Technical Tours Offer Encounters with Gators, Stuntmen, More

How close is too close? That is a question some NSC Congress & Expo attendees will undoubtedly be asking on Wednesday, Oct. 28, when, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a group will take a behind-the-scenes safety tour of Gatorland, billed as one of Orlando's wildest theme parks.

The adventure, which offers a crash course in the safety techniques incorporated at the park to keep guests and employees safe while working with and around a wide variety of native Florida wildlife, is one of at least four technical tours available to attendees to enrich this year's conference with sights and sounds outside the walls of the Orange County Convention Center. Registration is $30 and includes lunch. Attendees will explore a variety of obstacles including handling a medical emergency, preparing for inclement weather, and unexpected issues resulting from a day in the Florida sun. Oh, and there will be up-close visits with alligators, crocodiles, birds, and other denizens of the park.

Earlier in the week--Monday, Oct. 26, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.--another technical tour will take attendees backstage at Disney's Contemporary Resort to learn from the facility's Food Safety Team how it maintains more than 500 food locations at the resort. The tour will offer an education on Disney's approach to kitchen design and overall restaurant safety. Registration, limited to 90 participants, is $79.

On Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., 25 registered attendees will tour the Hilton Orlando on a trip designed to divulge the latest developments in safety and security in this new hotel, completed Aug. 17, 2009. The tour will include guest areas as well as "back of the house" areas dedicated to team members only. The registration fee is $30.

And on Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., while the other group of NSC technical tourists is getting perhaps too close to the critters at Gatorland, another group of 90 conference participants will be going behind the scenes at the "Lights, Motors, Action!"™ Extreme Stunt Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This tour will explore traditional safety elements, including fall protection, confined spaces, and fire protection but will also feature entertainment safety as it relates to precision driving, high stunt falls, weapons, explosives, and how to "safely" set someone on fire. Participants will learn how specialists apply safety by design techniques to create this high-powered Disney show. And, after the backstage tour, attendees get to view the final product. The registration fee is $79.

All of the above outings are available only to registrants of the NSC 2009 Congress & Expo. NSC recommends early registration because the tours are capacity controlled and historically sell out very quickly. For more information, visit

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