Fire up the time machine because it’s time to jump into another Walt Disney World history lesson! Martin Smith is the best video historian of the Walt Disney World resort that you’ll find anywhere. Recently he added two new videos featuring Epcot’s The Land pavilion and the history behind it. In total, there are over two hours of footage, concept art and behind-the-scenes info! Plus, there is still a third video on the way!
One of my favorite trivia facts about The Land pavilion was the proposed mascot that never came to be. The Landkeeper was going to be your host throughout the pavilion. Guiding guests through the various multiple attractions and serving as a spokesperson. As we all know, The Landkeeper never appeared in the park. However, a suspiciously similar character known as The Dreamfinder ended up serving as the spokesperson next door in the Journey Into Imagination pavilion.
What I look forward to the most in Martin Smith videos is seeing concept art that I have never seen. Take the image above, for example, when The Land was going to be a part of a series of biodomes. The boat ride we know today was going to be more of a it’s a small world style attraction, rather than the canopy boats used in the attraction since day one. Also notice, there is no live narrator on board!
Part one of Smith’s The Land series covers not only what was proposed and never built, but also has detailed concept art and models of what actually opened in 1982. The picture above is from a scale model that was built for Listen to the Land boat ride. I have never seen this particular model for the agriculture of the future section!
Anyone who went to Epcot in the ’80s will remember the image above. For me, it brought back all the feels. This was the opening sequence from Listen To The Land boat ride and even as I type this, the theme song is constantly running through my head. Speaking of theme songs….
Part one of Martin Smith’s The Land history collection also contains the much beloved Kitchen Kabaret. The entire show is shot from multiple angles and features source audio. Oh to be able to travel back in time and see some of this again in person. Check out part one in the video below!
Part two of the series picks up with the biggest shift in the pavilion’s trajectory: a change in sponsorship. Kraft had a 10-year deal to have their name all over the building. In 1992, their contract ended and Nestle quickly snatched up the offer to splatter their logo all over The Land, as well as make some major changes to the attractions within.
Gone was the catchy Listen to The Land theme song with oversized roots and vines coming to life. Instead, we have a more subdued opening with rainfall signaling the start of plant life as seen in the concept art above.
Another fact I learned from this video tribute was a proposed scene that was cut from the update to Living With The Land (the new title of the Nestle sponsored boat ride). I have never seen, nor heard, of this particular proposed farmhouse scene at all! Fantastic pieces of trivia scattered through these videos, as usual.
And who could forget Food Rocks? Probably one of the most hated shows amongst hardcore Disney fans. Nestle had a lot to do with the changes and love it or hate it, Smith has the show in its entirety including the source audio in part two of the series.
Finally, the recently closed Circle of Life show has been preserved as well! Including the pre-show! Carpeted walls and all. Check out part two in the video link below!
Indeed, these are only parts one and two of Epcot’s The Land history series! Martin Smith is working on the third part and it should be out in a few weeks. I’ll continue screaming it from the hilltops if you’re looking for the best historical series for Disney attractions, you have to check out all of Martin Smith’s videos. Really amazing stuff!
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