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Planning a Trip Frequently Asked Questions

When making a reservation, do so at least three weeks in advance. More notice suggested if additional programming required. Please have prepared the following information when making a reservation:

  • School name and address
  • Personal contact information
  • A range of preferred field trip dates
  • Number of students (per grade) and total number of adults. (The minimum adult to student ratio is 1:10.)
  • Preferred arrival and departure times
  • Preferred programs and extra experiences
  • Special needs or requests we should be aware of

Important Contacts


Reservations Department: 414.765.8625 reservations@discoveryworld.org
School Experiences Coordinator: 414.765.8779 cmcelveen@discoveryworld.org

FAQ

How do I make a field trip reservation?

Fill out the Field Trip Request Form online anytime, or call the Reservations Department. The Reservations Department is available Mon-Fri from 8am-4pm by calling 414.765.8625. A minimum of three weeks advance notice is required to secure the group rate for field trips and activities. Greater notice is recommended if extra programming is desired. We will not accept reservations made with less notice. Group rates are only available for groups of 10 or more students with advance reservations. We require final headcount and full payment two weeks prior to your visit date. No changes to diminish headcounts will be allowed or accepted after the two-week deadline. There will be no refunds or credits given for persons missing or absent on the day of your trip.

MAKE A RESERVATION

How many adult chaperones are required for my field trip?

Discovery World requires at least one adult to act as a chaperone for every ten children in the group. An adult chaperone constitutes all teachers, aides, and/or parents that will be in attendance with your group on your visit date. Failure to meet the required number of adults the day of your visit will result in a $19.00 charge for each missing adult chaperone, plus any programming fees that may apply.

One adult per ten children in attendance will receive complimentary admission to the museum. Any additional adults outside of this 1:10 ratio will be charged the regular group admission rate, in additional to any programming fees included in your reservation.

Students/children are to remain with their adult chaperones at all times. Adult chaperones must remain with their students/children at all times. Chaperones are 100% responsible for the behavior and well-being of the students/children on the trip and must enforce all Discovery World rules and policies. Adults must be actively supervising their students/children in all parts of the museum, including the gift shop, café, labs, theaters, and lunch areas. Groups will be held responsible for missing or damaged items.

Where is Discovery World located?

Discovery World
500 North Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202

What times/days are you open?

During the academic school year, Discovery World is open for school group bookings most Tuesdays-Fridays 
from 9am-4pm, and on seasonal Mondays from 9am-4pm.

During the 2017-2018 school year, Discovery World will also be open on the following Mondays for groups:

  • January 1, 2018 (New Years Day)
  • January 15, 2018 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • February 19, 2018 (President’s Day)
  • March 26, 2018
  • April 2, 2018
  • April 9, 2018
  • April 16, 2018
  • April 23, 2018
  • April 30, 2018
  • May 7, 2018
  • May 14, 2018
  • May 21, 2018
  • June 4, 2018 (No lab or educational experiences will be available on this date.)
  • June 11, 2018 (No lab or educational experiences will be available on this date.)

Please note, there are also a number of dates that are blocked for group bookings due to internal events or building closures. Unavailable dates currently include:

  • September 5-8, 2017 (Closed for Annual Maintenance)
  • September 11-15, 2017 (Closed for Annual Maintenance)
  • October 10, 2017
  • December 12, 2017
  • March 6, 2018
  • May 28, 2018 (Memorial Day)

Dates are subject to change.

How far in advance do reservations need to be made?

Reservations must be made at least least three weeks in advance. Availability is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so advanced booking is highly encouraged, especially near the end of the school year. For all groups, we require final headcount and full payment at least two weeks prior to your visit date. No reservations will be accepted without at least three weeks notice.

What are the fees associated with a school field trip?

Currently, the school group admission rate for certified schools during the academic year is $7/student, $8/adult. The rate for non-school groups or visits outside of the non-academic year is $9/child, $13/adult. We give groups one complimentary adult admission for every 10 students attending.

Adding additional programming to your trip does result in additional fees. Additional programming is subject to availability.

Pricing is subject to change. Please see the Price Guide for the most up to date pricing.

When do you need to know my final headcount?

Your final headcount is required at least two weeks prior to your date of visit. No changes to diminish headcounts will be allowed or accepted after the two-week deadline. There will be no refunds or credits given for persons missing or absent on the day of your trip.

Additions to your headcount will only be made if space is available. Payment for additional attendees, if granted, must be submitted prior to visit date.

Submitting your final headcount is extremely important especially if you have additional programming included on your reservation or are eating lunch here. We have finite amounts of space and capacity limits on all lab, theater, and lunch areas, in addition to general building capacity limits.

When is field trip payment due?

Full payment is due at least two weeks prior to your date of visit.

No changes to diminish headcounts will be allowed or accepted after the two-week deadline. There will be no refunds or credits given for persons missing or absent on the day of your trip.

What kind of payment do you accept?

We accept checks, credit cards, and cash.

For check payments, please make checks payable to: Discovery World.

Discovery World also accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover Card payments over the phone by calling the Reservations Department at 414.765.8625.

Full payment for reservations must be received at least two weeks prior to the date of your visit. No trip is confirmed until full payment is received. Reservations are subject to cancellation if payment is not received by the two week deadline. There will be no refunds or credits given for persons missing or absent on the day of your trip.

When can I sign up for a movie, theatrical show, or educational program?

You must register for all programming in advance when booking your field trip. A minimum of three weeks advance notice is required to secure the group rate for field trips and programming. Availability is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so advanced booking is highly encouraged, especially near the end of the school year. Additional programming will result in additional fees.

Educational experiences, movies, and theatrical shows are not available between early June through August as we have our own Summer Camps taking place in all of our lab and theater spaces.

How many students can participate in a lab experience?

There is a 10 student minimum to book any lab experiences. Lab maximum capacities range from 15-25 students per session, depending on the lab desired and/or the venues we have available. If your group contains more students than the limit of a lab allows, we will attempt to split your group up and run multiple sessions to accommodate all of your students. All programming is subject to availability. Some, but not all, labs can be run in more than one room at a time.

How long is an average field trip?

On average, most groups visit for around four hours. It takes about two hours to go through all of our exhibit spaces, which then leaves you plenty of time for your required orientation upon arrival, lunch time, and other activities like theatrical shows, tours, and labs, if scheduled.

What if I need to cancel or change the date of my field trip?

Should you need to cancel or reschedule your visit, you must do so at least two weeks prior to your visit date. Rescheduling requests made before or by this deadline will be allowed and we will work with you to find a mutually agreed upon new visit date. In this case, your payment will be applied to the new visit date.

Cancellations or rescheduling requests made after the two week deadline, or groups that are no shows, will receive no refunds or credits.

Cancellations due to school/organization weather closures will not be penalized. In said cases, please contact the Reservations Department as soon as possible.

If the reservation has not been cancelled or rescheduled by the two week deadline, all contracts become valid and enforceable.

I’m going to arrive late to my field trip. What do I do?

Please do everything possible to arrive on time and allow enough travel time to account for weather, traffic, road conditions, etc. If your group is going to arrive later than the scheduled arrival time, regardless of reason, please call the Reservations Department at 414.765.8625 to inform us. All scheduled programs begin at the time stated on your confirmation and contract. Please be advised that late arrivals may result in the cancellation of these scheduled shows, labs, movies, demonstrations, and/or other scheduled activities, regardless of the reason behind the tardiness, even issues with busing. No refunds or credits will be given for missed activities as these activities cannot be held or pushed back for groups that arrive late.

Does Discovery World cater to all grades?

We have great activities for students between the grades K-12. Outstanding Educational Lab Experiences begin for 3rd graders and older. In response to teacher feedback, new programs especially geared towards K-2nd graders were premiered in the 2014-2015 school year.

How is traffic around Discovery World?

There are street and ramp closures in our area due to construction on the Lakefront Gateway Project and I-794 Lake Freeway/Hoan Bridge. In order to better plan your visit to Discovery World, please visit the following links for help on navigating the ramp closures, lane restrictions, and overnight closures that are planned.

Do I need to bring or do anything the day of my field trip?

A few items to note or do before your arrival:

  • Make sure to submit your final headcount and payment to the Reservations Department at least two weeks prior to your visit date. No changes to diminish your headcount will be accepted after the two-week mark. No refunds or credits will be issued for cancellations or “no shows” with less than two weeks notice. No trip is confirmed until full payment is received. Reservation is subject to cancellation if payment is not received by the two week deadline.
  • The first question you will be asked upon arrival is how many total students and total adults you have in your group. This is the total amount present at that moment, NOT the amount that you submitted to the Reservations Department or paid for. Having this information will get your group off on the right foot! It is a safety requirement that we know the exact number of people in our building on a particular day, so your orientation and field trip cannot begin until we have those numbers!
  • Please assign your students to your adult chaperones BEFORE your arrival at Discovery World and separated for labs and other activities as indicated in your confirmation materials. Materials are only prepared for the amount of attendees listed on your confirmation. Please respect this number and split your group up as we have indicated. Please inform your adult chaperones of this separation and make sure each chaperone knows their group’s schedule for the day. Schedules may differ depending on programs requested or lunch times available.
Where should my bus drop us off?

If you are arriving by bus, groups are asked to enter at the North Entrance, where a Guest Services Team Leader will be waiting to welcome you and give your group a brief, 15 minute orientation. Buses may drop-off your group at the North Entrance, however there is no bus parking available on-site. The closest bus parking is available in the Veterans Park parking lot, located about a 10-15 minute walk from our building.

Where should my bus park?

There is no bus parking available at Discovery World, so we suggest daytime parking in the Veterans Park parking lot.

What if I need to rent a wheelchair or a locker?

Our facility is fully handicap accessible. A few wheelchairs are available for free rental with ID. Lockers are available for daily rental in the parking garage for $1.

Can my group eat lunch at Discovery World?

All groups must bring their individual/bag lunches contained in boxes or other suitable containers labeled with your group name. (Other suitable containers include coolers, laundry baskets, plastic storage totes, etc.) Due to programming, other scheduling issues or lunch room capacities, groups may be divided into different lunch times and/or lunch venues. Thus, we highly suggest groups separate lunches into containers based on lunch times.

When groups arrive, lunches will be collected and stored in our lunchroom. Your lunchtime begins exactly when it is stated on your schedule. Your lunch time is limited to 30 minutes. There will be no exceptions. We book lunch times back-to-back, so you may not arrive early or stay beyond your 30 minute scheduled time frame. In this 30-minute window, your entire group is also responsible for picking-up after themselves and for wiping down the tables for the next group’s lunch session.

What should my students do with coats, hats, and gloves?

You may leave them on the bus, or for the cold weather months, bring them in with you upon arrival. Coats will be collected upon arrival at Discovery World and stored in a non-public area. They will be available for pick-up at the time of your departure. You will only get a set amount of bins for coats. Do not expect to be able to split your coats up between classes or groups. If it’s important to you to do so, we suggest bringing labeled garbage bags that chaperones can collect coats in before they are placed in the bins. Discovery World assumes no liability for lost, stolen, or damaged items. Please advise all students and adult chaperones to leave valuable items at home.

Can students bring backpacks?

Student/children backpacks are NOT allowed on the exhibit floors. If possible, do not allow students/children to bring backpacks on your field trip. Any student/child who does bring a backpack will be required to store it with their group’s coats and they will be locked away until departure. Adult chaperone backpacks are permitted, but please remember no food or drinks are allowed on the exhibit floors.

Discovery World assumes no liability for lost, stolen, or damaged items. Please advise all students and adult chaperones to leave valuable items at home.

Can I buy food at Discovery World?

Due to the limited size of our cafe, dkExpress, students should not plan to buy their lunches here and should instead bring a packed lunch.

Can I buy a souvenir at Discovery World?

Yes. Discovery World is home to a location of Learning Shop. The Learning Shop at Discovery World offers some Discovery World merchandise and other unique items. Please actively supervise children when shopping. A maximum of ten students are allowed in the Learning Shop at any one time. As throughout the rest of Discovery World, chaperones must stay with their students while in the Learning Shop and be actively involved in their supervision. If another group is already inside, your group may be asked to wait until they depart. Groups will be held responsible for any missing or damaged items. Please contact the Learning Shop at 414.765.8770 for further information or specific questions regarding inventory.

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