If you’re planning a trip with school-aged kids, things can get COMPLICATED.
You can plan a visit during school breaks — but then you’re likely to encounter crowds or even extreme heat in the summer. The other option is to take the kids out of school during non-peak times but, depending on your school’s policy, that might not be ideal. We asked DFB readers, “Would you take your kids out of school to go to Disney World?” Here is what a few of our readers responded with!
We reached out on Facebook and Instagram (give us a follow if you want to share your thoughts in the future!) to find out whether our readers take their kids out of school for a Disney World trip and we got quite a few responses. Let’s get into it!
Overwhelmingly, most of our readers answered yes — in fact, there were 4,000 of you! One reader said, “Absolutely. Used to do it at least twice a year,” and another said, “I did last year and I regret nothing.”
One reader also noted, “School is important but so is family time.” So WHY are so many parents opting to take their kids out of school to go to Disney World? We’ll let our readers explain their thoughts and reasoning.
The crowds are typically much lower during the school year, which is a big reason why so many parents are choosing to sacrifice a few days of school. One reader said, “I would much prefer going on low travel/low attendance times like September and February!”
One DFB reader commented that “the 10 weeks of summer break is too hot and too busy to be enjoyable,” and another reader said, “We enjoy the lower crowds.” If you’re not into the summer heat and crowds, the school year can be an optimal time for you to visit.
Visiting in off-peak months like August, September, January, and February typically have much lower crowds than the rest of the year and they could be the perfect time for you. Also, it doesn’t hurt to review Florida school calendars specifically — that can really drive (or lower) crowds!
Visiting during the school year is not just about lower crowds — it can also be a LOT cheaper, from Disney World tickets to hotel costs to even flight prices. One reader noted, “Yep, [the] cheapest times to go are during the school year.”
An Australian reader said, “We are from Australia, it’s cheaper in flights not to travel during school holidays.” Travel times historically peak during school breaks, so it makes sense that prices are cheaper across the board during the school year. The biggest peak times in Disney World are typically summer, November to December, and March to April, so if you can skip school for a few days during non-peak times you can probably save some cash.
Note that in 2023, Disney World tickets are only $109 per day from August 22nd-25th and 29th-31st. $109 is generally the cheapest price you can currently get for a Disney World ticket.
If you’re not sure which dates are actually the cheapest, you can click here to see the cheapest Disney World ticket dates in 2023. You can also search a variety of dates for hotels on Disney World’s website and we’d recommend looking at flights as early as you can.
Memories Are Important
Several readers commented that spending time with family justifies a few days of missed school. One DFB reader said, “A great family experience is well worth a little missed school,” and another said, “School is important but not as important as family memories.”
Some readers reflected on the past, with one reader saying, “Now that he’s grown, I can honestly say it was worth it every time.” Another DFB reader said, “My memories of Disney with my family, as a child and now as a parent, are much more impactful than anything missed at school.”
And many readers noted that Disney World isn’t just fun — it can also be educational. According to one reader, “When my daughter was in first grade her class was studying inventions in the past 100 years. When she came back from [Disney World] she reported back on everything she learned from [Carousel of Progress]. Her teacher was quite impressed.”
One reader put it simply, commenting, “Life is too short! Make the memories!”
On the flip side, many of our readers feel that you should not take your kids out of school to visit Disney World. One reader said, “No, personally it is not a good reason for me to take my son out of school. We go when he is on break.” Another said, “We never took ours out of school for vacation. We went in the summer or Christmas break.”
A reader also said, “That’s what school holiday times are for even if it is a bit pricier and busier [it] just means you have to save up a bit longer.”
If you’re against taking the kids out of school, note that ticket prices will likely be on the higher side, and crowds are typically expected. But if you don’t want your kiddo to miss school, visiting during the holiday seasons or the summer will be your best options.
Only Elementary School
And on an important note, MANY of our readers who said yes also noted that taking kids out of school to go to Disney World only applies to elementary school, or grades Kindergarten through fifth or sixth grade (in the U.S.). A reader said, “Grade school yes – middle school and up it’s hard to catch up beyond one or two days,” and another reader commented, “Elementary school yes!!! My high schoolers would never want to miss school!”
The school workload typically increases in higher grade levels and missing a week of school can carry a heavier impact on older kids. One reader said, “We did when they were in elementary and middle school. Not high school though,” and another reader commented, “Once my child hit high school, making up school work and tests were more of a pain.”
Another reader added that they “used to [take the kids out of school] in the early school years. K-3rd. Now my youngest is in High School and it would be so difficult to keep up with the work.” Of course, as several commenters said, age is not as much of a factor if you homeschool or if your child is in full-time virtual school, where you can typically be a bit more flexible with your time!
Make Sure to Notify the School
And finally, several readers made sure to advise about letting the school know before your trip as well as notifying your child’s teacher, who may be able to provide them with some makeup work to do so they don’t fall behind. It’s also a good idea to review your school’s absence policy to avoid any complications.
One reader advised, “Just let the school know ahead of time and fill out the appropriate paperwork for an educational trip.” Another reader added, “Please don’t ask [their teacher] for their missing classwork right before you leave.”
A few other readers mentioned how they “always take home and class work with us,” with some families opting to do homework on the plane/car or in the hotel room at night — so that’s an option if you’re worried about falling behind on work.
Ultimately, make sure you include notifying the school and your child’s teacher in advance on your Disney World planning to-do list.
And there you have it! Here are both sides from our readers on why they do or do not take their kids out of school. Ultimately, you know your family best, so you have to do what you feel comfortable with! If you’re interested in taking your kiddo out of school for a trip to Disney World, you might want to consider a few things like your budget, your kid’s age, as well as their school policies — make sure you notify their teacher as soon as you can.
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Have YOU ever taken your kid out of school for a trip to Disney World? Tell us in the comments!