Led Zeppelin Collides With The Magic Kingdom! The Grand Finale!!! 6.28.2012

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by TinksThree, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    Welcome to my Trip Report!

    Hopefully this journey will prove to be as worthy as the anticipation leading up to it! This go-around will be slightly different than any of my other Trip Reports! Usually when we go to Disney I have a plan. I am a super-planner. I plan trips that aren’t even scheduled yet! I have become a Disney obsessed person that literally drives my DH crazy! :laughing: I try to refrain in my excitement and love for Disney but sometimes it is just way too much to contain!!

    So you may be wondering what this trip is really all about then! It is not a family trip but a school trip which I chaperoned. My DD is a sophomore in our high school band and this trip was all about the band going to Disney to march at the Magic Kingdom!

    Now, I am sure you are saying to yourself that this TR is about a band trip but just how did this trip come about and how crazy was I to volunteer to go with a group of teenagers to Disney? Fellow co-workers that know my love for Disney commented that they knew why I volunteered (it is Disney after all) and they speculated that I wouldn’t go if it were in, say, Duluth, Iowa. Well, yes I would because I love to do things with my DD. Time is quickly flying by and soon she will be off to college. :sad1: I have always tried to be there in any way and share things with her, forming memories and forging a relationship that continues into adulthood. Yes, of course I would chaperone a band trip to Duluth but this trip had the added bonus of being at Disney World and not Duluth!

    Let’s go back in time a little to just how all of this came about. The high school band goes on a trip every other year. I knew that this year was the year for the trip and I knew I would be volunteering to chaperone. Rewind to April of 2011, we get the band letter in the mail announcing who had made the tryouts for the upcoming marching season (fall 2011). This letter also includes your typical rules of band, band camp dates, contest dates and football schedule but this year’s also included information on where the band trip would be. I opened the letter and what did my eyes fall on but DISNEY WORLD! I was beside myself! I think I was more excited than my DD! :lmao: Fall rolls around and it is time to sign up. I happily check the box that I will chaperone and then we begin saving for the trip and selling all of the wonderful fundraisers! I actually raised enough to cover the majority of Madison’s portion and only had to pay for my part. :thumbsup2 This was a pretty economical trip to WDW despite what my DH thought!

    We spent most of the school year knowing only these things:
    WHEN: March 22-26, 2012 and WHAT WAS COVERED: 1)transportation on a charter bus,
    2)Breakfast each morning, 3) tickets for 3 days,
    4) one food voucher a day (it equaled the QS on
    the dining plan), 5) accommodations at a “nice
    hotel”

    That was ALL I KNEW! Me, who is the super commando planner that adores Disney. The person that knows what ADR I will reserve and when the 180 day mark is so I can be sure to get what I want when I want it! The person that has a Touring Plan and plans to be at the park 45 minutes before Rope Drop, heads to the E-attraction rides, grabs Fast Passes, does the EMH because I know the value in this! The person who really loves staying on Disney property because I love the fact I never have to move my car and I get all of the perks of being on property. The person that subscribes to Touring Plans each year even if I am unsure I will be going to WDW just so I can go on the TP app and look at the wait times and chat with other Disney crazed people. I am the person who spends way too much time on the DisBoards. Yes, I am that person. I did warn you at the beginning of this post that I am a Disney crazed person! I have even slightly (in a small way) converted my DH to at least appreciate what Disney has to offer and I appreciate the fact that he allows me to indulge in my love for Disney even if he only likes the table service meals (well most, NO Character meals!!), Epcot and the boat ride from Port Orleans to Downtown Disney. But enough about all of that, this trip after all is about a band trip with my daughter!

    Fast forward and it is now March 5, 2012, the week before our Spring Break. We get the itinerary! We make jokes that it is our “Mickey Mail” because Mickey Mail is just a part of building that “I am going to Disney World” excitement! Up to this point I had done a lot of mini-planning like narrowing down my must-do list to 5 rides per park (MK, Epcot and DHS) and deciding on what snacks and food I would like to indulge in while at the parks.

    I can now add to the above “known” items a few new things! 1) We will be staying at Clarion Maingate, 2) we have 3 day Park Hoppers and our schedule is basically Friday, March 23 Epcot 9am-9pm, Saturday, March 24 9am-10pm with the band marching at 2:30 or there about and Sunday, March 25 (the surprise!) Animal Kingdom 9am-3pm and then DHS until 10pm! We get all four parks in three days!, and 3) we cannot use Fast Pass (another challenge).

    Tired yet?! I am!!!! :scared:

    I suppose I have done a whole lot of talking to this point, which I am extremely good at doing! I probably need to introduce who went on this trip!

    First I will begin with me! I am Tisa and we hale from Mississippi. Thankfully we are used to hot, humid weather because it proved a value to be accustomed to it this trip! This is a picture from our trip last summer to Disney:

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    Next is my DD, Madison (also pictured above). She is 16 and has a love for Disney but definitely not as crazed as I am! She loves Minnie Mouse and all of the extreme rides! Actually we both love all of the rides with Tower of Terror being our favorite! Also topping the list is Rock-n-Roller, Expedition Everest, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. Big Thunder Mountain is another favorite but it was closed this trip. Madison plays the flute in the band and she also has played soccer since she was 5 years old. She has an interesting personality! Very unique and she comes up with some great one liners! Here she is in another picture from last year’s trip:

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    And us together again!

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    Finally, we have the marching band. Not everyone chose to go on the trip due to costs and/or other considerations. A few pictures from one of our contests last fall:

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    For pictures, I have some great shots of the kids but since this is the internet and I am not not their parent, I am distorting faces to make the kids non-recognizable. There are some pictures that just tell the story better if I have them in there. Don’t worry though, if you have followed my previous reports I am a picture taking fool and I took over 1250 pictures! There will be lots and lots of pictures to see! As a matter of fact Madison told her friends that I take pictures of “everything including food!”. I must say that people were very understanding and let me snap away. They may have thought things in their head about how crazy I am but at least they refrained from speaking it aloud to me! :rolleyes1

    Up next the Chaperone meeting where I learn just what my duties will be and our trip to Orlando!!
     
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  3. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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  4. lovegrumpy

    lovegrumpy DIS Veteran

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    I can't wait to read this. I'm doing the same in April. We are doing three days at Disney and one to Universal.
     
  5. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    Welcome!!! :welcome: How exciting! Universal probably will satisfy the kids need for coasters...that was the one thing they claimed to miss!
     
  6. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    Joining in!

    Right off the bat I must know-why couldn't you use FP?

    Looking forward to more!
     
  7. ksl5f123

    ksl5f123 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! I'm here! And I can't wait to hear all about your trip! I played flute on a band trip to WDW long, long ago. :laughing:
     
  8. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: So happy to have you here! Ah, the FP issue....that is part of the saga! ;) I will say it had to do with the "rules" set by the band directors. :sad2:

    :welcome: Hooray!! You made it over!! I played the clarinet and did not care for it too much so I encouraged Madison to seek another instrument. She has really enjoyed playing the flute! My high school changed band directors and the year before I entered the band had gone to WDW but once I got in HS band all trips ended. :headache:
     
  9. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! Now I gotta go back and read all the details.
     
  10. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Okie dokie, I've read all the details. Are you sure you and I aren't sisters from another mister? I am serious, our personalities are so similar. Maybe it's just the fact that we are from the South and we both love Disney. I can only imagine how anxious you were to find out all the details of the trip. I am looking forward to seeing each and every one of those 1250 pictures that you took.
     
  11. sherylcin

    sherylcin Mouseketeer

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    Hooray! A new trip report to enjoy! Can't wait to read about your adventures with the band!:banana:
     
  12. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    Good to see ya! :goodvibes I really think we were cut from the same cloth! It is so funny how similar we do everything! :laughing: Not knowing the details was about to drive me crazy!! Yes, getting all of those pictures uploaded has become my challenge!

    :welcome: Good to see you on this TR! :goodvibes It was quiet an adventure! But very enjoyable!!
     
  13. DaPanMan

    DaPanMan Mouseketeer

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    Having used to live in the mighty Mississipp, I'm in for the ride. Can't wait to hear how you and 50? of your favorite teenagers survived the band trip.

    Look forward to it!! :cool1:
     
  14. dawnbu40

    dawnbu40 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in :)

    I so would have loved to chaperone a Disney trip when Caitlin was in school but she wasn't in band.

    Can't wait to hear all your adventures! :)
     
  15. pinkxray

    pinkxray DIS Veteran

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    I'm inpopcorn::

    I don't really understand the whole not using fastpasses rule either:confused3
     
  16. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    You knew I'd be here! You are a persnickety planner?!? :eek:
    I would've never guessed! I suppose it takes one to know one! :thumbsup2
     
  17. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Once a Mississippian always one! Or is that a good thing?! :laughing: We had 83 total. There are over 100 in the band but not everyone could go. They were a great group though!


    :welcome: I was so thankful for the opportunity to go with Madison! Your family still has some great trips though! I love reading along on your adventures too!!

    Hey!!! :wave: I plan to clear up the whole Fast Pass thing pretty quickly!!

    Yes I did and I was expecting it too!! Glad to see you made it!! :) I know, it is surprising isn't it!? :lmao: We planners have to stick together!
     
  18. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    We had our chaperone meeting the Monday prior to the trip. At this meeting I found out which students were assigned to me, bus seating assignments and room assignments. Also the other minor duties we would have, such as selling and maintaining the snacks on the bus. I also provided some information not known including the ability to bring snacks, water, etc. into the parks and that there are places that you can charge those precious cell phones! I really, really tried to hold back my exuberance and totally annoy these people on Disney. I can become very excitable when I discuss something I love! We parted our ways with anticipation of leaving on Thursday at 6am!

    I will now explain the no Fast Pass. At first it was because the band director did not want to risk any student losing their pass. Even though it could be replaced, he did not feel like spending his park time going to replace a ticket. On Sunday, the kids (who all of this time had been complaining about not being able to get Fast Passes) asked if they could keep their passes to use in the final park. The answer was no even though it would not matter if the pass was misplaced at that time. The 2nd reason given for not keeping the passes made me have an Ah-Ha moment. I am not sure why this had not occurred to me but the passes were Park Hoppers. The band directors were afraid the students would want to get “one last ride” in at another park. They did not want the kids bouncing all over the place. And I don’t think they had any particular case that concerned them but simply did not want the temptation to be placed before them! The students had rules and guidelines but none of which were overly strict. They had free reign once in the park and no check in times until we left at night (excluding parade time). So that is why we toured the parks and did not use the Fast Pass system.

    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    Thursday morning arrived and we headed to the school. We were to report at 5:30am, students be in their seats at 6am and leave at 6:15am. Well, we almost made those bench marks! We arrived at 5:30am right after a nice thunderstorm. Suitcases and band instruments were being loaded onto the buses as well as those snacks we chaperones would be responsible for and lots of excitement could be felt all around. The electricity in the air was definitely felt and it wasn’t all coming from those thunder boomers we were experiencing!!

    6am: A few parents and I commented that only on a Thursday morning at 6am getting ready to head to Disney would you find teenagers this awake and ready to go! That didn’t last for most and once on the bus a lot of sleeping was done but more on that in a minute! The band director made his comments and we began loading the buses.

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    It was time to leave!!!

    Madison and a friend (with the distorted feature)

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    Loading up!!

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    6:30am: The buses pulled out of the parking lot and headed towards our destination. A destination that would seem to be at the end of a never-ending road! We were only 15 minutes late leaving. I suppose that isn’t too bad considering we were trying to get 83 people loaded and on the road!

    Finally we are making our way to Orlando! First order of business was choosing a movie. What do teenagers choose to watch when they are on the way to Disney World? Pirates of the Caribbean of course! We make our way through pouring rain and at times torrential downpours. This was the weather radar of some of the weather we drove through!

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    My view from my seat:

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    We made a few stops and soon the movie was over and time for the next one. Paul Blart Mall Cop was chosen. We watch this one and time is passing along nicely.

    Mobile, Alabama!!

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    We get to Mobile and go through the tunnel (see Paul Blart on the TV?!).

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    A few pictures of the USS Alabama and Mobile Bay.

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    Next up is a stop at Cordova Mall in Pensacola, FL. We pull up and two security guards on segways are in the parking lot. Instructions are given to not taunt the “security officers”! The other funny thing was the buses pulled to the front entrance and people started running into the mall. I mean literally running and looking back at the buses. I am not sure if they thought a million people were about to emerge or if the buses were that intimidating but it was funny seeing these people fall over one another to get inside! By the way, this is a marvelous way of stopping for food. Go to a mall with a food court. The students disburse nicely and there are few long lines. We chose to eat at Chick-fil-a and then do a little window shopping. We had one hour and that was plenty of time! We pull out of the mall parking lot:

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    Pensacola Bay:

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    And now we are back on the road. More movies are put in the first of which is Shrek. I adore Shrek and we watch it all of the time. I can recite the lines before they are said. Well, evidentially these kids are the same way because it was hilarious listening to them in unison sing and speak the parts! Even more movies were watched until our next stop in Gainesville at the Oaks Mall. Again we had a one hour stop and this time we ate at Wendy’s. This stop also entailed people clamoring for wall sockets to charge those phones!

    Interesting fact: the chartered buses had free Wi-Fi internet! I thought that was pretty awesome! I believe this also had resulted in a lot of nearly dead phones (mine included).

    When we crossed into Florida earlier in the day it really did become the Sunshine State and those nasty rain clouds had dissipated but somewhere between Lake City and Gainesville it began to rain again. I really hoped this was not an omen for our trip! Rain chances were from 10% on Friday to 50% on Sunday but we were praying for it to be around 0% actually falling! Before actually reaching Gainesville I took some pictures of the countryside and the soon to set sun.

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    The clouds seemed to be clearing again!

    We all loaded back on the buses at 7pm and soon we were in for the longest stretch of the trip. Jack and Jill was put in the DVR and thankfully that helped pass the time. It seemed to take absolutely forever to get to Orlando. There is something about a bus that disorients you and you seem to lose track of where you are. I do know that we took a way I have never taken and hope to never take again. There were so many red lights! Finally around 10:30pm we arrived at the hotel. The Clarion Maingate was to be our “home” for the next several days.

    Next up getting settled and the hotel!
     
  19. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I'd have to say that a 15 minute delay in leaving is extremely good considering the amount of people and items that had to be loaded.

    When Lacey's Mission would travel, they would try to stop at mall's to eat their meals too. Their leader said there were multiple options and it made it much easier.

    I think I know the exact route that ya'll took that had so many red lights. Did ya'll go through Leesburg and Clermont? If so, that's were the red lights came from. That's the worst part of the drive for us.
     
  20. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    I believe that is the exact route! It seemed to take forever!!

    I thought leaving within 15 minutes was pretty good too. Our band directors seemed to have things down to a science and things moved very smoothly.
     
  21. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    Ok, the no FP rule makes sense now. Not a good a idea to tempt teenagers.

    What a good idea to do meals at a food court! I remember on school trips that the norm was McDonalds. Took us longer to get through the lines than eat!

    Looking forward to more!
     

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