Tag Archives: student 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.

Teachers and Tour Escorts: A Working Relationship Can Produce Fun and Educational Student Trips

by Howard Clemens

When planning and executing student trips to Washington D.C., New York City, Orlando, FL or other U.S. destinations one of the primary components for a smooth and fun trip is good communication between a tour escort (also known as a tour director) and the teacher who is sponsoring the class trip.

Some student trips can be quite large, with groups ranging from 100 to 150 students, while other class trips may number between 40-60 students. No matter how large or small the group and how many buses are needed, a trained tour director is a necessary part of the journey and can make the difference in whether the student trip is well managed or not.

An educational tour company with experience in taking school groups on tour will always provide a tour escort as part of the overall cost of the trip. The tour escort is the representative from the educational travel company whose main task is to keep an open dialogue with the teacher when schedule changes or deviations in the itinerary are suggested or needed, among other things.

A tour director is not in charge of the trip. The teacher is the person who fulfills this role and takes ultimate responsibility for making decisions on behalf of the student group. The tour escort’s role is to assist the teacher when a decision needs to be made, and to inform him or her about any potential charges which may be incurred for making decisions that do not coincide with the planned itinerary.

Here is a breakdown of the role a tour director will play on a class trip and the responsibilities of the teacher or school group leader:

Tour Escort
• Introduces him or her self to the teacher before the trip via a personal telephone call.
• Uses the itinerary as a guide for the entire class trip.
• Keeps the group on schedule and manages any issues that may arise that will affect timeliness in attending scheduled events, destinations, eateries, etc.
• Acts as a liaison between the attractions, hotels, restaurants, bus driver, and other stops on tour.
• When requested by the teacher or group leader the tour director may assume more control of the group. For example, a teacher may be away on a personal phone call, trip to the restroom, or overseeing a problem with a student or group of students. The tour director will act as a temporary group leader when the teacher’s attention is elsewhere.

Teacher
• He or she is the group leader of the class trip and maintains control of the students.
• The educator dialogues with the tour escort and makes final decisions on adjustments to the itinerary or schedule.
• A teacher will consult with the tour escort on any potential or actual financial changes that may occur due to modifications of the itinerary.
• When disciplinary problems arise with a student or group of students, the teacher takes the lead role in intervening and correcting the problem.
• If there is a problem with the venue or schedule, the teacher is informed by the tour escort how the issue will be resolved and makes final decisions on the outcome of the situation.

The teacher and tour escort relationship is always more effective when both individuals keep the lines of communication open. An adept tour escort is a proficient communicator. An educator has to have excellent speaking skills to manage a classroom on a regular basis. When both of these key roles are working in unison, a student trip to any destination is a quality educational experience remembered fondly by all.

Preparation Tips for Class Trips

When student travel groups embark on a class trip to a destination far from home, it can seem like a daunting endeavor. Over the last 25 years of planning class trips to a variety of U.S. destination, I have found that pre-trip planning and organization can be key to a smooth trip.

Student groups need to be given clear instructions in planning for a class trip. These student tour groups will manage their departure from home and arrival in another city much better than those who do not receive directions.

Class Trip Suggestions

I am going to detail some basic preparation tips for class trips that assist in creating a tour that proceeds on schedule and allows student travelers, chaperones and teachers to relax and derive maximum enjoyment from the journey.

1. Luggage rules for airline carriers have changed over the past two years. To avoid extra baggage fees students are best advised to limit their luggage to one suitcase and a small carry on.

2. Students should bring a minimum amount of cash with them. My educational travel company recommends $50 total. If students require more than this on tour, then credit cards, bank cards, or travelers checks are a wise alternative.

3. While taking a student tour of the destination city, we strongly advise that students stay in groups of four or more and with their assigned chaperone.

4. Eating and drinking is allowed on most buses. Should the bus driver decided to discontinue this privilege, then the student travel group must honor this request. Encourage all members of the student tour group to keep the buses clean.

5. These days, many students have their own cell phones. For those who do not, hotel phone numbers are listed on the itineraries. Parents should retain a copy of the itinerary so they may reach their children easily.

6. While staying in hotels, long distance phone calls and pay television are turned off. The group sponsor may elect to allow students to pay for movies at the front desk, but the student must be accompanied by an adult. Local phone calls made from the room are paid for by that room’s occupants.

7. Hotel rules need to be made and ultimately enforced by teachers. This includes curfews (which are usually set at 11 p.m.), room assignments, and room-to-room calling.

8. If a security person is retained for this class trip, then this person will meet the group sponsor to be apprised of the rules and implementation.

9. If problems occur on the class trip and a tour escort is unable to solve them, the educational travel company should be contacted directly.

My educational travel company provides a list of preparation tips for class trips prior to departure. I recommend teachers copy this list and give the written tips to the students that are traveling.

If students and parents are made aware of these class trip suggestions, the majority will follow these requests. Wherever their destination may be, we feel these guidelines help create a safe and enjoyable class trip.

Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information on class trips to a desired destination, or take five minutes to fill out our online form and Request a Quote today.

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.

Early Bird Special Price of $359 per Student for Travel to Orlando, FL

Educational Travel Consultants (ETC) is pleased to offer a special for student travel to Orlando Florida for a price as low as $359 per student. This price includes transportation. The student travel professionals at ETC challenge you to find a better rate for student travel to Orlando, Florida! Educators, parents and administrators who want to save money and still provide a high quality educational and fun trip to Walt Disney World — DO NOT miss this opportunity.

Planning a student trip to Orlando Florida is easier when coordinators know exactly what the budget is going to be and do not deviate from it. At Educational Travel Consultants, our philosophy is to inform school groups if the price will change. Price changes only happen when additional items are added to the itinerary or if upgrades are requested. Many student travel companies promise a low price per student, then add hidden costs that increase the final price. Educational Travel Consultants does not do business like this. This is the reason why ETC has been able to sustain a thriving business for nearly 25 years ? scheduling and executing annual trips from the same schools across the United States year after year.

The student trip to Orlando, FL Includes the Following:

– Deluxe Motor coach from a School Group’s Hometown
– Two Totally Free Teachers or Chaperones for Every 20 Students on Tour (double occupancy)
– Hotels (free upgrade to an all suite hotel if available)
– Admission and Entrance Fees to Three Walt Disney World Parks*
– Two Breakfasts and Two Dinners
– Coverage Under Educational Travel Consultants Liability Insurance Policy
– Taxes and Tips

*Student travel group coordinators may select three parks from four different Walt Disney World theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.

Performance Groups Headed to Orlando Florida
Musical groups such as high school bands, orchestras or ensembles who want to visit Walt Disney World at the $359.00 special price, need to indicate that their group is interested in performing. Besides a superior public performance venue at a Walt Disney World theme park, performance groups will also attend a backstage educational musical workshop taught by Disney’s own musical professionals. Students in high school bands, orchestras or ensembles love to participate in these additional programs because they gain insight into the performance profession and have a chance to showcase their musical abilities.

Social Studies, Language Arts, Science and Art Classes: Participate in a Disney Y.E.S. Program

Walt Disney World Theme Parks are an excellent place to learn about a wide variety of academic topics. Included in the $359 price for a student trip to Orlando is an educational Y.E.S. program. Learn more about the Y.E.S. programs by visiting Educational Travel Company’s website page on this topic. These programs are hands-on, interactive learning experiences that help students understand how Walt Disney World works behind the scenes. The Y.E.S. programs are specifically tailored to different areas of academic study.

Coordinators Planning a Senior Class Trip: Do it on Disney Grad Night
Senior class trips can celebrate their last year of school by visiting Orlando Florida anytime of year and ETC will honor the $359 special. Senior Class Trip coordinators may want to consider visiting Walt Disney World in April for Grad Night, where student groups can celebrate with their peers from all over the world. This is an exciting time to visit Walt Disney World, because the theme parks stay open later to accommodate the high school grads and special performances are given in their honor.

ETC’s student travel professionals are prepared to plan a fun, educational trip to Orlando, FL for a school group no matter what the area of academic interest or purpose of the student trip. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote via ETC’s online form. See you in Walt Disney World!

Educational Student Tours of Walt Disney World Promote Active Learning

The Disney YES programs are a student favorite when touring Walt Disney World. I have escorted student tour groups to Walt Disney World with and without participation in Disney YES programs. Students seem to really prefer at least some participation in Disney YES programs, because it gives them great insight into backstage at Disney, how it operates, and the talent that drives the scenery.

Behind the Scenes at Walt Disney World
It’s exciting to tour Epcot Center, and MGM Studios. But to know what kind of imagination, training, tools, and techniques go into work behind the scenes is sometimes even more powerful. While on educational student tour of Walt Disney World, students need more than exposure to the rides and exhibits to gain a greater understanding of the way to work in their chosen profession.

Many types of student groups can benefit from Disney YES programs, which are geared towards a variety of fields.

Educational Travel in Arts and Humanities
Students in Arts and Humanities can learn about the “Magic Behind the Show” or they can delve into the realm of animation magic or learn about American history through “The American Story.” There are lots of options for students on a high school band trip, high school musical tour, or a performance tour of Orlando Florida. High school choirs, orchestras, theater students, and more can benefit from these great behind the scene workshops by Disney.

Disney YES Programs Geared to Science Education Tour Groups
Educational travel to Orlando Florida need not be entertainment only for other types of student groups. It can be filled with wonder and excitement for the student in natural and physical sciences as well. Disney YES programs like “Team Up For Wildlife” teach students sound methods of ecological preservation in marine and wildlife environments. In the field of physical sciences, Disney YES programs such as “How Things Move” and “Energy and Wave” provide tangible examples in the park that illustrate the operation of light, sound, and magnetism. Students learn how scientists manipulate these elements.

Disney YES Programs for the Ecologically Empowered Student
Finally, Disney YES programs contain a component for marine and wildlife sciences students on educational tour. “Keepers of the Kingdom” allows students to interact with some of the animals and their keepers at the Magic Kingdom®. “Making Waves with a Marine Career” gives students on tour guidance in marine science, and insight into real jobs that might be held in the profession.

Whatever your field of academic study, consider a Disney YES program when visiting Orlando Florida. Students will come back with great memories of their trip, and a new perspective on their field of study.

Educational Student Travel Groups Participate in Disney YES Programs

By Howard Clemens

I take educational student travel groups to Orlando Florida on a regular basis, and have been for the past 24 years. I find that the educational experience students have is greatly enriched when a Disney YES program is on the itinerary. Disney YES Programs stand for Youth Education Series. All of the programs are specially designed to take student travel groups behind the scenes at Walt Disney World and allow these student groups have a unique active learning experience.

When student travel groups visit Orlando, Florida, the leaders should have some general idea of desirable educational goals. Disney Yes Programs will quickly illustrate each program’s usefulness in just about any curriculum. Disney YES programs are designed to blend with educational objectives at the K-12 level and for college students up to age 22. Educators and students will realize that Disney’s YES Programs provide real world content and valuable participation in learning for various fields of study. Disney YES programs take place in the park setting, using exhibits in various theme parks and a creative approach to teach students in an active setting.

Arts and Humanities

Students who participate in Disney’s YES program for Arts and Humanities will have an exciting array of choices to complement their curriculum. Learn about the art of improvisation in “Magic Behind the Show.” Understand the artistic methods behind use of animation software in “Disney’s Animation Magic,” or explore the impacts that new technologies have on contemporary cultures in Millenium Cultures. For diverse viewpoints on American history, students will appreciate “The American Story.” Many of these Disney YES programs take place in popular theme parks such as Epcot®, The Magic Kingdom®, or Disney-MGM Studios.

Life Management (Marine and Wildlife Sciences)

Gaining insight into the natural world through a safe interaction with it, students come to have a fuller understanding of the sciences in this Disney YES Program. Through various approaches, the Life Management program helps students to gain a better understanding of the marine and wildlife sciences as professions. In “Keepers of the Kingdom” educational travel groups obtain a glimpse of conservation and animal care in Disney’s Animal Kingdom®. Or, student travel groups may participate in a “Leadership Excellence, or “Making Waves with a Marine Career” to learn how to better achieve career goals. Students learn about the many faceted roles they will play as professionals in the marine and wildlife science fields in this Disney YES Program.

Natural Sciences

Many student travel groups maintain an active interest in the environment and the natural world and its protection and preservation for future generations. The Natural Sciences program is especially beneficial for a curriculum that reinforces conservation of natural resources in marine and wildlife habitats. “Wild by Nature” helps the student understand animal behavior, motivations, and social habits. “Everyday Chemistry” reveals the chemical substances in everyday things and makes the theory of chemistry more tangible for students. For the student interested in ecological preservation, “Disney’s Ocean Discoveries” and “Team Up for Wildlife” encourage preservation in the marine and wildlife environments. These programs offer deeper insight into the world of nature and will definitely enhance student curriculums in biology, science, chemistry, marine biology, and even more fields of academic interest.

Physical Sciences

The physical sciences are sometimes perceived as elusive, and hard to study. The Disney YES Program brings physics and contemporary technological advances right down to the everyday level. Educational travel students are eager to participate in “Energy and Waves” an experience based program about the natural operation of light, sound, and magnetism and how science can manipulate them. In “How Things Move” student travel groups gain an understanding of the ways in which Disney World rides are designed with the physics of mechanics in mind. “Properties in Motion” is a hands on class that takes students out into the park to actually explore the physics of mechanics at work.

I have seen many students light up and become active, engaged learners when they participate in a Disney YES Program. Though it takes some advance planning to ensure scheduling needs, a good educational travel consultant can make certain a student travel group participates in a Disney YES Program while the group tours Orlando, Florida. Trust me, students who have the experience of a Disney YES Program will leave with a much different perception of Disney World.

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