Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Disneyland Edutainment Part 6 – Critter Country

This is a happy, fun and small area. There are only two rides in Critter Country. There is Splash Mountain and Winnie the Pooh. But there is still opportunity to learn!

Spend some time before you go to read some of the original Winnie the Pooh stories and watch some movies. Then stop in and visit him! Get your picture taken with him in the 100 acre wood area. Go ride the ride and enjoy the laugh. This is really a great thing to encourage an early reader to get bug to read.

Read the Brier Rabbit stories and if you can find it watch the wonderful movie Song of the South. Talk about the values those stories share. If you are lucky enough see the movie talk about the culture right after the Civil War and how people were learning to accept Black-Americans as free. Talk about how different it is today. Did you know that the actor that played Uncle Remus was nominated for an Oscar back in 1946? How amazing that before the civil rights act a Black American could achieve that! Ride Splash Mountain and see what parts of the stories they kept. Why is Uncle Remus not in the ride? Of course you can add in talking about the science of the ride. How do they know you will not fly out of the seat on the drop?

As you walk into the area you will notice a change from the New Orleans area as you pass the Haunted Mansion. There is much more greenery and fewer buildings. There is lots of wood and you get an old wild west feel but as the it might have been before people came. There are several stores made to look like log cabins that fit into the area and blend in well. This gives you a chance to talk once again about the expansion west. What would it have been like to be one of the first people to come into the area? What was the wildlife like? How did people survive?

Take a rest in the Hungry Bear Café and enjoy a break. Look around and see the wonderful wood carvings! Talk about the craftsmanship and how they do it. Sit and watch the traffic on the river and discuss life on the Mississippi and other great American Rivers. Again go back and discuss Mark Twain, Davy Crockett and other great American heroes of the past.

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