Friday, November 11, 2011

(Underrated and Under-visited: Living with the Land)

March 2006. We look so young! 
You know the deal. You rush into the Land Pavilion to grab your fastpasses to the most in-demand attraction in Epcot: Soarin'. Not that I blame you, that is one amazing ride. It's far too easy though, to miss everything else that the Land has to offer. I'm guilty as well - many times I have walked through the Land Pavilion with only Soarin' in mind, surpassing that boat ride that rarely had a line. In 2009, we decided to finally give it a try. There was a bit of a line and we had some time to kill before Soarin', so we figured a nice, relaxing boat ride would be just the ticket.

Man are we glad we took that ride. Living with the Land is a slow moving boat ride through Epcot's experimental growing areas. You see larger than life lemons, pumpkins shaped like Mickey's head, fruits you've never heard of (Jackfruit, anyone?), and so much more.

You're thinking, "I'm on vacation, I don't want to learn anything." Well, that's what Epcot does best. There's so much to see and absorb on this 14-minute ride. There's even an aquacell (we saw baby alligators!) where you can see fish crops like catfish and eel.

So please, don't surpass this one. Even if you experience it just once and never go back, I really think you may learn a thing or two, and you'll have fun while you do it. This is where they grow a lot of the food that you're eating on your vacation!

While you're in the Land Pavilion, stop for lunch at Sunshine Seasons. There are five stations to choose from including Rotisserie, Soup & Salad, Asian Wok, Sandwich Shop and Bakery. On a week long vacation where a lot of lunches consist of chicken fingers and french fries, the fresh food is a welcome change. We tried a Turkey & Monterey Jack on Focaccia, and it was good! The bread is a bit thick but the flavor is so fresh it just felt like a really clean lunch.

When you visit the Land Pavilion, I ask you to just linger a little longer than it takes for you to ride Soarin'. It may not be for everyone especially if you only have a few days in Disney World, but if you have the time, I think you'll enjoy your experience there. It certainly did not disappoint for us.

What has your experience been with The Land? Have you eaten at Sunshine Seasons, or perhaps Garden Grill? Better yet, have you taken the Behind the Seeds Tour? I'd love to hear about your time there!

Happy Learning!

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