The Lion Guard Adventure

Fans of The Lion Guard, a new Disney Junior television series, have something to roar about at Animal Kingdom. Through early April 2016, little ones (and their family and friends) can go on a scavenger hunt type adventure throughout the park to find Kion, son of Simba, and his wildlife protecting friends.

Pick up a map at a participating merchandise location and get familiar with the Lion Guard characters and their special traits. This interactive activity exercises kids’ map skills as they search for character statues throughout the park. They also learn cool animal facts, like how keen eyesight helps birds hunt or how fast a cheetah can run, and even some Swahili phrases.

Once you find all the members of the Lion Guard, head to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to find Rafiki, take the Lion Guard Pledge, and become inducted as a defender of the Pride Lands!


FL Science Standards: [animal traits] SC.K.L.14.3, SC.5.L.17.1
Next Gen Science Standards: [animal traits] 1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 4-LS1-1
FL Social Studies Standards: [map skills] SS.K.G.1.1, SS.K.G.1.2, SS.K.G.1.4, SS.1.G.1.2, SS.1.G.1.4, SS.2.G.1.1, SS.3.G.1.2, SS.4.G.1.4
P21 Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

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Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

Interactive games are becoming super popular in the Disney parks. Case in point: on any given day you can find scores of kids and adults scurrying around Magic Kingdom with their Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game cards, some carrying massive books and binders to carry those cards. And if you don’t know what’s going on, it might look like folks are just standing around with arms outstretched, watching some little-known Disney cartoon clip.

However, we encourage you to jump on board this game train! Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is a fun experience you can do at your own pace and in almost any area of the park. (Tomorrowland is the only land without SOTMK missions.) And it is a great way to practice map skills. Your goal – to save Magic Kingdom park from hostile takeover by Hades and his Disney villain friends!

When you sign up for a mission, either at The Firehouse or behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, you’re given a map and a deck of Spell Cards. Use the map to follow symbols that will lead you to complete your mission. The game requires attention to detail and listening skills as well. And it’s different each time you play, so you can keep coming back for more fun whenever you’d like!


FL Social Studies Standards: [map skills] SS.K.G.1.1, SS.K.G.1.2, SS.K.G.1.4, SS.1.G.1.2, SS.1.G.1.4, SS.2.G.1.1, SS.3.G.1.2, SS.4.G.1.4
P21 Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Disney Junior – Live on Stage!

When you visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it’s pretty obvious there is a love and nostalgia for the movies everywhere you turn. But this park can also be about the magic of television. In the Animation Courtyard, there’s a spot that’s particularly great for preschoolers and young kids.

Disney Junior- Live on Stage! is a show that brings familiar characters from the Disney Junior channel to life. Our friendly host, Casey, helps Mickey and friends to overcome some challenges they face when trying to throw a party for Minnie. The show combines song, dance, media, tactility, and interactivity. All of which are important elements for early learning.

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Even though this show doesn’t have much of a science or history or even artistic connection, it does present some important life lessons that are great learning opportunities for little ones. Through Disney’s loveable characters, kids can learn about perseverance, teamwork, and friendship. Which are good lessons for adults to keep in mind, too!

Once Upon a Toy

This fun store at Downtown Disney’s Marketplace is a dream stop for any kid. There are tons of toys to browse and play with, and several themed rooms to delight the senses. But it’s also worth noting that some of the offerings here are, in fact, good educational choices.

IMG_4261For preschoolers and little ones, there is a great selection of learning toys, such as shape sorters, puzzle blocks, and alphabet toys. There is plenty to keep little hands busy and help build fine motor skills.

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For older kids, there’s an array of puzzles and word games like Scrabble. Why not add a little Disney flair to your learning games?

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Spaceship Earth

This is one attraction you simply cannot miss. Literally. Spaceship Earth is the giant, 180 foot tall geosphere that is so iconic to Epcot. (Did you know that science fiction author Ray Bradbury helped design it?) The attraction inside it is a slow-moving ride through the evolution of communication and technology, from the dawn of civilization to our modern age.

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Dame Judi Dench narrates as you pass by scenes depicting ancient Egyptians pounding papyrus for paper, Romans spreading information by their system of roads, and monks copying religious and secular texts in the Dark Ages. We learn that communication and learning really took off with the invention of the printing press. You’ll see just how quickly humankind raced toward the 20th century with all the new technologies: telephones, film, radio, television, computers.

IMG_4752As you “return to Earth,” you get the chance to explore what technologies might await us in the future. Using a touchscreen in your ride vehicle, you can answer a few questions about your preferences in different areas, such as home, leisure, health, or work. And then, with a bit of Disney magic, you can see exactly what your future might look like!

IMG_4763Spaceship Earth is great for all ages. It’s a classic, and it does provide a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the park. It is dark inside, so that could be a consideration for younger children. However, this is one attraction that really embodies the spirit of Epcot.

FL Sunshine State Social Studies Standards:
SS.1.A.2.1, SS.1.A.2.2, SS.5.A.6.3, SS.6.W.2.5, SS.6.W.3.1, SS.6.W.3.14, SS.6.W.3.5, SS.912.W.4.3

Kugel Ball

Have you ever walked through Tomorrowland and spotted that giant stone ball near Auntie Gravity’s and thought, “what the heck is that?” There is no label or placard, but it’s a Kugel Ball.

IMG_4170Kugel Ball fountains are engineering wonders. They consist of a large granite or marble sphere floating on a very thin plane (less than the thickness of a credit card) of water in a perfectly fitted socket. The water, pumped from below, lubricates the stone and creates a pressure such that the solid, heavy stone is easily rotated!

IMG_4171Kugel Ball fountains exist all over the world, and some sport images of maps or globes. The Kugel Ball at Walt Disney World is carved with a sky map. Next time you’re walking by, give it a roll!

 

STEM Topic: Science, Engineering
FL Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.K.P.13.1, SC.1.P.12.1, SC.1.P.13.1, SC.2.P.13.4, SC.4.P.12.1, SC.5.P.13.1, SC.5.P.13.2

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is known for having great shows. A classic favorite is Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! Sure it’s entertaining and a must-do for Indiana Jones fans. But watch and listen closely and you’ll also learn a lot about movie-making.

IMG_3945During this 30-minute show, the audience gets to see three different Indiana Jones film scenes acted out, complete with stunts and special effects. During the production, you are introduced to the director, 2nd unit assistant director, director of photography, and special effects coordinator. Each explains their job on a film set and what they are responsible for in the scenes during the show.

You also hear from a few of the actors who demonstrate fight routines and explain the difference between a stunt double and a stunt actor. And if you arrive early enough (and are 18 or older) you can volunteer to be part of the action! A casting director chooses members of the audience to come onto the set and take part in the filming.

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This is definitely a crowd-pleasing show and is great for all ages. It is in an outdoor amphitheater, and while it is covered, the show may not take place if it’s raining. There are usually about five shows a day. This is a great experience for film buffs or those interested in film careers.