A debate for a lot of parents is to take your kids out of school or not for a Disney vacation. I can’t answer this question for you but hopefully you will find this insightful. When I first started thinking about a trip in the first week of December, I was ready for a battle with my wife. She was a teacher turned stay at home mom and I thought the teacher in her wouldn’t allow it. I was dead wrong thankfully. It was a great time to go between the weather and the crowds. There are a few down sides to taking your kids out of school to go on a Disney vacation or any vacation. They are missing time from school and they have to make up the work. Then there is the fact you have to tell your child’s teacher so you can get work for days missed and last but not least, the weather. If you take your kids out of school during the elementary years, it’s a little easier than if you have a middle schooler or high schooler. There is only one teacher to get work from oppose to a middle schooler or high schooler. If your kids are older you have to plan your vacation around testing or even sports. When we took our kids out of school a few years ago, telling the teachers wasn’t as big a deal as we thought it would be. One of the kids’ teachers was a big Disney fan, this helped. My older daughter’s teacher was very supportive as well, telling us not to worry and it would be a great educational experience for her.
If you do have a teacher that is concerned about the educational value of a Disney vacation, assure them that the educational aspect of a Disney vacation should not be underrated, after all Disney coined the phrase “Edutainment”. If you follow this site, you may recall the articles “Celebrating the American Spirit in Disney World” or “Liberty Square” you will find many shows, restaurants and items on display teaching us about American history. In addition to history, you can also learn about other cultures in World Showcase. Science and Math are celebrated throughout Future World especially at Innoventions. Your children can learn about energy at the Universe of energy. Or agriculture at the Land pavilion specifically Living with the Land. You can also learn about marine life at The Seas with Nemo. Then there is this theme park called Disney’s Animal Kingdom where you can learn about a wide variety of wildlife, conservation and African culture. To really immerse yourself in the African culture and African wildlife, stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge or Kidani Village. These experiences can give children first-hand knowledge to draw from in their learning at school. All subjects can be touched upon somewhere at Disney World. Mathematics can be everywhere: distance with walking or how far busses travel; time with reservations, how long wait-time might be, or how long it takes to travel to each park; graphs can be made of many different comparisons as well. Children can also keep a journal of their daily experiences to work their writing skills, as well as making something to go back later to remember their fun memories. The educational opportunities are endless on a Disney vacation.
A non education based drawback is the weather. Although the weather can be fantastic in September and October. Parts of November, December, January, February and March can be hit or miss. You may not get that warm tropical weather you were hoping for. The year we took the kids out of school, the weather felt really warm coming from the Northeast. We went swimming the first day and after that it was pants and long sleeves the rest of the week. So be prepared for warm or cold weather.
Now let’s talk about the pros to taking your kids out of school. Unlike the sweltering heat of June, July and August its a lot more bearable and not as daunting to walk around the parks all day during the times kids are typically in school. The crowds will also be a little less since you would be going on a non school break. However, special events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party nights can be busy at the Magic Kingdom, likewise for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Then there is the Food and Wine Festival that can make Epcot very busy during the evenings and weekends in late September, the month of October and first half of November. Marathon weekends are also times to avoid as well. For example, during our first week of December trip, we went to the Magic Kingdom at rope drop (opening) we headed straight for Adventureland and we were the only ones there. I got a great picture of my family at a distance with nobody in sight. During these non peak times the park’s close earlier, which means if you have young kids its a great time to see the night time fireworks shows since all except Epcot’s show are earlier. With your nights not as late, the vacation can be a little more relaxing. Another advantage of taking your kids out of school is there are better deals on vacation packages since they are trying to get more people to visit during the “off” season.
No matter when you are thinking of going to Disney World the key is to plan plan plan even if the crowds are expected to be lower. Please leave a comment on here, like us on Facebook at Disneyhelp or follow us on Twitter @Disneyhelp.
This article is dedicated to Wendy- the rule follower.