Patriotism in Walt Disney World

SONY DSCPeople who are heavily involved in the Disney fan sphere will know that Walt Disney himself was a huge fan of patriotism and his company today is no different. Patriotism is celebrated all year long through various attractions and events throughout the parks of the Walt Disney World Resort. I would argue that there is two¬†attractions that falls under the category of Americana more so than true patriotism but as they still pay homage to America as a nation, I will include them in my list of patriotic attractions but they will be the bottom two. So here’s a list of all the patriotic events that you could attend as a guest to make it a truly American fourth of July celebration at the Walt Disney World Parks.

8. The Muppet’s 3-D Show- Ok so not the most patriotic thing you could do, but it does have to quote Sam Eagle “A salute to all nations but mostly America…” at the end of the show. It’s a cute show to see with the little ones or with any Disney fan really who loves our beloved Muppets.

7. Main Street Electrical Parade- The Americana part of this comes at the end with what I aptly call the “Bacon” float. It might be the most obnoxious piece of Americana in the parks, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to watch. It has a bacon shaped huge flag with a gigantic bald eagle on the back and fireworks coming up off of the flag. My only issue (besides its in your face ‘Merica vibe) is the color of the jackets of the soldiers leading the float…they are RED! Anyone remember the phrase “The red-coats are coming” … the ones who wore the red coats, if you remember your Revolutionary War history, were the British…not the Americans. Why are the British leading the American flag down the parade route. I have asked a number of Cast Members and no one seems to be able to tell me…but if anyone has an answer please leave it in the comments!

6. Hall of Presidents- Really Liberty Square in general but the specific attraction is the most patriotic. It’s a beautiful (not often visited) attraction that pays homage to the Presidents of the United States from George Washington to Barack Obama. It’s a great historical attraction and I always enjoy myself when I go. It’s a great show to go to if only for the air conditioning. Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom is great to begin with because it feels like you are walking through colonial America. While you are there, grab a bite to eat at the Liberty Tree Tavern. It’s like eating Thanksgiving every day and the rooms are specific to some of the Founding Fathers of America.

5. Carousel of Progress- Not every attraction that I consider patriotic screams red, white and blue. Besides being one of my favorite Disney attractions, this one takes the guests on a journey through American technological progress from the 1890s to the future (of the 1980s). It’s very American Dream centered and follows a typical American family through the nation’s progress.

4. Fourth of July Fireworks- Now, WDW puts on a fireworks show every night, so their Fourth of July fireworks spectacular has to be above and beyond the usual. There are 360 degree fireworks all around Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon on the 3rd and 4th of July and they are nothing short of amazing. The only other time that they do fireworks of this magnitude is on New Years Eve.

3. Main Street USA- Stop, look around, listen to the Dapper Dans and the Main Street Philharmonic. Eat some popcorn and cotton candy and a hot dog from Casey’s Corner. It’s called Main Street USA after all, it’s the America we all wish we lived in and Walt’s dream brought it to life for us.

2. The American Adventure- If you are prepared to sit through a very long show (which is well worth it), head to the America pavilion in the Epcot World Showcase. It’s an incredible show hosted by Samuel Clemens and Benjamin Franklin. It takes the audience on a trip through American history, through the Civil War, 9/11 and everything in-between. The music is so beautiful and the audio animatronics are incredible. It’s worth every moment and you may very well cry. If the Voices of Liberty are in the hall where the attraction is housed, definitely stop and listen to them, they are so beautiful to listen to. To me, the American Adventure is what patriotism should be and the Main Street Parade is what patriotism is ūüė¶

1. Flag Retreat- Flag retreat happens in Town Square on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom every day at 5pm. The flag is lowered in a beautiful ceremony full of genuine patriotism and reverence. There is an honorary veteran of the day who is chosen to help with the ceremony and he is presented with a certificate, a special flag pin and a photo with the flag after it is lowered. The Main Street Philharmonic play God Bless America and the Star Spangled Banner and the Dapper Dans sing. There is usually a small child chosen to say the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s a beautifully executed ceremony every day but there is usually a little something extra added by the Voices of Liberty and sometimes military personnel on Memorial Day and Independence Day. Fun fact–the other flags on Main Street USA are not legitimate flags, they are missing either a star or a stripe and serve to cover the lightning rods atop all of Main Street USA, hence why they are not lowered daily.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the patriotic vibe throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. Thanks for reading and keep sifting through shelves!

 

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This Hipster Historian’s Opinion on July 4th and America’s Obsession with It

Ok so…July 4th is always called the Birthday of our Country in America…as a woman who majored in early American history I beg to differ.

We will keep with the birthday analogy for the sake of the argument.

First of all…the Continental Congress voted on separation and freedom from England on July 2nd. It was on July 4th (which is why the document is dated July 4th) that the final version of the wording was agreed upon in Congress. If John Adams were alive today (after FREAKING OUT) he would tell you that independence day was yesterday. Most of the signers did not sign until August of 1776 but the Declaration was read to the public in Independence Square on July 8 of ’76. ¬† We shall name the Continental Congress meeting in 1774 the sexual consent if you will. Ok…and…we will call the unanimous vote on July 2 the pregnancy test and YAY it’s positive! The colonies are pregnant with a country! We will call July 8 the announcement to the general public, the family if you will. Friends in the colonies take it fairly well…while the parents in England are a bit upset about the whole ordeal. Though it’s a bit early in the pregnancy to be telling people, the colonies of America have said to the world “We are pregnant with a country that we hope will be free from England!”

It’s a rough pregnancy, tarring and feathering (It’s almost like I watched the John Adams tv show), and nasty correspondence back and forth with the mother country telling this teenager that she’s too rebellious and young to have a country of her own! (And in all fairness, the Articles of Confederation were the early American history equivalent of Teen Mom).

Finally…after a Massacre in Boston, ¬†some beat downs by the British and a lot of tea in Boston Harbor…America’s water broke at the battle of Saratoga when the colonies finally began to push out this nation of their own. The colonies pushed (hehe) through Valley Forge with the help of Doctor (ok not really but just go with the analogy) George Washington. When we finally won our infant of a nation, the British weren’t even really in the delivery room. (Cornwallis did not attend the surrender at Yorktown). This will forever be why I don’t think July 4 should really be America’s birthday. October 19, 1781…the day the British surrendered to America should really be the day for that… I’m not going to say that my argument is perfect… far from it as I wrote this post rather quickly and the dates of some events through a bit of a wrench into my story but…my birthday was yesterday…that day I was actually born and breathing in the world…not the day that my mom took a pregnancy test…

If you read the link I’m going to post…the founding fathers almost forgot about the 1 year anniversary of the Declaration…

http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2014/07/when-is-the-real-independence-day-july-2-or-july-4/