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Creators of Disneyland’s rides, lands and characters offer a sneak peek behind the scenes in online courses

Toni Hetherington, March 31, 2020 6:45PM Kids News

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Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park, California, US. Picture: Disneyland Resort media_cameraMickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park, California, US. Picture: Disneyland Resort

just for fun

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Disney is giving fans a sneak peek behind its famous walls and letting children discover how rollercoasters and rides are made and how its special “lands” are created.

The behind-the-scenes video from the creators of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Elsa and Anna from Frozen plus Snow White and The Lion King shows how the favourite attractions are made and characters created in a free online course.

Kids can learn how rides are made at Disneyland with a free new program online media_cameraKids can learn how rides are made at Disneyland with a free new program online.

Josh Gorin, a creative development executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, revealed his own fascination with Disney when he was a kid inspired the release of 32 videos for families to watch.

“When I was growing up, I would visit the Disney Parks with my family and ask, ‘how did they do that!?’” Mr Gorin said.

“I watched Disney’s behind-the-scenes TV specials and realised that Imagineering was an actual ‘job’ — it inspired what I studied in school and ultimately* led to my current role.”

The videos are part of a collection called Imagineering in a Box, which shows children how artists, designers and engineers work together to create Disney theme parks.

The free program to see behind the scenes at Disneyland has been released as people are told to stay at home media_cameraImagineering in a Box shows children how artists, designers and engineers work together to create Disney theme parks

The program even lets kids design a theme park of their own.

“With so many families at home together right now, we thought this would be an especially useful time to share this program with you. It’s available to all and completely free,” Mr Gorin said.

There are three topic areas:

1. Creating Worlds: which shows how a themed land is made from creating the landscape to the sounds and smells throughout.

2. Designing Attractions: reveals everything that has to be considered when creating a ride, including a rollercoaster simulator* video.

3. Bringing Characters to Life: shows what goes into making the cast members and other characters that live in the different Disney lands.

Disney’s Imagineers know their stuff — they create everything inside the theme park, including items some guests may not even notice.

For example, a specific colour is used to paint “undesirable*” items such as fences and bins so they blend into the background.

There is also a secret lab used to create the menus and restaurants in the park.

Find the online course at khanacademy.org/humanities/hass-storytelling/imagineering-in-a-box

Rides are built using online systems as well as computer programming software media_cameraRides are built using computer programming software.

GLOSSARY

  • ultimately: in the end
  • simulator: equipment that lets you experience something as though it was real
  • undesirable: not desirable, wanted or attractive

EXTRA READING

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Great ideas that started in garages

Gravestone of the real Snow White on display

Exploring Minecraft’s new Australian city

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Name three Disney characters mentioned.
  2. Name two Disney movies mentioned.
  3. What does Josh do?
  4. What is the main idea or point of this story?
  5. Why is fence paint in the story?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Creating Worlds (for Prep-Grade 2)
Watch the first two videos from the online Disney course. The first video is ‘Intro to Creating Worlds’ and the second is ‘Thinking about the story of a land’.

What sort of land would you like to create?

Write or draw your idea for a ‘land’ you would like to see at Disneyland.

Share your idea.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking

2. Designing Attractions (for Grade 3/4)
Watch some of the videos from the Disney course. First watch ‘ Intro to Creating Worlds’. Then go into the Lesson 2 module: Designing attractions and watch ‘Introduction to Attraction design’ and ‘Story within attractions’.

Work with a partner and think about the type of attraction (ride) you’d like to see at an amusement park like Disneyland. When thinking about designing a new ride consider the following points:

  • Which land is it going in?
  • Type of ride system (on wheel, tracks, rails, boat ride, smooth motion, dropping motion, scary or calm etc).
  • Outline of the ride – how does it start, what happens next, how does it end?
  • How many riders?

Outline your ideas to others and give each other feedback.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Design and Technologies, Personal and social, Critical and creative thinking

3. Extension: Designing Attractions (for Grade 5/6)
Watch some of the videos from the online Disney course. First, watch ‘ Intro to Creating Worlds’. Then go into the Lesson 2 module: Designing attractions and watch ‘Introduction to Attraction design’ and ‘Story within attractions’.

Work with a partner and think about the type of attraction (ride) you’d like to see at an amusement park like Disneyland. When thinking about designing a new ride, consider the following points:

Which land is it going in?

Type of ride system (on wheels, tracks, rails, boat ride, smooth motion, dropping motion, scary or calm etc).

Outline of the ride – how does it start, what happens next, how does it end?

How many riders?

Sketch an outline of your ride design

What is the story behind your attraction?

Test out the design for your attraction using the ‘simulator’ available in this course.

Answer the questions below the Ride Simulator activity.

Time: allow 50 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Design and Technologies, Personal and social, Critical and creative thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
Proper Noun Police
A proper noun is a noun that names a particular person, place or thing. It always has a capital letter.

How many proper nouns can you find within this article? Find them all and sort them into the category of name, place, time (date/month).

Can you find any proper nouns included in your writing?

What are they?

Can you sort them into their categories?

HAVE YOUR SAY: What would you like to learn about Disneyland?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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