Walt Disney World and School

Walt Disney World is open every day of the year (barring weather emergencies).  School is open, in the US, for most of the year.  Odds are, if you plan a Walt Disney World vacation, there is a good chance that you need to pull your children out of school to attend.  Disney kind of ensures this by making major vacation times (summer, Christmas, Spring Break, President’s Day Weekend) more expensive than other times of the year.  Airlines are to blame as well by charging higher fares around these breaks.  Just from an affordability standpoint, it is easier to pull your children out of school and take them to Disney while school is in session.  Some schools and administrations take a dim view to this.  So here are some strategies to “help your case” if confronted.

Be Pro-Active

Let the administration know as soon as possible about the vacation if your child will be missing an extended period of time.  And be upfront about it.  Let them know what you are doing and perhaps, most importantly,  be upfront about it.  Don’t hide the fact about where you going (and to be honest – your child is going to tell someone at school about your vacation plans).

Ask the school how to handle any missed assignments.  If the school administration proves to be difficult, go directly to your student’s teachers and ask them directly.  The teachers, usually, are more receptive to giving out missed assignments than the administration.

Disney is educational

Disney is so educational that I’ve written a book about it.  Walt Disney World For Teens and Tweens

This book is full of educational ideas for parents to present to teachers and school administrators on how a vacation to Walt Disney World can enrich not subtract from their child’s educational experiences.  There is an educational slant for every attraction at Walt Disney World.  These slants can be used as ideas for extra assignments while on vacation or used to modify existing assignments.  Some of the slants are straightforward like researching more about the animals on the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction.  Some are take simple attractions like Magic Carpets of Aladdin and learning more about the scientific and physics principles that make the attraction spin and how the carpets move up and down.

Get Creative with Arrival/Departure Dates around vacation times

Working as an independant travel planner, I see price trends in areas like airfare.  Around high travel periods, the airfares, obviously, increase.  But they only increase in a travel window of one or two days around the holiday (ex. President’s Day).  The airlines quickly learned that people try to get ahead of the crowds and start their vacations a day or two early.

How do you counter this?  If possible, start your vacation a day or two earlier than the airline expect you to.   If airfares start to increase on a Friday, leave on a Wednesday.  Airlines can only increase fares so many days around a holiday before people start to openly complain.  Take advantage of that.  Yes, your child may miss a couple of days of school.  Most schools will not get upset over a day or two.  Another advantage to this travel strategy, you’ll get home while the school break is still going on and you’ll have a mini “stay-cation” to allow you to recover from your Walt Disney World vacation.


For more ideas on what to skip at the Disney Parks,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

2 thoughts on “Walt Disney World and School”

  1. We have taken our son out of school to take vacations including trips to Walt Disney World. When he was younger, the teachers were very accommodating, but often, the school was not. There was actually a policy that the teachers couldn’t give out assignments prior to us leaving; he had to make it all up when we got back. Later, the school changed the policy to vacations were unexcused and work couldn’t be made up at all. He’s now in an online school so we don’t have to worry about it.

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