Walt Disney World is known for its magic and entertainment, but did you know that the ultimate vacation destination is also educational? As an educator, and a huge fan of Walt Disney World, I see the Disney Parks as the ultimate classroom and a pixie dusted learning experience. If you’re a homeschool parent or interested in how your kids can learn while on vacation or during the summer months, take a look at this latest installment of Theme Park Classroom: American History Lesson Plan for the Magic Kingdom Part II.
Subject: American History
Grade Level: 4th-12th Note: Children learn in different ways and at different speeds and no lesson or lesson plan is ever one size fits all. Please use this plan as an outline, or a source of inspiration, and tailor it to meet your child’s needs, abilities, and age level.
Supplies: Park Map, Smart Phone, Notebook, Pen/Pencil
After Europe sent explorers to the New World, colonization became the new focus. People left Europe for the New World for freedom of religion, economic opportunities, or simply for adventure! There, they lived and created communities, but all under the rule of their home countries. England eventually had thirteen colonies in the New World.
Are you ready for stories retelling famous historical moments courtesy of The Muppets? (I mean how could you not be ready?) Beginning October 2 at the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, Guests will be able to catch some of your favorite characters, such as Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, and Gonzo, and yes Sam Eagle in “The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History.”
The eccentric new show that was announced back in July will be hosted by James “J.J” Jefferson who is the Liberty Square town crier, as well as the patriotic, Sam Eagle. Throughout the day, J.J. and the Muppets will share their own unique spin on the founding fathers. They will recount the tale of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the midnight ride of Paul Revere, and more. There will be a unique song and one thing is for sure–this show will include plenty of humor.
“The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History” will take place several times a day outside the Hall of Presidents.
As I’ve said before in this Disneyland vs. Disney World series, Disney never does the same thing twice! It’s a common misconception that Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and the Disneyland Park are basically the same experience but on different coasts. That is absolutely not true! Even though Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was inspired after the original Disneyland Park, it was never intended to be a carbon copy. Both parks offer their own exclusive attractions, restaurants, character interactions, style, and overall experience. Of course, that gives rise to the question of which park is truly the best? That’s the question I intend to answer in perhaps the most ambitious installment of Disneyland vs. Disney World: The Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park Part II.
Walt’s Lantern Above the Disneyland Fire Department
Main Street, U.S.A. :
Everyone loves their Main Street, U.S.A. I know it’s the land I miss most when I’m not at the parks. The problem with comparing the two is that they are each unique and my favorite tends to depend on my mood. Seriously, my pick could be different by tomorrow! Anyway, let’s begin with the first thing guests seen when approaching either park, the train stations.
Mayor Weaver of Main Street, U.S.A. will be happy to give you a handshake and a business card
The Magic Kingdom’s Train Station is two stories high, spacious, and also symmetrical in comparison to Disneyland’s. It hosts the morning Welcome Show and offers fantastic seating for the parades and fireworks. Disneyland’s Train Station is more quaint and resembles a station that would have existed for an actual small town. It also serves as a stage for entertainment too.
Once guests enter the park, they find themselves at Town Square. Disneyland’s doesn’t seem as big as the Magic Kingdom’s, but it offers a park-like atmosphere with more trees and benches and its Main Street Vehicles operate into the afternoon while the Magic Kingdom’s only run a few hours in the morning. Disneyland’s Town Square is also rich with history due to The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at the Opera House and the lamp burning in the window of Walt’s private apartment at the fire house. But I can’t fail to mention that Magic Kingdom’s Harmony Barber Shop, where guests can actually get haircuts with a touch of pixie dust!
Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A.
Now the Magic Kingdom offers the best view down Main Street, U.S.A. due to the size of Cinderella Castle, and the whole street has a slightly grander and more ornate look than Disneyland’s. Although, I think Disneyland’s storefronts boast a bit more personality, inside and out, and I appreciate their few unique, specialized shops. I also believe that Disneyland’s Main Street dining options are a little better too. I love the Market House Starbucks, the menu at Carnation Café, and everything at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café. But I do prefer the setting and character experience at the Magic Kingdom’s Crystal Palace, as well as Casey’s Corner menu and theme, compared to Disneyland’s The Plaza Inn and Refreshment Corner respectively. Lastly, I think the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A. does just a little better when it comes to entertainment due to the charming Main Street Trolley Show and Main Street, U.S.A. Actors.
Overall, I’m giving this category to Disneyland, but just barely! Disneyland’s dining, Town Square, and history just put it over the top, even though it’s difficult to beat that postcard view down the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A.
If you have Memory Maker for your Walt Disney World vacation this month, you’ll be able to soon take part in a limited time character meet and greet experience test.
From August 7-31, Guests who visit the Magic Kingdom who have purchased Memory Maker, Memory Maker One Day, or have an Annual Pass with complimentary Disney PhotoPass available, will be able to take advantage of a special character experience with Belle in her formal gown. This meet and greet experience will occur at the Heritage House in Liberty Square from 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Only one person in your party needs to have purchased Memory Maker in order for your entire group to take part in this opportunity.
This seems like a great way to meet one of your favorite Disney Princesses with minimal wait!
Are you a fan of The Muppets? Then you will want to make sure to visit the Magic Kingdom this fall when a brand new live show will debut. This show, called The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History will feature your favorites, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggie, Fozzie, and Gonzo. Oh yes, and it wouldn’t be a patriotic show without Sam Eagle. This new show will take place in Liberty Square outside The Hall of Presidents.
The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History will see the characters presenting historical tales such as the midnight ride of Paul Revere and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, presented in the fun and irreverent way that only the Muppets know how to do best. The characters will pop up throughout the day to share their own spin on how the founding fathers and the birth of our nation occurred. This show will also feature a song created especially for it.
Honestly, I have no idea what to expect from this new show. It is the Muppets after all, so anything will be possible with their zany humor. I guess I’ll just have to wait until it debuts in October to really find out what kind of high jinks the characters will get into! One thing is for sure, I’m positive it will be a salute to mostly America.
The Magic Kingdom will soon begin offering a table service meal offering for both lunch and dinner at The Diamond Horseshoe. Beginning March 13 through May 30, Guests will be able to enjoy an all-you-can-eat meal at this Liberty Square restaurant.
Guests will begin their meal with a Frontier Salad that’s topped with roasted corn, cornbread croutons, and housemade chipotle-ranch dressing. In addition, cornbread will be delivered to the table.
For the main course, Guests will get to choose one of the following:
Barbeque pulled turkey, served over corn bread with seasonal vegetables
Spit-roasted ham, served with country beans and seasonal vegetables
Stewed beef, served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables
As far as dessert goes, Guests can have two options, the apple tart or the campfire brownie.
Soft drinks, tea, coffee and milk are included with your meal.
The cost is $33 plus tax for adults (ages 10 and up) and $19 plus tax for kids (ages 3-9.) Guests may make reservations by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
Are you a Disney Park critic? I know, it’s hard to be critical of anything Disney (at least I think so), but even I have to admit that I’ve experienced a few things that some parks don’t do as well as others. Of course, there’s also a number of things that each park does very well! Today, I’m breaking down Disney Park Strengths and Weaknesses with a focus on the most magical park of them all: the Magic Kingdom.
The Magic Kingdom Park first opened on October 1st of 1971. While inspired by the original Disneyland Park, the Magic Kingdom was bigger, featured a whole new land known as Liberty Square, had a much larger castle as its centerpiece, and was only the start of the ultimate vacation kingdom which is Walt Disney World.
The Magic Kingdom is home to six themed lands: Adventureland, Liberty Square, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Main Street, U.S.A. In 2012, New Fantasyland opened at the Magic Kingdom and, in addition to the classic Fantasyland offerings, now has areas themed after the Beauty and the Beast film, a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster, Storybook Circus with two Dumbo the Flying Elephants, and the Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction housed in Prince Eric’s Castle!
So let’s start with the Magic Kingdom’s best points, shall we…
Iconic Attractions – When you think of Walt Disney World, attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, the Mad Tea Party, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and “it’s a small world” is usually what comes to mind. They are synonymous with the Walt Disney World experience and an expression of that Disney magic. Therefore, there’s rarely ever a question about whether or not visit the Magic Kingdom because its iconic attractions make it a must-do, a luxury that other Disney Parks have never been quite able to equal.
Timeless Appeal – While Walt Disney never saw the completion of the Magic Kingdom, his fingerprints are all over the park. It was inspired off of the original Disneyland Park in regards to the general layout, the number of similar attractions, a castle at its center, and the Main Street, U.S.A. entry. In short, so much of what makes up the Magic Kingdom came from the mind of Walt and his ideas and projects had that timeless appeal, meaning that they transcend time and generation and fads. It truly is a rare thing in today’s rapidly modernizing world for attractions thirty years old or more to still fill queues, such as Peter Pan’s Flight and the Jungle Cruise and Space Mountain. It’s also rare for characters who are decades old to still have merchandise on the shelves and lengthy lines for autographs, but that is certainly reality at the Magic Kingdom. Basically, this park never gets old! That fact is one of the Magic Kingdom’s greatest strengths and it’s why people will keep passing through the turnstiles, year after year, and bringing their kids and then their grandkids to relive it for themselves and to introduce it to the next generation.
Looking to grab a quick bite at the Magic Kingdom? Well, from now until December 18, Guests are able to stop at The Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square for a quick service lunch on select days, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
The menu items will include a ham and cheese sandwich, BBQ turkey and a chef salad.
If you are curious if The Diamond Horseshoe is open while you are visiting, make sure to pick up a Times Guide or check the My Disney Experience app.
One of the most magical things about Disney World is that there is something to see everywhere you look! But just how much do you actually stop and look? If you’re up for a challenge, I have one for you. Whether you consider yourself a Magic Kingdom Master, or you would just like something extra fun to do at the park, I invite you to try this Magic Kingdom Scavenger Hunt!
I have photos of 15 things that you may or may not have noticed at the Magic Kingdom park and it’s up to you to find them. Don’t worry if you get stuck, there is a hint for each one. Also, to make things a little more interesting, especially if you’re the competitive type, finding each item is worth a certain number of points. The higher the points, the harder it may be to locate. For those of you aiming high, a perfect score is exactly 30 points.
So there are two ways you can use this Magic Kingdom Scavenger Hunt. First of all, you take this scavenger hunt to the Magic Kingdom yourself and see how many of the following you can find. It’s an interesting way to pass the time when you’re waiting in line or when the park is crowded, and is sure to make you appreciate the little Disney touches. It’s also a fun activity for the kids. Another way to use this scavenger hunt is to take a guess from home on where to find the following and see how many points you can win! If you get stumped, there is an answer key at the end of the post, so don’t scroll too far if you want to avoid spoilers.