Did you know that the Magic Kingdom is the perfect place to study Early American History? They have Liberty Square, which is an entire section of the park dedicated to the United States of America.
Two ways to leverage learning history at Walt Disney World is to ask open ended questions and create unique scavenger hunts.
Asking American History Questions in Liberty Square
During our visit, instead of pointing out items I want my kids to notice, I ask a lot of questions.
As you enter Liberty Square, there is a large tree with lanterns hanging from it. I ask my kids how many they see (13) and why they think the imagineers hung that many from the tree. Why not just one? We also discuss the importance of hanging lanterns.
Next to the tree is a circle of flags, one for each of the original 13 colonies. At each base is a plaque with the colony name and the date it ratified the constitution.
I have my kids find all of the flags, in the order that they became a colony and then we compare that to the order in which they became states.
Right in the middle of the circle, there is a replica of the Liberty Bell. Sometimes we’ll bring a sketchbook and sit and sketch some of the flags and the Liberty Bell.
A History Scavenger Hunt
One of the highlights of Liberty Square is The Hall of Presidents. This attraction utilizes animatronic technology to tell the story of America’s highest office and the men who have held it.
Personally, I love to use this attraction to design a history scavenger hunt, because inside there is a rotating collection of presidential memorabilia. This encourages my kids to notice details and learn some lesser known facts about our presidents.
- Who had an interest in paleontology? (Thomas Jefferson)
- What is the importance of the date July 2, 1881? (date James A. Garfield was shot)
- Who rose to the rank of brevet major general? (Rutherford B. Hayes)
I make sure to include The Liberty Tree Tavern as well. Yes, not only is this a restaurant, but it is also packed with historical artifacts and replicas.
Why is there a kite in the window? In what invention did a kite play a major role? What else is Benjamin Franklin known for?
Can you find a butter churner? Find what the colonists used to light the night.
In our family, history is learned without textbooks; instead relying heavily on primary sources and interactive activities. That is why Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom is a perfect place for us to learn.
This is just a sample of all that the Magic Kingdom offers in the study of history. There is more to discover in Liberty Square than what I outlined here. Frontierland is a wonderful place to encounter the Wild West. The Carousel of Progress highlights the technological advances during the 20th century.
The more time you spend searching for history, the more you will find.
Have you ever studied history while visiting the Magic Kingdom?
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