Math can be fun.

Wait! Don’t run away! Seriously, math can be fun. All you need is a little something extra – a certain spin – to make math both entertaining and relevant. So, to help young and old alike gain a better appreciation for the joys of mathematics, following are math problems which contain just a little touch of Disney magic.


  • There are ten lines open at the entrance of the Disneyland park. Fifty percent of people arriving from the Mickey and Friends parking structure use lines one through four. Forty percent of people arriving from the Toy Story parking area and hotel shuttles use lines eight through ten. All other guests use the remaining lines in the following proportions: 25% use lane four, 25% use lane five, 15% use lane six, and 35% use lane seven. Based on these percentages, calculate the probability that the line you choose will be held up by an out-of-town tourist who does not understand the concept of a single-park ticket. 


  • A new attraction is added to Disneyland. Determine the odds that, for the first time in a very long time, at no point in the attraction’s storyline will “something go horribly wrong”? 


  • A mother constantly insists “Little Timmy, the big characters won’t hurt you” while thrusting a crying child into the arms of a reluctant Captain Hook. Determine the combined years of therapy required for the child, Captain Hook, the character handler, and the children in line who, seeing another child being tortured, run screaming into the park.


  • Determine the 1954 purchase price of the land that surrounded Disneyland. Find a nice quiet spot to sneak off and quietly cry. And whatever you do, don’t look at the original stock price.

  • While standing in line for each attraction, divide the number of complaints about the attraction by the number of minutes spent in the line. Now predict just how much higher the complaint ratio will be regarding the exterior of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!


  • You have been waiting at the parade route for thirty minutes. It is announced that the parade will start in fifteen minutes. In the time between the announcement and the start of the parade, how many people will try to cut in front of you? Is the answer different if the announcement states it is five minutes until the parade starts? Is the answer different if you convert your corn dog into a serviceable weapon?


  • Calculate the average number of trips on It’s a Small World necessary to make someone think they actually miss Superstar Limo. Re-calculate because, trust me, your estimate is too low.


  • Three families are visiting Disneyland. The first family leaves Modesto at 5 am and takes a train averaging 80 miles-per-hour. The second family leaves Cleveland at 3 pm and takes a plane averaging 550 miles-per-hour. The third family leaves Phoenix at 10 am in a minivan averaging 85 miles-per-hour. Calculate the exact point at which all three fathers come to the realization they should have traveled separately from the family?


  • Assuming a 10% inflation rate and a 15% annual increase in ticket prices, determine the present value of purchasing annual passes over the next ten years. Based on your final calculation, take a long, hard look at buying season passes for Knott’s instead.


  • Can there be too many presidents in the Hall of Presidents? Is your answer different than it was one year ago?


  • Complete a drink-by-drink comparison between Disneyland’s Trader Sam’s and Walt Disney World’s Grog Grotto. Begin the comparison by recording volume of individual drinks, alcoholic content as a percentage of volume, and the number of chants associated with each order. You will know your research is done when you find yourself completing an extensive and detailed analysis of floor patterns.


  • What do you get when you add one guest to 999 happy haunts? Is the answer different if the guest is unhappy? What happens if two guests become available at the same time? Is there a standby list or will one of the guests be thrown out after being drug down the Corridor of Doors?


  • Add together the number of the private club in Disneyland, the year Epcot opened, Disneyland’s address, the number of Oscars won by Walt Disney and the Disney Corporation, the number of Disney stores open when they were most popular, the price of a ticket on opening day, and the number of hidden Mickeys that have been placed on purpose. Subtract from that total the year the Submarine Voyage closed in Walt Disney World, the current price of a ticket to Disneyland, the number of Disney stores that have closed, and the number of years Paul Pressler was in charge. Multiply by the number of Pixar sequels that have been produced. Divide by the number of Frozen attractions that have been added to the parks. Take a good look at the number. Then take a good look at your life. Then ask if this is any way for a grown up to spend his or her life. If the answer is yes, head off to the parks one more time.


So, how would you make math fun in a Disney way?Click To Tweet