The "Living with the Land" attraction at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park is a 14-minute boat ride that teaches visitors about agriculture around the world. During the ride, park guests sail through experimental greenhouses to see some of the produce grown for the Epcot restaurants, as well as new and different ways to grow our favorite garden plants, including bananas, tomatoes, sunflowers, pumpkins, lettuce and more.
Once you step off the "Living with the Land" ride, you may want to sign up for the "Behind the Seeds" guided tour to get a closer look at the experimental greenhouses. If you have some time, take the hour-long tour ($18 per adult) led by a graduate student intern who works in the greenhouses. The tour is great for garden- and plant-lovers, but the younger crowd may not enjoy taking a tour about plants when exciting thrill rides like Mission Space and Test Track are just a few minutes’ walk away!
During the hour-long walking tour, your guide will teach you about different ways to grow plants, how to use environmentally friendly biological control for unwanted garden pests, how fish and shrimp are grown for consumption, hydroponics, growing more plants per square foot, how to grow plants in sand and much more! Throughout the tour feel free to ask questions – your tour guide will be able to answer your questions about how the plants are used, how you can better grow plants in your garden and more.
Some highlights from the tour include:
- How plants are grown hydroponically with no soil at all or how to grow plants in sand.
- How to grow pumpkins and other plants so that they are perfectly round and don’t become flat on one side by laying on the ground.
- How to grow a tomato plant like a tree so that it produces more fruit per plant.
- A look at some Guinness World Records, such as the largest lemon and the most tomatoes harvested from a single plant in one year (more than 1,150 pounds of tomato were harvested from a plant in the Epcot greenhouse from 2005 to 2006).
- "Hidden Mickeys," which are objects that look like the classic Mickey Mouse head shape. A hose may be set on the floor in such a way that it looks like Mickey Mouse. Different colors of lettuce can be grown in a Mickey Mouse head pattern, and a topiary may resemble Mickey Mouse.
- A look at the "sensitive plant." Touch this fern’s leaves and watch the plant move in front of your eyes!
- Why thick-skinned crops are preferred by farmers and restaurants (thick-skinned cucumbers, eggplants, etc. have a longer shelf life than other varieties).
And much more!