While I don\’t typically recommend \”behind the scenes tours\” for those new to Disney World, for those who have been multiple times or for those looking to get more out of their Disney trips or to add an educational element, tours can be a great option!
I have been fortunate to do a couple of tours at Disney World. My most recent was the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot. My son had asked to do this the last two times we were at Disney World, and we just didn\’t have the time! You know…we had rides to ride and food to eat and characters to meet! This time the trip was a little different…my son and I went to do the YES (Youth Education Series program) and it was to be a more educational trip. (Read more about the YES program in a previous blog.) So this time when we rode Living with the Land and he asked AGAIN if we could do Behind the Seeds, we went to inquire about times and pricing!
I knew that Behind the Seeds wasn\’t very expensive, but I was thrilled to see the prices–$20 for adults and $16 for children. Even better, Disney offers discounts on the tour for DVC members, annual passholders, Disney Visa cardholders and active duty military. Since we are both Disney Visa cardholders and an active duty military family, we got a 15% discount on our tickets. They have many times throughout the day, and they had availability on their next tour in about an hour. We paid for our tour, got lunch at Sunshine Seasons and then returned for our tour.
Before we started the tour, the tour guide gave the three children in our group little vials with ladybugs inside. She told them how important ladybugs are and that they could release the ladybugs in any area they chose! (My son was a bit weirded out about the ladybugs crawling around in there, but he did enjoy letting them out–as long as they didn\’t land on him!) We also got to taste Mickey Mouse shaped cucumbers that were grown in the attraction. They use special molds and the cucumbers grow into that shape!
The tour is about an hour long, and you get to walk all through the areas where the food is growing. We got lots of information about hydroponic growing and got to see it up close along with the fish, alligators and eels and tons of fruits and vegetables I\’ve never seen before! Toward the end we got to play a game where we observed or smelled various spices in jars and tried to identify them, and then had some free time to wander around and observe and ask questions.
The tour guide also told us that they have agreements with certain restaurants in Epcot who serve the fruits and vegetables grown here! She also kept pointing out Hidden Mickeys either in the sand, in a fall display, or in the aquariums.
Having ridden Living with the Lands dozens of times, it was so fascinating to see it from the other side! We had seen people taking this tour before, and now we felt a little bit like celebrities getting special treatment while THEY had to stay in the boats!
Overall my son and I both really enjoyed it. Even at 9, he was interested and paid attention and asked questions. I admittedly have a bit of a \”brown thumb\” but found the whole thing quite interesting! I would certainly recommend it for anyone interesting in gardening or horticulture or who just want to learn something new!
Susan Burks is a Disney travel planner at WishdrawalsTravel and a homeschooling mom to a space-loving 10 year old! As a former teacher and a Disney enthusiast, she loves being able to combine her love of Disney and education in the Disney parks.