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Who has done Disney Homeschool Days?


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#1 Wabi Sabi

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:01 AM

Looking at the cost of a trip to Disney and it's clear that the only way we're ever going to be able to afford such a trip is to go during their Homeschool Days week. I'm amazed that they're able to offer such a HUGE discount on admission.

So, I'm planning ahead of time for next year (2013) so that I can slowly start to save the money we'll need. I know that people get crazy about planning their Disney trips in advance and I have no clue how to go about doing that. Can you still buy the meal plans when using the Homeschool Day package prices? Do they offer discounts for their hotels as well? How far in advance do they typically announce the dates?

Any info you can share would be appreciated! Thanks!

#2 sparrow

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:19 AM

We went to the Disney Homeschool Days January 2011. We never stay on site, but as far as a I know, as long as you're staying on site, you're always eligible to purchase the meal plan. I know I've never seen free dining offered during Homeschool Days.

It seems they typically announce the dates about 3 months out, because that's when I booked our condo :001_smile:.

I'm totally NOT a planner, so I can't help you there, either ;). The most planning I do is check which park will be busiest that day and avoid. avoid. avoid. There are lots of crowd calendars. I liked this one because I could just print off the pdf calendar for the month.

#3 DawnM

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 11:13 AM

Free dining......well, good news and bad news. If you do the free dining, you must stay on property AND purchase two full days for each guest in addition to the homeschool days tickets. They will be at full gate price, which is around $150 per person????? You will have to look.

The value resorts only allow 4, so if you have more than 4 you will need to stay at a moderate at least. The moderates are around $150 plus 12% tax per night. They typically allow up to 5. If you have more than 5 you have even fewer options.

Here is one review, but you can google for more info.

http://www.disneytou...s-disney-world/

Just so you know, you can do the Disney Y.E.S. program without going during homeschool days.

I can write more later, but I am being called to get lunch ready.

Dawn

#4 peaceful isle

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 11:56 AM

Wow! I never heard of homeschool days for disney! Is it disney world or land?
Does anyone know how I can find out more info on this, like dates and price?
Now I am excited thinking we may be able to afford this :)

#5 DawnM

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:00 PM

http://www.disneyyou...ducation-series

Both DW and DL.

I have a write up of how WE do Disney. We are cheap. We go more often because we spend less. If you want to read it, please PM me your email address.

Here is our breakdown:

Disney YES tickets- $800 (roughly, it varies depending on days)
SkyAuction 2 bedroom condo- $250 with tax for the week

OR

Wyndham Bonnet Creak for $600 for 7 nights including tax (2 bedroom) through Vacation Strategies.com

Food: $250 roughly, sometime less
Gas: $300
Dog Sitter: $150

We typically spend under $2,000 for everything, including gas, parking, tickets, dog sitting, and everything.

#6 sparrow

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:44 PM



We typically spend under $2,000 for everything, including gas, parking, tickets, dog sitting, and everything.

:iagree: That's been our experience, too.

#7 Minniewannabe

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:04 PM

I only recommend Homeschool Days to the experienced Disney guest. The reason is that the schooling, lectures, exhibits, etc. are incredibly boring to the kiddo who just wants to ride, ride, ride.

Homeschool Days are fun for those who want to see a ride backstage, want to scrape rice out of a bowl of lima beans, want to play with a matchbox car racetrack, and want to search out hard to find areas within one of the parks.

However, Homeschool Days is absolutely not for the first time visitor who is overwhelmed by just being at Disney and has enough sensory overload already just navigating a park for the first time.

Homeschool Days are like a really fun camp with a cool camp counselor, but no where near as fun as just riding rides, eating at a character meal, or swimming in a resort pool.

We've done just about all of the Homeschool Days every year up until they quit letting annual passholders come, about 2 years ago. For the experienced Disney visitor, I can't recommend them enough. We've ridden rollercoasters with a glass of water in our hands, Space Mountain with the lights on, gone backstage at the Hall of Presidents, pet some of the aquatic animals, learned to draw cartoons with a real cartoonist, etc. It is certainly an experience one would have a hard time finding anywhere else. The lectures can be interesting as well.

:)

#8 nono

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:07 PM

We've done just about all of the Homeschool Days every year up until they quit letting annual passholders come, about 2 years ago.


Ugh. Didn't know that.

#9 Mandylubug

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:11 PM

I only recommend Homeschool Days to the experienced Disney guest. The reason is that the schooling, lectures, exhibits, etc. are incredibly boring to the kiddo who just wants to ride, ride, ride.

Homeschool Days are fun for those who want to see a ride backstage, want to scrape rice out of a bowl of lima beans, want to play with a matchbox car racetrack, and want to search out hard to find areas within one of the parks.

However, Homeschool Days is absolutely not for the first time visitor who is overwhelmed by just being at Disney and has enough sensory overload already just navigating a park for the first time.

Homeschool Days are like a really fun camp with a cool camp counselor, but no where near as fun as just riding rides, eating at a character meal, or swimming in a resort pool.

We've done just about all of the Homeschool Days every year up until they quit letting annual passholders come, about 2 years ago. For the experienced Disney visitor, I can't recommend them enough. We've ridden rollercoasters with a glass of water in our hands, Space Mountain with the lights on, gone backstage at the Hall of Presidents, pet some of the aquatic animals, learned to draw cartoons with a real cartoonist, etc. It is certainly an experience one would have a hard time finding anywhere else. The lectures can be interesting as well.

:)


good to know. I was under the impression that you could just do one educational session and then enjoy the other days in parks?

#10 sparrow

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:20 PM

I only recommend Homeschool Days to the experienced Disney guest. The reason is that the schooling, lectures, exhibits, etc. are incredibly boring to the kiddo who just wants to ride, ride, ride.

Homeschool Days are fun for those who want to see a ride backstage, want to scrape rice out of a bowl of lima beans, want to play with a matchbox car racetrack, and want to search out hard to find areas within one of the parks.

However, Homeschool Days is absolutely not for the first time visitor who is overwhelmed by just being at Disney and has enough sensory overload already just navigating a park for the first time.

Homeschool Days are like a really fun camp with a cool camp counselor, but no where near as fun as just riding rides, eating at a character meal, or swimming in a resort pool.

We've done just about all of the Homeschool Days every year up until they quit letting annual passholders come, about 2 years ago. For the experienced Disney visitor, I can't recommend them enough. We've ridden rollercoasters with a glass of water in our hands, Space Mountain with the lights on, gone backstage at the Hall of Presidents, pet some of the aquatic animals, learned to draw cartoons with a real cartoonist, etc. It is certainly an experience one would have a hard time finding anywhere else. The lectures can be interesting as well.

:)


I disagree with this. You don't need to attend/pay for any of the additional YES classes, if you don't want to. We only attended the free morning presentation for homeschoolers. The January 2011 presentation at AK featured Disney's spring release of their movie Big Cats. They had the vets and staff that care for AK's big cats on hand answering questions. That was it. A two hour program and we were off and on our own.

#11 I.Dup.

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 02:41 PM

We did homeschool days January 2011 and did not attend any of the presentations. :001_smile:

AFA I know, in order to take advantage of the meal plan or any other discounts, you can't do homeschool days. It's either one or the other.

We stayed offsite when we came for homeschool days, we stayed in a vacation home for $80/night. It was a terrific trip!

#12 mandymom

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 04:55 PM

I only recommend Homeschool Days to the experienced Disney guest. The reason is that the schooling, lectures, exhibits, etc. are incredibly boring to the kiddo who just wants to ride, ride, ride.

My kids thought the science class that they went to was really cool. They really enjoyed it, esp going behind the scenes in the Haunted Mansion.



However, Homeschool Days is absolutely not for the first time visitor who is overwhelmed by just being at Disney and has enough sensory overload already just navigating a park for the first time.

This was my kids' first visit to Disney World. The oldest four of them (10, 11, 13, and 14 at the time) went to the class.


:)


We got extremely discounted tickets for 5 days, and the class was only 3 hours one morning. They still got to experience everything about Disney, plus a little extra that they wouldn't have gotten to otherwise (and for about half the price too). This is the ONLY way we would ever go back to Disney. We may do individual enrollment YES classes instead of the actual ones on Homeschool Days, but my kids are really excited about trying out some of the other classes. Definitely worth it!

#13 sbgrace

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 06:08 PM

We did homeschool days recently. We only participated in the required session (I think it was 3 hours or so one morning at Epcot). We had more than enough time to explore all the parks. We had a great visit. I did not stay on site so I can't speak to that or the meal plans. But the ticket prices for homeschool days are great!

#14 amy in ks

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 07:23 PM

We've been to homeschool days twice and didn't attend the leatning sessions either time. I highly recommend packing your bag full of snacks like fruits/ nuts/ bars instead of the disney food. Much cheaper and easier on your body to get through the day!

#15 teachermom2834

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:05 PM

We went last October. We went to the one "required" class that was free with the tickets. It was one morning at Epcot and I'm pretty sure it was only an hour. We planned Epcot for that day and besides that one morning we didn't do anything but ride and play :)

I say "required" because that is how I understood it but I'm pretty sure nothing would happen if you didn't go. You definitely do not need to do any of the extra classes.

#16 sparrow

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:39 PM

We went last October. We went to the one "required" class that was free with the tickets. It was one morning at Epcot and I'm pretty sure it was only an hour. We planned Epcot for that day and besides that one morning we didn't do anything but ride and play :)

I say "required" because that is how I understood it but I'm pretty sure nothing would happen if you didn't go. You definitely do not need to do any of the extra classes.


That was my understanding, too. I figured it was the least we could do, considering the tickets were so deeply discounted, and Disney took the time to put it on. As I said, our "class" tied into the Big Cats movie and the staff was really very cool. They stuck around and answered every kid's question--and with homeschooled kids, you know that can be a lot :lol:.

They had all of the Homeschool Days ticket holders names on a list when we went to the presentation, so I do think they're keeping tabs on it.

#17 I.Dup.

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:12 PM

They had all of the Homeschool Days ticket holders names on a list when we went to the presentation, so I do think they're keeping tabs on it.


When we signed up online, we had the option to check the presentations we wanted to attend. We didn't have to check any. Maybe they kept track of the people who checked those certain presentations?

#18 mom31257

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:22 PM

Looking at the cost of a trip to Disney and it's clear that the only way we're ever going to be able to afford such a trip is to go during their Homeschool Days week. I'm amazed that they're able to offer such a HUGE discount on admission.

So, I'm planning ahead of time for next year (2013) so that I can slowly start to save the money we'll need. I know that people get crazy about planning their Disney trips in advance and I have no clue how to go about doing that. Can you still buy the meal plans when using the Homeschool Day package prices? Do they offer discounts for their hotels as well? How far in advance do they typically announce the dates?

Any info you can share would be appreciated! Thanks!


We did the homeschool days in January a year ago. We always stay on site (value resorts) for several reasons. It really helps you feel part of the magic the whole time for starters. We drive to the parks (don't want to wait on buses), so staying on site gives you free parking. It also allows you to visit any other resort. Animal Kingdom is worth going to just for a visit. It is beautiful inside and you can go out back and see animals sometimes. It also gives you access to extra magic hours which vary by day and park, but it is time the park is only open to guests staying on site. We are usually able to do some rides then that are difficult during the rest of the time.

We use a Chase Disney credit card and all the rewards are actually Disney dollars to spend there. We had enough last time to cover all of our food for the 4 days. We have never purchased a dining plan, and I don't know the size of your family, but we are just 4 people. We usually eat counter service (most are really great), and get 2 adult meals and a kids meal and share it all.

We thought going in January would be a less crowded time, but we were very wrong. The entire nation of Brazil was at Disney Hollywood Studios the day we decided to go to that park. You might want to consider fall if people say it's less crowded.

I hope you enjoy it. Disney is our favorite place, and it truly is magical. Planning ahead can make such a big difference, so you are doing the right thing to be getting advice! Have fun!

#19 DianeW88

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:52 PM

We did the homeschool days in January a year ago. We always stay on site (value resorts) for several reasons. It really helps you feel part of the magic the whole time for starters. We drive to the parks (don't want to wait on buses), so staying on site gives you free parking. It also allows you to visit any other resort. Animal Kingdom is worth going to just for a visit. It is beautiful inside and you can go out back and see animals sometimes. It also gives you access to extra magic hours which vary by day and park, but it is time the park is only open to guests staying on site. We are usually able to do some rides then that are difficult during the rest of the time.

We use a Chase Disney credit card and all the rewards are actually Disney dollars to spend there. We had enough last time to cover all of our food for the 4 days. We have never purchased a dining plan, and I don't know the size of your family, but we are just 4 people. We usually eat counter service (most are really great), and get 2 adult meals and a kids meal and share it all.

We thought going in January would be a less crowded time, but we were very wrong. The entire nation of Brazil was at Disney Hollywood Studios the day we decided to go to that park. You might want to consider fall if people say it's less crowded.

I hope you enjoy it. Disney is our favorite place, and it truly is magical. Planning ahead can make such a big difference, so you are doing the right thing to be getting advice! Have fun!


Ah yes, Brazilian tour groups! January is to be avoided for that reason alone. As is Pop Warner month and Jersey week. It's the sneaky, unexpected crowds that'll get you! :lol:

#20 I.Dup.

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 01:17 AM

Ah yes, Brazilian tour groups! January is to be avoided for that reason alone. As is Pop Warner month and Jersey week. It's the sneaky, unexpected crowds that'll get you! :lol:


When do these things happen at Disney?? Please tell. :tongue_smilie:

#21 DianeW88

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 01:36 AM

When do these things happen at Disney?? Please tell. :tongue_smilie:


Pop Warner is usually right at the beginning of December, and Jersey week is in the beginning of November. Traditionally those times are less crowded, but when you add large groups...

And Pop Warner is large groups of preteens-teens. Loud, disruptive, and awake all hours of the night, according to several friends who've stayed at the All-Star resorts during the Pop week.

Jersey week happens because of a long weekend in NJ public schools. Lots of people in NJ use that time to go on vacation at WDW.

The same things happens during Mardi Gras. TONS of people from Louisiana are in WDW. As one of the LA families we met on the resort bus said, "our state has a mass exodus to Florida during Mardi Gras." :lol:

Brazilian tour groups take up most of July. They are generally the high school and college age crowd and can be quite rowdy.

HTH

#22 nono

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:17 AM

Jersey week happens because of a long weekend in NJ public schools. Lots of people in NJ use that time to go on vacation at WDW.
HTH


Jersey Week is either the first or second week of November depending on how the calendar falls.

Now, I have a friend from Alabama who loves to go during Jersey Week, as do I, but well, I live in NJ. I have to admit, it's the most comfortable time for me to be there. ;)

Anyway, said friend says during Jersey Week, everyone walks faster, talks faster, laughs more, drinks more, tips better and eats dinner later. She says it's like attending a non-stop party because we're all so talkative and "busy." Maybe she means busy-bodies, but is too nice to say it out loud, being from Alabama! :tongue_smilie: We're definitely talkers. How else do you think we all end up seeing Bob from down the street's second cousin, Joe, who used to live in Pt. Pleasant, right near Angela, who by the way he just saw at Animal Kingdom earlier today(!). Yeah, well, we were in line for the Rockin' Roller Coaster, and he had on a Jimmy Buffett t-shirt from the '96 Banana Wind tour, which really looked almost new, so I had to say something.........:lol:


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