BEST ATTRACTION LIVING WITH THE LAND
Located within the Land Pavilion at Epcot, Living With The Land is a personal favorite of mine. It’s a fascinating ride that helps capture some of the original intentions Walt Disney had when envisioning his Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow.
Epcot as we know it today is not exactly what Walt had in mind—but it is rides like Living With The Land that still manage to capture the essence of Walt’s original dream for his EPCOT.
The Land Pavilion is actually a 43,000 ft² (0.4 hectares) research facility. In addition to housing Soarin’, Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable, Living With The Land + The Behind The Seeds Tour, Sunshine Seasons and the Garden Grill restaurants, there are also large sections of the Pavilion rarely seen by guests, dedicated to horticulture research in hydroponics, irrigation methods, and more.
The Living With The Land ride gives park guests an opportunity to get a glimpse at some parts of the this horticultural research center, and see the unique and innovative work that Disney is pursuing in both crop development and agricultural research.
The ride is divided into two parts. Guests board a boat—similar to the “it’s a small world” ride vehicles—and embark on a gentle ride to learn about the past, present, and future of how we grow our food. With no height requirements, it is a perfect for the whole family. It is also wheelchair accessible, although guests travelling in an ECV will have to transfer.
The first part is a “dark ride” style journey where an ongoing narration explains some of the basics of how nature, along with animal and human interaction creates different types of growing environments all over the globe. It also gives a little bit of history on how we have grown food in the past.
The real fun starts when we move onto Part 2 of the ride, which gives guests a chance to see into the working research facilities that Disney has inside the Land Pavilion known as the “Living Laboratory.”
As you travel through this Living Laboratory, you will see plants and crops that are both familiar and also quite strange. You’ll see examples of innovative planting and growing techniques that allow for greater crop yields while using less space and fewer resources.
Bigfatpanda Living With The Land Ride - Epcot - Land Pavilion Boat Tour - Fruit & Vegetables - Disney World
You’ll travel through an aquaculture facility where you’ll learn about farming fish, and get a chance to peek into the state-of-the-art lab facilities that are used by Disney and USDA scientists who are studying crop improvement.
Keep your eyes sharp during the ride because in addition to fun food oddities like enormous lemons (think basketball-sized) or plants growing upside down, there are also TONS of hidden mickeys throughout.
If you really enjoy this ride and want an even more in-depth experience, you can also check out the Behind The Seeds tour. There is an additional charge for this experience but it gives guests the opportunity to go right into the greenhouse facilities and learn all about the work and research being done there. The tours happen periodically throughout the day and you can sign up at the desk near the entrance queue for Soarin’.
Most of us probably don’t take much time to stop and think about where our food comes from or how it is grown despite how important it is to our lives. Living With The Land offers an accessible and interesting window into the complex and ever-changing nature of how we grow and consume food.
I also think it’s really cool that when you eat at Sunshine Seasons or The Garden Grill that some of the produce comes from these same greenhouses. The tomatoes you saw growing upside down on the ride could very well end up in your next salad!
Living With The Land will definitely give you some food for thought!