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Now that the warm, sunny weather is here in the Catskills, gardening can begin. While I was busy planting my flowers and vegetables this weekend my thoughts began to wonder to my favorite place, Walt Disney World. My thoughts then began to stroll on over to EPCOT and eventually to one of my favorite rides, Living with the Land. Living with the Land is the farthest away from a thrill ride as you can get, but it does entertain and amaze. This ride is not only a nice way to relax and get off my feet for a while, but it is a lovely thank you to all the farmers of the world.
Living with the Land opened in 1982 and is an unhurried boat ride located in The Land pavilion in Future World. Here’s a quick piece of trivia to share with your friends, Living with the Land is located on six acres giving it the title of largest pavilion in Future World. The ride gives the rider a chance to get acquainted with new technology and environmentally friendly agriculture.
Upon beginning the ride, you travel into a dark area that explains how nature can be destructive, but then again a friend to the land. The riders glide through the tropical rainforest, the desert plains and the prairie. I love passing through the prairie section with the little house and farm animals milling about. There is even a rooster to wake the napping tourist. After floating through this section, you enter the greenhouse area.
The greenhouse area is fascinating. So many fruits and vegetables growing in inventive and unique ways. Pineapples, bananas, papayas and vanilla are some of the first fruits you will see. The vanilla pods are so large it is almost impossible to believe they are real. Another section of greenhouse is called the Production Greenhouse that grows crops from mild regions. In this area are winter melons and turnips as well as lemons and pumpkins. The winter melons are humongous.
One of the sites that gives me a chuckle are the pumpkins. The pumpkins grow into a mold in the shape of Mickey Mouse and then as they get larger they take on the shape of our favorite mouse. Awesome! A vertical growing technique is used and has helped to produce a tomato tree which has produced over 32,000 tomatoes in a 16 month period. By completing this incredible feat The Guinness World Book of Records determined it as the most productive tomato plant in the world. Wish my tomato plants were that productive.
The Aeroponics area hosts a variety of produce, but instead of planting the plants in soil the plants suspend in the air and the roots are sprayed with a delicate mist. This does not hinder their ability to grow delicious, succulent produce.
Your journey will also take you through an area called the Aquacell that houses small alligators, tilapia and striped bass.
As you drift through the ride, you will see moving pictures that silently explain the hard work and fortitude that farmers have displayed in order to feed millions of people every day. Walt Disney World appreciates the work that goes into growing all this produce and uses the ripe fruits and vegetables in many of their eateries.
If all this floating around is just too relaxing for you, how about you go Behind the Seeds? The Behind the Seeds tour is a one hour walking tour that allows you to get into the meat and potatoes (literally the potatoes) of the ride. The cost is $20.00 per adult and $16.00 per child (ages3-9) and of course valid park admission is required. I have yet to experience this, but it is definitely on my Disney Bucket List.
So, next time you eat a salad at Garden Grill or Sunshine Seasons, think twice–that cucumber might have been grown in an Aeroponic greenhouse and that juicy, plump tomato might have been grown on the world’s largest tomato tree.
Do you enjoy Living with the Land? What’s your favorite part of this attraction?