100+ Topiary On Display At The 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

One of the things that the Walt Disney World horticulture team is known for is the more than 200 opulent topiary that can be found across property. During the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, guests will be able to view these magnificent living sculptures, and wonder at the skill and craftsmanship that goes into creating them. While the creation of topiary has been around since ancient Rome, over the years Disney Imagineering has put its own unique stamp on the art we see today.

100+ Topiaries Will Be On Display In 2016100+ Topiaries Will Be On Display In 2016

During the early years of Walt Disney World the topiary guests encountered were generic animal figures with creatively painted faux greenery, and not specific Disney characters, grown from living plants. However, as time went on and more figures were being created the desire developed to add brighter splashes of color (inspired by the Pasadena Rose Parade) and to use the displays to promote current Disney films. Once again the Disney experts went to work and came up with a new style.

Steel frames were created and wrapped with chicken wire to create the shape of a Disney characters. Then the body was stuffed with sphagnum moss. After the voids were filled with moss small plants could be plugged into the moss, and encouraged to grow by daily watering through an integrated irrigation system that waters the topiary according to the needs of the different plants being used. Because the metal frame itself is the container of the plant, these new topiary became mobile and adaptable stage decorations. The number of topiary across the Walt Disney World property has now grown to over 200 figures, and during the Flower and Garden Festival Disney topiary team uses about 200 one-pound boxes of hairpins to attach the plants and flowers to the moss.

Daisy Duck Topiary from 2011Daisy Duck Topiary from 2011

The brilliant topiary have become a mainstay for Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival, and guests look forward each year to see what new additions have been added to the collection. In 2016 the grand entrance vignette will be the "Fresh Food, Fun & Flowers" topiary scene, inspired by a 1943 Donald Duck comic book. This Victory Garden tableau will feature three new Disney Character topiaries - for the first-time ever Huey, Dewey and Louie will be caught up in a comical gardening scene that uses more than 30 varieties of flowers, plants, and other garden material.

Over in the Music Garden Melodies (an interactive musical playground) guests will be able to see Mickey himself leading the band, with the Fab Five collection that includes Mickey Mouse plus Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck topiaries.

Mickey Picnic Topiary Tableau From 2011Mickey Picnic Topiary Tableau From 2011

In Future World the Ranger Mickey Garden will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the US National Parks Service, which launched in 1916 to conserve the country's natural scenic treasures. A topiary selfie-spot will be available in the garden that creates a family photo opportunity featuring a Spaceship Earth backdrop.

In their second year at the Festival, Anna and Elsa topiaries will travel to the Norway pavilion festival landscape following their 2015 debut along World Showcase Plaza in a scene from the blockbuster Oscar-winning animated film, "Frozen." The royal sisters are each about 6-1/2 feet tall and are created with plants that include variegated Ficus, green Ficus and the succulent Sedum Coral Reef.

Hungry Panda Topiary from China Pavilion from 2011Hungry Panda Topiary from China Pavilion from 2011

In all nearly 100 topiary characters will be able to be seen on display in Epcot during the Festival, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, Simba and Peter Pan. These creative tributes to our favorite Disney characters will animate the Epcot landscape by day, and at night creative lighting will add extra magic with twinkle and shine.

Do you look forward to the topiary at Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival? Which are your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know!

alicemouse wrote on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 17:40:

alicemouse's picture

Very excited to have the opportunity to be there for the opening this year! I was at Epcot last week and I realized that it was the first time since 2012 that I had been there outside of a festival or holiday time. The park looked empty without the topiaries, food carts, or Christmas trees.

Kristen K. wrote on Sat, 02/20/2016 - 23:56:

Kristen K.'s picture

LOL, I totally know what you mean. :-)

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