03 March 2009

Continues to blossom year after year

One of my favorite pastimes while in Walt Disney World is to photograph the various plants, flowers, and trees used to invoke the spirit of a time or place. The way the slash pines and yuccas give firm roots to Frontierland, how the pagoda flowers and Bodhi Trees offer the distinct flavors of Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or even the way that pygmy date, queen, and Mexican fan palms summon classic Hollywood the manner in which these plants are selected and arranged requires not only an green thumb, but an artist’s eye to match.

The same holds true for the topiaries that line the walkways of Epcot during the International Flower and Garden Festival, circle the moat of the Magic Kingdom’s Hub, and can be spotted in other select locations around property. Perhaps though, the single greatest instance of the combination of plant and art comes in the form of the large planter situated between the entrance to Epcot and Spaceship Earth. As often as is appropriate, this container goes through changes throughout the course of a year. Sometimes, the planter will include a colossal topiary whose shadow stretches beyond the front gate. While still on other occasions, the planter will recreate an oversized flower pot, featuring but a few species of delicate blooming flowers.

Over the course of the past year, I have had the privilege of viewing this container a number of times, probably more than my fair share should allow. The emotional stirring some receive when they see Spaceship Earth from the road as they are driving in to the park or as they round the corner of Main Street U.S.A. and see Cinderella Castle again for the first time is similar to the building anticipation I get from wondering what the planter has in store for me on each sequential visit (Though, to be fair, I get just as exciting at various other moments during a trip, including those listed above). Because of my various excursions this year I have even had the opportunity to see some of the preparation work for the display pieces. I suppose it is time to stop discussing the beauty of this planter, and take a look at some of its costuming from the past year.

In April, at the height of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Minnie, Mickey, and Goofy are taking 2008’s theme of Fun in the Sun very seriously. It is worth noting that the Goofy centerpiece is riding a six foot tall wave making this one piece over fourteen feet tall.

In September, a table has been prepared for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This Alice inspired table display is fitting since the premise of 2008’s festival was Cities in Wonderland. In addition, since I arrived in Walt Disney World a few days before the kick-off of the event, I was able to capture this picture of the groundwork being set.

December of 2008 allowed for an exhibit that included holiday d├ęcor, Christmas trees, and Donald, Goofy, and Pluto decked out in winter-wear.

Lastly, in early January 2009, Marathon Weekend to be precise, the ornate centerpieces of the planter gives way to the simple class of a few well-selected floras and the sleek elegance of Spaceship Earth.

1 comment:

Princess Fee said...

I love the plants and flowers and trees throughout the Walt Disney World resort - especially the entry-way to Epcot! I will keep an eyeout as to what they have when I'm there this weekend - and look forward to catching up on your posts when I get back!