Since moving to Florida, one of the attractions we have always enjoyed is Living with the Land, especially during the holidays.   You can find this attraction in The Land Pavilion at Epcot, right near Soarin’.  Did you know that Living with the Land gets an overlay for the holidays called Glimmering Greenhouses?

The Attraction

Living with the Land Farmhouse

Living with the Land is a slow moving boat ride consisting of a dark ride and greenhouse tour.  This educational ride focuses on agriculture and the different technologies to make it more efficient and environmentally friendly.  The ride takes you through scenes to show how different weather, terrains, etc that shape the land.  The first scene takes you through a forest in the middle of a thunderstorm.  After that you go through a rainforest with animatronics. Then you pass by a  desert scene and then a farmhouse where you will see some more animatronics.  The next area after the farm house shows you some videos of ways in different parts of the world they are using new ideas and technology to grow crops.

Once you pass the video screens you are going into the Land’s “Living Laboratory”.  In this area, you will see all types of plants growing in different methods of hydroponics. Plants are grown in sand, perlite, coconut coir and rockwool.

There are five distinct areas of the “living laboratory”, which are:

  • Tropics Greenhouse – This greenhouse features crops from the tropical areas of the world, including both familiar and exotic foods. Plants on display include banana, cacao, jackfruit, date palm, dragonfruit, vanilla, cleome, pineapple, java apple and papaya.
  • Aquacell – This section focuses on aquaculture, or “fish farming.” It includes several high-density tanks and a few low-density display tanks and tubes. Animals on display include tilapia, sturgeon, paddlefish, catfish, bass, and shrimp.  Some of the fish that is harvested here is served in the Coral Reef Restaurant.
  • Temperate Greenhouse  – A greenhouse featuring crops from temperate climates. Currently, the Temperate house showcases large-sized crops, such as Prizewinner and Atlantic Giant pumpkins, winter melon, pomelo, and “Nine-pound Lemon.” Other crops include sunflower, beets, turnip, cotton, millet and cassabanana.
  • String Greenhouse  – This greenhouse focuses on innovative high-density techniques, such as Nutrient film technique. It also shows off “vertical growing techniques”, in which plants are grown on specialized trellises which cause the herbaceous plants to approximate the shape and structure of trees.  In a 16 month period The Land’s “tomato trees” produced over 32,000 tomatoes in a 16 month period.  In 2022, this “tree” was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most productive tomato plant in the world.  Other crops grown in this area include eggplant, peppers, winged bean, lettuce and snake gourd. Furthermore, cucumbers and pumpkins are grown in the shape of Mickey Mouse through the use of special molds.  A lot of the produce grown in the String Greenhouse is used in The Garden Grill and Sunshine Seasons, both restaurants in The Land pavilion. The amount of produce produced in this greenhouse that supplies the on site restaurants is approximately 30 tons.
  • Creative Greenhouse – The final greenhouse in the attraction shows some of the new ideas that may be used in the future of agriculture. Most of the plants in Creative House are grown via Aeroponics, in which a fine mist of water and nutrients is sprayed directly onto the roots of the plants. The roots dangle freely in the air, and are not hindered by any growing medium. Some of the plants’ roots in Creative House are enclosed within rotating columns and A-frame structures, while others are completely exposed to the open air, at least temporarily, so the entire plant may be viewed by the Guests on the boat.  Crops on display include tomato, squash, lettuce, basil, rosemary, cabbage, super-dwarf wheat, swiss chard, marigold and snapdragon.

Toward the end of the ride, you will see the Biotechnology Lab.  This is a sterile research area where several USDA scientists are on site to perform different research on crop improvement.  In addition, the Land produces the Mickey’s Mini Gardens which are available for purchase at Epcot.

While going through the greenhouse, keep your eyes opened as you may just see an hidden Mickey or two along the way.

If you would like to learn more about the work at the Living with the Land attraction, Disney offers the Behind the Seeds tour multiple times each day.  Here is Disney’s explanation of the tour:

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!

For more information on the Behind the Seeds Tour and to book you can read more on Walt Disney World’s website HERE.

On the walking tour, you will see the Integrated Pest Management Lab. This Entomology laboratory raises beneficial insects for use in The Land and all over Walt Disney World property.

Glimmering Greenhouses

For this year, from November 24th – December 30th, Glimmering Greenhouses is on display.  The entire greenhouse area gets a holiday overlay including sparkling lights and different holiday displays, you may even see a family made of snow.  No worries though, they won’t melt in the greenhouse.  I would recommend if you are going on Living with the Land to see the overlay, make sure to go when it’s dark outside.  While the attraction is indoors, it is a working greenhouse and has windows that allow for sunlight in the tropics greenhouse.

You can view our full ride video of Living with the Land – Glimmering Greenhouses below:

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The Main Street Mouse