How is Disney World educational? This is the question we constantly hear from our family and friends. Let’s not mention the random people we meet who find out we are there with our homeschool group. To most people, they see Disney as just an amusement park. They take their children to get away from school and teachers. We, on the other hand, look at everything Disney has to offer and search out the Imagineers. They have helped us learn about the different attractions, animals, places, and things. It is amazing what you can learn at Disney just by looking at it from a different perspective.
Lets start with my favorite park, Epcot. Epcot is our favorite park because social studies comes alive in the World Showcase. The music of Japan, grace of Chinese acrobats, and the whimsical ride in Norway. You can sample cuisine from, Asia, Mexico, France and Germany. You can walk through ten different countries and one continent Africa, in a span of a few hours. In Africa you can see wood carving from Andrew Mutiso.
Disney puts great detail into everything and magically blends learning and fun into one awesome package. If you want to go for a science-based education stay in the Future world. Learn science with my favorite scientist Bill Nye the Science guy. Play Jeopardy with Elen and learn about energy and dinosaurs, or fly to Mars and back. Learn about our past on Spaceship Earth. You can also learn about the seas with Nemo, the land with Pumba and friends.
The Magic Kingdom
Did you know the Magic Kingdom is also very educational? Though you have to look a little harder to find it. The roller coasters teach kids about kinetic energy, potential energy, motion, gravity, how magnets work, and space. In the Hall of Presidents, you will learn about American History which highlights on all the president from George Washington to Barack Obama. We made our children make a budget, make a change, and let them decide how they wanted to spend their money. Teach math by using wait times, and allow children to use the park map to guide you to the next ride.
Here is a fun game made by Disney to start helping your kids learn about investing, finance, and practical money matter: The Great Bank Adventure
If you want to learn about nature, animals and conservation and do a little more social studies come to Animal Kingdom. This is actually the biggest park (110 acres) and features an African savanna and safari, up-close encounters with animals of all kinds as well as a Conservation Station, where children can learn about conservation efforts being made across the world as well as Disney’s part in those efforts. Grab an animal guide and focus on a few animals or learn about all of them, like habitat, diet, interesting facts, etc. Check out the information boards and ask the Guides (Cast Members) stationed throughout the Trail – be sure to stop and ask them questions about the animals you see, they are an incredible source of information!
Disney Hollywood Studios
Disney Hollywood Studios focuses on the movies, animation, character development art history. Take a lesson at the animation studio character development, the importance of sound, scene design, and how to create a mood with color recognition. Step back into time on the Great Movie adventure a discuss how movies have evolved and seen bits of some of the classics. Talk about how Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster relies on magnets to propel the ride from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. What happens when force to magnets together? Do they push or pull? What I like about this park is it shows kids that a fun hobby can turn into a paying job.