The stories behind the mouse

In the nearly four years Mitch and I have been dating, he's been to Disney World with me twice. It's a good thing he doesn't mind, because we have a lot more trips yet to take!

You don’t have to have known me very long to know that I love Disney. I was born and raised on the box-office busting animated films of the late 80s and early 90s and have been to Disney World more times than you have fingers. We can say all we want about corporate greed and the waist size of princesses and consumerism and so on, but there’s one fact that remains true.

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The happiest place on Earth meets agriculture!

For those of you who know me, you know that there are many things I love. Agriculture and Glee are two big ones, but another one is <drum roll please>….Disney!! Yes, that’s right. I’m a huge fan of Disney and I’ll shout it from the rooftops! Last week I got to go to ‘the happiest place on Earth‘ on Spring Break and, can I just say, it’s totally AWESOME when two of the things I love intersect?

No, the cast of Glee did not go to Disney with me. Unfortunately.

Winnie the Pooh topiary during this years Epcot Flower and Garden Expo!

But it was the International Flower and Garden Expo at Epcot! During the Expo, Disney really ramps up their floricultural prowess, creating magnificiant topiary and beautiful gardens. There were Disney characters out of flowers and different plants all over the place. While sometimes we forget that horticulture and floriculture are part of the agricultural industry (a VERY important industry in states like Florida and Michigan!), it’s great to see a non-agricultural business like Disney put on display the talents of so many agriculturalists.

What’s even cooler to me is the fact that Disney values agriculture all year round. One of my favorite places to go when I visit the parks is The Land Pavilion, also in Epcot. In The Land, you can go on a boat ride through their greenhouses where you can see hydroponics (the production of plants without soil), aquaculture (the production of fish in a controlled environment), aquaponics (production of plants and fish integrating the water from hydroponics with the fish from aquaculture) and more on display. Walt was always a big fan of progress and technology, including where it is related to food production. The Land allows Disney visitors to learn about some of the newest technology related to agriculture — some technology that may even be new to farmers!

Mickey and Minnie flower power!

(And that’s Walt Disney, in case you were confused!)

Have you ever been impressed by the agricultural endeavors — horticultural or otherwise — at a Disney park? What about another location where you wouldn’t automatically expect it? I’d love to hear about it! It’s always great when non-ag groups value our products just as much as we do.