Counting to 100 topiaries at Epcot’s 2015 Flower & Garden Festival

Disney claims to have “100-plus whimsical topiaries” on display during the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this year. We took that as the challenge it obviously is and decided to try to count them.

© Mary Liebman

We got closer to 100 than we expected — if we used a generous definition of topiary.

Don’t get us wrong — we’re not mad if there aren’t actually 100 topiaries. The Flower & Garden Festival is a spectacular show regardless of how many topiaries there are. In addition to what we’ve listed here, there are special gardens and displays, plus 30 “flower towers,” 225 floating mini-gardens and 700 container gardens — which we did not attempt to count.

See how far we got, and maybe you can help us add to the list and get to 100:

  • Helicopter Garden (6): Goofy, Pluto, Donald and Daisy, Chip and Dale
  • Behind Spaceship Earth (7): Butterflies, plus four giant flowers with succulent plants forming their centers
  • Festival Center (5): Five more giants flowers with succulent plants at their centers stand outside the center
  • Teardrop Garden (2): Mickey and Minnie Mouse
  • World Showcase Plaza (2): Anna and Elsa
  • Outside the Butterfly House (1): Tinkerbell
  • Mission Space (1): Buzz Lightyear
  • Cactus Road Rally (2): Lightning McQueen and Mater
  • Monstrous Garden (2): Mike Wazowski and Sulley
  • Future World (2): 2 elephants point the way to the Festival Center when it’s open, or just enjoy the sunshine if it’s not.
  • West Future World (11): A Fantasia display includes five mushrooms, three dancing ostriches, Sorcerer Mickey Mouse, and a dancing alligator and hippo pair.
  • Odyssey Bridge (2): Phineas and Ferb
  • Canada (3): Bambi, Flower and Thumper
  • England (7): Winnie the Pooh is joined by a butterfly, bee and snail in the Pollinator’s Paradise; Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tick Tock Croc.
  • France (6): Cinderella and Prince Charming; Beauty and the Beast; Cogsworth and Lumiere (no sign of Mrs. Potts and Chip this year) 
  • American Pavilion (1): Woody
  • Germany (8): Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • The Outpost in the World Showcase (6): Timon, Pumbaa, Mufasa, Sarabi, Rafiki and Simba
  • Italy (3): Lady and the Tramp; Miss Piggy
  • China (1): Ram representing the Year of the Sheep 

Our total so far: 78

So how do we find the next 20 or so? The truth is, we’re not entirely sure what Disney counts as a topiary — and what it doesn’t. If we included some or all of the “iffy” things below, we could get to 100:

  • Could we count the four brooms included as part of the Fantasia exhibit? We wouldn’t — they’re more like planters than topiaries — but maybe Disney does.
  • Mike and Sulley aren’t alone in their Monstrous Garden, but does just putting some eyes in a shrub count as a topiary? We think not, but if we did, you could probably add half a dozen to the list. 
  • Missing in action: There are more than a dozen topiaries that didn’t make the cut at this year’s festival. In addition to the 12 we listed here, Mrs. Potts and Chip are missing from the Beauty and the Beast display in the France pavilion. Maybe some of them RSVPd yes but didn’t show up for the party? 
  • Ordinary topiaries: All over Epcot — particularly in the UK pavilion — there are trees and shrubs clipped into ornamental shapes as part of the normal landscaping. That is, after all, the definition of a topiary, so you could include them, but we didn’t.