Florida Guide > Disney General
Walt Disney World – A blooming success
One of the reasons Walt Disney World always looks so good is the immaculately tended plants, shrubs, tree’s and flowers. Being a keen gardener myself I was interested to find out a bit more about the logistics of planning and maintaining such a vast place.
The facts and figures are jaw dropping, and you can understand why Disney has over 650 horticulturalists on their staff to handle an area the size of San Francisco.
Here are some of the facts and figures, and sheer magnitude of the displays we all take for granted.
Firstly, the Disney Horticulture Logo: It is derived from a 38 ton Oak tree that was discovered on the eastern side of Disney property some 30 years ago. It was moved 8 miles to be the centrepiece of Liberty Square.
It was no small feat to move it though, and nothing as easy as transplanting it. In order to move a tree with a root ball of 18 feet, by 14 feet, by 4 feet deep an imaginative way of moving it had to be devised. They drilled holes through the trunk and inserted steel dowel pins. It was then lifted by 100 ton crane. The whole process took months to complete, and the dedication of the staff ensured that the tree still stands proudly today, and is now known as “The Liberty Tree”
Now the fun facts and figures.
The huge live Oak at the entrance to Disney’s Port Orleans resort weighed in at a mighty 76 tons, and was placed there on Earth Day in 1991.
Less than 35% of the Walt Disney World property is currently developed, leaving plenty of room for expansion and maybe even a new park or 2…..
For the Christmas season Disney gardeners plant some 60,000 poinsettias to herald the start of the holiday season.
There are 2000 acres of maintained turf on Disney property, which need mown 3 times a week to keep them pristine. That adds up to 450,000 miles on the sit on mowers, which is equivalent to 18 trips around the Equator.
Rather than using lots of harmful chemicals to maintain the gardens Disney uses a system called IPM (Integrated Pest Management), by releasing “good bugs” to help control the “bad bugs”. The good buds include lacewings, predatory wasps and predatory beetles, and approx 10.5 million of them are released annually by Disney. This environmentally friendly approach ensures that the ethos of Disney is not compromised.
As well as 2000 acres of maintained turf, there is an additional 4,200 acres of gardens and landscapes, ranging from rainforest to desert environments.
There are over 800 hanging baskets on show at Disney at any one time. It takes 50 – 75 four inch plants to create just one poinsettia ball. About 4000 hanging baskets are made up each year and each basket is “in production” for 3 months, then on display for 3 months.
Over 3,000,000 bedding plants are used annually. The largest flower bed is located at the entrance to The Land, in Epcot, and measures over 20,000 square feet and contains up to 20,000 seasonal plants.
There are over 3,500 plant species showcased at Disney, and they come from every part of the world save one continent – Antarctica.
The Rose Walk at Epcot has over 13,500 roses of nearly 100 different varieties, and creates a wonderful sight and aroma to walk through.
The embroidered pattern or “parterre de broderie” in the Le Notre garden, in France at Epcot is made up of 985 shrubs. There are over 4,000,000 shrubs in total throughout Walt Disney World.
Ironically probably the most famous “tree” at Walt Disney World is the artificial Tree of Life, the centrepiece of Animal Kingdom Park.
This is a very brief look at the work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes to make your walk through all of Walt Disney World a pleasant and enjoyable one. Maybe after reading this you will take a closer look at some of the displays and marvel at the feat involved in making them all look so gorgeous.
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Page added on: 30 August 2006
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