Tiana Topiary Debuts at EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival

Tiana Topiary Prep
Credit: Disney

EPCOT hosts the Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World every year. There are always topiaries in the celebration that highlight certain Disney characters. In addition to being beautiful works of horticulture art, these living statues continuously enhance the magic of a day at the parks.

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The Topiary and the Frog

This year, for the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival, Cast Members have created an extraordinary topiary featuring Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog (2009). Crafted by Cast Member Brittany Smith, the plan to create a Princess Tiana topiary began in 2022.

Tiana Topiary Being Worked on

Credit: Disney

Smith studied every detail of the animated film to assess how best to transform the iconic princess into a three-dimensional living sculpture. She knew her details had to be as precise as possible to do the character justice–including her facial features, expression, and of course, her princess dress.

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“I’ve always dreamed of working on a Princess Tiana topiary because, as a Black woman, she means so much to me and our community,” said Smith. “I want children to see her confidence and courage and realize they can be a princess, too!”

In addition, Smith sought the assistance of Planned Work Specialist Antoinette Valentin to create a fully floral scene that encircled the princess. The project took over eight months, and a team of Cast Members helped plant, feed, water, and prune the show-stopping creation for its Disney Park debut.

Tiana Topiary Garden

Credit: Disney

Blue Skies and Sunshine Guaranteed?

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The addition of a Princess Tiana topiary at the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival is likely an attempt by Disney to gin up more excitement over the upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction opening next year at the Magic Kingdom. Since many hardcore Walt Disney World fans deeply love Splash Mountain, Disney must do everything it can to win them (and everyone else) over on the newly themed ride before it opens.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Concept Art

Credit: Disney

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About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)