Dante topiary lit up with projection mapping. Copyright Disney.

Coco Topiary First to Include Projection Mapping

This year’s Flower & Garden Festival topiaries are really upping the bar. We’ve already seen Groot entertaining guests near Cosmic Rewind. Now we’ve learned that Coco’s Dante will light up with brilliant colors every night of the festival. The alebrije topiary is the first of its kind to use projection mapping.

Imagineers Brittany Smith and Josh Harrison came up with the idea of using special effects when considering how to incorporate Coco’s vibrant colors into the topiary. The duo incorporated solar-charged paint to help transform the character as the lighting changes throughout the day. The projection mapping will take over once the sun has completely set.

“Pushing contrast between day and night allows us to incorporate more lifelike elements into these characters, providing guests with an unexpected element of surprise in the evening.”

Brittany Smith, Production Designer for Senior Specialty Design with Walt Disney Imagineering
@disneyparks Replying to @ohhmyandy Our Disney Imagineers really gave us that behind the scenes look 🤩🌳 #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #EPCOT #FlowerAndGarden #Dante #Topiary #Coco #Imagineering #Plants ♬ original sound – Disney Parks

Disney fans are no strangers to projection mapping. Nighttime shows in Magic Kingdom have used it to display characters and scenes on Cinderella Castle for years. I doubt Dante will be the last topiary to incorporate projection mapping. Now that they’ve done it once, I’m sure Imagineers will find many more uses for the technology.

Dante, Groot, and dozens of other Disney topiaries will be displayed at EPCOT’s Flower & Garden Festival through May 27, 2024.