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 precisely what we’ve been doing at Magical Mouse Schoolhouse since 2010!
My friend Carol Beth Scott, owner of the Disney Earmarked travel agency 3D Travel Company, and I created Magical Mouse Schoolhouse as a way to help other homeschoolers do what we were already doing—bring Disney into the classroom. We knew firsthand how educational opportunities hide in the guise of Disney theme parks, attractions, movies, and more, and we wanted to show others how they could indeed learn while they play. Let me give you a little sampling.
You likely know—especially if you’re a regular reader of Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland—that in the heart of Central Florida there exists a World so magical Guests step right into their favorite movies, dance with cartoon Characters, turn with the pages of storybooks and tour exotic lands. It is, in fact, the Most Magical Place on Earth! It is Walt Disney World Resort.
I’d like to invite you into this magical place and let you in on a little secret: When you visit Walt Disney World, you learn.
Did you know…
Tinker Bell, Peter Pan’s mischievous pixie, fluttered off the screen of the 1953 animated feature, Peter Pan, and into the hearts of children and their parents to become one of Disney’s most beloved characters. The ornery little sprite, known for her burning envy of Wendy and her enduring adoration of Peter, is likely most famous for her flight from a castle turret during Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Except during inclement weather or high winds, Tinker Bell has “flown” from Cinderella Castle to Tomorrowland nightly since July 4, 1985. The 750-foot trip takes about thirty-four seconds at a rate of fifteen miles per hour.
You can take the magic home with you and study phosphorescence by measuring the intensity and duration of light produced by glow sticks.
Did you know…
Walt Disney Imagineers designed the rustic village of Epcot’s Norway Pavilion with assistance from architects and historians in Norway to create an authentic Guest experience. A recurring theme of Norwegian folklore focuses on odd fairy-tale creatures called trolls. Some can have up to 9 heads! They are generally unpleasing to the eye, often big, hairy and slow. Don’t worry, though. Any courageous and quick-witted human, they say, could easily outwit a troll. Besides, all of Epcot’s trolls are friendly, and those that might be feisty turn to stone when exposed to sunlight.
You can take the magic home with you and make a troll pencil topper.
Did you know…
Disney’s Hollywood Studios brings the magic of the movies to life. The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! is a 30-minute live show performed in a covered, outdoor theater. The performance showcases the stunt person’s craft and lets Guests in on the action, demonstrating techniques behind the stunning feats seen in the Indiana Jones films.
You can take the magic home with you and craft your own version of the Flying Wing airplane using a plastic soda bottle.
Did you know…
Animal Kingdom Park’s Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain features the largest Audio-Animatronics figure ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering. Standing 18 feet tall, the Yeti brings to life the legend passed down for generations in the mountainous regions of southwestern China, India, Nepal, and Tibet. Although the creature is both mythical and real to them, the Yeti is not to be feared. He is the revered protector of the forest. A few years back, a teenage American boy became the youngest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest and set a goal to scale all seven of the Earth’s highest peaks.
You can take the magic home with you by learning what are those seven tallest mountains are and by building a scale model range of them using Styrofoam craft cones of varying sizes and shapes.
Perhaps next time you visit the Most Magical Place on Earth, you’ll have so much fun learning while you play that you may just think of it as the Most Educational Place on Earth, and you’ll remember how much more value there is to visiting Walt Disney World than just a vacation.
Please stop by the Schoolhouse next time you travel the cyber neighborhood. By the way, you don’t have to homeschool to participate in our activities. We have found that anyone with kids in their lives—or is simply a child at heart—can learn while they play. While you’re visiting, be sure to sign up for our free monthly incentive program, Earn Your E.A.R.S., where your students can earn small gifts for actively participating in their education. And if you’re not on the computer much, you can pick up a hard copy of MAGICAL MOUSE SCHOOLHOUSE: Learn While You Play at Walt Disney World Resort at Amazon.com
Jodi Whisenhunt is a Disney-devoted veteran homeschooling mom of 3, who owns Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, a place where children and their parents can stretch the walls of the home classroom. Think outside the textbook and discover how Disney IS school. Also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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 9 : Kingdom Keepers