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Old 09-22-2012, 01:04 PM   #361
monica23535
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Thank you for writing these Emma!

All the meals looked wonderful, and I'm so glad you all enjoyed the Wishes cruise
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:49 AM   #362
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August 2012...

Behind the Seeds Tour

This was another special event we planned as a surprise – it was one of the few tours that doesn't have an minimum age (ideally we would have booked a Segway tour but the min. age is 16) and all of the family grow fruit & vegetables in the garden, so it seemed like a fun idea!



We got to Epcot that morning for rope drop, and spent a couple of hours doing attractions like Soarin', Mission Space and Spaceship Earth. Unusually, this morning was quite rainy and cloudy – so it turned out that booking a tour inside the Land pavilion was a good plan

We had a second ride on Soarin' about 10.30am, which was timed perfectly as we needed to check-in for the tour right by the exit to that attraction at 11am.

We were each given a name tag (I'd given all of our names when booking), and had to wait a few minutes for our tour guide to meet us.

There were 15 people on our tour, I think that's the maximum number, (one lady noticed the lime-green Mickey on my bag and said that she sometimes went on the Dis!) and our CM was called Courtney. She had recently finished a degree in science and now worked at the Land pavilion. She was full of energy and so passionate about all of the activities that they do there.

The first part of the tour was a look inside one of the laboratories – our CM explained some of the experiments they are working on. Several of the younger children on our tour were interested in becoming scientists and the CM was so good at answering any questions they had throughout.



Next we went inside another room where there were glass cases of plants – we watched a short video on how they can use one type of insect as a natural pesticide to protect the plants from other insects.




We got to look at some samples of the damaged leaves, and then three volunteers were picked – they received a plastic tube of ladybugs to release into the greenhouses when we got to the next part of the tour!



Then we got to go into the greenhouses, where the Living with the Land boats sail through – entering the greenhouse made us all say 'wow', it's quite an amazing sight!




By this time, the rain outside had turned into a heavy thunderstorm, and the rain was pelting against the glass above – our CM did a great job at continuing to talk above the noise, she really had to shout!




She explained all the ways that they can grow plants there, many without any soil.



This was a packet of the insect lavae that we'd been shown earlier – soon they would hatch and eat the 'bad insects'




....
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:53 AM   #363
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August 2012

....

Pumpkins..


We got to hold one of the Mickey-shaped pumpkins!





One way to grow plants is by using an old fish tank – we were given a sheet of instructions on how to recreate it at home!



These trays can produce 1000 lettuces, and the Cast Members often plant purple/green plants in patterns so that they spell out words (this one will say 'Epcot' once the plants are bigger).



This wall insulation was part of the special air-conditioning system they have in the greenhouses...


We got to try a cucumber that was grown there – a lot of the fruit & vegetables are served in the Epcot restaurants ...



Next we went into the darker tunnels where the fish and reptiles are...





We got to feed the tilapia – but were warned before throwing the pellets of food into the tank that we were standing in the 'splash zone', the fish went crazy when we threw the food!




The last part of the tour was looking at various herbs & spice plants – we were given jars of samples and had to guess what each of them were.




We also learnt that bananas don't grow on trees, just really big plants! So bananas are herbs rather than fruit.



A banana flower – the CM pulled one of the petals back to show us all of the tiny bananas growing inside..


The tour was just under an hour long, and we all found it really interesting – I think the family appreciated doing something a bit different, it was nice to show them how much more there is to WDW beyond the rides. I think it's a really reasonable price (about $18 per person), and although it's not as 'back stage' as some of the other tours, it was great to be able to see a part of Epcot that most guests don't get to experience. It was fun to watch the Living with the Land boats sail by, and people onboard them stare across at us walking around in the greenhouse!
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:00 PM   #364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE View Post
Hi Emma! Great reviews! I was so happy to see you had one for Paradiso 37. I just made a reservation there for our upcoming trip but I really hadn't heard to much about it. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Hi Courtney! Thanks for reading - I really like Paradiso 37, the menu is really varied... it was great to get some appetisers to share, and my sister & I loved our meal there a few years ago, we sat outside next to the lake (it was December, love that weather in Orlando is warm enough to be able to do that )

Hope all is well with you x


Quote:
Originally Posted by monica23535 View Post
Thank you for writing these Emma!

All the meals looked wonderful, and I'm so glad you all enjoyed the Wishes cruise
Hi! Yes we had some really excellent meals during the trip - Akershus was probably the only one that was a little disappointing, but the focus was definitely on meeting the princesses so it didn't really matter . The cruise was so much fun, I really recommend them - such a great view of the fireworks



Emma x
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:55 PM   #365
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Very cool update of the tour! I also think the price is reasonable-- I am happy that you thought it was worth it! It sounds fascinating. Something I may need to consider on our next trip!
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:08 PM   #366
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That tour sounds awesome! I love seeing the boat tour go by in your pictures! And you look like you were having a great time on your vacation!
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:05 AM   #367
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The tour looks so cool! Love the pic of you holding the Mickey pumpkin. I never really gave thought to doing that tour, but it sounds really interesting. Might have to give it a try when DS is a little older.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:59 AM   #368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oboedm View Post
Very cool update of the tour! I also think the price is reasonable-- I am happy that you thought it was worth it! It sounds fascinating. Something I may need to consider on our next trip!
Quote:
Originally Posted by cindianne320 View Post
That tour sounds awesome! I love seeing the boat tour go by in your pictures! And you look like you were having a great time on your vacation!
Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
The tour looks so cool! Love the pic of you holding the Mickey pumpkin. I never really gave thought to doing that tour, but it sounds really interesting. Might have to give it a try when DS is a little older.

Thanks everyone! I'd definitely recommend the tour - I've heard too that it's not one you have to book in advance, just go up to the desk (near Soarin' fast pass) and ask if there's any availability that day




So today is..... 8 DAYS until our vacation!!! I am sooo excited, the time's gone pretty quick since we got back in August, but we've both been so busy at work that we can't wait for this trip
I am considering making a start on packing... just get a few things out the wardobe...



Emma x
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:14 PM   #369
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8 days woohoo!!

We leave on the 13th so not that far behind you!

I am seriously considering the Behind the Seeds tour after hearing your review
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:04 PM   #370
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8 days woohoo!!

We leave on the 13th so not that far behind you!

I am seriously considering the Behind the Seeds tour after hearing your review
Hi! Your countdown is flying by too now - with the weather getting cold & wintery, I am sooo ready for some Florida sunshine!



Hope everyone's having a good week - not much to report on here, I have started to get a few things out ready to pack; and today I phoned our credit-card company to let them know I'd be using the card in the USA (prevent it getting blocked when I have Disney shopping to do!) - when I said I was going to Orlando, the call-handler asked me where I was staying... turned out he used to be cabin crew and loved flights to MCO and visiting Disney!

That was the last thing to complete on my 'to do' list... now it's just getting the suitcases out and packing!!
3 more days at work and gym workouts, and 5 more sleeps... not that I'm counting



Emma x

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Old 10-06-2012, 12:20 PM   #371
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Hi everyone!

So.... tomorrow.... WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!


I can't believe it's here, I am soooo excited!

I started packing last night, almost all done - today I've had my hair cut & highlighted, manicure and pedicure (pre-holiday beauty lol)

I've checked in online and found out that our plane is one of the refurbished Virgin Atlantic 747s - which means there are a few rows of economy upstairs... so that's where we'll be sitting!


See ya real soon!!



Emma x
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:43 PM   #372
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Have a wonderful time Emma!!

I may be even bump into you lol
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:43 PM   #373
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So exciting!!! While you're away having a blast I'll keep myself busy by catching up on all your dining and tour reviews.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:22 PM   #374
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Have a great time! Looking forward to reading a TR if you do one. I'm loving the dining/tour reviews!
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:08 PM   #375
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Hi everyone!

We're back!! And we had an amazing trip! WDW was fantastic, as always, and the special activities we did were all excellent.. can't wait to share!
We had a great few days in Sarasota too - for the whole time we were there it didn't rain, perfect weather.... now we're back in cold, dark, foggy England and I'm missing Florida soooo much

I have to get on with studying now for final exam, but hoping to get going with a TR soon


Emma x
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