How Are The Topiaries Of The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Created?

How Are The Topiaries of The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Created?

Each spring, Epcot literally blooms into the most beautiful park at Walt Disney World. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival transforms the entire park into a magical place filled with gorgeous flowers and character topiaries. The brilliant imagineers at Disney put so much work into creating each of the festival’s gorgeous topiaries. So just how exactly do the manage to bring our favorite characters to life in the form of living plants?

Each topiary begins as a scale model of the figure known as a maquette. These maquettes are very similar to the grey sculptures you’ve probably seen Disney use for their animated films. The maquette is then used as the basis for the actual topiary’s rebar frame. Moss is tightly packed in to fill the rebar frame. At this point, the now brown topiaries really begin to take shape.

After the topiaries are filled with moss, the process of adding flowers and greenery begins. The imagineers use a dibble, a pointed gardening tool, to create holes in which to plant the flowers or greenery. Once the plant is inserted, it will begin growing into the moss. Next imagineers utilize tons of hair pins to hold vines and leaves in place on the topiary. Some of the topiaries can have up to 2,000 hair pins holding the plants in place!

The 2014 festival will feature nearly 100 spectacular topiaries, including Mickey and friends, classic Disney couples, and some Pixar favorites. New topiaries for this year’s festival will include Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Timon. The 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will take place from March 5th until May 18th, 2014.

Your Thoughts

Do you have a favorite topiary from the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival? Let us know your favorite in the comments below!

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This is so cool! Wish I had a team of gardeners at home to make my yard into a Disney wonderland.

Me too! Did you ever watch My Yard Goes Disney? I’d love to have some of the stuff from that show in my yard!


Thanks Kimberly! I had no idea how they were made — I thought it was all Disney Magic! 🙂

I’m pretty sure they use some Disney magic too. 🙂

Lisa Cameron

Great post! I learned so much! My favorite topiary is the Tinkerbell one in the butterfly garden.

Thanks! The butterfly garden is so neat! I’d love to see it in person sometime!

I am always amazed by all of the details that each topiary has. It’s hard to believe that they are real, living plants!


It is! They always look so perfect!

Mouse Ears Mom

I’ve always wondered how the topiaries were made! I couldn’t even make a Mickey topiary grow!


I probably couldn’t either!


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