Just back from our student conference at Disneyland® Paris

31 Mar 2022, 11:52 by Kate Moore

Trip Diary - COGO Student convention at Disneyland Paris

Voyager School Travel offers educational student conferences at Disneyland® Paris through our sister company, COGO Travel. 

Trip fact file

  • Trip name: Business of Disney Student Convention, 21-25 March 2022
  • Location: Disneyland® Paris, France
  • Accommodation: Disney's Hotel Cheyenne
  • Transport: Coach & Eurotunnel
  • Learning objectives:Support Business studies & Travel and Tourism studies

Once again, the Gaumont Theatre at Disneyland® Paris was filled with British students attending the first Student Conventions at Disneyland Paris since the beginning of the pandemic. Read on to hear all about the return of COGO’s student conventions and what you can expect on your next educational visit to Disneyland Paris. 

Who went on the trip? 

A number of our regular groups didn’t get permission to travel from their SLT this year and so we hosted just 200 Travel & Tourism and Business Studies students at COGO’s 27th student convention. All the groups took the 4-day/3-night option of staying onsite at Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, which includes a two-day park pass, and most groups included an excursion to Paris city centre as part of their trip.  

What did students learn?

The Travel & Tourism students enjoyed hearing from Jane Batty, Guest Relations Manager at Parc Disneyland, who talked about how Disneyland Paris delivers exceptional customer service. We learned that great customer service is more than that just making sure that business is efficient and visitors are safe. It’s about giving staff permission to take responsibility for looking after the individual needs of their guests. 

The fascinating talk on HR and careers at Disneyland Paris generated lots of follow-up questions from students at the Q&A session. We were all surprised to learn that the average length of service at the resort is 12 years!  

The Business Studies students were particularly interested in the talk from Emilia-Jade Gibson, Digital Production Manager at The Walt Disney Company, who demonstrated how they use digital platforms to engage with customers and promote products and services, and even showed some real-life stats from Disney’s website.  

Davide Chalude, Chief Operating Officer at Voyager School Travel talked about how the travel group adapted to change during the pandemic. He shared some reassuring stats on how the travel industry is bouncing back and how travelers are feeling more confident to travel abroad again.  

What was different this time?

To extend students’ learning into the park and to make the trip easier to justify, we introduced a choice of new in-resort assignments looking at Disneyland Paris as a business. Each assignment asked students to collect evidence during their trip on Disney’s Customer Service, Marketing Mix, External Influences (PESTLE) or Market Segmentation to support their study of these topics back in the classroom. 

2022 is the 30th anniversary year of Disneyland Paris and so students could enjoy specially themed attractions and limited-edition merchandise, making the trip truly unique. For COGO staff, the highlight of the 30th anniversary celebrations was the incredible Disney D-Light show which is held just before the nightly firework display in Walt Disney Park. The show features 200 choreographed drones that created a jaw-dropping display of illuminated 3D shapes above the Disney Castle.  

The French COVID rules have been considerably relaxed and mandatory masks and COVID passes are no longer required so the whole experience felt much more ‘normal’ than when we hosted our Performing Arts groups to Disney earlier in the year.  

Were there any challenges?

The biggest challenge for tutors was pre-empting the travel rules in the run-up to the trip. To help groups prepare and prevent any problems, we kept in regular contact with all our group leaders in the months and weeks before the trip. In the end, only a couple of students didn’t manage to get their jabs in time for the trip - despite regular reminders from their tutors! (Note that the entry rules to France have been relaxed since this trip and unvaccinated adults can now visit France.)

When is the next student convention at Disneyland Paris?

Following feedback from colleges, we will hold both the Business Studies and Travel & Tourism Conventions during the same trip so that students of both subjects can travel together and spread transport costs across a bigger group.  

Business Lab Student Convention - 4-day/3-night trip dates: 31 January–3 February 2023  

Travel & Tourism Student Convention – 4-day/3-night trip dates: 31 January–3 February 2023  

 See you there! 

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