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A behind the scenes look at creating the Topiaries for EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

The highlight of every Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is the Topiaries that Disney Horticulture spend months lovingly creating for each years festival.

A Behind The Scenes Look at Creating the Topiaries for EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

Disney Horticulture and Walt Disney Imagineering work together to design, build and grow diverse topiary masterpieces, including the 2023 debut of fearless Princess Tiana from the Walt Disney Animation Studios classic “The Princess and the Frog,” plus the courageous Madrigal sisters and young Antonio from Disney Animation’s Academy Award-winning “Encanto.”

A Behind The Scenes Look at Creating the Topiaries for EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

So, how do Walt Disney World create the signature Walt Disney World topiary?

To produce one of the "sphagnum topiary" it takes a lot of imagination and a few good horticulturists to put it all together.

The process of creating a new topiary starts a full year before each year's festival, so just as guests are getting a glimpse of this year's newest topiaries, Disney Horticulture is already hard at work to ensure there is new topiaries for next year's festival!

It all starts with a Disney Imagineer who designs a maquette figure, and 3D models. From there, a skilled welder forms the frame, an irrigation specialist adds watering mechanisms and then Gardeners will stuff and plant the frame.

A Behind The Scenes Look at Creating the Topiaries for EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

This whole process can take several months and depending on the plant material it may take a while to grow, filling out the frame.

To make the topiary appear more life-like Disney create faces or embellishments from dried mosses, palm fibers and even seeds.

A few years ago when the creative experts in Horticulture decided to design Anna and Elsa in plant and flower form, they needed models to help start the process, so that Imagineers could sketch them, and design the 3D models that serve as the foundation for the topiaries.

Sarah Lanners, a senior at the University of Minnesota Crookston, and Jordan McGee, a senior at Stephen F. Austin State University, worked with the Horticulture team as Horticulture interns back in 2015, and were asked to be the pose models for the royal sisters!

Whether striking an icy powers-pose or blooming vibrantly, some of the most popular eye-catchers to Epcot this spring are the topiaries.

These living works of art feature beloved Disney characters and beautiful representations of the season.

While you may not need a full-size Goofy at home, here’s a DIY guide to help you create your own topiary for your yard or tabletop, and yes you can purchase the wire frames at this year's EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival!

Create your own Mickey Mouse Topiaries

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