Disney Travelers spent a final few hours enjoying a few last attractions! Then it was back to the hotel to board the Magical Express to fly back to CT!
We seem to be returning with a few extra passengers. There were a lot of Experiment 626s, better known as Stitch, boarding the plane in MASH Meets Mickey bags and sitting on laps!
Conservation was the word of the day as Disney Travelers spent Thursday as Wildnerness Adventurers exploring ecosystems and ways to protect them. They took the Maharajah Jungle Trek to observe bats, birds, and tigers and the Gorilla Falls Trek where they saw gorillas, hippos and other species. Disney Cast Members were there to answer all of our questions. Why is there no glass between the observation deck and the bags? Can hippos swim?
We boarded the Kilamanjaro Safari to get a look at lots of other animals including flamingos, rhinoceroses, elephants, and much much more. Did you know that the patterns on zebras, giraffes, and wild dogs are all unique? The patterns help the animals identify one another and are as unique as human finger prints! We got to see a few baby animals too! There was a baby hippo, the first born in 13 years at Disney! We also saw a baby elephant who was born in January. The babies tend to spend the day with other females (their aunts and cousins) and then return to their mom at night!
Many of the animals are threatened or endangered species. Disney Consevation experts work in the park and abroad to help protect the animals. For example, in Africa, elephants often destroy farms, which leads to local farmers hunting them. But science has revealed that elephants are scared of bees! Now farmers line their fences with bee hives. Elephants stay away, and farmers have a new crop to sell: honey!
Many groups became the first MASH Meets Mickey Travelers to experience Disney’s newest land: Pandora: the World of Avatar. They had the chance to sivako or Rise to the Challenge according to the Na’vi as they experienced the world of Pandora on the back of banshee or down the river.
We ended the day with the Lion King performance before heading back to the hotel for our pizza and pool party!
In the afternoon, Disney Travelers crossed over to the World Showcase. Here, they toured 11 different countries. Each pavilion offers unique architecture, performances and Disney Cast Members from the represented country. Travelers had the chance to sample unique treats, take video tours and learn a few key phrases in different languages! Each group completes a unique set of activities, so be sure to ask a Disney Traveler which country was their favorite!
Every group takes a break in the United States Pavilion, where they observe the animatronic versions of Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin join other historic figures tell the story of the birth of a nation on The American Adventure! The night ended with the IllumiNations firework show.
The Florida sun joined us today as Disney Travelers spent the morning emersed in science!
Everyone took a moment to climb into the infamous Spaceship Earth ( you know, the thing that looks like a golf ball). We traveled back in time to explore how significant developments of the past have shaped our present and how they will impact our future! Ask a Disney Traveler how the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Romans, and so many others all relate!
Future World offered a chance to experience G-Forces, as we traveled to Mars. Disney Travelers has a chance to design their own cars, putting principles of engineers and physics together for speed and efficiency, on Test Track. Our musicians enjoyed the Jaminator group, who use some interesting objects as drums!
In “The Seas,” we joined Nemo, Dory and Crush to explore the marine world. We watched countless species of fish, 5 different species of sharks, and dolphins play memory! We learned lots of fun facts about the animal. The manatees, for example, are a threatened species and were rescued by Disney who is working on rehabilitating them. Dolphins need mental and physical exercise every day, which is why they play memory games with them. They score around 80%! Do you know how sea turtles get their color or what helps determine their gender? In the words of Crush (and repeated by many travelers), the answer is totally awesome dude.
In “The Land,” we got a behind the scenes look into the science of agriculture. We saw how Disney researchers work with the FDA to come up with more land-friendly farming techniques. We saw vertical farming, aquaponics, and many more techniques that help grow thousands of foods, many used to feed guests in the resorts!do you know what is the most popular fruit in the world? We also started our world travels on Soarin’, where we traveled via hang glider to see the architectural and natural wonders of the world. Ask a Disney Traveler where they went!
Disney Travelers spent Tuesday in the Magic Kingdom!
They started by observing the details on Main Street USA that Imagineers use to make guests feel like I’ve done a bit of time travel. They observed the “rolling credits” in the windows and asked “who is Roy?” The names help guests learn a bit about some of the other minds behind the park. They observed the trolley and other vehicles in the past drive down as they made their way to the infamous Cinderella Castle and took lots of photos (many include the special “Magic Shot” technology). The Photo Pass disc will include many pictures when it’s passed out in June!
Next, Disney Travelers transported themselves in the future and the world of space, science and technology. They “flew” on rockets, battled aliens and observed some strange looking palm trees, and were shocked to learn they were solar panels used to help power the park! On the People Mover, we observed a model of Progress City created by Walt Disney as a future sustainable city. It serves as a model for Wednesday’s park! Any guesses where we’re headed?
Disney Travelers explored the Wild West, jungles, and colonial America in three other lands. They noticed there was a lot symbolism included in the lands. For example, Liberty Square features 13 latterns. Travelers also noticed that in addition to signs announcing each land, the ground colors and textures change! Ask a traveler which land a stream of brown in the center and what it symbolizes!
Many attractions brought Disney Travelers back to the fantasy and fictional stories of their childhood. They saw the Disney versions of many of their favorites fairy tales, which they reminded us aren’t very similar to the stories that were really written by Brothers Grimm, etc.
And while many attractions seemed to come from history, Disney Travelers pointed out the science used to create the experiences. Animatronic technology was used to recreate the Presidents of the United States (and one of William’s end of 7th grade assignments), among many other techniques.
Speaking of Mr. Williams, Disney Travelers got their first review of 7th grade social studies on its a small world where they played name that country! Using the colors of each section and different symbols, we identified England, France, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Japan, China, Australia and so many more.
We ended the night watching Happily Ever After, which was complete with castle projections and fireworks!
Our fabulous YES instructors Robyn and Karlie led Disney Travelers through a variety of experiences to explore the science behind roller coasters and other attractions. Travelers reviewed Newton’s Laws of Motion as they participated in different demonstrations. Ask a Traveler: how do pulleys and magnets play a role in Hollywood Studios? And what do engines with the power of 270 corvettes have to do with Disney?
But the parks are more than science. Each guest’s experience is impacted by the story Imagineers choose to tell. Robyn and Karlie asked Travelers to pay attention to the details: from the overgrown vegetation to the colors and textures of the buildings. The sounds, smells, garbage can colors, uniforms all contribute to the anticipation and experience of an attraction. Disney is a story telling company.
How far do they go?? Did you know that Tower Of Terror is Disney’s most expensive attraction, currently? It’s not just because of those engines. The creepy lobby is filled with artifacts that were collected and then covered in cobwebs to ensure guests feel like they are stepping into the 1930s.
Ok, so then which Imagineers get stuck designing the bathrooms, Jimmy asked? He was assured it’s a team effort! The rest of the attraction is designed first and a bathroom building is added to fit the theme.
And just in case Travelers forgot they were in Disney, there were several “Hidden Mickeys” incorporated into attractions. (hint: look by the drum on Rock n Rollercoaster).
Travelers were left with the challenge to continue to think like Imagineers beyond their Disney stay. There will be lots of challenges and problems that they will need to be creative and solve!
The details and magic continued as Travelers explored the rest of the the park. They expanded their knowledge around video production with Indiana Jones’ Stunt Show, where they learned how stunt doubles and the teams around them help create the exciting scenes as safely as possible. They watched Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast and Frozen comes to life in spectacular stage shows. They took a walk through Disney Presents and learned how technology has evolved to impact movies and TV. They saw Walt Disney’s childhood desk (with a bit of vandalism) and toured models of many other Disney lands and parks, including the new Toy Story Land openning in June.
Many travelers added details to their own stories with some very creative face paint. They met lots of characters. Some met: Star Lord, Kylo Ren, Olaf, Chip n Dale, Mickey and Minnie.
We ended the night watching Mickey battle the evils of the Villians in Fantasmic. Here technology is used again the create a number of effects. There are fireworks, performers, projections on water all used to tell the story of Mickey battling for his imagination!
When you think of Disney, what comes to mind? Mickey? Minnie? Movies? Attractions?
How about potential energy? Kinetic energy? Force? Speed? Newton?
Disney Travelers explored the science Imagineers use to create famous attractions like Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios.