After this most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I discovered that I have fell in love with not a person, not an attraction, but yes folks, an entire pavilion. We were introduced years ago as friends, but I feel it is real this time, and I am proud to say that my heart lies with “The Land” located inside Epcot.
Let me tell you about the new love of my life. “The Land” is a pavilion located in Epcot’s Future World, between Nemo and Friends and the Imagination Pavillion. You will know you are heading into it because you have to burn a few calories hiking up to the entrance. You enter on the second floor to hot air balloons and ribbons covering the ceiling. Walking right will take you to the enviromental show with Timon and Pumbaa and to one set of stairs and escalators. Head to the left, and get to the elevator for the first floor, bathrooms, escalators, and the “Garden Grill” Restaurant.
You can get to the first floor by elevator, escalator, and stairs. Here you can find my favorite ride Soarin’, the food court Sunshine Seasons, and the ride Living with the Land. With so many fun things to do in one area, how could you not fall in love with this place? If you were to do everything in here, it would take you roughly about 1-2 hours, depending on the lines and crowds.
The first time I entered on this trip, I was practically pushed over by the smells. I LOVE the smell of this place. It’s the delicious smell of food cooking and the after smell of Soarin’. I know that may sound odd, but there is nothing that smells the same on WDW Property. I swear it smells like beef cooking with a hint of oranges- yes, I know that sounds odd, but it is what it is.
Tradition has been to eat at Sunshine Seasons every trip we can. I love finding a booth and snuggling up to it with myself or family. I love having the Chinese, this time I ate the Mongolian Beef two different days, and then also having a delicious piece of strawberry shortcake on another. I enjoy watching the crowds come in and head to Soarin, or the folks who are taking it all in, like me. I am more than excited to be able to go there anytime I want, when I live in FL, and just people watch or read a good book with a cold Diet Coke in a WDW cup.
I have eaten at the Garden Grill in the past, and I absolutely loved it! I booked an early breakfast and it happened to be a single trip, so I was excited to enjoy a comfy breakfast to myself. If you are not familiar with the Garden Grill, it is a circular restaurant that turns very slowly as you dine. At one point you can see into the Living with the Land ride, but for the most part every half moon booth faces out towards the scenery of pavilion. The food was delicious and I had quite the amount of attention from Mickey and his friends. Mickey found out I was there alone, and then they call came. It was super sweet because they all sat with me in my booth and fed me. A great moment of Disney magic that made me feel very loved. The food was delicious and the prices then and now are worth it. I would recommend booking a breakfast at about 9:15, which gives you time to grab a Soarin fastpass, eat, and then ride the Living with the Land and Soarin‘ before going onto the rest of your day at Epcot.
Let’s talk Living with the Land. Some love this ride, others avoid it- I am of those who love it. Like most rides at Disney, you head into a boat, although these seats are actually above the water line, and actually get to learn about all the different ways to grow food. The greenhouses are the best part of the tour, as they showcase some pretty cool Mickey Pumpkins and very large lemons. If you look really hard, you can find a rather large hidden Mickey and the word “Epcot” in the last greenhouse- keep your eyes peeled! If nothing else, this is a great ride to sit back, get some air conditioning, get off your sore feet, and relax. It’s not a “Can’t Miss” attraction, but more of a “Chill Out” attraction. The best time to ride it is right at park opening, or before park closing/during Illuminations. If you do get stuck in line, make sure to check out the wonderful mural of quotes on the wall before you board.
Now, we can’t talk about this awesome place without addressing the ride that brings the people in droves. Yes, it’s Soarin’. Why do people like it so much? Well, for one, it’s a peaceful ride. If you aren’t one for heights, it isn’t too bad as long as once you leave the ground you look straight ahead. I am scared of heights and I have done just fine on this ride, but it depends on the person. I love walking into this entire area. Two, it has some of the best music in the park! I love the heavenly music in the waiting line area… I swear it sounds as if you should be floating on a cloud. Once you get to the “Blue Lines” area, the music switches to music from movies like the “Last Starfighter, Apollo 13, and the Rocketeer. The next area I call the “Cold Corridor” because the walls always seem to be ice cold, which I love after being in the hot FL sun. As they take you to Hanger A or B, I always try to ask if I can sit in the front row. You may have to wait, and there is also a chance they won’t be able to because of high crowds. It’s always a better experience to not have feet hanging in your face, plus I feel like it’s more real. I did wind up riding in the 3rd row, twice, during our trip and I have to say seeing the bottom of the film threw off my stomach a bit. From hearing Patrick Warburton say “Welcome to Soarin” or exiting off the ride while still smelling the oranges and ocean waves… this ride is a NOT MISS!
I haven’t seen the movie that Pumbaa and Timon put on in quite some time, so I am not even going to pretend to tell you about it. I can tell you this, it’s a “Go Green” movie and I have heard it enough on Mouseworld Radio and Magical Mouse Radio to know it can be pretty funny and educational for any age. Again, it’s one of those that if you have time to kill waiting for your Soarin fast pass time, check it out.
Thanks for looking back with me on my favorite pavilion and why I have fallen in love with it so. The next time you walk into The Land, take a deep breath and enjoy the everything around you.