I’m not really a huge fan of tours. I kind of love wandering the Parks, seeing what there is to see and discovering what’s there to discover. But I have always been curious about what goes on behind the scenes in The Land Pavilion. So when Dan from At Disney Again said he’d be willing to do it again, we signed up for Behind the Seeds ($20, $17 with AP/DVC/Disney Visa discount).
The tour meets at the desk just outside of the Soarin queue, which is … kind of the worst spot for a group to meet. But our friendly tour guide managed to keep it together, and we were soon off on our very small, intimate six-person tour of the pavilion.
I won’t give you the full play-by-play (although if you want to see photos of every inch, check out At Disney Again’s post), but I will tell you my five favorite things about this sneak peek of all things flowering and growing in The Land:
Okay. So. You get to go backstage. And that’s cool. There are some cast-only areas. But they’re not all that impressive. What really made an impression on me was the views of the green house itself. So beautiful:
This Awesome Plant
Its proper name is mimosa pudica, but I call it the shy plant. During the tour, as we walked past it, and our tour guide encouraged us to touch it. We did, and we were so happily surprised: the little guy folded its leaves up on itself. (Well, no. It undertakes an impressive series of biological responses extremely quickly. But it looks as if it’s folding in on itself.) The coolest part: when we returned to my shy little guy just a few minutes later, he had already spread his leaves again. Cute!
(Note: after the tour, I learned that the shy plant is actually considered an invasive species in some places and it can interfere with coconuts, coffee and other crops … so now I sort of hate it. Don’t mess with my coconuts!)
I’ve never been one for math or science (which is pretty hilarious if you know what I write about in my day job), but I have always been partial to biology. I learned too much to mention during the tour, but one thing in particular stood out for me. And it was called Biological Control. Basically, instead of using man-made pesticides, the folks at The Land use helpful bugs to keep agricultural pests at bay. Genius, right? Our tour guide gave us the basics, and I was pretty enraptured. Who even knew that was a thing?
Sure, yea. There are Hidden Mickeys all over the Parks (and all over the world, if you’re looking out for them, really), and I tend to not be a big searcher-of-Mickeys, but … I dunno. There’s just something so cool about finding a Hidden Mickey in a backstage area where 95% of guests will never see. Because the Imagineers and Cast Members just did it for themselves. And me. It makes me feel special.
Delicious Delicious Delicious
Delicious, delicious leafy greens. I love ’em, and it was really cool to see them growing in futuristic-looking trays. We didn’t get to snack on them, but we DID get to eat some Land-grown cucumbers. They were slightly sweet and very fresh. Delish.
Bonus Thing: Fresh Air
When I ran Dan through my list of favorites, he asked me to add one more. I’ll let him tell you:
How fresh and clean the air is! You feel like you’re miles from any cities or anything. It’s really nice.
It is nice!
Have you gone Behind the Seeds? Tell us about it in the comments below. And make sure you head over to Dan’s many photo’d post on At Disney Again.