Photos of Every Topiary at the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (w/Some Topiary History)

Hi everyone!

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival opened to huge crowds last Wednesday (March 6th, 2019), but we’d been photographing the incoming topiaries in the 2 weeks prior to that. There are two new topiaries in Bo Peep and her sheep, but also some upgraded looks – Dopey for one – and a lot of different topiary placements this year. It’s fun to see the evolution of the Festival, I’ve been photographing and posting about it for 13 years now. This year is maybe my favorite year ever and it has just started!

I have already posted an Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Tips article and others, but I wanted to post about all the topiaries as well – including a little history and some older photos. There are about 60 character topiaries this year.

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The front entrance display of the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival consists of butterflies. We usually have character topiaries here, but there will be work being done at some point to re-imagine the entrance. I think of the butterflies as signalling the changes coming.

A monorail passes by one of the butterflies.

Daisy is behind Spaceship Earth with stars that are lit prettily at night (which I will show later).

Pluto and Goofy are in the Showcase Plaza area. I like photographing best here when the park opens.

The 14-foot tall Goofy has been part of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival for years (as has Pluto and other topiaries), but generally he is elevated. It is really interesting to stand right next to him. He is huge!

I have a few non-topiary photos here, I always love the main flower quilt! We will see at least one re-planting of this area, and the colors will be different – spring plants instead of winter plants.

Figment is back near Journey into Imagination. He first debuted a couple of years ago for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts and has been in the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and Epcot International Food and Wine Festival events since then as well.

Not far from Figment, this 9-foot tall Adélie penguin sculpture is not a topiary but is very much worth stopping for. Click on the link for my article! It is made out of recycled trash and is beautiful and educational. It also promoted the upcoming film Penguins by Disneynature.

Bo Peep and her sheep are here with Buzz Lightyear and Woody in the Bo Peep’s Playtime Training Grounds. Bo Peep and her sheep are new, Woody and Buzz debuted in 2011 as part of five new Pixar topiaries (Woody, Buzz, Lotso, Mater and Lightning McQueen). Woody was the first Pixar topiary created.

Buzz and Woody have upgraded looks this year, similar to what we’ve seen with Snow White, Belle and this year – Dopey. Buzz and Woody received new looks to match Bo Peep in advance of Toy Story 4.

Buzz and Woody both look much more like their movie counterparts.

Even his hand is more sculpted.

This is Buzz Lightyear last year at Mission: Space. He looks very different.

This is the first appearance for Bo Peep at the Festival. She has the “new” sculpted look.

Here is her face up close.

The sheep remind me a little of Shaun the Sheep from the UK, and are really fun to photograph.

Woody has usually been in the America pavilion, Mickey and Minnie are there this year. When Woody debuted in 2011, there were challenges with creating him. The arms and legs in particular are very thin, unlike other topiaries before him. Back in 2011, Horticulature Manager Eric Darden said that they had to create new topiary planting methods to get the plants in the topiary frame. Back then, Buzz and Woody didn’t even have eyes yet, but they were still more advanced than most of what had been created until then.

His look is much more like the films as well.

Here is Woody from last year. While I always thought they had nicely sculpted faces, the difference is remarkable this year.

The Toy Story 4 additions came in later than the topiaries.

Stitch now is where Buzz Lightyear has spent the last number of years, in front of Mission: Space.

Lightning McQueen and Mater were new in 2011 and haven’t changed a lot since then. We’ve seen them even outside of Epcot at Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in previous years. They have been at most if not all of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival years since 2011.

Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater are not far from where their placement was in the last few years (in the playground that Toy Story 4 now occupies). There is even a road in front of Lightning McQueen here.

Mickey and Minnie have hearts behind them, and Mickey is holding flowers. They are at the entrance to World Showcase. I asked Eric Darden about this, since they and Chip and Dale have a Valentine’s Day vibe to them – but he just wanted to do something different.

The hearts add a lot of color to the greenery. Minnie in particular I remember from a front opening topiary years ago.

Huey, Dewey and Louie first appeared in 2016 in the entrance topiary with Donald. Darden was inspired by an old Disney short for them.

Chip and Dale debuted in 2015, it is hard to believe this is their fifth year already! Chip guards the heart candy.

Donald is back with the bee on his face.

The Three Cabelleros have been part of the Festival for many years, with a few years off as well. We’ve also seen them at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort previously.

Here is a look from the side.

And in 2008, Donald looked very different.

Anna and Elsa made their Festival debut in 2015. They began with the new sculpted look back then.

Up close on Elsa.


They have been in several different locations but this Norway area has been their home for a few years now.

The Norway troll is back, he has been a part of the Festival for most years for a long time.

The Bromeliad Dragon has been a Festival favorite for many guests – including me. There were a couple of years he wasn’t around, this is another challenging topiary and he used to breath a mist that no longer is there. This is a stunning topiary. China also has its Chinese Zodiac figures back this year, I am not posting photos of them in this article but I am happy to see them return.

The pandas in China are also back this year.

The pandas were the first topiaries installed this year, and I photographed them before bamboo was added (for them to hold as if they are playing with and eating it).

The Lion King topiaries are back. Simba is the most prominent character, with eyes and a face looking out to the walkway.

Simba is held by Rafiki.

Snow White was the first character to receive a sculpted look, and that was back in 2014. She has usually been with the Seven Dwarfs but this year she is just with Dopey. He has received his own new look this year! They are also in a different location.

Dopey looks terrific this year, more realistic than before. I wouldn’t expect the rest of the Seven Dwarfs to be seen again until they receive new looks (if that happens).

Here is Dopey just last year! I was going through photos from about 10 years ago, and he looked even more different back then.

Here is Dopey from the side.

From this angle, you can see his hat and Snow White.

Snow White and Belle are the two princesses who have received new looks. Cinderella and Princess Aurora have also been part of the Festival in topiary form but aren’t right now because they have not been updated.

Lady and the Tramp are in a completely new area than we’ve seen them in. They are not accessible to guests, but are in a perfect area for photos.

Mickey and Minnie take the spot that Woody has been in for a number of years, backed by sunflowers.

My favorite time to visit the France pavilion is at about 9:00 a.m. Les Halles Boulangerie is open then and there is almost nobody here. I think this was closer to 10:00 a.m., still not too busy on this day.

Belle and Beast have been in this location since 2017. Belle received her new look that year and Beast was upgraded too.

Belle and Beast. I am guessing her arms also were also challenging.

Here is a look from the side of Belle and Beast in a previous year. She in particular looked very primitive in comparison to now. You can see Chip and Mrs. Potts in the background, we haven’t seen any of the other Beauty and the Beast characters since the new look debuted.

Kermit the Frog rides on a bike through France with baguettes.

Kermit is not a new topiary, he and Miss Piggy were at the Festival in 2014 to promote Muppets Most Wanted.

There are so many great details on the bike, which looks very environmentally friendly.

Here is a look at Kermit gripping a handlebar.

Miss Piggy is with a similar backdrop to what they had in 2014.

There are dresses nearby.

Here are Kermit and Miss Piggy in 2014.

Captain Hook and Peter Pan are in their same location as last year.

Neither Captain Hook nor Peter Pan have changed too much over the years.

Winnie the Pooh and Rabbit can be seen here.

Rabbit holds onto carrots.

This is a terrific location for the Pooh characters, with better overall lighting than last year.

Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet are nearby.

Eeyore and Piglet.

Looking back at the topiary set.

Bambi is back, in a new location near Canada. We do see the Bambi characters often during the holidays as well.

Thumper and Flower are close by.

We ended up spending an evening photographing the Illuminated Gardens.

I generally prefer dusk to night for photographing topiaries. The lighting can be a little harsh at night, but not at dusk – the light in the sky fills in a lot of shadows.

Pluto in the evening.

Belle and Beast at night. They aren’t as easy to photograph this year in the evening, at least on the night we went.

Lady and the Tramp.

I did have a tripod for all the shots I am showing at night. The Bromeliad Dragon looks amazing at night in China.

Anna and Elsa have blue lighting added.

It is easier to see the bee on Donald’s forehead than my picture earlier.

Chip and Dale at night.

Huey, Dewey and Louie. Overall, these characters in Showcase Plaza are really nicely lit.

Mickey and Minnie.

With my tripod and lens, I moved quite a bit back. Now you can see the American Adventure.

And from here, even more of the building. This was after 10:30pm at night and the park was still emptying of the last guests.

Goofy from a distance. Early in the day or late at night, it is nice to be able to move back and photograph with few guests.

And here are the butterflies at night with Spaceship Earth in the background.

We talk for about 20 minutes in our latest Mousesteps Weekly show about the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!

I love the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and recommend visiting and enjoying these beautiful works of art. I didn’t even show much of the gardens, flowers and other elements of the Festival in this article but will in a future one. The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival ends on June 3rd, 2019!