Daviess County Band of Pride Takes on DisneyNolan Fleming
Despite a rainy start, the Daviess County HS (KY) Band of Pride set out on their journey to Walt Disney World. Join MTC Trip Journalist Nolan Fleming on his exciting days with the Daviess County Band of Pride.
April 25, 2022: On a rainy, muddy Monday morning, many DCHS Band of Pride Members, including myself, rolled themselves out of bed after a long, hard weekend at Winter Guard International (WGI) finals. All of us that participated may have found ourselves exhausted, but we were overcome with the day’s excitement. Finally, after a year of hype and hard work in outdoor marching, indoor and concert band, we were about to make many more special memories at the happiest place on earth.
At 1:30 p.m., the bus took off on a 13-hour quest for Orlando. The riders for the first eight hours were very excited and energetic. Members played card games, socialized and watched The Goonies to pass the time. However, there was no time full of more excitement than our stop at Buc-ee’s.
I could honestly make a completely different blog dedicated to the stop at Buc-ee’s. There was so much buzz that one could assume that Disney World was a Buc-ee’s. I had never been to a Buc-ee’s in my life. However, I had heard the mystical tales. Not only a gas station but a grocery store, clothing store and restaurant?
To say I, as well as many others, were in awe of this place would be an understatement. Not only was it a great convenience stop, but the food was great! Undoubtedly, this was the highlight of the trip to Orlando in the eyes of many (well, at least the first time).
April 26, 2022: Arriving at 6:00 a.m. at The Hub in Orlando after a lackluster sleep for most, I mean come on, everyone was pumped up, we were treated to very kind service. We were given a warm breakfast and hotel rooms to freshen up (shower, brush teeth, etc.). The staff was friendly and provided us with everything we all desperately wanted. After our stop at The Hub, it was time for the Band of Pride to take on Disney World.
Just after 8:30 a.m., we arrived at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. On the first part of a two-park day, students got to take in the breathtaking sites of Pandora. It was mesmerizing to feel like you had been sucked into the world of Avatar. Many illusions may not work on some park-goers or teens, but Pandora was genuinely magical.
Students also got to experience the thrills of rides such as Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids and Dinosaur. If you are like me, you look for the edgiest rides available. Everest may be as edgy as it gets at Disney World, and it is always my personal favorite.
In the second part of the day, students hopped over to Epcot. Of course, Test Track and Mission Space are musts when at Epcot. Test Track was just as incredible as I remembered. However, like many, I did not have the most incredible feeling after Mission Space. Students also took in the experiences of the tamer rides like Spaceship Earth, Journey into Imagination, Living with the Land or Finding Nemo.
Perhaps the favorite part of Epcot for many is the food and shopping. It is impossible to walk through the incredible World Expo and not feel the need to try food from that culture. Whether it is fish and chips from the UK or crepes from France, nothing is quite like it. While it is not a part of the World Expo, my favorite has always been taste-testing sodas from across the world at Club Cool.
After experiencing all the different cultural exposure Epcot offers, we were treated to a lakeside dinner catered by Disney. The food ranged from BBQ and chicken to salad and mashed potatoes as well as many delicious desserts. Alongside this delightful meal, we got the opportunity to experience a fantastic spectacle of fireworks with a show called Harmonious. I was thunderstruck by the show. The music and the way the fireworks lit up the sky was breathtaking.
Finally, we wrapped up our day with a ride on Soarin after park hours. There are not a lot of things more incredible than seeing backstage of a Disney ride. We were fortunate enough to experience this twice both here and at Magic Kingdom. While experiencing rides with our groups was incredible, doing so with the entire band was thrilling.
Finally, it was time to check into our hotel. To say we were relieved to have a bed to sleep on would be a major understatement, after all, sleeping on a car or bus is very difficult. Then we all cleaned up and prepared ourselves for the next day.
April 27, 2022: After weeks of preparation, today was finally performance day. However, we first had many hours to enjoy the experience of rides such as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more.
There are so many iconic rides at Magic Kingdom that it is so hard to do everything, but we got close. Everyone has their favorite (Haunted Mansion) that they have to ride. It was a beautiful day for rides as well. But, we still had one of the neatest experiences of the trip ahead of us.
Experiencing what it is actually like backstage at Disney World was incredibly fascinating although some may not like seeing the guy who plays Mickey because it breaks the illusion. It was also surreal getting to be a major part of the magic for many young children. Seeing people be so engaged with our performance was so cool. It is an experience that none of us will ever forget.
April 28, 2022: Members of the band rose early to pack all of their things and prepare to check out of the hotel. While it was sad that the trip was coming to an end, we still had a full day at Hollywood Studios ahead of us. For me, this was my most anticipated day of the trip. I had been so excited to experience Star Wars for so long, and finally I was able to, not to mention experience with great friends. Not only Star Wars, but the Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones and more.
Lastly, a spectacular projection show. It was a fantastic way to end a fantastic trip.
Finally, after a long day in the park, we all boarded the bus and prepared for our departure from Orlando. It was very sad for it to be ending, but I and everyone who made the trip am so thankful to have been given this opportunity to be a part of such a magical week. I am also so proud to have been able to share the experience with so many people.
Lastly, all of us from the Daviess County HS Band of Pride would like to extend the biggest thanks to everyone from MTC who made all of this possible. Our guides and drivers were so nice and we are so blessed to have had such a great group.
“The Daviess County High School band program had a great experience traveling with MTC traveling to Disney World this spring. The ensemble put on a great performance at Magic Kingdom and had a very enjoyable time in the Disney Parks.”- Nate Clark, Band Director, Daviess County HS
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.