12 October 2009

Entering the jungle

When most people think about the horticulture aspects of Walt Disney World, their first thoughts turn to Epcot and its expansive gardens. From there, most may consider the wild spaces of Disney’s Animal Kingdom or the authentic feel of Frontierland and Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom. Near the bottom of every list will, more than likely, be the streets and avenues of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.While no longer a working studio, Disney’s Hollywood Studios still maintains their showcases for various filmmaking fields, continuing the work of educating while entertaining. Among the various disciplines still displayed at the studios are animation, costuming, stunt work, set building, and horticulture. The skillful use of plants in any film environment is a necessity. After all, a city street would feel askew if it were missing hanging baskets, window boxes, and tree-lined sidewalks.Whereas there are various venues for stunt shows, a variety of manners in which the tools of animation can be observed, copious amounts of set dressings, and several locations to view costumes and costume design, horticulture is only mentioned in passing along a solitary turn of the Backlot Tour. In this corner, however, you can view plant boxes, topiary (both in completed form and in their formative stages), in addition to other freestanding and potted plants. It may not be as glamorous as a model of the starlet from the next animated feature or as high energy as an explosive stunt, but watching a perfectly manicured topiary take shape is a wonderful thing, and worthy of taking note of.

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