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A Band Trip to Los Angeles for Disney Performing Arts Onstage

Band directors and high school musicians and performers will find Disneyland, California an ideal destination to showcase their talents. Groups can have a public performance on one of Disney’s stages or participate in a parade. Disneyland California also has Youth Programs where students experience backstage life with real Disney performers. Including this type of workshop on the trip to Disneyland encourages students to hone their artistic skills and talents. Disney Performing Arts Onstage gives student marching bands, orchestras, ensembles, choirs and more a forum for their work.

Learn more about how a marching band trip to Disneyland would be structured to include performances, active learning and touring different theme parks. This sample itinerary includes three days in Disneyland, a trip to see a Major League Baseball game and dinner at the Hard Rock Café.

Disney Performing Arts Onstage

Organizing a student trip around a performance provides a wonderful opportunity for multifaceted learning. Student performance groups will rehearse for the big day for months preceding the performance, encouraging them to develop discipline and use teamwork to succeed onstage.

There are several options for marching band trips when it comes to performance venues in Disneyland. Marching bands can perform in a parade, on a Disney stage or to an international audience. Disney actually provides programs for instrumental, vocal and dance groups – not just marching bands. The venue selected by the trip leader will reflect the needs of the group.

This band trip is a unique experience for the student musician. In addition to the performance on a Disney stage or marching band route, trip leaders may also opt to select a backstage workshop taught by an actual Disney performer for the group.

Disney’s California Adventure

Located in the heart of Anaheim, California, this Disney theme park presents classic Disney characters and new stars coming alive in a multimedia and interactive setting. Exhibits include the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, The Little Mermaid and more. In 2012, Disney’s California Adventure will add characters from the Pixar movie Cars. Tow Mater, Lightning McQueen and others from the film are part of Cars Land — and so is the Radiator Springs racer ride. This interactive Disney park is sure to amaze and delight students.

Major League Baseball Game: Los Angeles Dodgers or Anaheim Angles
Many students have never seen a Major League Baseball game, but would love the opportunity to do so. A trip to California may be the perfect time to take a group of student musicians out to the ball game. Trip leaders can reserve tickets to either L.A. Dodgers or Anaheim Angels games. Students can sit back, relax, have a hot dog and watch the professional baseball game with their friends.

Hard Rock Café

Many student groups enjoy visiting the Hard Rock Café while on tour in just about any large city in the U.S. An evening dinner at the Hard Rock Café on Hollywood Boulevard just might trump a visit to other locations. Here students can see Jimi Hendrix’s purple, crushed velvet hat, Jim Morrison’s leather pants and more. Interactive, touch screen displays are in booths throughout the Hard Rock Café and allow the viewer to experience Rock-n-Roll history.

Students who participate in marching bands are used to travel. Yet a trip to Disneyland for performance infuses the trip with an added dimension of fun. Students can explore other parks besides Disney’s California Adventure while they visit. This sample itinerary allows three days for students to explore Disneyland, with time to shop, and dine at international cafes, too.

For more information about a high school band trip to Disneyland California, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

3 Steps To Identify Most Appropriate Travel Technology Solution For Your Business

Over the last 10 years, the travel business scenario has changed significantly. Today selling travel products is all about ‘best’ rates. To sustain in the battle to offer the ‘best deal’ and ‘best fare’ to the consumers, travel business owners have been forced to reduce almost all of their possible profit margins.

I still remember when a service fee of $6 was a norm across online sales of air tickets. Commissions and contracts were available to travel agents. Cancellation fee on hotels were healthy.

The emergence of large online travel agencies changed the rules of the business across the globe. Fuel prices and global economic conditions added to the challenges of earning healthy margins. Travel became the most competitive business. Commissions dried up. Segment fees reduced and “no fee” became the new best seller.

On the Travel Technology side, along with successful implementations, I have heard stories of many failures where travel businesses were not able to derive what they wanted from technology. Most of the time the key reasons for failure has been:

Over ambitious technology goal on a constrained budget Lack of ‘competitive’ Travel Technology expertise Poor IT team and management, suffering from ‘over promise’ and ‘under deliver’ In this ecosystem, how could a travel business set about defining an effective Technology Strategy for itself?

As a travel technologist, I have many motivations to say “buy my software”, but in my experience that’s not a good pitch. After carefully analyzing various successes and failures in the industry, here is what I feel I have learned:

Step 1: Identify what Travel Technology you need

Well, it is easier said than done. Most of the time not articulating the technology needs well is the biggest hurdle in Technology Strategy. As a travel business, here is what you could do to clearly articulate the need for technology.

Pen down the technology needs of the organization as envisioned by the business owner / key management personnel Consult with people external to the organization such as technology consultants, Travel Technology companies, GDS account managers, CRS / Suppliers and Travel Technology bloggers Let a technology company interview you and recommend a solution. This is generally free most of the times. Pursuing one or more of these three exercises diligently will build enough knowledge base about what your internal Technology Strategy should be. Identify and validate these thoughts with inputs from internal operations and marketing teams.

Step 2: Build vs. Buy?

This is considered the most complex question. The answer lies in dividing Travel Technology needs in three buckets.

Proprietary

Customized

Out of the Box

What is proprietary?

It is important to identify your differentiator as a travel business. Most of the time, proprietary defines a piece of technology which reduces OPEX corresponding to your business operations or is the biggest revenue generator corresponding to your business model.

What is a customized need?

Is there any part of your technology needs that could be sourced through an existing technology solution, customized per your need?

What can be out of the box?

This might be the most effort intensive part of your technology needs and may require a tremendous investment to build. Getting an out of the box solution that meets the majority of your requirements and configuring it as per your needs, is the ideal way. How to evaluate an out of the box solution is in itself a comprehensive process.

Now we come to the next complex part of this exercise.

Step 3: Identify the right budget and vendor

Identifying the right budget and the vendor is the most common shopping problem in every business sector. It takes a lot of time and energy to reach to a decision.

Let’s compare technology acquisition to the decision of buying a laptop. There are many vendors to choose from. There are laptops priced from $300 to $3000. Your decision to buy would be shaped by the life of the laptop, and the continuity of business (your work) it will guarantee.

Similarly, the continuity of your travel business would significantly depend on the Travel Technology you choose. That is why identifying the right budget, and the vendor is a complex decision.

I would attempt to breakdown the process of identifying a vendor into simpler steps since just asking a vendor for a quote would not necessarily help find the right one.

Expertise – Does the vendor has expertise in the travel business?

Support & Servicing – Travel is a service business. Irrespective of whether the product is ‘off the shelf’ or is being built for you, longevity and promptness of support is critically important to maintain a personalized quality of service to your customers.

Customization needed vs. Customizability -What is the future customizability of the software? (Applicable to both out of the box or custom built software) Whether customization done today decrease future cost of changing the technology? This is an important question to ask and seek answers to.

Value Add – Another important evaluation parameter for selecting a vendor is to check what part /component of the software is available free of cost and would remain so in the future.

Stability – Your guarantee of service to your customers depends on the stability of your vendor. It is important to seek answers to questions such as is the vendor going to be in business for long? How are you safeguarded if a vendor goes out of business?

References – Who are the customers of the vendor? Can the vendor provide references?

Maturity – Is the vendor’s organization a product oriented and innovation driven institution or do they survive by making money from one gig to another?

Empathy – Does the vendor considers your business as their own? How willing is the vendor to empathize with your business challenges?

Budgeting for technology is also a little challenging. It may be worthwhile to look beyond the onetime fee and understand all cost factors, including the cost of extended support the vendor may provide during your business life-cycle.

Cost should also include additional overheads of implementing technology, especially when you are dealing with GDS or CRS / Consolidators. Budgeting done in partnership with a selected vendor often yields the best results.

I have attempted to lay out a model that would help travel businesses shape their Technology Strategy.

As always, I would happy to hear your experiences and views.

Texas Holdem Poker Tips – 3 Top Secret Tips To Blast You Into Success

Are you irritated that you aren’t quite sure what you are meant to be doing when playing poker. These Texas Holdem Poker tips will help you.

Texas Holdem poker can be confusing. There is a lot to keep a handle on. If you just play to whatever cards you get you will probably lose. It’s almost like the cards are the least important part of the game, which makes it all that more confusing.

However, you can become a successful poker player by just mastering a few concepts. I’m going to reveal these in the following Texas Holdem Poker tips.

Texas Holdem Poker Tips – Tip #1 To Blast Your Success

The fact is that the most important part of the game is betting. How much you bet, when you bet, if you call or reraise any bets. This is how you win.

Having an aggressive betting strategy is the easiest way to increase your success at poker. What’s that, betting more!? Yes, betting more will win you more, for the very fact that when you bet aggressively you have two chances to win:

1- You win with your cards 2- Your opponents folds.

You just don’t get that when you call. When you call you have to have the best cards.

Texas Holdem Poker Tips – Tip #2 To Blast Your Success

Now, to make your aggressive betting even more effective all you have to do is target those with a small stack than yours. This is because although what you bet may be very small to you, it is a lot to them.

That means the need to constantly be having stronger and better pot odds then you, which is difficult. This means you have an advantage the whole time.

Note, try to avoid betting against players with a bigger stack than you, as this works both ways.

Texas Holdem Poker Tips – Tip #3 To Blast Your Success

Now, this tip isn’t so much blasting you into success but preventing you from smashing through the floor. It is, when you all-in, only ever all-in against a player with a smaller stack than you.

This is because if you lose you will still be in the game. Although you will be at a disadvantage you are still in the game, which is better than being out. If you all-in against a bigger stack and lose, well, you are done for.

Now you are most likely realizing how useful these tips will be to you, and how they will help you win more money playing poker. Isn’t it funny how a few minutes ago you didn’t know these but now you do and you are a better poker player already? That is the biggest secret to all the successful poke players – the keep learning how to play better.

That’s why you should never ever turn down an opportunity to learn more about poker including learning new Texas Holdem Poker tips.