The White County Intermediate Chorus took a trip to Disney, May 3-6, 2012. Their teacher, Mr. Rogers, arranged for the kids to sing at Downtown Disney on their Performing Arts stage. It's a special privilege to get to sing at Disney at such a young age. The group of kids ranged from 4th to 6th grades. They got a special Ears for the Arts pin as a reward from Mickey. And a bag too.
We started off the trip very early Thursday morning... intending to leave at 5am. With all the stuff that needed to be accomplished prior to taking 60+ kids we ended up leaving closer to 5:30. Not too bad!
|Here are Curtis and Maggie after the sun came up.|
|Bennett and Tianna shared drawing supplies to pass an hour or so.|
Bennett and Maggie have never been to Florida before. Maggie made sure I knew this and we took a picture of their first footsteps in the state.
|Welcome to Florida!|
|Our 2 charter buses. We had bus #2.|
Friday morning the kids gathered outside the hotel to run through their songs one last time. In this picture Haley, Bentley, Sammi, Gracie, Maggie, Luke and Tianna sing their parts. Bennett is hiding behind Luke, in the GT hat!
|Now you can see Bennett!|
|Our tickets!! Total excitement for all of us.|
|We arrived at 9:07am Friday morning!|
|Waiting for the Monorail, our group for the day. Bentley, Bennett, Maggie, Maria|
|The ID photo... just in case. :)|
|Bentley, Maria and Maggie in front of Mickey and Minnie|
Mr. Rogers was just as excited as the kids. This was Space Mountain. Who knows how many times he has ridden this, but he explained it to the kids to get them all excited. He insisted HE got the front seat as Bentley and Maggie filed in behind him. Mr. Rogers has a annual membership/pass to Disney, so he has lots of experience in all good things! :) He advised us on lots of things.
Maggie got to drive Mr. Rogers in the Tomorrowland Speedway race car while Maria drove me and Bentley drove her Mom. All the girls got tired of trying to reach the gas pedal and were assisted by their taller, longer legged co-pilots.
Waiting in line - Maria, Maggie, Gracie and Bentley. This was a second trip through Space Mountain and it "broke down" briefly while we were in line. We enjoyed it each time... but I can say the front seat is by far the best ride! :)
We (Curtis) got a Fast Pass for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin while the girls were riding the Teacups... and it ended up being a pretty entertaining little ride.
We got to spin around in little cars and shoot lasers at all the aliens. I have no idea how, but Curtis maxed out his score at 99,999 pretty quickly into the ride. I kept shooting but I think I only managed 12,000 or so good shots. The kids loved it. Too.
Running from ride to ride we passed through a bit party with the characters. There was singing and dancing and general good times. Bennett stopped long enough to pose with Goofy and Woody - and the castle!
We explored the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse and then decided we really need to watch the movie and/or read the book.
After the Treehouse we moved over to experience a Jungle Cruise.. lots of animals along the river, cannibals, and bad jokes from our driver Ben. The adults laughed more than the kids.
The women folk headed back to the bus for the kids to go sing, while Bennett and Curtis went past the castle and more singing and dancing.
|Here the main characters dance - Goofy, Minnie, Mickey and Donald|
|And all the girls' favorite Princesses - Snow White, Cinderella and Rapunzel.|
The chorus kids and adults headed over to Downtown Disney for their singing performance. We had to stop by the changing area, meet our host, and wait until it was the right time. We had plenty of cushion built in... so we waited on some very hot buses. The kids ran through a quick practice with Mr. Rogers - and a pep talk. What a cool experience to get to perform at Disney!
|Here's proof! The only elementary school.|
|WCIS chorus - Maggie's front and center, Bennett's 2nd row right side.|
|More Lego art|
Our one big meal for the trip... we ate dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. Lots of animals and fun sights during dinner. It even has thunder and lightning and the sound of rain.
|Bennett and his pal Woody!|
After dinner at Downtown Disney, we hurried on a shuttle or two over to Epcot for the nighttime fireworks show. The gates close at 9 as the lights start up. We slid through just before 9, but Curtis and Bennett were too late since they went back to the Lego store and in search of a coffee mug souvenir. The fireworks were impressive, as was the rest of the light show on the water.
After our Epcot fireworks we went back to the Magic Kingdom for those fireworks. We scooted to the other side of the park to ride a couple less traveled rides... Peter Pan and It's a Small World. NO line for a reason! :) But it was still fun, and air conditioned!
Day Two - Saturday, started at Animal Kingdom. We wanted to make sure we rode Expedition Everest first thing. Here we stop for a quick picture in front of the Tree of Life. You can't see it here - but there are animals carved into that big tree. We hurried through the Asian and African lands to get to the ride - Fast Pass! While we did that, Curtis and Bennett got to experience life as a bug. Ick! Good thing the women skipped that one. Creepy and crawly.
Here's Bennett before, or after the bug experience... that's Mt. Everest behind him. We would have liked to spend more time at Animal Kingdom... but we were short on time. This Everest roller coaster was the best ride for several of us. I loved it most and we ended up riding it 3 times. The kids also rode a river ride with Curtis and got a little wet. It was a hot day, so they dried very quickly.
|Here's the kids' token ID photo for the day... just in case.|
|My favorite son!|
|Bennett and the tree... and random strangers.|
|Maggie and Bennett stop for another Tree of Life photo.|
We found some African drums and the kids all needed to try them out. One of their songs (my favorite) had drum parts, so they were "practicing"!
|Our group and some funny boys behind us.|
While we were running to catch the shuttle, Curtis and Maggie stopped for a quick photo op. Then they ran super fast to catch the shuttle too. We headed over to Hollywood Studios for our afternoon of fun. Here is where the Rock n Roller Coaster is found. Super fast, big turns, bright lights and loud music. Really cool!
|The best kids ever!|
|The group... Sunset Blvd, I think. In front of the Tower of Terror, which we did NOT ride!|
|Bennett was helping support the upside down car. Yes, I think we made this move.|
|Picture spot... Aerosmith guitar for the ride, of course.|
The ride takes a bunch of Aerosmith groupies from the recording studio through downtown traffic to the concert... all while listening to some good music, LOUDLY. Fast, dark, lights, loops, turns, music. Yes, it was a good ride.
|Maria and Bentley waiting for their 2nd trip on the Rock N Roller Coaster|
|Anticipating the thrills to come|
|Our Mid-ride photo - Bennett and I intentionally made faces|
|Amanda, Bentley and Curtis in their mid-ride photo|
We also managed to get the Star Tours - a simulated ride to Star Wars places. I know some characters and story lines... C3PO was our pilot, unintentionally. We even had to fight Darth Vader. There were 11 different situations we could have simulated. I wanted to go again to see what we could do. The line was long. The kids wanted to go to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids play area. It was intended for the younger kids, but all ours enjoyed running through the huge blades of grass and yard items.
Nope, it's not real... well, Bennett is -but the street behind the shadows is just a screen. The magic of Hollywood!
See the huge blades of grass? That's part of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. What? You were distracted by the strange duck? Ok.
Another duck! Relatives of Donald, I'm sure. We stopped in this dining area for a refuel moment - and some laughs.
Bentley wanted to do the duck chips too... but didn't want anyone to know she wanted to have fun. Curtis sneaked this picture while I was telling her a story about eating chips neatly. I think I made a mess, but the birds didn't mind cleaning it up for me. Bentley had a chip on her shoulder for a while - literally. We made it a learning moment. :)
Curtis found a "secret" area around back where we could meet some characters. The girls were watching a Little Mermaid show. Bennett wanted to watch a Stunt show instead, but it was already closed for the day. Instead, he tried to talk to Mike and Sully.
But, Sully was taking a break. Those guys don't do anything while they're on break. Must be union workers. Here are more pictures of the kids and random characters we found.
|Bennett and one of those Toy Story Army Men|
|Never too old for Pooh, right?!|
|This is Handy Manny|
|Pluto, Bentley, Maggie, Maria, Goofy|
|Pooh! Never too old for Pooh|
|Mickey took Maggie's bracelet.|
|Maggie thought it was funny, he tried to put it under his hat, on his ankle, wrist, then back to hers.|
|Maggie and Belle|
|Maria and Maggie with Belle|
|Mr. Incredible and Frozone|
We found the room of characters at Epcot too... the classics, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto.
|Bennett wanted Pluto to get down, like a dog. He obliged.|
|True laughter... having a great time.|
|Magic Kingdom fireworks|
|The dancing fountain - the kids were enthralled, for a moment.|
|Back at Hollywood|
|Jumping at Epcot|
|Pre flight instructions|
|Our flight instructor - Gary Sinise|
|More instructions - minus our Navigator|
|Maggie and Bentley strapped in awaiting lift off.|
|Doors closed, flight controls at hand. Ready to go!|
We heard the Nemo show was worth seeing so we stopped here to see what it was all about. Those birds behind the kids were saying "mine, mine, mine" just like the movie.
We rode in clam shells through animated scenes from the movie. Not exactly what we were expecting, and it turns out the Nemo show we were supposed to see was at a different park.
|Coke tasting area... refreshment!|
|Leaving Epcot - which means, leaving Disney|
|Last stop at the bus yard before loading up for a long ride home.|
|The Mouse we found... finally got some souvenirs.|
|Breakfast Monday morning with Grandma... telling stories.|