Our Four Favorite Disney Floral Moments
For many folks, (especially those of us up north where it isn’t perpetually summer as it is in Orlando…the occasional cold snap in December notwithstanding), this time of year sees flowers blossoming, trees blooming, and yes, lovely (?) yellow dandelions springing up from out of nowhere. In Disney, the celebration of Spring begins with the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, but that’s only a part of the wonderful world of flowers and nature that Guests can find here. Best of all, many of them are around all year long (a welcome sight if you’re vacationing from the frozen landscapes of Chicago or Philadelphia!). Without any further ado, here are our Four Favorite Disney Floral Moments.
1. Victoria Gardens
It’s hard not to think of World Showcase when one thinks of flowers, especially during Festival season, but there are many areas of World Showcase that are in full bloom all year long. While France, China, and Mexico (frankly, every pavilion), features their own natural landscaping, our favorite is Victoria Gardens in the Canada pavilion. Modeled after the famed Butchart Gardens, which have been growing in Victoria, British Columbia for over 100 years, this area of the pavilion is not just a small patch of flowers, it’s a fully realized landscape, complete with a flowing stream and even a small cottage. Taking just a few steps in to the gardens takes you worlds away from the hustle and bustle of World Showcase, and is an especially tranquil setting as the sun goes down and everyone is “gathered round the fire” watching IllumiNations.
2. The Land
As you venture into the Land Pavilion to soar above the skies or drift throughout the greenhouses, you may not notice all of the detail that goes into the surrounding grounds of this unique building. The mosaic murals lining either side of the entry walkway are hard to miss, but what you might not notice is the surround landscape. For this view you’ll need to wander back a bit (our favorite viewing spots are between it and the Imagination pavilion). The flowers are beautiful to behold, but upon closer examination you’ll notice that the placement of the various blooms isn’t random. The design of these natural-looking gardens is meant to mimic the world we live in, with lush greens and “earthier” tones near the ground giving way to blues as you go up the hill, eventually topping out with trees with white blooms, meant to mimic the clouds in the sky! Beautiful indeed!
3. Magical Roses
For our next entry, we’re going to take a trip in our time machine. While many lovely flowers and gardens can be found throughout the Magic Kingdom, our favorite floral fantasy is still the fragrant rose gardens that surrounded Cinderella Castle. Though the new Happily Ever After viewing areas have largely taken this area over, you’ll still find several colorful flower urns and other foliage tucked away here and there around the Castle. But we’ll never forget the sweet smell of those roses…! And as far as “stopping and smelling roses” goes, we’ll give an honorable mention to the pathway the leads from the Imagination pavilion to World Showcase. Though this area is filled with special exhibits during the Flower & Garden Festival, it’s typically home to a bounty of fragrant roses that are well with, well, stopping and smelling!
OK, we’re going to get a bit silly with this one. (Yes folks, this a “go with me here” moment!) There are plenty of “Spring” moments in Disney animation history, from the 1932 short Flowers and Trees to the Rite of Spring segment from Fantasia, but we’ll give the nod to a character named after the fragrant blooms of Spring. Briar Rose? Nope. Jasmine? Uh uh. Our pick goes to…Flower, the skunk from Bambi! But…he…stinks! (We can hear your collective groan now). OK, so the name is a bit, um, sarcastic, but it just goes to show that you can find beauty anywhere, even in the unlikeliest of places. (Well, at least we tried.)