The main group has been attempting to leave a region swarming with zombies, moving house to house and gaining considerable zombie-killing prowess and known-how over the intervening months. Indeed, killing zombies and staying alive has become largely second-nature though not entirely so, as the first episode reminds us near the end. Andrea has long been one of my least favorite characters in the show, for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, but Michonne seems like exactly the sort of sword-wielding badass the show has needed for some time.
Though she mysteriously leads about two zombies on chain leashes, which is either a clever way to keep other zombies away or deeply creepy.
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One other thing this show does very well is present its characters as filthy, covered in grime and zombie leftovers, their scent overwhelmed by the inevitable stench of death and undeath everywhere. Only the hint of wear and tear blemishes all that sex appeal. Just enough five-o'clock shadow; just enough wind-tossed hair.
I couldn't help but think of video games when the body-armored zombies showed up.
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In a zombie game you'd have just regular old zombies for a long time. Harder mobs, maybe, but nothing out of the ordinary. Then around the third level or so you'd have some sort of super zombie. Body armor making bullets and bludgeoning useless. Only explosives or a good knife under the helmet could get through. When our heroes first encounter these well-dressed zombies it felt very much like something out of a video game. Suffice to say, leaping ahead in time works and the action and pacing in this first episode are much better than many of the episodes in last season.
The character drama didn't overwhelm the action the way it often did last season, dragging the whole story down into the mire of melodrama and love triangles. I'm looking forward to more of the same next week, especially now that we've been introduced to another tribe of survivors: the inmates. Oh, and in case you didn't know this, if you happen to be a Dish subscriber, you may as well be living in a zombie hellscape.
Because Dish doesn't carry AMC, in case you somehow missed that fact during the commercials last night. Or, since it is plants, is that the seitan of the tour? The tour essentially walks you backwards from the end of the Living with the Land boat ride up to the first greenhouse that the boat ride enters. In the first greenhouse, you learn a bit about the growing techniques used, some of which could be used in backyard gardens with the commercially available stacked styrofoam planters.
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Also in this greenhouse, you meet the most popular plant on the tour—Stanley, the Sensitive Plant Mimosa pudica. Instead, it refers to a defense mechanism of the plant where he curls in his leaves whenever the leaves are touched. At this point, everyone was allowed to touch him and watch the leaves curl up. In a rainstorm, up through a hurricane, Stanley will fold up all of his leaves to make them less likely to be damaged by high winds.
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This is also Stanley, after being shaken to simulate wind. Also in this greenhouse, there was discussion about growth media for different plants, and everyone was provided with a handout to explain how to do some of this at home. In the next greenhouse, we learned about how the collections are grown, and some of the unique features about what you see in Living with the Land. No reason for that, but it is something that once you see it, it cannot be unseen.
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Most people know that many of the foods produced in the greenhouses are used on Walt Disney World restaurant property. Much of the produce is served in restaurants at The Land, especially the ample crops of lettuce and tomatoes. Within the other plant greenhouses, you learn little bits of information about some of the featured plants in terms of their propagation and cultivation.
Because some of the plant varieties change from time to time, every trip can provide different information. On our tour, we learned about how hand pollination is done for dragonfruit plants, as that was something that had been done earlier in the week.
Some plants are familiar to some people, and other plants are staples elsewhere. The pavilion grows a lot of winter melon, which we were told tastes like the white part of a watermelon rind. Generally it is used in dishes where it can pick up the flavor of the sauce around it. One interesting tidbit was mention of the large date palm tree in the first greenhouse.
This tree is original from the opening of the ride back in , and it has grown quite a bit since then.
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Unfortunately, it is now so large that it could threaten the integrity of the dome above it—and so it likely will need to be removed. The big question is….
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Unfortunately, the fish are pretty lazy after multiple tours a day and would just let the food float to the bottom, making a mess. Your experience on the tour will largely depend on your own interest in the subject matter—and what questions you can ask. Very young children may find the tour a bit much for their patience, but the tour moves quickly enough so that no one is standing around bored on it. Also, this is a walking tour, so you will be on your feet for most of the tour, with a brief rest on a bench about halfway through the tour.
There are no restroom facilities in the tour, so also keep that in mind. Because it is a greenhouse, it can get very warm in there, however there are some places to get a drink of water. Bottom line: Is the tour worth it? If you only have a few days at Walt Disney World, you can have a similar experience riding Living with the Land and not feel like you are missing anything.
On the other hand, if you love Living with the Land which proves you are a person of refined tastes and good judgment , the tour is well worth it to get some additional information and a unique backstage experience. The tour moves quickly, but does not feel rushed. In short, it is a great way to break up time in the parks.