When I visited Walt Disney World as a kid, I didn’t realize how much I was actually learning, although I was in fact learning all along. Disney has been masking it’s educational aspects behind fun, magic, and sprinklings of pixie dust for as long as the parks have been around. Walt Disney World provides guests with learning experiences for all ages and all different areas of interest. Most of these learning experiences don’t cost any more than a park ticket. It doesn’t matter which park you choose either because all of the parks will provide you with opportunities to learn.
When you visit Hollywood Studios you will get many opportunities to learn. When you first step through the gates you will begin to learn about old Hollywood and the life of aspiring actors and actresses. Talk to and listen to some of the street performers that frequent Sunset Blvd. They’ll give you some idea of what it was like for them, even let you take part and get a feeling for yourself. If you visit The Great Movie Ride you can learn who some famous actors and actresses are, see what movies they were in, and even some movie props. Outside the ride you can see if you have the same size hand or foot print as your favorites, even the big cheese himself!
If you are really interested in animals and the environment I’d head over to Animal Kingdom. Not only can you see all different animals but also you can ask Cast Members questions about them. You’ll learn about the animal’s habitats, diet, predators, endangerments, and almost anything you can think of. If you head over to Kilimanjaro Safaris you can learn about poachers and the dangers they pose. You can also learn more about the natural habitats in Africa and what animals live there. Animal Kingdom also provides educational insights into different cultures. You can listen to an African drummer in Africa and look at African art. If you head over to Asia you can stop and talk to some Cast Members about where they’re from while they make paper flowers that you can take home with you. You can also learn about the ferocious Yeti who haunts their mountains. Don’t forget about your little archaeologists. Dinoland provides the perfect place for everyone to learn about dinosaurs, fossils, and what an archaeologist does. If you are interested in veterinary practices take a ride on the train to Rafiki’s Conservation Station. Not only may you get a peak at an actual procedure taking place but you will also get to learn about conservation efforts.
Animals not your thing? No problem! Head over to Epcot where there is plenty of learning that can take place for all ages. Take a ride into the past and see what the future has in store on Spaceship Earth. Once you get off the ride you can take a look at some great technology being used in the medical field and other 3D games. If you go into Innovations East you can create your own thrill ride by using math and science. You can also learn how to protect yourself and your home against different storms by learning about the different damages weather do. If you cross the square and go over to Innovations West you can learn have to manage your piggy bank, drive a segway, and learn fire prevention all in hands on activities and games where you’re the star. Epcot provides you with the opportunity to learn about the planet whether by land (The Land Pavilion), by sea (The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends), or even space (Mission Space). You can also learn about cars on Test Track. Head into the World Showcase and you are walking around the world learning the culture, language, customs, and diet of the countries you walk into.
And last but not least, you thought that there was nothing to learn at Magic Kingdom didn’t you? There’s so much to learn there you just never realize it. Go to Adventureland and hop on the Jungle Cruise. You’ll learn some really corny jokes. And on Pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll learn just where all the gold has gone. Right across from it your little pirates can learn just how to be a pirate from Captain Jack Sparrow himself. Head into Frontierland and learn what it was like moving into the old West. Ride a runaway train through a ghost town and abandoned mineshaft. Learn how hard it was to be a sharp shooter at the shooting arcade. Liberty Square will teach you what it was like during colonial times, and you can visit with U.S. presidents past and present. Tomorrowland will teach you about a runaway alien you’re in charge of locating, jokes that even send the scariest monster into a fit of giggles and what it’s like speeding through deep space. Walking down Main Street USA even teaches you what it was like during simpler times with a barber shop quartet singing to you, a major and his wife, and the fire chief parading the streets. You can also meet up with the mouse himself and a few of your favorite princesses and their princes and learn what it’s like to be royalty, or if you like them or not. Magic Kingdom has a vast number of experiences that can be educational.
Of course, I could never forget the land closest to my heart, Fantasyland. You can learn what it was like in a small town in France with Belle, what life is like under the sea with Ariel, how small the world is, what it’s like to believe in yourself and take flight with Dumbo, and having your friends with you on Winnie the Pooh. Never forget what it’s like to be dizzy on the Mad Tea Cups, and always listen to Mickey on Mickey’s Philharmagic. Remember what it’s like riding a horse on Cinderella’s Royal Carousel, and never forget to never grow up with Peter Pan. The most important thing you can learn from Fantasyland and all the parks at Walt Disney World though is how to be a kid again.
Whether you are two or ninety-two Disney provides the opportunity to bring out that kid in you and enjoy your vacation without the worry. So whether you are looking for the educational aspects of your vacation or just pleasantly surprised when they pop up Disney can teach you something.
As always my friends have faith, trust, and Disney will shower you in pixie dust!
Jess was born and raised on Long Island, New York but once college began so did her adventures. She’s lived in Florida, Wisconsin, and now South Carolina. Her family is part of the Disney Vacation Club and has been visiting since she was a little girl, and continuously goes every year. Besides being a big Disney fan she has also been a Disney Cast Member working in Magic Kingdom, and she counts it as one of the most magical experiences. She worked with everyone’s favorite elephant Dumbo, Cinderella’s Carousel, and Mickey’s Philharmagic. Jess has also visited Disneyland, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and gone on two Disney Cruises. She has so many great memories from Disney besides running half marathons and 5ks, birthday parties, and family reunions. If asked where she would want to go it is almost always Disney, and when asked why, it is almost always because she can eat awesome gluten free food! And it doesn’t hurt that there is always faith, trust, and pixie dust with magic in the air!