Ag geek at Disney

I’m only nicely returning to normal after a family vacation in Disney World, Florida. Use of the word “vacation” in this instance may be wrongly placed, though, because it certainly wasn’t a relaxing trip. Early mornings, long days at the parks and late nights. We came home needing a vacation from the vacation.

Mickey was great, the roller coasters were thrilling, the food was decent and I completely loved how much fun my kids had. Disney is all about creating magic and our family had several magical moments during our visit, including (at least for me) a ride called Living with the Land.

The iconic symbol of Disney's Epcot Park

Located at Epcot, the ride is a slow-moving boat ride. There’s a brief account of the history of farming in the United States and the importance of agriculture before we then sailed right through the middle of some of the Disney greenhouses.

Amaranth, with edible leaves
Even the lettuce puts on a show at Disney World, with the red variety spelling out "Epcot."
Nice life for the pumpkins, hanging out in hammocks all day.

The 13-minute ride talks about research going on in agriculture, new growing techniques that farmers across the U.S. are trying out and touches a bit on biotechnology. There’s even a brief glimpse inside a lab, where United States Department of Agriculture scientists work.

A peak into an ag labLiving with the Land delivered a bit of an inside look at food production, the magic that farmers do on a daily basis and how some of the food served right there in the park is grown.

Figures from people who research Disney World estimate 17 million people a year visit the parks and guesses are that Epcot sees an average of 30,000 people a day. That’s a lot of agricultural outreach and several minutes of undivided time to bring some awareness about food to the general public. Well done, Disney World.

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