Monday, May 21, 2012

Behind the Seeds Tour

First order of business - have you put your name in the hat for my first giveaway? I will be drawing a name tonight for a Disney lanyard and eleven pins for trading - be sure to get your entries in!

Have you ever been on a Disney tour?  There are lots of options and price ranges - options for teens, adults, and families.  Over spring break, my girls and I went on the Behind the Seeds Tour.  This tour is backstage of the Living with the Land ride at Epcot.  It's also one of the least expensive tours at Disney - $14 for children and $18 for adults.  We also got a discount through our annual passes.

To sign up for the tour, there is a desk right next to the entrance to Soarin' - and you can pick your tour time.  We decided to do the 10 am tour and begin our day with some breakfast over at Sunshine Seasons while we waited (yum!!).

Just before 10, we arrived at the desk, made our own name tags, and joined one other family on our tour.  We began by walking behind the Soarin' fastpass machines and went through a set of double doors to get an overview of our tour - and then our first stop was a lab where they breed parasitic wasps to help control their pests.  They showed us the kind of damage some of the bugs can do to the plants and then we watched a very short video of how the wasps lay their eggs and kill the bugs. 

Our next stop was the greenhouse - and it was fun to see people on the Living with the Land ride as we learned about hydroponics.  We got to see pepper plants as they rotate and then, as they go through this channel, the roots are sprayed with water.

We walked a bit down a path to the cucumber trees (I think I'd very much like to have a cucumber tree!).  They have molds for the cucumbers so that they will grow into Mickey shapes - and then we got to try some.  Delish!

Next stop: raised beds.  Part of the tour is explaining many different types of growing options.  If my house wasn't surrounded by trees, thus no sun, I'd so love to have a garden.  And I know my knees would appreciate some raised beds.  As we moved on to the next section, my daughter Madalyn and I hung back a bit so I could get a close up picture of the strawberries.  And Madalyn and I both looked at each other and confessed our desire to swipe a strawberry!  However, we behaved and just took pictures.

Next we got to see Tomato trees, Eggplant trees (both white and purple - apparently they taste the same), and lettuce that spells Epcot :-)

Having been on the Living with the Land boat ride, I really had not realized how many different green houses sections there are - I guess it shows that it all just flows so well.  Either that or I just haven't paid enough attention!  So...that being said, we went to a different greenhouse where we got to take a break and sit on some benches and have some water.  While we were resting, out guide told us that Disney uses the foods that are grown here in the greenhouses in their restaurants - and that the greenhouses are continually changing with the growing seasons.  And even though it's April, it's apparently time to grow some pumpkins.

Next we went into the area where they farm fish - talapia, I believe - and we got to feed the fish.  It was kind of a feeding frenzy!

(Would someone like to come and wind my garden hose like this?)

The last part of the tour focused on spices.  We got to play a game - we were each given jars with spices in them and we had to smell them and figure out what they were.  My girls really enjoyed this part!

(black pepper tree)

The Behind the Seeds tour lasts just over an hour (though I could see that it could easily vary depending on the guide - or how chatty your group is) - and we had a lot of fun.  It's the perfect length for kids (though I will admit that my 10 year old was looking a little antsy in parts - even though she's the one that requested we do the tour) - especially if they have an interest in plants.  We were given sales information from companies that make stackable gardens; we got instructions on how to make other alternative gardens at home.  The tour is also a great value - and a very educational way to spend the morning!

So...what about you?  Have you ever taken a tour at Disney?  Which one would you most like to do?



  1. Living with the Land is one of our favorite rides. (Which is usually met with, "WHY? It's so boring." And then I feel sad for people who don't yearn for knowledge or appreciate the fine art of gardening. Sigh...) We've never taken the Behind the Seeds tour, but it's on the Disney Bucket list, most likely when Caroline is older.

    Great write up, Kat. And that photo of the strawberries makes me want to do a raised bed just like that, just for berries. (I have 2 raised beds--but they're growing tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and squash right now.)


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