Where can you encounter an approaching storm in a deciduous forest, cruise through a tropical rainforest, pass a windswept prairie and an American farmhouse before gliding through amazing greenhouses, all in 14 minutes? The Living the with Land attraction in EPCOT’s Future World delivers all of this and more! Located on the first floor of the impressive Land pavilion in Future World, this relaxing boat attraction is a hidden gem, appealing to guests of all ages. Instead of joining the rush of guests at Soarin’, hop on a boat, sit back and relax, and discover the totally cool things that Living with the Land has to offer.
1. An EPCOT Original
EPCOT opened its gates in 1982, and so did Living with the Land, originally called Listen to the Land. The original version of this attraction was very similar to the present-day ride, with a few refurbishments along the way, including a new theme song, a new opening scene, and an automated guide narrator replacing the live cast member. Keep an eye out with the number “82” on the mailbox in the farmhouse scene, which is a reference to the opening date of EPCOT.
2. While you Wait
If you don’t have a FastPass for this attraction and are spending some time in line, check out the large quotes painted on the wall. They all speak to our relationship with the environment, and it’s a perfect introduction to the messages conveyed in Living with the Land.
3. A Revolving Restaurant
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner family style, Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast at the Garden Grill gives diners a fantastic view of the scenes in the Living with the Land attraction. The restaurant rotates very slowly and it takes about an hour for a full rotation. Ask for a lower-level seat for the best views. Mickey, Pluto, and Chip ‘n Dale pay a visit during your meal and will pose for pictures too. While you’re on the ride, look up and try to catch a glimpse of the restaurant through the foliage.
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4. It’s Always Changing
The plants and exhibits in the greenhouses are always changing, so the attraction never gets boring. Look for harvest decorations and pumpkin displays to pop up during autumn, and the greenhouses get a fun festive look during the holidays too. Hidden Mickeys have been spotted here; look for the Mickey-shaped pumpkin and cucumbers. In the aquaculture area, keep an eye out for the hidden Mickey made out of wire mesh in one of the tanks.
These greenhouses aren’t just for fun; they’re also part of serious scientific research projects. Living with the Land demonstrates experiments in hydroponics (growing plants without soil), pest management, and aquaculture, and guests can view a working laboratory as they sail through the ride. The USDA and NASA have even participated in research in these greenhouses.
6. Greenhouse to Table
Notice the cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes growing as you cruise through the greenhouses? These plants, as well as others, will become part of a guest’s meal at several EPCOT eateries. These include the Garden Grill, located on the upper level, Sunshine Seasons, a counter-service eatery also located in The Land pavilion, and The Coral Reef Restaurant, located next to The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Approximately 30 tons of food are harvested from the greenhouses every year!
7. Four Specialized Greenhouses
As you approach the greenhouse area, sharp-eyed guests will realize there are really four distinct sections. The Tropics Greenhouse showcases plants like bananas, dragon fruit, and cacao, and the Temperate Greenhouse houses sustainable agriculture like sunflowers, wheat, and watermelon. The Creative Greenhouse demonstrates innovative ways to grow plants, and the offerings here include lettuce, peanuts, and peppers. The Herb Greenhouse displays plants like various edible flowers and parsley. The AquaCell is yet another unique area featuring fish farming techniques, and animals usually include sturgeon, tilapia, and catfish.
8. Experience More
If you want to continue the greenhouse fun, check out the Behind the Seeds Tour. The sign-up desk in located next to Soarin’, and the tour offers a closer look at the four greenhouses and the agricultural technologies being explored. Attendees also get to release ladybugs and learn about feeding time at the fish farm. The tour is offered several times a day and runs an hour long.