I have been visiting Epcot since the week it opened, and throughout that entire time, my favorite pavilion has always been The Land. The original pavilion of Kitchen Kabaret, Listen to the Land, and Symbiosis was perfect for a young kid who didn’t care for thrill rides, and the current mix of rides, restaurants, and film is great for the man who enjoys good food, relaxing rides, and cool air. So here are some touring tips on how to enjoy the best pavilion in Epcot.
Get to Soarin’ early – As the Unofficial Guide and this site will tell you constantly, you have to get up early to ride one of the most popular rides in all of Walt Disney World. First thing in the morning after rope drop, Cast Members will lead guests into the pavilion, to the right, and down the stairs into the middle of the Sunshine Seasons food court towards the FASTPASS machines and the entrance of the ride. Depending on how you want to do your touring, you can grab FASTPASS tickets or ride immediately, but make sure you do one or the other.
Eat at The Land – With the availability of restaurants in Walt Disney World getting tighter and tighter, The Land pavilion offers two can’t miss options for dining that are often easy to get. The Sunshine Seasons food court offers an amazing array of healthy food as well as kid-friendly fare, desserts, and much more. Plus, Sunshine Seasons is open for all three meals, so it’s an easy place to drop in and cool off. Meanwhile, The Garden Grill Restaurant, upstairs next to The Circle of Life film, is also a great option. It gets overshadowed by the fantastic restaurants in World Showcase, but The Garden Grill is a character meal in Epcot that serves great food. Served family style, the food consists of fresh meats, vegetables, and dessert while Mickey, Pluto, and Chip and Dale visit the table. Plus, if you come in early for Soarin’ Fastpasses, you can grab the phone on the reservation table and probably get a same day Advanced Dining Reservation.
Enjoy the people eaters – That just doesn’t sound right, does it? But it’s true! Living With the Land, the boat ride downstairs in The Land, and The Circle of Life are both attractions that take large quantities of people inside at a time, and are great places to spend the more crowded times of the day. When things get crazy in Future World, and wait times are out of control at Test Track or Mission: Space, it’s easiest to go inside The Land, enjoy some air conditioning, and still be checking attractions off your list. Both of these attractions are kid-friendly, and while they may not be the most exciting things you do during your day at Epcot, they are still true to the original Epcot, where entertainment was mixed with education.
Take the Behind the Seeds Tour – It’s probably the least publicized but the best bargain in all of Epcot. At the flight desk next to the entrance to Soarin’, guests can sign up to tour the gardens of The Land greenhouses. Adults pay $18 and children ages 3-9 pay $14 to tour the greenhouses, learn about the different aspects of sustainable farming, and even sample some of the crops. It’s a short tour that is well worth the money for an experience that cannot be experienced anywhere else.
Those are just a few of my favorite things at The Land and how I suggest you take advantage of them. What about you? What’s your favorite thing about The Land pavilion?