Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

Epcot is really starting to get its groove back…

Of all Disney’s theme parks, in so many ways it felt like Epcot got hit hardest by the effects of 2020. A combination of extensive construction, the departure of World Showcase’s cultural representatives, and the scaling back of the park’s annual festivals all took a toll on the magic at the park celebrating Walt Disney’s greatest dream.

2021 is here, and things are really starting to look up at Epcot—especially with the arrival of the Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Disney really has done an outstanding job with Epcot’s festivals since the start of 2021. The Festival of the Arts was great, but the park is really starting to feel like itself again with the Flower & Garden Festival—full of color, music, sunshine, and enticements to the senses.

Video: Jett Farrell-Vega (@My Kingdom For a Mouse - Glimpses of Disney)

Whether you’re planning to visit or are just in the need of some cheer, here’s some of the best highlights we saw at the Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Gardens, Gardens, Gardens Galore

Huge display of colorful flowers with Spaceship Earth in background
Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

Epcot already holds some of the most beautiful gardens at Walt Disney World, but the Flower & Garden Festival really take these to the next level.

Bright red flowers up close
Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

From one end to the other, this festival turns Epcot into an explosion of color from thousands of carefully arranged flowers. You can’t walk two minutes without being treated to a staggering artistic display of plants.

For a supposedly toned-back version of the festival, it certainly didn’t feel to us like they held back at all. In fact, this year felt like we saw the widest variety of gardens we’ve ever seen at Epcot before.

You can see floating gardens setting colorful flowers upon gently rolling waters…

Floating Gardens at Epcot
Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

A Shakespeare garden in the UK pavilion that brings some of the great playwright's most botanical verses to life with displays accurate to the contents of his verse…

Sign with Shakespeare verse and matching flowers behind in garden
Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

A peaceful bonsai garden in the Japan pavilion to make Mr. Miyagi proud…

Bonsai tree at Epcot
Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

A tea garden displaying the many herbs that make your favorite blends possible…

Chai pumpkin spice garden at Epcot
Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

And many more stunning artistic displays of floral life…

A colorful arrangement of flowers
Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

The Butterfly Pavilion is the place to linger

Video: Jett Farrell-Vega (@My Kingdom For a Mouse - Glimpses of Disney)
Because butterflies are apparently easier to film than to photograph...

Of all the things I expected Disney to skip this year, the butterfly pavilion was the one I figured we wouldn’t see… and I am so happy I was wrong.

Butterfly on a flower
Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

The pavilion is an enclosed garden positively bursting with inquisitive butterflies of many different species. You can see a number of them in the video above. The secret to the pavilion is to take it slow. Keep an eye out for plants the butterflies like most. I found one particular arrangement that had dozens of butterflies doing helicopters around my head.

Butterfly pavilion at Epcot
Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

All in all, we’re thrilled this annual favorite returned for 2021!

Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

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