We went on a Behind the Seeds Tour with a media group last week, and this will be my third time reviewing this educational and fun tour. The first time I reviewed Behind the Seeds was back in 2007 and the second in 2014. In the 11 years since I first wrote up the tour, not a lot has changed – at least not as much yearly as it does seasonally. There were aspects of the tour geared toward the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this time, which would be different than a tour would receive in December with all the holiday decorations. Back in 2007, a tomato tree had recently been recognized by the Guinness World Records for the most tomatoes harvested from a single plant in one year – something mentioned during the Land Boat Ride, and it was fun being part of a tour during that time frame when it was a big deal.
The Behind the Seeds Tour runs 9 times per day. It costs $25.00 for adults, $20.00 for children and it runs about one hour. Guests will be on their feet during the hour, it is a light amount of walking through the 4 greenhouses. There are discounts for Annual Passholders, DVC, and Disney Visa Cardholders.
Our first stop was in pest management. I mentioned before that the tour hadn’t changed much, and this is the same as in previous years. We learned about the leafminer fly, and looked at a damaged leaf. Camile, our tour guide, did a great job leading us through the greenhouses.
We passed by this Biotechnology Lab where Mickey’s Mini Gardens are grown. These are sold in the gift shop.
This is a large shot of the area, which guests will float past on the Living with the Land boat ride.
We started our walk into the greenhouses.
One of my favorite parts of the Behind the Seeds Tour is having a different viewpoint on one of the Disney attractions I enjoy and ride the most. Before we look further, I just wanted to mention that a lot of the fruits and vegetables here are used in Epcot restaurants.
But really, this is my very favorite part. Back in 2007, I was excited to see the sensitive plant/Mimosa pudica – it had been over 30 years since I had seen one. As a kid in New Jersey in the early 1970s, these grew in our yard even though they weren’t native to the state. The leaves close when touched, and reopen not long later.
Here is another look at the sensitive plant, with some leaves closed where they have been touched.
The plant was shaken, and this is what it looks like with most leaves closed.
Cucumbers slices are handed out, these were grown here.
Hydroponics is talked about.
Hydroponic lettuce is grown here (hydroponics is essentially growing without soil). I had never heard of hydroponics until Living with the Land years ago, and sometimes I buy hydroponic lettuce in the store.
Lettuce is a cold weather plant so water chillers are used.
A Living with the Land boat goes by.
Irrigation is briefly talked about.
We passed a fig tree and were told Fig Newtons no longer had fig in them – I never really ate them but went online and learned that figs weren’t so popular after over 100 years and Kraft went with other flavors and fillings like blueberry.
A coffee plant.
Behind the Seeds Greenhouse Tour imprint in the sand.
Gardener Mickey is also part of the imprint.
Guests on the Living with the Land boat ride pass by a sign for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
This area is one of my favorite to walk through, a tunnel that includes fish, shrimp and it used to include alligators as well. These tanks here generally have shrimp in them – not many, and I think there were one or two below in the lower tank. These smaller tanks tend to have hidden Mickeys and Minnies with them and can be seen from the Land Boat Ride.
A Hidden Mickey can be seen here with a hose.
We fed some fish, which was new to me in this location. Fish are harvested here, including catfish, tilapia and bass. I know in the past there has been sturgeon and that may still be the case.
Bananas are grown in the greehouses, and are technically a herb – that is something I don’t remember.
We stopped to learn about spices.
There are two plants here that are in the shape of Mickey. One is this black pepper tree.
We were shown how the pepper grows.
This Mickey with 300 orchids is here for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
Orchids up close.
The dome is another favorite aspect to The Land for me.
I spent more time on the orchid plant than the spices, but guests could smell a variety of different spices here.
I don’t expect it to be another 4 years before taking the Behind the Seeds Tour again, I would like to take it during the holidays when it is so festive. We definitely recommend this one for anyone who enjoyed Living with the Land or horticulture, or just wants to try a shorter and less expensive tour at Walt Disney World. Reservations can be made for The Behind the Seeds Tour by calling (407) 939-8687/(407) WDW-TOUR.