I finally found Tinkerbell hanging out among the flowers. But of course! Where else would she be? Tinkerbell’s Miniature Fairy Garden Houses at Disney’s Epcot Park
~ Okay, how do you get this job?
We passed Tinkerbell’s Butterfly Garden almost everyday during our stay at the huge Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, we were on our first book tour for our bestselling book,
Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World, so on the last day I had to have a peek inside. Steve reluctantly followed. It was full of flowers and butterflies flitting about and I was making my quickly way to the door when I spied something among the plants in the garden bed. Fairy houses! Why, of course! Duh? Where did I think the fairies lived at Disney?!?
Needless to say, I totally want this job. Take a look how the Disney artisans took the idea one step further by making the houses out of “found” full-sized objects. I mean, why would we think they prefer man-made houses or miniature churches? This makes way more sense and it’s way more fun to create your own too.
I’m glad I took a peek inside and found more than I bargained for. Don’t you love Disney? All the props throughout the parks were glued down but adhered in a way to not look like they were. You don’t notice the table is set inside the gazebo until you zoom in on the photo. It’s a lantern on it’s side. The fairy used the rope as a hinge so the lantern door is a window when down and an awning with a skylight when it’s open. Check out the haphazard-ness of the stairs made of flat pieces of wood and driftwood. Why would we think they would make their stairs the same way we do? I love how the stones were glued onto the side of the walls to make it look like a stone wall. Each house was very different. I loved the hanging ones. Slabs of wood for walls, twigs and spruce cones for the roof. The moss is used to fill in the gaps. Get out your industrial adhesive and make your own! Tea kettle fairy house. Look how they used the lid of the kettle as an umbrella for the table. I think I see a butterfly in this shot! Yay! Can you see the tiny ladder and the wee balcony? More than a few smaller houses were hanging in the trees. It’s the imperfection that makes them perfect. Squatter’s rights? A forgotten watering can makes a perfect little fairy house. Checkout the curtain in the front and the make-do awning. It’s almost as if fairies made these. ;o) This one must be for the Fairy Queen. Look at that macrame bridge in the front. The house on the left looks like it has a skirt on it. All these photos and I’m not seeing many butterflies! Lol! Oh! Look! There’s one! ;o) A butterfly chart for the more curious visitors. The Disney staff (a.k.a. Cast Members) keeps everything at their peak by swapping out plants that are waning. The crew works at night so you never see it happening. This was Walt Disney’s mandate to make it look like you are in a movie set at all times. Apparently there is a huge world under the park that house all the behind-the-scene mechanics and workers. The kids would stand there with their hands out, waiting for a butterfly to land on them. The trees among the flower beds help disguise the fact that it is a big greenhouse. It was pretty to see the gardens so loosely planted with the focus being on flowers to feed the butterflies. There were butterfly houses and dishes full of water for them to drink. And lastly, Tinkerbell’s shoes. I love the air-plant-bows!
Just a few pro-tips from the
Miniature Garden Society on working with natural materials: Note that these fairy houses live in a greenhouse that is sheltered from the hot Florida sun. The naturals that they are made of, like just about anything, will fade quickly in the direct sun. Use industrial-strength glue to hold-up to the weather for a lot longer. You can find a variety in your local hardware store or online. A mechanical join (using wire,) will last longer than a chemical join (glue,) and it’s more environmentally friendly. Remember that wood expands and contracts with the rain and even the moisture in the air. This erodes the glue-joints too. Don’t use anything that you hold dearly for your fairy house building – the weather, critters or your neighbor’s dog may be a factor in the longevity of anything you put outside. Like this kind of information? This is what we are all about in the Miniature Garden Society – plus a lot more. See more of what we are about here.
See our other posts about miniature gardening with Disney
here and here.
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