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Walt Disney World Parks - Epcot
Living With The Land Attraction Description
&
The Behind the Seeds Tour

Cautions: Allergies, fear of lightning and thunder, neck pain—a lot of head turning is required to see everything, lightning flashes, old-time movie flickers

Quick Notes: The past, present and future of farming are displayed in this smooth, slow-moving boat ride. There’s occasional mild bumping of the tracks. You’ll pass through various climates experiencing dry or moist air. There are musty-smelling portions.  Pesticides are used in the greenhouse portion of the ride. See below for details.

Extra Info: The show takes approximately 14 minutes. Guests must transfer from their ECV or electric wheelchair to a manual wheelchair. Handheld Captioning, Attraction Description.

Overview: Take a smooth-riding boat ride to learn about the past, present and future of farming. First you’ll pass through various types of simulated climates such as a rainforest and a desert. You’ll then see different kinds of farming methods through time. These are displayed through a variety of means including scenes with Animatronics and film. Last, you’ll pass through a series of futuristic indoor greenhouses that house real a working Disney farm using high-tech procedures.

Queue: There’s often a big line to get into this ride. The queue is dull with pretty much nothing to look at while you’re waiting. People with wheelchairs and GACs (Guest Assistance Cards) don’t use the main queue. There should be a cast member to the right of the main queue who will let in those with GAC’s and those in wheelchairs into the special queue. The number of wheelchairs allowed in the queue at one time is limited, so there may be a wait at the queue entrance before being allowed to enter. This is one of those few queue lines that bypasses the crowds in the regular queue.   

Manual wheelchairs can go on the boats, but not ECV’s. If you’re transferring to a boat seat, you’ll need to walk onto the boat. You may be able to stay in your ECV in the queue, or you may be required to transfer to a wheelchair. This is at the cast member’s discretion and will depend on the crowd levels and size of your ECV. If you need the wheelchair or ECV brought to you to disembark, let a cast member know.

Details: The fascinating greenhouses are ever changing as they plant new crops and test new technologies. Much of what’s grown in this place will end up on a plate in a Disney restaurant. In fact, some of the produce-growing methods that are in regular use today, such as hydroponics, were developed and perfected for large-scale commercial operations here. Among other things, you’ll see some amazingly giant fruits and vegetables, and individual plants that are made to produce vast quantities of produce. NASA regularly conducts experiments in this greenhouse to develop methods of growing produce for long-term, deep-space voyages. You will even see some fruits and vegetables grown into Mickey Mouse shapes. One of the areas is dedicated to developing new, more efficient means of raising seafood, and you’ll see a variety of fish there.

Tip: Bring your sunglasses. The ride moves through dim or dark areas, and then you’ll suddenly enter a bright greenhouse. It’s especially bright if you’re riding during daylight hours. The boat moves slowly during this transition, leaving plenty of time to put your sunglasses on. 

The boat seats are hard with backs. This is a very mild ride. It’s slow and mostly smooth with occasional slight bumps as it hits the sides of the indoor canal. You have to turn your head from side to side to see everything, and those with neck pain may wish to turn using the whole body rather than just the neck to avoid irritating it.

The air in each simulated climate reflects what you’d find in nature. For example, the rain forest is moist and misty and the desert is dry. You’ll encounter some light wind and hear some thunder. The greenhouses tend to be warm. Portions of this ride have a musty odor.  There are some old-time movies projected on large screens that flicker.  In the first scene there are some lightning bolt effects.

Behind the Seeds is a fascinating walking tour that’s available for an extra fee (currently $16 per person). Your guide will be a knowledgeable person who really works with the plants and/or fish. It will either be a professional or college intern. They’ll walk you through the greenhouses and by the fish tanks and they’ll teach about what you’re seeing. In addition you’ll be given a lesson on natural pest control. A few guests will be given a vial with lady bugs (a natural form of pest control) to release on plants. Guests will also get to taste cucumbers grown on site, and you’ll see how create a hydroponic garden at home.

The tour lasts about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours, depending on the tour guide and the numbers of questions the guests ask. This is the shortest tour available at Disney, making it a good choice for those with stamina issues. You’ll be on your feet for most of the time, but the tour is completely accessible.  Wheelchairs and most ECV’s should have no difficulty maneuvering, however if you’re riding a large 4 wheel ECV, some of the turns may be challenging but not impossible. This is especially true of the fish tank area where there are some sharp turns. Disney ECV’s are large four wheelers, and may be challenging. There are benches and a water cooler available to guests at only one brief point in the tour. The greenhouses are on the warmer side, with some areas warmer than others.

There’s no restroom available during the tour. We were told that if there’s a need, you could let the tour guide know, and he/she will try to get you assistance. After having done the tour, this seems like it would be difficult.

We were told by our guide that although they seek to use natural pest control whenever possible, they do use conventional pesticides as needed. These are applied at night when the attraction is closed, and they only apply it to the specific plants that need it. During the tour, guests are not permitted to touch plants or to walk where there could be physical contact with the plants. In part this is to prevent contact with pesticides.

This is one of the few backstage tours at Disney that guests under 16 years old can participate in. Call 407-WDW-TOUR [939-8687]. It may be possible to walk up and join the tour at the last minute. Check at the podium to the left of Soarin’.   

 

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