Thursday, June 23, 2011

Disneyland Edutainment Part 4 of 10 - Frontierland ~ Reprised

Disneyland Edutainment Part 4 of 10 - Frontierland ~ Reprised

What can you learn from Frontierland!

It’s Teaching Disney Thursday!

As you enter the large gates that are the entryway from the central hub to Frontierland turn around. Why the gates? What were they built to protect people from? What is that walkway doing near the top of the wall? Talk about the US Calvary and the Buffalo Soldiers. What part did they play in the expansion West of America. Now turn back into Frontierland and let’s go explore. Do you see the flag? How many stars does it have? How strange are the wooden sidewalks! They had raised sidewalks to keep people (mostly the ladies with their long dresses) out of the muddy streets. Look at the streets and see the wagon wheel tracks and hoof prints. Talk about how people got around and how cattle drives would go through the town requiring wider streets.

      Stop by the Shooting Arcade and step back into an 1850 or so game! Look into the windows and see some items that would have been sold back then. The Golden Horseshoe has a wonderful show! It is no longer the type of show that would have been seen back then or even a G rated version of the show but it is a fun show. Sometimes it is Laughing Stock, a funny audience participation show with you jokingly being taken back in time. You may get to see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies doing a Bluegrass/comedy show. Both are fun shows. The Golden Horseshoe still looks and feels like a Wild West salon. So belly up to the bar and get some lunch.

Take a ride on the Mark Twain. You can read some of Mark Twain’s short stories before you go and talk about his life and writings. Read Huck Finn and talk about life on the Mississippi River and Paddle Boats. Continue the discussion started on Main Street about transportation. Talk about how important the River Boats were in the development of our country. How did people live and work during that time and on the river?

Ride the Sailing Ship Columbia and go below. See how the sailors lived. How did they sleep, cook and store food. Read a book about pirates and discuss it. What about pirates? What made a man a pirate? What were the social and economic reason for a person becoming a pirate? What did war have to do with someone being called a pirate? Who were some of the well known and lesser know pirates? What is with the lady on the front of the ship?

Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island is a good place to continue talking about Mark Twain, read Huck Finn/Tom Sawyer stories and talk about them, Life on the Mississippi River and Pirates. Also talk a look and the water wheel driven mill and the outside of a fort.

      A ride on the Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes can be a fun way to cool off and get a little exercise. It also gives you another look at transportation of that era and a bit of a look into Indian life. It opens the doors for further discussion and exploration on various subjects such as Davy Crockett, Native American Indians, The Westward Expansion of America and the early dependence on water ways for transportation.

Let’s take a ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Wait!! A rollercoaster is educational? YES! Look around as you wait in line. Do you see all the “old fashion” mining equipment? A lot of the old rusting equipment is really from old mining towns of 1850-1900! Talk about the different equipment and what it may have been used for. Talk about how people would have lived at that time and what was society like. Now let’s ride Big Thunder! Shall we talk about the physics of the rollercoaster? Why do you feel like you are flying at one point and being pushed down at others? What type of coaster is it?

Now let’s mosey on down the Thunder Ranch Trail toward Fantasyland. There is the Big Thunder Ranch with its farm animals/petting zoo. There are all sorts of farm animals there. They even have the Presidential Turkeys there (every other year). Great place to talk about animals we raise on farms. There is the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ with its dinner show as well!

Ok so that is enough of Frontierland and edutainment for today! See ya all later, ya hear?

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