Earlier this month my very sweet bridesmaids surprised me with a trip to Orlando, Florida. I've been pretty stressed out with work and life in general lately so a weekend away was exactly what I needed. My sister (and Maid of Honor) lives nearby and is Disney obsessed so had a feeling that we would be going to the park at some point during our stay. I've already been to the Magic Kingdom a few times before so I was happy to see our Uber pull up to Epcot.
We had a bit of trouble getting everyone in our group into the park so my sister ran ahead because we were missing the start of a tour that they had booked. Once we finally made it through the gates we ran to Rose & Crown Pub in the United Kingdom. Imagine my surprise when I learned that my crew had booked us for a tea tour! Even though we were late the cast members let us jump in and sweetly offered to circle back afterward to the parts that we missed.
Outside of The Tea Caddy, a shop in the park operated by Twinings Tea, is a beautiful English style garden. Spring has yet to really arrive here in New Jersey so it was a nice change to be surrounded by flowers and lush greenery. There are teacup shaped planters located throughout the garden, each themed around different blends in Twinings's arsenal.
I was overjoyed to see actually tiny tea plants in each of them. None of the plants were flowering yet but I spotted several buds that looked like they were ready to burst. There was also a stand of more mature plants along the edge that were accompanied by signage educating visitors about tea and how it is processed.
Our tour guides, Owen and Brogan, were both knowledgeable and entertaining. I'm always hesitant to reveal myself as a tea blogger in these kinds of situations, preferring to sit back as a casual observer instead. I loved hearing the name Camellia Sinensis so many times! I was impressed at the depth of information provided in an easy to understand way. Every guest on our tour seemed genuinely interested and surprised by some of the things that they learned.
At the conclusion of our tour, we were given both sweet and savory scones and an array of Twinings Tea to choose from. The Rose & Crown Pub is located right on the water and the view was very beautiful on such a bright, sunny morning. I opted for the green tea as I needed some caffeine to recover from the bit of partying we had done the night before. I won't be writing about that portion of the trip here but if you are ever looking for a fun local dive, I highly recommend Kitty O'Sheas.
The earl grey-infused butter was delicious and went really well with the sweeter scone but not as well with the Irish cheddar. Clotted cream and jam were also given. My friends and family definitely enjoy tea but are not as hardcore as yours truly. It was interesting to see all of their reactions and the tasting notes that came up as they sipped.
This tour was offered as part of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. As we made our way around the world, I spotted several tea plants scattered throughout the park, particularly in Japan and China. That's probably not something I would have noticed if we hadn't gone on the tour first but it became a fun point of interest for our trip. It was hard to resist purchasing a new cup or mug while we were there. I really didn't need any more than I already have and there wasn't much free room in my luggage. However, I couldn't stop myself from picking up a bag of green tea Kit Kats in Japan.
Have you ever had a Disney tea experience? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!