Friday, June 10, 2011

Disney Top 100: #96

Okay, so in my family, vacation always, always, always had to be educational. It didn't matter if we were touring Gettysburg or at Hilton Head...there had to be kind some educational merit to every trip. And Grayson and I loved that. In fact, our heads are so full of random facts now that people make comments about it all the time. Why? Because our parents cared enough about us to force us into every museum within a fifty-mile radius of our destination.

So it wasn't surprising when my Dad (purveyor of all things educational) suggested that we do the Behind the Seeds tour at EPCOT. This tour is a behind the scenes look of The Land Pavilion, namely the Living With the Land attraction (more on that in another blog post). This tour can be scheduled at the front desk near Soarin' which is also located in The Land Pavilion. In this greenhouse, many of the veggies (and even some of the meat) that is served in Disney restaurants is grown.

EPCOT is probably my favorite park. There's lots of nooks and crannies to explore and I'm pretty sure that between my mom and I we've discovered them all. So when Dad offered this tour as an early Christmas present I was totally game. Obviously, Josh had no choice in the matter :)

My brother, a certified genius, is a Bio-Chemistry major. He reads his science textbooks for fun (not even kidding). He read Einstein's theory on relativity in the eighth grade and actually understood it. He's very interested in getting an internship at The Land, so this tour was particularly amazing for him too.

The tour begins in (what I like to call) the Bug Room. Your tour guide (who is typically a grad student) will show you lots of different bugs that they use in place of pesticides. My brother explained that these good bugs eat bad bugs but they don't destroy plants. Pretty cool.

Then you get to go into the greenhouses where your guide will explain all of the innovative technology used in their labs. My Dad was in hog heaven*. Because I have what I like to call The Black Thumb of Death, a lot of what the tour guide said was way over my head. But it was still really cool to be a part of the ride. I took great satisfaction in waving to all of those poor schmoes who had to make do with simply riding the attraction. Me? I was like a glorified animatronic.

I could go one for quite some time about everything we saw on this tour. But I'm a visual learner, so I thought I'd provide you with some lovely illustrations.

Mickey cucumbers! They also grow Mickey-shaped pumpkins.
The intrepid scientist examining something way over my head
Our wonderful guide.
Listening intently.
Hydroponics. No soil needed!
One of the reasons my Dad was in hog heaven.**
Um...pumpkin tree. Need I say more?
When life hands you nine pound lemons...
Those Disney Imagineers! Even the cherry tomatoes are Hidden Tomatoes.
*Reason number one my Dad was in hog heaven. My Dad asks more questions than any other person I've ever met. While we're all enjoying an attraction at Disney World, he's wandering off to ask a Cast Member about the hydraulics used. This conversation occurs on almost every family vacation we have:

Mom: "Where's your Daddy?"

Grayson and I (in unison): "Probably asking questions."

Once we really thought we'd lost him at Old Faithful.

**Reason number two my Dad was in hog heaven. My Dad and brother are both Eagle Scouts. And Scout Troop 70 has spent every spring break since the dawn of time at Okefenokee Swamp. So obviously, they both know lots about swamp creatures, namely alligators. Every spring, alligators hatch from their eggs and, surprisingly, alligator moms look after their young. When mommy alligators want their babies, they make this popping, smacking sound. My Dad, in his many years spent with the alligators, can now make this sound. So he spent the better part of our tour walking to one side of the alligator tank and smacking. Then the alligator babies would all swim furiously to him. Then he would walk to the other side of the tank and repeat the process. People, he was like the Pied Piper of Alligators. Very impressive.

1 comment:

  1. haha! That's awesome about the "Pied Piper of Alligators!" I love the behind the scenes tours at Disney. You should try the Keys to the Kingdom tour! It's so amazing.


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