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Should School Be More Like Disney? Video Sparks Heated Debate

Every Disney fan knows, “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day.” That big, beautiful tomorrow is truly in the hands of the generations now and the young ones that are to come.

But should the school system try to be more like Disney? Fans have mixed reactions to the topic.

Mickey Mouse at Fantasmic
Credit: Disney

While the Disney fandom has learned that Walt Disney World Resort isn’t perfect with its ability to upcharge services around every corner and leave some fans disappointed with its current state, there is still something magical that remains.

Despite the crowds, a Disney vacation is still bursting with excitement and magical, pixie dust moments that leave theme park Guests visiting time and time again.

It’s impossible not to get goosebumps when first laying eyes on Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom. The overwhelming size of EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth can’t be forgotten. Disney’s Hollywood Studios lets the inner child be unleashed into a world of storytelling. And the Tree of Life at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is breathtaking with its intricate details.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park
Credit: Disney

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But does that same reaction come from a child entering school? Pushing the iconic theme park structures and expenses aside, could the school system learn from Walt Disney World’s magical moments, such as the Cast Members’ excitement and smiles?

Jonathan Alsheimer (@mr_Alsheimer) is an educator and keynote speaker. At the National Family Engagement Summit, Alsheimer took to social media to share a video, noting, “Why can’t school be more like DISNEY WORLD?! Take a listen.”

Check out the video below:

Alsheimer notes that the whole goal for Disney is to make sure its Guests are having the best day of their life. With the school business also being a people business like Disney, could the school system be more like the theme park giant with the goal to make a child or parent feel like the school is working to have an impact on them?

Reactions to the video immediately go into funding, with comments such as “Does school have Disney World funding? Asking for a friend.” One reply is “Nothing about money and everything do with interactions. A smiling face, a warm hello (using their name), and a well placed compliment cost absolutely nothing and changes a students (and teachers) day from the jump!”

Disney Characters in School
Credit: Disney

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Setting money aside, others note similar thoughts about how school can’t always provide “feel-goods and sparkles” for each student, such as, “B/c sometimes learning is hard. Sometimes you have to learn things you could care less about but it is still important. B/c knowledge is the reward for learning, not feel-goods and sparkles. Some of my best teachers were the antithesis of Disneyland and I am thankful for them.”

Public school and private school teachers speak out, saying, “Oh, my god. Seriously? I work 10-14 hour days trying to get my job done because I don’t have time at school. I give everything I can for my students. This take is awful.”

Student on Slinky Dog Dash
Credit: Disney

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Another teacher says, “I’ll tell you why. I’m not an entertainer. I’m a teacher. I teach at a school, not a business. I have unconditional positive regard for all my students and strive to make my classroom an engaging, welcoming environment for all, BUT…my room and school are not an amusement park.”

It seems like the reactions to “should schools be like Disney” are split, with many saying, “Love this energy and vision,” while others make it clear that “Life is not Disney World!”

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.