Many people in Mt. Lebanon can probably agree that this winter has been The Winter That Seemed Like It Would Never End. And a group of students can say it ruined their trip to Disney World…almost. As part of the Mt. Lebanon High School marching band, I can say that it was a huge disappointment to hear that our highly-anticipated February trip to Disney World was canceled. However, our amazing band director, Ms. Louise Marino, pulled off some Disney magic by rescheduling our trip to Orlando, Florida for March.
The Mt. Lebanon Blue Devil Marching Band takes a trip each year to perform and show off our talent and hard work from what most call “football season,” but what we band kids refer to as “band season.” The marching band takes a trip every four years to Disney World, and it is a trip that everyone in the band looks forward to. After last year’s cold trip to Memphis over the holiday break, the band was looking forward to the warm weather.
Although the bus trip was long and provided some uncomfortable sleeping positions, the bus is considered a classic band trip experience. We bring tons of food and activities to keep us occupied along with schoolwork that we miss while on the trip. When we finally arrived at Disney on our first day, we went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Some highlights of the day included Tower of Terror and the Rockin’ Roller Coaster along with tamer rides like Toy Story’s Midway Mania and the Great Movie Ride. We ended our first day with the amazing “Fantasmic” fireworks and music show.
Our next day at Disney World included Magic Kingdom. We found it ironic that the castle was under construction. It seems no matter how far away from our high school we get, we just cannot avoid construction. We enjoyed many of the thrill rides and classic rides that Magic Kingdom has to offer, but none was exciting for us as our parade. We marched past the signature castle and throughout other areas of the park as well. Our Disney parade escort called us honorary “cast-members” and we got to see some of the behind-the-scenes areas of Disney while preparing for the parade.
It was wonderful to be able to perform in front of such an enthusiastic audience in the “Happiest Place on Earth.”
The following day, we visited the Universal Studios Orlando Park. Before entering, the Mt. Lebanon High School Wind Ensemble, directed by Mr. Jason Cheskawich and Ms. Louise Marino, performed in the City Walk outside of the parks.
After enjoying the Wind Ensemble’s performance, we entered the parks to see the highlight for many students, Harry Potter World. Here we walked through Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Hogsmeade to see our favorite Harry Potter books and movies come to life. We enjoyed the book’s classic drink, butterbeer, in Hogsmeade. Many of us enjoyed other thrill rides, such as the Hulk.
To close our trip the following day, we went to EPCOT where we enjoyed walking through all of the different cultural displays and places to meet characters. The “Illuminations” fireworks performance at the end of the night closed our trip to Disney World and Universal Studios. Although none of us really felt like leaving the parks and heading home, we were glad to see our families, but not so much to reunite with the cold weather.