This is your sign to take your students to Disney. 

I've taken some groups to Disney World and it's been AMAZING!! It does seem a bit overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. 

Don't know where to start? I gotchu boo. 

I've compiled an informational blog post for you to know where to start. 

Decide on dates

    1. I usually do 4 days over Mardi Gras Break or Spring Break. 
    2. If your school district allows, take the trip over regular school days. It's up to you! 

Decide on who you will invite

    1. What grade levels? I do 4th and 5th grade. I've done middle school in the past. My daughter went with her High School Marching Band and they marched down Main Street!
    2. Will you require an adult with every child? 
    3. Will you allow other family members? (I allow siblings of the parents if the student come, but everyone pays the same price)

Get in touch with Disney. 

    1. Fill out an Imagination Campus interest form on 
    2. A Cast Member will contact you within 2 weeks via email. 
    3. This person is your best friend. You’ll talk with them for everything to get started and set up. 

Imagination Campus

    1. This is Disney's student field trip program. 
    2. They have performing arts and education workshops. 
    3. Decide on which program you want and book it ASAP. They fill up quickly. 
    4. Since Imagination Campus started, we've done Technology of Disney Parks and this year we are doing Broadway Magic! 
Pictures from last year's Technology of Disney Parks

We got to explore behind the scenes at the American Adventure to see how the animatronics worked and how the trackless ride works at Remy's. The students were given tasks to complete and work together through the Design Process. 

This year, we are doing something more in line with our Magnet School Theme. We are participating in a workshop called "Broadway Magic" where we will get to work with Disney Teaching Artists to learn a little bit more about the entertainment industry. According to the website, "
"In the Disney Broadway Magic – Musical Theatre Workshop, students gain an understanding of the fundamentals of musical theatre through participation—including breath control, diction and character development.

Industry professionals will lead students in fast-paced rehearsals of a scene from one of Disney’s world-famous shows—culminating in a show-stopping final performance!

This Broadway theatre workshop also offers students critical insights into audition techniques, the importance of every role in a production and how to overcome unexpected obstacles during performances." - Broadway Magic Imagination Campus

We've been practicing with the students on their piece of performance and it's going so well! Now, this workshop said it's best for Middle and High school students, but our 4th and 5th graders have been performing at our school since Kindergarten so I think they've got a leg up on the competition. It's going to be so fun! 

Decide on accommodations. 

    1. Will you stay on property? If yes, ask your Imagination Campus contact for quotes on rooms. 
    2. Usually a value resort will be the cheapest, but they will quote you on any of your top three choices. 
    3. If you stay off property make sure you have transportation to and from the parks worked out. 
We like to stay at Value Resorts - they have a bit smaller rooms but they are cheaper and most affordable for most families. Pop Century is my favorite!

Pull Down Murphy Bed

Decide on Tickets

    1. How many days will you need? We do 4 days
    2. Do you want Park Hoppers?
      1. We get park hoppers so we aren’t stuck at one park all day, especially if it’s super busy. 
    3. Do you want water parks?

Decide on transportation. 

    1. Will you fly or take a bus? 
    2. Bus is infinitely more affordable than flying, and in Louisiana we aren't that far from Florida. 
    3. I’ve used Dixieland Charter, Hotard, and Spangler Tours. Hotard has been the most comfortable but also most expensive. Find a local bus company for your school! 
    4. It takes 9.5 hours from Baton Rouge to Orlando. 
    5. We leave at 9 pm at night and drive through the night, waking up on the Florida Turnpike! 

Decide on your Itinerary. 

    1. Sample - Disney World Trip Itinerary 2024 
    2. When we wake up on the bus, we stop at the Turkey Lake Service Plaza on the turnpike. Here, we freshen up - brush teeth, hair, get dressed, get breakfast, drink coffee - the basics. 

    1. Then we get back on the bus and head to the resort. 
    2. The resort will hold your bags for you. Your room will be ready around 3 or 4. Sometimes earlier! 

Decide on Dining

    1. Will you provide a card or vouchers? (I do cards; the funds never expire)
    2. Will families have to pay for their own food? This could make for a cheaper package for your families, but they will have to budget for themselves when in Disney. 

Book everything through your Imagination Campus Cast Member. 

    1. Accommodations
    2. Tickets
    3. Meals
    4. Program
    5. Extras
Please Note: You can use a Travel Agent, but all funds MUST go through the travel agency. Since our trip is a school based trip, our district won't let this fly - we have to do things from the school. Thankfully Disney will take school organizational checks, as well as school based Credit Cards and wire transfers. 

Meal Cards/Vouchers

    1. I do Meal Cards - The funds act like cash and never expire; this gives more flexibility for families to purchase meals to share. 
    2. Vouchers are a set price each (like $13.90 for breakfast or $16 for lunch/dinner) and will include an entree and a drink. 

Decide on Fundraisers/Sponsors. 

    1. If you do any fundraisers, I usually total the amount raised, divide it by the number of STUDENT participants, and then subtract from the total due. 
    2. For example, if I have 20 students coming, and we raise $1000, I will subtract $50 from their totals. So If Johnny and his mom are coming, and their total is $2,000, I will subtract $50, making their balance due $1,950. 

Decide on a payment plan for your families. 

    1. I do 5 payments of $210, spread throughout the year and then 1 payment of the balance due. 
    2. This is what was charged this year:
      1. Accommodations: $340 per person (based on double occupancy)
      2. Tickets: $450 (we do park hoppers) per person
      3. Bus: $270 per person
      4. T-Shirts: $15 per person (1 t-shirt for the day we have our program)
      5. Dining Card: $200 per person
      6. Total: $1,275
    3. Each year we have to increase the price by about 15% to account for Disney’s price raises; but if the amount is less I do adjust the payments for the families. Next year we are floating the idea of not including the meal card. 
    4. This is a significantly cheaper trip than planning a direct one from Disney. There's discounted tickets AND if you can get a Tax Exempt form from Florida (ask your district office!) your trip will be TAX FREE!!

Type up an informational packet. Here is mine: 2024 Disney Trip Informational Packet

    1. Here is an informational slideshow from this past year:

And finally, find a co-sponsor who is crazy enough to take twenty 9 and 10 year olds with you on a cross country field trip for four days. 

Don't forget to have fun!! 

I hope this blog post helps you plan a magical outing for students at your school. 

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