We’re happy to have another Guest blogger visiting today! Please welcome Ken Brown. In his own words, Ken is just an old guy who loves all things Disney. He loves to share his experiences and advice with anyone who wants them through writing for Chip and Company. He focuses on Disney for Seniors, Quick Tips, Best of…, and Top 5/10. Find more of Ken’s writing here.
When this attraction opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (back then called Disney – MGM Studios) there were an awful lot of us who said, “It’s about time!!” A tribute to the man responsible for everything we all enjoy was long overdue and, as is normal for all things Disney, is beautifully done. The attraction consists of an exhibit area and ends with a film which documents Walt Disney’s life. Please don’t make the mistake of ignoring the film; it’s excellent.
The exhibit area is quite large and highlights Disney memorabilia and also has several multimedia displays. The thing I found most fascinating were the displays of the early models of proposed portions of Walt Disney World and even some of the Parks around the world. These models are pictured below. First the Park icons.
Next, Typhoon Lagoon and the Tower of Terror.
Finally, Sleeping Beauty Castle from Disneyland Paris (formerly Euro Disney).
Since these models were early working models they might not look exactly the same as the places and items in the Parks, but they are actually quite close and beautifully done.
The most rewarding part of this attraction, aside from the film, was the way the exhibit area traced the life and business exploits of Walt Disney and his company from a display of his first office to the present day. It is a history lesson that commemorates one of the most imaginative men ever to walk the earth. It also demonstrates how this huge corporation still lives up to the ideals started by Walt Disney, quite remarkable in this day and age.
Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream is both entertaining and educational but may not hold the attention of the younger children. Older grade school children and teens, though, will probably enjoy it, particularly if they have been raised in a Disney-oriented household.
Please make sure you allow time for this attraction so your family can begin to appreciate the genius, vision, and creativity of Walter Elias Disney. As you view the artifacts and other displays you can appreciate the struggles Walt Disney went through to bring his dreams to fruition. Trust me you will not regret your time investment. Once again, please make sure you do not pass up the film.
Thank you so much for being our Guest today, Ken!
Ken’s urgency for visitors to experience this attraction so they may know “the man behind the mouse,” echoes my own sentiment expressed in the 2010 Magical Mouse Schoolhouse in-depth look at Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. I agree wholeheartedly with Ken that no one should skip this attraction. Too often today, children associate the name Disney only with theme parks and entertainment without realizing Walter Elias Disney was a real man with real dreams that he made come to life.
Part of bringing those dreams to life requires building models of them, or prototypes, as those seen above. Modeling helps artists transfer their 2-dimensional drawing to a 3-dimensional world. It helps them figure such things as proportion, scale, color and placement, before construction is ever undertaken.
Walt utilized this prototype concept on the grand scale when planning Walt Disney World Resort, or as he called it, the Florida Project. He wasn’t planning a theme park; he was planning an entire community, one that the world would look to as an example of an achievable sort of Utopian society. The whole community was a prototype: the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. You can read more about Walt’s EPCOT here.
For today’s project, choose one of the Walt Disney World icons featured above (Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, Sorcerer Mickey’s hat, the Tree of Life, or even Typhoon Lagoon’s Miss Tilly Shrimp Boat) or come up with your own design and build your own prototype. Use things you find around your home, like empty shoe boxes, paper towel rolls, Lego blocks and fabric swatches, or purchase additional craft supplies to create your structure. Remember, the purpose of a prototype is to give an idea of what the thing might look like full-scale in real life, so try to create something that could potentially become the next Walt Disney World theme park icon!
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Art / Architecture
SKILL LEVEL: Middle Grades / High School
Think outside the textbook with this veteran homeschooling author & editor, and learn while you play!