Disneyland Paris & the environment


We joined Manon, at the Disneyland Paris horticulture team, for a tour around the various plants in and around Fantasyland.

Depending on the season, Disneyland Paris employs up to 100 gardeners; each day their job is to ensure that the park looks constantly in bloom and at its best. The key point of the year is the Spring season as the park transitions from its Winter look and into its Spring/Summer role, meaning that you’ll largely see some of the most incredible flower plantations at this time too. 

The important work of the horticulture team cannot be understated, it is their work which can transform how we see and feel approaching various lands and attractions: it is how we know we are in a tropical land in Adventureland; a futuristic settlement in Discoveryland; a land of fairytales in Fantasyland – it is not just the way the buildings look, these messages are equally conveyed in both trees, flowers and plants.

Starting at “it’s a small world”, tulips are vital in setting the scene and the playful nature of the attraction. The mound of flowers that are located by the queue line for the attraction and at the end of a large pathway leading from the Royal Castle Stage, are in constant transformation. The colours that are presented here are seen from quite a distance, the colours presented here provide an early indication to guests as to the colourful nature of the attraction and can be considered to be the first piece of storytelling around “it’s a small world”.

Tulips at "it's a small world" in Disneyland Paris
Tulips at "it's a small world" in Disneyland Paris

Moving slightly further around Fantasyland, between L’arbre enchanté and Fantasia Gelati, there is a wonderful Fleur de Lys installation created out of the bushes. Inside these bushes are a tulip plantation. Usually, Tulips flower once and then never again; however the tulips in this plantation are a special breed which will flower multiple years – it is estimated that these flowers will last for five years. 2019 is the second year of the current cycle and so will be replaced in four years time.

Fleur de Lys at Disneyland Paris
Fleur de Lys in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris, and in particular, Fantasyland, is home to many beautiful topiaries that come in many shapes and sizes, from Hippos to Crocodiles, Disneyland Paris have them all. In order to create the shape, a metal structure is created and the plant is given time to grow (backstage, out of the eyes of guests) around the structure. By the time the topiary makes it on stage, none of the structure is visible.

Fantasyland Topiary at Disneyland Paris
Topiary in Fantasyland

Next to the Princess Pavilion sat a Crocodile topiary, unfortunately this plant fell to disease and was removed from stage. A new version of the topiary is in the process of being grown backstage and once grown will be returned to its rightful home – this will, however, take a couple of years.

Tulips by the Princess Pavilion
Tulips and a space for a topiary at the Princess Pavilion

During the refurbishment of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, more land was created around the attraction for flower installations. A mound of flowers was planted here in October 2018 which evoke a wonderful British garden. In order for these plants to look beautiful on Day 1, Disneyland Paris began growing these plants off-site and then brought them to the park ready for their park life. This is something that Disney do very often due to the very limited room backstage.

Mad Hatter's Tea Cups Flower beds at Disneyland Paris
Flower bed space was made at Mad Hatter's Tea Cups which increases the fantasy of the attraction

Of all the park flower and plant installations, the one the is the most impressive, and most time consuming, is Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. The labyrinth contains a large number of hedges which need to be constantly maintained in order to look perfect, but also inside the attraction are flowers to give its English authenticity. When Disneyland Paris gardeners typically only get 3 hours per day in order to prepare the park before guests arrive, attractions such as this magnifies the scale and the complexity of their work.

Alice's Curious Labyrinth at Disneyland Paris
Alices Curious Labyrinth represents a unique challenge for the Disneyland Paris gardeners

With so many gardeners at the resort, it is natural that each put their own special touch on the resort and that each have their favourite installations. Our guide Manon is particularly proud of these wonderful Orange tulips – these are located near Toad Hall, Dumbo and Meet Mickey Mouse.

Orange tulips in Fantasyland

As flowers and plants are living things, constant checks are needed to ensure that each looks at the top of their game and that nothing looks out of place. These checks take place daily by the horticultural team and range from minor things such as a duck that may have decided to escape the sun and sit in the flower bed or an overgrown piece of shrubbery – such as this one by Les Voyages de Pinocchio which will be removed during Summer 2019 and a new one planted.

Les aventures de Pinocchio greenery at Disneyland Paris
Grass growing around Les adventures de Pinocchio

A new initiative by Disneyland Paris is the removal of herbicide treatment on the grass areas. This means that guests will be more likely to see weeds growing on grassy areas, but a campaign to educate guests to look after the soil (for example, by not littering) will help the maintenance of these areas.

Grass around Mad Hatter's Tea Cups at Disneyland Paris
Herbicides have been reduced across the resort resulting in more natural weed growth

Our tour rounded off by taking a look at another set of Tulips, this time placed by the Auberge de Cendrillon. The bed of plants here give off a royal purple type colour. The preparation for these flowers started in October 2018 when they were planted and grown ready for inclusion in the park – a perfect way to demonstrate that whilst it may sometimes look like flowers appear overnight in the Disney Parks there is actually a lot, and often months, of work that goes into each new bed of flowers.

Tulips by the Auberge de Cendrillon at Disneyland Paris
These tulips, at the Auberge de Cendrillon, were planted in October 2018 in order to be in bloom during the Spring of 2019.

Thank you Manon for this wonderful tour; for any fans of Horticulture, there is an extended version of the tour taken here on offer at Disneyland Paris for guests. To book, simple phone the Central Reservations Office on the usual numbers (depending on country).

Let's explore how Disneyland Paris helps protect the environment

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