Today’s article is brought to you by Guru Shannan. Enjoy as she takes you through the magic of Disney’s gardens. Please feel free to visit her over at her Disney blog Addicted to Mickey or on her Facebook page.
How does your garden grow? There isn’t anything at Disney, in my opinion, more beautiful than the flowers , gardens, trees and topiaries scattered around the World. Everywhere you turn there are bright colors of plants and hanging baskets. They are located in the parks, at the bus stops and around the resorts. These beautiful creations are not simple plantings, however. Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort together have over 650 professional horticulturalists! Walt Disney World, itself, covers over 4000 acres.
Every year, Walt Disney World raises 3million annuals, 8,500 indoor plants and 4,000 hanging baskets. They use 10.5million beneficial insects as plant pest control. They also do a lot of plant experimenting and research. Part of this takes place in one of my favorite attractions, Living With the Land in the Land Pavilion at Epcot. Here, guests can see a small fraction of what Walt Disney World does. This is also where many of the fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used in the Disney restaurants are grown. If you are lucky when you are passing through, you may catch a glimpse of a Mickey shaped tomato or pumpkin. The Behind the Seeds walking tour is also offered at this location.
At Disneyland’s opening, Walt Disney said, “‘Disneyland will never be completed, it will always continue to grow.'” I think that he was referring, partly to the beautiful plant life that leads you from land to land. The gardens are a part of each attraction, show and memory. At Walt Disney World there are six different environments in the Magic Kingdom alone. Main Street has Victorian gardens, shade trees and baskets hanging from lamp posts overflowing with color. As you travel to Adventureland the plants turn tropical with palm trees and bamboo lining the walkways. On to Fantasy land you are greeted with colorful topiaries of characters. Then in Tomorrowland there are spiked trees and Japanese Yew trees. Finally in Liberty Square, a giant oak, around 140 years old, stands majestically in front of the Hall of Presidents. The red, white and blue color palette symbolize the patriotic fare of the land.
Each park and resort has its own floral schemes with various plants, hundreds of colors, some pastel, some bright. These plants set the mood for the area you are in and help you transport from world to world. Epcot has the World Showcase where each country has their native plans. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios there are huge Mexican palms down Sunset Blvd to make you feel as if you are actually in Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Animal Kingdom dedicates sections to Asia, Dinoland and Africa. My favorite is the 145 foot tall, 50 foot wide (artificial) Tree of Life that has become the park’s icon.
Walt said, “‘ Our forests, waters, grasslands and wildlife must be protected.'” Next time at the World, stop and appreciate the beauty of the themes, baskets, topiaries and gardens that were created by the professionals that dedicate their talents to the inspiration of the man that had a dream.