I'd known about this event for quite a while, but for some reason, we were unable to participate last year. This year, I really wanted to try it, so I set a "school date" with Noah. I wanted to be able to really focus on him for the day, so I arranged for Jim to work from home to watch Ava.
Now I have to tell you, navigating the event website was not easy. Disney does so many things really well, but websites do not seem to be one of them. Since I had a hard time finding info, I'll break it down for you here.
- Day 1 (yesterday) included a speaker series featuring international cast members. Students learned about countries from around the World Showcase, and participated in a Q&A session with cast members. They were also provided materials for a self-guided educational tour around the World Showcase. The cost for this part of the program was $16/student (plus park admission). Several YES programs (see below) were offered in the afternoon. We were unable to attend on this day due to the plants / gardening co-op, but we hope to catch this part next time.
- Day 2 (today) offered a variety of classes through the YES (Youth Education Series) program. The K-2 topic was "How Things Move" while older age groups learned about "The American Story", "Millennium Cultures", "Disney's Ocean Discoveries" and "Disney's Leadership Excellence". The cost for each YES program was $25 each for both parents and children, and classes were 2 1/2 to 3 hours in length.
After learning about different ways things move - and the different power sources behind the motion - they were made Imaginears for the day and asked to observe what made several rides move as they rode them - Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, It's a Small World and Goofy's Barnstormer. After the rides, they sat back down and compared their observations to the power sources they saw in the beginning - for example, how the pinwheel they moved with wind in the beginning was similar to the pinwheels on the Dumbo ride.
They also learned about magnets, attraction and gravity, drew their own designs for a new Disney attraction and worked as a team to assemble a "ride" (a miniature car zooming through a series of connected tubes).
All in all, it was a wonderful experience and we'll definitely participate again. Disney hosts homeschool days every September and January. (Limited) details are available on their website.