Tag Archives: educational travel orlando fl

What’s New in Orlando at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida?

Walt Disney World in Orlando is an exciting place for class trips. One of the world’s most beloved theme parks continually improves its offerings to keep exhibits, rides, and youth programs fresh and interesting. Student travel group leaders planning trips to Orlando, FL need to keep abreast of Walt Disney World’s new attractions and programming so they can add some of these activities to their itinerary.

I have organized tours of Walt Disney World for student travel groups for over 25 years. It is a popular destination for high school senior trips, high school bands and orchestras, theater students, science students and more. Walt Disney World has an outstanding active learning program called Youth Education Series (Y.E.S Programs). Y.E.S. programs are designed for arts and humanities, earth sciences, natural sciences, and leadership and careers. This article will give an overview of “Everyday Chemistry” a new program in Physical Sciences and “Showbiz Magic at La Nouba Cirque du Soleil” just added to Arts and Humanities programming.

Orlando has another fun theme park owned by Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure. A sixth island is about to open in Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” This article will also offer a preview for student travel groups headed to Orlando and the Islands of Adventure.

Universal Studios also has a new rollercoaster that is sure to thrill student travel groups: Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit. This high tech ride offers some unique features not found on other roller coasters. Student travel groups destined for Orlando may be interested in visiting Universal Studios, as well as Walt Disney World.

Y.E.S Program “Everyday Chemistry” 4th – 9th grade
This program is designed to show the student how chemistry impacts our day-to-day lives. Student groups will do hands on learning in Future World at Epcot. They will learn about chemical elements and their properties, and be given an overview of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. Students will visit Ellen’s Energy Adventure, where they will gain a much broader understanding of compounds that create fossil fuels and photosynthesis. During this educational program, tour groups will also be given some background on plastics and polymers, solar energy, and the process of making automobiles.

YES Program “Showbiz Magic at La Nouba Cirque du Soleil”

Theater and performance students will be drawn to this Y.E.S. Program, which helps them to gain greater insight into the talent and skills that make the world famous Cirque du Soleil possible. They tour the training room and the green room and meet some of the actual performers in La Nouba Cirque du Soleil. Students also have a chance to experiment with The Diabolos, a performance art featured in the Cirque du Soleil.

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”
On June 18th 2010 the newest theme park at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando will open: “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” This fantastic park is modeled on the movie rendition of Harry Potter’s adventures with replicas of Hogwarts (the school) and Hogsmeade (a village). Student groups can taste magical food and drinks at Three Broomsticks and the Hog’s Head and shop in various stores with magical themes. The new attraction includes Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, an ‘augmented reality’ version of the movie that places students squarely within Harry Potter’s experiences at Hogwarts. Student groups will also want to try some supernatural attractions that follow the theme of the Harry Potter movies closely. These include the Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriff.

Universal Studios New Roller Coaster: “Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit”

This 65-mile per hour roller coaster is sure to excite student groups, especially those who love contemporary and retro music. Visitors choose their own soundtrack from: pop/disco, rap/hip hop, classic rock/heavy metal, country, or electronic music before boarding. With digital cameras installed on board they will get to see themselves on video as they ride the roller coaster. Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit ascends to heights of 17 stories, dives into loops, and twists and turns while riders experience an adrenaline rush of a lifetime. The unique combination of technology and roller coaster thrills will please just about any student traveler who is eager for adventure.

No wonder Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando are at the top of the list for most student travelers. A visit to Orlando combines active learning and high quality educational programming with all of the joys and stimulation people expect from a theme park. When it is time to take a break from the day’s activities, there are great choices for entertainment, tasty dining and unique shopping experiences awaiting the tour group.

With planning and coordination by tour leaders and an educational travel company, student groups can easily visit both parks. If student groups want to participate in Y.E.S Programs, I recommend booking early in order to secure a reservation.

Hotel Security On Class Trips

Class trips to destinations such as Washington D.C., New York City, Orlando and other desirable cities are the perfect opportunity for young people to learn and have fun with their peers, teachers and parents. For many parents sending their children on class trips, educational travel can also create anxiety over the unknown. Educational travel companies need to take steps to minimize parents’ worries by implementing measures that make them feel secure in putting their trust in others. There are methods to ensure students’ safety.

I have been the owner of an educational tour company for over 25 years and I have had an opportunity to listen to parents’ concerns firsthand. I am also the father of several children myself, so it’s easy for me to empathize. Without proper oversight and planning, one of the main places where problems can occur on student trips is at the hotel. For this reason, Educational Travel Consultants has a standing policy and procedure to guarantee student security while staying at hotels.

I will outline several effective strategies for ensuring security on class trips while student groups are staying at hotels. If these measures are taken, there is less cause for concern.

Let’s face it, there is always a possibility something may happen while student groups are on tour. This is why Educational Travel Consultants carries an insurance policy on all student trips. In addition to insurance, I feel strongly that implementing hotel security measures is another way to make certain that students are supervised at all times. Students do not need to be tempted to leave the hotel where they are staying for points unknown, in urban areas that are unfamiliar to them.

Hotel Security Measures for Student Travel Groups

1. The choice of hotel is essential for security on class trips. My company only books student groups at hotels with enclosed hallways. It is easier to monitor students’ behavior and make certain they are not tempted to leave the premises in hotels with interior corridors.

2. Students need to have a curfew. An 11 p.m. curfew is standard on trips. If the group for some reason arrives at a hotel after 11 p.m. (which is rare) the curfew begins 30 minutes after arrival.

3. Though it adds an extra expense, a security guard can patrol the hotel hallways after curfew until morning. My company policy is to guarantee a guard on all student trips.

4. Security guards also tape student rooms at curfew. The teacher in charge may take disciplinary action if the tape is ripped or removed.

5. When curfew is imposed at 11 p.m. this means that students must turn televisions and music down, and be quiet. Noise and loud talking may disturb other guests and is not permitted. A teacher may request that lights go out at curfew and that no talking is permitted. In any case, if a student’s inappropriate behavior warrants it, this may mean expulsion from the trip, which will also have implications once the student is returned to school and home.

6. Security guards must have clear parameters to work within. When the guard arrives for duty at 11 p.m. he or she is instructed on any last minute room switches and briefed on seeking teachers and chaperones out. Security guards are not permitted to enter student rooms for any purpose. However, they are required to keep a log of all occurrences throughout the evening. The guard will not wake group leaders for minor disruptions – only if an emergency or problem which requires their input occurs.

If these security measures are taken on class trips, I find that problems can be eliminated before they even begin. Young people need to have clearly defined rules. Similar to the classroom, inappropriate behavior on class trips has serious consequences.

The majority of student groups I have worked with over the years have easily observed these rules and cooperated with teachers, chaperons, tour guides, and security guards. If everyone on the trip observes the guidelines set forth, then the entire group has peace of mind and a good night’s sleep so that they can fully enjoy the tours and attractions on the following day. To inquire about a class trip, just email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote for your student trip.