Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Land You May Not Know

By Beth Skarp

I always enjoy going into the Land Pavilion. If nothing else, the ability to get in out of the sweltering summer heat and humidity is enough to make a vist to this building something everyone has done a time or two. Add in the benefits of visiting woderful eateries like The Garden Grille or Sunshine Seasons or taking a ride over California in Soarin, well, the Land Pavilion gets its fair share of visitors each year.

Did you know that the Land Pavilion as we know it today had a whole other idea behind its conception? Back when the Pavilion was on the drawing board, the original idea ws to make an Ecology and Mineral Pavilion?

With anything that comes to Disney, Disney looks for a sponsor—someone to help defray the cost of building an attraction. When the Ecology and Mineral Pavilion was the focus, a logging company was willing to sponsor this attraction. The idea was to showcase natural habitats and the environment. 

The original plans for a ride through the Ecology section was to be called Blueprints in Nature. Guests were to board a balloon that would run along a track, similar to the Peter Pan in Flight ride. The balloons would then take you high up into the clouds, showing you a simple snowflake and the importance or value that this frozen piece of water could bring to the land and its environment. With Frozen being as popular as it is today, can you just imagine what such a ride would be like if it had come to fruition? But I digress.  

The ride would follow the life of a simple snowflake that was formed, how it floats to Earth and is melted. The water from this simple snowflake would have a profound effect as it flowed through various ecosystems. The point was to educate and enlighten the guests on the value of water, and how to protect our land and resources from pollutants or contaminants that would alter or harm the water. As you well know, this particular attraction never did come about. 

In 1978, the logging company, for whatever reason, decided not to sponsor this Pavilion. Oh what does Disney do? Thankfully, Kraft Food Company said they would be willing to step in and take over sponsorship of the Pavilion. The emphasis was still to be on the Land since the outside structure had already begun construction along with the mural that I spoke about in my last article.

Instead, the emphasis was to be on agriculture, the environment, and innovative ways of cultivating food from a variety of sources.

 Disney never wastes anything. The balloons that were to be used for Blueprints in Nature were used, just in a different fashion. Ever notice the balloons that are hanging over your heads in Sunshine Seasons? Yep, these were the prototypes for Blueprints in Nature.


  1. WOw. I had no idea about those balloons. I always enjoyed seeing them.
    What a fascinating history of that attraction.

  2. Glad you liked the article. I always enjoy learning about the little known things in and around Disney World.

  3. Wow. That's fascinating. And that original concept sounds enticing!
    Did you why the Imagination Pavilion is also glass?



  4. I love learning new WDW facts. Thanks for this great article.


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