Enchanted Tiki Room – This attraction is located in a Polynesian ceremonial house in the heart of Adventureland. This was our favorite attraction on our first Walt Disney World visit in June of 1972. There are over 225 Audio-Animatronics in this attraction, including talking cockatoos, singing parrots and flowers, and other enchanting warblers. Guests can learn all about tropical birds, flora and fauna native to Polynesia. **Let children identify birds and plants while watching the show.
Jungle Cruise – Cruise along the river as this attraction takes guests on a jungle cruise through the wilds of Africa. Your tour guide will educate you on creatures along the way through jokes and one-liners. Tropical plants abound in the landscape and children will surely recognize creatures native to the jungle. Beware of water animals who like to “spray” and angry head-hunters. **Let children identify animals while enjoying the cruise.
Swiss Family Treehouse – Based on Johan Wyss’ book Swiss Family Robinson, this attraction takes guests on a self-guided walking tour of “life living in a treehouse.” If you’ve read the book or seen the 1960 Disney movie, you will recognize the rooms from the book’s/film’s characters. Our favorite part of the tour is the kitchen at the end of attraction. As a child, it was also our favorite part of the movie because we could only hope to have water for our kitchen sink coming from a large clam shell. **This attraction is a wonderful way to extend a lesson after reading the book or watching the movie.
Enchanted Tales with Belle – Guests join Belle in Maurice’s cottage and help her sing and dance to her favorite songs. Younger visitors to the cottage are asked to participate in a sing-a-long where they will carry large pictures of forks, knifes, and other objects related to “Beauty and the Beast.” As guests wait, they are entertained by a talking wardrobe and Lumiere. We love this attraction….we just wish they would let older guests participate.
It’s A Small World – It’s A Small World originated at The World’s Fair in 1964. It was later moved to Disneyland and has been one of the original attractions at Walt Disney World since 1971. The iconic song written by Disney’s own Sherman Brothers, is sung in English, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish. Dolls, figures, and props represent Europe, Asia, Africa, Central/South America, South Pacific Islands, and North America. **This ride is a wonderful way to introduce other countries in a social studies lesson.
Peter Pan’s Flight – This attraction starts in the queue line. As guests walk through the queue, they are transported to the Darling’s nursery where they will see Wendy, John, and Michael’s bedroom…and even Tinkerbell makes an appearance. The queue line is more fun than the actual ride, as it is very interactive. The ride itself tells the story of J.M. Barre’s Peter Pan as seen through the rider’s eye. Once guests board their flying ship, they will be sprinkled with pixie dust and depart London for Neverland. In Neverland, riders will catch a glimpse of Skull Rock, the Lost Boys, and Mermaid Lagoon. **This attraction is a wonderful addition to reading the book or seeing Disney’s animated version.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction brings A.A. Milne’s character, Pooh Bear, to life. While riding in a honey pot, guests will spot many of the characters in Milne’s book, Winnie-the-Pooh, brought to life. The ride includes giant pages modeled straight from the book. **This ride is a fitting way to introduce Pooh and help to bring comprehension to Milne’s book.
Splash Mountain – Splash Mountain brings to life the character of ‘Brer Rabbit’ pulled from the pages of Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus Collection. This wet ride is based on Walt Disney’s animated feature film Song of the South. Splash Mountain is a wonderful way to bring the stories of Uncle Remus to life and look back at the historical nature of Mr. Harris’s own boyhood experiences and his desire to preserve the South that he once knew. **A wonderful literature lesson for elementary or middle school aged students.
Tom Sawyer’s Island – Disney has a way of educating in a very entertaining way and Tom Sawyer’s Island is no exception. If you’ve never made the journey over to the Island, it’s a “must do” on your next visit to the Magic Kingdom. Besides being a great place to relax from the hoards of people…..it’s so educational. From riding a raft to the Island to exploring the bridges and caves, you’ll be taken back to a different time and place. You’ll get a real feel of what life was like for Tom and Huck on the Mississippi River. Younger visitors will learn how to read a map and follow directions. For students who are delving into Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, this is a must-do.
Hall of Presidents – The Hall of Presidents is located in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom. It is one of the original attractions and has been running since the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971. All presidents, up until the present day, are represented in this attraction featuring audio-animatronics. Several past presidents give brief speeches, as well as living presidents who narrate their own speeches. There are presidential relics located in the attraction’s lobby. **This attraction may be used as a history lesson for elementary and middle school students and is a great way to discuss Presidents’ Day.
Liberty Bell – Liberty Square is reminiscent of the colonial era of America, particularly Williamsburg, Virginia, and houses an exact replica of the ‘Liberty Bell.’ It was cast from the actual mold of the original Liberty Bell and given to Disney World in 1989. Fifty replicas were produced in 1976 and given to the states. Since Pennsylvania already had a bell of its own, they graciously donated the extra bell to Disney. Florida is the only state that lays claim to 2 bells (one for the state and one for Walt Disney World). **Students who are studying the founding of the United States will find the bell fascinating and an excellent history lesson for those who are unable to view the actual Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
Liberty Belle Riverboat– The Liberty Belle is a paddle wheel riverboat replica from days gone by; one that might have been seen by Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn on the great Mississippi River. This beautiful boat travels around Tom Sawyer’s Island, steaming down the Rivers of America. Riders will encounter figures and scenery reminiscent of the Wild West along their journey. A deep voice occasionally blares over the riverboat’s speaker, as it calls out mapping directions for the boat’s captain. **A ride on the Liberty Belle is a great segue when teaching students about the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and is equally as beneficial when teaching transportation units.
Main Street Vehicles – Transportation comes in many forms down Main Street. If guests don’t want to use their legs to carry them, there are several vehicles that will. Visitors to the Magic Kingdom can board a horse-drawn trolley, fire engine, omnibus, and Jitney (antique care without a roof) for a one-way trip down Main Street U.S.A. Guest pick up points are located at Town Square and in front of Cinderella Castle. We have ridden the fire engine several times. When you exit the vehicle, the driver will give you a Dalmatian sticker.
Walt Disney World Railroad – Each morning the Magic Kingdom is opened with a selected guest family arriving at the Main Depot of the Walt Disney World Railroad amid dancers and music. For the remainder of the day, the 1 1/2 mile track is used to transport guests around the perimeter of the park. Stops are made at Frontierland and Fantasyland, before ending up back at the main depot located at the entrance of the park. There are several trains that run on the track and are periodically interchanged. Walt Disney had a love of steam engine trains and many of the trains are named to honor him. We never miss a chance to take a train ride when we are at the Magic Kingdom. The ride is scenic, restful, and you will spy Indians and wildlife along the way. If riding the train isn’t enough, there is a special tour for guests wishing to learn more about steam engine trains.