Posted by: Lea | December 29, 2010

What I Learned in 2010…

Hard to believe that 2010 is almost over. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that we were ringing in the New Year! And what a year it has been! It’s been a really good year in so many ways. And along the way, a lot of lessons have been learned. Here are the highlights of what I have learned in 2010…

1) True friends are not only friends that you have known for years. There not just the people who you see on a semi-regular basis for lunch or dinner. True friends are the ones who are there for you no matter what. They can be there via text message, Facebook, telephone, or Twitter. But you know that they are there if you need them. I have been very fortunate this year to find some new true friends- friends who I know I can count on through thick and thin. I may not get to see them that often, but I know they are always with me. As one of those friends once said, they are my pocket friends.

2) My kids are growing up. I know this one should be an obvious one, but wow, did I realize this fact this year. My daughter is 8 going on 16. She is starting to keep things from me and starting to be a little devious (nothing harmful, just about friends and boys). She is learning about cliques and learning about who her real friends are. She is learning that school won’t always come easy to her and that she actually needs to work. I’m learning that I need to let go a little bit. While she’ll always be my baby, she’s not quite my little girl anymore. The nice thing is she still needs her Mommy. I am just figuring out when to be there as Mommy and when to let her learn on her own. And my son is now 4 and is getting ready to enter Kindergarten in 2011. He’s still my little baby though, even though he’s in Pre-K and learning so much every day. Each day he comes home and tells me something else he has learned. He’s so smart. And I am so lucky to have him.

3) Change is good. In June, I left my job at Staples for a new position at Grainger. And I couldn’t be happier. I no longer have a micromanager. I have a boss who lets me work the way that I need to work in order to be successful. He’s there when I need him and he’s not there when I don’t need him. And you know what? I have grown my  territory each month I have been there and am forecasting for an excellent 2011 (depending on how nice the company is to me when they set my goal). I tend to get content where I am and not want to rock the boat. But now I know that sometimes you gotta take that chance because it pays off. And Staples would NOT have given me what I wanted- I had been unhappy there for a long time.

4) I love Disney. Yes, this may seem like I’m stating the obvious and it wasn’t really a learned lesson. But I disagree. I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Walt Disney World 4 times this year- once solo, once with my mom and my kids, once with my husband and once alone with my kids. Each trip was something special in its own right. I loved being able to take the Keys to the Kingdom tour and learn all about the intricacies of Main Street. What I have always loved about Disney are the details. I loved sharing Disney with my mom, who definitely doesn’t understand my fascination, but she was willing to go and share the experience. Being alone with my husband (and many friends) there was another wonderful and yet different experience. I was actually able to ride Soarin’ with him! Usually, we have to do Child Swap! And taking the kids was an extraordinary experience. Yes, we’ve all been there together before, but this time it was just me and them. We were able to bond and talk in a way we don’t usually do. Disney also brought several important people into my life (and you know who you are). So for many reasons, I learned how very much I love Disney.

5) I have to remember to give my relationship with my husband priority. Too often, he gets pushed aside because I have to take care of the kids. And that’s not fair. He is 1/2 of the reason that the kids are even here, and he deserves my attention, too. Now, I learned this late in the year (like this month), but I have realized how critical it is that we get our alone time together. It’s OK if the kids aren’t always with us. And not only is it OK, it’s necessary. We need to be able to connect and talk about things other than the kids. We need to talk uninterrupted by kids screaming and needing my attention. I love my husband, and I remember vividly the fun times we had before the kids came. We still have fun when we’re together, and we need to do it more. He makes me laugh. He makes me smile. And he makes me feel secure. So for 2011, it’s time to refocus on us. And I know the kids will be fine.

As we enter 2011, I am going into it with the usual resolutions- eat better, exercise more and lose weight. But I am also going into it knowing how lucky I am. I have wonderful friends, wonderful children and a wonderful husband. And I couldn’t ask for more.

Posted by: Lea | December 22, 2010

Disney in December!

 So I’m late in getting this written and posted, but blame the holidays! At the beginning of the month, I was fotunate enough to be able to take a 5-day, 4-night trip to Walt Disney World with my children, 8-year old, Riley, and 4-year old, Jack. Unfortunately, my hubby couldn’t come with me, so it was just the kids and me! Along with some wonderful friends!

We arrived on Friday December 3rd and headed over to ICE at the Gaylord Palms Resort. It was cool (excuse the pun).

The kids at ICE

 We had a great time seeing “The Night Before Christmas” on ice, and the kids loved going down the ice slide. We couldn’t stay in there for that long because it was definitely COLD (9 degrees). From there, we headed over to go meet some wonderful friends at Beaches

Kitchen Sink Sundae

and Cream and the Beach Club Resort. Jim, Tracey, Tyler and Kim got there, and we decided to do it…to order the KITCHEN SINK SUNDAE- 8 BIG scoops of ice cream, a whole can of whipped cream, a ton of cherries and every topping under the sun. It was delicious! From there, we said good night and headed over to All-Star Music to check-in! We were in the Broadway section. The kids loved the hotel!

Wonderful Friends at Epcot

The next morning, we got up bright and early to meet some more friends (Rob, Jenn, Trey and Jon and Jen, Mike and Matthew) for breakfast and then head over to Epcot for Rope Drop. We had a great time that day! We rode Soarin’ (thank you again, Tracey, for doing Parent Swap), Riley rode Test Track, Jack got to ride Livin’ With the Land, and we explored the pavilions in World Showcase! That night, we headed to Paradiso 37 at Downtown Disney for a big group dinner with TONS OF WONDERFUL PEOPLE. Then, it was a group shopping experience at D-Street!

Riley and Me

Sunday was Magic Kingdom Day! We woke up to make it over to the 8:00 am (yes, 8:00) Rope Drop. Proud to say that we made it! We got into the park, and while the others headed to Space Mountain, we headed into Adventureland so Jack could ride Pirates. It was empty. I had never seen Adventureland without anyone else in it. By the time we got to Pirates, there was one other family on the boat with us, but no one else. It was great. Then we met up with everyone for a spin on Buzz

Jack and Shaene

Lightyear. We had a fun day! And Jack was happy he got to drive the cars with Shaene, his eternal buddy!

THe Kids and John

In the early afternoon, the kids and I headed over to Animal Kingdom Lodge to go to the Innermouse meet. It was fantastic to see all my friends and meet so many other people. Jack played Bear with John and Riley searched for Hidden Mickeys with Brandon. She got to meet Steve Barrett, the author of the Hidden Mickey books, and we even won a prize!

After the meet, it was time to head back to the Magic Kingdom for MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY! We got there early and rode a few rides and then headed to dinner to meet with the DeMarcos and the Whitneys. What a fantastic night! We had cookies, hot chocolate, did a nighttime Big Thunder ride, saw beautiful fireworks and a fun parade! Of course, Jack slept through a lot of it, but what a great night! And it was topped off by the “snow” on Main Street!

Some great friends at DHS

Monday, we headed over to Wildnerness Lodge for Whispering Canyon. Note to all: don’t eat there if you are in a hurry. Again, it was a looong but fun breakfast. We devoured the skillet, the kids rode the ponies, and we had a great time laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Thanks to the Meyerings, the Aguillons and the Whitneys for a fun meal! Then it was back to Epcot for a few hours and then over to Disney’s Hollywood

Sleigh Ride

Studios! We wanted to make sure we didn’t miss the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. As usual, it was beautiful. After DHS, we headed over to Ft. Wilderness to go on a sleigh ride. We had never done that before, and it was great. We bundled up under blankets and let the horse guide us through the amazingly decorated campgrounds of Ft. Wilderness.

The next morning, it was time to get ready to go. We left All-Star Sports

Nicole and Me

(where we had stayed for our last night), and we drove to the Polynesian to meet Nicole for Tonga Toast! After that, we did the monorail loop to see all of the holiday decorations and then headed back to the Poly for a quick meet-up with my #Pea, Rora. I only got to spend 10 minutes with her, but it was totally better than nothing.

After we said bye to Rora, it was back to MCO to catch our flight home so we could go see Ryan! We missed him! As

Me and my #pea, Rora!

usual, we had a great time, but Disney is not Disney to us without him!

This trip was a wonderful, last-minute trip. It gave me the chance to spend some quality time with my children, and the three of us really bonded. They were well-behaved (thank you, Santa, for the early present), and they had a great time playing with all of the other children. The weather was freezing, but we bundled up and made it through! I loved seeing my fantastic friends! And they without a doubt, made the trip so much easier for me! I couldn’t have done it without them!

Til Next Time...

Posted by: Lea | November 17, 2010

Reflections of the Past Year

So tomorrow I turn 35. I am officially in my mid-30’s (although Ryan says I hit that at 34). I now have to check the box on forms that say 35-44. I am now going to be closer to 40 than 30. Wow.

The good news is I don’t feel 35. I don’t know what age I DO feel, but I feel pretty good “for my age”. With my birthday coming up, I’ve been thinking about the past year. The changes that have been made, for both the good and the bad, and how those changes have impacted me.

I began the past year at my most favorite place in the world- if you had to ask you obviously don’t know me that well. Yes, I celebrated my 34th birthday at Walt Disney World. Little did I know how much WDW would play into the next year. I had been on Twitter for a little bit by this point. I started it for my Disney travel business. I at first used it as a place to convey discounts, events and get the word out about my travel planning services. However, over the past year, it has turned into a social lifeline for me. I have met some AMAZING people through Twitter and through our mutual love of all things Disney.

I was fortunate enough to meet many of these people starting with that trip to Walt Disney World last November. Then I met more at WDW  in February. I met a bunch more in August on that WDW trip. I went to Philadelphia in September to see these friends again and met more friends.  And then I met EVERYONE at #epicOctober. Most recently, one of these friends came to San Antonio to visit me. And then of course, there were numerous tweetups with the other Texans in the group throughout the past year. These people have become more than just my “Disney friends”. They are true friends. Do we get along all the time? Nope. Does it matter? Nope. Because of the fact that they have become like family to me. I talk to them all the time, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. And contrary to many people’s beliefs, we don’t sit around and talk Disney all the time. We have conversations about kids, life, TV shows, and yes, Disney. We have become more than just people on Twitter. All of them have a very special place in my life and heart, and I am so glad that this past year has brought them into my life.

This year also brought me to a new job. I was with Staples Advantage at the beginning of the year. I hated it. I knew it wasn’t where I was supposed to be. Come April, I was presented with the opportunity to start the interview process with Grainger, where I had a bunch of friends from my past years at DHL. I was so thankful to have had this opportunity arise. I was even more thankful when I received my job offer. It has been a wonderful ride so far, and I have a terrific boss and co-workers. And my boss “gets” my Disney fascination- WIN!

Ryan and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary this year, too. Unbelievable. It seems like just yesterday, when we were college juniors meeting at South Padre Island on Spring Break (a story for another time). We have had 13 wonderful years. They haven’t always been easy, and we have gone through some rough times, but we have always remained confident in our feelings for each other. We have had a lot of great times, and I have so many wonderful memories of our times together. Thirteen years has gone by fast, in a great way! We have brought 2 beautiful children into the world, and if me aging means that I get to continue to live this life, then I welcome getting older. I see us growing old together and sitting in our rocking chairs on our front porch watching the grandkids play in the yard!

Time really does go by fast- too fast. I remember being at Walt Disney World when I was my daughter’s age. It’s hard for me to believe that I have aged 26 years since then. I realize how short life is, and I no longer think that I am invincible. I know there is a reason for everything and that everything happens for a reason. So as I turn 35 tomorrow, I’m reminded how very lucky I am. And how much life I have left to live.

Posted by: Lea | November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Friends Make Everything Better!

Posted by: Lea | October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – FRIENDS = FAMILY

Posted by: Lea | October 18, 2010

What is Perfect?

So, what is perfect? This past week has been an interesting one as one friend was called into question for retweeting a cuss word on Twitter and another friend posted a blog post in response on how she isn’t perfect and that’s OK (see Always Running Behind). All this talk about what’s right and wrong, what’s perfect and not perfect has gotten me thinking.

I think it’s fair to say that not one of us meets the defnition of the word “perfect”. And really, who would want to? It’s the imperfections that make us who we are. It’s how we teach others and how we learn for ourselves. It’s what brings us together.

Does it mean you’re imperfect if you drink? Nope, as long as it’s within reason and control. What about swearing? Uh-huh. It happens. Life can be tough, and sometimes those situations deserve words stronger than heck or dang it. Does either of these mean we’re bad people? Absolutely not.

Perfect is defined as “being complete of its kind and without defect or blemish”. Perfect to me takes on a different meaning. Perfect is a friend who is there for you at any time of day to help you through any of life’s swear-word inducing moments. Perfect is a friend who can laugh with you at life’s funny moments and cry with you at the sad ones. Perfect is spending a day at Walt Disney World with these friends, just being together. Do we cuss at times? Yep. Do we have a drink or two? Probably (we all have kids). But the time spent with them is perfect.

I’m lucky to be able to say that I have these “perfect” friends. While, none of us may meet the dictionary definition of the word perfect, they meet MY definition of the word- and that’s all that matters.

Posted by: Lea | October 14, 2010

Third Time WAS NOT a Charm: I’m Naming Names!

Well, it’s official. Once again, I DID NOT advance to Round 2 of the application process for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. I got my thanks, but no thanks email today, and that’s OK. Truth be told, I’m not too upset for myself. It was a long shot anyway. And I would much rather continue to help people plan and book their Disney vacations anyway. What I’m having a hard time with are the people who DIDN’T advance who should have. And yes, I’m naming names. I don’t want to take anything away from the people who did advance, many of whom I don’t even know. I’m sure they will all be excellent additions to the Moms Panel.  But I do want to honor those who I think would have made a stellar addition to the Moms Panel. And there are so many so I’m sorry if I didn’t include you, but I only have so much room and there were so many excellent choices. So here we go:

  • Jennifer (@dizneydreamer)- Jen is a true Disney aficionado. She and her family travel there several times a year, and I have been privileged to be there with her twice already this year. She is an excellent writer and would have been one of the best panelists Disney has ever seen. She’s one of the forces behind Disney Dream Depot (www.disneydreamdepot.com), and you can not ask for a better friend (which may or may not be part of the Moms Panel, but I want to say it nonetheless).
  • Jim (@jimgarth)- Jim made it to the 2nd round in the past so obviously he has done something right. He has a true love of all things Disney, and he and his wonderful family are as big of Disney fans as you can get. He is also a member of Disney Dream Depot, and his enthusiasm for helping others plan their Disney trips is unrivaled. And he loves spreadsheets- which is pretty cool with me.
  • Shaene (@shaene_o_mite)- Shaene is also a member of Disney Dream Depot, and his experiences at Walt Disney World are unlike most. He got married at WDW, he has traveled there solo, with his wife, and with a large group of teens in need of a father-like figure. He can speak about Disney like no other. He deserves to be there. Period.
  • Shari (@sharij)- Shari is a loving, wonderful woman who would proudly serve on the Moms Panel. She is a huge Disney fan, and she works very hard to make Disney vacations wonderful for all involved.
  • Traci (@tracileigh)- Traci is another one who has made the 2nd round in the past. Her writing is amazing, and she is known to cry at Wishes. And Illuminations. And Fantasmic. Which shows her true love of Disney. I know she is disappointed beyond belief about the outcome this year, but I truly believe her time will come.
  • Rob (@rwhitneyjr)- Rob is a smart, smart man who would be able to bring so much to the Panel. His knowledge of Disney Vacation Club and the Disney Resorts in phenomenal. His dedication would have been a true asset.
  • Debbie (@dcanoli)- Debbie is so enthusiastic about Disney. There is no doubt in my mind that this enthusiasm would have carried over to future Disney guests. She travels to Disney several times a year, and she knows how to navigate the Disney systems. She is also a Disney Dream Depot member. Big loss for Disney.
  • Mike (@sparegeek)- Mike is one of the other forces behind Disney Dream Depot. He is a wealth of Disney knowledge, and his Disney experiences would have served the Panel extremely well. He always knows what’s going on at Disney and he makes being a Disney Dream Depot member very easy!
  • Lynne (@lynne_from_texas)- Lynne is a wonderful Dream Depot member who knows all there is to know about Walt Disney World and Disneyland. She has traveled there many times, and her passion for Disney is obvious to anyone who meets her.
  • Megan (@mouserrificmom)- Megan is amazing. After not advancing last year, she started the Disney Dream Depot to bring together other moms and dads who did not advance throughout the process either. This group helps answer questions on Disney trips and holds weekly chats on vasrious Disney topics. She should be there. No question.

And again, I know this is not everyone who deserved to be on the Moms Panel. They’re just some that stand out to me, as I am friends with them, and I know how truly wonderful they would be. I’m not sure what criteria Disney was looking for this year, but I know they missed a great opportunity.

Posted by: Lea | October 7, 2010

#EpicOctober2010 Was…Well, EPIC!!

What a weekend…When #epicoctober2010 was named, we had no idea it would turn out the way that it did. What an absolutely, fantastic, amazing, magical weekend.

Mary, Amanda, Me, Don, Charles, Nessa, Rick and Amanda

When I signed up for the Halloween 5K Race back in March, I had no idea it would turn into what it did. Over the past 6 months, it grew and grew. And grew some more. It seemed like each day we learned someone else would be coming to

Cade, Nicole, Amanda, Mary, Rora, Don, Ryan, Jen, Me, Mumsie

Walt Disney World during this weekend.We landed Thursday afternoon, and immediately headed to Old Key West (a new resort for us). We met Jen (@dizneydreamer) who was rooming with us for the 1st night we were there, and then we were off to Downtown Disney to meet up with some friends (well, family) for dinner at Paradiso 37 and some shopping at D Street (had to get my Vinyls).  I was so excited to see everyone, and we had an amazing dinner!

First thing Friday morning, the Old Key West crew met up in Don and Mary’s (@wdccduckman and @tink302) for some coffee (well, water for me) before we headed to Olivia’s to meet up with even MORE people for breakfast. It was great to meet Dennis (@oakmanner) and Chrissy (@dizny1). Then we were all off to Epcot! Ryan and I went to ride Soarin’ and Living with the Land, which made us miss our 4-year old son, who LOVES this ride. Then we had a nice lunch at Le Cellier. After lunch, we met up with everyone and headed to get our 5K Race Packets! After our packets, we went back to Epcot and ate at Biergarten, where I learned I would never look at potato dumplings the

Jim Garth eating his potato dumplings

 same again (thanks to @jimgarth).

Shaene, Me, Jillian, Lynne, Amanda, Debbie, Dean and Don

We were up bright (well, dark) and early on Saturday morning for the 5K. We met up with Don, Mary, Amanda (@alh1009), Charles (@charlesaguillon), Nessa (@nessaaguillon), and Dean (@disneydean) and headed to the Ticket and Transportation Center. After a short detour where we got to see an up close view of Space Mountain, we arrived! What an adrenaline rush! It was amazing seeing all those people lined up and waiting! We ran into so many people that we knew and got to meet so many more wonderful people! We waited for an hour, and then we were off! Shaene (@shaene_o_mite) and I did great til we got to the front and saw Mickey and Minnie so we had to stop to take pictures. We lost some of our group so we stuck together! As we got closer to Magic Kingdom, we caught up with several people, which we again lost once we discovered we could get our picture taken with Chip and Dale! We caught up with Don, who became our 3rd partner! Along the way, we saw Pirate Goofy, Woody, Villains, Buzz, a grave digger and more! What a rush it was running (and yes, I did run at times) through the Magic Kingdom. While my time wasn’t what I intended when I signed up (what can I say- I get distracted easily), I was so happy to finish the race. It was truly the time of my life. And once I crossed the finish line, I learned that my husband had finished the race in 29 minutes. I am so proud of how great he did!

 

Shaene and Me with Chip and Dale

Later that day, we headed over to Epcot for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel Meet. It was amazing to finally be able to meet so many wonderful Moms Panelists, among others. I was especially excited to meet Margaret (@mefries) and Allison (@mamadis). Then off to a very BIG dinner at Ohana, where Shaene surprised the group with a delicious Epic October cake! Then off to the Wishes Dessert Party and then to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Finish Line Party, where we got to cheer on Nicole (@njoysiscaretti) as she blew through the finish line. We were all so proud of her! By then, we had been up for 20 hours, so we were off to bed!

Rob, Jenn, Me, Ryan, Jen, Tracey and Jim

Sunday, we spent the day at Magic Kingdom, where the lines were next to nothing. We had a blast! Sunday night, we were all dressed up and off to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, a first for me. My highlight of the night was getting my picture taken with all 7 dwarves! And by the way, we rocked the stretching room of the Haunted Mansion!Come Monday morning, we woke up and went to get TONGA TOAST at Ohana. Then it was time to say goodbye to all of the simply AMAZING people that I had spent the past 5 days with. It broke my heart to say goodbye to these fantastic people. I am not sure what I did to get this lucky, but I am so thankful to have these people in my life. I know that it wasn’t really a goodbye, it was a SEE YA REAL SOON!

WEEKEND STANDOUTS:

  • Time alone with my hubby!
  • Seeing Jen again!
  • Getting to be with my #peas (love you Rora (@roraboriealice) and Jen)!
  • Jim on Pirates!
  • Spending time with Don, Mary, Amanda, Jim, Tracey, Nicole, Charles, Nessa, Shaene, Chris, John and more!
  • Meeting Dean and Frank (@disneyfrankness)!
  • Meeting Lou Mongello!
  • The 5K Fun Run with Shaene and Don- thanks Shaene for all the entertainment!
  • Run for the photographers!
  • Magic Kingdom on Sunday (thank you Ryan, Jen, Jim, Tracey (@dizcraze), Rob (@rwhitneyjr), Jen (@jwhitney78),  Steve (@shaggysteve), Shania and Savannah for an absolutely amazing time)!
  • Getting my picture taken with all SEVEN DWARVES!!!
  • Running through Magic Kingdom!
  • Seeing Allison (@wdwfan) and finally meeting Tim (@therealtimjones)!
  • Realizing how SPECIAL it is to have found such AMAZING people to have as friends!
Posted by: Lea | September 26, 2010

Friends and Family- One and the Same

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about friends…more specifically, the friends that have come into my life in the past year or so. Four days from now, I will be flying to Florida to see some of these friends. We’ll be converging on Walt Disney World from all over the country, and I am so excited to see these people. We’ll be doing a lot of eating and drinking throughout Walt Disney World (I’ll be coming back a size or two larger, I’m sure), and at some point, we will be running/walking a 5K throughout Magic Kingdom.

There is a core group of us, who I talk to daily- whether it be online, text or phone. Many days, I’ve already communicated with them in some way, shape or form before I’m even out of bed! I talk to them many times throughout the day, and I can honestly say that I would be absolutely lost without them. We all found each other through our common love of Disney, but our friendships have become much more that that. We all have so many other things in common, and I feel like many of them and I share the same brain. We talk about our kids, our jobs, our families and more. We share ideas and advice, and we are able to joke and kid around as if we have known each other forever.

I look back at these very special people, and I can’t imagine a time in my life when they weren’t a huge part of it. I am so thankful to have them in my life, and I wish we were all closer. My husband will be meeting most of them for the first time this week, and I can’t wait to bring together such important parts of my life.

All of you know who you are, and I just want to say thank you for being such wonderful people and friends- and part of my family. I absolutely can not wait to see all of you for #epicoctober2010. This will be one of the Best. Weekends. Ever.

Posted by: Lea | September 13, 2010

Is Walt Disney World Educational? Of Course It Is!

epcot canada

Can Walt Disney World be considered an educational trip? Many parents wonder if taking thier kids out of school to go to Walt Disney World is the right thing to do. I, myself, am planning on taking my second-grade daughter out of school for a week in November to go to the World.  Why did we come to that decision? Number one, we can take advantage of cooler weather and smaller crowds, and number two, we’re making the trip to Walt Disney World educational! There are so many educational aspects at WDW. It’s teeming with history, geography, culture, science, math, economics, science and more! Let’s take a look at how YOU can make your Walt Disney World trip educational at anytime of year!

Epcot World Showcase: Children can explore the different cultures of the world in the 11 various World Showcase Pavilions of Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Italy, Germany, Japan, China, Norway, Mexico, and America. Your child will be able to learn about the architecture, languages, diet and dress of each country. They will also be able to talk to the cast members in each country. The World Showcase cast members are actually from the country in whose pavilion they work! They can learn about the flags, learn to say hello in each language, learn capitals and more!

American History: Children can learn all about the U.S. Presidents by witnessing the The Hall of Presidents presentation at the Magic Kingdom. This show highlights every U.S. President from George Washington to current President Barack Obama. The show focuses on the role of slavery in America and tells how early leaders debated slavery from the Constitutional Convention to the Lincoln-Douglas debates.  They can witness the American Adventure Show in the American pavilion in Epcot and learn about the beginnings of the United States of America. This show combines film footage and Audio-Animatronics of dozens of historic figures and is as moving as it is educational. Listen to Ben Franklin and Mark Twain tell the story of America, beginning with the Pilgrims and going through World War II. Children will see George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Will Rogers and Rosie the Riveter.

Family_On_Test_Track

Epcot Future World: Children can learn about science by exploring Mission:Space. Your child will have the chance to see and feel what it would be like to travel by rocket to Mars. Children can experience the Universe of Energy exhibit which teaches about fossil fuels energy and conservation. The Circle of Life show in The Land Pavilion teaches about environmental protection. The Innoventions Pavilion allows children to participate in hands-on activities showcasing interesting innovations and new technologies. The Living with the Land ride is an indoor boat ride through greenhouses full of plants and aquaculture tanks. Many of the plants that you see growing are used in the Garden Grill. The Seas with Nemo and Friends teach children about aquatic life and offers many exhibits for children to take part in. Children can view marine exhibits complete with dolphins and manatees. Spaceship Earth is a slow-moving ride in the “big golf ball” (as children call it) that uses Animatronics to teach about the history of communication. Test Track (pictured, left) lets children take part in a GM test vehicle as they zip around an indoor-outdoor track, learning what tests cars have to go through before they can be sold to the public. Throughout Future World, there are numerous learning activities for children of all ages!

animal kingdom safari

Disney’s Animal Kingdom- What better place to learn about nature and conservation? This 110-acre theme park, the largest Disney theme  park, features an African savanna and safari, up-close encounters with animals of all kinds as well as a Conservation Station, where  children can learn about conservation efforts being made across the world as well as Disney’s part in those efforts. Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s zoological operations are respected worldwide, but Disney keeps them fully hidden from its guests by man-made hills, rivers and rocks. Scientists are breeding endangered species, and on-site researchers are there studying animal behaviors. DAK is a member of the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums). Disney wants you to see the “real” world of animals, however, and not a zoo. Observation windows at Conservation Station let you look in on medical procedures on animals while veterinarians explain what is going on. Other windows display researchers studying elephant vocalizations and tracking a sea turtle off of the Florida coast. Kids can learn more about the park’s primates and other animals with remote animal-cams. Children can listen to hear thunder and insects, they can “speak” with Dr. Jane Goodall or George Schaller of the Tibet Wildlife Reserve. They can view a film on endangered species and get a closer look at various animals when the Cast Members bring out animals for closer viewing.

Economics: Children have the opportunity to learn about economics as well by managing his/her own spending money. Children are able to make budget decisions on how to spend their money. They can also work with saving at the hands-on at The Great Piggy Bank Adventure. T. Rowe Price worked with Disney to create this interactive game to teach families the importance of financial planning. You can do the game as a single or up to 3 people can compete on a team. There are a number of stations where you start the game.  There are plenty of cast members to help you along the way.

Art: Children can learn about art, animation and the history of film at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Magic_Kingdom_Map_wkey

Map Navigation: Allow your children to navigate throughout the theme parks and the Walt Disney World Resort by using the    numerous maps that are available. Children can use the key to figure out where the nearest dining or shopping establishments are or where their favorite ride is and how to get there from where they are.

Mathematics: One of the best ways for children to learn math is by wait times! You can ask children how long a 30-minute wait time is (i.e. is it one quarter of an hour, one half an hour, etc).  Which attraction has the longer wait time? It really is up to you!

The Walt Disney World Resort is a wonderful and educational experience, and the best part is, the children are having so much fun, they don’t even realize that they are learning! Disney truly makes learning fun for everyone!

If you are going to take your children out of school for a WDW trip, make sure and get their assignments ahead of time, and try and complete them BEFORE you go on your trip. And have your child keep a journal of their trip so they can practice their writing. My daughter loves to write about what she did during the day and what her favorite attraction and ride was that day.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories