Tag Archives: student travel company

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.

Tips for ‘Pitching’ Class Trips to Administrators

by Howard Clemens

Educators are already bogged down with many responsibilities both inside and outside the classroom. Some are in need of assistance to help plan and execute student trips. Working in the student travel industry for over 25 years, I have several ideas on how to make student trips more enticing to administrators. There are talking points for approaching the administration or even the school board about taking students on an educational trip.

I am the owner of a student travel company, Educational Travel Consultants. I have assisted many teachers in planning and executing class trips to Washington D.C., New York City, Orlando, and other U.S. destinations.

These days, class trips can be organized around science themes, performance trips, art tours, theater tours, eco-trips, and more. Taking a multi-subject approach to travel as a tool for educational enrichment means there are more possibilities for students to engage in active learning on a variety of topics.

Many teachers are required to validate student travel objectives to administrators or others. I would like to guide teachers in how to be successful at this challenge.

This article gives some tips on how to make the best approach to administrators and gain approval for a class trip to a desired destination.

1. Teachers Need to Make a Direct Connection between the Curriculum and the Student Trip. Teachers in subject areas outside of U.S. History can engage student learning with trips. The obvious choice for a trip to Washington D.C. is to tie it into an American History or Government class. But this is only one way of ‘pitching’ a trip to Washington D.C. A trip to Washington D.C. could be focused on science, be a band trip tied to a performance, include theater or provide a tour of art venues in town. My company is always ready to provide appropriate tour suggestions for any of these areas of study. Or we can book a standard class trip to Washington with a tour of the White House, Capitol, and downtown area.

2. Define the funding source clearly. Fundraising is an important issue and must be addressed in a meeting with administrators. Here is a brief list of some effective fundraising ideas that students can participate in that I recommend frequently: citrus fruit sales, selling roses and carnations on Valentine’s Day, sponsoring a car wash, selling scratch off cards, or selling CDs or DVDs. The teacher may want to do some preliminary research on or offline to confirm some of these fundraising methods and look at profit margins on products to set realistic fundraising goals for the class trip. Parents can also be asked to pay for a certain portion of the trip.

3. Present a Trip Budget: Break costs down by student and also add any other additional costs for the student trip that may be needed. A student travel consultant can assist with this. Present a comprehensive budget with an estimation of the number of people traveling on the trip.

4. Outline Financial Benefits. Teachers and chaperones are usually given complimentary trips by student travel companies. This eliminates costs for most adults to travel. This is one large benefit that is important, especially during tight budget years for the school.

5. Discuss Educational Benefits. What are the educational benefits of this trip? Will students come away with a firsthand knowledge of the way in which democracy works after visiting the Capitol and the White House? Have they benefited from visiting the estates of some of the founding fathers in Virginia, or seen the early canal system that used to move people and goods in the U.S? Indicate how students will be academically prepped before the trip. Give students a way to process the trip by building writing assignments into post travel curriculums.

6. Safety: Research and confirm that students, teachers and chaperones are insured on the trip, to alleviate liability to the school should anything occur. Select a well- established travel company that specializes in student travel and guarantees trip insurance. ETC carries a $2 million dollar liability insurance policy for all student trips. Another way to ensure safety includes something my company has done for ages. Our tour consultants book ONLY hotels with interior hallways and locked doors.

7. Chaperones: List the parents who will be accompanying students on this trip. Indicate the chaperone to student ratio.

These are just a few ideas that will guide an educator in preparing the foundation for an excellent educational experience that includes active learning: a class trip. Even during times of economic challenge educational travel should still be planned and executed, because it makes learning fun and is a desirable addition to any curriculum.

Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote for a student trip by filling out a brief online form today.

Learn the Importance of Science and Math: Plan a Student Trip to Boston, MA

When it comes to science and math, student trips offer some of the most memorable and insightful experiences of a young person’s academic life. Boston, MA has long been considered one of the brightest spots for educational tours, as it offers customizable class trips to exciting destinations such as: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), The Boston Science Museum & the New England Aquarium. All of these venues showcase eye-opening exhibits highlighting: engineering, chemistry, space exploration, technology, medicine and much more.

Student Trips to MIT Celebrate the History of Science

MIT is home to some of the most innovative and profound breakthroughs in math and science in the world. If you’re planning a student trip, be sure to visit the Edgerton Center Corridor Lab (http://web.mit.edu/Edgerton/www/CorridorLab.html). This lab is filled with interactive displays that give students a hands-on demonstration of various scientific and engineering properties. The MIT Museum (http://web.mit.edu/museum/) has its share of wonders as well including Kismet, the world’s first sociable robot. Whether it’s holographic, oceanic or architectural, students are bound to find something that’s truly captivating.

The List Visual Arts Center is also located on MIT campus. Here students can explore the creative arts, science and mathematics, especially in the mixed-media art gallery. There are over 1,500 permanent pieces on display, and the center also frequently hosts temporary exhibitions by world-class artists such as Pablo Picasso and Michael Heizer.

Have a Hands-On Class Trip at the Boston Science Museum

The Boston Science Museum is a perfect destination for an upcoming math field trip, as space exploration is one of its most extensive exhibits. The museum includes over 700 permanent exhibits, as well as countless temporary exhibits and shows. For students of astronomy, the museum offers a planetarium with shows scheduled throughout the day. For students craving more visual stimulus, the museum also includes a high-end laser show, an HD 3D theatre that requires no glasses to witness, and an IMAX theatre. All in all, the museum offers an in-depth, exciting look into life sciences, earth and space sciences, math, physics and nanotechnology. And best of all, group rates are available for student trips.

Discover the Seas at the New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is a must-stop venue for any class trip. The aquarium sees over 1.5 million visitors per year, and they have experts standing by for customized educational tours (http://www.neaq.org/education_and_activities/index.php). With over 20,000 animals on site, student tours will get an intimate look at African penguins, Atlantic Harbor seals, sea dragons, and even a giant Pacific octopus.

One of the aquarium’s greatest draws is the 200,000-gallon salt-water tank. It stands over four stories tall and gives guests the opportunity to see a Caribbean ecosystem first-hand. The tank has over 600 species inside and can be viewed from all angles, including a view straight down into the coral reef from above.

For student groups interested in a Whale Watch, schedule a time to take the Voyager II, a high-speed catamaran that takes groups 30 miles off the coast of Boston to the whale feeding grounds. Voyager II leaves from the New England Aquarium dock. Whale watching is seasonal so check with an educational travel consultant to see if it is in sync with the student trip being planned.

Explore More on a Student Trip Boston

Boston has long been considered one of America’s brightest cities. Student trips can also include popular historic destinations in and around the city such as the Boston Commons, the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, the Freedom Trail, Salem, Walden Pond, Faneuil Hall, the U.S.S. Constitution, Quincy Market and more. Its streets are lined with history, and its universities are admired throughout the world. An educational science tour through the halls of MIT will undoubtedly make a lasting impression. And whether it’s the vast expanses of space at the Museum of Science or the brimming life in our oceans at the New England Aquarium, one cannot help but feel a rare sense of awe and wonder at the utter complexity and magnificence of planet Earth and all its inhabitants.

Adjudicated Music Festivals in Orlando, Washington D.C., and New York City

One of the objectives of some educational travel may be to perform with a musical instrument or voice and compete in front of judges. Also known as the adjudicated music festival, a performance with a final judging may take place in a college auditorium or an arts performance venue with excellent acoustics, or a public venue with these facilities. A band, choir or jazz ensemble is not performing for a crowd, but judge(s) who have backgrounds as college music professors or high school band or orchestra directors who are well-respected in the profession.

Various student tour groups benefit greatly by embracing this experience. Junior High, Middle School and High School Choirs, Concert Bands, Orchestras, Jazz ensembles and parades all seem to derive a great deal from the adjudicated music festival experience. After the music festival is judged, students tour groups attend a dinner where awards are given, and they are publicly recognized for their work.

Popular Music Festivals Venues in Orlando Florida
Since it’s the location of Disney World, Orlando Florida offers some attractive venues for music festivals. After the adjudicated music festival performance, enjoy Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, MGM Sudios, Epcot Center, or the Magic Kingdom.

Popular Venues for Adjudicated Music Festivals in Washington D.C.

For students visiting Washington D.C., there are many outstanding adjudicated music festival performance opportunities to choose from. A professional educational travel consultant can help a student travel group identify a music festival that is appropriate for your band, orchestra, choir, jazz ensemble, or more.

High School Musical Tour Dates in New York City
Some notable performance venues in New York City are available to student travel groups. These include the Statue of Liberty, United Nations, and Lincoln Center.

High School Musical Tour Combined with Theme Parks

Sometimes groups attending adjudicated music festivals request a combination of competition and fun on their tour. These student travel groups may arrange to hold the awards ceremony in a theme park setting. Other groups tend to hold their awards ceremony for the adjudicated music festival in a hotel ballroom, or at a dinner show.

The theme park setting for an awards ceremony naturally appeals to students because of the fun involved. The theme park adjudicated music festival tour appeals to the high school and junior high age groups, where many are likely to participate in Mixed Choir, Concert Band, Orchestras, Jazz Ensembles and Parades.

For many bands, orchestras, choirs or jazz ensembles visiting Orlando Florida, the Disney High Musical School Tours offer the type of experience they are seeking.

Outside of Washington D.C. student travel groups may visit Kings Dominion, North of Richmond, or Six Flags Great Adventure in Northern Virginia to complement the adjudicated music festival experience.

For student performance groups traveling and performing near New York City, Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey is a great place to visit and hold an awards ceremony.

Educational travel tours are enhanced by adjudicated music festival performances. But some groups would rather perform and not be judged by a formal committee. For these groups, the non-adjudicated music festival will work well. Whatever your travel group’s needs are, visit http://wwwEducationalTravelConsultants.com for more information about adjudicated and non-adjudicated music festival performance tours and venues.

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Itinerary for an Educational Field Trip to New York City

When student travel tours are scheduled for New York City, the main item on the itinerary is art and culture, with some standard points of interest, like The Statue of Liberty and Times Square, included. Here is a descriptive sample itinerary for a New York City student field trip, which balances art and cultural highlights with visits to interesting destinations in Manhattan.

Always use a professional educational travel consultant when planning a trip to New York City. Certified tour guides must be used in New York City, and motor coach drivers must be well versed in street layouts and traffic patterns. An educational travel consultant will select qualified individuals to work with an educational tour. The goal of educational travel is to deliver the highest quality learning experience to the group, and to keep the student travel tour on schedule.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Student travel tours planned in advance can easily complement classroom activities. “Modern Teachers” is a MoMA program that allows educators to customize educational tours of the Museum. Working closely with materials on MoMA’s website http://www.moma.org/modernteachers/, an educator can construct a lesson plan to coincide with the field trip to MoMA. This exciting tool for educators is complemented by video lessons on the world’s greatest artists. With advance notice, educational tour groups can visit MoMA with a docent.

Metropolitan Art Museum

At the Metropolitan Art Museum, an emphasis on the classics benefit the student travel group, and give them a well rounded approach to art history. The brand new Greek and Roman galleries offer glimpses into the world of the ancients with 5,200 pieces from the permanent collection now available for public viewing. The Cloisters is located at Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan and recently reopened in 2006. It represents the world of medieval art and architecture. Other exhibits, lectures, and special programs are also available to student tour groups. Have an educational travel professional schedule a guided student tour for the Met in advance.

A Student Tour of the Empire State Building

Have a qualified educational tour consultant schedule a group tour of the Empire State Building in New York City. The Empire State Building was constructed in 1930, during the beginning of the great depression, greatly reducing building costs. The 86th Floor Observatory offers a commanding view of Manhattan and has been the site of filming “Sleepless in Seattle” and “An Affair to Remember.” The building has a unique history surrounding its construction. The impetus for building the Empire State Building was a contest between Walter Chrysler (Chrysler Corporation) and John Jakob Raskob (General Motors) to see who could build the tallest skyscraper.

Guided Tour of Manhattan

Half-day student tours of Manhattan usually begin at Central Park, the northernmost point in Manhattan, and end to Battery Park, the Southernmost point. The tour covers some major points of interest in Manhattan such as Central Park, Times Square, Soho, City Hall, Wall Street, The Statue of Liberty, and much more. In addition to seeing points of interest, student tour groups will also learn about the artistic and commercial history of Manhattan on this tour.

Educational Tours: See a Broadway Musical While in New York City

Almost every student travel group wants to experience at least one Broadway Musical while in New York City. Tickets for popular shows need to be procured in advance by a student travel company. “Wicked”, “Chicago”, and a “Chorus Line” are popular Broadway musicals appropriate for student travel groups. Off Broadway productions are also available. Book student travel group tickets in advance through a qualified educational travel company to obtain student seating together and receive the best price per ticket.

An educational field trip to New York City can offer the student the travel opportunity of a lifetime. This is only one sample itinerary of a student tour of New York City. There are many other variations of student travel tours to New York. With clear objectives in mind and proper planning, a more customized educational tour of New York City can easily be created. Visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com for more field trip ideas for New York City.