For children of any age, the opportunity to enter the fun-filled fantasy world of the "happiest place on earth" is irresistible. A Disneyland® Paris school trip offers an experience that's hard to match in terms of enjoyment, but for the teacher charged with its organisation, that can be tempered by the logistical challenges of chaperoning 30 excited youngsters in one of the world's busiest fun Parks. |
Making the Most of Magic Moments
As one of the most-visited theme Parks on the planet, it's not just a matter of counting student heads, ferrying them across the Channel and pointing them in the direction of the attractions. A Disneyland® Paris school trip takes planning and forethought if things are to run smoothly and every member of the group is to have the time of their lives.
Understand the Group as Individuals
Along with the standard information collected on permission forms, understanding the children as individuals is very important. This includes not just medical data regarding epilepsy, asthma or motion sickness, but also issues like a fear of the dark or heights, and vertigo. With this knowledge at hand it is easier to identify unsuitable rides or attractions.
Planning is Paramount
One of the most valuable tools for those in charge of planning the itinerary is the interactive map, which can be downloaded from the Park's website. Its functionality allows for a bird's eye view of the layout to pinpoint the location of amenities, and filters to narrow down age- and interest-appropriate attractions to conserve time.
Know the Layout
Understanding the basic thematic layout of the Park is essential. Each of the five areas has a distinctly unique feel, and how long is allocated to each will depend entirely on the needs and wants of the group.
• Main Street: The first encounter through the turnstiles picks visitors up and drops them straight into nineteenth-century USA. This is where the nightly Disney Magic Parade takes place and it's also the departure point for the steam train.
• Frontierland: The Wild West comes to life in Frontierland; from the heart-stopping Thunder Mountain ride, to the gentler thrill of paddling around the huge manmade lake.
• Adventureland: Is there a child alive not entranced by tales of pirates and adventurers on and off the high seas? Adventureland awaits!
• Fantasyland: For younger groups, the magic of Sleeping Beauty's Castle is just the start of this whimsical land of all things fantasy.
• Discoveryland: While for the older pupils, discovering the futuristic world of lasers and space travel is exciting and even (gasp) educational!
Visiting the Walt Disney Studios® Park is another highlight for groups. It's home not only to a wealth of fascinating cinematography and animation technology, but also to the fastest and most thrilling ride in the Park: the Rock-n-Roller Coaster.
The Perfect Accommodation is Vital
When children are involved, choosing the right accommodation is absolutely vital. The key points to look for are accessibility to the site (with a free shuttle bus to ferry youngsters to and from the Park), and an engaging theme to ensure the magic endures even once the day of fun is over.
There are few more popular excursions than a Disneyland® Paris school trip. Committing to a focused plan of action early on in the organisation will ensure the experience is just as fulfilling for teachers as well.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in Disneyland Paris school trip itineraries and educational tours for school and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveller, John is very passionate about providing students with valuable and engaging learning experiences outside of the classroom. By sharing his expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and bring their studies to life.
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