“Encanto” Inspired Floral Displays Tell Story While Representing Inclusion in Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort

A new series of Encanto inspired floral displays have populated the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort, adding vibrant colors and energy while representing inclusion at the same time.

What’s Happening:

  • 8 to 9-foot floral displays are being installed in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort to add vibrant beauty to the shopping and dining experiences there, but look a little deeper and you’ll find diversity and inclusion at the heart of this summertime display.
  • The colorful displays tell the story of Isabela from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning Encanto as she fills the district with vibrant silletas, floral displays inspired by Colombian culture. Each silleta represents a different Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) at the Disneyland Resort and across The Walt Disney Company.
  • The story starts with Isabela at the Poppy Fountain and continues throughout the district with Isabela, who creates these massive floral displays that honor these different communities and groups.
  • Silletas within Colombian culture are a celebration of flowers. Elaborate flower arrangements that are typically built on wooden structures and carried on the backs of the silleteros, often flower farmers, from the small village of Saint Elena in the high mountains above Medellin. The Feria de Las Flores, or flower festival, is an annual celebration that represents the tradition and the silleteros’ 16-mile journey as they travel on foot down the mountainside to carry their flowers to the city. Inspired by this tradition, the resort team worked alongside BERG cast members to make sure each silleta appropriately represented their communities.

  • The COMPASS silleta honors the Disneyland Resort COMPASS BERG, which represents the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and allies for the purpose of enhancing cast, guest and community relations through cultural awareness and business practices. This silleta includes traditional flowers like orchids, jasmine and lotuses which are specific to some of the different cultures represented within COMPASS.
  • The PRIDE silleta represents the Disneyland Resort PRIDE BERG, which is a welcoming and driving force focused on fostering an environment where all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and allied cast feel encouraged to be authentic inside as well as outside Disney. This silleta displays the progressive Pride colors, which is trans-inclusive and inclusive of folks who are of color.

  • The SHALOM silleta represents The Walt Disney Company’s SHALOM BERG, which celebrates the stories and identities of our Jewish employees and cast members while fostering advocacy, education, inclusivity and allyship.

  • This includes flowers found in the springtime of Israel like poppies, cyclamen and narcissus. Also found on the silleta is an olive tree with six olives, representing the six pillars of the SHALOM BERG’s mission – synergy, history, allyship, legacy, obligation and meaning. There is also a plaque that says SHALOM in Hebrew along with a simple, inspirational message of “Peace” translated below it.
  • The WIN silleta represents the Disneyland Resort Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) BERG, which embraces a world where women are inspired and empowered to achieve their greatest potential.

  • This silleta is honoring the traditional Colombian silleta and its shape by using materials like lilies and orchids that are traditional to Colombian culture, but done in colors like purple that represent Women’s History Month and also features plant materials like thistles, which were inspired by Isabela’s love of unconventional plants. The touches of white florals around the silleta represent Minnie Mouse’s iconic white polka dots.

  • The SALUTE silleta represents the Disneyland Resort SALUTE BERG, which is committed to enhancing the Disney experience for those who have sacrificed in support of the military. The Resort Enhancement team worked closely with members of the SALUTE BERG to represent the six branches of the military – Air Force, Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marines Corps and the Space Force – with six associated colored stripes.

  • The NAATV silleta represents The Walt Disney Company’s NAATV BERG, which serves as a place of belonging for Native American and Indigenous colleagues and allies. The NAATV silleta has very specific symbolism in the plant material and color choices to make sure that the materials being used feel personal to the Indigenous and Native American community. The silleta features a circle divided into four quadrants that represent the physical, spiritual, social and emotional balance in a person’s life, as well as arrows from the north, south, east and west pointing toward the middle to represent coming together to form a community. Other elements in the NAATV silleta include medicinal plants like sage and indigenous flowers to Southern California like wildflowers and poppies.

  • The PULSE silleta represents the Disneyland Resort PULSE BERG (People United to Lead, Serve, & Excel), which advocates for celebrating Black culture, nurturing educational and professional development and well-being for cast members of African and Caribbean descent and backgrounds. These flowers include African violets and hibiscus, which are visible throughout the outer ring of the silleta.

  • The HOLA silleta represents the Disneyland Resort HOLA BERG, which supports the advancement of Hispanic, Latino and allied cast by impacting marketplace opportunities, championing and developing Hispanic and Latinx leaders and fostering a culturally diverse environment. Plants like gladiolus, sunflowers and lilies are found on the HOLA silleta and are commonly found in traditional Colombian silletas.

  • The ENABLED silleta represents the Disneyland Resort ENABLED BERG, which promotes respect, equality and appreciation of people with disabilities through community, awareness, education and inclusion. This silleta represents a really diverse group of people, specifically with the gold-colored flowers behind the cognitive symbol shown on the ENABLED silleta. Gold has been embraced by the autistic community because in the periodic table of elements, gold is represented with the letters AU, which are the first letters of the word autism.

What They’re Saying:

  • Brett, Lead Designer: This project is really exciting for me because it’s a touchstone for bigger conversations. To be involved in designing the silletas that reflect other groups’ identities and have the level of acceptance that we’ve had is extremely rewarding and humbling.”
  • Resort Enhancement Design Team Lead Jeff: “The silletas have little hidden meanings in them. Whether it’s the colors or species of flowers, we wanted to make sure that each silleta is honoring the community that we are trying to celebrate.”
  • Resort Enhancement Area Manager Dawn: “My hope is that guests and cast alike will not only appreciate the beauty of each silleta, but for the power of the meaning behind each one. Thank you to the cast, the Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs) and the Resort Enhancement Team. From the bottom of my heart, you inspire me every day!”

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