Living with the Land – An Educational and Entertaining Boat Ride at Epcot

One of the things that I love about Epcot is the opportunity to learn while being entertained - and a great example of this is Living with the Land. This boat ride housed inside The Land, Future World's largest pavilion, takes guests on a relaxing, educational, and entertaining 14 minute boat ride through three diverse ecosystems and the park's Living Laboratories.

Living with The Land Boats Glide through GreenhousesLiving with The Land Boats Glide through Greenhouses

Opened on October 1, 1982 as Listen to the Land, the original ride included an opening sequence called "Symphony of the Seed" which showed guests how plants grew. Listen to the Land also had its own theme song, which is no longer used in the attraction. (But listen closely and you might still hear the instrumental version as you dine at The Garden Grill.) In 1993, Listen to the Land closed for refurbishment and reopened in December 1993 as Living with the Land - complete with a new opening scene, musical score, and ending.

Pineapple Growning in the Tropical GreenhousePineapple Growning in the Tropical Greenhouse

Once guests board their boat, the "dark portion" of the ride begins with a thunderstorm as the boats gently glide past artificial biomes representing a tropical rainforest, the desert, and the American prairie. You might notice that it seems warmer in the desert area and a bit breezy in the rainforest - it's all part of the Disney magic.

After leaving this area, the boats float past screens showing how we have learned to use the land in better and more efficient ways. And then it's time for the "Living Laboratory" part of the ride.

There are five areas within the Living Laboratory - the tropics greenhouse where you'll see rice, sugar cane, cacao, and bananas; the aquacell which showcases fish farming with alligators, tilapia and eels; the temperate greenhouse featuring sustainable agriculture including a nine-pound lemon; the production greenhouse where the vegetables used in the Garden Grill are actually grown; and the creative greenhouse featuring plants grown using aeroponics.

Mickey Mouse Shaped WatermelonMickey Mouse Shaped Watermelon

As your boat drifts through the production greenhouse keep your eye out for Mickey shaped pumpkins or cucumbers! And in the aquacell, you might just see a hidden Mickey in one of the shrimp tanks.

The ride concludes with a video collage of people and produce from around the world and a view of Earth from space. Rumor is there's a hidden Mickey in the video, formed in the clouds above Earth.

Living with the Land rarely has a long wait (but just in case, it does have FastPasses for those busy times of year). I can attest however, that waiting for this ride does occur as I waited nearly 30 minutes in line during my last visit. While the line moved rather quickly, a FastPass is sometimes a good idea for this ride. But, it's also enjoyable to wait in line and read the murals painted on the walls - there are some great quotes about the environment!

Cucumbers Grown on Site are Served in the Garden GrillCucumbers Grown on Site are Served in the Garden Grill

If, after the ride, you are suddenly really hungry be sure to stop by Sunshine Seasons or grab a reservation at The Garden Grill where you'll have a chance to taste some of the produce and seafood from Living with the Land. And if you want to learn more about the innovations you saw during the boat ride, check into the Behind the Seeds tour, an in-depth walking tour of the facilities. Guests can find out more information on the tour at the Tour Desk located near the entrance to Soarin'.

Thanks so much to Traci C. for contributing this guest post and these great images. Do you enjoy Living with the Land? Leave a comment and share your favorite part!

Scott wrote on Thu, 05/02/2013 - 19:36:

Scott's picture

I wish they hadn't taken the cast members out of the boats. It seemed more enjoyable listening to an actual person rather than a recording.

Kristen K. wrote on Sat, 05/04/2013 - 15:48:

Kristen K.'s picture

I agree Scott!

Laneybug wrote on Tue, 05/07/2013 - 20:41:

We were there a couple of weeks ago and did the Behind the Seeds Tour and had a great time! The cast member was very knowlegeable and we took home a lot of things to implement in our own garden.

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