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Disney Math Games Make Long Lines Fun

School is officially out: cue the much-anticipated family vacation. Inevitably, there will be at least a couple of DreamBox fans that pack up and take the kids to Disneyland or Disney World. And while Mickey and Minnie and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride make it all worth it, there is really no way to avoid the hot sun and the long lines.

Long line at Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Image from L.A. Times

Long line at Disneyland

If sweltering heat and interminable waits sound like they’ll take the fun out of your vacation, plan ahead with fun Disney math games that will make endless lines seem like nothing.

Disney math games for a hassle-free (and educational) summer vacation

I spy shoes. Keep your eyes on the ground, and check out the footwear of everyone around you. Have your kids count tennis shoes versus flip flops, or white shoes versus black. How long does it take until someone sees green shoes? A great lesson in counting, categorizing, and fashion.

Hidden Mickey roundup. “Hidden Mickies” are the designs, patterns and forms Disney “imagineers” (that’s an engineer with an imagination) incorporate into the Disney parks. The three circles that make up Mickey’s head (two small circles for ears, one larger circle for his head) are everywhere: in the wall paper, from a bird’s eye view of the golf course, in the table settings, in the rides. Have your kids scope out these patterns, both big and small. How many Mickies can your kids see from the line? How many over the course of your vacation?

Spot this Hidden Mickey at the Haunted Mansion.

Spot this Hidden Mickey at the Haunted Mansion

Disney charades. This is a great game to play when you’re wrangling more than one youngster in line. Have each child take turns acting out the Disney character you whisper in their ear while the other child times them for 30 seconds. Pump up the math learning by using an analog watch, as opposed to a digital timer.

Count the flags. Disney World is one of the most international tourist attractions in the United States. While in line, count how many foreign flags you and your kids can see: either on T-shirts, stitched onto backpacks, or on key chains. Disney “cast members” (all the workers in the Disney parks are called cast members) wear name tags saying where they come from. Can your kids find cast members from all 50 states? How many international cast members have they met?

And as a reminder: wear hats and apply sunscreen often and in high dosages, to make waiting in the direct sun much safer!

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