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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Behind The Seeds Tour At EPCOT

You've seen the sign and heard the recording advertising the Behind The Seeds Tour when exiting Living with The Land attraction at EPCOT.  Well, after many years, we decided it was time for us to take the tour.  The guys had been asking for a while and I was happy to oblige.
The tour lasts 60-75 minutes and begins at the tour desk located just outside the entrance to Soarin' in The Land Pavilion at EPCOT.  I had called to reserve the tour ahead of time, although there were signs indicating that spots were open for the tour--as many are available throughout the day and we learned that additional tours can be added when business is brisk.
Our reservation was for an 11:00 am tour and we arrived early.  I asked if it was possible to be added to 10:30 tour and we were moved within minutes.
The group was large so we were divided into two groups, each with its own tour guide, given ear pieces with receivers worn around our necks, told the channel for the receivers, and asked not to take pictures of any "off stage areas."  Any photos in this post are of on stage areas.
We were soon headed off to the greenhouses.  See the strollers on the left?  They are used like baskets as flowers and other plants are collected to be decorations on dishes or part of meals of many restaurants in EPCOT or throughout Walt Disney World.

We learned about the special mixture that is sprayed on plants that are growing without soil.
This is Ryan, our guide.  His passion and knowledge about the plants and going-ons in the greenhouse were evident.  He has carved a spoon out of cinnamon so when he's eating his Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, he uses his cinnamon spoon.
We also listened intently.  The trick with a big group is to repeat the question back so that everyone can hear the question as well as the answer.  Our group asked good questions!

We learned about the film used inside the growing platforms and how many heads of lettuce are produced regularly.

The greenhouses at Living With The Land produce large fruits and vegetables using various technologies.

Since Rudolf isn't licensed by Disney, they can't legally re-create the reindeer, but they can use flowers to create something that looks similar.
The sand around the plants if four feet deep.  There are pipes that are buried with the plants that provide nutrients directly to the plant roots.  All left over nutrients and water that drain through the sand are recycled.

We enjoyed the tour of the greenhouses as well as the aquaculture area.  Checking out gourds grown in the greenhouse was a part of the tour.

Yes, the fish and shrimp nurtured in the attraction are used in the restaurants.  We also learned that shrimp can grow quickly, but they are also mean and territorial.

Little reminders that you are at Walt Disney World are found throughout the tour.  Cast Members were also cleaning the fish tanks during our tour.

Bananas, anyone?  How about a fluted pumpkin?  Both are grown in the greenhouses!

The palm tree is the oldest plant in the attraction.  The ivy Mickey in the picture below is the 2nd oldest plant.
We also got to check out our spice knowledge using samples of spices grown in the greenhouses.
In one of the rooms to the side of the attraction we learned about experiments being conducted using natural predators to combat plant pests.  It was very interesting!

Tasting a vegetable grown in the greenhouse was at the end of the tour.  As we exited, our ear pieces were collected.

While the boy was the youngest person on our tour, the tour is recommended for preschoolers on up. It is also recommended that you ride Living With The Land prior to taking the tour.  We didn't ride the attraction that day--the wait was 40 minutes, but felt we had ridden it enough times that we would be okay.

The price is $25 for adults and $20 for children.  We did get an Annual Pass discount of 15%.

Guests are on their feet for the entire tour.  Restrooms are located near the check-in desk where the tour begins.

All of us are very glad we took the tour.  The boy found it fun to wave to guests floating by on the attraction.  I'm sure we were a curiosity to them as well.

The tour can be reserved ahead by calling 407-WDW-TOUR or by inquiring at the check-in desk.  No online reservations are available.

Click here to be taken directly to the Behind the Seeds Tour website.

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