Plaza Famila

A Trip to Disney World Can Help Teach History

Disworld 038
Written by Jesse


With summer in full swing, many families may be planning and taking trips. To kids, a vacation means non-stop fun, but parents can use this time to actually help their kids learn. If done right, kids don’t mind because there are some theme parks and resorts that have put a lot into creating an area that is fun, enjoyable, and also educational. For example: kids can learn about marine life at a Sea World location. They could also learn about animals at one of the drive through safaris at a Six Flags. Legoland parks even offer educational programs for schools where students can experience fun, standards-based learning activities.

Disney Parks each offer learning opportunities as well, and no company quite does it like Disney. There are 4 parks at Walt Disney World in central Florida (The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom). While Epcot holds the crown for most educational opportunities, I have compiled some ways to learn about history in Walt Disney World’s flagship park, The Magic Kingdom.


U.S. History:

The obvious one here is The Hall of Presidents. In this show, the drama happens both on screen and on stage, through the use of audio animatronics (or robots in layman’s terms). We get some history, and we are introduced to the likenesses of each and every president. Abe Lincoln will take some time to address the crowd, as well as the current president. Some joke that this is a boring attraction, but it is so well done and can be very interesting for a child if he or she is old enough or interested enough.

Not far from The Hall of Presidents is a restaurant called The Liberty Tree Tavern. Aside from having some deliciously patriotic dishes, your child can learn while exploring the interior of the restaurant. Each room in The Liberty Tree Tavern is themed to a certain important figure in American History. Challenge your kids to investigate and determine what person is the theme for the room you are eating in or other rooms. The kite or the flag may be clues for the Ben Franklin room and Betsy Ross rooms, respectively.


History of technology:

The first thing you do in The Magic Kingdom is walk down Main Street USA. The theme here is turn of the century America. Kids get the chance to see what things like buildings and modes of transportation looked and felt like around that time. You can even see the progression of the gaslight streetlamps to electric lighting as you walk down the street toward the center of the park.

A great place to see and learn about the progression of technology is at The Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland. On this attraction, you see an audio animatronic family’s daily life at multiple points in time. The show starts around the year 1900 as the father shows us how they work, play, travel, and live during this time. The next act is set about 20 years later as we see the improvements that have been made. The show continues as the audience gets an intimate look into how the advancements of technology affect the family’s life.


Have you infused learning into a Disney vacation or any other family vacation before?






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About the author


Jesse has taught in various elementary and high school settings. He writes for Plaza Famila and also designs educational online resources. Jesse is a musician and is passionate about providing instruction in a way that sparks student interest.

  • Tee

    you have sparked my interest..i used to go to disney for the sheer excitement of the rides and to see my kids light up…now i want to go back just so i can be more observant as to how they planned so thoroughly in order to connect the dots of our culture and history….of course while i’m there, if i indeed do go back, i might as well enjoy those famous mountains!  laughin’ place, here i come!  

    • Jesse

      “I never said it was YOUR laughin’ place, Brear Fox… I said it was MINE!”

  • jenna tomaszewski

    I have a years pass to Disney and have done all of the things you mentioned except eat at the tavern. Trying to save money, but couldn’t hurt to look around inside. There’s so much you can learn, its a place for the whole family. They really did a great job.

    • Jesse

      Most of the restaurants are definitely worth a look… weather you eat there or not! The theming is all done so well.