Monday, April 6, 2009

Disney photos

Recap: A long-lasting memory

After a long flight, we are finally home! Last night, the students who went on the Disney trip packed their bags and prepared to leave Disney World and its warm weather.

Overall, this was a wonderful trip. I think that it is one of the best experiences I have ever had. The best part was being able to combine some of my favorite things -- Disney World, friends and music -- into one vacation.

Throughout the trip, 'Stoga students were able to enjoy Disney parks with everything from waterslides to themed rides to roller coasters. We not only got to see Mickey Mouse, but also witnessed a breathtaking fireworks display and an entertaining medieval jousting match. 

Some of my highlights were riding "Expedition Everest," a roller coaster in Animal Kingdom, dancing into the late hours of Saturday night with music department friends and winning an impromptu cheer/sing-off competition against other school bands. This was an amazing trip that will be remembered with a smile by everyone who went for a very long time. 

--Laura Weiss, Staff Reporter 

Recap: A rough ending, but unforgettable nonetheless

You've probably experienced some kind of nightmarish delay at the Philadelphia Airport at some point in your life, simply because you live in the area. However, that experience doesn't make it any easier to wait around for transportation home at midnight. The last leg of the Disney trip could be labeled 'disastrous' in all senses of the word.

Sunday evening began ominously in Orlando upon the discovery that one of two flights carrying students would be delayed for two hours. The on-time flight arrived in Philadelphia ahead of schedule, making me, one of its passengers, very happy. But the night was destined to get worse. 

We may have landed at 10:05 p.m., but confusion with the police and airport staff put us back at school at around 1 a.m. As I crawled into bed, students back on the delayed flight struggled with holding suitcases on their laps on the bus ride home, mainly because there was not enough space on the luggage trucks to hold all of their personal belongings. 

And while tucking myself in bed at such an early hour was not ideal, I can't say that I wasn't happy. My memories from the trip were prominent in my mind: my days spent at Disney World's Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks, as well as the Typhoon Lagoon water park, were unforgettable. The dedication on the part of the music teachers and other chaperones astounded me, particularly when I, along with two other students, fell ill with a nasty stomach virus.

The workshops were talked of by all students who attended, a sure sign that they were both entertaining and educational. The performances showcased all that Conestoga's music department strives to achieve. I can't imagine how the trip could have gone any better, except maybe catching an earlier bus home!

--Liz Bravacos, Staff Reporter 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Day Four: Why can't we stay longer?

In the mood for an eggroll from China? How about a pretzel from Germany? 'Stoga students enjoyed lunch in whatever country they pleased today in Epcot Center, one of the four major theme parks at Disney. Virtual rides, like 'Mission: SPACE' and 'Soarin,' took us to new heights and planets throughout the day.

Earlier in the morning, instrumental students attended a workshop where they played "It's a Small World" and other classic Disney songs. The sweltering heat later on didn't deter members of the choir from performing in front of hundreds of vacationers.

When night fell, students were entertained by jousting matches at a medieval-themed dinner. After yet another exhausting day, we've come to the realization that tomorrow we will unfortunately have to leave the happiest place on earth.

Be sure to check back early next week for Disney photos and reflections.

--Liz Bravacos, Staff Reporter

Friday, April 3, 2009

Day Three: A little rain doesn't stand in the way

Friday started out with sunshine and smiles for a group picture that was taken of all members of the trip. However, our good fortune with the pleasant weather soon took a turn for the worse, in the form of storm clouds and rain.

We ran through the poor conditions quickly to get to Magic Kingdom, the main Disney park, where we were free to enjoy rides throughout the day. Despite the ominous outlook in the morning, the skies ultimately cleared up later on, allowing us to do nearly everything we had originally planned. 

In the afternoon, the marching band went backstage and prepared for one of the most exciting parades I could have dreamed of participating in. Cameras flashed and families cheered as we played and marched down the main walk of the park. Though stuffed in very hot uniforms, we were at our best and represented the Conestoga music department with pride. 

Once it was dark, we ended our day perfectly with fireworks above Cinderella's Castle, a magical, picturesque scene. The night was a bit chilly, but many of us decided to take a swim in the piano-and-guitar-shaped pools at the hotel anyway. So far, Disney has been a great experience, and the remaining days promise to continue getting better.

Check back tomorrow for more updates on life at Disney. 

-- Laura Weiss, Staff Reporter 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day Two: From 'Tower of Terror' to 'The Circle of Life'

Today was the day I dropped five stories in a crumbling elevator.

Along with plummeting down the "Tower of Terror," 'Stoga students enjoyed the "Rockin' Roller Coaster" and attractions ranging from Indiana Jones to The Little Mermaid at the Hollywood Studios theme park in day two for the Music Department's trip to Disney World.

Earlier this morning, singers found their voices as they embodied characters from Disney's "The Lion King." Members of the choral groups sang their hearts into "The Circle of Life" at a workshop run by the staff of Disney's Magical Music Days. After a recording session, the singers joined the rest of the group under the sunny Florida skies.

Tonight we'll enjoy the acrobatics of Cirque de Soleil in downtown Disney. Tomorrow's plans are just as jam packed so be sure to check back for more updates on the music department's trip.

--Liz Bravacos, Staff Reporter

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day One: We're in Mickey's house, now

It was pitch black and very early when 'Stoga music students boarded their flights to their Spring Break destination, Disney World, on Wednesday morning. We landed a few hours later in a partly sunny, warm Florida and headed straight to Typhoon Lagoon, a Disney water park. The water was refreshing and the tide pool's giant waves were a big hit. I found the water roller coaster there the most fun and a very original ride.

Later, we went to our rooms at the All Star Resort where we found musical notes and Disney themes everywhere! After a bit of rest we headed to Downtown Disney for the night. With music, games and shopping it was a great way to end the day. We finally got back to our hotel rooms and got some much-needed rest after such a long day.

Stay tuned for more from Disney.

--Laura Weiss, Staff Reporter