As parents, we will all be faced with the potentially gut-wrenching decision of whether to take our kids out of school for our Walt Disney World vacations or go during school breaks. Kelly (aka Disney Guru) recently tackled the subject and looked at different considerations that factor into this decision. One was the educational benefits of a Walt Disney World trip. This got me thinking – there are educational benefits to a Walt Disney World trip before you even leave home.
My son is a Disney World fan (no surprise there) and can spend hours virtually planning Disney World trips for us and family members. Here are some skills he’s learned or has mastered all through Walt Disney World trip planning.
- Phone Conversational Skills. My son frequently calls Grandma and plays travel agent. He will ask her where she would like to stay, dine, etc. and will make suggestions at her request. He will reply to her with availability options and pricing after visiting the Walt Disney World website.
- Computer Skills. He can navigate the Walt Disney World website, MapQuest, and the National Weather Service websites like a pro and visits all three when putting together his vacation packages. He has learned how to use menus, hyperlinks, and the search box.
- Spelling. Successful keyword searches on the Disney World website require spelling skills. He has improved his spelling skills by for different attractions, resorts, restaurants, and transportation options.
- Address Recognition. After typing addresses of Disney World resorts into MapQuest and Google maps, my little guy recognizes that addresses have a street, a “house” number, a city, a state, and a zip code. I have to say I was a little scared impressed when I was asking my husband what the Orlando zip code was and he piped in with the correct answer. The weather website has taught him that city/state pairs have a zip code and that the same city name may be in different states.
- Map Reading Skills. Give my five-year old a Walt Disney World theme park map and he can use the map legend to identify symbols used on the map. On MapQuest, he can identify construction areas based on symbology.
- Numerical Equivalent of the Months. Grandma often asks him to make ADRs (don’t worry, he doesn’t actually make them) and he recognizes that July is the 7th month.
- Appreciation of Cost. He doesn’t actually understand how much $5,000 but he does understand the magnitude. When Grandma asks how much to stay at the Grand Floridian during Christmas week, he knows it’s a lot.
So, when people say there’s nothing educational about Walt Disney World, I beg to differ.
Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers and the co-creator of WDW Fan Zone. When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You can follow her on Twitter @DisneyExplorer or become a fan of Beyond the Attractions on Facebook.
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