Enchanted Sisters Travel has recently shared the reason why a trip to Disney can be educational. As per the update, whether an individual is all about the rides, the shows, the character meets, or the overall “Disney magic,” chances are good that their visit to Walt Disney World is purely for fun. But who’s to say one can’t also learn a little along the way? Anytime a person travel with kids – especially if they have taken them out of school to do so – is a good time to continue to stress the importance of learning. Walt Disney World (WDW) is not a museum or a historic site (though it does have more artefacts than one’d imagine, and it is historical). However, still, it offers a good number of educational opportunities. In short, is Disney World educational? Yes.
According to the update, all four WDW parks – The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios – and took advantage of the many opportunities to learn from exhibits, hands-on activities, shows, and special programs. In all, one can honestly say that family learned about various topics, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); nature, wildlife, and the care of animals; the creative process and special effects in filmmaking; American history; international cultures; and history.
A visit to Animal Kingdom provides many fun ways to learn about animals, nature, and the world. Here one will find many opportunities about science, nature, and culture through exhibits and hands-on activities.
Kilimanjaro Safari Ride: This open-air safari ride takes guests through the 110-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve. While one wait in line, a person watch a video that discusses conservation efforts and the problems that wild animals face in Africa from poaching and loss of habitat because of deforestation. On the ride itself, one can see a good variety of animals native to Africa. The day the officials visited, they saw hippos, lions, warthogs, African wild dogs, antelopes, okapis, rhinos, zebras, and wildebeests, though there are many other kinds an individual might spot during their visit. There are also some performers as one exit the safari ride who are happy to show something new – one might even try their hand at making rhythms on the African drums!
Petting zoo and trails: See animals up close and at own pace through the outdoor exhibits and petting zoo. Throughout the park, there are trails where one can see and learn about animals, including gorillas, hippos, and more. At Affection Station, the petting zoo, kids can brush, feed, and learn about the care of goats, sheep, and other domesticated farm animals.
Conservation Station: This indoor facility has interactive exhibits that explain how Disney promotes conservation awareness and takes care of the animals at the park. Here one can see some animals, learn about how their meals are prepared, and hear about the work of scientists from around the world. An individual can even look through a large window into a veterinary treatment room.
Flights of Wonder show: This short show in an amphitheatre is all about feathered friends: free-flying exotic birds, including hawks, owls, parrots, cranes, cockatoos, and macaws. Each animal is briefly introduced, and some get to display their talents. An individual can learn about where each animal lives and its natural behaviours and even saw some flying overhead so they could see their wingspans. Some of these are huge animals, and it’s an amazing sight to see!
Out of all the Disney parks, Epcot probably has the most varied educational opportunities. It’s a fun place to learn about science and social studies. Epcot is really like two parks in one, with the World Showcase highlighting international cultures and Future World teaching about science and technology. Between the two, kids can learn about social studies, science, engineering, communications, health, architecture, and art.
World Showcase – Pavilions: This area of Epcot provides a glimpse at the cultures of 11 countries, with “pavilions” for Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, the United States, Italy, Germany, China, Norway, and Mexico. Just walking through these areas, one will see architecture traditional of the countries, along with native icons (such as totem poles in Canada). One also will get to sample authentic foods and see shows that highlight each culture. To keep the authenticity of the represented countries, Disney staffs these pavilions mostly with citizens of each nation, so the children can hear first-hand about a culture from someone who has grown up in it.
World Showcase – Galleries: Some pavilions have galleries that highlight the art, culture, and history of the country. In Mexico, see Mexican folk art, watch wood carvings be hand-painted, or even buy their own spirit animal. At the American Adventure Pavilion, hear the stories of American leaders and key events such as the Boston Tea Party, the Civil War, and the Great Depression. In the Norway pavilion, experience “the folk behind the Frost” to see how the culture of the country influenced Disney’s animated success “, Frozen.” These are just a handful of examples; there are more in Morocco, Japan, and other pavilions.
Future World – Spaceship Earth: On the Spaceship Earth ride, we learned about ancient civilizations’ contributions and modern technology and communications. As the ride winds down, one have a chance to imagine and design their future on touch screens right in the car. When one exit, they can see the world brought to life. An individual also can do 3D games and activities related to medicine, safety, and energy.
Hollywood Studios: Hollywood Studios is a lot of fun, and with the Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roll Coaster and attractions such as Star Wars Land, it has some of the most exciting entertainment at Walt Disney World. But as far as real education goes, this is the one theme park where that’s going to be a stretch. Still, don’t overlook the opportunities to learn. At this park, one can certainly learn about technology and art.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular: This popular attraction is both a show and a “behind-the-scenes” look at a Hollywood movie set. Recreating scenes from the beloved Indiana Jones movie, one can learn about special effects, tricks, and tools involved in making an action film. The audience watches stunts happen right on the stage, and while it’s all very entertaining and fun to watch, it’s also the most educational experience in the park, we thought. At various points, a director talks about things such as the difference between stunt doubles and stunt actors, how moviemakers maintain safety during dangerous scenes, and the many people involved in a production.
Star Wars Launch Bay Theatre: Take the time to watch a short film here: we got a behind-the-scenes look at how a new generation of filmmakers keeps the Star Wars storyline going. It’s a good look at the craft of movie-making, showcasing the creativity, teamwork, and technology involved from the people who bring art and science together through film.
Magic Kingdom: Magic Kingdom is another park that’s going to be light on the educational aspect, but if one look closely, one will find some learning opportunities. Walt Disney’s original park is mostly a place for rides and character meet-and-greets, but it does offer some lessons in history and technology, with light references to literature and culture.
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress: This trip through time celebrates the evolution of technology throughout the 20th century. For example, we saw what a house looked like during the 1920s and the modern conveniences of the era, and we learned how automatic dishwashers and televisions were life-changing in the 1940s. Going through this ride with a young child puts in perspective how much things change over time and how technology has impacted our society.
Tom Sawyer Island: If children have already started reading Mark Twain’s books, a visit to this section of the park will help them better visualize early America and experience some of the places referenced in the stories.
The Hall of Presidents: Modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia, this attraction is a lesson in American history, featuring all 44 past presidents.
It’s a Small World: Sure, it’s a simple ride, and of course, now one have “the song” stuck in thier head, but there’s a reason why It’s a Small World endures: it’s a cute attraction that for some young kids serves as an introduction to the language, settings, and folkloric outfits of people from all over the world.
“So now you know: you can use WDW as your vacation classroom, with lessons in science, technology, language, culture, nature, health, history, art, and more. Special thanks to Fairfax Family Fun for compiling this wonderful list!” it concluded.