We all have a Disney Bucket List, right?
From seeing the Utilidors to eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table to even just hugging Mickey Mouse, everyone has an experience they dream of on their first or fiftieth visit to the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks.
And one of EPCOT’s most popular backstage tours, Behind the Seeds, should certainly be added to your Disney vacation dreams.
We’re very frond of this tour and if you have the thyme, you should take our encourage-mint and consider this unbeleafable Disney backstage tour.
Had enough garden puns? Then lettuce do our best to describe this tour. This hour-long walking tour of the Living With the Land attraction and its adjacent greenhouse space recently returned to the Land Pavilion in the Fall of 2022. It is perfect for Guests interested in gardening and natural sciences to learn more about how this iconic ride inspires the future of sustainable agriculture.
In addition to learning about the unique agricultural methods at the Land Pavilion, this Disney tour is a great way for Guests to learn some new tips for managing their gardens at home!
We were lucky enough recently to take this popular Disney tour and explore the science behind sustainable food production. We learned how hydroponics and diverse planting methods can work together to help feed the world, and got an insight into the backstage magic behind Living with the Land.
The official Disney World website description of Behind the Seeds reads below:
Like the Living with the Land attraction at EPCOT? Then you’ll love Behind the Seeds! 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:
Learn about the hybrid striped bass, tilapia, catfish and freshwater shrimp in our fish farm.
Behold gigantic fruits and vegetables and unusual crops from around the world.
Discover the latest plant-growing techniques, including hydroponics—look, Ma, no soil!
So, let’s dive into our journey backstage and our 5 biggest reasons why this EPCOT experience should be on your Disney vacation bucket list!
Behind the Scenes Access
Of course, one of the best and most attractive aspects of the tour is the backstage access. Many Guests yearn to be able to see the behind-the-scenes areas of Walt Disney World such as the infamous Utilidors, and this tour gets you backstage at EPCOT theme park’s most beloved attraction.
The tour begins down the exit lane of Soarin’, with Guests entering a door that is marked for “Cast Members Only.” Once inside, Guests are given a voice-operated switch (or VOX device) to be able to hear the guide while walking through the greenhouses, as well as a special tour lanyard.
The tour makes its way to the labs seen from the Living with the Land boats, all the way into the greenhouses themselves. Once inside, tour groups snake around the plant-growing areas and fish farms toward the final stop – the largest biome.
A Different Perspective
The tour gives Guests a way to see Living with the Land from a different point of view – especially being able to walk rather than taking a boat. Throughout Behind the Seeds, Guests can wave to other Guests riding the attraction as they feel special walking backstage among the plants.
The tour even makes its way through the fish farm tunnel and allows for more in-depth viewing and exploration of the plants and tanks around the attraction. We really enjoyed being up close with the weird and wonderful vegetables and fruits being grown in The Land, including some beautiful roses, fascinating mimosa plants, and Mickey-shaped cucumber.
If you’re looking for behind-the-scenes access at the Walt Disney World Resort, but don’t want to pay the huge price tag of VIP tours like Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour at Magic Kingdom (which comes in at $114 per person without tax), Behind the Seeds is one of the most affordable backstage tours. It is only $35 per person, and the tour also offers discounts for Annual Passholders!
Yes, you read that right! On this Disney tour, you get food!
The tour guide is very clear on the rules regarding touching any of the plants in the Living with the Land greenhouses due to contamination, but Guests do receive a little taste of what they can see growing.
On our tour, our guide offered us some rather delicious – and very fresh – cucumber grown at Living with the Land itself! The cucumber was a wonderful way to savor the work done in these greenhouses and showed us how different grocery store vegetables are.
Your Tour Guide
As with all Disney Cast Members, our tour guide was knowledgeable, fun, and provided that extra Disney magic we all know and love.
She had a background in natural sciences and food production, and clearly knew her stuff when it came to explaining the ins and outs of hydroponic plant systems. We learned some incredible fun facts about the attraction and the greenhouses; for example, there is no soil used at all in the growing of its fruits and vegetables!
Our guide talked to us about how produce that is grown at The Land Pavilion is served at many of the Disney restaurants around Walt Disney World, including Garden Grill, Sunshine Seasons, and even all the way at the Boardwalk.
Furthermore, she guided us in how to feed the tilapia fish in EPCOT’s fish farm, which involved a mass drop of food into the tank. The fish went wild!
There you have it – hydroponic adventures, free food, and some backstage exploring make up Behind the Seeds at EPCOT. If we could change anything, we’d make the tour longer with perhaps some insight into the attraction itself, but we’re not Walt Disney World Imagineers!
The Behind the Seeds tour is offered at EPCOT’s The Land pavilion multiple times throughout the day. Guests can book the tour by calling 407-WDW-TOUR to make a reservation, or use the My Disney Experience app.
Remember, theme park admission is required, but not included in the price of this tour. Theme park reservations are also required. You’ll also be on your feet for the whole hour of this walking tour, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
So, what are you waiting for? Go backstage, eat some delicious Disney-grown food, and who knows, it may inspire you to grow your own hydroponic garden in your home!