Redemption Trip

Good morning!

2 years ago I spent months and months planning the perfect Disney experience for my family of 5 (4 of whom would be first timers) and the grandmas (one of whom would be a first timer) only to have it be all for nothing thanks to our good friend Covid.

We have finally rescheduled and I could not be more excited! It’s going to be a bit of a different trip this time (no grandmas and we’re taking our camper to fort wilderness rather than staying at Wilderness Lodge), but it’s not all bad. It’s a much more affordable endeavor and our girls are a bit older now so we’ll have a bit more flexibility schedule wise.

The details- driving from Houston to Orlando (2 days) with our camper for 7 days/6 nights in fort wilderness with my husband and 3 girls, ages 6, 3, & 3. I’m thinking 4 days of park tickets, one day in each park, and one day to explore fort wilderness. We’ll likely be too late/early on our arrival and departure days to squeeze anything in since we’ve got such a long drive. Priorities will be everything Mickey and Minnie since the 3 year olds are high key obsessed.

I’m so glad this site is here to help me learn how to make the most of everything that’s changed since the last time I did this because wow is it a lot of change! If anyone has any experience with fort wilderness or with taking their kids out of school to go to Disney (ours will be missing 5 days of 1st grade) I’d appreciate hearing them.

Just wanted to say hello again :slight_smile:


Oh, we’ll be going the last week of April 2022.

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Camping at Fort Wilderness sounds like such great fun!!! I have never hesitated taking my kids out of school for vacation. We live in an area that is very summer tourist heavy, so maybe they have a little more compassion that we can’t go away during the summer months. I have not gotten any pushback from a teacher or administration over missed days. Your school district may be different and may have very specific truancy rules. In early elementary school, the teacher would send us off with a packet of work for the kids to do while on the plane and that worked great.


Best advice I can give is to NEVER tell the school you are missing days to go to Disney. They HATE it… (There are a couple threads here w/ parents, like myself, with our dramas after being honest with schools)

Tell them you have to travel due to a death in the family…

(I used to say my child was ill. I’d go to the local “clinic” at Walgreens and get her a note, but in COVID times, I’d just use a death excuse to ease concerns.)

I know kids at that age will share their travel story quickly, but IME the “official” version / note you give should be enough not press the issue.


I actually just spoke to our schools registrar (she lives next door, and was home for lunch—since we were both in our backyards I asked her if I could ask an off the record question) and she said I don’t need to give any reason for missing the days, just send an email saying she won’t be there and as long as she doesn’t have any other unexcused absences in the semester 5 days won’t generate any follow up.


That’s great!! It makes it less frustrating to enjoy your family time!

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We pulled DD5 out of Kindergarten for 5 days this year. We just told the registrar/her teacher she wouldn’t be there and there was no problem. Her teacher sent some “work” for her to do but it was the 3rd or 4th week of school so it was basically coloring pages :slight_smile:

Totally worth it to avoid crowds!

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I’m sure it varies quite a bit by school district, teacher and perhaps even to some extent child - we never had an issue taking out my son and at the early ages they would even focus some of the homework around the DIS trip - like what did you learn? What did you enjoy the most type stuff? But the teachers were always very supportive.

I think around 6th to 8th grade it got a little tougher as the homework was more extensive and we avoided it totally in high school, although that was half sports and half academics…


Ok, first of many questions…

Is the difference between a crowd level 2 and 4 in MK enough that it would warrant pushing it back from the first day to the 4th day of our trip?

I’m sure things won’t stay the same until April, but I’m trying to decide where to start for our initial park reservations. Park days will be April 25th-April 29th if anyone wants to look at the crowd calendar and tell me their opinion on which days we should do what.

A 4 is still low crowds, and TP estimates can be off by 2 levels anyway. I wouldn’t change if it suits your trip to do it the original way.