Walt Disney World is a magical land of fun and this is a sentiment shared with just about every person I know. But were you aware Disney can also be educational? Epcot has always been educational but Mickey Mouse has come up with some fantastic Disney youth programs in all the parks to help educate groups of 10 children or more. Public, private, charter and homeschool students can take part in these experiences which start at around $186 per person and include a day at the parks and behind the scenes features.
Below is a sampling of the courses you can sign your kids up for at Walt Disney World theme parks:
- Discovering Marine Life Conservation – Epcot
- Discovering the American Spirit – Magic Kingdom
- Principles of Animal Behavior – Animal Kingdom
- Managing Your Personal Brand – Hollywood Studios
- The Evolution of Technology – Epcot
- Energy and Waves Physics Lab – Magic Kingdom
Students will have the chance to actually use the WDW theme parks as classrooms while using attractions like Haunted Mansion, Test Track and Tower of Terror as tools for learning. How cool is that? For example, I was taken on a sample program to learn about the wonders of scrim and peppers ghost. We had the chance to go inside the ballroom scene in The Haunted Mansion and actually see how it works. This probably rated up with the most unique experiences I’ve ever had. I can only imagine how educational and entertaining the other Disney Youth Programs would be.
These programs are available to Elementary thru College age students (and Scouts) and are accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), which certifies them as providing educationally-sound experiences designed for academic achievement. Wow, that’s a mouthful but sounds pretty legit if you ask me. You can find the Disney Youth Education Series at both Disney World and Disneyland. Tell your school or your scout group and take part, you won’t regret it.
Another option for those more inclined to the arts is Disney Performing Arts opportunities. For example, have you ever seen a high school marching band take part in the parade at Magic Kingdom? Or what about a chorus of teens singing in the Candlelight Processional at Epcot? These are performance opportunities you are sure to enjoy if you take part in this aspect of the Disney Youth Program.
There are even workshops your children can sign up for, similar to the programs I listed above but instead they revolve around performance. Here are
- Tech (A/V)
I remember when I was in high school and I was part of the flag corp in band. We marched in the parade at Magic Kingdom and had the chance to spend time backstage or “behind the scenes”. Magic Kingdom has an entire green space set up for students so they can feel comfortable before their performance. There is water and bathrooms and photo opportunities and plenty of room to practice.
My son Jason, who plays the trombone, thinks the competitions held at Disney World are a benefit to young performers. Receiving valuable feedback (in both written and recorded form) from a nationally recognized adjudicator can be priceless. And he should know, he takes part in a lot of these events and they last mere moments. Disney Youth Programs offers something bigger and better which should come as a surprise to no one. If there is a way to outdo those around them, the team at Disney will find a way.
You can learn more about all the programs listed above for Disney Youth Programs and Disney Performing Arts by visiting the Disney website. I hope you will consider taking part in Walt Disney World as a classroom the way we did, you’ll learn so much and have an unforgettable experience!
*A big thanks to Disney for inviting us out for the day to experience scrim, refraction, peppers ghost and all that jazz. No literally, all that jazz.