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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It’s Tough to be a Bug!

This attraction, located inside the Tree of Life on Discovery Island, is a totally immersive experience that seeks to teach audiences about some of the world’s most interesting bugs. It’s part 3D film, part animatronic show, and part sensory sensation.

IMG_4876As you can imagine, there’s a lot to learn at this attraction, and it all starts in the queue. Incidentally, visiting It’s Tough to be a Bug! gets you amazing and up-close views of the Tree of Life. As you enter the lobby under the tree, you’ll see posters advertising the Tree of Life Repertory Theatre’s past productions. These funny posters also include some neat bug facts, so look around and find as many as you can.

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During the show, you’ll learn even more about insects and spiders that have neat features that help them survive in their habitats. Disney Imagineers actually worked with a top Smithsonian entomologist to develop the show and make sure they had all the facts right. You may even come away with a better appreciation for bugs and how they help our environment.

It’s worth noting that this attraction may be scary for young kids or those with a fear of insects or spiders. Some of the visuals or effects can be loud and intense at times. But it’s a great educational opportunity for anyone interested to learn more about bugs in the world.

FL Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.K.L.14.3, SC.4.L.17.4, SC.5.L.17.1

DinoLand Animal Viewing

There are lots of animal viewing areas in Animal Kingdom park. And some are better marked than others on the guide maps. There are a few hidden gems in DinoLand U.S.A.

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If you make your way toward Restaurantosaurus, look around the small island of greenery you’ll pass. The guide maps do show that this area has an American Crocodile, and it’s pretty spectacular to see up close. But keep going! You may also spot an Asian Brown Tortoise or some large Abdim Storks.

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Placards will teach you all about where each animal comes from, their diet and habits, and what makes them special to our planet. Keep your eyes peeled for even more interesting animals throughout the park.

FL Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.K.L.14.3, SC.1.L.17.1, SC.2.L.17.1, SC.2.L.17.2, SC.5.L.17.1

Bead Outpost

Walt Disney World is full of interesting, sometimes hidden, educational opportunities. Even shopping can prove to be a chance to learn something new! Next time you wander through Epcot’s World Showcase, be sure to stop by the Outpost mini pavilion to learn about a unique merchandise offering.

IMG_4272The Bead Outpost sells beaded jewelry, but these aren’t ordinary beads. They are made from recycled paper from Walt Disney World maps and other paper material. African artisans roll carefully selected pieces to make each bead. The kiosk provides pictures and information about the process.

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You can purchase necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more, and feel good about wearing these special pieces. They’re a cool way to recycle and they help support African communities.

FL Sunshine State Visual Arts Standards:
VA.K.H.1.1, VA.K.H.2.2, VA.K.F.2.1, VA.2.C.2.2, VA.2.H.2.2, VA.3.H.2.1, VA.3.F.2.1, VA.68.H.1.3

Kate & Leo

Downtown Disney is a great place for shopping, dining, and entertainment with the whole family. But some of these experiences count as educational, too!

The Village Causeway features four kiosks with unique gifts and treats. One of these is Kate & Leo, which boasts a whole bunch of fun (and learning-oriented) books, puzzles, games, models, and toys.

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Nothing here is battery operated. Instead these items run on imagination and spark curiosity. Whatever your interest – science, engineering, art, writing – there’s something to boost your creativity. These gifts are great for kids or kids at heart.

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STEM Topic:
Science, Engineering

The Strangler Fig

Deep in the heart of the Polynesian Village Resort grounds is a very unique plant. To see it, and to learn more about it, you’ll have to head to the gardens around the Spirit of Aloha stage.

IMG_4212The Strangler Fig is a tree that has been on the Polynesian Village Resort property for years. It is currently thriving on, and around, a Sabal palm. You can read about this strange tree and how it began to overtake the palm. Strangler Figs often grow around Sabal palms because their root structure is easy for the fig to “grab” onto.

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Next time you find yourself at the Polynesian Village Resort, be sure to look for this strange and fascinating sight!

FL Sunshine State Science Standards:
SC.1.L.14.2, SC.3.L.14.1, SC.3.L.14.2, SC.4.L.17.4, SC.5.L.17.1

Dino-Sue

If you have a dinosaur fan in your group, you’ve got to check out DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Make your way to the DINOSAUR attraction and spend a few minutes in the queue area to see a replica of a pretty famous dino.

Dino-Sue is a replica of the most complete fossil skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found. The skeleton at Animal Kingdom is finely detailed and measures the same 40 feet long as the real thing. You can read information posted nearby about how the original T-Rex skeleton was found and named Sue, after the fossil hunter who found it. You can learn where Sue was found and where she is now.

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Standing next to Dino-Sue is truly amazing. The outside queue area for DINOSAUR isn’t really used any more, so you could miss Dino-Sue if you aren’t looking for her. And be on the lookout for even more hidden dinosaurs throughout the queue.

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