Where to Get an Entertaining Lesson in American History at Walt Disney World

American History Lesson at Walt Disney World.

Where to Get an Entertaining Lesson in American History at Walt Disney World

Learning About American History Doesn’t Have to Be Boring, Just ask Walt Disney.

When Walt Disney first began to envision what Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) could be like at Walt Disney World, he dreamed of a place where science and discovery worked and lived in together in harmony. He dreamed of building an active community where actual scientists would live and work and interact with guests visiting the park. While his vision never quite became reality following his untimely death, Disney Imagineers did do an admirable job of taking the spirit of Walt’s dream to balance the educational aspects of the park with an interesting and engaging way of entertaining guests.

World Showcase at Epcot strives to fulfill Walt’s dream of bringing people from all over the world together in a magical world of harmony and enlightenment.

But Walt’s penchant for creating engaging and educational attractions started long before Epcot ever opened its doors in 1982. When you visit a few key attractions at Walt Disney World, you can experience how Walt got his message across in an entertaining way — and get a pretty good head start on learning your American history as well.

Three Must-See Attractions at Walt Disney World to Brush Up on Your American History

The American Adventure at Epcot.

The American Adventure at Epcot.

1. The American Adventure

Within the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, An Epic Journey is an engaging theatre show that combines film with Disney animatronics to take you on a whirlwind tour of American history.

With animatronic Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain acting as your hosts, you’ll learn about everything from the Boston Tea Party through to the Civil War and the Great Depression. The performance pays homage to key figures from American history along the way, including Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others. It’s a great way to refresh your history knowledge and it’s also entertaining for younger guests (kids aged eight and up in particular will definitely learn something).

Hall of Presidents Stage at Walt Disney World.

Hall of Presidents Stage at Walt Disney World.

2. The Hall of Presidents

Across the World in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, The Hall of Presidents is a similar type of show that also provides an informative and educational look at American history, through the eyes and lives of the Presidents of the United States.

The interactive animatronic versions of all U.S. Presidents are the real stars of the show here and they are fun to watch as they interact with one another in fairly lifelike ways (even when they’re not in the spotlight). It’s a true orchestra of Imagineering and programming. From a historical perspective, you’ll learn a lot here to, from the origins of the Constitution of the United States of America, through many hard fought wars and periods of unrest, right up to present day America.

Inside the Carousel of Progress at Walt Disney World.

Inside the Carousel of Progress at Walt Disney World.

3. The Carousel of Progress

Over in Tomorrowland in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park is the third leg of the Walt Disney World educational tour of history.

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a classic original attraction and is the only attraction at Walt Disney World over which Walt Disney himself had full creative control. Originally created for the 1965 World’s Fair in New York, the Carousel of Progress carries guests on a unique tour through time to show how a typical American family has benefited from technology innovations over a 100-year period from the turn of the 20th century through to (almost) present day.

There are four “Acts” in total, and while the fourth one is a bit humorous in its current iteration (a vision of the future created in the early 1990s), the first three acts provide entertaining historical insights into many inventions, from gas lamps, to electricity to mass media and more. “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” is the theme song that ties it all together and the Carousel of Progress is a true Disney authentic original.

Your History Awaits You… Without the Wait

All three of these attractions rarely have long lines or wait times and they are definitely worth visiting for anyone who wants to brush up on their history while enjoying and appreciating some classic Disney attractions.

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As a Luxury Travel Blogger and author of The Very Best of Walt Disney World Resort, I blog regularly about Disney vacations of all shapes and sizes.

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Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist