5 Science Things You Didn’t Know About Disney World
Disney World in Florida is mostly known for thrilling rides and spectacular firework displays, but there is actually quite a bit of science education as well. Most of the science-inspired attractions are found in the EPCOT theme park.
Here are 5 science things that you probably didn’t know, and that may help make your next trip more educational:
1. The “Sum of all Thrills” is the world’s first amusement park ride where you can design your own ride. You can ride in a capsule on the end of a giant industrial robot-arm – the same kind of robots used to assemble cars – with a virtual reality in front of your eyes. The pictures are simulated, but the motions are absolutely real. It will even turn up upside down, if you want. It is up to you to make your ride mild or wild, because you actually get to design your own ride. Just as the engineers program the robots to perform all kinds of tasks from assembly to welding in industry, you get to design the program for your own ride. Here is how it works:
You get to pick if you want to simulate a roller coaster, bobsled or jet. Using a multi-touch, object recognition table, you use tools such as rulers and speed dials to design a ride. Corkscrews, inversions and steep hills are recommended. After designing, the information is saved on a special card. The card is then swiped at a “launch station” and your creative work is instantly uploaded to the simulator. Next, you enter the simulator’s seating chamber where a 3-D video hood is placed over your head and upper torso. Now, the fun begins — twists and turns come alive in first-person point of view.
You can read more about it here.
3. The most distinct landmark is the geodesic dome known as “Spaceship Earth”. The architect is Richard Buckminster Fuller, and the ultra-strong carbon nanostructures known as “Buckminster Fullerenes” or “Bucky Balls” are named after him. The discovery of the bucky balls gave Robert Curl, Harold Kroto and Richard Smalley the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996. Perhaps they got their inspiration from Disney World..?
4. “Future World” at EPCOT features technological innovations. You can learn about really exciting things such as microscopy and nanotechnology.
5. The “World Showcase” shares the culture and cuisine of 11 different countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada. Although perhaps not hardcore science, understanding of foreign cultures is important in all scientific work.