Walt Disney World Explores ‘Living with the Land’ at EPCOT

July 2, 2012

Walt Disney World's The Land shows how to live with the land through environmental ride "Living with the Land"Walt Disney World is known for Mickey and Minnie Mouse, gorgeous resort hotels and of course being “the happiest place on Earth” for families from all across the globe. Did you also know that the place where dreams come true is an avid supporter of the environment? Well, at the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT), one particular ride shows visitors how to stay true to the environment.

While visiting Disney a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to explore Epcot and its fascinating exhibits. So, let me tell you about my experience.

Living with the Land is a 14-minute boat ride that guides and educates ride goers about how to actually live with the land in the most respectful of ways. You first travel through environmental terrains like the desert, the rainforest and the plains observing how the land, the weather and its creatures interact with one another.

Before you know it, you’re traveling through Epcot’s very own greenhouses focused on different areas and techniques. The ride focuses on new technology to make agriculture more efficient and environmentally friendly.

The tropics greenhouse explores fruits and vegetables from a variety of tropical areas. You can see blue agave, bananas, jackfruit, cacao, pineapple and vanilla – to name a few – growing. It’s quite extraordinary.

Your boat ride guides you to yet another greenhouse house that grows food in temperate climates such as, pumpkins, cotton, winter melon and sunflowers. You then float into one of the more remarkable greenhouses. It focuses on “vertical growing techniques,” where plants like tomatoes (as seen below) are grown on trellises.

Epcot's 'Living with the Land' ride shows how to grow tomatoes on trellisesActually seeing the fruits and vegetables in action is amazing. My favorite part was the nine-pound lemon (yes, you read that right). You probably never thought a lemon could grow that large.

The greenhouses aren’t the only living laboratories explored, but you can also see Epcot’s Aquacell where alligators and fish are housed. This is where aquaculture or “fish farming” exists. Giant tanks are filled with shrimp, catfish, bass and many others.

So, what does Epcot do with all the food grown? This produce and seafood is served to visitors at Epcot’s very own restaurants. The freshest goods are only used. If you’re worried about the park using pesticides, don’t. Epcot relies on insects, like ladybugs, to act as personal destroyers of pests.

This method shows how the environment and its creatures can rely on one another, in a chemical-free way. With eco-friendly methods, Epcot grows over 30 tons of produce from The Land each year.

Now this is a ride I highly recommend. Living with the Land, is a great, informational ride. To see food in action and the environment working together in new ways is incredible.

-Allyson Koerner

Photo Credit: Allyson Koerner