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

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PeopleMover

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is a great way to tour Tomorrowland while resting your feet. The 10-minute ride takes you above and into some of Magic Kingdom’s most popular attractions like Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

IMG_3840Keep your eyes peeled for a piece of Disney history during the tour. One of the first dark areas you enter houses a model of Progress City, an early concept for EPCOT. This model shows us what Walt Disney’s idea of an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow might have looked like. Even though Progress City never really came to be, a lot of the ideas made their way into today’s Walt Disney World.

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As you ride along, you may also notice the linear induction motors embedded in the PeopleMover’s track. These magnets are what keep the trains moving forward and control their speed. Truly environmentally friendly!

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STEM Topic: Technology, Engineering