Education on a Disney Vacation

We all know that taking kids on a vacation will lead to a lot of fun, but sometimes we encounter some education along the way.  Walt Disney said “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” All of us agree with that philosophy that you can learn a lot and still have fun.  Some of us have done this and probably will again but sometimes we have to take our kids out of school for a vacation.  While you have the make this personal decision based on your own situation we are not here to judge either way!  But we do know that when kids miss school they sometimes have to make up that missed time with what they learned while away from school, so I wanted to give some ideas of where your kids could learn while on a Disney vacation.

You will be able to do some first hand research and experiencing and then when you are finished with your vacation your student will be able to do the research that will help them put together a report.


California Adventure Park: Learn about the history of California on the basis of the different lands such as Paradise Pier, Grizzly Peaks, Buena Vista Street or Hollywood Land.  These lands are themed around real places in California.

Disneyland Railroad: Check out the original steam trains and Presidential Train Car the Lilly Belle.

Sleeping Beauty Castle: Enjoy this walk through attraction of the story of Sleeping Beauty.  A fun way to compare would be to read other versions and see how they compare

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln: This attraction has nothing but history in it from the 1964 World’s Fare to the subject itself, Abraham Lincoln.

Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters: If you want something really modern check out this trackless attraction.  How do the cars move?  Where do they get commands?  These are just a couple questions you can find out on this attraction.


Walt Disney World
Animal Kingdom
Wilderness Explorers: Learn all about different animals and explore the entire park with this fun scavenger hunt!

Rafiki’s Planet Watch: You can watch veterinarians at work here, not to mention get up close to a few animals. This is a great opportunity for those kids that are wild about animals.

Kilimanjaro Safari’s: This is another obvious choice, but you can see so many unusual animals that could spark an interest in one and then lead to a fact finding mission about a species.


Hollywood Studios
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular: It will give you a very basic idea of how movies are made.  This is great for young kids since they will love the special effects and they way you feel like you are looking backstage.

World Showcase: This entire part of the park is a learning experience.  Talk to Cast Members from all over the world, try new foods, listen to new music.  The possibilities are endless whether you choose one of many countries to explore.

The Land: Take the Behind the Seeds tour in the Land Pavilion and you can find out some really interesting things about greenhouses, growing crops and even where those plants grown there end up!


The Seas: This pavilion is similar to the Kilimanjaro Safari as you can learn to much about many types of fish or larger sea life.  If you are old enough you can even swim with dolphins!

Spaceship Earth: This classic attraction takes you through communication in world history from caves to computers.  You are sure to learn something new along the way.

Magic Kingdom
Hall of Presidents: Like Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln this is definitely the place to get a presidential history lesson.

The Haunted Mansion: Pepper’s Ghost is the main attraction here, not it isn’t a real ghost but an effect that is used and it is really fascinating.  If your student is one who always wants to know “how do they do that” this is a great subject to study.  You’ll need to ride more than once of course.

People Mover:  Did you know this has a real life application at the George Bush Airport in Houston?  That is the only other place in the world this technology is used for the people mover.

Sword in the Stone: Do you have a kid interested in stories and fairy tales?  This a great place for them to research the stories of King Arthur.  And if you have to rewatch Sword in the Stone that wouldn’t be too bad either.


Swiss Family Robinson and Tom Sawyer’s Island: Again if you have a reader they will love to do a report on either of these stories and how they are portrayed at Walt Disney World.

Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel: This carousel is something special.  Originally called Liberty with an Americana theme it was lovingly restored by the Walt Disney World Company.  Check out the history of carousel and you will have plenty of research fodder to write a paper on!

Adventures by Disney
This entire vacation will be a learning experience, particularly if you are traveling to a foreign country.  So many new things to experience even if you travel on an Adventure by Disney within the United States.  New cultures, foods and experiences will be everything here.  For instance if you travel to Italy you can learn to make pasta, in Germany, pretzels. You will tour castles and historic sites.  Meet amazing local guides who can tell you anything you ever wanted to know about the country you are visiting.

Disney Cruise Line
Like Adventures by Disney this entire experience can be one big learning experience while having so much fun.  In port you can take excursions of the historic, foodie and adventurer types.  Or you can check out local museums, forts, ruins, or cultural centers.


There is plenty of edutainment to be had on any Disney vacation so we hope this article can help get the creative process moving in choosing something to research.  And who know, this may be the start of the next Disney Imagineer career!



Adventures by Disney-Central Florida

Disney recently released a brand new Adventures by Disney itinerary for Central Florida! This is not just visiting Disney parks, but also the Kennedy Space Center, kayak, zip line, and airboat tours.


photo via

This inclusive vacation would be seven days, staying at the Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. It includes 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners. The suggested ages are 8 and up with the minimum age being 6 years old. All transfers are included in the vacation as well.

The first day includes a private dinner at the Chef’s Kitchen at the Contemporary Resort and you will take home a cookbook as a souvenir.

Day two includes a private breakfast at Tony’s Town Square and pre park opening entrance to Magic Kingdom. Then you will take a walking tour of the Magic Kingdom with an Imagineer including a backstage look at the Utilidors! Of course you will get VIP access to Seven Dwarfs mine Train and lunch at the Skipper Canteen. You will also get a reserved spot for the Festival of Fantasy Parade and Wishes Fireworks. There will be plenty of time for exploring the park on your own during the day.

Highlights from day three include breakfast at ‘Ohana, and a visit to Kennedy Space Center. Here you will have a private tour with an astronaut-guide and feel what it is like during a shuttle launch, then lunch with an astronaut. Once back at Disney you will have a VIP preview of Disney Springs.


Day four start early with a private safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, followed by a private breakfast at Tiffin’s. You will then explore the park and learn how the Imagineers planned the park. Next you will go backstage at the Rivers of Light show with VIP seating at this brand new show. A private dinner is also provided at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, with plenty of time during the day to explore the park.

The next day starts with breakfast at Kona Café and a kayak trip down Shingle Creek. Next you will board an airboat on Lake Tohopekaliga, followed by a zipline and horseback adventure and barbeque.



photo via

Day six starts with a grab and go breakfast at Kona Island and an escort to Hollywood Studios for a private ride on the Tower of Terror and Toy Story Midway Mania. After this backstage access will get you from Hollywood Studios to The Seas pavilion inside Epcot. With this you will have a special access viewing from the top of the tank and lunch at the Living Seas VIP lounge. There is also a private behind-the-scenes tour at the American Adventure Pavilion and then a farewell dinner at the American Adventure Rotunda. Finishing off the night with VIP viewing of Illuminations and a dessert party.

The dates for the Adventures by Disney vacation start June 19 and go through the rest of the year. Prices start at $4,699 per child and $4,939 per adult. Some are already sold out, so if you are interested you will want to sign up quickly!

Adventures by Disney (ABD) – Ready to Dream?

Thanks for the great photos!

Thanks for the great photos!

So, how many of you know much about Adventures by Disney? I have found out that not many do and that more should. Traveling around the World to some of the most exotic and interesting places needs to be done with a guide. What company can you think of that would be better at this than Disney? Talk about getting it right!

First, let’s address a few elephants (Dumbo is here?) in the room. One major thing I want to get out-of-the-way is cost. Yes, Adventures by Disney is not cheap. It is not designed to be but similar to Disney Cruise Line you get what you pay for and with ABD that rings true throughout the trip. Compared to other similar trips/guided tours more costs are included in the quote (meals/tickets/etc.) and so less money out-of-pocket going on. The accommodations are first class and there are two guides per trip (which comes in handy when the adults go off wine tasting and the kids go to “nonna’s house” to learn to make pasta. There is a real Italian grandmother ready to teach your kids the fun side of pasta making and you get a few hours to relax and do what you really want to do in Italy – drink some great wine.

Also, there is no Mickey Mouse. This is not the way to avoid character meet and greet

Thanks for the great photos!

Thanks for the great photos!

lines. There are no characters and no rides or attractions. Disney’s professional side comes out and other than getting first class service and attention, there is not a lot of Disney theme park comparisons.

The adventures and experiences are top-notch and the best adventures I have seen out there. So, ever been to the Vatican? I have but not with ABD and so I waited and waited. If you go with Disney you get to go first and no lines. That is what the Disney name (and fee) goes to pay.

Think you want to go to Peru but you do not want to take the kids or do not have kids and really want an adults only trip – no problem Adventures by Disney has ADULTS ONLY trips.

Want to go to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and practice “meditation in motion” with a Tai-

Thanks to for the great photos!

Thanks to for the great photos!

Chi master in a local park? Got it. Want to take a tour through the Central Market in Hoi An’s to get your ingredients before learning to cook a traditional Vietnamese meal? Done. Not so adventurous and prefer a double-decker bus and private tour through London? Check. I could go on and on and continue to blow your mind. Instead I will tell you that you should contact us at and let us talk to you more about it. I can dream right along with you!


Nashville Adventures by Disney

Adventures by Disney has recently added a brand new itinerary for Nashville, Tennessee! Starting in 2015 you can visit Nashville with Disney for a long weekend. It is full of music, food, history, and fun. The 3 night/4 day trip includes accommodations at Gaylord Opryland Resort, transportation around Nashville and some meals.

Nashville ABD

Highlights from the tour include: a concert and backstage tour at the Grand Ole Opry, a performance at Bluebird Café, RCA Studio B visit, a tour of Nashville, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and a visit to the Hermitage.

The dates start June 4th, 2015 and go through October 11th, 2015. There are some adult exclusive tours and the minimum age requirement is 4. Rates start at $2,149 for children and $2,269 for adults based on double occupancy.

If you want more information on this or any of the Adventures by Disney experiences contact us for more information.

Where is Mickey Mouse and What is Adventures By Disney?

ScreenHunter_02 Jun. 25 10.35

Photo courtesy of Adventures by Disney

So like all good Disneyphiles I have been sort of skirting the perimeter of Adventures by Disney. I have yet to find a Disney product that I do not love, but I am a savvy traveler and not easily taken for a scam (or I like to think so as I make my husband wear the fanny pack). So, while learning more about Disney via Disney’s College of Knowledge (yes that is right, folks, I am a graduate of Disney’s College of Knowledge (“CoK”) and it took me a lot less time than the four years my college degree at SMU took and it was all Disney – who could turn this down?) So, moving on as I was taking CoK classes one of the directions was Adventures  by Disney (“ABD”). I had heard about ABD but really knew nothing other than I had heard it was expensive (and it is, but not even close to what I thought it cost because it’s price includes EVERYTHING almost…more on that later) and I knew it took you on tours to some different destinations like Italy.

So, in my mind I am touring around my favorite country in all the world (other than my own) Italy and drinking wine and eating authentic margherita pizza with Mickey, Minnie and maybe a Princess or two. Though that could be fun for some with me I have two modes….Disney and everywhere else. When I am in Italy I want to go on my own, eat where the locals eat, shop where the locals shop, oh and sleep where the Americans sleep. I have self awareness…I want my own bathroom and lots of amenities…sorry.

So, I learned with CoK that ABD had 25 different itineraries (that is a lot of trips!) and they even had some specialty trips that were Adults Only….hmmm now that sounded right to me. But that was still about the extent of my knowledge…so not much clearly.

But, then I was invited to dinner and a presentation at Alba’s Restaurant in Port Chester, NY and the invite was from ABD. I could go, eat some yummy food and learn more about this Adults Only trip to Peru. So, what did I learn – yes there is that and SO MUCH MORE! Holy Schmoly how excited was I to learn about the 5 star treatment, and the tour group that let’s you be your own person (I may or may not like tours) and the 4 or 5 star beautiful hotels and amazing adventures (yes please to making pretzels in Germany!)

So, pricing and a good deal is important to most people. Everyone’s good deal though is different so let me tell you the Top 5 (for me) of what all is included in an Adventure by Disney trip:

1. About 80% of meals (huge perk, food is expensive, just ask my dad about my $13 glass of OJ in England when I was 10 years old that he STILL harasses me about)

2. Luxury accommodations – I could say 5 star but some of the private castles are not even available to anyone else besides you and your group.

3. Internal transportation – so any sort of transportation you need once you are there so trains, flights, bus, whatever…flights to and from are not included so that is a bummer, but okay already over that and moving on to one of the biggest for me:

4. Luggage service – what is that? So basically once you check your luggage at your local airport you NEVER carry it again. I am going to say that again…you NEVER carry your luggage again – umm on this trip, I mean you get when you go on your next trip that is not an Adventures by Disney trip that you have to carry your luggage? Right? Anyway, Disney services will get it at the airport on the other end, they will take it to your room, they will pick it up from your hotel room when you check out and as you change hotels. How great is that?

5. So, ever been to Disney World in June? Want to stand in line at Toy Story Mania for 83 hours? Well, the major must see attractions (think Eiffel Tower) is that line x 10. So, good news my Adventurers…Disney waits in line for no one….well actually you do wait a lot sometimes but not Adventures by Disney. On ABD trips you bypass the lines at popular museum and attractions. Waiting to get in to the Sistine Chapel in Rome is always a long day and even with ABD you have to push through the crowds to get to the front of the line. So, ABD came up with a better solution and you get to visit the Sistine Chapel at night, by yourself, when it is closed. How Disney is that???

Okay, so these are my Top 5 of what is included in the Adventures by Disney trip. From China to Peru and Vietnam to Italy can you think of a better way to spend some time with family and friends – just relaxing because someone else is doing the thinking for you.

So, if you want to join me on a trip to somewhere amazing or you want to go by yourself…either way you let me know and I can make magic happen.