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A la Carte: Florida Offers Unique Dining Venues for Student Tours

Mar 27, 2008
Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World - Florida is the capital of fun when it comes to educational travel. Even meals in Florida promise more than just the normal opportunities. Venues such as Arabian Nights and Hard Rock Cafe are just a few of the restaurants that provide memorable dining experiences. These places also provide unusual educational offerings.

Producing a magical combination of fine dining, horsemanship, and legendary storytelling, the Arabian Nights Dinner Theater is focused around the marriage celebration of a prince and princess. Located in Kissimmee, a short distance from Walt Disney World, Arabian Nights features beautiful horses from around the world in world's largest indoor equestrian center. Here, guests celebrate the birthday of a princess with daring equestrian stunts and colorfully-costumed riders in a performance that uses the latest technology in effects, sound, and lighting. Visitors are also treated to a bountiful meal served by palace servants. Guests even see The Black Stallion, courtesy of the Walter Farley family, author of The Black Stallion. Special educational programs are also available.

When Universal Studios brought a new kind of theme park to Orlando in 1990, it encompassed more than 400 acres and brought Hollywood, television, and movies to life. That magic is still alive and well. Here, visitors take in an incredible array of rides, shows, movie sets, and attractions. On-site educational programs, as well as music performance opportunities are available to enhance the Universal Studios experience. The Hard Rock Cafe Orlando, adjacent to the Hard Rock Live performance venue, is the largest Hard Rock Cafe in the world, decorated with the world's largest collection of rock 'n roll memorabilia. The multi-level cafe serves up classic American cuisine. Hard Rock specialty merchandise is for sale in the gift shop.

Located in Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resorts, the House of Blues combines southern cooking, live music, and folk art to create an original dining experience for student tours. Designed as an authentic Mississippi juke joint, the restaurant offers its popular Sunday Gospel Brunch, featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet complemented by live gospel performances. Tours of the restaurant's art collection can also be arranged.

Sleuth's Mystery Dinner Shows invite student group travelers to bring their investigative skills and appetite for an adventurous evening of whodunit. Each of the theater's interactive dinner shows, performed by the cast at Sleuth's, centers around a murder, and it's the audiences' job to solve the crime. The evening begins with an introduction of the characters over appetizers and salad. After guests become acquainted with the colorful individuals involved in the story, the show begins, including a suspenseful murder. Over a choice of entre, participants use their deduction skills to discuss likely suspects, the motive, and how the crime was committed. After dinner guests may interrogate the remaining cast members. Following the mystery dessert, the murder is revealed.

Taking a journey back to the 11th Century, group tours embark on adventure and a dinner at Medieval Times in Kissimmee. Inside the medieval castle, guests get an unforgettable history lesson in the guise of jousting duels between knights on powerful stallions, thrilling swordplay, and a feast fit for a king - eaten with 11th-century utensils - your hands. The audience is encouraged to cheer for their knight while he competes in games of skill and accuracy. The Kissimmee location is the only one to also feature an authentic medieval village.

Travel to the Amazon without ever leaving the country. A visit to the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney Marketplace combines a great meal with environmental education. Dedicated to the preservation of the rainforest, the restaurant utilizes its elaborate interior design to introduce visitors to the wonder and beauty of the rainforest. Surrounded by lush foliage and cascading waterfalls, guests dine as jungle animals, such as elephants and gorillas, come to life and thunderstorms boom in the distance. An on-site educational program is available to student groups which includes a safari through the cafe, focusing on endangered species and saltwater fish life.
About the Author
travel adventures Travel Adventures is staffed by educators who understand the needs of teachers. Serving over one half million students since our inception, we provide hassle-free travel arrangements while empowering teachers to create change by expanding the classroom to the world.
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