Band students go to Disney

Over spring break the high school band went on a trip to Florida, where they visited four Disney theme parks and recorded inside of a Disney studio

From March 9 to15, the high school band traveled over 1,300 miles down to Orlando, which occurs every three years. The band’s recording session at a Disney was with professional and accredited musicians, but more prominently, 4 full days spent at 4 different Disney’s EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios, and Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The 2024 band trip featured being the first trip to fly down to Orlando. Students’ meals were included with their package at each theme park, as well breakfast in the morning at the hotel. 

On the first day, the students arrived at the high school and departed shortly thereafter, leaving on two charter buses for the Minneapolis airport. The band made a short stop at the Mall of America for dinner, before heading to the hotel in preparation for an early morning. 

Day 2 began at 4 a.m., as students needed to be up and ready to go by 4:30 to get to the airport. The flight, which boarded at 6:45, was direct to Orlando. After arriving in Florida, students were quickly driven via charter bus to Disney’s EPCOT, a large park that features a walk around the world, 11 different theme park rides and fireworks at 9. 

Day 3 also had an early start, beginning at 5 a.m. in preparation to be at Disney’s recording studio by 7. After the two-hour session, the rest of the day was spent at Disney’s Hollywood studios, a park with a retro theme that features one of Disney’s most famous attractions, the Tower of Terror. Hollywood Studios also sports a large, intricate Star Wars section, which houses another one of Disney’s best rides, The Rise of the Resistance. Aside from these two big name attractions, Hollywood studios biggest event is Fantasmic, a light and fireworks performance that starts at 8:30 in the evening. Hollywood Studios has the least to offer in terms of rides, with only nine, as well as being half the size of Disney’s EPCOT. 

Day 4 started the latest of any of the days so far, with students getting up around 7 for breakfast and then showing up to Universal studios at 9. Universal Studios boasts over 40 theme park rides, including nine roller coasters between the two sides of the park, as well as being the largest theme park visited throughout the whole trip. Universal Studios contains many different theme sections, most notably the Harry Potter themed Diagon Alley. The day at Universal was the one that ended the quickest, with the band returning back to the hotel at just 7 p.m., giving students a couple hours in the evening to themselves for the first time during the trip..

Day 5, the final day at theme parks, was spent on Disney’s Magic Kingdom, an appropriate climax to Disney’s theme parks. Magic Kingdom is one of the smallest parks, but is packed full with over 30 attractions, seven different sections of the park, all surrounding the Magic Kingdom castle. The band once again arrived at the opening, 9 p.m. The Magic Kingdom is easily the busiest and most popular theme park in the area, and for good reason. Magic Kingdom is the oldest of Disney’s parks in Florida, and because of this, is themed around the more classic Disney characters. Magic Kingdom also has some of the most famous attractions, with the Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion. The seven different sections of the park supplied plenty to do for the 12 hours spent at the park, topped off with the magnificent light and fireworks show at the end of the day. 

The final day of the trip yet again began at 7 a.m., with the band departing from the hotel to the airport to catch a flight that boarded at 10:50. The turbulent flight landed in Minneapolis at 1:30, after adjusting for time zones, followed by lunch at the Mall of America again. One more set of charter buses took the students right back to the high school, for the scheduled return time of 7. 

This completed the 2024 band trip, a full experience with nothing but six full days of Disney. Many students will consider this trip to be full of unforgettable experiences, and one of those students is Liam Morfitt. Morfitt is the bass clarinet player for the band, who credits the trip with absolutely stunning visuals and amazing food. In terms of the trip as a whole, many members of the band, Morfitt included, look back at the day spent at EPCOT as generally the lowest point of the trip. This is mostly due to the extremely early start, paired with jet lag, immediately followed by 10 hours spent walking around the park. Hollywood studios is the park that stood out as the most visually impressive, with lifesize recreation of fan favorite Star Wars ships and locations in the park. While showing off some of the most impressive design and set pieces of any of the theme parks, Hollywood studios was still one of the smallest, as well as having the longest lines of any rides at any park during the trip, some of them reaching over three hours at their peak during the day. 

Band members agree, however, that the second two parks, Universal Studios and Magic Kingdom, clear the initial two theme parks entirely. While not quite as visually impressive as Hollywood studios, Universal and Magic Kingdom stand out for having more than enough rides and attractions to fill the nearly 12 hours spent at each park completely.  Magic Kingdom’s light and fireworks at the end of the final day was an utterly astounding experience, that perfectly ended the 2024 band trip.

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