WDW + 50 kids + 4 days of rain = fun


#1

I just got back from a four day high school band trip last night. I’m not going to do a detailed trip report but I wanted to share some of it. We did four parks in three days and went open to close every day. I haven’t done Disney like that in years but it was worth it.

We left Monday evening and drove through arriving on Orlando about 3 pm the following afternoon. We had an hour or so to get cleaned up and headed out to Downtown Disney for the evening. We shopped until our 8:45 reservation at Planet Hollywood. The kids enjoyed the atmosphere and dinner was good. It’s nothing fancy but after a long bus ride with very little sleep it hit the spot.

The following day was the a big day for the kids, they were playing at Downtown Disney and had a private workshop with some disney CMs. We started out at Epcot but we only had 2 hours before we had to leave to get ready to play. We did Soarin’ a couple of times, Living with the Land, and had a snack for lunch then met up with everyone else to head out.

The kids did an awesome job playing, they couldn’t have done better. They started early to beat the incoming rain and just as we loaded the bus it started to rain. The kids changed back to their park clothes and we headed back to Epcot. We had 3 hours before the clinic started and way too much to do. It started pouring shortly after we arrived and kept raining. We met up with the other groups at about 5:00 and the kids left for the clinic through a gate in Italy.

Myself and three other adults had booked an ADR at Flying Fish a few months back The other adults and three girls not going to the clinic walked with us to the Boardwalk for dinner at ESPN. We had a delicious dinner at Flying Fish. We had two excellent servers who made our dinner even better. After dinner we met up with the band and director and enjoyed illumiNations from Italy.

After illumiNations we took the kids back the the hotel for some pool time. After getting the girls rooms settled in for the night I finally fell into bed at about 1 am.


#2

…your report brought back memories of chaperoning a chorus trip to WDW…all night long on a bus with high schoolers…but it was fun, and they had fun…just not my usual trip to WDW!

:laugh:


#3

After only getting a couple of hours of sleep on the bus on the way down my night was way too short. I was up and in the shower by 5:45 and ready for my wake up rounds. The girls did a nice job of getting up and were mostly awake when I checked but I noticed as the trip went on the girls were less and less awake when I knocked.

We had a quick breakfast and loaded the bus for Animal Kingdom. We decided the night before to start out at AK then let the groups make their way to Magic Kingdom at some point in the day.

Before we left the kids signed up in groups and were assigned an adult. The kids had to stay with an adult, we weren’t allowed to just turn them lose in the parks. Before we left I thought maybe that was a little overkill but after our first day I decided groups were an excellent idea. Not because I didn’t trust the kids but because they got so much more done with an adult moving them around. Most of our students hadn’t been to WDW before and had no idea what they wanted to do or even what there was to do. I had 5 sweet but very quiet girls in my group who stuck to me like glue. Everytime I turned around to take a count they were right there.

When the rope dropped at AK we raced to EE. I had two girls who wanted to ride, one maybe and two non riders. We all walked through the queue and when we got to the front my maybe decided to ride and I exited with the other two. When my three girls got off the ride with several other of our groups they were so excited that my two non-riders decided they would ride with everyone else going back on it. I had never ridden EE I was excited to finally get to ride it. One of my non-riders liked it and the other one really didn’t but I think she was glad she tried it.

After that the three groups that were together decided to split up and I took my girls on Kali River with the principal. The principal and I usually avoid Kali because we ALWAYS get soaked. This time was no different, we sat together and took a full wave of water. However, we decided to wear ponchos so we didn’t get too wet. We were going to be in the parks until midnight and wet stinky clothes didn’t sound like fun. We met back up with the other two groups and all went on the safari and then to the Lion King show. The kids (mostly the boys) didn’t think they wanted to see it but they all loved it. I think I spent more time watching the kids watch the show than the actual show.

My girls couldn’t agree on what they wanted for lunch at AK so I threw out the idea of taking a bus to the Contemporary and having lunch there then taking the monorail to MK. I wanted them to experience the monorail and they all agreed the menu looked good at the Contepo Cafe. We had a quiet and relaxing lunch and arrived at MK one monorail in front of the other groups we were meeting up with.


#4

[QUOTE=smallworld;1113326]…your report brought back memories of chaperoning a chorus trip to WDW…all night long on a bus with high schoolers…but it was fun, and they had fun…just not my usual trip to WDW!

:laugh:[/QUOTE]

:laugh:That pretty much covers it. Very little sleep on the bus and a very different trip but tons of fun. I had all but three students when they were in 8th grade (and about half of them in 6th grade) so I knew all of the kids pretty well. However, I got to know them on a different level.


#5

I honestly don’t remember all the details about our MK day. It started raining shortly after we got there and continued to rain the rest of the day. At times it poured pretty hard. The big rides were down for long periods of time but we put ponchos on, slapped smiles on our faces and made the best of it. My group joined up with two other groups and did as much as we could. It took several attempts to do the mountains because they were all down through out the day. However, we got to ride all of them plus many other rides. We had dinner at Cosmic Ray’s, danced in tomorrowland, and just enjoyed our time. The rain paused long enough for us to watch Wishes and see the second MSEP. The kids were in awe of both. I will never forget the faces I saw, in fact just thinking about it makes me tear up. These kids truly enjoyed everything we saw and did.

We let the kids shop a little and loaded the bus at about midnight. We were soaked through but our three groups were all smiles and full of energy. I did a final room check at about 1:30 then crawled into bed about 2.


#6

DT, were you able to stay on site? If so, where?


#7

This was our final day. The kids were worn out but all managed to be up and ready on time. The plan was to spend all day at Hollywood Studios. It was pretty nice for the first part of the day then started to rain and continued to rain until the second fantastic started.

We had another great day with lots packed in. Four of our students got to participate in the backlot tour. It was hilarious and made great memories for them. I think we did almost all the shows and rides. I took three girls who didn’t want to ride Tower of Terror and Rock and Rollercoaster and we did some things while the other kids in our merged groups did those a few times. I took the girls to Backlot Express for dinner before we met up with the rest of our groups. When we finally got most of our three groups together it was about 8:00. We took the kids back to Backlot to get them something to eat but it closed a few minutes before. We knew the studio catering company closed at 7 and I didn’t feel like walking all over the park looking for food so I asked a CM stocking silverware where we could find an inside counter service restaurant. She didn’t even look at me, she just shortly replied right around the corner was Sci-Fi. I said we weren’t looking for a sit down restaurant but inside counter service like ABC if it was open. She then turned evil and snapped back at me that she already answered my question and there was a restaurant right next door called Sci-Fi. I don’t even know what I said back to her, she was just so rude to me. The other adult with me just stood there in amazement at how we were just spoken to. I’ve never had a CM treat me like that before and hope I never do again. We just walked away shaking our heads. While we were waiting for the last part of our three merged groups to get there the rude CM came up to us and (I think) she tried to smooth over her rudeness by suggesting the counter service restaurants near Tower of Terror. I’m sure she knew she had been rude and was trying to fix it. I thank her and asked if they were inside. She said no but people eat in the rain all the time in a tone like you dummy, don’t you know that people don’t mind standing in the pouring rain eating. I just said all we really wanted to know was if ABC was still open but we’ll just walk over there and find out. I’ve been to WDW a lot of times she she was by far the rudest CM I’ve met.

ABC was open when we got there. I’ve never had a good meal there but we didn’t have a better option. The CM who took our order was soooo friendly and helpful. In fact we ended up chatting quite a bit. She made up for the rude backlot lady.

We took the kids shopping and by then it was time for the second Fantasmic. The rain let up enough for us to enjoy the show and end our trip on a high note. We loaded up the bus to head home.


#8

No we didn’t get to stay on site. We stayed at the Comfort Suites Maingate. It was clean and close enough. I would liked to have stated on site but honestly we we only in our rooms to sleep and eat breakfast. I’m not sure how much an on site resort would have added to the trip but I’m sure it would have more.


#9

Holy smokes. I can’t believe the CM talked to you this way? I would have had to call for a manager myself. I would not have been so calm.
Otherwise it sounds like a short and painless, even fun trip :smile:


#10

I pride myself on my customer service at work. I tell my staff that I expect the folks wearing Eagle Crest Adventure t-shirts to stand out as the friendliest staff at Lake Willy.

Yet the other day I had an unpleasant experience with a guest, and afterwards I wondered how rude I had come across. (I’m NOT suggesting you were unpleasant, Stephanie!)

I’m wondering…perhaps wrongly…if the CM came back to try to make amends after realizing she had blown it. Unfortunately, you only get one shot to do customer service right.


#11

[QUOTE=Dopey;1113335]Holy smokes. I can’t believe the CM talked to you this way? I would have had to call for a manager myself. I would not have been so calm.
Otherwise it sounds like a short and painless, even fun trip :smile:[/QUOTE]

We couldn’t believe it either. We been there a lot and she was the first truly rude person we’ve met. Sure, we had less than friendly CMs but never truly rude like this one. I can understand having a bad day and not being super friendly but I don’t understand rude. I should have asked for a manger, I didn’t even think about that at the time.


#12

[QUOTE=Cavey;1113337]I pride myself on my customer service at work. I tell my staff that I expect the folks wearing Eagle Crest Adventure t-shirts to stand out as the friendliest staff at Lake Willy.

Yet the other day I had an unpleasant experience with a guest, and afterwards I wondered how rude I had come across. (I’m NOT suggesting you were unpleasant, Stephanie!)

I’m wondering…perhaps wrongly…if the CM came back to try to make amends after realizing she had blown it. Unfortunately, you only get one shot to do customer service right.[/QUOTE]

I do think she was trying to make amends but she was still not very nice about it. And you are right, you really only get one chance to make a first impression and do it right. Had she come up and apologized and said she had had a bad day or whatever then tried to help us in a friendly manner I totally would have forgiven her but her second attempt wasn’t all the friendly either.


#13

The bus ride home was uneventful and smelly. We stopped and changed clothes tried to freshen up but it wasn’t enough, it smelled like stinky feet all the way home. I didn’t get much sleep on the way down but I crashed on the way home. My short nights took their toll and I was beat. I slept almost 12 hours of our trip home and had to force myself to wake up and stay awake.

It was a wonderful trip and I’m so happy I got to share it with so many wonderful kids. Most of them seemed to truly enjoy it and talked about wanting to go back with their parents to show them all the things we did. I don’t teach in a wealthy district and this is may be the only Disney trip some of these kids get and I’m so glad I got to share it with them.

It was short and it rained a lot but we made the most of our time and had so much fun. Now I can focus on my family trip in just over a month.


#14

[QUOTE=DisneyTeacher;1113340]The bus ride home was uneventful and smelly. We stopped and changed clothes tried to freshen up but it wasn’t enough, it smelled like stinky feet all the way home. I didn’t get much sleep on the way down but I crashed on the way home. My short nights took their toll and I was beat. I slept almost 12 hours of our trip home and had to force myself to wake up and stay awake.

It was a wonderful trip and I’m so happy I got to share it with so many wonderful kids. Most of them seemed to truly enjoy it and talked about wanting to go back with their parents to show them all the things we did. I don’t teach in a wealthy district and this is may be the only Disney trip some of these kids get and I’m so glad I got to share it with them.

It was short and it rained a lot but we made the most of our time and had so much fun. Now I can focus on my family trip in just over a month.[/QUOTE]

…I hope you have sunny days for your next trip coming up…


#15

Aww! that end bit of the trip report was quite emotional! There’s nothing like seeing the look on people’s (not just kids) faces when they’re at Disney. I always say to people it’s something you can’t understand until you go! :heart:

Also, it sounds like you had an amazing time but as well as that I absolutely take my hat off to you! Stephanie you must have A LOT of patience! I have lots of kid cousins who are just adorable, but managing them at Disney in that heat I think I would be absolutely destroyed! :laugh: We’re all tired enough and we’re all adults who only have to look after ourselves! :happy:


#16

It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I have gone on class trips to Nature’s Classroom and I have always loved getting to know kids outside of the classroom.


#17

Steph -

Sounds like a great trip with the kids. Shame about the rude CM…just dampers the magic.


#18

Thank you, I hope it’s sunny too. I don’t think we’ve bad this much rain in all our trips added together. Sure, the afternoon shower or ocassional rainy day but never four rainy days in a row. My shoes were wet the whole time, there just wasn’t time for them to dry out.


#19

[QUOTE=xmellymox;1113344]Aww! that end bit of the trip report was quite emotional! There’s nothing like seeing the look on people’s (not just kids) faces when they’re at Disney. I always say to people it’s something you can’t understand until you go! :heart:

Also, it sounds like you had an amazing time but as well as that I absolutely take my hat off to you! Stephanie you must have A LOT of patience! I have lots of kid cousins who are just adorable, but managing them at Disney in that heat I think I would be absolutely destroyed! :laugh: We’re all tired enough and we’re all adults who only have to look after ourselves! :happy:
[/QUOTE]

These kids made it so easy to manage, there wasn’t one thing I had to worry about with my five girls I was in charge of or the other 15 or so we hung out with most of the time. There were a few minor issues with other groups but nothing major. I joked that I felt like a mother duck because I had my five little ducklings following behind me all week. They were always right with me and made my job easy.

It was emotional, these kids enjoyed everything we did. The young lady I rode Spaceship Earth with was amazed through the whole ride. She just kept saying how amazing everything was. Walking through world showcase was the same. They just kept looking at all the buildings and commenting on how cool they were.

The evening shows were the best. Their reactions to illumiNations, Wishes, Main Street EP, and Fantasmic made the whole trip. I watched one girl tear up, another had both hands on her cheeks with her mouth open in awe. It was sweet.


#20

Getting to know some of these kids on a different level was so fun. I now know things I wish I didn’t but it was a blast. I’ve known a few of these kids their whole lives but I still learned things I didn’t know. They did and said things they never would have when I had them in class. We laughed the whole time but they made it so easy it didn’t one time feel like work.