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View Poll Results: How would you rate "Living with the Land?"

188. You may not vote on this poll
  • 0 : Terrible. Not even worth it at a carnival.

    0 0%
  • * : Bad. Don't waste your vacation time with this one.

    0 0%
  • ** : Nothing too spectacular. Not bad, but not especially good either.

    23 12.23%
  • *** : Average stuff, but still a pretty fun time.

    89 47.34%
  • **** : One of the better rides around.

    57 30.32%
  • ***** : Awesome on every level. One of the best a park could possibly offer.

    19 10.11%
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Scranton, PA / Clearwater, FL
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    Thumbs up WDW Rated & Reviewed - Living With The Land

    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: ***
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    In my heart, I'm always there
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    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.

    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.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    It's great. Not the best but one that we make sure to do every trip.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    St. Pete, Florida
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    I really like it. Nice and relaxing, and original WDW style.

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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    South Carolina
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    We actually like this attraction. Its nice and relaxing and we learn a thing or two.
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  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Louisville, KY
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    I like it and ride it every time I'm at Epcot.

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  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Irvine, CA
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    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.
    Chris °O°
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Fishers, IN
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    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.
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  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    not the most amazing ride but it goes to the heart of epcot and that makes me love it

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  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Staten Island NY
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    We like it alot too And a good CM really does make it better
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  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Burank, IL
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    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!

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  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Mount Laurel NJ (1002 Miles From WDW)
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    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
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  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Palmerton, PA
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    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
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  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Too far from WDW!
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    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.
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  16. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Howell, NJ
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    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!!...
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  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Aiken County, South Carolina
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    Thumbs up

    I really enjoy this ride also, especially the greenhouse area. My hope is to do the behind the scenes tour this year.
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  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    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
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  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    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!
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  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    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.
    "And Kelp...


  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Gotta chime in with the "I like it" group of posters.

    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.

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