AMC Movie Theater

Downtown Disney is a great place for shopping and dining with the whole family. But there are also some learning opportunities here if you know where to look and your timing is right.

The AMC Movie Theater may not seem like an obvious educational spot. But in addition to the popular popcorn flicks it shows, the theater sometimes screens nature and art films. This is always the place to catch premieres of DisneyNature films, which has included Earth, Oceans, African Cats, Chimpanzee, Bears, and Monkey Kingdom.

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This AMC theater also participates in Metropolitan Opera simulcasts, so you can catch live performances of famous operas straight from New York.

Check out the AMC website for show times and more information.

FL Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.K.L.14.3, SC.1.L.16.1, SC.1.L.17.1, SC.2.L.17.1, SC.2.L.17.2, SC.3.L.17.1, SC.4.L.16.3, SC.4.L.17.4, SC.5.L.15.1

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Casey’s Corner

Everyone knows the best place to get a hot dog at the Magic Kingdom is Casey’s Corner, right at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. Just the smell of the ketchup is almost enough to lure you in. And once inside, you can’t help but notice the small-town charm and all-American spirit of baseball that pervades the building.

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Step further into the seating area and you’ll be treated to a magnificent collection of historic pennants, baseball cards, photos, and other memorabilia from bygone days. You can get a real sense of the sport as it was during the turn of the century through the 1930s. Take your time to peruse the newspaper clippings and advertisements, and notice how different the equipment used to be.

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This is a great educational spot for sports fans or fans of U.S. history. And of course, fans of the hot dog!

 

FL Sunshine State Social Studies Standards:
SS.K.A.2.1, SS.1.A.2.1, SS.1.A.2.2

Shadow Box Tour

Pop Century Resort is a fun place to stay with its over-the-top icons and tributes to pop culture through the years. It’s bright, colorful, and energetic – a great place for families. This resort might not come to mind first as a place to learn something, but we found an opportunity that will appeal to kids and adults alike.

IMG_3378Gather in the lobby at 3:00 to take a tour of the shadow boxes that hang on the wall. Each large display features “artifacts” from particular decades, from the 1950s through the 1990s. The collections are also themed to certain categories, such as clothing, technology, toys, or historical events. Adults will enjoy the trip down memory lane and little ones will get a kick out of seeing (and probably laughing at) some real relics of the past.

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You can find many more references to past fads and pop culture throughout the resort for your own history lesson. But the Shadow Box Tour is guided and allows the opportunity to ask questions. Be sure to check with the front desk or lobby concierge to make sure the tour is happening on the day you visit.

 

FL Sunshine State Social Studies Standards:
SS.K.A.2.1, SS.1.A.2.1, SS.1.A.2.2

it’s a small world

This is definitely one of Magic Kingdom’s most popular attractions, and it has a rich history. It was originally created for the 1964 World’s Fair in support of UNICEF. It was a huge success there, and has been a hit at Disney Parks all over the world ever since. Each Disney Park worldwide has its own version of the attraction.

IMG_3574Besides it being a cute and fun experience for all ages, it offers a terrific introduction to world cultures and global social studies for young children. As you float down the Seven Seaways Waterway, you’ll encounter bright and colorful landscapes and traditional costumes from all around the world. Each room represents a different continent or region. And although it may be hard to tell, the language in which the famous song is sung changes to match.

As you ride you can encourage children to point out famous landmarks they might know, or the countries they are associated with, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, or the Egyptian pyramids. And before you disembark, you can practice saying “good-bye” in different languages.

Many people know that Mary Blair, known for her particular visual style, was behind the design of “it’s a small world.” But you may not realize that the costume designers used authentic materials and fabrics from each region for all 300 costumes in the attraction. Talk about attention to detail!