No, I’m not making any snide remarks about Disney’s food or hygiene. And I’m not referring to motion sickness or any bizarre skin condition. I’m talking about Disney World’s politically correct “Green” image. Anyone who doesn’t know what I’m referring to when I say Green probably doesn’t watch NBC or any television or read signs or go to Queens, because the Green movement is hotter than Global Warming. Because I was able to go to Epcot with a friend over spring break, and was surprisingly bombarded with environmental education, I thought a blog was in order.
Let me say that I think the Green movement, or raising awareness for environmental problems, is a good thing. But, I also think having a simulation ride centered around recycling is pushing it a little too far. I happened to walk by a giant display featuring sanitation workers made from a faux hedge material. I hadn’t been to Epcot in about seven years, and I was glad to see recycling bins located next to most garbage cans. I just didn’t see the purpose of dedicating an entire attraction/ride to recycling.
On a less sarcastic note, and one much less cynical, I was genuinely amazed on a water ride/tour I took of the greenhouses at Epcot. While it’s no Space Mountain, and doesn’t flip upside down or anything, it was very enlightening. The tour goes into great detail about different kinds of foods/plants and how they’re grown, as well as in what conditions. The ride reiterated some of the information I had learned in Environmental Science class, like native versus invasive species, species diversity, and specifics about places in the U.S. like the tundra and what can and cannot grow there. The ride also went into the methods of aquaculture, which I would have never thought of when thinking of farming. It made me a little nervous to see the huge chemically engineered plants, including enormous pumpkins and eggplants. But, I’m not anti-chemically engineering plants, it was honestly just a little freakish to me to see eggplants the size of regular pumpkins and pumpkins closer to the size of overgrown watermelons. Did you know that a nine pound lemon can make a gallon of lemonade?
I found the information on other alternate growing methods pretty interesting. The ride described using recycled water and vertical growing. They had a tree that produced tomatoes that lived 16 months and yielded over 32,000 tomatoes. I was a little bummed that the credit was to a “Chinese Scientist.” I wonder if his name was just too hard to pronounce, because it honestly wouldn’t have taken up that much extra time in the spiel. They had enough time to mention the plants and fish seen are used in their restaurants several times.
Anyway, I actually learned something new while on the ride, and that was about hydroponics or the method of growing plants without soil but nutrient-rich water. They also talked about aeroponics, which I was a little fuzzy about concerning how it was different from hydroponics. But, I think the basic message I’m trying to get across was that I was surprised to actually learn something from a theme park, and while the voice over guy was a little cheesy, I liked it a lot more than the hedge people.
Also, if you want to see a video of the ride, here’s a link I found on YouTube for part of it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMAKmBw58VM