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Disneyland Article
14 Interesting Things You Did Not Know About Thousands Of Plants

Storybook Land Canal Boats
Orange County Register
Marla Jo Fisher
October 13, 2019
October 18, 2019
Most people think of iconic rides such as Space Mountain or the Matterhorn when Disneyland comes to mind, but more than 100,000 flowering plants, shrubs and trees add to the beauty of the resort. They’re cared for by a small army of gardeners and landscape experts who mostly work behind the scenes.

Here are 14 things you probably didn’t know about what’s growing at the Disneyland Resort:

1. Landscape gurus regularly make a “ride-through” of the parks’ attractions to check the condition of the plants, such as whether they’re becoming overgrown and blocking sight lines, or looking poorly, or they’re no longer working as backdrop screens.

2. The resort employs three florists whose full-time jobs are making and maintaining 500 hanging flower baskets that change with the seasons.

3. The Mickey Mouse flower “portrait” at the Disneyland entrance is replanted as many as eight times a year. Mickey’s face is made up of some 5,300 annuals and the sides of the flowerbed have an additional 2,000 plants, making the total among the various plantings more than 58,000 plants per year.

4. Landscaping overall at the Disneyland Resort–including Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney–encompasses some 18,000 trees and 125,000 shrubs.

5. There are more than 3,000 species of plants indigenous to 40 different nations growing, making the Anaheim resort one of the most diverse botanical locations in the western U.S.

6. The longtime Disneyland head horticulturist who just retired is named (we are not making this up) Julie Bush. She is remembered with a comic tombstone (she’s not dead) at the Haunted Mansion under the name Julia Shrub, with the caption, “Such a good sport when people would tease her for being so short.”

7. There are 20 “irrigation” cast members at the resort whose job is making sure all the plants are watered, using more than 80 miles of underground irrigation piping.

8. Disneyland guests will never see most landscaping workers, because they plant, trim, prune and water when the park is closed.

9. The oldest living tree at Disneyland is a Stone Pine that stands about three feet tall. People can spot this tree, which is more than 150 years old, as they cruise on the Storybook Land Canal Boats.

10. Visitors are fascinated by the 25 topiary animals and characters at the Disneyland Resort — including 21 at Disneyland Park, one at Disney California Adventure Park and three at the Disneyland Hotel.

11. The resort keeps records on some 100 so-called “hero trees” that have special significance to the park, for historical or other reasons.

12. The plantings in front of “It’s a Small World” are designed to remind people of water.

13. Plants are grown in the backstage nursery — sometimes for years — so when they’re put into the parks they look mature, like they’ve always been there.

14. Landscapers consider their jobs well done if visitors don’t notice their work, though even the plantings are sketched in advance and designed to tell a story.
Attractions Referenced

Haunted Mansion

It's A Small World

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Space Mountain

Storybook Land Canal Boats

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