The Art of Landscaping
The guest experience at Worlds of Fun goes a lot deeper than coasters, shows, food and laughter. Our landscaping crew make sure of it.
The beautification of our park is obsessed over. Plentiful floral arrangements and intricate focal points are heavily featured throughout, highlighting the property’s natural beauty, paying homage to our history and adding an extra element of enjoyment for guests. The labor of love completed by these skilled professionals is hard to miss.
At this level, landscaping is a craft.
Before opening at 10 am
Caring for 235 acres is no small feat and begins long before guests arrive. Brian Hay, the landscape foreman, brings a team of five around midnight some days, to work through the night.
A team of 35 are responsible for the upkeep of Worlds of Fun, Oceans of Fun and the Worlds of Fun Village. They work on all three parks; Worlds of Fun, Oceans of Fun, and Worlds of Fun Village. Planting flowers, moving potted plants, watering and power-washing areas of the park. The attention to detail is the thing that makes this team most impressive. Seemingly simple tasks like cutting grass or watering plants are made difficult due to the sheer size of the park. Working on the beauty, that guests will see during the day.
Revitalizing the past
Many people working in the landscaping department have been with the park for years. Steve, landscaping manager, has invested thousands of hours in the development of the park over his 45-year career at the park. One project he’s specifically proud of is last year’s revitalization of the floral clock, a prime example of how the park has invested in its past.
A few projects guests see around the park are inspired by the landscape of Worlds of Fun’s inaugural year in in 1973. The floral clock in Africa is a perfect example of this revitalization.
"We've doubled the size of the clock to what it used to be by about 10 feet," Steve said. While they are honoring Worlds of Fun history, they also adding considerable enhancements.
“We want customers to have an experience, the grass should always be greener at Worlds of Fun,” Steve said.
Growth in more than just plants
Due to unforeseen weather, plant upkeep and park demand, the landscape of the park is constantly changing with greenery increasing.
“We used to plant around 15,000 and now we're close to 50,000 plants in the park. By the time we’re done this year, we’re probably going to have 70,000” he said.
The most remarkable landscape treasures go unseen by guests for a while. The landscaping department has five greenhouses where they cultivate thousands of plants, flowers and even more unique topiaries.
“We bring in a lot of plants from Florida, Texas, California, even some ferns that came over from Hawaii. There’s a lot of people that don’t want to ride rollercoasters, they just want to go around and look at flowers or other attractions. So, we make an effort to add unique touches for them to enjoy,” Nick said.
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Why work in landscaping at Worlds of Fun?
After interviewing key leaders in the landscape department, you begin to understand the answer to this question. While Kansas City is full of beautiful parks, Worlds of Fun is an ever evolving canvas for these professionals to perform their craft.
“We’re an amusement park inside of an arboretum,” Steve said.
The creative freedom and space the group has been given to experiment with landscaping make Worlds of Fun the perfect place to show off their trade to guests of all ages! Nick and Steve say if they’re doing their job right, you won’t even know they’re there.
Next time you visit the park you may not see members of the landscaping team, but you will see their hard work everywhere. Stop to smell the flowers!