View Full Version : WDW Rated & Reviewed - Living With The Land

Red Randal
07-19-2006, 02:50 PM
Well, it's certainly going to be a challenge making this review entertaining.

Living With The Land

Intro: Opened in 1982 as “Listen to the Land,” “Living with the Land” is a boat ride through the greenhouses of the Land pavilion. For reasons I’ve never been able to understand, the line at this ride has always been long. It gets even longer at mealtime when the pavilion becomes inundated with guests due to the fact that there are no other decent places to eat anywhere in Future World. Those guests are lucky, however, because they get to eat some of the many vegetables grown in the pavilion…or so I’ve been told.

Queue: Long winding line inside the massive atrium of the pavilion. Well within ear (and nose) shot of the food court so if you didn’t eat yet, you’ll be hungry, and if you did eat and are really full, you’ll want to vomit. The lines are made a little shorter these days by the addition of Fastpass and the huge e-ticket attraction Soarin’ opening on the other side of the pavilion…probably not in that order.

Preshow: Who needs a preshow when you’ve got a packed food court within your eyesight? Seriously, the people watching in parts of this line is tremendous. Ever wonder how many licks it takes before a Mickey ice cream bar gets all over a six year old?

Ride: Ahh yes, there is the matter of this ride to discuss. We ride in boats (yes, boats are used in the ride at “The Land,” har har) out of the docks and into a rainforest. The reason we are here is because a violent storm is approaching. Storms, we learn, are not violent to nature. That should make the people of New Orleans feel better. Water is trapped in the soil and nutrients are extracted. If you think this ride sounds boring already, it’s because I forgot to mention the loud thunder in the distance and cool mist doubling as rain. It’s kind of like what happens every fifteen minutes at the Rainforest Café, only without the overpriced mediocre food. We continue through the rainforest, passing by some waterfalls in the process, before entering…the desert!

The sound of thunder has been replaced by the sound of swirling wind. Something tells me that dust storms don’t deliver the kind of nutrients to the soil that the thunderstorm did. See and you thought I wasn’t paying attention before. Anyway, the narrator says something that I don’t care about and we move into the American prairie. The prairie is apparently just a desert that was lucky enough to have some water and nutrients penetrate the surface. Prairie dogs scamper around (they’re audio animatronics, so they don’t scamper, really, as much as they look around from one bolted down position) and some buffalo stand around. “Even the hooves of the mighty buffalo helped produce the rich soil that would one day become home to the American farm” says the narrator. It is so sad that I actually stole that line and wrote it on an essay exam for a class on the American West. Dr. Conover, if you’re reading this, don’t fail me.

The biggest force to affect the land has been humans, we are told. We often fail to realize the impact of farming. The Republican Party is a prime example of that. We move past a farm house and out of the animatronic scene and into a room with some video screens displaying, first, bad farming methods of the early twentieth century and, later, examples of new farming methods in deserts and such. This leads us to the “Systematic Agriculture Production & Research Center” and is the cue for our live, in boat, guide to stand up and begin speaking. Now it’s kind of like the Jungle Cruise only without the bad jokes (except from me, of course.)

We enter a tunnel into the actual greenhouses. I can’t help but wonder just how “real” everything here is. For starters, there does not seem to be that much growing. If this greenhouse really stocks Epcot restaurants with food daily, I don’t know where they are getting it from. Those must be magic tomatoes or something. More likely, this is a “show” greenhouse for the ride and the “real” greenhouse is in another section of the pavilion or just altogether non-existent. That’s all just skepticism by me though.

I should note that they usually rotate the crops, so they may not appear in the order that the do in my home movie. For what it’s worth, this video was taken in late December. We pass by cacao and sweet potatoes, which grow together as one of Epcot’s innovative farming techniques. Next we see rice, which is being grown on terraces along with peanuts. Why? Because peanuts give the rice nitrogen. Duh. We pass by some bananas on our way into a room with some fish tanks. Many of the fish being “grown” at the Land are used in Epcot restaurants, alongside the vegetables. And I always thought the fish came from the Living Seas.

Next we enter the “temperate greenhouse.” The narrator explains the concept of hydroponics, which involves growing plants without soil. This will help grow plants in the desert and assist in feeding the world’s population. The first plant we pass by is cotton. Hold on a second. How is cotton supposed to help feed the world? Next we see the “string garden” of vertically growing strawberries and cucumbers. Next there is lettuce, growing on Styrofoam boards that are floating on a bed of nutrients. No, I’m not making that up. Disease resident eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes assist wasps with pest control. I don’t understand how because we are never actually told. Squash, growing with its roots in the air, is located outside the “biotechnology lab” where NASA is developing plants to be used in space travel as well as crops with disease resistant genes.

Finally we enter another tunnel for the conclusion of the ride. We learn that crops must be handled with care for their journey from field to table. Final words encourage us to truly be “living with the land.”

Trivia: Look up during the rainforest and desert scenes. That bright light in the sky is not heaven but a glimpse of the “Sunshine Seasons” revolving restaurant which occasionally revolves around to give diners a glimpse of the ride. Well, maybe it’s heaven if you really like the hot fudge sundae.

Thoughts: I need to be careful about my use of words like “boring” when I talk about this show. Many different types of people visit Epcot on a daily basis. Many of them embrace the idea of a park where we can learn while being entertained. For some people, agriculture is a passion. Many great American citizens toil on farms for a living so that we can feast on the foods we love. Others find small gardens to be a rewarding hobby and enjoy planting things like tomatoes outside of their very own homes. For them, this ride might be considered one of the best at Epcot. For the rest of us, who do not care about farming, this ride is a boring 13 minute affair that can easily be skipped in favor of something with more inherent entertainment value.

I should point out that there is plenty of potential for education. If you really want to learn about the farming techniques, take the greenhouse tour that is offered. It costs extra but it will be well worth the time if you are interested in agriculture and what the scientists are doing at the pavilion.

Jokes about boredom aside, the ride is actually a fairly well presented introduction to the work being done at The Land. It’s not glamorous; it’s certainly not cute or funny. It is a boat ride about farming. Read that last sentence again. If it sounds boring to you, so will the ride.

Overall Rating: ***

07-19-2006, 04:27 PM
You raised some very good points. Being from a farming family, it is almost against our religion to NOT go on Living w/the Land. HOWEVER, I guess I just have a couple of comments to add...

1. Your guide can either make or break your experience. We had one that had such a mellow, smooth voice that we almost went to sleep through his script. I like the ones that boom and add their own form of commentary. :D

2. If you've seen it once, you've seen it. We go on this ride every visit (like I said...we're from farming families), but I don't think anything has ever changed since day 1. Therefore, it does make it a bit b-o-r-i-n-g and we wonder why we wasted our time. :blush:

Surfer Stitch
07-19-2006, 04:39 PM
It's great. Not the best but one that we make sure to do every trip.

07-19-2006, 05:00 PM
I really like it. Nice and relaxing, and original WDW style.

07-19-2006, 06:48 PM
We actually like this attraction. Its nice and relaxing and we learn a thing or two.

07-19-2006, 08:21 PM
I like it and ride it every time I'm at Epcot.


07-19-2006, 08:25 PM
I like going on this ride each time I come to WDW. It is one of the original Epcot attractions, and I wouldn't feel a trip was complete without seeing it at least once. The attractions that entertain and inform you, I believe are what Epcot is suppose to be all about. I don't get bored with this ride, but I'm not one of these people who needs everything to be a thrill ride to keep me entertained. I find Living with the Land very enjoyable. :mickey:

07-19-2006, 10:59 PM
I was not too interested in doing this attraction. DW wanted to get in line when we picked up fast passes for Soarin'. I would rather go to Imagination with Figment. Later in the day we got Fast Passes again for Soarin' and it gave us the Extra Fast Pass for the Land. So we did both. If we didn't get the extra FP we wouldn't have gone on it. Been there done that. Average ride.

07-19-2006, 11:39 PM
not the most amazing ride but it goes to the heart of epcot and that makes me love it :mickey:

07-20-2006, 01:44 AM
We like it alot too :thumbsup: And a good CM really does make it better ;)

07-20-2006, 08:46 AM
We love it! My 7 year old would not let us leave The Land without it...and we are from the suburbs of Chicago and cannot keep a simple house plant alive for longer than a week! I think the original posted was a bit harsh! It's in the detail and total experience of WDW...if you're just there for the thrills then I know we are having a much better time than you are!

07-20-2006, 08:50 AM
Somebody likes this ride because there is Fastpass and always a line on top of that.

I admit, I love this ride...The first half floating through different scenes are great especially the farm house with the sounds and seeing the lighting on the horizon

07-20-2006, 08:58 AM
I love the land! It is one of my favorite memories from when Epcot first opened. I think hydroponics is really a neat concept. I guess I'm a geek but - such is life! It is also a nice, cool stop in your long, hot day :thumbsup:

07-20-2006, 09:13 AM
I love it too. Although I really miss the Listen to the Land song. I keep meaning to take the Behind the Seeds tour but never seem to get around to it.

I love the scene with the old farmhouse.

The thing I like best about Epcot is the fact that it is educational. I had never ever heard of Hydrophonic (sp?) plants until I rode the Land for the first time.

I can't wait until I go to WDW in Feb and can create my own reviews of my favorite attractions.

07-20-2006, 11:17 AM
i honestly havent been on this ride in a long time..id say at least 5 years..and ive been to disney at least 4 times in those 5 years..and i just skipped over it...but i with reading the review i remember the ride and it has made me want to ride it when i go in Sept...its not one of the rides i obviously look forward to but it is a pretty decent ride!!... :thumbsup:

07-20-2006, 01:22 PM
I really enjoy this ride also, especially the greenhouse area. My hope is to do the behind the scenes tour this year.

07-20-2006, 08:21 PM
i like it but rated it average, as the waits are crazy it seems now that Soarin opend. i try to go on it but didnt last trip cause of the wait. and i heard of some changes comin. i dont think a ride has to b thrilling to b good

07-20-2006, 08:31 PM
I love this ride and I also don't mind waiting in line for it. The quotes on the wall are always fun to read...good music in the Land as well!

Bobby T
07-20-2006, 11:50 PM
We try to ride LWTL each time we go to Epcot because it is so relaxing, and it also reminds us of our first few times at Epcot. That being said, our time is too important to wait 60 minutes for it, and our fastpasses are too valuable to use one for it.

07-21-2006, 01:08 AM
Gotta chime in with the "I like it" group of posters. :thumbsup:

But I have to admit, beyond a 20 minute wait, I'll try again later in the day. Soarin' has certainly contributes to its renewed popularity. It is just logical to see LWTL while you wait for your Fastpass to validate for Soarin'.

I love the details in this ride - the realism of the animlas, theming, etc. One of my favorite scenes is travelling through the barns with the large, open decks and movie screens. The gentle bluegrass-style music and visions of farms around the world are inspiring to me.

There is also the familiar bromine Disney "smell" in the water that reminds you that you are in a Disney water ride.

I miss the original song, "Listen To The Land", throughout the opening portion of the ride. It's part of the original EPCOT Center that could have stayed. The new music provides the ambiance but it's unmemorable.

Finally, yes, the CM does make or break the ride when it is their turn to narrate. But rumor has it they are to be replaced by a pre-recorded track.

Overall, LWTL is worth trying and is entertaining and informative. Thanks to Soarin' this original EPCOT Center attraction has gained renewed interest and life.

07-22-2006, 12:13 AM
The wonderful thing about Disney is that there are so many different kinds of rides and experiences. The land might be boring if my senses were not already so very overstimulated!

magic my way
07-22-2006, 01:23 AM
I liked the original better. Listen To The Land was (is) one of my all time favorites. Now, the new version is so PC that I get depressed.

The new soundtrack seems like we are sitting through a sermon.

07-22-2006, 06:42 AM
I like the ride. I think it's entertaining in an educational way - not everything has to be a thrill ride to be interesting. I love seeing how those plants are grown and what modern technology can do for food production. I think the review was far too harsh.

07-22-2006, 08:49 AM
I have always liked Living with the Land and gave the attraction three stars. No one will claim that this boat ride is anything special and worth waiting on a long ine for, but we will always experience this tour, usually right after lunch at Sunshine Seasons Food Fair with FASTPASS.

Red Randal
10-01-2007, 11:39 PM
Bump! Happy Birthday Epcot!

10-02-2007, 12:04 AM
I like it too. It's a nice boat ride, great break, not boring.

10-02-2007, 07:42 PM
I rated this as one of the better rides around. I myself love it! It is very interesting and I love the scenery at the beginning! :mickey:

10-02-2007, 10:36 PM
We like this ride. The kids love seeing things grow in the shape of Mickey. It is one of the things they talk about in their school trip report.

10-03-2007, 08:38 AM
We like this ride just to sit back and relax and oh yeah learn a little something. My children like to see what Disney's up to in the as they put it "growing of the plants" department. Is it a ride that we must do - No. But, we always seem to end up there??????

10-03-2007, 09:01 AM
I read this in another thread, "There is also the familiar bromine Disney "smell" in the water that reminds you that you are in a Disney water ride."
So what smells trigger a little quick flasback of Disney for you? For me, I can agree on that certain water smell. And for some reason smoke, and I don't even smoke anymore.

10-04-2007, 06:45 PM
While I do find the tour through the greenhouse very interesting, the first part of the ride bores me as well. However, I saw several earlier posts talking about the CM guide. When we were there last week, there were no guides. Is that a change or just a seasonal thing?

Red Randal
10-04-2007, 09:21 PM
When we were there last week, there were no guides. Is that a change or just a seasonal thing?

They are gone for good. Disney got rid of them during the whole pavilion overhaul back when Soarin was first introduced.

10-04-2007, 10:29 PM
I found this poll very interesting. I have always liked this ride and always go on it when we are in EPCOT. I especially enjoy the greenhouse. In any event, I always thought that I was in the minority and lately thought it was only "popular" due to being something to do while waiting for Soarin', however, based upon the positive poll results it appears most people like it as well.

10-05-2007, 12:02 AM
Just got back last week. Sorry to say the CM has been replaced by a pre-recorded track. Oh well. Just pretend and "listen to the land" in your memory...

10-07-2007, 10:34 AM
This is one of DH's favorites. We rode it not once, but twice, during our last trip. I think the greenhouses are fascinating and are a nice contrast to the dark ride at the beginning.

centralohio disneyfan
10-07-2007, 11:30 AM
During your original review, under trivia, you mentioned the restaurant that rotated above the ride. I don't believe that is sunshine seasons as you stated, but is the Garden Grill. I may be mistaken, though.

10-07-2007, 12:08 PM
I, for one, adore Living with the Land. My favorite part is the rainforest scene--so pretty, and so much to look at. But the ride through the greenhouse is also a lot of fun, especially the technology being used. I don't know how I feel about the new guide-less format. It makes the ride a lot more generic without that human touch.

10-07-2007, 12:19 PM
The last two trips we have went down there is when we started to go on this again. For the longest time we didn't go on this ride. I actually like it. It is neat to see all the hanging plants and Vegies they make in the air. I also like those huge lemmons. My favorite part of the ride I think is when we get to see the Mickey Head Pumpkins those are awesome! :thumbsup:

During your original review, under trivia, you mentioned the restaurant that rotated above the ride. I don't believe that is sunshine seasons as you stated, but is the Garden Grill. I may be mistaken, though.

I think your correct. The Garden Grill Restruant is the one that rotates. I think Sunshine Seasons is more of a food court right? I went to look at my picutres and the Garden Grill is on the second level so that must be right.

10-08-2007, 10:25 AM
I love living with the land. I am disappointed that they went to the taped tour instead of a CM personally telling you everything. But, since it is taped, I hope they turn up the volume! The last couple of times we were on it, we couldn't hear the info.

I love the rain forest, but my favorite is the farm house and how much detail was added. You can even see the furnishings and a glowing lamp through the second story window when eating at the Garden Grill.:mickey:

10-08-2007, 11:25 AM
I love this ride. It is one of the last rides that remind me of the "old Epcot".

10-09-2007, 05:04 AM
Just got back last week. Sorry to say the CM has been replaced by a pre-recorded track. Oh well. Just pretend and "listen to the land" in your memory...

Yes, when we rode it back in August that was the first thing that I noticed. We hadn't rode for a couple of years. I know that EPCOT is always supposed to be "evolving" but I've noticed that it's not always for the better. I think Journey Into Imagination is a good case in point. Maybe I'm too much of a traditionalist, but I like the old songs and rides!

10-09-2007, 09:36 AM
My whole family enjoy this ride. Not too wild, not too boring......yet very interesting. We also love the Mickey pumpkins !! :thumbsup:

10-22-2007, 08:05 AM
When this attraction was down for rehab during a trip it really was a big disapointment. It may not be spectacular like Soarin but it is one of those things that make our trip special.

10-22-2007, 10:59 AM
1) We keep forgetting that Epcot is not a thrill-ride park.
2) Living with the Land fits the theme/purpose of Epcot perfectly.
. . . entertaining
. . . educational
. . . entirely unassuming

3) I enjoy the pavilion and do the ride several times per year.

NOTE: We were raised in the heart of Cleveland, so we are not farmers, However, I process over 1-million acres of soy beans per year, so there is a connection.

Polynesian Dweller
10-22-2007, 09:39 PM
This ride is what the original Epcot was about. Teaching a little something in an entertaining way. Not intended to be a thrill ride. It does what it does well.

I may be in the minority, but I prefer the pre-recorded narration. The CMs often would be interacting so much with someone that they would forget to make the points that they were supposed. And as others say, the ride used to depend on the quality of your CM, sometimes good, sometimes quite awful. Now at least its consistent and you can expect a decent ride.

10-24-2007, 05:51 PM
I love Epcot, I love classic Epcot, But I have never liked this ride as a matter of fact the first trip to Epcot when I was 11 years old had us riding this attraction. My parents who were MK fans looked at me when we got off the ride and said and I quote "that's enough of Epcot lets go to MK instead." We left, we didn't even have park hoppers, they just bought new one day passes they hated it so much. I didn't return to Epcot until I was grown and paid for it myself. So needless to say, I don't have a great love for this attraction.

10-25-2007, 01:21 PM
well for me and dw this is one of those rides that you sit back and relax for a little while and in the mean time rest up your aching feet, plus it is a pretty informative attraction, i like the part of the ride when you go into the green house.


10-25-2007, 01:27 PM
I would rate the land as "snoozeriffic"...a great ride to snooze on a hot day...why do so many people ride it...well, because its at Disney World.

10-25-2007, 01:44 PM
When I am at Epcot I try to alternate thrill rides with peaceful, relaxing rides. This way I am not too exhausted at the end of the day.

Living With The Land is one of those peaceful, relaxing, and educational rides that I still enjoy.
It is a must do for every visit to Epcot.

If the line is any longer than 20 minutes, I would leave but come back later.

10-25-2007, 02:55 PM
I have to say that this attraction is neither a first or last choice for me. It is a good choice if you want to relax but not my choice for entertainment. I guess I am in the middle of the road on this one.:D

10-26-2007, 02:23 AM
Living With The Land aka Listen To The Land has always been a ride for my fam and I to go on and we have always enjoyed it, even with all the changes that have been made. Now granted I do miss the original. Someone mentioned about being a traditionalist...I prefer the term purist (Long live Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Spaceship Earth being narrated by Walter Kronkite, the original Journey Into Imagination complete with the Image Works on the second floor and Captain EO or Magic Journeys for the 3-D show, Communicore East and West, Horizons, World Of Motion, Food Rocks, Kitchen Kabaret, Wonders Of Life, The Oddessy Restaurant, Mission To Mars, If You Had Wings, Dreamflight, Timekeeper, Skyway, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Mike Fink Keelboats, Sorcery In The Sky as narrated by Vincent Price, no Sorcerer Mickey Hat blocking the view of The Great Movie Ride so can I take a full fledged pic of it, Mama Melrose when it first opened oh how I miss the never ending pasta....ooops major soapbox there :soapbox:) But anywho, I still love the ride regardless and I gave it the second highest rating on the poll. :thumbsup: