Stealth education in Walt Disney World

When you think of Walt Disney World I'm sure education isn't one of the things that pops into your mind. More likely it's Mickey Mouse, fun, and roller-coasters. Walt Disney World is all about the fun holiday that wears you out right? Wrong! Not only is it full of fun things to do but it's also full of ways you can educate your kids without them realising they're learning - stealth education - which is the BEST kind!

An educational holiday

Holidays are all about the fun, you're going on holiday to rest and relax but that doesn't mean it can't be fun to learn. In Walt Disney World you can learn about all kinds of things including the animal world, history, transport, and different countries and their culture - to name just a few. But it's not education as you know it, you're not sitting in a classroom listening to a boring teacher tell you about the animal world. You get to see things first had, you get to interact, and best of all you get to learn while you're having fun.

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. 

Anthony J. D'Angelo

Learn about animals

There are so many ways to learn about animals but one of my favourites is Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom. You take a ride in a safari bus and the driver takes you through the Savannah to see lots of different animals. You'll see animals like hippos, giraffes, even crocodiles. The drivers are always so informative and if you get your children to listen they'll learn a lot - like my boys, who thought it was brilliant when they learned that a group of giraffes is called a Tower. They started making up jokes to do with it and now it's something they know, BP even used it at school as a point of interest when they were learning about animals. 

Zebras and Rhinos gathered in a group during Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World.

There's also The Seas with Nemo and Friends where your children get to ride an attraction and find Nemo then they can learn about sea life. From sharks to stingrays, jellyfish to dolphins, there are all kinds of sea life located in SeaBase and it's so mesmerising walking around looking at the different sea life. 

Learn about the world

Another attraction where you can also learn is Spaceship Earth - another one of my favourites. Take a ride through human history and watch as we progress from simple communications to capture our lunch to the awesome hi-tech life we have today. Learn about how the Venetians came up with the alphabet we use today and mathematics transformed our lives. 

Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, against a blue sky with a misty white cloud.

In Living with the Land you and your kids can learn how things grow and how people are always looking for new ways to live on earth without destroying it. As humans we have a tendency to destroy the habitat around us in order to live our lives but at Disney they are trying to figure out ways to live without doing that. In Living with the Land you get to see how they grow food, and the techniques they use to control pests that doesn't involve using chemicals. I always find this one really interesting as it's always changing.

Learn about countries and culture

In my favourite park, Epcot, you get to learn about different countries and the different cultures of the people that live there. The World Showcase is amazing and I spend most of my time there when I can. I love walking around the different countries - Mexico is my favourite - and seeing the difference when I think of home. Walk through countries like Japan, Mexico, Canada, and Germany, and see things the people of those countries love. Lucky cats in Japan, huge sombreros in Mexico, amazing steak in Canada, and the BEST TOFFEE IN THE WORLD in Germany, there are all kinds of things to see and do in the various countries around the World Showcase. Be sure to stop at each and check them out.

The Japan pavilion in Epcot, Walt Disney World, teaches you about culture.

Learn about transport

Transport is something Walt Disney World do on an epic scale and it's a great opportunity to teach your kids about the different types of transport. From the moment you get off the plane you can use different types of transport - a bus can take you from the airport to your hotel, there are Minnie Vans to take you to the parks, boats everywhere that travel from park to park (including a ferry to take you to Magic Kingdom), Monorails, and they're even building a skyride at the moment. I don't know that I can think of a sort of transport they don't have! 

The monorail in Walt Disney World is a great mode of transportation but you can also hire boats!

The thing I love about the transport is that it's a chance for you, as a parent, to teach your children. You can talk to them about the modes of transport you've used during your holiday and how different they all are. It's a great way to get your kids talking to you and off their phones!

Learn about weather

People from the UK aren't used to any kind of extreme weather - let's face it the worst thing we get here in the UK is a bit of bad wind every now and again. In world terms our weather is pretty uneventful most of the time. But in Florida you get to experience what we would call extreme weather every single day, AND it's fairly consistent during the summer. When we visited this summer we were usually able to predict when it would rain. 

Rain in Epcot, Walt Disney World. The light hits the raindrops on the ground as they bounce off the floor.

In Florida your days start out wonderfully, glorious sunshine and the heat is sometimes unbearable and you're ducking in and out of air conditioned buildings. Then come around 2pm the heavens open and there's a downpour - but not like UK downpour, oh no. You can be soaked in less than 20 seconds in Florida in a proper downpour. The rain can be epic and the storms are insane. During our recent trip we watched lightening strikes dance across the sky, one after the other, for more than an hour. We laughed as the rain poured down and we got soaked. And we talked to our boys about the weather. They learned about thunder and lightening, about the water cycle (some of which they'd already learned in school), and they enjoyed learning!

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. 

Benjamin Franklin

Learn about progress

As adults we know that things rarely stay the same for very long. Our kids though think that everything will always be the same. Walt Disney World is brilliant for making the point that there is always change around the corner and that is not necessarily a bad thing. 

The Hollywood Studios water tower in the form of a bush - seen on the Backlot Tour in Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World.

Over the years we have visited Walt Disney World many times, and for the most part it has stayed the same - until recently. This summer my boys learned about how things change a lot, and sometimes things go away that you always loved. On of our favourite shows, Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba, closed this year - just before we visited. Back in 2015 we had no idea that that would be the last time we'd ever see that show, and unfortunately when the boys found they were rather disappointed. Luckily we did know that they're in the process of creating something brand new so the next time we visit we may get to see something brand new. 

With rides we enjoyed now closed, and new ones opening all the time (hello Toy Story Land!) Walt Disney World right now is the prime example of progress. 

Stealth education in Walt Disney World - here's the ways you and your kids can learn when in Walt Disney World.

Even though you're on holiday you can still educate your kids, and the best bit is they won't realise they're learning! They'll start to repeat things they've heard about the animals, or they'll share that information in school and impress their teachers. 

Using Walt Disney World to provide stealth education to your kids is genius - when are you going to do it?

If you enjoyed this post you'll also enjoy The best rides at Magic Kingdom or if you'd like to learn more about the food in Walt Disney World read The best snacks to try in Walt Disney World.

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To hear more about Walt Disney World - like our favourite places to eat - you can join me as I talk about my favourite place in the world. Do you want more magic in your life? Get it here!