The Land Pavillion, Disney Epcot, 2014

On November 16 1965, Walt Disney announced his plan to build the utopian Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (aka Epcot) on 27,443 acres of Florida swampland. In his own words, EPCOT will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are emerging from the forefront of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed. It will always be showcasing and testing and demonstrating new materials and new systems.” 

Unfortunately, Walt died in 1966, and when Epcot opened in 1982 the prototype city he’d imagined had morphed into a theme park, albeit one highlighting a future that promised new and exciting benefits for all. Nowhere is this more evident than in the attraction Living with the Landa 15-minute boat ride through four distinct greenhouses and an aquaculture facility. The Land, Epcot, 3/29/14Visitors glide past 60 different plants being grown via the Nutrient Film Technique in which enhanced waters are pumped from holding tanks into some VERY unusual garden beds. Some are slotted and sloped:

Hydroponic Lettuce Bed, Living with the Land, Epcot, 3/29/14

….others are spiraled

Spiral Hydroponic Beds. Living with the Land, Epcot, 3/29/14

while others are strung up like trees:

Eggplant "trees", Living with the Land, Epcot, 3/29/14

As the solution streams by, each plant takes what it needs and the rest is recirculated and reused.  The result is higher yields in smaller areas with water conservation, to boot! 🙂

The ride also passes through a separate greenhouse featuring tropical edibles:

Tropical Greenhouse, Living with the Land, Epcot, 3/29/14

Pineapples, pitaya and coconuts are growing in the picture above, with jackfruit and unnamed water edibles, below:

20140329_150735-1Plants in the Tropical Greenhouse are grown in sand using subsurface drip irrigation of the same nutrient water used elsewhere in the Land.  It was interesting to see some common Florida crops flourishing in these conditions:

Coffee and Bamboo, Living with the Land, Epcot, 3/29/14

Epcot’s horticulturalists are using innovative growing techniques and cross-breeding high-yield crops with the goal of sustaining our growing global population. To that end, a Biotechnology Lab operates in conjuction with the USDA, and we got a glimpse of that, too:

Epcot/USDA Tissue Culture Lab, Living with the Land, 3/29/14

The Land is definitely one of Epcot’s most interesting and educational attractions! If your travel plans take you to Orlando, I highly recommend it!

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂

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10 thoughts on “The Land Pavillion, Disney Epcot, 2014

  1. Isn’t it fun to see the different ways of growing? About 15 years ago, my dad and I took a behind-the-scenes tour of The Land, where an intern walked us around the greenhouses. It was one of the most amazing and fascinating things I have done!

    • Wicked futuristic! Seeing those spiral “planters” spinning while they get sprayed is pretty dang strange! I think I’d miss the “digging in the dirt” aspect if I tried my hand at small scale hydroponics, but I can see the value of it for feeding large amounts of people who live in non-arable locations!

    • He would LOVE it! Next time you’re in Florida, you’ll probably overlap with the International Flower and Garden Festival, so he could take in all the regular Epcot attractions in addition to the special gardening exhibits and classes!

  2. I can remember visiting the greenhouses at Epcot when I visited it a number of years ago. It’s really interesting to see the innovative ways that plants are grown there.

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