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Living with the Land is one of Mrs. Mom’s favorite rides. (She just popped her head in, saw me working, and reminded me.) It’s also the ride that most embodies Uncle Walt’s vision for EPCOT. Uncle Walt wanted EPCOT to be a place where scientific experimentation was commonplace. He even called it and Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
This is one of the more interesting rides in EPCOT. It is almost completely educational, but still draws large crowds. Not very many rides can accomplish that. It’s also 2 rides that have been stitched together without any real story to connect them.
Even though Living the Land doesn’t have any spectacular effects, it doesn’t have any cute Disney characters, it’s doesn’t even have a bunch of jokes to keep everyone entertained, it’s one of the best rides in EPCOT.
Living with the Land
Living with the Land is actually 2 rides in one. The first part of the rides takes you on a slow boat ride through a rain forest in the middle of a thunderstorm, a desert scene and the American prairie. What this has to do with the rest of the ride is really never explored, so Dad’s going to call it a preshow.
There are some interesting effects in this area. You get to feel heat, wind, mist and experience lightning all used to simulate the actual conditions you are seeing.
After leaving the preshow the boat and drifts through the five different areas of The Land’s Living Laboratory. These areas showcase how agriculture will change in the future. Each area shows a different way to grow a “crop”.
- The Tropics Greenhouse shows crops from tropical areas including bananas vanilla, pineapple, and papaya along with some more exotic plants.
- The Temperate Greenhouse shows plants from more dry regions of the world. These include giant pumpkins, sunflowers, beets and cotton.
- The String Greenhouse grows plants using vertical growing techniques. The famous tomato tree along with lettuce, cucumbers and eggplant are grown here. Disney has found a way to make pumpkins in the “Mickey Mouse” form. Some of the produce from this area is used in The Garden Grill and Sunshine Seasons restaurants.
- The Creative Greenhouse shows some unusual ways to grow plants. Using Aeroponics, Disney grows plants by spraying water and nutrients directly onto the roots of plants which are planted in air. There is also an exhibit by NASA showing hydroponics units that are being developed for long space journeys.
- The Aquacell is where fish are grown. Yes, fish are a crop. They are grown and harvested. The Aquacell grows alligators, shrimp, bass and more in both high density and low density tanks and tubes. Some of the fish grown here are served in the Coral Reef Restaurant.
Before getting off the boat, you see photos of people from all over the world and how the produce food.
Here’s a snippet from the ride.
Here are some interesting tidbits –
- The “dark-portion” of the ride is remnants of the Western River Expansion ride that was created for the Magic Kingdom but never built
- There are 35 audio-animatronics in the attraction
- The “Tomato Tree” produced over 32,000 tomatoes over a 16 month period
- Over 30 tons of produce is produced from the gardens each year
The original attraction called Listen to the Land opened with EPCOT in October of 1982.
- The attraction got is current name in December of 1993 when the opening theme was added
Dad’s Ride Information Table
Living with the Land
|Description: Boat ride through growing plants and fish
|Height Requirement – none
|Length of Ride: 14 minutes
|Type of ride: Boat ride
The Fine Print
Here’s some small print information
- No flash photography is allowed
- Guests can rent translation devices at Guest Relations
- Guests must transfer from ECV’s to the ride vehicle
- Handheld Captioning is available, devices are available at Guest Relations
Dad’s Bottom Line
This ride reminds Dad of one of those bad TV shows where you know something terrible is about to happen but you can’t turn your head away. There is nothing really earth shattering about this ride, but I find I’m strangely drawn to it every time we visit EPCOT.
Somebody stop me.