31 Days of Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : Trains

31 days to Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : Trains

It’s no secret that Walt Disney loved trains.  Thanks to his uncle being a locomotive engineer, he worked on one in his teenager years in Missouri.  Surely this experience fueled his lifelong passion for trains. Such was his passion that he had a 1/8 scale miniature railroad built at his house that enabled him to give rides to family and friends.  It’s no wonder that monorails and trains are a predominant part of the transportation system at Walt Disney World.

One could do an entire study on transportation at the parks.  From the ferry to the buses to the monorail to the trains to the trams from the parking lot.  There are a plethora of ways available to you besides your car while you are on property.  We have rode all of them at some point,  Some Logan can stand better than others.  There are a lot of factors in which transportation we partake of at any given time such as how long the line is, which is faster, how much time we have left in our visit. etc.

 

 

 

 

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When he was younger, Logan ‘s favorite part of Magic Kingdom was the trains.  My, how he loved trains.  He still does to a certain point.  I always obliged him a train ride since it’s a fun and easy way to get around.  It literally circles the park.  When we started to go back with the other 2 children as well, I incorporated it into our learning. If you have a train lover in your family then this is a must ride attraction.

We learned about trains and how they are now propelled as opposed to how they first were sent into motion.  We rode  the steam engine at the Magic Kingdom talking about how long it would take to get anywhere with that method especially considering it takes 20 mins to get completely around the park.  What does it need for upkeep like water from the Fantasyland water tower to keep the steam in motion. How did it come into being?  A great discussion about how one man’s passion for something can lead to wonderful things for others.

Facts about the Magic Kingdom Railroad

  • The speed limit for the train is 10 mph.  We use that number to figure out how fast the train could get us places like home.

  • You can’t ride the train during the fireworks as the tracks run right by the firework staging area.  Great time to talk about safety.

  • Up until 1996 only men could be conductors/engineers on the trains. This only changed because they couldn’t find enough men to staff it.  We remembered this when we studied women’s suffrage .  

  • The route is 1.5 miles long and take 20 minutes with stops. 

  • There are 4 locomotives but only 3 run regularly.  The Lilly Belle is only used for the opening ceremonies .

Disney offers a The Magic Behind Our Steam Train Tour for those who wish to see all the ins and outs of how the steam engines operate.   There is a great book called The Imagineering Field Guide to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World  that not only gives you amazing info about the train and all its’ facts but about the entire park as well from an Imagineer’s perspective.

Some of the links above may be affiliate links.  By clicking on them, you help to fund my family’s annual passes.  Some months you even help purchase Mickey bars.  We appreciate it.  

 

 

31 days to Homeschooling Using Disney Parks

 

 

Day 1 : Overview

Day 2 : Haunted Mansion

Day 3 : Literature Selections

Day 4 : Nature Studies

Day 5 :  Flower and Garden Festival

Day 6 : American History

Day 7 : Youth in Education Series

Day 8 : Disability Access Service Pass : One Year Later

Day 9 : Kingdom Keepers

Day 10 : Magical Mouse Schoolhouse

Day 11 : Spaceship Earth

Day 12 : Photography

Day 13: Food and Wine Festival

Day 14 :  Tom Sawyer Island

Day 15 : Sorcerors of the Magic Kingdom

Day 16 : Pirates of the Caribbean

31 Days of Homeschooling Using Disney Parks: Pirates of the Caribbean

31 Days to Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : Pirates

 

 

One of my favorite rides at Magic Kingdom is the Pirates of the Caribbean.  Just like Haunted Mansion is Logan’s go to ride, I insist on this one.  Now, Logan is not a fan of the drop in the beginning.  When we first started going to the parks with our annual passes, we certainly had to coax Logan on the ride.  One day, I had an epiphany.  Everyone picks one ride that we are guaranteed to ride while we are there.  Not necessarily all of us as you will discover in the Thunder/Splash Mountain posts later in the month.

Since we learn the real life facts about each ride, we took some time to  learn all about real life pirates that ran a muck in the Caribbean during colonial times.  We have the fantastic Gasparilla festivities in Tampa Bay as an additional augmentation to our Disney studies.  There is no shortage of pirate learning opportunities in Central Florida. Treasure Island  is a great read a loud during our pirate unit. 

 

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We watched the Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Movie Set comparing it to the ride as well as what we knew about real life pirates.  The Smithsonian Channel has a phenomenal documentary about the truths and myths behind the movies.  There are a few other documentaries available on Amazon Instant Video that would be useful for comparison. 

 

Another aspect that we talk about is how the iconic ride was the basis for the movies.  The ride did not always have Blackbeard in the fog and Captain Jack in various parts.  It’s a great discussion about how the parks need to evolve to keep people coming back.  If nothing ever changed then after a few visits , no one would want to come back.  It’s a great lesson on how as a business Walt Disney World has to always be looking toward the future. Sometimes the changes they make are popular while sometimes they are not. Alas, a fact that a lot of people forget is that Walt Disney World is a business. 

 

The links in this post are affiliate links.  By clicking on them to purchase, you help fund our annual passes to Walt Disney World.  Some months you also fund Mickey bars.  My family really appreciates it. 

 

31 days to Homeschooling Using Disney Parks

 

 

Day 1 : Overview

Day 2 : Haunted Mansion

Day 3 : Literature Selections

Day 4 : Nature Studies

Day 5 :  Flower and Garden Festival

Day 6 : American History

Day 7 : Youth in Education Series

Day 8 : Disability Access Service Pass : One Year Later

Day 9 : Kingdom Keepers

Day 10 : Magical Mouse Schoolhouse

Day 11 : Spaceship Earth

Day 12 : Photography

Day 13: Food and Wine Festival

Day 14 :  Tom Sawyer Island

Day 15 : Sorcerors of the Magic Kingdom

31 Days of Homeschooling Using Disney Parks: Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

31 days of Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : Sorcerors of the Magic Kingdom

      Ready for a fun game that teaches strategy , map reading and cooperative play?  To make it even better , it’s included in admission to the Magic Kingdom.  Can I get a woot, woot?!  Upon entrance to the Magic Kingdom, stop at the fire station next to City Hall right past the […]

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31 Days of Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : Tom Sawyer Island

Photos Courtesy Darkroom Disney

      Tom Sawyer Island is a fun way to burn off  excess energy while learning at Magic Kingdom.  The obvious idea is to read the books by Mark Twain, who was the master of the Mississippi River era.  In all honesty, these books can be a tough read.  Some of the slang can […]

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31 Days of Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : Food and Wine Festival

Countries in Food & Wine Festival

Every September through November is a fat kid’s heaven at Epcot.  Seriously, there is food everywhere. Even gluten free food everywhere.  Starting in September is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  Epcot has two festivals each year, one in the Spring then this one in the Fall.  In addition to scrumptious fare from the regular […]

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31 Days to Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : Photography

photography

This really seems too easy and simple to do an entire post on  for this series.  It’s a no brainer in my opinion.  Photography helps them to learn some basic ideas that help them in art like perspective.  For Logan, it also works on making him more aware of his surroundings.  Let’s face it.  He […]

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31 Days of Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : Spaceship Earth

epcot

  Spaceship Earth is by far Logan’s favorite ride at Epcot. We have to ride it every single time we enter Epcot.  If there is a line when we first walk in since it’s at the front of the park then he will want to get a time on his DAS card immediately. There aren’t […]

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31 Days of Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : Magical Mouse Schoolhouse

magicalmousebook

Hello from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse! Hi! I’m Jodi Whisenhunt from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, and I’m thrilled to be a Guest of Penny’s here at Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland. If you’ve been following along this month, you may have  noticed Penny’s Write 31 Days challenge topic of combining Walt Disney entertainment with home education. That’s […]

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31 Days of Homeschooling Using Disney Parks: Kingdom Keepers

fpo_kk_i_cover

Kingdom Keepers is a series of books by Ridley Pearson that takes place at Walt Disney World involving Disney characters and attractions.  There are six books in the series , each building on the last one.  Here’s the info on the first:   The Kingdom Keepers – Disney After Dark In this fantastical thriller, five young […]

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31 Days to Homeschooling Using Disney Parks : Disney’s Disability Access Pass : One Year Later

Photo Oct 11, 9 14 57 PM

One year.  It’s been one year since the Disney company changed their policy in regards to special needs.  It’s been a long year.  It didn’t start out that well.  There were lots of bumps in the road.  Some things still need to be worked on.  I really think Disney wants to do what is right […]

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