The Walt Disney Company’s connection to the United States is strong in its values, such as the Heroes Work Here program for veterans, and even more visible in its theme parks. Disney showcases its red, white and blue pride in its various entertainment offerings at the parks.
Check out seven ways in which Disney parks celebrate America, and then watch a special video edition of Disney In Depth on this theme.
1. 4th of July Fireworks
The popularity of these colorfully patriotic explosions in the sky has convinced Disney to increase its frequency. As part of the Limited Time Magic campaign, each night from July 1 – July 7, the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World has launched 4th of July fireworks. Good deal for those who cannot come to the park on the actual day.
2. The Hall of Presidents
Where else can you find George Washington and Barack Obama in the same room? Well, perhaps at a Madame Tussauds, but at least at The Hall of Presidents they speak for themselves. The audio-animatronic (AA) figures of one of Walt Disney World’s most underrated experiences are life-like works of art. No wonder why 40 years ago some believed they were actors. No joke.
3. The American Adventure
Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin are among Disney’s most advanced AA figures, as Franklin “walks” up a staircase. But that neat trick is not the reason for watching this thrilling 30-minute history lesson. It’s to gain an appreciation of American progress over the course of centuries, albeit overlooking this nation’s unfortunate missteps. Nevertheless, the “Golden Dream” song that concludes the presentation calls for cheering “U.S.A.”
4. Main Street USA Entertainment
Speaking of USA, one legendary avenue honors all that is stars and stripes. Main Street USA holds historic charm of an American long forgotten, the early days of the 20th century when horse-drawn trolleys, soda shops and opera houses existed in harmony. The musical entertainment, including the Dapper Dans a capella group, define the heart of Americana at the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland.
5. Cars Land
“That’s a stretch,” one may contend. “How does this place celebrate America?” But Cars Land, set in Disney California Adventure, celebrates the spirit of Route 66. The Ornament Valley mountain range resembles what one might find in the American West, while the stores and restaurants found in Radiator Springs bring to mind what one could find in a small American town. As Lightning McQueen would say, “Ka-chow!”
6. New Orleans Square Jazz
Bring on the blues and razzmatazz. Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion may be viewed as the major hotspots within Disneyland’s version of the Deep South, but for some, the ambiance makes New Orleans Square stand out in its authenticity. Credit the diverse, multi-talented musicians and dancers who belt out jazz with their signature soulful enthusiasm.
7. Voices of Liberty
The best for last. I have loved the Voices of Liberty ever since I first heard them one decade ago. This American-themed a capella band, who dress to the part in 18th-century attire, sing American favorites – either inside or outside The American Adventure at Epcot. Their collective extravagant tones exude gusto. Who would not want to sit and listen to them for hours? Well, maybe not if “Oh Susanna” is on loop, but the group nicely mixes up the patriotic playbook.
Check out the video edition below:
What aspect of the Disney Parks do you feel is most patriotic? Share your thoughts.
This is Brett Nachman, signing off. Follow me on Twitter for alerts of new editions of Disney In Depth, Thursdays on Geeks of Doom.