If you’ve been here a while you’ll know we are major Disney fans; Disney Adults, if you will. So many people can’t understand why we’d go to Disney without having kids (and why we go so much). Well, today’s post is one of the many points of why we go back so often, and why we love it!
I’ve been going to Disney multiple times a year for my whole life – and there are still things I haven’t done! One of those things being one of the many tours Disney has to offer, many of which are on the educational side. These tours are something Grant and I have wanted to dip our toes into for some time, and on our most recent trip we finally did it!
While there are countless tours Disney offers – and honestly I have only heard good things – we wanted to start off small and slow. We chose to do the Behind the Seeds tour, a tour dedicated to sharing the greenhouses at The Land in Epcot like you’ve never seen them before! Additionally, you learn about Disney’s science side, and how they use the resources they grow in the greenhouses throughout Walt Disney World.
The Behind the Seeds tour is extremely affordable (between $39-$45 per person) and it doesn’t take up a large amount of your day (only about 1 hour). The tours are extremely easy to book now, since you can do everything online or on the app rather than having to do it over the phone. Plus, you can receive your AP/DVC discount even when booking online.
Before I give a synopsis of what we did during the tour, I want to discuss who this tour is targeted to. Technically, this tour allows people of all ages (3+). However, I would not suggest bringing children unless they’re specifically interested in agriculture and have a good attention span. Despite it only being an hour long, they pack in a lot of information, and if I were a kid I would be pretty bored – we’d never suggest this for our 5 year old nephew. Also note that we were standing during most of the tour – however, you are welcome to stay in a wheelchair/ECV. They do give out headsets for the tour so everyone can hear well. Any ultra-Disney fan would find this interesting, as well as anyone interested in science, agriculture, or gardening. If you aren’t interested in any of those things, I’d probably suggest to choose one of the many other tours Disney offers. The tour is about an hour, but I’d give at least 1.5-2 hours total (you have to check in prior to the tour and some tour guides may go over a tad) just to be safe, especially if you have dining or Genie+ reservations.
Now, let’s get into the tour! The Behind the Seeds tour is the only tour at Disney where you are allowed to take pictures throughout the entire experience. While you do go into areas that are typically for Cast Members only, they aren’t areas that “ruin the magic” (if you know what I mean). This tour is essentially a reverse walkthrough of the Living with the Land attraction. You start in some areas not normally seen by guests (mainly science labs). Throughout the tour, you can expect to learn about how Disney uses some of these plants in the parks for guests’ food. Additionally, you can expect to learn about research Disney is doing to widen scientific horizons.
We started off in a room filled with insect habitats. Our tour guide explained how the insects make a difference not only in the greenhouses, but in nature and throughout Disney property. We then moved outside to get a view into one of the labs where cast members are studying plants. Our tour guide even shared that they’re doing research and trials to see what plants could potentially survive being grown on other planets.
Then, we moved into the greenhouses – specifically where the Living with the Land attraction goes through. Our tour guide shared with us some of the plants and vegetables they grow in the greenhouse, and why they use the growing methods they do. The first room is also where we got to try fresh cucumber that is grown right in the greenhouse. It honestly had a unique taste compared to what I am used to – not a super strong cucumber taste!
As we walked through the greenhouses, our guide told us some pretty cool facts. And while I don’t want to spoil the tour too much, I figured I’d share a few with you. Keep in mind there are numerous guides who give the tours and they all put their own spin on things and have infinite facts to share!
We learned that most of the food in the greenhouses are served at Sunshine Seasons, Garden Grill, and Tiffins. Plus, many items are served at the various festivals at Epcot through the year. We also learned that the Carolina Reaper peppers they grow are used during Food & Wine Festival – and they only have to harvest about 3 peppers a year to use for the ENTIRE FESTIVAL! That is how spicy they are! Festival booths and restaurants can also put in special requests to the greenhouse for things like sprouts to garnish dishes with.
One interesting portion of the tour was learning about the fish farming Disney does. Our guide shared that if you ever get tilapia on Disney property, chances are it is from the greenhouse! Also, most fish dishes labeled as a “special” or “fresh” at the restaurants mentioned previously are likely from The Land. I even got to feed the fish, which was super cool.
We moved into the final portion of our tour, which I believe was a bit specialized since it was the holiday season on our tour. On this part of the tour, there were spices passed around for us to smell and we had to guess what they were. The spices we got specifically were used in holiday dishes. But this was such a surprising challenge and a ton of fun! At the end of the tour, our guide was kind enough to offer to take a picture for anyone who wanted one, which was super kind.
Overall, we really enjoyed our tour! And while I probably wouldn’t do this tour again (because been there, done that) this has definitely opened my horizons to wanting to do more Disney tours. We now have Keys to the Kingdom booked for our March trip, so I am super excited about that! Let me know if you all would like a review of that tour after our trip.
I hope you all enjoyed this post and it gave you some insight into the Behind the Seeds Tour! Let me know if you’ve tried this tour, or if it’s now something you have on your bucket list.