The Three Mouseketeers | Disney Student Seminar Day

After thoroughly enjoying “How Things Move” at the Magic Kingdom, the three Mousekateers approached our last overcast day at the Disney Student Seminar (formerly called Homeschool Days) with a spring in our step and no small amount of enthusiasm.

Disney Student Seminar Hooray! The kids haven't quite figured out that this is the last day yet.
Hooray! The kids haven’t quite figured out that this is the last day yet.

We arrived early as requested to walk over to the American Adventure pavilion for our next student seminar. Our check-in of 8:30 turned into quite the crowd of people. I bumped into Jodi Whisenhunt, of Magical Mouse Schoolhouse while waiting to scan our MagicBands to get into the park.

Disney Student Seminar Meeting friends from the internet can be scary. Meeting Disney friends from the internet can be magical!
Meeting friends from the internet can be scary. Meeting Disney friends from the internet can be magical!

She is just as fun and encouraging in person as in Disney blogs and online. Jodi’s been homeschooling for a bit longer than me, with correspondingly older kids so that was fun.

Epcot Disney Student Seminar

This morning’s talk, Disney Student Seminars Presents: Honoring African American Heritage Month with guest speaker, Khalil Kinsey, of the Kinsey collection offered an interesting insight into all kinds of people I’d (sadly) never even heard of. If you get a chance to swing into the Kinsey Collection downstairs on the left side of the American Adventure pavilion, do.

Disney Student Seminar  Tired enough to take the elevator.
Tired enough to take the elevator.

Although fascinating, the talk aimed for the upper ages of the group (Kindergarten to High School) so I took Kylee for a potty break in the deserted world showcase and walked back through the empty pavilion.

At the end of the presentation, we enjoyed our very own showing of An American Adventure as Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin brought history to life. Both kids gawked at the animatronics and several times asked (not too quietly) if they were really animatronics.

Would I recommend the Disney Student Seminars? With absolutely no reservations! This is a fun, educational, different way to visit Walt Disney World.

Back to Exploring Epcot

After such a week full of magical sunlit memories, the cold and drizzle well and truly set in.

"A word of advice, young man: storm signals are up at number 17. Bit of heavy weather brewing there."
“A word of advice, young man: storm signals are up at number 17. Bit of heavy weather brewing
there.”

So we did what any logical person does when it rains in Epcot.

Duck inside somewhere warm and dry and eat!

Tangerine Café is the Mouseketeers other favorite restaurant in the Epcot World Showcase.
Tangerine Café is the Mouseketeers other favorite restaurant in the Epcot World Showcase.

A vegetarian platter at the tangerine café is a wonderful value. For $10.99 you get humus, tabbouleh, lentils, tangerine couscous, olive salads, falafel, fresh warm pitas and lentil salad. Kylee declared this the best falafel in Walt Disney World (and frankly after sampling falafel in five different restaurants in a week, she’s an expert.) She and I split the plate. Chris enjoyed his chicken wrap as well.

Olaf brought his own flurry, but it wasn't really necessary.
Olaf brought his own flurry, but it wasn’t really necessary.

Then off to future world  for a nice after lunch rest in the Universe of Energy.

I know many people are down on Ellen’s Energy Adventure, but between a love of Bill Nye the Science Guy show courtesy of Netflix and dinosaurs, it’s still a must do for our family.

The temperature continued to drop.

I guess we *had* to go shopping for a cute hoodie. So with that done, we headed into the Seas to visit with Nemo and Friends and a few manatees and of course, Crush.

Fishy Face!
Fishy Face!

The sun peaked out and the weather was just about perfect for the rest of the afternoon! There was one last thing to do in Future World that the kids never experienced…

try Beverly at Club Cool.

It.

Was.

Hilarious.

(Video will be uploaded when/if I find it.)

After our brief visit with Duffy early in the week, we all happily waited to meet him!

Duffy!!!
Duffy!!! And my newly acquired hoodie.

Then the kids headed to the recruitment center at the Odyssey Bridge to initiate Agent P: World Showcase Adventure. After saving the day in Norway, a Mickey Pretzel break needed to happen. (No pictures! Because honestly, it’s ripped to pieces before I’ve finished swiping my MagicBand. Needless to say, we went back for a second.)

D23 Expo 2015
Remember how easy it was to learn your ABC’s? Thank the Phoenicians, they invented them.

We thanked the Phoenicians at Spaceship Earth, visited Mars (thankfully on Mission Green this time) and embraced our Disney Side with one last visit to Figment and the Imagination Institute…but still one last character waited for the kids to meet.

Gawrsh!
Gawrsh!

Or two…

Just us Disney Girls.
Just us Disney Girls.

Or three!

Last visit with the Big Cheese!
Last visit with the Big Cheese!

And after a last picture with Spaceship Earth…

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we took a short walk over to Italy for a simple dinner. Via Napoli served up some yummy pizza, but seemed loud or echo-y. The kids though tired, cheerfully colored and dug into their pizza. We swung by the Mexico pavilion, where Kylee enjoyed chatting up the KidCot Stop ladies and trying out her Spanish. We cruised down El Rio Del Tiempo with the Three Caballeros.

Then I switched the kids to Tron-mode.

On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy.
On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy.

A few glow in the dark bracelets makes it much easier to keep track of the little Mouseketeers in the low lighting around the World Showcase during Illuminations. Our last FastPass of the trip held our spots for Illuminations and the cold drove us back to indoor attractions as we waited. Back to visit the Phoenicians! Then after a quick potty break, we grabbed some much apprectiated hot cocoa at the Fountain View Starbucks and headed out to watch my favorite of all the Disney night time spectulars.

Y’all. It was cold! Sitting in the warmth of a torch when I normally avoid them (who needs heating in Florida?), the kids loved every bit of it.

The park closing, we headed to the restroom on the way out then dawdled over the glowing sidewalks under the righthand side of Spaceship Earth. We silently followed the crowds out between the Leave-A-Legacy monoliths. Halfway through the  entrance plaza, we turned around to wave and say, “Goodbye Walt Disney World!”

The moment leaving WDW became real for Kylee.
The moment leaving WDW became real for Kylee.

I know, it’s blurry and wobbly. I found myself consoling a very sad, very tired little mouseketeer. Thankfully, she fell asleep in my arms as we joined the bus line and headed back to our hotel.

Grateful that the next morning involved sleeping in, I tucked Kylee, still asleep into bed, let Chris shower and popped him in bed. Then I took a long hot soak.

After months of people questioning my sanity for attempting to take two kids to Walt Disney World with no other adults, I survived, the kids survived and the three mouseketeers not only survived, but “did everything (that we wanted to do) at Walt Disney World.” And loved it!

Stick a fork in it, this vacation is done!
Stick a fork in it, this vacation is done!

With our bags packed, tagged and dropped off to the Magical Express kiosk, breakfast beckoned. I double checked our tickets multiple times and the kids reflected on favorite rides and things they’d do different/the same/more next trip.

Homeward bound on the MCO monorail.
Homeward bound on the MCO monorail.

An hour after loading onto the magical express, we headed into the airport. Security contained E-ticket level lines without FastPass. I wish they planned for a little more time to get to the gate on the shuttles, because by the time we arrived at our gate, we had only a few minutes to swing by the restrooms before boarding. Too close for my taste.

Thankfully, the seatback contained free movies! This is perhaps the easiest flight I’ve ever taken with kids as both were too tired to do more than watch Big Hero 6 and nap.

Even Duffy watched the movie quietly.
Even Duffy watched the movie quietly.

Our airplane arrived on time, we found our luggage easily and headed off to wait for Ben to come pick us up. With that, my kids first really real trip to Walt Disney World (does a single day count?) was history.

Awaiting our ride.
Awaiting our ride.

Leaving behind nothing but laundry, memories and magic.

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This is Part 18 the finale of the world’s longest ongoing Trip Report “The Three Mousekateers.”
Additional sections will be found on the Trip Reports page after they publish!

2 Replies to “The Three Mouseketeers | Disney Student Seminar Day”

  1. Did the parents (you) stay with the kids for the Disney Student Seminar? And is this the same as the Youth Education Series?

    1. Yes, I stayed with the kids during the student seminars. All children 14 and younger must have a parent accompany them through Disney Student Seminars and the YES programs. Children 15 and older must have a parent drop them off at the start of the program and sign a waiver as well as staying within the park with a phone on them to be reached in case of an emergency.
      Disney Student Seminars are run by the same people who run the Youth Education Series. For more information about the one that just happened in January, check out Disney’s site here .

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