Imagineering in a Box – An Overview

With American students now learning from home, Disney and Khan Academy’s “Imagineering in a Box” has come at a perfect time.  Imagineering in a Box is a fantastic at-home learning experience – infused with Disney magic – for the whole family.

Materials:

  • Computer 
  • Pencil
  • Paper – a notebook for each member is preferred
  • If possible, connect your video feed to a TV or large monitor for easier viewing.

Imagineering in a Box is a joint venture between Disney and Khan Academy, which has been offering online educational resources for students since 2008. This free course features over 30 videos with real Imagineers from around the world sharing their skills and passions.   The course also includes 25 exercises that take learners from the development of the story and theme to a land creation, design and materials for the land, to designing attractions and characters for the land. 

With all five members of our family now home indefinitely, we decided to give this experience a try. Overall, two thumbs up from us. The experience offers hours and hours of enjoyment for all ages.  We are a home of 3 children – ranging in ages from 8 years old to 17 years old. All three children enjoyed the experience and were able to participate fully. The exercises have what educators like to describe as “low floor – high ceiling” experiences.  Low Floor –  High Ceiling experiences are those where all students of all ages can be successful, but allows learners to work at different paces and take work to different depths.

The layout that Khan Academy is extremely user friendly and very easy to navigate.   The site is set up into 4 sections: Getting started overview, Three Lessons (Creating worlds, Designing attractions, and Bringing characters to life) and Teacher Resources.  Each lesson begins with video introductions of the task with interviews from real Disney Parks cast members. 

Lesson one starts you on the journey of building your “LAND”. Disney Imagineers walk you through the thought behind theme, story telling, layout, materials, and more.   In this first lesson, Imagineers set the stage for what makes Disney Parks an immersive theme park experience.   

Lesson two begins the creation of attractions. Once again, Disney Imagineers explain the story within the attractions. They walk you through the design of a storyboard – which is the scene by scene breakdown of the story of the attraction.  The lesson continues with creating a good pitch, ride systems, attraction layout and scale models.  

Lesson three is the final segment in the experience. Here, bringing characters to life is the goal.  Disney Imagineers provide their expertise in the thought process behind their character design process.. The lesson continues to costuming, animatronics, and control.

Overall, this adventure through Disney design and wonder is an excellent at home resource for kids young to young-at-heart. The video introductions provide a real life look into the “Disney Way” and offer a behind the scenes look at Disney Imagineering.  The whole experience is a multi-hour journey, so what are you waiting for? Start dreaming your land and bring it to life with the help of some Disney Imagineers.

Ready to get started? Click here: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/hass-storytelling/imagineering-in-a-box

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