Have you ever visited the Disneyland Parks and noticed large groups of students? While I imagine Disneyland to be just about the most exciting place for a field trip, I often wonder what scholarly insight is required for a visit to Disneyland on a class trip? A visit to Disneyland is, for most of us, simply a vacation. However, there are many educational opportunities to be found at the parks as well. In this post I will discuss how, aside from the rides, musicals and parades, there is a lot to gain about our past, present and future from a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth.
The different lands within Disneyland offer a lot of thought to our past, present and future. When you take a trip on the Disneyland Railroads, you travel back in time and find yourself learning about the history of The Grand Canyon. On The Grand Circle Tour you get to revisit different geological periods of The Grand Canyon and see the different species that habituated the land over the years.
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is another excellent way to spend some educational time at Disneyland and learn about an important part of our country’s past. The Animatronic Lincoln is both entertaining and educational, captivating the audience with his incredible story. (It’s also a great way to cool down on a hot day and take a relaxing break.)
Taking a ride on The Mark Twain Riverboat is also sure to help you learn a thing or two. The large 19th century ship takes you on a journey along The Rivers of America, accompanied by the voice of Mark Twain himself, guiding you with his tales of his travels. You can also ride along The Rivers of America in Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes or The Sailing Ship Columbia. All three modes of transportation offer a different view into the old American Frontier.
For another educational endeavor, skip over to Adventure and enjoy a ride on The Jungle Cruise. Here, you will learn about the different animals that live in the jungles of Asia, Africa and South America. You will also be greatly entertained by your riverboat host.
The Animation Academy in Disney’s California Adventure also offers creative learning opportunities for those more interested in the arts and less interested in history. In The Animation Courtyard you can see how different beloved Disney characters were brought to life and even see sketches from the early stages in the animation process. In addition, The Secret of Drawing Workshop allows you to learn the skills in illustrating Disney characters with the help of a professional artist.
Innovations, located in Tomorrowland, is truly like stepping into our future. Here, you can explore different exhibits displaying the latest and greatest in technology. Innovations is constantly changing and improving as we grow in society, so there is always something new to learn. This hands-on area of Tomorrowland allows you to play high-tech games and explore material that hasn’t been released yet. Innoventions is currently closed, making way for an interactive Star Wars exhibit called Star Wars Launch Bay. This future exhibit will probably feature some exciting technology and it wouldn’t be surprising if a form of Innoventions was to come back in the near future.
Overall, it is very easy to see how one could turn a trip to Disneyland into an educational adventure. There is so much to explore, eat, see and do, you are sure to learn something new every time you visit!