Welcome to week 2 of my series about
incorporating educational topics into your homeschool leading up to
your big Disney World trip. While this series is going to concentrate
on Disney World in Florida, some of the attractions in Disney Land.
Last week we talked about the Canada Pavilion in Epcot. Today
we will be discussing Canada's neighbor to the right – The United
The official name of the UK is the "United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
The name refers to the union of what were once four separate
nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (though most of Ireland
is now independent).
The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland,
Wales and Northern Ireland.
It's unfortunate that most people pay very little
attention to this particular pavilion. With no attractions to speak
of, the UK pavilion's appeal is more about the surroundings. In just
a few hundred steps you can stroll beside an country canal or take a
picture in front of Hampton Court. Pay special attention to the
details put into this pavilion that contribute to its charms: the
half-wood structure on High Street leans a bit, the years of soot
painted on the chimneys to give them an aged look.
|Cute Hidden Mickey in the United Kingdom Pavilion|
The Crown and Crest
Calm and Carry On
merchandise, including, books, shirts, cups and
The Queen's Table sells Belleek pottery from Ireland and various
other brands of fine china as well as native music and books from the
UK, Scottish or Welsh tartans, bagpipes and the Welsh “Love Spoon”.
The Historical Research Center. Sells coats of arms,
swords, tacky merchandise and lets you look at the history of your
last name, insisting on a hard sell.
sells football team apparel from
, footballs and books. This shop also sells Guinness
The Tea Caddy
Tea, teacups, teapots, and British sweets
sells Walt Disney World Trading pins, lanyards,
Minnie and Mickey Mouse Plushes, Shot glasses and UK shirts.
Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room - A full
service restaurant that serves British cuisine. The inside resembles
a British Pub while the outdoor seating is located on a patio
overlooking the lagoon (and one of the best places to see the
Illuminations Fireworks). Be sure to try a Scotch Egg.
Yorkshire County Fish Shop
- A quick service fish and chip
counter restaurant that serves only fish and chips. Outdoor seating
The Paul McKenna Band has joined the entertainment found in the
United Kingdom Pavilion. This 4-piece acoustic folk band performs
outside The Crown and Crest shop several times daily
What We Can Learn from the UK
As last time, I always like to start with a video introduction to the pavilion we are discussing. Once again, iThemePark provides a wonderful Point of View video of the UK Pavilion.
Bennett has a really great unit study to cover the geography and
quick overview of the UK with a lesson for each week. Unlike last
weeks Canada study unit, however, the UK study unit is part of the
“Passport Geography” series – meaning that it comes in either
the Scout level (for grades K-6) or the Explorer level (7-12). She
also offers a combo with both the Scout and Explorer for a discounted
price of $12.95. Some of the spots includes in the unit are
Buckingham Palace , Westminster Abbey, The Giant’s Causeway
, The Roman Baths and Hadrian’s Wall as well as discussions about
William Shakespeare, Queen Victoria, Sir Isaac Newton and King
Now, the fun stuff..
If you have a student who doesn't mind holding
conversations with random people (and if you have free long distance
on your phone), you might want to write down these numbers: Right
-(407)827-9861, Left-(407)827-9862 and Center-(407)827-9863
There are three bright red phone booths in the UK Pavilion and those
are the numbers that ring each one. This would be a fun project to
count down the days til your trip: each day have your student call
one of the phones and ask general questions like what the weather is
like that day and where the person who answered the phone is from.
(Make sure they call while the park is open – you can find the
hours for Epcot online). When you finally get to Disney and visit
Epcot, they will most likely be looking for the phone booth they've
been calling and who knows, maybe the phone will ring for them too.
*Note* Unfortunately, this bit of fun is no longer available. Seems people were calling the phones and telling those who answered that they had won prizes and to visit one of the stores to redeem .. So a few bad apples spoiled this for everyone. Disney has no made it so that no incoming phone calls can go through any of the phones in the parks :(
|My husband on the phone in the UK|
UK lends itself to be more of a literary unit for
homeschooling with a lot of great authors to choose from at any
reading level. For older students you have William Shakespeare,
Agatha Christie, George Orwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, the Bronte Sisters,
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J.K. Rowling and Jane Austen. For younger
children who either can read to themselves or whom enjoy being read
to: C.S Lewis, Beatrix Potter, Lewis Carroll, A. A. Milne, P.L
Travers (who wasn't born in the UK but lived there when she wrote
Mary Poppins), and Roald Dahl.
Unfortunately, the UK Pavilion holds a lot more
possibilities of study for an older student then for the younger
ones. (The younger kids will enjoy the hedge maze more than anything
else in the pavilion). Older students can use this pavilion for a
great study about British Architecture. The buildings in the UK
Pavilion represent different eras and period styles through history.
In total, there are eight architectural styles represented while
walking the streets of the UK Pavilion: Victorian, London, Yorkshire
Manor, Tudor, Georgian, Hyde Park, Regency and Shakespearean. The
Tea Caddy pays homage to the cottage belonging to Anne Hathaway
(William Shakespeare's wife, not the actress). Located in
Stratford-Upon-Avon, the wattle-and-daub cottage was built in the
1500s and was the family home of Miss Hathaway. While the original
had a straw thatched roof, Disney's version has plastic broom straw
in order to adhere to current fire safety codes. Directly next door,
the Queen's Table is housed inside a building with an overhanging 2nd
story. Common in the 1600's when the British were taxed on how much
square footage the footprint of the ground floor equaled, homeowners
would build the second story larger then that of the first story.
This overhang also served a second purpose: since there wasn't
running water in that time, people used chamberpots and emptied them
out the window. The overhang provided safety for pedestrians to avoid
having the chamberpots spilled on them. (Be sure to look at the
stained glass crests in the second story windows – they represent
the four prestigious Universities of the UK- Oxford, Cambridge,
Eton, and Edinburgh – a great research question for kids to find
out before they go.)
|Architecture in the UK Pavilion with Sundial in the middle |
As your passing through the UK Pavilion, you'll pass a
large post in the middle of the walkway. Often overlooked or just
used for a photograph backdrop, this large post serves a purpose. Now
would be a great time to study sundials so that when you make your
way to Epcot and your kids see this large post, they will know
exactly what it is (this particular style is called a vertical
sundial but they will also encounter another style sundial in the
French Pavilion). Older kids can research the worlds largest sundial
(also owned by Disney and is located in Florida).
|Another shot of the Vertical Sundial and the Hampton Court|
One cannot talk about the UK without talking about
music. Most notably: the Beatles. However, teenage and pre-teen girls
will be able to tell you that One Direction is from the UK as well.
Other notable bands/musicians from the UK include The Who, The
Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Eric Clapton, Pink
Floyd, The Spice Girls, Elton John, and Duran Duran. How did
musicians like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Queen influence music
styles in the United States? What led to the breakup of the Beatles?
(Can you see the plethora of research possibilities here?)
For younger kids, English tea is always a hit. Did you
know that tea does not refer to the drink but instead to a meal and
that there are different ways to have tea? Tea can either be
afternoon tea or high tea. Afternoon tea is typically served around
4pm and usually has much lighter offerings as to not serve the later
meal. This is typically the tea people thing of when they think of
an English tea – having the small finger sandwiches, scones with
cream and fruit spread, pastries and crumpets. Afternoon tea was a
bit of a luxury for the higher class. However, the working class did
not typically have afternoon tea and instead would have high tea (or
just Tea) after they got home from work. High tea was a much more
substantial meal that had more heartier and savory foods like meat
pies or another hot dish, followed by cakes and bread, butter and
jam. Occasionally there would be cold cuts of meat, such as ham
salad. Have fun making some homemade scones in the kitchen (here's
a great recipe from Alton Brown from the Food Network
) and then
this website to learn proper tea etiquette
and host your own Tea
time. Then, when you finally visit Disney, make your way over to the
Grand Floridian Resort and the Garden
View Tea room for Afternoon tea.
There are a lot of fun things for younger kids to see
while your visiting the UK Pavilion. If you took the opportunity to
read (or watch) Mary Poppins, then make your way into the Toy Soldier
shop and head to the back of the store. There you will find a library
with a large coat and umbrella rack with a bundle tied with string
addressed to Mr Banks, 17 Cherry Tree Lane, London.
For those who read Winnie The Pooh, to the right of the
umbrella stand you'll find a small grouping of pictures. One is of
Christopher Robin Milne, son of A.A. Milne who created Winnie the
Pooh. Christopher can be seen holding his beloved bear that inspired
the stories although the bear's name was Edward. Winnie got his name
from Winnipeg, a brown bear at the London Zoo. Below the
photographs you'll find some letters on a shelf waiting to be mailed
off. One of the letters is addressed to Mr. Alexandre Milne (A.A.
Milne) and one is addressed to a Mr Sanders, 100 Acres Woods West.
Students familiar with Winnie the Pooh will recognize the address but
also the name above Pooh's door.
Last but not least, for those teaching your kids Latin,
there's some hidden in plain site in the pavilion. There are three
stained glass windows to the left of the Crown and Crest sign that
represent the three flags of the UK (England, Scotland and Wales).
There are mottos written in Latin on each one: Tria juncta in uno
(Wales: three joined in one which is the motto of the Order of the
Bath), Nemo me impone lacessit (Scotland: Nobody assails me with
impunity, motto of Scotland and the Order of the Thistle) and Honi
soit qui mal y pense (England: Evil be to him who evil thinks, motto
of the Order of the Garter). What are each of these orders? Hint
hint. A fourth latin phrase is written above the Rose and Crown
doorway: Otium Cum Dignitate which means Leisure with dignity, the
Thank you again for joining me for this trip through
the United Kingdom Pavilion. If your just joining with us, you can
get go back and read about the Canada
Next week we will be talking about the
International Gateway and the France Pavilion. I hope you will join
us then :)