The Massive Tree Farm at Disney World

Disney World tree farm
The massive Tree Farm at Disney World from the air.

If you’ve been to the Cast Connection building located off of Western Way and Bear Island Road, you’ve driven by the massive Tree Farm that supports Disney World operations.

A few of the greenhouses at the Tree Farm.
A few of the greenhouses at the Tree Farm.

The Disney Tree Farm is where a variety of plants, trees and shrubs are grown for use in the parks and resorts on property.  Think of all the stuff Disney grows in there year-round!

All the pretty topiaries from Epcot’s 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival are stored there for next year’s festival.

Let’s take a quick look at the topiaries being moved from Epcot to the farm starting tonight. It’s a big job!

belle beast epcot france
Let’s Dance!  Belle and the Beast

There are over 70 topiaries being moved back.  This is where they were located at Epcot for the 2019 International Flower and Garden Festival:

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Completely new is the Bo Peep figure, flanked by three wide-eyed topiary sheep.  These characters can be seen in “Toy Story 4,” coming to theaters on June 21st.
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Lady and the Tramp were in Italy.

In the France pavilion, Kermit pedaled past with baguettes in his bike’s basket. The festival team made a few adjustments to the frog figure, which previously was seen playing the banjo. Nearby, Miss Piggy stared in a scene that screams “moi.” She was ready for her close-up and flanked by three mirrors.

“We only could do that because he was already sitting on the crates last time so he was almost in the right pose,” Darden says. “We didn’t have to create a whole new character.”

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Kermit riding a bike!
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Miss Piggy waving.
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Daisy was in front of her garden of daisies.
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Queen Elsa and Princess Anna.  Look at their hair!!!

Festival Blooms – Future World East and West Lake

Fantasia – Future World West

Ranger Mickey & Friends – Future World

Figment – Future World behind Spaceship Earth

Stitch – Fountain-side of MouseGear

purple martin
Look right behind Buzz Lightyear and you can see the Purple Martin birdhouses.

Disney Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear

Disney Pixar’s Cruz Besouro from the – Near Test Track

Phineas and Ferb – Near Odyssey Bridge

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto – Showcase Plaza

Anna and Elsa – Norway

Bromeliad Dragon – China

Panda presented by Disneynature – China

Lion King
Christian at the Lion King topiaries.

The Lion King Featuring Mufasa, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Sarabi, Simba and Timon – The Outpost between the Germany and China Pavilion

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Germany

Lady and the Tramp – Italy

Disney Pixar’s Woody – The American Adventure

Beauty and the Beast – France

Belle – France

The Three Caballeros – Mexico

Winnie the Pooh and Friends – United Kingdom

Peter Pan, Tinker Bell & Fairy Houses from Pixie Hollow – United Kingdom

Bambi and Friends featuring Bambi, Flower, and Thumper – Canada

Mickey & Minnie Located between Future World and World Showcase

Bambi & Friends Featuring Bambi, Flower and Thumper Located at the Canada Pavilion

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Peter Pan and Captain Hook.
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Lovely!  Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip dancing at sunset.
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Mickey and Minnie in front of sunflowers…my favorite flower!
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Cogsworth & Lumiere
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Christian and Caroline went to the Festival twice this year. So much good food to try!
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As a Disney cast member, Christian has been to the Festival a lot this month and his roommate is working at it!
It's a 27/7/365 operation that is constantly growing the next season's flowers and plants.
It’s a 24/7, 365 days of the year operation that is constantly growing the next season’s flowers and plants.

For every three trees you see in the Magic Kingdom and the other parks, there is one “behind the scenes” tree growing at the huge Tree Farm that is similar in size and looks.

These trees are kept in case a tree is damaged by wind or lightning during a thunderstorm – it can be replaced that night without anyone knowing it was missing!

To meet some of the horticulture cast members, take a Behind the Seeds tour at The Land in Epcot:  Behind The Seeds Tour.

Behind the Seeds Tour at The Land.
Behind the Seeds Tour at The Land.

How Horticulture Cast Members Keep Walt Disney World Looking Beautiful

Landscaping is an essential part of the appeal of the Disney’s theme parks.

The WDW resort sits on 25,000 acres of what was essentially Florida swampland, and all plant life has to deal with the hot, humid Florida climate and a host of hungry insects.

Disney established a huge nursery and tree farm, and experimented with different plant species until it found ones that looked appropriate and were capable of thriving.

Nowadays, some 4,000 acres are landscaped across the resort’s theme parks, hotels, golf courses and other public areas. An army of more than 600 Cast Members is responsible for maintaining this acreage, and carries out a wide range of tasks to do just that.

Flowers surrounding Friendship Bay at Epcot
Beautiful flowers surrounding Friendship Bay at Epcot for the International Flower and Garden Show in the spring.  This area will be re-sodded June 5th.
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All these flowers are dug up and composted when the International Flower and Garden Festival ends in June.  30 million blooms!

Eight Great Roles for Cast Members with Green Thumbs:

1.  Setting up the Flower & Garden Festival in the Spring

Cast Members produce thousands of floral displays and over a hundred topiaries in advance of the event.

These vegetables will be served in the restaurants at Epcot!
These vegetables will be served in the restaurants at Epcot!

2.  Feeding the Guests

The plants in Epcot’s The Land Pavilion are not just for show. More than 30 tons of fruits and vegetables grown in the pavilion are served at Walt Disney World restaurants every year, including lettuce, cucumbers and peppers.

3.  Creating Edible Landscapes at DAK

The animals that roam around the savannas are browsers and grazers, and the landscape provides plenty of options for them to chew on. Cast Members have to constantly add plants to the savannas to replace those that have been gobbled and to keep the animals interested. Disney also “cheats” by introducing thousands of pounds of pre-cut leaves every week, to discourage the animals from devouring all of its pretty plants.

4.  Planting Species from all over the World

The team plants around three million bedding plants annually across 300,000 square feet of flowerbeds, as well as tending to 175,000 trees and more than four million shrubs. There are 13,000 rose bushes alone at the resort.  There are over 3,000 species of plants representing flora gathered from all over the United States and more than 50 foreign countries.

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Christian and Mitch walking around the World Showcase enjoying the Festival. Flowers everywhere!

5.  Creating Topiaries

A team of around 30 Cast Members staffs the nursery, which produces more than 4,000 hanging baskets every year. It also produces the topiaries that add to the theme of the various theme parks and resorts, with more than 200 designs.

Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins topiary at the Grand Floridian

6.  Carrying out Daily (and Nightly!) Maintenance

Cast Members at Walt Disney World are up bright and early, allowing them to carry out maintenance tasks by the time guests arrive. Every day, they weed gardens, chop dead heads off flowers and replace withering flowers with new ones.  When a theme change is demanded, i.e., from Halloween to Christmas, the Cast Members work through the night to completely transform the garden flowers overnight.

7.  Mowing the Lawn

There are 2,000 acres of turf at Walt Disney World, and all of its gets mowed at least twice a week. This requires an astonishing 450,000 mowing miles every year to keep the grass in shape.

8.  Setting the Scene

The landscaping sets the scene in every area of WDW’s theme parks.

For example to recreate the lowlands surrounding Mount Everest for Expedition Everest’s Forbidden Mountain, more than 900 bamboo plants, 10 species of trees and 110 species of shrubs were planted.

We <3 The Land at Epcot!!
We ❤ Living with The Land at Epcot!
Growing corn.
Growing corn.

******************* 

two Disney Sisters
Ready for a fun – and long – day at the Magic Kingdom!

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover
Adventures in the Animal Kingdom
book Two Girls
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

Two Disney Sisters
Two Disney Sisters

*****

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