Last month while visiting Walt Disney World I was lucky enough to take advantage of the Behind The Seeds Tour in Epcot. This one-hour tour is a behind the scenes look at the fish farm and 4 greenhouses that make up The Land Pavilions attraction Living With The Land, one of my all time favorite attractions in Epcot. The tour takes small groups of between 10-15 guests backstage with an informative guide and presents a more in-depth look at the wonders of this attraction. This is a great attraction for those with a green thumb, those who have always loved Living With The Land and also a perfect experience for the entire family to enjoy together. Did you know that 30 tons of fruits and vegetables are actually grown annually at The Land Pavilion and served at Epcot’s restaurants as well as some additional Walt Disney World restaurants? We learned that and way more on this fun tour!
We were met by a Cast Member in front of the reservation desk, which is located at the lower level of the Land Pavilion right next to the entrance to the Soarin’ attraction. She took our group through the greenhouse, a bug room, the actual Living with the Land attraction and many more neat areas. I can't deny that one of my favorite parts of the tour was seeing the boats passing through the Living With The Land attraction while we were standing right inside the middle of it. Gives you a sense of VIP stature. Although Disney is very strict about photography during most tours , this specific tour photography is not only allowed but it is encouraged and we were in true bliss!
During the tour, we fed fish, sampled cucumbers, and learned more about the growing techniques and nutrients utilized in Epcot. The laboratory was our very first stop where our guide described the natural methods of pest control used at the Land and in eco-farming. There are tanks full with insects that they use in the eco-farming there. They even pass some of the creepy crawler jars around for you to look at up close.
The tour then moved into my favorite area, the greenhouse area. There our guide explained the innovative farming methods like nutrient film technique plant feeding and hydroponics. Hydroponics is a method where the plants are actually growing soil free while hanging in the air. You can see this area from your boat when you are on the Living With The Land ride, I loved waving to the boat goers while we were in this area! Here we also learned about many of the crops grown here, including amazingly large nine-pound lemons! We were even told all about how they make Mickey-shaped veggies like cucumbers and pumpkins. It really is quite fasinating because it is easier than you would actually think! We were also given the opportunity to try a sample cucumber they had harvested. I have heard, that although most of the time this is just a regular cucumber, if you’re having an extra magical day, you could be given a chance to sample a Mickey Mouse shaped cucumener that was also grown right in this area. Today, ours was just a regular shape, but it was tasty and crisp!
From the greenhouse we moved onto the aquaculture area where we learned the basics of safe and sustainable farming, fish farming that is. They also explain that some of the fish raised in this area is also served at local onproperty restaurants. Then we even got a chance to feed the fish!
The tour ends back in the greenhouse area where our guide told us about the largest melon grown and had us pass around a different type of melon to see if we could guess how much it weighed. Before saying good bye she passed out a small baggie full of seeds for us to start our own garden at home. I have to say, for me personally this tour was everything I hoped it would be and more. Currently for the affordable cost of just $16 for children ages 3 to 9 and $20 for ages 10 and up this is a great option for a family to do something somewhat out of the box on their next Walt Disney World vacation. Since we donated a few extra dollars to the Disney Conservation Fund we also received a neat 20th Anniversary pin, which we thought was neat since we were celebrating our own 20th wedding anniversary while we were there! Below you can find a bunch of pictures from our time at Behind The Seeds.
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