Get A Taste of Florida at Disney Springs!

Walt Disney World Tickets , Orlando , Expert View Column , Eating and Drinking
A woman pouring colourful drinks behind a wooden bar
By’s Florida Experts, Susan and Simon Veness
Check out this Walt Disney World summer festival of food and beverage specialities

Here’s something to warm the cockles of our foodie hearts – the fourth annual Flavours of Florida celebration at Disney Springs, featuring a dazzling showcase of menu items, all with a genuine taste of the Sunshine State.

From now until August 11, Orlando visitors will be treated to a wide variety of speciality food and drink items throughout Walt Disney World Resort’s sparkling entertainment district, showcased at 45 different venues, from the basic food kiosks to the full-service restaurants. Just to start with, this mini festival is presented by drinkware company Corkcicle and is a relatively new yearly opportunity to sample some of the more imaginative culinary highlights that Florida has to offer, from unique beers and cocktails to variations on the signature Cuban sandwich that is a state original dating back to the 19th century.

For repeat visitors, it is chance to try out something completely new on the various menus around Disney Springs, while for newcomers it serves as a tasty introduction to the many different cuisines that the Sunshine State has to offer, as well as offering some new signature dining opportunities.


A collage of food including an orange ice cream in a cone and an individual key lime pie


In addition to the various tastes on offer, there is also a series of cookery demonstrations from renowned chefs on the Waterview Park stage next to The Boathouse restaurant in The Landing area of the Springs, plus special Pairing Event dinners at selected restaurants. There is even a Discover The Springs seek-and-find game inspired by the famous springs that are such a state feature, with a special surprise for those completing the scavenger hunt.

Even better, this year’s Flavours incorporate a variety of local and organic farms that help to boost Central Florida food producers and provide a healthy alternative to all that holiday dining. As locals ourselves, we are always delighted to see something creative in the food and beverage department across this huge area that we call Orlando, and that creative component is something Disney has been keen to develop for this year’s event. 

Disney Springs vice president Matt Simon explained in the Orlando Sentinel: “It’s no longer just ingredients that are Florida-familiar. We’re bringing in the farmers of our community and showing our guests, in a very special way, how to enjoy these flavours in a truly authentic way. It’s also exciting for guests to have this personal connection with the chefs in Disney Springs, and for them to be able to get together and have an amazing food experience that nobody else in the world can have.”


A chef holding a plate of food and smiling at the camera


Part of this year’s festival is being celebrated in a new Pairing Series that aims to connect guests directly with their vacation food and beverages, according to Disney Springs general manager Michael Reiss. He said: “It’s one of those things we’ve layered in to give more options and value to the guests. These will have a limited number of seats, with two events per location.”

The series will be hosted at six contrasting Disney Springs venues, including four of our all-time favourites, namely the funky style of The Edison, the award-winning Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, seafood restaurant Paddlefish and the casual sophisticated vibe of Wine Bar George. Tickets for these events, which include multiple courses and run from one-and-a-half to three hours, cost from $100-$150 per person and are available at

The Cookery Demonstrations will happen once a day at Waterview Park and feature chefs such as Takeshi Ikeuchi from Morimoto Asia, Mike Tiva from Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Josh Williams from the new Summerhouse by the Lake, Brad Warner from The Boathouse and Maneet Chauhan herself from eet by Maneet Chauhan.


9 chefs standing on a wooden stage facing the camera with their arms crossed


When it comes to the different dishes on offer, you are really spoiled for choice, including – we are delighted to see – a nod towards a historic ingredient that hails from the Mediterranean via St Augustine. Datil peppers were reputedly imported by immigrants from the Spanish island of Menorca in the 18th century and have been a feature of the city’s cuisine ever since, and their hot, sweet flavour is notable in the local chowder, among other things. In Disney Springs, it is being used to spice up the frites plate from the Canadian-influenced The Daily Poutine kiosk close to the big World of Disney store, and we heartily recommend giving it a try. 

So, what else is a must-try this year? In our view, just about everything! For sweet treats, there is the Orange Slushie from the delightful Amorette’s Patisserie in The Marketplace and the Key Lime Pie Marshmallows at the artisanal Wondermade pop-up kiosk in The Landing. For something more substantial, try the delicious Pork Belly Burnt End Tacos from the City Works and Pour House or the House of Blues Restaurant & Bar, where their Florida Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich is definitely a cut above.


A collage of food including key lime marshmallows and a fresh salad


For sheer volume, the superb Spanish-influenced Jaleo by Jose Andres has five Flavours of Florida dishes on offer, including a locally-sourced heirloom tomato salad, a vegetable rice dish using fresh local Southern Hills Farms produce and a variation on their delicious Agua Fresca using Sunshine State strawberries, limes and oranges. 


A collage of food at Jaleo including a tomato salad and paella


History also plays a role. As Florida is the birthplace of the Cuban sandwich, several venues will be doing their own take on this particular theme, from the Tampa-style Cuban at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ to an Ybor City-style hot-dog at B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co. The good-value Earl of Sandwich goes one better and adds those spicy St Augustine datil peppers to their Cuban Sandwich.

The beverage teams have been getting in on the fun, too. At Morimoto Asia, the orange shiso mocktail allows guests of all ages to get in on Florida flavours with a house-made orange shrub, while Frontera Cocina has created a Sunshine State margarita. Gideon’s Bakehouse has lined up an orange mocha nitro cold brew that will suit the caffeine crew, and eet by Maneet Chauhan’s Sunny Days delights with its concoction of whipped vodka, orange cream flavouring and orange ice-pop, a cocktail in dessert form.

Disney Springs even has its very own beer now, which will be available for the first time during the festival (and thereafter permanently – hooray!). The light and citrusy Sunshine Stroll Orange Pilsner has been custom crafted for Disney by the Playalinda Brewing Co. of Titusville on the Atlantic Coast and it not only pairs well with the goat cheese dip at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, it’s also one of the ingredients. You can find it at Jock Lindsay’s as well as some of the drink-serving carts around Disney Springs.


Two cans of Sunshine Stroll pilsner on a decking with rope in the background


And don’t forget to pick up your Event Guide to this year’s event – which includes the Discover the Flavours scavenger hunt – from the Disney Springs Welcome Center or any of the City Works Watery & Pour House, Corkcicle shop and eet by Maneet Chauhan restaurant.

For the full range of tastes and samples for this event, look up

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Walt Disney World Tickets , Orlando , Expert View Column , Eating and Drinking