Walt Disney World Resort has been one of the best family-friendly vacation spots for years, and while Guests will always enjoy visiting Disney Parks, some of the best aspects may be phased out before you know it.
Part of what makes Walt Disney World such a family-friendly vacation destination is the educational aspect, which can still be found throughout some theme parks.
It’s no secret that Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios have always been considered the most fun Disney Parks due to the higher emphasis on entertainment, attractions, and experiences. EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, however, used to have a higher focus on educational entertainment.
While EPCOT used to focus on advancements in science and technology, the preservation of nature and the environment, and the importance of experiencing new cultures, the Disney Park has been slowly but surely moving away from educational entertainment.
Now, the theme park has earned a reputation for being the best Disney Park to drink at, and the focus has noticeably shifted toward including more IP-themed experiences at the expense of educational ones.
A couple of examples include the Maelstrom attraction (a historical journey celebrating Norwegian folklore and history) being dismantled for Frozen Forever After and Impressions de France (a celebration of French architecture and classical music) being phased out to make way for a Beauty and the Beast sing-along instead.
Throughout it all, there was still hope for Animal Kingdom, which had maintained a healthy mix between education, conservation, and entertainment…but the decision to dismantle DinoLand U.S.A. is a foreboding sign indeed.
DinoLand U.S.A. is a heavily-themed area of Animal Kingdom that perfectly intertwined education and entertainment, keeping kids fascinated with the idea of discovery and science.
This area used to feature attractions, a playground, and an entire dig sight where children could excavate their own dinosaur bones. Now, it’s a ghost town in the process of being dismantled. Few attractions remain, and the educational aspects are hanging by a thread.
As the Walt Disney Company decides to phase educational entertainment out to make room for IP-based entertainment, children visiting the theme parks will lose that spark for knowledge, discovery, and science.
Whether the company realizes it or not, encouragement from Mickey Mouse to study and preserve the world around us meant a lot to families everywhere, and it’s a shame to watch it slip through his gloved fingers.
While the colossal company can make more money focusing on IPs, something truly precious is being lost in the process.