Band Trip

From February 11th to the 15th, the Central Catholic Marching Band embarked upon a magical journey to Walt Disney World in Florida. After a twenty hour bus ride, we finally arrived at our destination. The longest and worst part of the trip was worth it as the sign that read “Welcome to Walt Disney World” came into view. We started our journey at Disney’s most famous park: Magic Kingdom.

Prior to the start of the parade, several of the band members had to make a mad dash for the band meeting point because the Carousel of Progress, a ride in Tomorrowland that showed what the future might look like, broke down twice. The song “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” is still stuck in my head as a result.

Marching down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom was a very exciting experience. Many people gathered to watch the parade that included other marching bands from across the country. We played two songs during the parade, “Smooth” and “Evil Ways” by Santana, which were both included in this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. We even got to wear Mickey Mouse ear hats in the parade instead of our usual marching band hats, which made the experience even more fun and memorable. After the parade, we spent the rest of the day in the Magic Kingdom. Later that evening, we went to our hotel, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, which was perfect for a marching band, or any other music program. It is music-themed, with two pools: one piano-shaped and the other guitar-shaped!

The other days we spent in Disney, we visited Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. The day after our parade, we visited Animal Kingdom in the morning and returned to the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon and evening. The most exciting part of Animal Kingdom was the safari. Seeing all the animals roaming around really felt like we were on an actual African Safari. As one of the band members spotted our band director, Mr. Wilson, in line for the safari, she said, “Ah, yes. The band director in his natural habitat.” Returning back to the Magic Kingdom was awesome, especially seeing the parade of the Disney characters before we left. On Valentine’s Day, we went to Epcot, which had great food, and amazing souvenirs from all the different countries including Italy, Germany, Japan, Norway, Mexico, and France. The sandwiches from Norway were a delicious, an unexpected find. The last day we spent at Disney, we visited Hollywood Studios. Getting to meet some of the Disney characters was very interesting.  The band members met characters such as Elsa, Mary Poppins, and Phineas and Ferb, and some took pictures to commemorate this magical experience.

After leaving Hollywood Studios on the last day, the band returned to the bus for the dreaded twenty-hour ride home. As we were driving from Florida back to Pittsburgh, it started to get colder. We went outside in a snowstorm no one was expecting because of the warm weather in Florida! Several kids immediately regretted wearing flip flops on the ride home, as they had to walk outside in a few inches of snow to get breakfast. We arrived back in Pittsburgh at around 3:00 on February 16 to temperatures near zero. It was sad to leave Disney, but we will always remember the memories and new princess friends we made there.