Living with the Land review

Living With the Land” by Frank Phillips licensed under CC BY 2.0

Living with the Land is located inside The Land Pavilion in EPCOT’s Future World. The Land Pavilion opened up in 1982 along with the rest of EPCOT. The Living with the Land attraction was actually named “Listen to the Land” originally. Narrated by a live Cast Member, the tour started with a “Symphony of the Seed” section. 

This is, of course, no longer the opening segment of the ride. It was still very similar to what it is today. The boats that guests rode on would ride past different climates and greenhouses. In 1993, the ride was renamed “Living with the Land.” 

The ride/tour went through several other changes as well, such as a new narration, new soundtrack, and new beginning scenes and end scenes. A pre-recorded narration was added, featuring Mike Brassall, who had also done the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover at one point. 

What Exactly is Living with the Land?

Inside EPCOT’s The Land pavilion, lies a ride/tour that takes you on a journey through the courses of the Earth’s different ecosystems and how we live within it. The tour, called Living with the Land provides a unique experience where guests can enjoy an educational attraction while getting an inside look into the greenhouses of Walt Disney World that are utilized in various ways. 

According to the Walt Disney World website, it is a “taste of the future,” where you can see horticulturalists using innovative ideas and techniques to help feed our growing planet. 

The Land pavilion is located on the western side of Future World in EPCOT. It is an area that is dedicated to informing guests about the interaction of humans with the Earth and how it has changed, is changing, and will change. Most of this informing and educating is done through agriculture and travel. 

For instance, the other ride that lies in the pavilion is Soarin’. Soarin’ is a very popular ride where you feel as if you’re gliding on a hand glider and viewing different wonders all over the world. With amazing effects and the feeling of flight, it is no wonder why this ride is extremely popular. The Land pavilion also includes a couple places for guests to eat. These places are the Sunshine Seasons Food Court and Garden Grill. 

The Sunshine Seasons is a quick service food court that provides quick bites of Asian food plus quick service of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The Garden Grill is a sit down restaurant that is also character dining. What makes the Garden Grill so interesting is that it rotates very slightly as you are dining, giving a view that is constantly changing. The scenery is part of Living with the Land!

Disney has announced that a new show will also be showing at the Land pavilion. Starting in January of 2020, we will see a different, beautiful, and awe-inspiring view of the planet Earth, which gives a diverse and amazing story about our home. 

There is also a “Behind the Seeds” tour that really appeals to those who love to garden. This tour is an up close and personal tour of the Living with the Land attraction. Led by a member of the EPCOT science team, you get to enjoy different activities in the greenhouses, such as a fish feeding, getting to know the latest gardening tips, and a ladybug release. 

Like I mentioned earlier, Living with the Land is located within The Land pavilion. When walking into the park, the pavilion is going to be on the western side of Future World. Therefore, when you walk under Spaceship Earth, (EPCOT’s main structure at the entrance of the park) then you’re going to head to the right. 

From here, The Land is straight ahead. There is no admission or anything to enter into the pavilion, nor is there a line or anything. You can simply walk in, and you will be greeted by some cast members that are there to answer any questions that you might have.

The dome-like entrance is gorgeous, filled with globes hanging from the ceiling where each represent a different season along with gorgeous banners hanging all around the edge of the ceiling. Walking down the ramp and down the stairs, Living with the Land is located on the first level. 

The rides within The Land pavilion are definitely the highlights of the area. With Living with the Land being one of the rides, let’s explore the attraction in a more in-depth way! 

The Ride Itself

Living with the Land is not your typical Disney attractions and/or rides. It is more along the lines of an automated tour, where you sit on a boat that looks very similar to a tram, and it takes you through various “scenes” that depict environmental situations. The entire tour is narrated by a voice that gives an informative description of everything that the guests see on their boat ride. 

The ride starts off with thunder rolling and flashes of lightning. All of a sudden, you’re in the midst of a storm inside the building. 

Ahead of you, there is a nighttime scene with a running stream of water, with a beautiful night sky. It looks like you’re in the middle of the woods at night, with wind blowing and the sound of rain falling. The narrator starts his story by saying that, even though a storm might seem like destruction to us, it is actually a new beginning for the course of nature. Multiple nature sounds hit your ears the next few minutes as the boat continues along. 

A fun fact to know is that the animatronic dog barking in the farmhouse scene might seem very familiar to you. This dog is the same model as the dogs in Pirates of the Caribbean and in Carousel of Progress in the Magic Kingdom. This specific animatronic was modeled after Walt Disney’s dog in real life. All of this is to introduce what is, essentially, the circle of life, and how all the little details of nature begin this amazing cycle. From here, the guests begin to learn more about the different ecosystems on Earth, starting with the desert. 

The entire ride is very educational, going into great detail about the Earth and its history. The changes in nature can be hard to understand, which is what the narrator explains. The goal is to educate guests about how nature works and to have a better understanding of those aspects that might be hard to comprehend. 

From there, it goes onto explain how humans have had the most effect on nature and its ecosystems more than any other living creature. We are constantly trying to grow more and more food for a growing planet, and this really has an impact on our planet. Sometimes, we don’t realize the massive effect we have on the planet the more and more we go. 

However, so much research is being done to live with the land and discovering ways to grow food that will help both humans and environmental well being. A short section that holds an introduction to the way research is being done at EPCOT is shown before the tour enters the Disney greenhouses

You get the opportunity to have a front row seat when it comes to viewing the “living laboratory.” The living laboratory is located in some of the greenhouses that Disney operates, and we, as guests, have the opportunity to get an inside look into them. Everything they have in these greenhouses are maintained in controlled ecosystems. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture actually work with scientists at EPCOT in research to create bountiful harvests in a safe and environmental way. Like I mentioned, these plants and crops that are in the greenhouses are in controlled environments, such as a room that is at a tropical temperature. 

You also get to view fish farming, how the scientists here protect natural resources, and how much of the food grown here is actually served at the restaurants at Walt Disney World every year. Tons of produce is grown for this specific reason, and Disney makes excellent use of everything it grows in the restaurants.

So next time you eat produce at Walt Disney World, it could be the produce that you saw in The Land pavilion. It will make it extra delicious and extra special. Some of the crops grown in Living with the Land include:

  • Coffee
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemons
  • Vanilla
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins 

These greenhouses, or “biomes” mimic the rainforest, prairie-like climates, and desert climates in order to create the perfect environment for the native plants that are being grown in them.

The effects that these biomes have really are quite incredible because they can be tweaked to ensure perfect conditions for the plants. There is lighting and sound technology to help, as well as wind, mist, and heat that can be stimulated and tweaked to ensure the perfect environment. 

The ride continues to show you innovative ways that scientists are looking for growing plants in the future, such as vertical growing systems or vertical farming. It does not take up as much space, so more can be grown, while it also saves water.

That is the last thing that the tour covers, ending with a conclusion that wraps everything up with images of different people “living with the land” around the world coming up on a screen. From there you will exit the ride from where you got on and head back into The Land pavilion. 

The ride itself is really relaxed and can be interesting, especially if you are interested in environmental and agricultural science. Even if you aren’t, it is still an interesting subject that everyone should be learning about. The nice thing is that Disney does this in a way where everyone can comprehend the process, and they do not go into enormous detail in a way where it can be redundant and hard to understand. 

Who is this ride for?

This ride is for everyone. It is as simple as that; it is for everyone that is in your party. 

The ride is honestly more like a tour where you get to sit for about eighteen minutes. It is a slow moving boat ride that is extremely smooth, and half the time, you forget you’re on a boat. Something I am going to stress is that this ride/tour is very slow, so there is no moving fast at all, no being jerked back and forth all of a sudden, and no sudden drops or stops. 

There is a perfect view no matter where you sit on the boat. It is an “open” ride where you can have almost a 360 degree view of everything around you. The ride is lit up very well, so there is no mystery as to what is coming up or what is happening around you. The only partially dark part is the beginning of the ride where there is a pretend storm. 

Because of all of this, this anyone in your party can go on this ride. Senior citizens will have no problem getting on and getting off of the boat. Sometimes, those who are older will not want to ride something that is extremely jerky or dark due to them being afraid of illness. That will not happen on this ride. 


Your smaller members of your party can ride this too. I will warn you that, for kids, it really is not that exciting. Remember, it is more of an educational and informative experience rather than a thrilling or fun ride. It is interesting, but to a child it most likely will not be. I know for a fact that I did not like this ride as a child. If you are at Disney with kids, this ride can honestly be a hit or a miss. 

The reason I say this is because while the ride can be relaxing and just a place for adults to escape the heat, it is a slower and more educational experience. While there is nothing wrong with this, kids can often find it extremely long and, frankly, boring. If your child is already tired, and perhaps a little cranky, then this ride might not be the best idea, because it is a longer ride and not the most exciting.

Honestly, even as an adult, I sometimes want to fall asleep. However, as an adult you do appreciate it more, and what they talk about can be engrossing. So, if you take your child on this ride, be prepared to hear how boring it is or how boring it was.

Though EPCOT has many experiences that a child would love, Future World it is more on the discovery, science, and informative scale of things, which is amazing! However, to a child, it might not be as much as it would for you. 

The group of people that I have found who love this ride the most are, shocker, the adults. Believe it or not, it is actually a semi-popular ride. In my opinion, I think part of that is because it is a very slow-paced ride, and it is in air-conditioning. 

So, this gives many adults a reason to pull their party along and have them sit for eighteen minutes while also learning about environmentally friendly food production and how humans live with the land. 

However, I have found some adults who find it extremely intriguing as well. They love having a glimpse into how Walt Disney World produces its food and plants while also learning how scientists in EPCOT and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is making its mark in the environmental world. Knowing that they are positive about the future can actually be really refreshing in the eyes of the public. 

All in all, it is something everyone in your party can be involved with, and no one will be left out. Plus, it is a nice way to get out of the heat and to sit down and relax for a little bit during your long and exhausting day of adventures. It is an attraction that can provide this for guests while also learning about something in a fun and interesting light, and it is something that everyone should know and be educated on. 

My Opinion

Living with the Land is a wonderful ride and tour, but I unfortunately have mixed feelings when it comes to it. Having only ridden this ride a handful of times, it honestly has been awhile since I have been on it. Being someone who is constantly moving at the Walt Disney World parks, Living with the Land really is not our first choice when it comes to anything my party and I are usually in the mood for. 

To be honest, when it comes to my list of Disney World best rides, it definitely does not make the list. However, it does make it on a lot of people’s lists, and that is amazing. Many people love the tranquility of the ride, and how it is just an escape and a break from the everyday hustle and bustle of Walt Disney World parks.

I have watched countless Walt Disney World LIVE streams and vlogs on YouTube that always seem to stop by Living with the Land if they are in EPCOT for the day. There is something about it that people love, and that is amazing. Disney has a way of tugging at your heartstrings, even when it comes to things that you never thought would have an effect on you. 

Unfortunately, it has not tugged on my heartstrings quite as much as it has on everyone else’s, and that is alright. Unless I am just begging for air conditioning, or I am in the mood for a tour and to sit down, I will always skip this ride. 

To be rather blunt, I find it can be extremely boring and that I want to be doing something else whenever I am on it, or even just watching YouTube videos of it. I am an adult, and I find this ride very monotone and lackluster, but that doesn’t mean I do not appreciate it. There is truly much to appreciate when it comes to what the ride/tour is all about. 

The history of Living with the Land is interesting, knowing that it completely ties in with the history of EPCOT, seeing as it was there from the beginning. What the scientists at EPCOT and the U.S. Department of Agriculture do is absolutely amazing. The fact that we get to have a glimpse into what they do is extraordinary, knowing that it is helping to benefit future generations. 

That is what makes this ride so special, honestly. With everything going on in the world today, Living with the Land is more important now than ever. Everyone, not just children, and not just adults, need to be educated about our planet, and where better to learn than one of the happiest places on Earth? It is a place where everyone can learn together on a positive note. Learning about the Earth and how it can be taken care of in a positive way can truly light a spark in the masses of people that come to Walt Disney World every day. 

If you have never experienced this ride before, my honest suggestion would be to definitely ride it. You have to! You have to experience it at least once. Try everything once, right? When you visit Walt Disney World and you are not sure when you are going to return for another trip, then Living with the Land absolutely needs to be on your list. 

The information that the tour provides is necessary for current and future generations to know, even if they do not realize that they are learning something at the time they are on the ride. Living with the Land combines the past, the present, and the future all into an attraction that benefits everyone. 

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