Sometimes as a parent you tell your kids to do something that you don’t exactly follow yourself. Of course you know snacking before dinner isn’t the best choice but sometimes the leftover Halloween candy seems to call your name. The problem is you may be too full to enjoy the surprise dinner your husband cooks for you.
The same thing happens to veteran Disney-goers also. As the author of a Disney travel guide for families visiting with young children, I recommend attractions in each park that are appropriate for preschoolers. Innoventions in Epcot is one of those attractions. It’s a great option for young kids who learn best by touching and doing because of its many hands-on exhibits. It’s also one of the attractions my family always means to experience but never quite gets around to when faced with other Epcot greats like Soarin’, Spaceship Earth, Turtle Talk with Crush, and Test Track.
Enter the rain. On our recent trip, rain threatened our plans a few days. We decided to forego Downtown Disney one such day in favor of Epcot. Epcot is a great park to visit in the rain because many pavilions have more than one attraction under the same roof. We headed over to Innoventions and our six and two year-olds happily spent a couple of hours exploring the exhibits. The real treasure, however, was the Great Piggy Bank Adventure by T.Rowe Price.
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure helps teach financial concepts in an interactive way. The fun starts when you choose your financial goal and pick up your very own piggy bank (appropriately shaped like a large pig).My six year-old and I chose the Ultimate Vacation as our goal and my two-year old chose college to the dismay of his teammates (dad and grandma) who were pushing for the Ultimate Vacation. Teams then complete three games (saving, inflation, investing) before the final piggy bank “weigh in” when they discover if they’ve met their financial goal.
In the first game, saving, coins bounce down and guests have to angle levers to guide the coins into saving and spending buckets. It sounds much easier than it! The coins came fast and furious and the saving and spending buckets kept switching positions. We were laughing so hard at our predicament that I don’t think we got off to a very good start.
Once we had a nest egg, we moved on to the second game which showed the effects of inflation on our savings. With large, adult sized joysticks, we had to guide the money through curving channels and try to avoid the inflation stream. The tricky part was working together since all three joysticks seemed to control the same batch of money. As you can probably guess, my six year-old and I had trouble with this one!
Lastly, we had an opportunity to diversify our money into different investments with different rates of return. Once this fast moving game ended, the wolf came and randomly stole some of the investments. This showed the importance of diversification.
We removed our pig from the last game and took him to be weighed. We came close but we didn’t meet our goal. None of us were too disappointed – it gives us a good excuse to go back and try again!
Like many great animated films, this clever attraction can be enjoyed on different levels. Young children will most likely not understand the financial concepts; they will receive the message that finance isn’t dry, boring stuff and that understanding how money grows (and shrinks) is important to achieve goals. The attraction will introduce older children to concepts such as inflation and investing while adults may be reminded to take a closer look at their investments and reevaluate if enough money has been saved for retirement given inflation.
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure in Innoventions was so much fun for our whole family that I regretted not following my own advice to visit Innoventions sooner!
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