My wife, Julie, and I have long talked about taking the Behind The Seeds Tour in Epcot. Well recently, along with our good friends Mike and JoAnn, we finally got to take the tour. What follows is my review of the tour with lots of pictures to give you a good idea as to what you'll see on the tour. Keep in mind that this is a "review" and that you'll need to take the tour yourself to get detailed information about what you see in the pictures. OK, with that said, let's begin.
Here's a description of the tour as shown on AllEars.net:
Take a one-hour walking tour of the LAND greenhouses and labs. Tour greenhouses to discover over 60 crops from around the world, and see some of the latest techniques used to grow and improve plants. Watch as beneficial insects used at The Land battle pests that can destroy our food supply. Venture through the fish farm to see thousands of fish and alligators, too! Bring your cameras, and have fun!
Tours are led by a member of the Epcot Science Team. Flash photography and videotaping are allowed. Children are welcome, but must be supervised; strollers are provided for small children. Wheelchair accessible (guests in electrical wheelchairs need to transfer to push type). Safety and sanitation rules are strictly enforced in the greenhouses and labs. Covered, non-alcoholic drinks are allowed during the tour.
$16/per adult and $12/per child (3-9). Reservations can be made up to one year in advance.
Same day tour sign-up downstairs at The Land pavilion, near the entrance to Soarin'.
You can either call the WDW Tour office number (407-939-8687) to make advanced reservations or you can make them the same day at the tour desk right by the entrance to Soarin. I called and made advanced reservations for the 1:30 pm tour. However, lots of folks walked up and signed up for the tour that same day. I was told that most of the tours are not sold out and that the most crowded ones are the ones in the early afternoon.
In case you don't know, the Behind The Seeds tour is located inside The Land pavilion.
The Behind The Seeds tour desk is located just to the left of the entrance to Soarin.
Above the tour desk is a sign showing the time of the next tour.
On the tour desk is a laminated sheet with all the information regarding the tour.
Signs of things to come.
We were all given name badges to wear while on the tour.
Once you have checked in with the Cast Member you are asked to wait in the area adjacent to the desk for the tour guide.
At 1:30 we were greeted by our tour guide Lisa. Just a picture of her name badge here but many pictures of her to come.
We entered a "backstage" area through a door located by the Soarin Fastpass machines.
Surprisingly there were no restrictions on photos. I've taken other WDW tours and this is the only one where I was allowed to take unrestricted pictures.
The first stop was the Biological Control area. Here we learned about many of the harmful pests that Disney has to deal with and some of the things they do to control them. In particular, Disney uses other "good" insects like ladybugs instead of pesticides. Volunteers were given some ladybugs that they could release later in the tour.
Here tour guide Lisa tells us about pest control at Disney. She explained the pest Disney has to deal with and the "good" insects, like ladybugs, that they use to control those pests. Voulunteers were given a vial with ladybugs inside to be released later in the tour.
Here we are on the move to our next location.
Our second stop with the Biotechnology Lab for Crop Improvement. Here we could only look into the lab from outside. It's a sterile environment that's used to test different growing techniques.
The Research and Production Greenhouses (Growing Innovative Ideas) is where we spent the majority of the tour. This is the area that you can see as you the the Living With The Land boat ride.
My wife, Julie, was one of the volunteers to release the ladybugs. Here's she is gently letting them out onto the plant.
All of the vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices grown here are used in WDW restaurants. Here we get to taste a cucumber that was picked that morning. It was very, very good!
Lisa explained how Disney uses Hydroponic Gro-Tanks. For those of you who don't know, Hydroponics is growing plants without soil. We were given directions to build Hydroponic Gro-Tank on our own.
Back to the tour.
A look inside one of the grow tanks.
Pumpkins aren't the only vegetable that they grow in the shape of Mickey. Here you see a Mikey cucumber. Pretty cool!
If you've ever taken the Living With The Land boat ride you've seen that "tomato tree". Well, Disney holds a Guinness world record for growing tomatoes on a tree. Pretty impressive!
There were Mickey's wherever you looked.
Here's another Mickey.
These guys are earning their ears. Seeing that always gives me a chuckle. When I was training to be a Concierge I had to wear one of those red "Earning My Ears" ribbons under my name badge. To see it on a vegetable is pretty funny!
We also got to tour the area where you see the fish and alligators. As with the vegetables, all the fish and other sea creatures are used in Disney restaurants. However, there was one exception; the alligators. Once the alligators reach a certain age they are given to an alligator harvester who does sell the meat and skins.
Here Julie is being very brave and feeding the Tilapia.
Lisa provides some information about teas and spices and then does a wrap-up of the tour.
We exited the backstage area via the same door we entered.
What a great tour! It was advertised as a one hour tour. But, much to our delight, our tour lasted an hour and a half. I don't think we could have had a better tour guide than Lisa! She was very knowledgeable, informative and personable. If you take this tour and get Lisa as your tour guide you'll be in for one great tour. Anyway, as I said, we had a fantastic guide in Lisa, the information was very good and, as for the price, it has to be one of the best bargains that Disney offers. I highly recommend this tour for adults. I don't recommend it for children as I think that they would be bored with it.
Let me know if you have any questions or please comment if you're taken the tour yourself and let me know your thoughts.
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Well, that’s all for now. As my good friend says “see ya real soon”….DizneyMike
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The previous post in this blog was DizneyMike's Disney Collection: Beauty and The Beast Playbill.
The next post in this blog is My Top Five Attractions In Each Walt Disney World Park.