Should You Take The Kids Out of School for a Disney World Trip?

You might be thinking that kids get plenty of breaks from school that can be utilized for vacations, but what happens when your work schedule just doesn’t line up with those dates? Do you cut your losses, or plead with the schools to let your little ones miss a few days?

Or if you have time to take off work that lines up with your kiddos’ summertime or holiday breaks, do you grit your teeth and prepare for the higher crowd volume that inevitably accompanies school breaks in Disney World?

Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom
Visiting Disney while school is in session?

All Ears has looked in-depth at this quandary before: Should you take your kids out of school to go to Disney World? Be sure to take the time to read through several opinions and schools of thought on this important question here.

If you do make the call to take your kids out of school for a trip, you might be asked to provide information or assignments relating to what your child learns while in Walt Disney World. Your child’s education is important, so administrators want to know that your vacation will add value to what they are already learning.

How can you fulfill content for every subject? That’s easy! With our simple list of attractions, you should have no issues fulfilling the educational criteria for missing a few days of school with your kiddo.

Magic Kingdom

In Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, it’s not all about fairy tales and thrill rides. There’s plenty of educational material if you know where to look and where to focus.

History/Geography

  • The Hall of Presidents: every president is featured in this classic attraction
  • “it’s a small world”: try to name every country you see portrayed and discuss some of the cultural dress and events portrayed
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: discuss what life might have been like from a pirate’s perspective
  • Splash Mountain: for older kids, discuss the cultural and political history of Song of the South and the origins of the Br’er Rabbit folktale

Science and Technology

  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress: learn about how technology and modern conveniences changed throughout the years

Language Arts/Reading

  • Enchanted Tales with Belle: Go into Belle’s library
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: pages from these classic stories surround you in the waiting area and come to life throughout the attraction. Read Winnie the Pooh stories together before your visit.
  • Swiss Family Treehouse: Teach your kiddos what you might remember about reading this classic
  • Almost every gift shop has a corresponding book for the attractions you visit, so pick one out to let the fun of learning at Disney go home with you

Math

  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: count up points as you work on your angles while aiming

Music and Culture

  • Country Bear Jamboree: Learn about different instruments. Discuss the stereotypes presented in regard to the cultures they’re depicting
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room: Discuss this attraction in regard to the Disney theme parks as a whole. What prompted Walt to create the theme parks when nothing like them had ever existed?
The Laughing Place playground

Physical Education

  • Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station: run around in the splash pad area to cool off
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant: work out in the play area featured in the line
  • Splash Mountain (Laughing Place Playground): around the corner from this attraction is a small play structure

Art

  • You’ll see artwork everywhere you turn, so let your kids point out banners, framed artwork, and print media along with the actual artwork of the scenery
  • Look at concept art for the attractions before your trip, and discuss how the attractions were changed or updated in comparison.

Epcot

Epcot doesn’t have an educational rep for nothin’. This place is chock full of opportunities for learning.

History/Geography

  • Kidcot Fun Stops: interact with people from other countries and ask them how to write your name in their language! For older kids, bring at least one question to ask the cultural representatives from each country.
Kidcot Fun Stop in the World Showcase
  • The American Adventure: American’s history retold with stunning videos and animatronics
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros: see some of Mexico’s stunning artwork, cultural events, and landmarks
  • Impressions de France: learn about French culture and popular places
  • O Canada!: check out all the things this country has to offer
  • Reflections of China: breathtaking imagery of the countryside and more. Learn about the terra cotta soldiers before your trip, and look at the replica in-depth when you’re in the pavilion.
  • Soarin’ Around the World: take flight on your own tour of the globe
  • Morocco Pavilion and American Adventure: visit the small galleries in these two pavilions and discuss the current exhibits.

Science

  • Advance Training Lab: interactive challenges test out your technological skills
  • ImageWorks – The “What If” Labs: interactive experiences to learn about the senses
  • Innoventions: Take part in the educational exhibits offered during your visit.
  • Journey Into Imagination With Figment: a fun way to experience all five senses
  • Living with the Land: everything you need to know about agriculture
  • Mission: SPACE: see what it’s like to be an astronaut
  • Project Tomorrow: another interactive scientific attraction
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends: marine biology

Language Arts/Reading

  • Spaceship Earth: history of writing, communication, the printing press, and more. For older kids, discuss how communication needs have changed and remained the same over the years.

Math

  • Find examples of geometry and shape in the different architecture around you

Music

  • The World Showcase: Visit each country to hear different traditional music styles

Physical Education

  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends: indoor playground area to burn off some steam

Art and Architecture

  • Bijutsu-kan Gallery: check out some modern artwork from Japan
  • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Gallery of Arts and History
  • Mexico Folk Art Gallery
  • Stave Church Gallery
  • Morocco Pavilion: this pavilion was constructed by artisans commissioned by the King of Morocco. Research Moroccan architecture and design elements before your trip, and find real-life examples while you’re walking around the pavilion.

Hollywood Studios

Explore one of the best presentations of the golden age of Hollywood in the world.

History/Geography

  • One Man’s Dream: visit this museum-like attraction to learn about the history of Mr. Walt Disney himself

Science

  • It might be considered more science fiction, but any Star Wars attraction could creatively fill the need for this subject

Language Arts/Reading

  • Discuss the history of Hollywood and film before your trip. When you arrive, look for hidden easter eggs referencing classic films.

Math

  • Toy Story Mania!: count up your points and work on your angles while aiming

Music

  • Rock n Roller Coaster: a good opportunity to discuss popular music and the music industry.
  • Watch some of the amazing shows here to experience some live singing

Physical Education

Imperial March

  • Take a march behind the Storm Troopers (for as far as they’ll let you go)

Art

  • Muppet*Vision 3D: see the difference when you put on your glasses
  • Visit One Man’s Dream to see some vintage artwork and concept plans

Animal Kingdom

This park may rival Epcot for educational opportunities!

History/Geography

  • DINOSAUR: find out more about the different prehistoric ages and the creatures that lived there
  • Expedition Everest: Discuss the history of climbing Mt. Everest, the preparation needed for such a task, and cultures surrounding this location. There could be a good opportunity to discuss the Chinese-Tibetan political situation.

Science

  • Animals are everywhere you turn, and you can learn something about each one
  • The Boneyard: get to digging, and maybe you can find some fossils
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch: While this attraction will be closed for a few months, it will surely re-open with the existing focus on conservation and offer learning opportunities along these lines.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris: see some beautiful African animals up close
  • Na’vi River Journey: talk to your little ones about bioluminescence

Language Arts/Reading

  • There are signs marking each exhibit to tell you about the animals you can see there

Music

Festival of the Lion King
  • There are some great examples of cultural music throughout the entire park to experience and even live street performances
  • Festival of the Lion King: live stage show
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical: live stage show

Physical Education

  • Take a walk along any of the trails throughout the park
  • Festival of the Lion King: so your kiddos won’t break up a sweat from their seats, but you can watch performers doing acrobatic and aerial tricks

Art

  • As with all Disney World parks, there is artwork all around you
  • Talk to your kiddos about the colors you see in nature

Every school is different, so check with the administrators to see what your process will be. Make sure your teachers know what days your child will be absent in advance, so they can prepare the assignments for your child to complete. Some request a note detailing the educational value of your trip. Some might even ask for your child to complete a presentation when they get back. 

Let us know your ideas! What are some educational opportunities you’ve experienced in Walt Disney World with your children? 

Should You Take The Kids Out of School for a Disney World Trip

9 Replies to “Should You Take The Kids Out of School for a Disney World Trip?”

  1. As a mom and my past experience, You should take your kids out of school to go to World Disney world. But you have to keep it in mind after return home, you will help your kids to catch up for school.

  2. I have taken my children out many times to take a family vacation to Disney and NEVER had any regrets. Each time we went was September – the week of Labor Day. Since it was the beginning of school it was mainly review. So they actually only missed 4 school days. Some teachers would give us work to try and work on during vacation and some teachers chose to give when they returned. Since we always drive to Disney – they were able to work on during the long car ride. I to believe life is way to short and the value of family time seems to become less and less. Value this time with your children and no better place than Walt Disney World!!

  3. I took my children out of school for a trip twice– once when they were 5 and 10, and once when they were 10 and 15. Except for a few exceptions (for example, an SAT exam), schoolwork can be made up. Life is too short, and family vacation memories are so precious! DO IT!

  4. You should take your kids out of school to go to WDW. I have done it multiple times and they do not miss anything. September/October/November is a good time to do this but be aware of hurricane season.

  5. It’s great that there are many learning opportunities at Disney, but it infuriates me that any parent should have to plead with a school or otherwise convince some bureaucrat of its value before taking their kids on a vacation. It’s ridiculous how much the educational system, which doesn’t even do its primary job well, devalues family time. In the long run, fostering a good home and family environment will have far more impact than whatever trite nonsense they miss by being out of school for a week.

  6. If you are able to help your child catch up when they return, then go for it but it gets harder as the child gets older. My high school math is not so great!! I’ve taken my kids out and have just asked the teacher for a list of what they missed when i get back. I spend time with them to get them up to speed. Certainly don’t expect the teacher to give them one on one time during recess or lunch to catch them up but you’d be surprised at how many parents do.

  7. Always go to Disney World whe the crowds are the smallest. If that means taking your kids out of school, during a hurricane, or alien invasion, then do it. We have been right before and after hurricanes and right after 9/11 and had the whole place to ourselves each time. Still waiting on the alien invasion.

  8. Sounds like Disney World would provide a better education than our crappy government schools indoctrination centers. Can I just drop my kids off there in September and pick them up again in June for,the next 12 years?

  9. Unless it is final exam time for Grade 11 or Grade 12 students any week away from school should be of little impact to life long learning. As noted in the article, Disney incorporates learning opportunities in all their parks.

    Disney trip’s are expensive for everyone other than the 1% who own 90% of all wealth. The rest of us average middle class and lower class income families will find airfare, hotels and park tickets meals etc very expensive. Going when crowds are smaller allows more opportunities to enjoy more of the parks in a given timeframe. It is a type of dollar cost averaging or getting more bang for your buck.

    The younger the kids are, the less impact on the school year’s learning such a trip will have on them. Ivy League scholarships are not being handed out to kids based on K to 10 grades, possibly even Grade 11, though some start filtering at that point. SAT scores also matter, again not a concern before Grade 12.

    Get out and enjoy life as a family, even during the school year!

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