I asked a Cast Member a few questions and found out we could actually take a one-hour walking tour of the greenhouses and get to experience up close all that we saw from the boats.We were given many ideas on things that could be done at home on a smaller scale. We got to sample cucumbers grown in the greenhouse. There is a very aromatic spice garden where we got to play a game of “Guess the Spice” by smelling each spice in its natural state. Some of the spices sure look nothing like we thought they would!
This is the Behind the Seeds Backstage Tour. Reservations for this tour can be made in advance by calling (407) WDW-TOUR or tickets can be purchased in The Land Pavilion, at the desk to the left of the Soarin’ entrance. It is very reasonable at $18.00 per adult (10 and up), and $14.00 per child (3-9 yrs). They also offer DVC discounts. The tour is offered multiple times each day. The tour is also wheelchair and ECV friendly. I toured on my ECV with no trouble at all.
The first stop is the lab, where we learned some of the science behind the crops and about the helpful insects used in growing crops. We were given ladybugs to release in the greenhouse. We saw hanging pots that circled around on overhead conveyors, with their roots passing through nutrient stations. There were tanks of fish whose water circulated through a group of plants to help fertilize them. There were so many interesting ideas about growing plants without soil - it was amazing!
Further along, we came upon the alligators. They were very interesting to see up close as they sunned themselves under heat lamps. They are not the most active of animals. Next on the tour were huge round tanks of fish. We were given food to feed them. Beware of getting splashed because they really like that food!
We learned many interesting facts while on the tour. For example, did you know that the food grown in the greenhouse is actually used in some of the restaurants in Epcot?
All in all this tour is a great learning experience where you are encouraged to ask questions from your well informed guide. You are never rushed through this tour. The greenhouse itself is covered with a huge glass dome so this tour is perfect for any day, even in bad weather. I hope you take an hour out of your day and explore this hidden gem.