Recently, EA School Tours lovely operations manager, Emma boarded a plane with eight teachers destined for the East Coast of the USA. Their objective was simple, inspect the learning workshops on offer for school students, assess the professionalism of an EA School Tours run trip, experience first-hand potential school trip activities, and most importantly, have fun!
Day One | Preview Trip Welcome
Members of the group had travelled from New Zealand, Australia and the UK to join Emma. After checking into their accommodation at the Clarion Inn at Lake Buena Vista, the group enjoyed a whistle-stop train tour of Orlando's most popular attractions followed by welcome drinks and a real American cuisine experience at Joe’s Crab Shack. After snacking on Louisiana shrimp and Joe's famous steampots, the group returned to the Clarion to recharge their batteries. The Clarion is an excellent accommodation option for groups offering spacious rooms and two pools.
Day Two | Universal Orlando Complex and NBA Game
After a restful sleep, the group were up bright and early for a delicious buffet breakfast at the Clarion Inn. After indulging in Micky Mouse pancakes, the group headed to the Universal Studios Orlando complex that is home to two theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Historically, visiting the parks has been a favourite activity for teenage students, so Emma was eager to show our teachers just what’s on offer! The day began with an introduction to Universal's STEAM app series program at Islands of Adventure. This is a series of independent application programs designed to help students deepen their understanding of how Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics are integrated into Universal's rides and attractions. After the learning workshop, it was time to explore both parks; the Harry Potter segments, Diagon Alley and Hogwarts, were the teacher’s high points.
Afterwards, the group enjoyed dinner at Margaritaville on City Walk; a vibrant Jimmy Buffet inspired restaurant with live entertainment and fantastic food. But it wasn't time to call it a day yet, the group then headed to the Amway Center to watch Orlando Magic play the Detroit Pistons in an NBA basketball match. There aren't words to explain the electric atmosphere of an NBA game with dancers, mascots and live musical entertainment keeping the crowd entertained just as much as the game!
Day Three | Free Day
On day three, the group had a chance to catch their breath and enjoy some much-deserved free time. Emma from EA headed to Disney’s Magic Kingdom with two other teachers. This theme park also offers a variety of educational workshops and an unforgettable late-night firework display. Two other teachers headed to iFLY to learn about the physics programs on offer and work on their free-fall acrobatics while the remainder of the group chose to go shopping and make the most of the great bargains in the outlet malls!
Day Four | Kennedy Space Center, NASA
The day everyone had been eagerly anticipating had finally arrived. The group was off to experience the Kennedy Space Center. Starting in the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the group was educated on the history of space exploration and some of the famous figures that have made an impact on the industry. They then explored the Rocket Garden before visiting the fantastic Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibition. In the afternoon, they opted to take a bus tour to one of the rocket launch sites and check out the Rocket Assembly Building; this is where a spacecraft is completed and checked before take-off. Kennedy Space Centre offers a range of space camp options ranging from one to five days. Get in touch with the EA team if you're interested in learning more.
Day Five | Florida Everglades
The final day of EA's teacher preview trip was spent in the Florida Everglades. First up was an exhilarating Boggy Creek airboat ride through the Everglades spotting alligators, water snakes and native birds. They then enjoyed a fascinating presentation from a Native American Indian who showed them around the authentic village display at the site. This is a brilliant half day activity that many groups enjoy the morning of their departure. It was then time to say goodbye to one another and begin the long journey back home.
Until next time, Orlando!
“This trip has got me even more excited for what we do here at EA and the people we do it for. When you go and experience first-hand the activities that we are promoting you can see the educational value of each one. This is truly a unique destination where there are so many opportunities for learning to be both engaging and fun. We are working with some awesome suppliers who go the extra mile to make the experience for students and teachers as great as possible in every instance.” Emma, Operations Manager, EA School Tours
If you're interested in joining EA on a teacher preview trip, please contact our team to find out more.