I’m beyond bad with plants. For example, this summer, the rain finally cooperated so that I could grow a healthy lawn, but then my lawnmower blade hit a large rock which bent the blade into a lawn plow. Despite my destructive tendencies, I never tire of spending time in The Land Pavilion (a fast pass for Soarin’ doesn’t hurt, of course).
Because my wife of infinite patience loves plants, a few years ago, I decided she might enjoy the Behind the Seeds Tour. The current “rack” price for the tour ($20 adults) can’t be beat and Disney offers fifteen percent discounts for annual pass holders, DVC/AAA members and Disney Visa card holders. Tours can be purchased at the counter next to Soarin’ on the lower level of The Land Pavilion.
We repeated the tour in May of this year. Both tours were quite enjoyable (even for a plant zombie-maker like me). The 2013 tour hands down beat out the earlier tour because our 2013 tour guide works for Disney as a microbiologist. His vast knowledge and passion for the subject came through. Otherwise, the tour has changed little from 2010 to 2013.
Behind the Seeds starts next to the rest rooms on the lower level. We exited the Land, going “backstage” to see several areas not seen on the Living with the Land attraction.
Disney researches how to avoid unnecessary pesticide use by growing wasps to eat harmful insects. The wasps and insects are barely visible to the naked eye, but no worries, the guide show a video to demonstrate the process. These containers test the effectiveness of the process.
From here, the tour loops back to the Living with the Land area, but far it is far from being a repeat of the attraction for the tour guide goes into considerable details about the methods and experiments Disney uses.
If nothing else, the tour provide you with the best perspective to see the “Epcot” foliage.
Disney does have a strange way of growing large, orange, fruit.
The aquatic area lets you walk next to all sorts of interesting wildlife. Your guide will explain where the alligators go when they get big (hint, they are not released into Seven Seas Lagoon).
Leaving behind the aqua-marine area, the tour enters a geodesic dome, where guests have the opportunity to see spices and fruits being grown.
The dome also includes some odd-shaped structures. Having visited primarily in winter, I used to think the not so Hidden Mickey trellis looked embarrassingly bare . . .
compared to how it shaped out in the Spring.
The tour ends in the spice garden. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that one of my favorite “finds” on the tour was the cool soft breeze coming from the evaporator coils. The tour is quite comfortable but it involves standing for at least 45 minutes. After running (well, what I do isn’t really running) from Soarin’ to Test Track (twice), sitting on the ledge in front of these evaporators provided some welcome relief to my tired feet.
Any gardener (and those, like me, who aren’t) should enjoy the Behind the Seeds tour. Both times, the guides offered considerable technical and practical advice ranging from growing to where to inexpensively purchase the pots and other containers seen during the tour. But most of all, and this is why I think I enjoy it so much, the Behind the Seeds Tour provides a calm, quiet (and temperate) hour away from the hectic pace of Epcot.
Category: Disney World