The Magic Mountain Trip that really wasn't...

Discussion in 'California & the West Trip Reports' started by hurleysweety, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    For all of those who think they've had an awful trip, get ready for one of the worst!

    Nov. 14-16th - Annual Youth group trip to Magic Mountain

    A little background:
    Each year our youth group goes to Magic Mountain. We usually take around 50 kids. Well this year we went with a couple other churches, took two buses, and a van, which amounted to around 120 kids and leaders total. Most of our church was on one bus, and the other bus had a couple of our kids and leaders and the all of the people from the other two churches. I am a youth leader as well as my DH. I've been doing it for 5 years so I'm used to all the little faults in plans made, but nothing could have prepared me for this trip.


    We left around 6 PM on Friday night from Phoenix. We stopped about an hour and a half out for dinner and got back on the bus around 8. Around 11 we stopped again for filling up the gas tank in the van and letting the kids used the bathroom. We found out that the other bus had no air conditioning at this point, but considering the cool weather, it wasn't that big of a deal. We got back on the road around 11:30 AZ time. Around 1:00 AZ time we pulled over to the side of the road. We then found out that the bus behind us had broken down (Bus 2). So our bus (Bus 1) dropped us off at a parking lot and went to get the kids stranded on the side of the freeway. Bus 1 came back to the same parking lot so we were 112 people (the van had long passed before) with transportation for 56. The final decision made was that they would leave us at the parking lot and take the stranded kids to the hotel (we were only 80 miles away). We thought a replacement bus was coming... About 30 minutes later when we were all freezing because of the wind, we took our 50 kids and crossed the freeway to a gas station. Well we ended up waiting for Bus 1 to take Bus 2's kids to the hotel and come back to get us (over 3 hours). Oh, and did I mention that we were in a pretty bad neighborhood and we witnessed a robbery and high speed police chase while we were there too?! We also had police patrolling the area after they found out that we were stuck there. In the three hours our kids had resorted to sleeping on the ground outside, and inside, kids entertaining themselves with the gas station staff, and leaders wondering if we'd just have to go home because of the fires. But the bus came back and the Magic Mountain area was still fire-free so we drove our 80 miles to the hotel. So we finally arrived at the hotel at 6 AM AZ time, 5 AM cali time. But about 2 miles from our hotel we drive by fires so close to the freeway that we feel the heat and quickly everyone was awake and frightened. Had it been even 10 minutes later, the freeway would have probably been closed down. As we entered our hotel we saw a large orange cloud of smoke over the hills. We finally went to bed at 5:30 AM cali time, knowing we would need to be all ready to go to Magic Mountain for the day at 9:30 AM.

    So what happened next?
    Did we get evacuated because of fires?
    Did the leaders stress out?
    Did we ever get any sleep?

    You'll have to wait a bit while I get some Zzzzzzz after this weekend!

    (PS - No matter how bad our trip, I'm glad that were were not injured or loss anything because of the fires. Our hearts go out to those who have been evacuated from their homes and lost everything. Our prayers be with you as we realize our "bad trip" is nothing compared to what you have gone through these past few days. :hug: )
  2. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Down Under Disney Lover x

    Feb 5, 2008
    What a drama! How annoying for the poor kids...

    I can't wait to hear what happened!

  3. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    Okay, after a couple days of rest, I'm ready for Saturday!


    I woke up around 7:30 AM Saturday morning to make sure that me and 5 girls could take showers and be ready by 9 AM. We slowly made our way down to breakfast where we figured we were one of the last groups to arrive in the breakfast area. Many people looked tired, but those who had gotten a lot of sleep (at least 5 hours) were pretty excited for the day. After eating we found out that we still only had one bus. Because of this, we let our seniors (they always get the best deal) leave on the first bus along with the other churches. Once again we were left behind...which turned out to be a good thing because our kids just hung out half asleep in the lobby. The park was only about 10 minutes away, so we didn't mind. About 20 minutes later the bus came and around 10:30 we had arrived at Magic Mountain.

    We were soooo excited to finally be there. We walked through security and entered the park, which was still pretty empty at the time. I grabbed 4 of my sophomore girls and headed to Batman. No one else seemed to be in the park and even though I was pretty tired, I was just glad to be there. After Batman we went over to ride Collosus, which had a short wait. This was great, I was thinking to myself, short lines=happy kids! Then we headed to ride Scream, since we were right next to it. Short wait again, and short ride too. We left scream and headed over to the other side of the park. On the way I called DH to see how he was doing (he hates coasters and just came to hang out with his senior guys). He asked had I heard the announcement...apparently they would be closing at 12 because of the fires. Turns out that many workers were unable to come to work because of the freeway closures. OH MAN! Our kids were so disappointed, so in about 20 minutes they rode Riddler's Revenge about 5 times while me, DH, and another leader chatted about what would happen next! We went to the front of the park where all the other park guests were and there was a HUGE wait at guest relations for people getting a complimentary ticket since the park was closing. Our youth pastor had all of our church exit the park and make our way to the bus. Luckily the bus was already on its way since he was only at the hotel. Since we were all ready to board, our church got to get on the bus first and we left the other kids behind (no worries, the driver went and picked up the other kids after dropping us off). This was really exciting for us because we felt we had been jipped the other couple of times! But then we waited in traffic for a good 15-20 minutes trying to exit the park because people were getting their parking money refunded--and I think there was an accident as well.

    We then headed to the mall since our kids were starving and no food place had opened at MM. Nothing really terrible happened while we were at the mall for 3 hours...just long waits for food and security kept harassing us - sorry rent-a-cops, our kids our tired and disappointed! A lot of kids went around shopping and bought some random things. After much discussion among the leaders as what to do with 112 kids, we just went back to the hotel - taking 2 trips once again (this time I was in the van with leaders so we got to share funny stories, good times!). Oh and while we were waiting for the bus outside we witnessed what we think was a drug deal...oh vey! Where was security then? Oh ya, making sure we weren't blocking the doors...

    Once back at the hotel some took naps, some went in the pool, etc. It was only 5 when we got back, but soon were were hungry. Some went to nearby fast-food for dinner while my co-leader and I took our girls out to a pizza restaurant. Before we sent all the kids to their rooms for the night, an announcement was made to pack up all your things because of a possible evacuation from the area because of a nearby fire that was growing (we saw it earlier when we were at dinner).Around 9 we had all the kids in their room and its safe to say most were so exhausted that they were asleep by 11. I spent about 2 hours watching the fires on all the news channels (about 7 of them kept switching back and forth) and the girls in my room and I had maps out trying to figure out where they were. Finally we were all asleep as well. All was quiet, were we sleeping and I was so glad that we would be returning home tomorrow. Nothing more could happen, right? :confused3

    Stay Tuned for Sunday!

    Did we get evacuated?
    Did a second bus come for us to take us back Sunday?
  4. firsttimer2007

    firsttimer2007 DIS Veteran

    May 10, 2007
    okay, what happened? :confused:
  5. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2008
    So I realized that I never finished this...

    Long story short - We had another bus come and help take us back. It was a pretty uneventful drive back home. We got our original bus back (Bus 1) and the other churches and select students and leaders from our church were on a new Bus. However...their new bus had A/C that worked like crap....whoops! So even though they went to bed a good 2 hours before us, they had no A/C on a 6+ hour drive. All stops went alright - had some discipline issues towards the end, but nothing out of the ordinary. We were tired, the students were tired. Oh how excited I was to see the church and mine and DH's car and finally drive to our house and climb into bed. :cool1:

    Also on the drive home, about 20 minutes after we left, we witnessed a sad destruction of the fire. An entire mobile home park was completely destroyed - charred and burned. Our bus sat in silence as well all hoped that everyone got out okay. :hug: While we were not affected by the fires physically, we still saw all that was left behind on a much larger scale than the comforts of our own homes on the television screen.

    Some sad news:
    But here's the most awful part of the trip. This pertains to one of our students who brought a friend with her on the trip. On Saturday night as most were exhausted, including our pastor that didn't get any sleep until 9 PM on Saturday night (read: he didn't sleep at all on Friday), the halls were quiet and most students, even those filled with energy drinks were finding themselves sleeping face down in their clothes in their assigned rooms. :rotfl: I eventually fell asleep after making sure all my girls were accounted for. When we woke up Sunday morning, all of us girls were showering, getting ready, packing, cleaning, eating breakfast downstairs, etc. I run into the first leader and exchange friendly greetings only to find out an awful most terrible thing has occurred. Another leader was woken around 1 AM to a student in her room who was having awful abdominal pains. I'm not sure of the whole story, but they quickly contacted another leader on our trip who is a full-time nurse. At once, she knew she needed to go to the hospital. Between the nurse, the leader in her room, the youth pastor, and our student who brought her, they left for the ER at 2 AM. Turns out this poor girl had a Kidney Stone. We were delayed a good hour to leave on Sunday because we had to wait for the pharmacy to open so she could get her prescription necessary to help her on the drive home. Poor thing! So she, along with the the nurse and youth pastor and a couple other leaders got to spend the 6+ hour drive with her, which most of was spent with her repeatedly getting sick. :sad2: I was told later that she recovered okay - but I must say, that trip had to have been the worst for her out of everyone!

    2009 Trip:
    Yes! We're going again this year. Haven't confirmed that DH is going, but my girls (they're juniors now, all 20 of them!) would hate me if I didn't! It'll be great, it'll be fun, and it'll be better than last year. Talk about low expectations! Nov 6th-8th, here we come!

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