Ten million people a year now get a closeup look at tissue culture and biotechnology in action.
Tour boats take 40 people at a time through the first working plant biotechnology laboratory completely open to the public – as part of the “Listen to The Land” tour of The Land pavilion at Walt Disney's EPCOT Center in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The lab opened October 7. 1988.
The laboratory, cooperatively developed by the Agricultural Research Service, Kraft, Inc., and Walt Disney World, gives many people their first look at how biotechnology is creating higher quality crops, with characteristics such as improved pest resistance, drought tolerance, stronger shelf life, or better nutritional value.
As the Boats cater the lab viewing area, visitors see a time-lapse film of carrot cells developing into carrot embryos. Then they observe technicians, working just a few feet from the passing boats, carrying out the steps to regenerate whole pineapple, peanut, vanilla, strawberry, carrot, and potato plants from cells or sections of leaf tissue.