Discover The Land Pavilion in EPCOT
Let’s be honest, EPCOT is basically only known for two things: Spaceship Earth and World Showcase (i.e. “drinking around the world”). But Walt Disney’s Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow has way more to offer than just those two things. Today we’re going to discover one of EPCOT’s “other” pavilions: The Land. Come explore with me!
What Is The Land Pavilion?
Make your way past Spaceship Earth, a little to the right, and you’ll find a big building known as The Land Pavilion. This futuristic-looking structure houses three attractions, two restaurants, one tour, and tons of fun. Guests looking to ride Soarin’, Living with the Land, or dine at Garden Grill will need to make the trek here.
It’s important to note that strollers are not allowed inside The Land and will need to be parked in the designated stroller parking lot to the right of the pavilion. It is however wheelchair and ECV accessible. Stairs, elevators, and escalators are available to get you from one level to the next. So what exactly is inside The Land? Glad you asked!
Let’s start with the main reason why most people go to The Land: Soarin’. This longtime guest favorite is located on the bottom level of the pavilion. Historically it’s had some of the longest wait times in Epcot and for good reason! Soarin’ is one unique and breathtaking attraction.
Guests board a hang gliding simulator to take a spectacular flight over some of the world’s most iconic attractions. The Sydney Opera House, Neuschwanstein Castle, The Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal are just some of the sights you’ll take in during your 5 minute flight around the world.
Soarin’ has a height requirement of 40 inches. It’s important to note that Guests with a fear of heights, flying, or those prone to vertigo may not want to ride. But for those who brave the gentle flight, it’s one magnificent experience!
Living with the Land
Looking for something a little tamer and closer to the ground? Living with the Land is an educational and entertaining attraction, great for all ages.
Guests will enjoy a 15-minute long boat ride through various biomes such as a prairie, rainforest, and desert. A recorded tour guide explains how animals, plants, and the elements work in harmony to shape the land and food we use today.
One of the main draws of this attraction is the greenhouse. Have you ever wondered what a jackfruit looks like? How about coffee beans? Curious what a Mickey-shaped pumpkin would look like? Well you can find all of that and more in Disney’s innovative greenhouses. As a matter of fact, some of the food featured in EPCOT’s festivals and restaurants are grown right here in these very greenhouses! How cool is that?
Speaking of which, some of the food grown in Living with the Land is used right upstairs at Garden Grill Restaurant. This character meal is simply delicious and a must-do in my humble opinion (read all about my recent experience HERE). Meals are served family-style and are all-you-care-to-enjoy.
This slowly rotating restaurant sits on the upper level of the Living with the Land ride. Diners will make their way around the various ecosystems throughout their meal – a pretty unique experience if you ask me!
Current menu offerings include a fresh garden salad, moist turkey breast with gravy, scrumptious herb and leek stuffing, grilled beef with bright and delicious chimichurri sauce, and other delectable sides. The cost is $55/adult and $36/child.
But let’s not leave out the most important part of this meal – the characters! Farmer Mickey, Pluto, Chip, and Dale love to interact with guests from a distance and pose for a few photos, so have those cameras ready!
If you’re looking for a solid quick-service option in EPCOT, head on over to Sunshine Seasons on the lower level of The Land Pavilion. This food-court style eatery offers a little something for everyone – even the pickiest of eaters.
When you arrive you’ll be greeted by the famous balloons overhead. Take a look up at them and you’ll notice that each one is decorated to represent one of the four seasons. Clever, huh?
Current offerings include oak-grilled rotisserie chicken, oak-grilled salmon, classic cheeseburgers, stir-fried chicken, pulled pork sandwich, and more. Kids meals are also offered here. Check it out next time you’re looking for a quick but satisfying meal in EPCOT!
The newest member of The Land family is Awesome Planet, a 10-minute film explaining Earth’s ecosystems and man’s impacts on them.
The film is narrated by Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy to most of you) and takes on issues such as climate change and preserving our truly awesome planet. The show replaced the former Circle of Life attraction located in the same spot.
Behind the Seeds Tour
First and foremost, I should preface this by saying that this tour is currently unavailable. There is no word yet on when it will resume operation. But let’s talk about it anyway!
One of Disney’s most popular behind-the-scenes tours is Behind the Seeds (see what they did there?) This walking tour is offered as an enhancement to the Living with the Land ride and explores the greenhouses in depth. Word has it you even get to sample some of the produce!
This tour would be a great option for those who are looking to see the greenhouse up close and personal, or those who just wish to know more about how Disney is finding innovative ways to grow the food we eat. The full tour lasts approximately 1 hour and should be booked well in advance, when available.
So, what do you think of The Land? What’s your favorite attraction there?
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Featured Image: (Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)