Theme parks – Roger Frost checked up on the tea cup rides at numerous theme parks (TES)
- Legoland – Windsor, Near London
- Alton Towers – Staffordshire, Midlands
- Thorpe Park – Staines, Near London
- Blackpool Pleasure Beach – North West England
- Segaworld – London (now closed)
- Futuroscope – Poitiers, France
- Disney Quest – indoor theme park – Orlando, Florida
People spend a lifetime searching for paradise. Tell that to the children in Legoland, and they’ll be amazed. They’ll say they’ve found it here – round about the age of three. This kid’s heaven in Windsor is a delight. More than just rides, it’s a parkland of Lego animals and characters. It’s the dream where your toy box grows large and comes to life.
You could rush to the Driving School and get free rein of a Lego buggy, and then off to Boating School to do that again on water. But there’s much to distract on the way. There’s Miniland with its scaled down Tower Bridge, sights of the world, boats and trains which children are compelled to chase after – it’s in the genes I think. Or there’s Duplo Play Town with its water cannons and fickle ground tiles that send out water jets. For the tiny ones, there’s an hour of splashy fun here. With the allure of this and more to come, take them to Mindstorms, a new workshop using Lego’s new intelligent brick. Pay no heed to any whinging, it’s a fun and excellent introduction to control technology. Their mission is to build a robot that can follow a track, throw sponge balls and score as many goals as possible. Normally, doing half of this with a computer would earn you super teacher status – but here you’ll find ‘control’ as it should be – more about teamwork and decision making than technical genius. Though now overshadowed by Mindstorms, other workshops are available – on gears, mechanisms and many more that are bang on curriculum target. Book them for mid morning or afternoon when the queues are peaking. Back outside, you find yourself in Castleland, home to The Dragon, another addition this year. It’s a roller coaster and the most fearful ride Legoland can shake a brick at. For the top end of the audience, it rates as charmingly terrifying. It enchants with a dark ride through Lego scenery and sets hearts racing with a good enough drop. Older kids get their money’s worth, while it’s here that I learned the art of expert coasting – enjoying the trauma with arms outstretched. Anyway, it’s a neat trick I picked up from the nine-year-old in front. There’s a cleverness that runs through Legoland. In many rides you can’t couch potato, you have to put some effort in – to drive, move, or pull yourself up. They even pan for gold in a water trough – earning a medal for collecting enough. I’m impressed – but I’d warn to keep older kids away – many seek more danger than the place can deliver, resulting in mischief. Bring yourself and enjoy the paradise you missed.
Plenty for the under tens – these can claim it as all theirs. Education workshops are well tied in with the curriculum. Large, delightful site that is easy on the eye, just a bit painful on the feet.
Prices: School price £LOW per pupil pre-booked. Available is a school programme, free teacher planning visit, disabled persons fact sheet. Legoland, Windsor, Berks, SL4 4AY. Tel 01753 626100 Web: www.legoland.co.uk
Legoland – visit ’99
If Legoland Windsor is a destination this summer, I’d take a break from the outdoor fun and pop indoors for some computer fun. This theme park, where children ride in life size Lego models has become a youngsters’ paradise. Taking an indoor break from the dizziness, daring rides and getting fairly wet, might not seem like the thing to be doing. But this you must – the west of London park showcases how computers and learning can come together.
New this year are workshops, for both families and schools, based around Lego’s hi-tech intelligent brick. Branded as Lego Mindstorms, this is arguably the first product to turn ‘computer control’, and the most sticky topic of the school curriculum, into something anyone can have a go at.
The ‘brick’ is the result of years of development in teaching computer control. Although widely associated with work in the US, the UK can claim credit for much of the pioneering – driven by having a curriculum that insisted it should be taught. What is unusual about the new product is that it is deemed ready to be sold to the general public. Ironically, with something so hard as ‘control’, that means it really is ready for schools too.
The brick, now called the RCX, is about the size of a pocket camera yet it has the power of a pocket computer. You build a Lego model around the brick adding motors, lights and push switches. For once, that’s the hard bit. For the easy bit, you go to a regular computer and assemble instructions that will tell it how to behave. Were your model a robot, you would tell it when the motors should turn, when its eyes might flash and how it should move when, as robots do, it bumps into something. Then like a TV remote control, you send the instructions to the brick using an invisible infrared signal.
No longer strangled and tethered by wires, robots appear to think for themselves. Clever, more credible projects are the result as give lots of power to our little people.
Unseen in this landscape of Lego creatures are sixty Apple IMAC computers where classes can get hands on with the system. One workshop, which incidentally also runs on PCs, is called Robosports and is based on kits you can buy in the shops. Here, within 45 minutes you decorate and program a buggy to follow a track to a goal. The buggy has to detect track markings using its electric eye, sense out when it arrives at the goal and then use a clever mechanism to score with its cargo of sponge balls.
The other workshop is based on Robolab, the kit you might get for school and uses entirely different software. Understanding Lego’s branding takes a little doing but essentially here they give you LabVIEW, the state of the art software used to monitor space buggies on NASA missions. In the spirit of good education software, this power is made accessible to eight or nine year olds through a series of levels. At level one you can turn on a motor to say, work a model roundabout for as a long as a ride should last. At each level up you get to control more motor outputs, set how fast they turn and sense more things happening.
As you head for the top tier of the Robolab software, you are hand held less and less as the soft wrapping is removed. Eventually, though thankfully not in the theme park workshop, you gain full control of the underlying Lab View program and can do the scary stuff that industry does in test labs and process control.
Having sorted control, there’s time to enjoy the Lego world outside. You will suspect computers also are at work here. For example, on the ride to the log flume computers work to set off sound effects, take photographs and of course, squirt you with water. I would heap praise on the child that spots technology doing such crucial work.
As one of three new rides to appear this year, the smallest children will welcome The Dragon’s Apprentice. It’s a ‘minicoaster’ they can ride in preparation for the ‘The Dragon’, Legoland’s easy, but nevertheless challenging roller-coaster. New also is a roundabout styled as a hot air balloon and water flumes planned to open any day now.
If there’s time, a visit to the shop before the end of the day crowds, gives a glance at Lego’s new but very late entry into software. Titles cover chess, train sets and making music – those that see no good messages in computer games may the good here.
At group rates, schools ought to earn applause from parents, if only for saving them the fortune it costs to take the family. It’s a neat, sweet place where even the under fives get a good deal. Older kids in search of a real scare will not find it here – streetwise twelve year olds may want to turn this safe haven into the place it is not.
Like many theme parks, a ‘cannot get the staff’ symptom is evident. Just a few employees seem to have the verve for the work but to be kind, watching others have fun must be terminally dull. With Legoland so easily rated as a special outing for the under tens, I have now numbed to this and turned the irritation into a spectator sport.
Legoland info (check)
Legoland Windsor is open from 10 am to 6pm approx. School rates are £LOW per child with one free teacher place for every ten paying pupils. Schools can and should pre-book their workshops – a best time might be around midday when the rides are busiest. Family visitors need to book when they arrive at the park. Tel 0990 040404. School bookings Tel 01753 626100. Web www.legoland.co.uk
There’s a hundred years of history at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It charts a rise to Britain’s most visited tourist attraction. With 145 rides from theme park antiquities and modern thrills, it’s no blemish that few of the eight million coming here this year want to learn any history.
As a robotic laughing clown at the entrance hints, this is a place of fun. Start with the Big One – the world’s grandest roller coaster that is breathtaking in the extreme. Locked in a seat, and looking rather pale, I was treated to words of counselling – “you’ll be OK” said the attendant, adding conspiratorially, “the camera’s in front of the tunnel”. Within seconds, you hurtle at 85 miles an hour down a 65-degree drop. The severity of this, followed by sharp twists and jolts makes two minutes into an age. There’s no point in fighting it, so just ‘go with the flow’. Screaming is a back-up strategy, just hold off long enough to smile for the camera – so the class see how much you enjoyed the ride. As the noise from the Big One, spooks you throughout the day, there are plenty more star turns to thrill the ‘teens especially. ‘Playstation – the ride’ shoots them higher than Nelson’s Column and offers heart-stopping seconds of free fall, ‘The Revolution’ sends them in a full loop and then backwards for good measure while in ‘The Avalanche’ you roll freely just like a bobsleigh. The antiquities are to be savoured too, quaint wooden coasters like ‘The Big Dipper’ harks back to the 1920s, while The Wild Mouse is a most rickety ride. ‘The Steeplechase’ perches you on a glass fibre horse that seems to want you off. Add to this more low-tech oldies like the petrol driven ‘Veteran Cars’, and the unsteerable ‘Swamp buggies’ and enjoy the fact that they still work. Blackpool has history, but it’s very much alive. For the infants, there are scaled down rides – Log Flume, Big Dipper, tea-cup ride and a few more. Though it’s a separate area, it’ll be easy to lose a few kids here. That the staff are older and can even smile, is a feature other parks need to copy. Easily missed, but try not to, is a lavish, dazzling ice show with costumes that may be too racy for a school trip, and Ripley’s – a museum of curiosities, like the Mona Lisa made of toast. Ask for the quiz sheet.
Offers great variety and many unique rides. Electric atmosphere created by rides literally on top on each other though some will see it as crowded. All but the infants will find plenty to do, although without ticket sheets, a full day could be pricey.
Available for booking, at cost are a talk, parking and coach travel. Costs: free entry – pay as you go. Pleasure Beach, Ocean Boulevard, FY4 1EZ. Tel: 01253 341033 Web: www.bpbltd.co.uk
Walking round theme parks is easy – you look, you choose and you ride. Walk into the new X-sector, at Alton Towers and you can only stare and wonder. How could anyone make a ride as awesome as this – a vertical roller coaster, a face down drop from 60 metres into a dark hole under the ground?
It is Oblivion, a new keynote ride that’s cost millions and sent people back to Nemesis, because it seems easier. Even the queue is scary: others around are no surer they want to do this. No thanks to seven shuttles which save on loading and unloading time, you move uncomfortably fast to the dreaded fall. In the space of a breath, you’ve hit a misty hole at frightening speed and feel a rush like nothing this side of a mind-altering drug. Ejected into a souvenir shop, you will feel you are hallucinating as you see Oblivion theme mugs, pencils, key rings sweatshirts and more. In this condition, buying Oblivion Body Spray seemed like a perfectly sane thing to do.
But don’t think the Nemesis roller coaster is tame. Its brilliant valley setting, with blood-like waterfalls provides ample preparation for being suspended in a seat, sent downwards and spun mercilessly through 360 degree turns. But in a different setting – say a science lesson – it’s also great preparation for learning about the four times gravity force you’ve suffered. Faster than it takes for kinetic energy to turn into potential energy, arrives an opportunity to switch on students who don’t the point of it and maybe never will. Helping to turn this teacher’s fantasy into something manageable is a set of worksheets called ‘Science Alive’. There are packs for maths and technology – good value at £10 with a video to help relive their ride traumas back at school. Nearby you can find the Ripsaw – new last year and still hanging people over jets of water, and sending them through fierce somersaults to dry them off. It makes The Corkscrew looping coaster seem easy and asserts Alton Towers as the home of the white-knuckle ride. The young ones are catered for well. A few balk at the Log Flume or The Blade – a sort of swinging boat but none refuse the wet fun of Congo River Rapids. In their own themed sections are big slides, soft play and bouncy castles. There’s a farm area, tractor rides, and a full scale Peter Rabbit ice show. Add in Toyland Tours – a colourful boat tour and Squirrel’s Nutty Ride – a mini-sky ride and you’re still not done. While this is a large site, and miles from anywhere – except Alton, this is a fun day out, and for the adventurous teacher, a serious way into many school topics.
Alton Towers Verdict:
Excellent range of rides to satisfy teens, primaries and younger. Good educational support material, talks, wheelchair access and facilities. Ask for the schools leaflet. Special programmes for age 8-14. Alton Towers, Alton, Staffs, ST10 4DB Tel: 01538 703344 Web: www.alton-towers.co.uk
When ride signs warn “you will get wet”, there’s really no point in thinking the odds are in your favour. If they printed warnings on chocolate bars saying, “you will get fat” we’d eat them anyway so basically: here you get wet. As well as a place to meet life’s certainties, Thorpe Park is a massive 500-acre site, over half of which is water.
Those with no penchant for intense rides will find most of its 30 or so attractions well within their mettle. The ‘Depth Charge’ where you ride smartly down a flume in a dinghy is a recommended way to get the adrenaline going. Otherwise, pass swiftly on to a short spell on the bumper cars on water called Dino Boats. They are a warm up to Thunder River where you sit in a huge tyre raft and ride waves, inch beside waterfalls in a very wet canyon. With a bit more of this, some will be ready for the log flume. This top ride features a rather speedy fall from a great height, a surprise drop in a dark tunnel on the way there and all washed down with a guaranteed final drenching. Rather than dry off, get out the swimming cossie and slither down Wet, Wet, Wet, three twisting and turning water slides. They could be the first swimwear only theme park rides – they land you in Fantasy Reef, an artificial beach with a pool, sand and restful sun loungers. Done doing nothing, take the free water-bus to another peaceful haven, Thorpe Farm. Here there’s a display of antique farm equipment, a crafts centre, and animals at resting too. With cows, calves, pigs and a hundred or so sheep there will be times in the year this merits a special visit. There are new dodgem cars and lots of easy rides for pre-schoolers. It will ready them for The Flying Fish – a moderate roller coaster and in time for X:\No Way Out – a highly disorientating coaster in the dark. I’d only grumble that here queues run very slowly – it was not busy – it just seemed understaffed. Still Thorpe Park delivers the joy – it’s easy to do, easy to get around and very easy on everything but a hairdo.
Thorpe Park verdict:
A variety of wet rides and a real farm make this a day out for a primary school but it’s just not scary enough for secondary. Fairly easy rides, but very slow queues. Ask about the school brochure, disabled persons booklet and education input from the farm. Outside July and August, pre-booked groups cost £ LOW per pupil and £ for infants. Thorpe Park, Staines, Surrey, KT16 8PN Tel: 0990 880888 Web: www.thorpepark.co.uk
Segaworld (now closed)
Segaworld was a showcase of computer technology dedicated to the pursuit of fun. It was a theme park inside the Trocadero building, bang next to Piccadilly Circus, London’s most electrified tourist spot. Leave those flashing signs behind, we’ve done light bulbs and they don’t thrill anymore. Ignore too the street drug sellers and instead take a massive escalator to a place of high energy entertainment. Noise, mind dazzle and adrenaline is what you’ll find, no less a hit and just as additive.
Four hundred arcade machines and half a dozen rides are packed into six themed floors – one for kids and family, while others cover sports, motor races, and aircraft games. The escalator lands you into ‘combat zone’, where you find the young at war with alien life forms. The sounds are visceral, no blood is spilt, though plenty of testosterone. While it’s no nice welcome, appreciate that the players are on sentry duty and protecting our planet. There’s better further on so walk briskly through and offer a nod of gratitude.
Segaworld is computer games and comes from Sega, a 3 billion dollar Japanese company that started building amusement machines as far back as 1951. This is one of its kind in Europe. Here are games with a plus – actual snowboards, jet skis and rally cars that handle like the real thing but your progress and mishaps are on screen. Falling off costs not your life, just another pound from your pocket. You can cut through ice on a bobsleigh, cruise the streets on a Harley-Davidson motorbike, or use countless other ‘input devices’ you don’t much find in a school IT room.
Like a regular theme park there are rides, but again they are rides plus. In the ghost train (Ghost Hunt) electronic ghouls attack you but you can zap them as you ride. The dodgem cars go one better too, offering bazookas to fire balls as you pass. One to go for is Space Mission where you enter your space craft, belt up in a hydraulic seat and don a virtual reality headset. Soon you’re in a New World that you can really look around as you fly at the enemy. As you crash and swerve your seat jostles with appropriate brutality to add to the effect. Another ride, Max Flight puts two people in an extremely agile simulator box and takes them on a roller coaster inside an asteroid. You can program the severity of the ride, choosing what kind and how many loops and twists you fancy. Then having been secured and harnessed, you hear the tracks rumble and the ride begins. You see the journey on a five foot screen, feel the rush of the wind and note the one extra clue to when you’re riding upside down: your feet dangle about your head!
There are more – more than most can afford so this coin operated paradise ends as your money ends. Booked school groups can get concessions. If you had phobias of any kind – about technology, aliens or death this helps one way or the other. As a spectator sport for the broad minded Segaworld is an education, others will yell to be beamed back to the classroom.
Segaworld – is closed though the atmosphere in the Trocadero is still something to sample.
Theme park: Futuroscope
France’s Futuroscope is a gem of a theme park but try telling that to the kids. You could say it’s a feast of amazing things on huge cinema screens. Or you could say it’s more memorable than anything else they’ll visit. Just don’t say they’ll be trading the dare devil rides of Alton Towers for lots of nice cinemas. It will not cut the French mustard.
Set in Poitiers, this ‘theme park of the moving image’ is a top attraction – pulling in three million visitors a year. The landscape is filled with the most awesome cinema buildings shaped as massive prisms, domes and cubes – all very striking, inviting and hi-tech. And why not – over the last ten years, the surrounding area has become a centre for high technology with businesses, research institutes and information superhighways. At the National Tele Learning centre nearby, for instance, distance learning materials are piped to a 1000 French schools.
But there’s plenty of cutting edge in Futuroscope itself. The place is about feasting your eyes and fooling your senses. Forever stuck in the mind is the Magic Carpet cinema with not just 600 square metres of screen upfront, but with the same again beneath the glass floor of the auditorium. The film, no plot mind you, shows you a butterfly hatching from a larvae with an image this is crisp and perfect. You follow it on a flight, watching the land and sea disappearing beneath your feet.
This was moving enough, but never as much as Le Cinema Dynamique which loses nothing in translation. Here you are held in a hydraulic seat that jostles you in sync’ with the film. It’s about a bridegroom’s race to the church, with enough speed boating, cliff falling and typical French driving to send your seat in toutes directions.
There are more of these, each attracting the bigger queues in high season. In ‘Street Luge’ you get you a first person view of a sort of skateboard dodging cars and lorries in a downhill race. In another you are on a helter-skelter, with yet more side to side lunging but this time they turn on fans to add a highly appropriate breeze. Of course, you can sit cool, go with the flow and say it’s not real. Only the screams and mine too, were real.
Insides well churned, it was off to Omnimax – an IMAX cinema where the film is made with a fish-eye lens and projected on a 180-degree screen. It’s an educational film which takes you from inside the atom to beyond the edge of the galaxy. It takes you through step by step over several minutes, and it takes you through again in warp speed. With your field of vision filled, the experience is little short of immersive and makes a teaching point that for once, few will fail to grasp.
The range of cinema technology here really does merit discussion before and after any visit and to help they do a booklet for English schools that’s worth tracking down. You could call it science, technology, media or art but the ability to surprise rather than numb the senses belongs in the study of magic. Take the Wall of Images where the presentation, the story of la Vienne county, is shown across a spread of 850 TV monitors. Or take Cine-Jeu – a life-sized, computer game where you play table tennis on a big screen or fly an aircraft. Whatever, they seem to do their magic even after that jostling dynamique. If any, the 3D Imax is harder to follow. You sit with polarising spectacles as the 40-minute film tells the story of a pilot crash landed in the Andes. Quite how the action happens over the rows in front is magic itself, but the wings of a plane seem to clip their heads and waiters walk in front of you to great effect. Another called Solido, needs liquid crystal goggles to give an unusually real experience of life on the sea bed. Adding to the effect is the wrap-around rather than flat screen. Frankly, were all cinemas like these, TV could switch off. Note that for most films, you will need their special headphones to listen in English – they were as essential as was a two-day visit.
Come the summer, those staying over for a second day can feast further on a new evening laser show. Set around a lake in an open-air theatre, here laser beams send images across the water to the expected rousing music. Added to this, clips of film project onto a fine mist of water, one moment a huge liner crosses the lake, next a couple tap dances on its surface, but again it should be seen.
Entrance to the park in high season is £18 or £14.50 for children aged 5-16. For two days that rises to £32 and £26, based on 10 Francs to the UK pound. For pre-booked groups of 20 or more, the price drops only slightly though they throw in a tour guide on the first day. As a guide, bed and breakfast is about £10 per person in a quadruple room – it is probably easier to get a travel agent to fix up a complete package.
Otherwise, the luxurious way to travel is of course to take the Eurostar from Waterloo and change on the other side for the TGV to Poitiers. Fast though this is, the journey time is 6 hours, but the cost is only £89 – provided you stay over a Saturday. There any many hotels on site, costing around £40 for two in a double room. To avoid rushing, get your sleep and a two good days on site, a two-night stay seems best.
Booking: Contact www.futuroscope.fr
Theme Park: DisneyQuest, Orlando, Florida (Roger Frost Times Educational Supplement June 2001)
So you’re done with school computers and it’s time to play. Holidays, computers and fun rate high on the ‘sad’ register, but here at a theme park in Orlando, Florida they mix like a fruit smoothie. Take creative minds, take technology to its limit and you have DisneyQuest, a high tech theme park where you almost fly. Take money too because this part of the world is theme park heaven. It is home to Seaworld, Universal Studios, and more attractions than fit a fortnight break. The area is vast: the plot with just Disney’s resorts and theme parks is about 50 square miles. Its car parks are town-size. It has its own motorways. Think about greater Manchester – it’s about that big.
And it’s not without education either. There’s education to be had from Disney’s Epcot park, the animal theme parks and the space centre in nearby Cape Canaveral. And here at DisneyQuest, one of the newest theme parks, we’re big on input devices and output devices but with added thrills.
True to the computer tradition, DisneyQuest shrinks a theme park down to fit a building. That’s five floors furnished with stylish wall-to-wall technology. Here you put aside everyday reality and enter fantasy worlds. Heaven forbid that children will demand technology this good in school. But let that thought pass, because by now the limping, beige-coloured school network is completely out of mind. The holiday has begun.
Go to ‘Virtual Jungle Cruise’ and climb aboard a life size inflatable rib with your folk. Paddle your way down river rapids shown ahead on a huge screen so you’re really in the scene. As you wade the paddles, you and your team navigate the raft so helplessly you’ll wish no one is watching. You’ll meet waterfalls and get jostled in perfect synchrony. You’ll catch a spray of water for good measure. Afterwards, you’ll catch your breath, find your feet and make a note not to paddle straight at the marauding monster next time.
DisneyQuest’s latest attraction is as multimedia as you can get. With sight, sound and motion, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold’ has much cutting-edge technology. Four of you take to the sea as you board a pirate ship-themed moving platform. You’ve become pirates with 3-D spectacles and find yourselves in a 270-degree wrap-around screen. On an island ahead a volcano is erupting, so steer away – straight into other pirate ships taking pot shots at you. You’ll see cannon balls literally coming at you and thank goodness you can fire back. Over five minutes of mayhem, you be attacked on all sides, and be rocked to the rhythm of the ship. Developers, Walt Disney Imagineers, meld a synchronized motion platform, and firing cannons that really seem to fire stuff with the help of 3D vision and surround sound.
An attraction to arrive early for allows you to design your own rollercoaster. Superb is that you can make it as easy or as scary as you like – in the end the software assesses it, and will tweak it worse or better if you like. Clever too is the software design, which talks you through all the options on screen. You choose how many loops, drops and even complete inversions you want. It plays through what you choose as you go. And unlike the school computer, it works and it doesn’t patronise you either!
Finally it’s time to enter the simulator, buckle-up in this pod for two, and do the ride. Called CyberSpace Mountain this is a gem to do over again. Add money and you can take away a video souvenir of the ride mixed with a view of a well-thrilled face.
As at any Disney ‘park’, the theming at DisneyQuest is true: attractions consistently bring a story behind them and a link to a Disney film. It’s all very clever and congruous. Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride puts you in the middle of the Disney story. You don a headset, sit and fly your way through the streets of Agrabah, featured in the film. Your mission is to pick up gems on your travels, finding keys to doors and avoiding perils. You meet your pals in the world too – you can work together to get around. Like most games, it needs a few goes but the collaborative idea is refreshing.
There’s enough here to pleasure a few more hours. You can build the awesome contraptions from Disney’s ‘Toy Story’ in Sid’s Create a Toy. You can learn about animation, make songs and burn a CD or give yourself a virtual makeover. And while you can half-do these things at home, here there’s Disney’s flare, or ‘magic’ as its called. to make it memorable.
DisneyQuest adds another twenty tears of technology to a traditional amusement arcade. With things to charm, and very little arcade brashness, the result is phenomenal. It is popular, you’ll get round faster and get more second goes by going early with a plan.
So portable it could fit anywhere, there’s another DisneyQuest in the centre of Chicago. The Orlando option is more the holiday or ultimate school trip. It lets you find your ideal mix of thrill park, water park, ‘edutainment’ park and beach holiday. You will get wet, you will spend money and you will forget about the school network.
For DisneyQuest and Walt Disney World Orlando and California see www.disneyquest.com and www.disney.co.uk