In a few days, my family and I will return home from a magical vacation at Walt Disney World Resort, and while I’d love to stay here forever and a day, my feet are overjoyed that I’ll soon stop walking miles and miles and miles a day. There’s one aspect of a Walt Disney World vacation that just can’t be beat: the transportation system. Let’s revisit this post from last year (with updated photos), and you’ll understand why I appreciate it so much! *Note: More on Animal Kingdom coming Thursday!
|Photo via Disney Parks|
Guests bound for Disney-owned Resort hotels via commercial flights to Orlando International Airport experience VIP treatment before they ever enter the Parks. They can arrange prior to arrival to be treated like royalty with Disney’s Magical Express system. Special luggage tags allow vacationers to check their bags at departure and not have to worry about them again! Guests can bypass baggage claim, enjoy a complimentary ride aboard a comfy motor coach to their Resort, and find their bags magically awaiting them in their Guestroom. And, of course, when it’s time to leave the Kingdom, Guests again check their luggage and board motor coaches for complimentary transportation back to the airport.
Once onsite, Guests have many modes of travel to choose from within the Walt Disney World Transportation System. We drove our own vehicle to get there, but once it was parked, it stayed parked! Most convenient is the bus service. More than 300 buses driven (including 60 new ones recently added to the fleet) by 1,100 full-time and 400 part-time drivers track 20 million miles per year toting Guests to and from the Parks, Resorts, and onsite attractions. The buses go just about everywhere on Disney Property. However, they do not transport Guests from Resort to Resort. To get from one hotel to another, Guests must take a bus to one of the Parks or Downtown Disney and transfer to another bus. Always allow extra time to get where you need to go!
While each Park has its own unique representative attraction, the monorail is Walt Disney World’s wienie. One line services the transportation center, Magic Kingdom, and the Resorts surrounding Seven Seas Lagoon, and a second line runs between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. According to Lou Mongello’s The Walt Disney World Trivia Book Volume Two, if you were to add up all the trips these German engineered trains have made over the 14.7 mile track since 1971, the mileage logged would equate to more than 25 round trips to the moon!
|Photo via Disney Parks|
Ferry boats (or fairy boats?) provide one more option. Since they are limited to waterways, they do not offer access to all entertainment or Resort areas. Guests can, however, take in some scenic relaxation while en route to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, and select Resorts. Boats launch about every 15-30 minutes, but I’ve found them to be one of the quickest rides to catch.
Perhaps the best part of Walt Disney World Transporation is that it’s all available at no extra charge no matter where you stay on Property. Segway tours, horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, surrey bikes, canoes, yachts, and golf carts are some fee-based options offered at various locations around Walt Disney World Resort. I consider them extracurricular!
Study methods of human transportation, beginning as far back in time as possible. How did prehistoric man travel? When was the wheel invented? When was it first used to move people? Detail the progression of vehicular transport over the centuries, from saddled beasts of burden to reined horse-powered buggies to what we drive today and beyond!
Then, build a model car. Purchase a kit from your local hobby or craft store. (The skill level of this project will depend on the skill level of the model you buy.) Your kit should include directions, but you may want to consider the advice below from ehow.com before you begin.
Things You’ll Need:
* Model cars
* Construction materials (varies by model)
Build Model Cars:
1. Read the instructions carefully before you begin to build. Doing so will give you the chance to see what steps are necessary and when, so that you can prepare pieces in advance. You may need to paint and finish certain pieces before gluing them, for example.
2. Leave plastic components on the sprue, which is the plastic backing and wiry connection that holds all of the parts together in the packaging. Doing so will prevent you from losing pieces prior to gluing them.
3. Wash all of the plastic components before you begin to work with them. Resins and oils are used during the molding process, and they are not always completely removed from the plastic once packaged. Those oils can make it difficult for parts to stick as they should.
4. Use a miniature file to file down any flash (bits of plastic left over from the molding). This will give you a flat, rough surface to which the glue can better adhere. This will also make your parts look more natural, as it removes evidence of molding from edges.
5. File, prime and paint interior pieces before gluing them into place. It is very difficult to paint or finish pieces once they are locked into the interior of the car, because it is hard to maneuver paint brushes, files and glue spouts in such a confined space.
6. Follow the directions carefully, even if they seem contrary to the procedure that would make the most sense. Some models, particularly more detailed ones, require that certain pieces be in place to provide support for later stages.
7. Use a lacquer or a glossy finish on your model once you’ve completed construction, or use it on specific parts throughout construction. The glossy finish will give your model a highly waxed look, making it appear like a brand new car.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Art and History
SKILL LEVEL: Varies by model
Add MAGICAL MOUSE SCHOOLHOUSE to your home library!