Disney is one of those places that you love or hate, and sadly most of the people I know do not like it at all. We LOVE Disney and think it is the most magical place on earth. The girls have earned more and more freedoms at Disney. I constantly talk about the education and learning potential at the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’. Disney Top Life learning lessons teens can learn.
Keep a budget
We give our kids a daily budget on a fun Disney credit card. My hubby and I figure out what we want to spend for the whole trip and give the kids some spending cash. Why do we do give them spending cash? I don’t want the kids asking me every five minutes if I will buy them something. It gives them power over their spending and secretly teaches them math. Finally, it gives the power they desire and they can buy whatever they want but sometimes they still ask if it is ok ( I love that about my kids).
We give them the whole budget at the beginning of our trip. They can use it on snacks, drinks, and if they have any money left over they can buy themselves gifts. The kids earn money in anticipation of our trip and we also add that to the credit card. We actually started this when they were eight and nine and it has worked great. The best life lesson is learning how to order a snack, pay for it and then checking how much money you have left. Mine go so far is getting out their trusty calculator on their phones and figures out their daily budget with what is left.
Keep in mind we have teens and we allow them to go on rides by themselves. Lately, we even give them time to run around the park by themselves. This year they get up to two hours at a time but if they do not call or are not back on the time that is taken away. Both girls have cell phones that they can text and call us. If a ride is held up or they are running late. My oldest downloaded the Disney app which has a map of the park and waits times. She will sit with her sister and figure out how long it takes to walk to a ride, wait time, and adds time for potty. They amaze me at how many rides they can sneak in before their allotted time.
Navigation/ Map Orientation
A great life skill is learning how to read a map, orienting yourself and getting from point A to point B. In this day and age, kids get out there iPhones turn on the GPS, push the Start button and follow the directions. They are both great skills to have and whatever works is fine with me. Mine can actually do both because we let them help plan our travel days. They also know the park better than my husband and I so ost of the time they don’t need a map.
The parks still offer a paper map and is a great way to get the kids started navigating. I used to give the map to the kids, then they had to find out where we were, orient the map and lead us to the next spot. We got lost a lot but with some great parental guidance, we made it there eventually.
Honestly, this makes me laugh but as a homeschooler, you will get asked about this a lot. Everyone needs to know how to deal with the public and Disney is a great place to learn this skill. Waiting in line is terrible but kids learn how to deal with the public, how to deal with that annoying kid. Let your kids tell how many people are in your party, order their own food at a restaurant. My youngest like telling little princess how cute they are and even asks for an autograph, with the parent’s approval.
My kids are great negotiators at getting more time to walk around, or more money to spend. They come by this honestly because their father is a pro at this also. Hubby likes to get down to the root of why they need more time or need that gift. Most of the time he doesn’t give in but when we are at Disney he is a very good mood and the girls take advantage.
Give your kids a voice, they are little adults and sometimes have very good reasons for wanting something. Get them to tell you why they need it, or why they must have it or why it is so important. Don’t give in every time but if they make a good argument and you can afford it, really who is it going to hurt. I like that my kids stand up for themselves and don’t go along with the crowd. We need more children like this who say no, that not right and I am not doing it. Of course, you also need to explain why you won’t or can’t do something. Be honest so they understand.
Here some items to help you get ready for your Disney adventure
- Kindom Keepers (7 Books):
We love these books and along with a great story the author tells a lot of hidden secrets about Disney World http://amzn.to/2bu4XkF
- Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch
- Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real http://amzn.to/2bZQ9XA
- Disney Classroom DVD Editions: Learn about Levers and pulleys, Fluids, Design Models, Gravity. We have watched these in the past. The kids loved the Disney part and fun activities you can do at the end. http://amzn.to/2bxBKzu
These are just to help you on Your Next Trip
- Crowd Calendar: http://www.easywdw.com/easy/crowd-calendars/
- Tips for Disney World: http://mousehints.com
2017-2018 Disney World Crowd Calendar
This Disney World Crowd Calendar by Disney by Age can help you plan your trip for the best time. They use part art, part science, and a lot of experience to combine things like wait times, resort capacity, and restaurant availability into an anticipated crowd level for each park, every day of the year. It’s organized by school year to make planning for families simpler.