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Walt Disney World Resort: The Mystery Behind the Magic

Program Number: 12987RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/2/2014 - 11/7/2014; 1/18/2015 - 1/23/2015; 2/8/2015 - 2/13/2015; 2/22/2015 - 2/27/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/13/2015; 3/22/2015 - 3/27/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Orlando, Florida
Price starting at: $1,899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Walt Disney World®? Get an unforgettable look behind the scenes! Uncover fascinating, well-kept Disney secrets as Backstage Magic unveils the fine points behind the history, artistic, technical, and scientific operations in the theme parks. Live the magic as no tourist can!




Highlights

• Visit underground Disney’s “Utilidor” and Disney's Hollywood Studios®.
• Study cultures of the Epcot® international community for their art, architecture and costumes.
• See Epcot’s World Showcase Gardens and enjoy an evening at Cirque du Soleil.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to three miles per day, some standing in line for entry to attractions, getting on/off motorcoach.




Date Specific Information

11-2-2014, 2-22-2015, 3-8-2015, 3-22-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Stetson University.




Orlando

A bustling city of more than 200,000 people, Orlando is most famous for being home to the Disney World Resort. Millions of visitors from around the world flock here to experience the magic of Disney and neighboring attractions such as SeaWorld.



Accommodations
Walt Disney World® Resort hotel, private balconies or atriums, swimming pool, exercise room. Free hotel shuttles to the local Disney theme parks.
Meals and Lodgings
   Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
  Orlando, Florida 5 nights
 Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
Type: Resort
  Description: Located on Walt Disney Resort® property walking distance to Downtown Disney shopping.
  Contact info: 2000 Hotel Plaza Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 USA
phone: 800-348-3765
web: www.orlandoresorthotel.com
  Room amenities: coffee/tea maker, full size iron board and iron, hair dryer, in-room safe, high speed internet, private balconies, tv
  Facility amenities: Disney Gift Shop, complimentary transportation to Disney parks and Downtown Disney, entertainment and shopping, convenience store, high speed internet café, fitness room, game room, outdoor heated pool, business office, evening security
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $99 - $159. Rates are seasonal. Please ask for Nikesha when making pre or post hotel reservations.
  Check in time: 3:30 PM
  Additional nights after: $99 - $159. Rates are seasonal. Please ask for Nikesha when making pre or post hotel reservations.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 p.m. You will be staying at Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort that night.
  End of Program:
After Breakfast 9:00 a.m. You will be staying at Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Everyone must turn in their online PARTICIPANT INFORMATION FORM or health and safety form before the start of the program. Everyone must have a photo ID at all times.
  Parking availability:
Free Parking at Resort
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Orlando, Florida
  Nearest city or town:  Orlando, Florida
  Nearest highway: I-4
  Nearest airport:  Orlando International Airport (MCO), Orlando, FL.
  From End of Program
  Location: Orlando, Florida
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort - Orlando

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
CBC Transportation
phone: 877-939-8294
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$53.00 (1-4 passengers)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

20 miles

   

www.cbctransportation.com This is from the Orlando International Aiport (MCO) only! All prices are subject to change without notice. Other options may be available. You are responsible for all travel arrangements.

 

Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort - Orlando

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Taxi 4 hire.Inc.
phone: 407-550-0204
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$59.00 (1-4 people)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

20 miles

   

www.taxi4hire.com This is from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) only! All prices are subject to change without notice. Other options may be available. You are responsible for all travel arrangements.

 

Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort - Orlando

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Mears Transportation
phone: 407-423-5566
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

20 miles

   

www.mearstransportation.com From Orlando International airport - prices: Shuttle $21 - p/p - one way, $34 - p/p - round trip, $73 - towncar - one way (up to 4 people). All prices are subject to change without notice. Other options may be available. You are responsible for all travel arrangements.

 

Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort - Orlando

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Flytours Transportation
phone: 800-516-0675
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Varies, please call for pricing
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

20 miles

   

This company is based at the hotel you will be staying at for this program. We use them for all of our travel needs (that isn't done through Disney) in this program. Please ask for Valmir or Talita and let them know you are with the Road Scholar Program. http://www.flytourslimo.com/

 
Driving Directions
  East Take I-4 to exit 68. Turn Right. Go to next light and turn left onto Hotel Plaza Blvd. First hotel on right.
  West Take I-4 to Exit 68. Turn Left. Go to second stop light and turn left onto Hotel Plaza Blvd. First hotel on right.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration, get acquainted, and orientation.
(Sunday, November 2)

Note: Today is all about meeting each other and getting the week started.



   
 Afternoon: Registration will begin at 4:00 p.m. where you will meet the host/hostess for the week and receive your name badge and any other pertinent information. After everyone is registered, you will be asked to do a "get acquainted" session.
 Dinner: Dinner (this evening) will be a plated meal. If you have any dietary restrictions, please make sure you let us know about those prior to your arrival on your health and information forms.
 Evening: After dinner we will have our orientation session. Here you will receive your folder of information along with your schedule. We will answer any questions you may have about the program.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Behind the scenes Animal Kingdom
(Monday, November 3)

Note: Today will include quite a bit of walking. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes.



   
 Breakfast: At resort.
 Morning: Find out what happens behind-the-scenes at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park"! During this in-depth program, you'll get an insider's look at conservation, animal nutrition and medicine, animal care and behavioral studies. Highlights include visits to a backstage animal housing area, the Animal Nutrition Center, the Conservation Station Veterinary Hospital, and Kilimanjaro Safaris. This program takes place completely behind-the-scenes. Please note: no photos will be allowed in backstage areas.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Board bus back to Animal Kingdom for their Wild By Design tour. On this tour of the Animal Kingdom, you’ll learn how another continent was created in the midst of Florida. By sharing in the vision of the Imagineers, you’ll see how the use of authentic artifacts, native crafts and regional architecture led to the formation of the Animal Kingdom theme park. You’ll “Walk on the Wild side” as you explore the park and its inhabitants.
 Dinner: Buffet style at the resort
 Evening: Free evening. You can play cards, socialize or maybe take a trip to Downtown Disney. There is a shuttle available at 6:00 pm from the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Behind the scenes at Epcot.
(Tuesday, November 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel. Delicious buffet with everything you can imagine, including Mickey waffles and made to order omelets.
 Morning: Everywhere you look at the Walt Disney World® Resort, the trees, shrubs and flowers play a vital role in setting the stage for recreation, entertainment, and beauty. Disney landscaping has become a recognized show in itself, providing color and enjoyment throughout the year. This fascinating program gives you the chance to study the various gardens of Epcot® World Showcase with one of the experts responsible for helping maintain the horticultural “show.” Your horticulture instructor turns Epcot® into a living classroom, using facilities “on stage” to describe the basic process of plant design and how it is incorporated in the landscape for the World Showcase pavilions. In addition, you learn how they can apply many of these design elements to theme their home gardens.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Time for shopping at Downtown Disney.
 Dinner: Buffet style at the resort.
 Evening: This could be on Tuesday or Thursday night depending on Cirque's schedule. Cirque du Soleil La Nouba is a mesmerizing and extraordinary avant-garde circus spectacle performed by Cirque du Soleil exclusively in the Downtown Disney West Side area at Walt Disney World Resort. La Nouba is performed at an exceptional theater built especially for Cirque du Soleil. The show's international cast of acrobats, athletes and performance artists—including more than 65 artists representing 15 countries—delights and mystifies with daring acts of grace. La Nouba translates to English as "to party, to live it up," and this theme is evident in the energetic performances, the colorful costumes and the moving live music.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Business behind the Magic.
(Wednesday, November 5)

Note: After 2 pass into one park of your choice. Dinner will be on your own.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel. Delicious buffet with everything you can imagine, including Mickey waffles and made to order omelets.
 Morning: Now you have the unforgettable opportunity to go behind-the-scenes and experience proven Disney business philosophies at one of the leading business operations in the world firsthand. This tour features the five core principles taught by Disney Institute and shows how they come to life each day at the Walt Disney World® Resort for Cast Members and Guests. You will explore the following locations: Textile services: Visit a state-of-the-art laundry facility, one of the largest in the world, to see how committed, responsible, inspiring leaders are able to motivate a team to achieve amazing results. (Highlights from Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence and Inspiring Creativity) Epcot® cast services: Experience the “Backstage” area from a Cast Member perspective. See how the Walt Disney World® Resort creates a supportive environment for the Cast Members as they prepare to go on stage. Discover the important role backstage areas play in creating a caring environment. (Highlights from Disney’s Approach to People Management and Inspiring Creativity) Main Street, U.S.A. ®: Take a stroll through this turn-of-the-century walkway to better understand how we strive to exceed the expectations of our Guests. Discover a tool that helps go beyond standard demographics to meet the needs, wants, stereotypes, and emotions of Guests with innovative products & services. (Highlights from Disney’s Approach to Quality Service, Brand Loyalty and Inspiring Creativity) The “utilidor” system: Journey beneath the Magic Kingdom® Park to visit support systems designed to improve the experiences of Cast Members and Guests alike. Discover how we use simple tools to engage and empower Cast Members to create lasting customer relationships that drive repeat business and brand loyalty. (Highlights from Disney’s Approach to Brand Loyalty and Inspiring Creativity)
 Lunch: At the resort.
 Afternoon: Now that you have seen some of the behind the scenes go and enjoy an after 2 pm pass to any of the Walt Disney World Parks to see how the magic is performed in the eyes of park guest. This will be a new view of the park knowing what you have already learned.
 Dinner: On your own at whatever park you choose with your pass.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Backstage Magic
(Thursday, November 6)

Note: Today will include quite a bit of walking. Please wear comfortable shoes.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel. Delicious buffet with everything you can imagine, including Mickey waffles and made to order omelets.
 Morning: A “must do” for any true Disney fan! Ever wonder what it takes to create Disney “magic” at the Walt Disney World® resort? Backstage Magic pulls back the curtain for an “insider’s look” at the heritage, daily operation, and Cast Members’ role. This 7-hour behind-the-scenes adventure guides you through a variety of locations where you will discover what it takes to create and maintain the “magic” every day. This unforgettable experience includes visits to the following locations: Epcot®: Discover many of the finer details of The American Adventure and see what goes on behind-the-scenes at this popular attraction. Magic Kingdom® Park: See Main Street, U.S.A. ® like you’ve never seen it before as you learn the “Language of Vision” while discovering often overlooked details. Then journey behind-the-scenes to explore the famous “Utilidor” system and see how it seamlessly contributes to the “magic” guests experience every day. Central shops: Visit the home of the “Can Do People”—the craftsmen who make dreams come true by building and maintaining much of what Disney Guests see in the Theme Parks and resorts. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Enjoy a delicious, family-style lunch at Whispering Canyon Café Walt Disney World® resort nursery & tree Farm: Get a glimpse into the role horticulture & landscaping play in creating a themed environment for Guests. Disney’s Hollywood Studios™: Learn how Walt Disney Imagineers bring innovative ideas from concept to reality. Travel backstage to explore how design and technology make The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ a real thrill. Then, visit Creative Costuming for a glimpse at the process of designing and building the elaborate costumes that enhance Disney parades and shows. Disney’s Animal Kingdom® theme Park: Get a close-up look at Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade. Go behind-the-scenes to find out how this daily pageant comes together through teamwork and dedicated Cast Members.
 Lunch: Enjoy a sit down lunch in the park.
 Afternoon: A continuation of Backstage Magic with a trip to the Utilidor and to Main Street where you will experience the magic first hand with a Disney Parade.
 Dinner: Buffet style at the resort.
 Evening: Free evening. You can play cards, socialize or maybe take a trip to Downtown Disney. There is a shuttle available at 6:00 pm from the hotel
   
Accommodations: Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Breakfast, Graduation, and Departure
(Friday, November 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast and graduation
 Morning: Graduation and farewell
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Orlando, Florida Orlando Chamber of Commerce
For additional information, visit www.orlando.org/
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Remembering Walt: Favorite Memories of Walt Disney


Author: Howard E. Green


Description: Friends, family, and celebrities remember the role Walt Disney played in their lives in this richlyl illustrated book, now available in paperback. Mention the name Walt Disney and one can't help but conjure up images of brilliant animation and magnificent theme parks. But a uniquely creative and charismatic man also sprints to mind -- a man who in his amazingly productive lifetime was many things to many people. Whether as a family member, friend, colleague, employer, or public figure, Walt was there for everyone. In Remembering Walt, Walt's contemporaries pay tribute to a visionary, a perfectionist, a storyteller, and a genius -- and the man they called boss, dad, husband, brother, artist, and friend.



Disney: The First 100 Years


Author: Dave Smith


Description: Celebrate the birth, development, and success of The Walt Disney Company year by magical year -- now updated and available in paperback. Disney: The First 100 Years explores the Disney story -- the story of a man, a family, and a company. You'll meet the people who helped Walt make his dreams come true, see a museum's worth of classic photos, and participate in the opening day of the most famous tourist attraction on the planet -- Walt Disney World -- plus just about every significant event in between. If you hve ever wished up on a star, whistled while you worked, or believed that elephants could fly, you will undoubtedly consider this magical journey through the past Disney-filled century supercalifragilisticexpialidociously exhilarating!



Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney Worlds Best Kept Secret


Author: Steven Barrett


Description: Just for fun... Camouflaged images of Mickey Mouse are concealed all around Walt Disney World. Author Barrett adds to the fun of finding them by turning the search into six scavenger hunts, complete with clues, hints, and points to be scored. You'll find more than 200 new Mickey sightings in this edition — over 1,000 hidden Mickeys in all. Fun for all ages!



Walt Disney: An American Original


Author: Bob Thomas


Description: Walt Disney is an American hero--the creator of Mickey Mouse, and a man who changed the face of American culture. After years of research, with the full cooperation of the Disney family and access to private papers and letters, Bob Thomas produced the definitive biography of the man behind the legend--the unschooled cartoonist from Kansas City who went bankrupt on his first movie venture but became the genius who produced unmatched works of animation. Complete with a rare collection of photographs, Bob Thomas' biography is a fascinating and inspirational work that captures the spirit of Walt Disney.





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