One of my favorite attractions in Epcot is one that is often overlooked by most guests who tend to beeline straight for Soarin’ when they enter into The Land. Living with the Land if a fantastic tour through several different areas, all aiming to promote new ways in which to sustain and produce various foods in eco- friendly ways. From the greenhouses to close encounters with small alligators, Living with the Land offers both an educational and fun insight into the future of agriculture at Epcot.
When the attraction first opened in 1982, it was called Listen to the Land and had a very catchy theme song of the same title (now that it’s stuck in your head, you’re welcome). In 1993 the attraction was updated and renamed Living with the Land. One of my favorite ways to experience this attraction is to combine it with other activities within The Land. I often find myself headed to the pavilion first thing in the morning and getting a FastPass for Soarin’. I then hop on the stand-by line for Soarin’ since it usually has a very short wait. I then come out and enjoy breakfast at Sunshine Seasons, which in my opinion is the best quick service dining location in Walt Disney World. After eating breakfast, I head over to Living with the Land.
One of the first things you notice featured as part of the attraction are the quotes scattered on the walls throughout the queue. It is worth taking your time and reading all of them as they really are inspirational and moving. Featuring famous authors, politicians, and environmentalists alongside children, the quotes all focus on the maintenance and preservation of Earth. My favorite quote is by ten year old Jessica Lee from Hong Kong: “The Earth is like my mother. You get punished if you make a mess. Why do you think this planet’s called Mother Earth?”
After working your way through the queue, you will board the attraction’s boats and set off on your journey. You first encounter scenes which show you all of the different environments that exist and how plant life and agriculture are supported there. As you pass through the rainforest scene, look up for a glimpse into the Garden Grill Restaurant. Once you enter into the desert scene, take notice of the buffalo and prairie dog audio-animatronics. They were originally created for a proposed area of the Magic Kingdom which never came to be. The expansion was called the Western River Expedition and was centered on the Wild West. However the project was replaced by the construction of Pirates of the Caribbean and the animatronics were stored until their use in Living with the Land.
After moving through the various agricultural environments, you move into the greenhouses. There you will see countless fruits, vegetables, and herbs all being grown utilizing various eco-friendly technologies many of which were developed in The Land. These greenhouses produce such a vast amount of food that chances are you will consume some of it if dining anywhere throughout WDW. You also get a glimpse into some of the labs and tanks being used for various forms of growing food. You will see examples of hydroponic drip irrigation, soil-free farming, and growth opportunities used in difficult areas such as the desert and arctic. If you are lucky, you might even see a Hidden Mickey in a suspended tube holding water on the left side of your boat. Depending on the time of year, you might also see certain vegetables including pumpkins being grown into a certain lovable mouse’s shape.
While many guests may find this attraction to be boring, I adore it. Not only is it interesting, but you are afforded glimpses into beautiful plants and various foods as they are growing. This is especially true during the afternoons when the greenhouses are flooded with that bright Florida sunshine. This attraction also makes a great opportunity to sit down for a few minutes, cool off, and rest your feet after a long day wandering through the parks. For those who are interested in a more in depth look into the greenhouses, there is also the Behind the Seeds tour which is an hour in duration and further immerses you in the experience. I’ve wanted to take this tour for several years now and will finally get the chance when I am in WDW this September!
Regardless of whether you are interested in agriculture and gardening, Living with the Land is a great attraction to experience when you are in Epcot. You’ll see wonderful things being grown, get a chance to rest for a few minutes, and might even learn something along the way.
Do you love Living with the Land? Have the old theme song stuck in your head now like I do? Ever done the Behind the Seeds tour? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
Caitlin Corsello was born and raised in New York. She graduated from Adelphi University with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling in 2012. Her love for Disney started as an infant and has continued to grow with family vacations to Disney parks almost every year since. She holds a particular interest in WDW’s parks and attractions, never passing up an opportunity to visit. She looks forward to continuing to explore and learn about all things Disney and to share that passion with readers.