Please welcome a very special Guest today, Heidi from What’s Going on in Heidi’s Head! Heidi is a stay-at-home, work-at-home, homeschooling mom to 3 great kids whose family’s favorite vacation destination is Walt Disney World. She hosts a weekly “Destination Disney” planning link-up. You’ll find Heidi aboard Magical Blogorail Orange, at Your Highway in the Sky, The Disney Moms and at Homeschool Mosaics. So glad to have you, Heidi!
When we visit the World Showcase at Epcot (which is, by the way, one of my all-time favorite parts of Walt Disney World), we almost always go in a clockwise direction—stopping first to visit Mexico and following it up with a visit to Norway. I think that, because we are always so gung-ho at the beginning of our journey, these two countries are among my favorites!
The first thing that draws your attention to the Norway Pavilion is the Stave Church (or Stavekirke). This structure is patterned after the Gol Church in Hallingdal (which was built in 1250). Stave Churches date all the way back to 1015 and were common in every village in Norway. Now few of them remain, but those that do are under national protection.
Norway is a sea-faring society, and that is very obvious in the Pavilion. The cobblestone plaza area that you walk through is patterned after the coastal cities of Oslo, Bergen and Alesund. One of our favorite parts of this Pavilion is Akershus. It serves as home to one of our favorite Character meals on Disney property—the Princess Storybook Dining experience. The “real” Akershus is actually a 14th-century fortress that overlooks Oslo’s harbor.
While all of the architecture in this Pavilion is very true-to-life and based on Norwegian architecture and ornamentation, I find it most interesting that the roof over the Kringla Bakeri og Kafe is covered in real sod! (If you have a chance to go inside for a pastry, you won’t be disappointed!)
Norway is a land full of folklore and mythology. The best place to experience this is on the Maelstrom. In this attraction, you board a Viking ship that travels through time. You’ll sail through rapids and past waterfalls, and you’ll encounter a 3-headed troll. You’ll also get up close and personal with polar bears and ice-floes. After the ride, you can learn more about present-day Norway by viewing a 5-minute film.
If the food and the ride aren’t enough to keep you coming back to the Norway Pavilion, maybe the shopping will be. My family enjoys the shops in Norway and my kids love picking up the swords and doing a bit of sword-fighting (it’s always fun when the Cast Members jump in a play along). They also enjoy trying on the Viking hats and having their picture taken with the giant troll.
Because Norway is made up of a large number of fishermen and farmers, their diet consists of fish (such as salmon, herring, cod, and trout), dairy products, cheeses, and breads. Would you like a diet like this? I am allergic to seafood (and, because my kids know this, they are afraid to try it), but I think it would be a fun exercise to try to eat like the Norwegians for a full day. If you don’t want to do it for a full day, then just try a breakfast of cheese and bread.
Lefse is a traditional Norwegian flatbread. It is made from potato, milk (or cream) and flour. According to Wikipedia, there are several ways to flavor the lefse: “The most common is adding butter to the lefse and rolling it up. In Norway, this is known as ‘lefse-klenning.’ Other options include adding cinnamon and/or sugar, or spreading jelly or lingonberries upon it. Scandinavian-American variations include rolling it with a thin layer of peanut butter and sugar, with butter and white or brown sugar, with butter and corn syrup, or with ham and eggs. Also quite good with beef, and other savory items, it is comparable to a thin tortilla. Lefse is a traditional accompaniment to lutefisk, and the fish is often rolled up in the lefse.” You could do a search online for a lefse recipe to prepare, or you could try these flavor variations on a tortilla.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Social/Cultural Studies
SKILL LEVEL: All
Think outside the textbook with this veteran homeschooling author & editor, and learn while you play!