21 Disney Topiaries Taking Art Form to the Next Level  

Throughout this year’s EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, we’ve shared several “how’d they do that?” stories about our Disney topiaries but nothing like today’s update. We’re taking a special look back at this unique art form (and Disney tradition) with some vintage photos from the past and 21 top photos of 2024’s most detailed and elaborate topiaries that’ll make you say, “Ooh.”     

Topiaries at "it's a small world" at Disneyland Park

Walt Disney originally got the idea of creating “living” topiaries when seeing traditional topiary gardening in Europe. Walt eventually then asked animators and Disneyland landscape teams to do their magic – as seen in a rare Disneyland Resort photo from our archives.   

In 1963, there were 24 original Disneyland park topiaries, including a waltzing hippo, a poodle, a pig, bears, elephants, seals, and giraffes. In 1966, they were permanently planted at “it’s a small world.” 

Beauty and the Beast Topiary at EPCOT

Over the years, topiaries like Belle and the Beast in France have become even more jaw-dropping. Horticulture teams often work with Walt Disney Animation Studio artists and Imagineers to leverage different types of topiary designs and techniques to create eye-catching characters and scenes out of plants and plant material.  

Princess Tiana Topiary at EPCOT

As we’ve shared, the Princess Tiana topiary at The American Adventure at EPCOT is an extra special creation that stays true to the New Orleans spirit and scenery – even using magnolias and florals native to the area. Imagineer Brittany Smith and cast member Antoinette Valentin studied every detail of Disney Animation’s “The Princess and the Frog” to help turn a hand-drawn animation into a 3D figure.

Elsa Topiary at EPCOT

It’s the beginning of the topiary project where sketches and 3-D models play a crucial role in guiding the planning process before it’s passed off to welders who create the frame that’ll eventually become a character like Anna or Elsa found in Norway.

Lady and the Tramp Topiary at EPCOT

Many of the Disney topiaries that’ll stop you in your tracks are created with a design called Sphagnum Topiary, which uses a frame to shape the figure. The Lady and the Tramp topiaries at the Italy Pavilion are perfect examples – created with sphagnum moss and other plants.  

Like the stunning Simba and friends topiaries near The Land Pavilion, the process of creating a “living” masterpiece has been sped up by using sphagnum moss (a high-quality material from New Zealand) as a base to hold different species of plants to match Disney character clothing, hair and of course, fur texture! 

 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs topiaries at EPCOT

There are more than 70 topiaries at the Flower & Garden Festival. And many of these masterpieces can take months to reach full bloom and be “show” ready, like the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs topiaries in Germany.  

Groot Topiary at EPCOT

Every year, Disney teams are looking to add new magic to the topiaires and 2024 is no exception.  For the first time, Groot, the Flora Colossi from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, took root near Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in World Discovery.  

The design draws inspiration from the entertaining “I Am Groot” short featured on Disney+, titled Groot Takes a Bath, where the lovable character gets inventive with his topiary powers.

"Wish" Topiaries at EPCOT

And at the entrance of EPCOT, you find new topiaries featuring Asha, Valentino, and Star from the Disney Animation film “Wish.”

To authentically represent these characters, the team hand-wove Asha’s braids and incorporated lighting effects for Star’s celestial dust. 

Cogsworth Topiary at EPCOT

With Lumiere and Cogsworth topiaries in France, here are the rest of this year’s best photos of Disney topiaries and where you can find them.  

Bambi and friends topiaries are at World Showcase near Refreshment Port and favorites Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip ‘n’ Dale and Pluto can be spotted at the bridge to World Showcase at EPCOT. 

Woody and Bo Peep with her Sheep are can’t-miss topiaries at World Nature, between Imagination! and The Land Pavilion. A fantastic Captain Hook, with Peter Pan and Tick Tock Croc are at World Showcase between United Kingdom and Canada and the intricate Pumbaa and Timon topiaries are near The Land Pavilion.

The bright and colorful Figment topiary and flower towers greet guests in the World Celebration gardens area. An impressive Dragon is planted at the Japan Pavilion near Torii Gate and of course, the fascinating troll topiary can be found in Norway.   

Vintage Topiaries at Disney

We hope you enjoyed this unique look back at Disney topiaries – old and new!   

There’s still time to see the 2024 topiaries featured in today’s story at the Flower & Garden Festival and here’s a list of where you can find all of the stunning topiaries. The festival runs through May 27.