make great wine.

9. Casa Beer – Morocco – Another extremely light beer.  Not bad on a hot day!

8. Modelo Especial – Mexico – This beer, I enjoy.  Again, it is another solid, refreshing choice on a hot afternoon.

7. Birra Moretti La Rossa – Italy – France could learn something from Italy!  The Italians are known more for their wine than their beer, but this is a great beer!  A Doppelbock, it has a slight sweet taste with some nice caramel notes.  Very nice!

6. Einstök – Norway – Actually, this beer is from Iceland.  Getting past that, it’s another great choice!  Nice and light, with a somewhat complex flavor profile, and some nice citrus notes, it is a fantastic brew!

5. Frozen Kirin – Japan – Take a look back … I’ve written about this one before.  Yep!  Take away my “Beer Geek” card, folks!  By itself, Kirin is not all that good of a beer.  Put a slushy top on it?  I’m sold!  Coldest beer in Epcot!

Love that slushy topping!

4. Golden Monkey – American Adventure – Lots of complex flavors in this one.  I’ve tasted bananas, bubblegum, and cotton candy flavors.  It’s pretty sweet and that hides the high alcoholic content.  At 9.5% ABV, this is a great beer that you might be best limiting to one!

3. Schofferhofer Hefeweizen Grapefruit – Germany – Some of you will disagree with me on this choice.  Grapefruit is blended with a Hefeweizen beer to deliver this refreshment.  Honestly, most people either love this or hate it.  Personally, I love it!  You had best like grapefruit juice, fans!

Does “grapefruit beer” complement great German food? You bet, it does!

2. Innis & Gunn – United Kingdom – An absolute delight, friends!  This beer is fantastic!  After brewing, it’s cured in empty whisky barrels.  That gives it its unique taste.

1. La Fin Du Monde – Canada – To those who know me, there’s no surprise here!  This is my absolute favorite beer in all of Walt Disney World!  La Fin is an extremely well-balanced Tripel.  It boasts a nice, subtle fruity taste and delivers a unique yeasty finish.  This one is another “hidden punch” beer, though.  Complex flavors hide its high ABV (9%).  Just be careful, folks!

Well, there!  You have my list of beers from around the showcase.  Have you tried them?  Do you agree with my thoughts?  I’d love to hear your comments – either, here, on this post or on social media!

Oh, by the way, please respond to the poll below.  Which three (3) of these would you choose?  VOTE, everyone!  The more the merrier!  Thanks for reading, and … cheers!

World Showcase Pavilions … What DO We do with the “Bottom of the Barrel”?

Howdy, folks!  Wow.  It has been … one … long … week.  Odd, too.  Since I had Tuesday off work for Independence Day, that is.

So.  Where were we on our little adventure through Walt Disney World?  Oh, yeah.  Epcot.  World Showcase.  Poll results!

First up, let’s take a look back at World Showcase’s pavilions.  Thanks for your incredible support, my friends.  Over 1,250 votes cast!  Yahoo!

Well, our task was to determine your collective ranking of the pavilions from one (1) to eleven (11), wasn’t it?  To do that, I asked you, each, to select your favorite five (5).  What were the results?

  1. Mexico
  2. Japan
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. Italy
  7. Norway
  8. Morocco
  9. American Adventure
  10. China
  11. Canada

Great list!  Can I comment?  Of course, I can!  Hah!

Mexico won by a bit of a landslide – over 30 votes!  Clearly La Cava del Tequila, the marketplace, the wide selection of restaurants, and the pavilion’s view of Illuminations catches our fancy.

In fact, Mrs. All in WDW and I had them at #2.  Oh, wait.  Here’s our list …

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Mexico
  3. Japan
  4. Germany
  5. Italy
  6. American Adventure
  7. China
  8. Morocco
  9. Canada
  10. France
  11. Norway

Pretty darn similar, I’d say.  With the exception of Italy – which you ranked in 6th place – our Top 5 matched yours!  Great minds think alike!

One other observation … let’s look at your list one more time – in a different light.  As you know, some of the pavilions (shown in RED) offer distinct, marquee movies or attractions.  How did those countries do?

  1. Mexico
  2. Japan
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. Italy
  7. Norway
  8. Morocco
  9. American Adventure
  10. China
  11. Canada

Only two of the Top 6 – as opposed to four of the Bottom 5 – offer attractions.  Huh?  Maybe attractions aren’t World Showcase’s draw, after all.

You know what?  Norway’s ranking mystifies me at the same time as it doesn’t surprise me.  We ranked it in 11th, after all.  With Maelstrom still “alive”, we would have ranked the pavilion at #3!

Much to our dismay, however, Frozen Ever After is insanely popular.  Having said that, it shocks me that Elsa didn’t single-handedly prop Norway up this poll.  I feel bad for Disney.  All that money spent, and we don’t even seem to appreciate it!

I hate to ask, but are we bored with the American Adventure?  I don’t mean the attraction, of course, but I do mean the pavilion itself.

What is it, everyone?  Is it just that there is no decent dining option … other than The Smokehouse at Flower & Garden?  Is it that their shopping options are next to nonexistent?

I’d find a way to add a stand-out Table Service option.  Doug Davis has mentioned that on our podcast.  Plus, I’d increase the size of the main gift shop and completely re-imagine Liberty Inn.

Finally, what do we do with the “bottom of the barrel”?  Good question.  Clearly, Canada’s signature restaurant isn’t helping them much.

If it were me, with the exception of Le Cellier – which should be enlarged to handle more Guests (another comment already made by Doug Davis and Dennis Conroy) – this pavilion needs a complete overhaul.

For example, their one little store is not much to speak about.  Look at the shopping options boasted by your Top 4.  There’s no comparison.  It is a clear area for improvement, Epcot.

How about adding a solid Quick Service?  Every other pavilion offers some type of reasonable Counter Service dining option.  Where’s the one in Canada?

Finally, what do we do with the movie?  Will an updated film lift this pavilion up the charts.  Probably not.

Here’s an idea … how much room do you have in there, Disney?  You’ve devoted a ton of space to landscaping, that’s for sure.

Could you, possibly, find enough area to, somehow, engineer a small log flume ride into the pavilion?  Hey!  It might be “out there”, but it’s as good of an idea as any!

How about you, folks?  How would you bring one of the Bottom 5 up to par with the rest of the Showcase?  Let us know, here, in the comments section of this post … or on social media!

How Would YOU Rank World Showcase’s Pavilions?! [Poll!]

Good morning, my friends!  Welcome back to … Epcot!  So.  How would you personally rank World Showcase’s pavilions?

If you want to know what I mean, please refer to the latest episode of the WDW Main Street Podcast … Episode 371 – Ranking the Pavilions!

In that show, Doug, Dennis, John, and I gather together at the Main Street Pub to dole out our individual opinions on which pavilion stands on top … and which one lands at last.

In that spirit, I have three tasks for you today.  First, let us know in the comments on this post or on social media – what is your ranking from one (1) to eleven (11)?  Which pavilion is first?  Which is last?  And, why?

Second, what country would you choose to be World Showcase’s twelfth pavilion?  We made our choices, but to find out what they are, you’ll need to listen to the show!

Finally, in the poll below, pick your Top 5 favorite pavilions.  Let’s let a good, old-fashioned All in WDW poll tell us what is your collective ranking!  VOTE for five (5), folks!  We’ll reveal the results in a few days.