East Carteret Mariner Band Trip to DisneyKathryn Barnes
The students, staff and parents of the East Carteret HS (NC) group waited patiently through six date changes for their band trip to Disney. Patience paid off as they embarked on several days in the happiest place on Earth. Relive the experience as MTC Trip Journalist Kathryn Barnes recounts their travels to Walt Disney World.
Departing on the evening of June 11, 2021, the East Carteret HS (NC) Disney Band Trip finally took off after a year of rescheduling, patience, extensive paperwork and the hardworking will of the Booster Club. Filling two buses were the classes of 2020 to 2025 and chaperones. Many attempted sleep, only to be awoken by the blinding lights of gas stations and driver changes, or the loud chatter of rowdy teens.
After arriving in Orlando, we all were filled with excitement and sighed with relief after being tantalized for a year. First up was Animal Kingdom and immediately many rushed off to Expedition Everest or the new and exciting Avatar Flight of Passage in the recently opened Pandora, an Avatar-themed section. Many of us got thoroughly soaked on the Kali River Rapids, myself included, but the heat of the day helped dry us off quickly. The underdog ride of the day was DINOSAUR, a time-travel mission filled with jumpscares, flashing lights and an insanely bumpy ride. Once we were all at the hotel, many of us spent time in the pool, thankful for its cool water after a hot day of walking.
The next day provided the real magic, as we rushed into Magic Kingdom. Already bustling with the one-of-a-kind Disney ambiance, groups split off to hit staple, iconic rides like Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain. Much of the magic was also in the food, as many snatched up Mickey waffles, Dole Whip and churros. Because of its sheer size, most kids were walking upwards of five miles per day! As it does every day in Florida, some rain did put a damper on the afternoon, forcing groups of us to seek any overhang provided, or duck into shops for keepsakes and souvenirs. Once again, a time in the pool was absolutely necessary.
The third and final day was spent in Hollywood Studios. The main attraction, and by far most popular was Smugglers Run in Galaxy’s Edge. The vast majority of time was spent getting blue and green milk, shopping for lightsabers and buying Disney pins to decorate our lanyards. Outside of Galaxy’s Edge, people migrated to the thrilling Tower of Terror and Slinky Dog Dash for an adrenaline rush. Considering this was the third day of walking nonstop, many opted to visit the sit-down, air-conditioned shows to watch vintage cartoons and Disney’s history. At the hotel, the last pool afternoon was cut short by a sudden rain squall, but thankfully allowed us to thoroughly pack before our early check-out time.
Once all were accounted for, we departed Orlando. We were all eager to share what we did, what we got and how tired we were. The long, 14-hour bus ride allowed us to reminisce on the long days, searing heat and the repeated stops at Buc-ee’s, which we were convinced was a fever dream. The trip ended with a quick lightsaber fight in East Carteret’s parking lot, with students showing off their variety of kyber crystals, hilts and sword skills.
This trip truly took “the sweat of our brows” and tested “the strength of our backs”, as Elizabeth Swann proclaimed, to carry out.
Music Travel Consultants offers journalistic opportunities for students in performing ensembles who have interests in both writing and music. For more information on our Trip Journalist program, click here.