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The Land pavilion was an opening day attraction at EPCOT on October 1, 1982. Currently it houses 2 rides (Soarin' and Living with the Land), a movie (Circle of Life), and 2 restaurants (one being Garden Grill--a rotating restaurant where guests can eat with Mickey Mouse). Trivia: The Land Pavilion is roughly the same size as Fantasyland.
While The Land pavilion has existed since 1982, it has gone through three significant phases in the interm years. The pavilion's first incarnation involved a ten year sponsorship under Kraft Foods Inc. from 1982–1992. Kraft played a vital role in co-financing the everyday functions of the attractions, restaurants, and shops inside the pavilion. The pavilion's interior and exterior design featured earth tone colors and exotic plant life.
In 1993, plans were made to update and modernize the overall tone of EPCOT Center, including a major refurbishment of The Land pavilion. Kraft withdrew its sponsorship on September 26, 1993, with Nestle taking its place. Co-financed by Nestle and the Walt Disney World Resort, a gradual refurbishment of the pavilion began on September 27, 1993. (Pics: top--Opening day, Bottom--After 1993 refurb.)
The pavilion itself was cosmetically freshened. While some of the original design elements remained, the addition of more vibrant colors and fabrics to the various restaurants and shops gave the pavilion a more modern and refreshed look. The names of certain shops, restaurants, and attractions also changed during this time. The pavilion's main attraction, Listen to the Land, which took guests on a boat ride through various greenhouse exhibits within the pavilion, reopened mostly unchanged as Living with the Land on December 10, 1993.
The Kitchen Kabaret Revue, one of the pavilion's original attractions featuring an Audio-Animatronics presentation about nutrition, closed on January 3, 1994. It was replaced with new show titled Food Rocks, which featured some of the elements from the original show with an updated presentation intended to be more modern and appealing to younger audiences. Food Rocks has since closed down to make room for the Land's newest attraction, Soarin'.
Symbiosis, the last of The Land's three original attractions, was closed on January 1, 1995. This attraction, which was a cinematic presentation that discussed both the positive and negative aspects of human relationship with the land, eventually reopened as Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable, a new film featuring characters from The Lion King. Like the Food Rocks show, this new attraction recycled some of the elements of its predecessor, and was intended to be another refreshed and modernized feature of The Land that would better appeal to younger audiences.
In 2003, Nestle renewed its sponsorship of The Land; however, it was under agreement that Nestle would oversee its own refurbishment to both the interior and exterior of the pavilion. Between 2004 and 2005, the pavilion underwent its second major refurbishment. It received a new color scheme featuring a vibrant selection of white, yellow, and green. New foliage was added to compliment the existing greenery. The walkways and stroller parking to the pavilion's entrance were redefined and widened. All of the carpeting in the pavilion was replaced, and the main food court was completely redesigned. The pavilion's signage was updated, incorporating the new color scheme, new typography, and a modernized logotype. The pavilion's original dedication plaque remained unchanged.
The most significant change to The Land during its 2004–2005 refurbishment was the closure and entire demolition of Food Rocks, which initially occurred on January 3, 2004. Taking its place would be Soarin', a major E ticket attraction that was originally designed and built for Disney's California Adventure. Simulating the experience of hang gliding over various landscapes, Soarin's massive movie screens and ride mechanics required the construction of a large physical addition to the pavilion itself.
The Land officially reopened on May 5, 2005, which coincided with the start of Disney's Happiest Celebration on Earth Campaign. While "The Land" as a pavilion has somewhat changed, its purpose has not, and it remains a positive and serious experience featuring elements from all three of its phases, allowing today's guests to experience all that "The Land" has to offer.
On February 13, 2009, Nestle pulled its sponsorship, leaving the Land without a sponsor.
In addition to being an entertainment venue, the pavilion is also a Horticulture research lab.The Land is a demonstration, production, and research facility. 43,000 ft² of the pavilion are dedicated to experimental horticulture techniques in hydroponics, irrigation methods, and integrated pest management. Guests view the horticulture as they ride the Land's greenhouses on Living with the Land.There is a saying around WDW that anyone in training is earning their 'ears'. Well, even the fruits and veggies earn their ears at the Land.