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My Mom and I Visited Every Topiary at the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, and We’re Adorable

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

If there’s one thing that’s been constant my entire life, it’s been that my family is a Disney family. We. Love. Disney. Growing up, we went to Disney every year for the first 18 years of my life. I know. I’m a self-proclaimed Basic Disney B*tch. I hadn’t been in a while (college is busy, to say the least), but my mom and I finally made the trek to Orlando for Spring Break!


Girls’ Trip!!!!


Like many Disney fans, I. Love. Epcot. For the Disney-unaware: “Epcot” is one of the 4 Walt Disney World theme parks, and was originally Walt Disney’s idea of the perfect, innovative, modern American city (E.P.C.O.T. = Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow). Though the literal city aspect was never realized, the theme park opened in the 80s as a celebration of human achievement (ex. technological innovation and international culture). It has two main parts, Future World (science-y) and the World Showcase (11 pavilions themed to represent a specific country, staffed by citizens of the respective countries through the Disney cultural exchange program). Epcot is always changing, always amazing, and hands-down my favorite park.

One of the many awesome things about Epcot is their annual festivals. Though the Food and Wine Festival each autumn is pretty awesome (TLDR: eating and drinking around the world, stuffing your face and liver with goodness), the spring International Flower & Garden Festival is hard to beat. The entire park is filled with topiaries, gardens, fresh food, and lots of positive messages and lessons about sustainability and saving our sad, dying, but beautiful earth. It’s absolutely stunning. Luckily, it aligns perfectly with my spring break, and my mom and I had a BLAST. We loved the park so much that we actually ended up skipping Animal Kingdom (so much walking) and spent two days at Epcot to take it all it. One of those days was spent entirely dedicated to topiaries (fancy word for big plant sculpture). When you enter the park, you’re given a festival “passport”, which is essentially a big to-do list of every topiary, garden, and festival food stand. If you know me, you know I love a good to-do list. I knew we couldn’t physically eat at every food stand, and one of the gardens was a butterfly garden (and I hate butterflies), so we hit the topiary list. We hit that topiary list so hard that we went to every single topiary in the entire park and took a selfie with every one of them. There’s 24 or 25 (depending on how you count them) topiary displays and over 30 full-sized topiaries around the park. If you’ve ever taken a selfie with a 6 foot tall (hard to get in the picture), mom-aged woman who’s still learning how to take selfies, you can maybe understand that this is quite the feat. Not only did we leave the park feeling accomplished as heck, but we had a lot of fun on our topiary scavenger hunt and ended up with a lot of cute mom-daughter pics. Seeing that we documented our entire adventure, I’ve compiled it all so you can vicariously live through our flower-loving, absolutely adorable, mother-daughter girls’ trip.


Main Entrance, Future World, and Showcase Plaza

1.  “Welcome to the Epcot®  International Flower & Garden Festival”

The main entrance topiary collection is MUCH bigger and more impressive than this, but most of the topiaries were butterflies and I refused to take a picture with those, hence the cute Gerber daisy topiary instead.

(Photo credit to two teen girls walking by that I knew would be good at taking pictures based on how they were both posting on their Instagram stories.)


2. Daisy Duck

3. Stitch


4. Woody, Bo Peep, and Buzz Lightyear

(Photo credit to teen girls walking by, different from the aforementioned teen girls.)


5. Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater


6. Topiary Flowers


7. Figment


8. Pluto and Goofy

(Photo cred to a woman who was very nice to us and very grumpy to her family!)


9. Mickey and Minnie Mouse

We had to take this one from an angle because we weren’t willing to wait in line for a fancy picture from the professional photographer.


10. Donald Duck, Chip ‘n Dale, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie

We could only get one of the duck triplets in this picture because they were lined up weird, and it’s hard enough to get both my mom’s and my faces in a picture when I have short selfie-taking arms.


Now, to the World Showcase!

11. Canada: Bambi and Friends


12. United Kingdom: Winnie the Pooh and Friends


13. United Kingdom: Peter Pan and Captain Hook


14. France: Miss Piggy


15. France: Beauty and the Beast


16. USA: Mickey and Minnie Mouse, with Sunflowers


17. Italy: Lady and the Tramp


18. Germany: Snow White and Dopey


19. Outpost (aka, how Disney somehow puts the entire continent of Africa into the smallest pavilion in the corner of the park. It’s not great, but it exists): Simba and Friends


20. China: Bromeliad Dragon


21. China: Panda


22. Norway: Troll


23. Norway: Anna and Elsa


24. Mexico: The Three Caballeros


Bonus: “Washed Ashore” Penguin Sculpture

(Photo credit to a nice old man and his wife who saw us struggling to take a selfie.) This one isn’t technically a topiary, but it’s still awesome. It’s a penguin completely made from plastic beach trash! If this isn’t a representation of why you need to cut down on plastic use, I don’t know what is.



I had such an amazing time with my mom this spring break. The topiary selfie adventure was fun, but I had the best time just hanging out with my mom for a week. Ever since we came home, I’ve been excited to write this article to show how cute my mom and I are together, and how much fun we had. We’re just two gals who really love Disney and really love each other. I’ve been extremely fortunate and I’m so thankful for the amazing Disney experiences I’ve had (and I really wish Disney was more accessible to more families). This Disney trip was my favorite I’ve had, and I can’t wait to go back for more family fun in the future. Definitely expect more Disney articles!

Hi! I'm Summer! I'm a fourth-year biology major at the University of Virginia, and President/Campus Correspondent for HCUVA. I love HC because it elevates the female voice and provides a platform for my passions in an awesome #girlsquad community! I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoyed writing them. Thanks for checking out my page, and happy reading!