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Epcot in spring? It’s a date!

By Jan Tuckwood
Cox Newspapers

Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival turns 21 this year, and now’s the perfect time to make a toast – since the new Spice Road Table restaurant at Morocco in the World Showcase has some of the best sangria we’ve ever tasted.

The 75-day flower and garden extravaganza at the Walt Disney World theme park runs March 5-May 18. Here are some of the highlights:

Groovy bands: Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) hit the Flower Power concert stage March 14-16; the Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”) on May 16-18. Opening weekend, March 7-9, the Guess Who kicks off the concert series.

Monstrous Garden: A new Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden welcomes kids with a playland and special topiaries, including Peter Pan.

Hummingbirds at Home: Want to attract hummingbirds to your garden? Check out a new exhibit with walk-through garden by the National Audubon Society.

Gardens aglow: After sunset, illuminated gardens will cast a glow.

It’s easy being green: Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will make their topiary debuts among the 100-plus topiaries throughout Epcot during the festival.

HGTV stars: Alison Victoria of “Kitchen Crashers” and Matt Blashaw of “Yard Crashers” will appear each weekend at the Festival Center.

Outdoor Kitchens: Eleven outdoor kitchens will send delicious smells wafting throughout Epcot as chefs prepare delights like smoked turkey ribs and “Piggylicious Bacon Cupcakes.”

Spice Road Table: Now let’s get back to that sangria – the organic and delectable Spice Road Signature Sangria ($9.99 per glass) at Morocco’s newest restaurant. Spice Road is right on the lagoon and offers spectacular views of the Epcot ball, but you could be blindfolded and still enjoy the tapas and drinks here. We also like the wine flights – three 3-ounce pours of white or red wine, all from the Mediterranean region ($12.99).

The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission. Details: www.epcotinspring.com.

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