As parents, we have about 18 years to teach our children life skills that they will need to use in the outside world. With every trip to Walt Disney World, I am surrounded by life-learning situations. I take those opportunities and share those moments with my kids. My hope is that they will store those skills in their core memory and use them when needed. Here are five of the top 'life skills' I think kids gain with a trip to Walt Disney World.
1. Listening to Directions
“Please stand clear of the door” and “no flash photography” are simple instructions announced when arriving at some attractions. Whenever directions are being given, I stop my family from talking and tell them that it is important that we listen to the directions. This skill will be useful in school and in the workplace. It is not only polite, but it might save you from a dangerous situation.
2. Budgeting Time
Park hours, FastPass+ time windows, and dining reservations are important when on your Disney vacation. Let the kids help keep track of these events and learn the importance of allowing for travel time to get to a certain destination at the scheduled time. Use the park map to teach distance and directions. The kids will learn time management and planning skills.
3. The Use of Mass Transportation
You may be from a town that does not have a city bus, subway, or ferry to get from place to place. Using Disney transportation is a great opportunity to teach your kids about using new systems that do not require mom or dad to be behind the wheel. Waiting for the monorail to arrive, loading and unloading the watercraft, or giving up your seat on a crowded bus can be new experiences for your kids. Keeping a positive attitude at these times and showing patience will be a lesson learned by all who observe you.
4. Experiencing another Culture
Visiting Epcot’s World Showcase or Animal Kingdom’s African or Asian sections can immerse you into another country. Taste different foods, walk through the shops, and talk to the Cast Members on the international program who are working at Disney for the year. It’s not everyday your kids will be able to talk to a Norwegian about their country or listen to a band play whose members are all from South Africa.
5. They'll Learn about Good Customer Service
Disney educates their Cast Members on how to create magical experiences for their guests. They are polite, helpful, and knowledgable about their product and their brand. They are taught that going “above and beyond” is part of their job. As your kids walk through the parks they will experience cast members addressing them as “prince or princess", wishing them a “happy birthday” if they notice a celebration button, or handing them a Mickey sticker to create a smile. Helping others and making someone feel special is a life skill we all should strive to use everyday.
Michelle Bork is a fantastic Travel Agent who currently resides in Temperance, MI. She and her husband Todd have three children. Contact her today for any of your travel needs at firstname.lastname@example.org!