On January 4, 2016, the hang gliders of Soarin’ drifted to a landing for an extended period of time so that the attraction could undergo a major refurbishment. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit The Land in Epcot‘s Future World during your visit to Walt Disney World. There are plenty of things to see and do and they are all under one roof!
Living with the Land is a gentle boat ride through Disney’s greenhouse and aquaculture facilities. Disney Imagineers have taken what some might would have considered a plain and a bit boring attraction and created something impressive and interesting. Your “living laboratory” tour includes a pre-recorded narration which will explain in detail each of the environments, greenhouses and facilities that you will see during the tour.
“Multimedia displays of diverse eco systems, from rain forest to farmstead, bring our agricultural history to life. As you cruise by, hear about mankind’s past successes, failures, lessons learned and hopeful future when it comes to living off the land.” (excerpt from the Walt Disney World site)
If you’d like to learn even more about Living with the Land and see lots of pictures, I wrote an article, Living with the Land: Disney Showcases Its Green Thumb, in April 2015.
DIStracted Tip: There are several Hidden Mickeys both in the queue and within the attraction itself so keep a keen eye out for them.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. *Hours are subject to change
Located on your right as you enter The Land and near the back of the pavilion is the Circle of Life. During this 20 minute presentation, Guests will laugh and learn as Simba teaches Timon and Pumbaa an important lesson about the environment. The informative film features a mix of animation and live action and is presented in stunning 70mm footage shot in over 30 countries! This panoramic film is a fun way to introduce youngsters to the concept of eco kindness but it is not just for the kids; any fan of The Lion King movies will find it interesting.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. *Hours are subject to change.
If you like Living with the Land, you’ll absolutely love the Behind the Seeds Tour! We have taken the tour several times and would gladly take it again as there is something different to see each time due to the rotation of crops being grown. The tour normally takes approximately one hour but some tours do go over depending on your Guide and the number of questions asked by Guests on the tour. The following information was taken directly from the Walt Disney World site:
This one-hour tour of the fish farm and 4 greenhouses that make up The Land Pavilion is perfect for anyone with an interest in gardening or natural sciences. On it, you’ll:
- Visit the fish farm during feeding time and see American alligators.
- Release ladybugs into the greenhouse to help protect the plants. Activity subject to availability.
- Behold gigantic fruits and vegetables and unusual crops from around the world.
- Discover the latest plant-growing techniques, including hydroponics—look, Ma, no soil!
- Take home a handout with some great ideas for your own garden.
The current cost of the tour is $16 for children and $20 for adults. Tours start mid-morning and run approximately every 45 minutes. You can book your Behind the Seeds tour by calling 407-WDW-TOUR or by visiting the information desk in The Land Pavilion. Walk-up registration is not guaranteed but there are usually slots available during most days.
*Hours and prices are subject to change
At The Garden Grill, Guests of all ages are invited to imbibe visuals from Living with the Land – such scenes as a rainforest, farmhouse, thunderstorm, sandstorm and prairie – while indulging in an all-you-care-to-enjoy, family-style meal. (excerpt from the Walt Disney World website)
The Garden Grill is a family-style restaurant, meaning your server will bring platters of every item on the menu and you serve yourself family-style. Your server will be more than happy to replenish any of the items that you wish or can bring some more of everything! Guests can dine to their hearts’ content during breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You’ll want to bring the camera and autograph book because The Garden Grill is also a character meal! You’ll get up close and personal character greetings with Chip, Dale and other favorite Disney Characters while you dine of the harvest inspired menu.
Hours: Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Dinner: 4:00 to 8:30 p.m. *Hours are subject to change
Located on the lower level of The Land is Sunshine Seasons, the pavilion’s counter service restaurant. If your appetite is soarin’, head on over to Sunshine Seasons where everyone in your party is sure to find something to satisfy their appetite. There are different stations in this food court style eatery: The Sandwich Shop & Bakery, Asian Wok Shop, Soup & Salad Shop, The Wood-Fire Grill and, last but not least, the Grab ‘n’ Go station. Guests can feast on the bounty of The Land pavilion’s greenhouses at its food court. Sunshine Seasons features Asian fare, gourmet sandwiches, soups and salads, and wood-fired entrées. Try the ginger Mongolian beef or the grilled salmon or the healthy options available.
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. *Hours are subject to change
Shopping opportunities within The Land are limited to a small shopping area, Green Thumb Emporium, which is located near the Behind the Seeds check-in desk. They sell a small selection of snacks, t-shirts, pins and other Disney merchandise. Some of the more unique items sold are books about horticulture, Disney themed gardening gifts and the Mickey Gardens plants that you can take home and plant yourself.
Pressed pennies are also a budget-friendly souvenir and you can find a pressed penny machine near the entrance to The Garden Grill.