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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

School or Disney? That Is The Question

Since 104 days of summer vacation may not be enough to get in a trip to Disney, not to mention the potential for heat and crowds during that time, some families are faced with the dilemma of taking kids out of school for a trip to the magic.    Oh, what to do?

Well, one option to consider is to take the kids ruing the “off” times, when everyone else is in school while the kids are still part of the pre-school set.  No missing school and getting an opportunity for a Disney vacation with smaller crowds.  Best of the options.

But if your children are older and in school, then your family may have to decide. . . school or Disney?  I will say, the boy has missed some school due to Disney trips, but not many.  Two days at most.  We went in November during a short school break and added on a couple of days in which he missed school.  He did have some “homework” that was completed and turned in.  We saw other families with their “homework” stacks being completed in the airport.

Let us not overlook the potential for learning at the most magical place on earth.  The theme parks are more than just rides, shows, attractions, and characters.  At Animal Kingdom for example, there are Discovery Stations for the kids to learn about the animal world.  These stations are staffed with Cast Members are very interactive.  There are also Cast Members located throughout the various trails to answer questions, share information, and point out details often overlooked by guests.

EPCOT has a whole world to explore, literally.  The Kidcot stations at the World Showcase Pavilions offer a chance to explore a new language both verbally and in writing.  The music, sounds, sights, and tastes of various countries and cultures surround World Showcase Lagoon.  The various films and experiences throughout World Showcase give guests of all ages vivid images, information, and music of the country or region represented in the Pavilion.  The American Adventure Pavilion offers a journey through U.S. History.  After we had watched O’Canada, the Circle Vision Film in the Cananda Pavilion, the boy turned to me and said, “I want to go to Canada.”  I could understand why.  Even today, he can recognize the music from the presentation on our “Four Parks, One World” CD.

EPCOT also offers the Living Seas Pavilion with two stories of encounters with underwater creatures.  Inside the Pavilion, various learning stations are available for guest interaction along with presentations.  Living with the Land Pavilion offers guests an opportunity to learn about recycling Earth’s resources in a movie featuring the gang from The Lion King, and a boat ride featuring information about the land and various ways to grow plants with the Living With The Land attraction.  It is one of our favorite attractions. 

In addition to the opportunities available for all guests, Walt Disney World offers various tours and experiences that can extend the learning.  For example, guests wanting to know more about the animals at Animal Kingdom could reserve the Wild Africa Trek tour for an additional cost.  A family may want to go “Behind the Seeds” for a tour at Living with the Land in EPCOT.  The Living Seas Pavilion also offers interactive experiences with sea creatures.

So, if your family is deliberating with the decision about school or Disney, consider the learning options available at Walt Disney World.  Also, check with your local school about their attendance policy.  Weigh your options and make the best decision for your family.

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