PassPorter Online
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
Articles Menu
PassPorter Articles
Disney Dreaming
What Keeps Us Coming Back
Disney for Veteran Visitors
Rumor Round-Up
Finding Answers
Best Disney Trip Advice
Getting Your Disney Fix
How Young Is Too Young?
Top Ten Disney Questions
Tipping (Gratuities)
Timeshare Vacation Offers
Disney World on a Budget
Credit Cards 101
Money-Saving Strategies
Preparing Kids For Disney
Taking Toddlers to Disney
Planning Trips for Others
Convincing Others To Go
Importance of Being Lazy

Preparing For Your Disney Cruise
Ten "Must Pack" Items
Touring With A Group
Chaperoning A Group Trip
Ten Travel Tips
Luggage Tips
iPhone, I Travel
Driving to Disney
Driving With Kids
Child Safety Seats
CARES Harness Review
Rental Cars
Amtrak Auto Train
Airline Security
Flying With Kids
Surviving Long Flights
Surviving Bumpy Flights
Surviving Bad Vacations
Surviving Long Airport Waits
Staying Healthy
First Aid on Vacation
Solo Travel
Pregnant at Disney
Dress For Travel
Traveling With Pets
International Travel
Taking A 'Greener' Trip to WDW

Orlando Sanford Airport
Choosing a Resort
On-Site Lodging vs. Off-Site Lodging
Disney Resort Primer
Reserving a Room
Key to the World Card
Fun at Resort Hotels
Disney Vacation Club
All-Star Movies
All-Star Music
All-Star Sports
All-Star Vacation Homes
Animal Kingdom Lodge: Perfect for Teens
Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Beach Club
BoardWalk Inn & Villas
Contemporary Resort
Ft. Wilderness Camping
Old Key West
Wilderness Lodge
Home Sweet Home
Grand Californian #1
Grand Californian #2
Grosvenor Resort
Hilton Resort
Orlando Airport Marriott
Radisson Resort Parkway
Shades of Green
Westin Century Plaza
Making The Most of Bell Services at Disney's Deluxe Resorts
DVC's Old Key West Resort
Preparing For Your Disney Cruise
New Ships!
Cruise Security
International Port Security
Convincing a Husband to Cruise
Palo Dinner Review
Vow Renewals Onboard
Cruising With Special Diets
Cruising St. Martin
One in a Million Cruise
Zip-A-Dee-Zip-Line: A Canopy Adventure
A 'Magic' Time In The Mediterranean
A Wrap-Up From DCL's Inaugural Mediterranean Cruise
DCL: Not Just for Kids!
Spa Villas Review
Laugh Floor Comedy Club
Mickey's PhilharMagic
Fantasyland For Adults
Mission: SPACE
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
Star Wars Weekends
Animal Kingdom
Expedition EVEREST
Surviving the Parks as First Time Parents
Surviving the Holidays
Overcoming Kids Fears
Planning Park Days
Four Parks in One Day
Touring with Toddlers
A Kid's Perspective
A Teen's Take
Educational Epcot
Flower & Garden Festival
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Scary Places (Halloween)
Playing "Millionaire"
Winning "Millionaire"
A Day With Allie
Past Attractions at Magic Kingdom
Meeting Mickey
Disneyland at 50
Future of Disneyland
Beyond the Disney Parks
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Monorail System
California Adventure
Expanding Disney's California Adventure
10 Reasons to Love Disneyland
A WDW Veteran's First Trip to Disneyland
A Disneyland Veteran's First Trip to Walt Disney World
Disneyland Homecoming
Walt Disney World With Pre-Teen Boys
Keys To The Kingdom Backstage Tour
Pirates & Princess Party
WDW with Teens? Absolutely!
Disney Dining Plan
More Dining Plan Tips
Dining Plan Revisited
Dining Plan Answers
Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) Strategies
Artist Point Review
California Grill Review
Nine Dragons Review
Spoodles Review
The Turf Club Review
Crystal Palace Review
Yak & Yeti Review
Tutto Italia Review
Character Dinners
Dine With A Disney Imagineer
Eating Healthy at Disney
Food Allergies
White Water Snacks
MurderWatch Mystery Theatre
Disneyland Dining: Yamabuki
Disneyland Area Dining: Pirate's Dinner Adventure
Party For The Senses
Artist Point
1900 Park Fare Dinner Review
Making Magic
Romance At Disney World
Beating The Post Trip Blues
Discovering the Magic
Magic of Slowing Down
Unexpected Treasures
Wishes Fireworks Cruise
Backstage Tours
Epcot's Segway Tour
Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival
Taking Great Photos
Taking Great Fireworks Photos
Digital Photo Q & A
Souvenirs on a Budget
Pal Mickey
Birthdays at Disney
Reunions and Gatherings
Holidays (Christmas)
More Holidays
Disney Intimate Weddings
Disney Vow Renewals
Custom Events
Preserving Memories
Scrapbooking Supplies
Finding Scrapbook Supplies at WDW
Memories and Milestones
Scavenger Hunts
Hidden Mickeys
Hidden Mickeys Book Review
Richard Petty Experience
More Richard Petty Rides
Ft. Wilderness Trail Ride
Disney Podcasts
MouseFest 2006
Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba
Making of PassPorter
Rest of the World
United States:
Big Apple Greeter
City Pass Cards
Hilton Head Island #1
Hilton Head Island #2
Celebration, Florida
Key Largo & Islamorada
Miami, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida
Space Coast, Florida
Tampa-St. Petersburg
WonderWorks (Orlando)
Knoebels, Pennsylvania
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco
Anza-Borrego Desert
Grand Canyon
The Poconos
New York City
New York Splash Tours
New York City Dining
New York: Antiques
New England
New Orleans
Nashville, Tennessee
Adventures by Disney: Wyoming
Fort Sumter, South Carolina
Zoos of the World
Universal Studios Orlando
New Attractions at Universal Orlando
Seuss Trolley Train Ride at Universal Orlando
Sanibel & Captiva Islands
Universal: For Non-Thrill Seekers?
Madison County, Iowa
The Great Smoky Mountains
Discovery Cove (Orlando)
Busch Gardens Africa: SheiKra Coaster Review
NASCAR AllState 400
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Niagara Falls, New York
Blue Horizons at SeaWorld Orlando
International Travel:
London Museums
London's Globe Theatre
Kent, England
Bath, England
Great Britain via Harry Potter
Stockholm, Sweden
Helsinki, Finland
Quebec City, Canada
Prince Edward Island
South Africa
Leeds Castle
Windsor Castle
Dover Castle
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Educational Epcot: A Seamless Line Between Fun & Learning

by Laura Bradford, Guest Columnist and Novelist

As many families with demanding careers know, planning your vacation around school break isn't always possible. And if household finances are limited in any way, the higher cost of hotel accommodations during traditional school breaks can be a bit of a wet blanket as well.

Translation? Forgo a family vacation entirely, throw caution (and your budget) to the wind or take the kids out of school for a few days. While the first option is not a popular choice for some, others have come to realize that many learning experiences can come from a much-needed family vacation, experiences that tend to stay with a child for years.

Believe it or not, a trip to Walt Disney World is no exception.

How many kids can say they experienced the music of Japan, the grace of Chinese acrobats, and Mexico's bartering system all in one day? How many kids can sample and compare cuisine from Asia, Australia, France and Morocco in the school cafeteria? How many kids can walk through eleven different "countries" in the span of a few hours, collecting symbols and stamps from each one as they go? Not many, unless they happen to be visiting the World Showcase at Walt Disney World's Epcot!

In fact, this section of Epcot is one of the most incredible Social Studies "classrooms" I've ever seen. The Japanese gardens you see in pictures are suddenly right in front of your eyes, beckoning you to walk over their small bridges and down their winding paths. The notion of bartering and fiestas come to life as your boat moves from room to room in Mexico taking you on a journey that is more real and memorable than any printed words in a textbook.

For school-age kids, Family Fun Magazine has a "Kidcot" fun stop in each country. Kids start out by decorating a mask in the first country they visit. Then, as they move from country to country, they collect symbols to add to their mask. In China, kids even get an opportunity to see how their name is written in Chinese! At the end, each child has a souvenir mask that serves as both a memory of their visit to Epcot, as well as a springboard into further learning opportunities as they seek out reasons for each symbols relevance to the country where it was received.

Looking for even more educational material? You are in luck! Every fall, kids (and adults) can experience each of the eleven countries represented at Epcot well as many more--via their taste buds! The annual International Food & Wine Festival provides a great chance to sample foods from around the world, giving you just one more way to experience a variety of cultures.

When my family ventured over to Epcot earlier this fall, I was eager to try as many different tastes as possible but held little hope that my kids would do the same. At home, our youngest eats very little that isn't smothered in ketchup! But sometime during the monorail ride to the park, they put on their adventure hats and willingly tried something from every country we chose to sample. And even more surprisingly they liked everything they tried -- without ketchup! As we sampled our way around the globe that evening, it was fun to talk about which country we enjoyed tasting the most. It was fun to walk along looking at the buildings of each different country, listening to the music in Japan and gazing at art exhibits in Morocco. Eating chocolate crème brulee near the Eiffel Tower was almost surreal, and the Guinness Stew from Ireland was a fun way for the kids to feel connected to a part of the world so many of our relatives immigrated from. In fact, the entire global experience was so authentic that I almost forgot we were in the middle of a theme park in Florida!

The festival itself offers more than just great international food to Epcot. It also brings learning opportunities for kids and families alike. Are your kids studying plants in school this year? The National Honey Board had a great "hands-on" way for kids to follow a honeybee as it gathers nectar and pollen from plants. This fun maze experience made the pages of their science book come to life right before their eyes and provided something tangible to recall when test time comes! Or step inside The Land at Epcot and see pumpkins and cucumbers grown in the park's greenhouses that are actually in the shape of everyone's favorite mouse! And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Epcot's many educational gems.

There is no doubt that a trip to Walt Disney World is primarily a fun family vacation. Epcot just proves that fun and learning can go hand in hand.

About the Author: Laura's mystery novels "Jury of One" and "Forecast of Evil" (Harlequin Mysteries) are available in hardcover and trade paperback in stores everywhere. Check out her web site at for more information.

This article originally appeared in our December 3, 2004 newsletter -- subscribe to our popular newsletter today for free!

Return to | Chat on the PassPorter Message Boards

Updated 04/06/07 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks

PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook

PassPorter's Sidekick for the Walt Disney World Guidebook e-book

PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide

PassPorter's Disney 500: Fast Tips for Walt Disney World Trips e-book

PassPorter's Disney Speed Planner: The Easy Ten Step Program to a Perfect Walt Disney World Vacation e-book

PassPorter's Disney Weddings & Honeymoons

PassPorter's Festivals and Celebrations at Walt Disney World e-book

PassPorter's Treasure Hunts at Walt Disney World

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Clues: First-Class Tips for Disney Cruise Trips

PassPorter Disneyland Resort and Southern California Attractions guidebook

PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line guidebook