Two More Important Life Lesson Kids Can Learn from a Disney Vacation

Disney balloons, Disney balloon photos, Disney kids balloons, Disney Dining Plan, Disney Vacation Club

Disney World vacations are crazy expensive, create wonderful memories, and they can be an excellent opportunity to teach your child life lessons before, during, and after your Disney vacation. Yesterday, I talked about two life lessons your child can learn from a trip to Disney: saving money and being appreciative.  Here’s two more life lessons I have tried hard to teach my own children, and they can work wonders for yours too.

Be patient.

While it’s a total blast, a Disney vacation is really an exercise in maintaining composure and exercising patience. Your child will be tired, sometimes hot and sweaty, and often they will be surrounded on all sides by people everywhere they turn.  Holy cow, Disney lines can be long. Kids will be waiting for everything; some waits are just longer than others. Adults pay a lot of money to go on vacation, and when they don’t meet their high vacation-expectations, they can be fussy. Tempers flare, arguments ensue, harsh words are spoken. Can’t believe this would happen in the “Happiest Place on Earth?” Guess again. I’ve seen some whopper fights among adults and kids on Main Street, U.S.A. with kids crying, ladies crying, and parents yelling. Moms screaming, kids getting dragged out of gift shops, dads angrily pointing fingers and shouting, siblings pushing and shoving. Sometimes when children don’t get their way, it’s suddenly the end of the world. Your child needs to be prepared to take a step back and be patient. And the odds are pretty high that you will as well.

Donald Duck, Mickey's Philharmagic, Mickey Mouse photo, Donald Duck photo, Disney characters

Just standing in line with family can be irritating. I know you’ve heard a child – or even a teenager-  cry out, “He’s touching me, ” or “She wont stop looking at me.” Kids will need to be patient. Total strangers chatting in line endlessly can be irritating.  I once overheard a teenage girl in front of me utter the sentence, “If I see one more Florida Gators jersey, I may throw up” a minimum of six times in five minutes. Same sentence uttered in the same screechy-teen voice. Patience. We don’t all want to ride the same rides. No, riding your favorite ride is not more important than mine.  We don’t all want to eat at the same time or even the same restaurant. Patience. Lines to get food are long, sometimes there are few open tables, and sidewalks are crowded. Your child may not get a seat on the monorail… Your child will have to be patient. You may wake up late, you may arrive at dinner late, and your achy feet will make your nerves stand on end. Is there anyone out there that couldn’t be a little more patient with the people we love? Take a deep breath, push that mental pause button, and exercise some patience.  Teach your child to do the same thing.

It’s a valuable life skill.

Teach your child that patience is indeed a virtue, and it’s also a life skill they need to be successful, both now and when they become adults. Prepare  kids way before you walk through the Magic Kingdom turnstile that they will need to be patient, so that everyone has fun. Losing your cool on vacation is a quick way to sidetrack that Disney Magic and a sad way to create memories you’d probably rather forget. The best place to show off this new skill of  patience is standing in line for Space Mountain after the Fastpasses have run out. This applies to your child, but it might apply to you as well. Patience.

Space Mountain, Space Mountain kids, space mountain ride, Space mountain t-shirts, DVC money

Work hard in school.

My children, in grades 4, 6, and 8, all know exactly how much we spend each year on our Disney Vacation Club dues, annual passes, and the vacations we take. They know how much money you make working minimum wage, and they know how much one character breakfast costs. They know approximately how much Vacation Club points might cost them when they have their own income. The phrase, “Ya better do good in school” comes out of my mouth about as often as I say “I sure could use a Disney cupcake right about now.” That’s a lot, in case you missed my recent snack articles.  My children know that vacations are expensive, and in order to take nice vacations, you’ll need a good education.  That starts before you ever hit the doors of middle school. I remind my own children and my students to pay attention in class and learn all they can about every subject there is.  Hopefully the reward will be years of Disney vacations, or vacations anywhere they want to go. Do the work now, and take me along to Disney to baby-sit the grandkids later.

Mickey Mouse parade, Mickey mouse photo, Mickey mouse Move It Shate it, Mickey mouse celebrate it, disney parades, disney paradeI talk to my children about excelling in school so they can participate in the Disney College Program. I research and write articles about the Disney College Program, so I can teach my high school students that they can make it to Disney, even if they never visited the theme parks as a child. This is the only way some of my students will ever get to Disney. I remind them to work hard today so they can play later. There are three links to articles at the bottom of this page, if you’re curious about the Disney College Program. Show them to your kids.

To get what you want in life, you have to work hard, and you have to see beyond next week. That’s a hard concept for some kids and teens to grasp these days, the idea that making good grades today affects everything they will do as adults.

Teach your kids the correlation between hard work in school today and vacations tomorrow. The ability to work hard is a life skill that your child needs, or rather, it’s a life choice that you want your child to make. Tell them what you expect, and then help them to set their own goals.  Encourage them frequently to meet these expectations they set for themselves. Can you get to Disney without a good education? Maybe, but it’s definitely harder, and unfortunately, sometimes it’s just impossible.

Save your money. Appreciate what you have.

Be patient. Work hard in school.

Life lessons with a Disney spin.

Thanks for coming along for a photographical ride, and we’ll see you while spending our hard-earned and long-saved money in the gift shops!


Love Disney World photography? For a virtual Disney vacation in pictures, join Mouze Kateerz on Facebook and Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.  If you have some fabulous Disney photographs you’d like to share, send an email of your favorite Disney location to



  1. Sharon O says:

    YOU.JUST.ROCK. This is our motto 100%. We are DVC members, have been on 24 Disney Cruises (destination and Caribbean) visit the parks (both DL and WDW) min 2X/year…BUT my kids do not ask for anything extra (they have NEVER had a Mickey bar at the parks LOL and don’t even want one on the cruise!) , save their monies, and all they really want is to see the extra show. We play game while in line (if we don’t have a FP)…sorta like 20 questions,,,,,what Disney character/attraction etc am I???We have a blast and probably are the envy of families around us!

    • Holy cow, 24 cruises!! I am envying you right this minute!! Your kids sound awesome…we need more kids like that and more parents like you. Thanks so much for reading, and hope to see you here again.

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