Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Disneyland Edutainment Part 5 of 10 ~ New Orleans Square ~ Reprised

Disneyland Edutainment Part 5 of 10 ~ New Orleans Square ~ Reprised

What can you learn in New Orleans Square?

It’s Teaching Disney Tuesday!

This is a fun area to play and learn in! Look around and see what types of buildings are around. This is truly how New Orleans looks or at least a cleaned up Disney version of New Orleans. You can sample a few types of foods from that area. Try the Clam Chowder or Gumbo. Stop at the French Market or a Mint Julep (virgin of course). Talk about how the blend of cultures in that area of the United Stated helped form the food choices available there. Look at the second story balconies. Notice how each is different. What type of job do you think the person “living” in there does? Why are the “Apartments” on the second floor and shops on the first? Why are the “Back Streets” so thin? Why are there the double level of stairs in front of the Rivers of America? (They are there to turn back some of the storm surge/waves during storms.)

Listen to the music. Talk about the history of music in general and Jazz in particular. What is unique about Jazz? (It is the only truly American music.) Do you hear things in the Jazz that make you think of other forms of music? Early forms of Rock N Roll came from Jazz. Drop by the French Market and listen to the Royal Street Bachelors sing with Queenie. Street Bands pop up all over New Orleans and you just might get to see Princess Tiana and hear her sing. Get a taste for New Orleans of the 1920-30 and later.

Stop by Pirates of the Caribbean and continue talking about Pirates. Did the pirates only plunder the Caribbean? What was the difference between a privateer and a pirate? Did all the pirates pictured on the wall in the line area really exist? Were there female pirates? Why did they have a carving of a beautiful women on the front of each ship? How did they survive? What did pirates do when they plundered a town?

Stop by the New Orleans Train station and listen. What do you hear while waiting for the train? That click click click is Morse Code. It is Walt Disney’s opening day speech being broadcast via telegraph! Why not just show it on TV or let people listen on the radio? Why not call on the phone and pass on what he was saying? At the time this train station would have existed there were no TV’s, Radios or phones. This is a good way to bring up long distance communication and talk about how it effects our lives and how it must have been before things like the telegraph were invented. Talk about the development of communication from telegraph to the modern internet and cell phone. What was in-between? When did what form of long distance communication come into existence? For example look up when the first FAX machine was created. You will be surprised how long ago that was! While you’re at the Train Station talk about the development of trains and how that effected people and movement around the country and world.

Onto the Haunted Mansion!! How can a just for fun ride be educational?? Again, I say YES it can be educational if you take the time to look and be creative. What is the story that is being told? Try writing a scary story yourself! How do they make the pictures in the Stretching Room stretch?? Continue on and look at the pictures in the line area after the Stretching Room. How do they make them change? What about the two “statues” at the end of the picture room! It is creepy how their eyes follow you as you walk past! I could keep going on but I’ll leave it by saying try to figure out how they do your favorite effect in the mansion. Can you recreate the effect at home? You would be surprised at how actually “low tech” some of the effects are. A lot of them are just standard stage illusions created with placement, smoke and mirrors.

You can stand on the shores of the Rivers of America and talk about the two great ships that sail majestically past you. Are they realistic to the time and area? What was the purpose for these ships? Were they transportation, cargo carriers or recreational? This is another good place to talk about Mark Twain and life on the great Mississippi. Do you think you could have paddled a canoe up and down a river? Would you have liked to work on a Paddle Boat or been a pirate or sailor on a ship like the Sailing Ship Columbia?

What is the history of Louisiana? How did it become part of America? Why is there such a “French” influence there in the buildings, culture, cooking and language?

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