Sunday, January 25, 2015

Destination Education - Part 2: United Kingdom Pavilion

 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 Kingdom.

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 Toy Soldier sells toys and memorabilia usually associated with the UK, such as; The Beatles, Paddington Bear and The Rolling Stones. There are also traditional wooden toys as well as Disney merchandise.
The Crown and Crest Sells Keep Calm and Carry On merchandise, including, books, shirts, cups and mugs.
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”.

HRC 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.
Sportsman's Shoppe sells football team apparel from Manchester United, Celtic and Liverpool Football Club, footballs and books. This shop also sells Guinness merchandise.
The Tea Caddy sells Twinings Tea, teacups, teapots, and British sweets
UK Cart 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 only.


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.

Also, Amanda 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 Arthur.

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 visit 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 restaurants motto.

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 Pavilion here. Next week we will be talking about the International Gateway and the France Pavilion. I hope you will join us then :)

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