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35 To Epcot 35: Day 31 – The Land

Epcot Center 35th Anniversary on October 1, 2017

The Land Pavilion

“Just make believe you’re a tiny little seed…”

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The Land was first established in 1982 as a combined ride and greenhouse pavilion in the Future World section of the park. Encompassing 6 acres, it is the largest pavilion in Epcot.  Over the years, it has been sponsored by Kraft (1982-1992), Nestle (1993-2009), and currently, Chiquita (2011-present).

Rides

Living with the Land:

  • Boat Ride: A raft-style boat ride, with a prerecorded narration by Mike Brassell, informs guests about the greenhouse and new agricultural technology.  The ride begins with a trip through a simulated rainforest and storm – complete with lighting effects, heat, wind and mist for a more authentic experience. It continues by addressing human interaction with the environment and how it has been modified in order to meet our needs.  
  • Living Laboratory: Focuses on the future of agriculture where plants are grown using hydroponics, or a method of cultivating plants without soil, but rather sand, gravel, or liquid with added nutrients. There are five greenhouse areas in the Living Laboratory including: tropics, aquacell, temperate, string, and creative. The Living Laboratory also contains a biotechnology and integrated pest management lab.

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Entertainment Earth

Soarin’ Around the World:

A hand-glider, flight simulation ride featuring: a mechanical lift system, 4K film on a 180-degree OMNIMAX laser projection screen, artificial scents/wind, and scenes from six continents. There are also shops where guests can purchase Soarin’ t-shirts and merchandise. The ride is now featured as the highlight of the pavilion.

5 Fun Facts:

  1. Originating in Disney’s California Adventure in 2001 as Soarin’ over California, the ride was brought to Epcot in 2005 due to its popularity.
  2. The ride was renamed to Soaring over the Horizon and opened in Shanghai Disney on June 16th, 2016.
  3. Released as Soarin’ in Epcot, both American versions of the ride were changed on June 17th, 2016 –the day after the Shanghai Disney ride opened – to Soarin’ Around the World.
  4. During the 2004 renovation, the Kitchen Kabaret/Food Rocks theater and shop were transformed into the queue area for the Soarin’ ride.
  5. The original California Adventure ride featured scenes from several CA locations and had a preshow tribute to the history of California aviation.

Food

Located at the lower level of the pavilion, the food court area has changed many times over the years.  Reoccurring themes throughout all renovations include food stalls, decorative hot air balloons, and a sit down restaurant.  

  • Sunshine Seasons: The current food court features: bakery, breakfast, cold sandwiches, soup and salad, wood-fired grill and Asian cuisine. Hanging above the food court are hot air balloons, the middle representing Earth and four others depicting seasons.  Yellow and orange ribbons now decorate the glass ceiling.  
  • Garden Grill: A home-style restaurant set on a giant revolving platform that favors its guests with a spectacular view of both the boat ride and the food court. The dining experience is hosted by beloved characters Chip & Dale.

 

5 Fun Facts

  1. Originally called the Farmer’s Market (1982-1993), the food court featured farm-like decor in light browns and orange.  
  2. When the attraction first opened, the iconic hot air balloons each depicted a food group and hung over round tables with umbrella canopies.
  3. Until 1993, the food court’s sign featured a crowing rooster perched on a clock who would “sing” out the time.
  4. The food court was entitled Sunshine Season Food Fair from 1993-2004. At this time, the hot air balloon decorations were changed to represent weather and seasons. The name was later shortened to Sunshine Seasons in 2005.
  5. Junior Chef, an area that allowed young guests to wear a chef’s hat and bake Nestle Toll House cookies, closed in early 2008.

The Harvest Theater:

Theater guests are presented with the film: Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable, starring Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba.  During the film, Simba teaches Timon and Pumbaa about symbiosis and the import responsibility humans have to protect and preserve the land we live on.  

Gone, but Not Forgotten

Most people who visited The Land Pavilion before 2005 feel nostalgic for a missing feature: the Kitchen Kabaret/Food Rocks show experience.  

Kitchen Kabaret:

From 1982-1994, the Kitchen Kabaret –a 14-minute, four act, audio-animatronics stage show hosted by Bonnie Appetite –entertained guests with a host of kitchen characters (including Mr. Mayonnaise, The Cereal Sisters, and Hamm & Eggz).  If you didn’t get to see this whimsical show, here is a piece of what you missed.  

(video from Vintage Disney Parks Channel)
Now, try to get the catchy “Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit” song out of your mind after hearing it –Like the show, it sticks with you.

Food Rocks:

From 1994-2004, the theater presented the show Food Rocks: a 12-act, rock ‘n roll themed extravaganza led by Fud Wrapper. The show featured characters representing real singers and musicians, such as: Pita Gabriel, The Peach Boys, and The Refrigerator Police. After the massive renovation in 2004, the theater was closed to make room for the newest addition to The Land, Soarin’.

Do you have any memories from The Land?  What do you love?  What do you miss?  Comment below and let us know!

Sources: Lost Epcot, Wikipedia, Wikipedia-TheLand

Featured images: The Culturist, The Orlando Weekly, Visit Orlando


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