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On Sunday 26th February 2017, a group of ten A level students, Mr Pitman and Miss Potter left Ebbsfleet station, and despite all being half asleep, we were all very excited for a 3 day trip to Disneyland Paris. We travelled by Eurostar, and arrived in Disneyland later that afternoon.

After checking in and putting our luggage into our rooms, we were given the rest of the afternoon/evening free to go to the Disneyland Park and the Walt Disney studios. We explored around both parks, and went on many of the rides. Many of us watched the famous Disney parade and stayed out to watch the fireworks.

The morning of our second day of the trip involved the Business A level students attending a seminar in the Gaumont Cinema in the Disney village. We had three talks from speakers from high profile companies – Chas Howes from Superdry, Claire Dickson from The Walt Disney Company and Joe McEwan from Innocent Smoothies. They all provided us with their views and experience of being part of a business, and for every speaker we got to find out how the business began, how they are growing as a business and their possible plans for the future.

Claire Dickson from the Walt Disney Company explained how they separate their customers into different categories, such as ‘Disney families’ and this is how they target future/current families. She also explained how the transition from being interested in coming to Disney right down to making the booking requires minute detail in order to make the process as easy and simple for the customer, and even after the booking the business provides the customer with features such as a ‘countdown’ to the trip, highlighting that as a business they are with the customer right from the beginning.

Joe McEwan made us all laugh with his examples of how they use social media within their business, including their ‘human’ conversations and jokes via Twitter and how they follow trends and what their followers find funny, such as the trend where they took the ‘level 4 stapler’ across the world! He also explained how important it was for them to feel like a ‘community’, and they highlighted this by their ‘big knit’ campaign in which people voluntarily knitted and donated mini hats for the smoothies, which raised money for charity.

The ICT A level students then attended a similar seminar in the afternoon, in which they also had three talks – Geoff White from Channel 4, Gemma Milne from Ogilvy labs and Joe McEwan from innocent smoothies. The ICT seminar focused on upcoming technology developments such as ‘holoportation’ in which people can wear a headset which allows them to be in the same room but actually many miles away. The seminar also focused on technology we use in everyday life, such as our mobile phones and how data is always coming and leaving, just like when you give data to a company and advertisers also have the information.

Both seminars were extremely interesting and it was quite eye-opening to see what is behind a business, and all three talks gave us relevant examples and case studies that we will definitely be able to use in our exams.

After the seminars were finished we were given the rest of the day to once again explore Disney, although this proved quite difficult when we were faced with torrential rain as well as thunder and lightening! Nevertheless, it was a memorable day and I don’t think any of us will forget getting soaked just to stand in a line to go on a ride!

Tuesday morning gave us the opportunity to explore the Disney village and buy souvenirs/gifts for our family – or in Mr Pitman’s case to build your own light saber! We were all very sad to be leaving Disney as it had been an amazing three days, however we were looking forward to going home and having a rest (or go back to school…).

We all had an amazing time despite getting slightly wet and it is definitely a trip I would recommend to any Business, ICT/Computing or Economics A level student.

Lauren Portnall