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From Wylie to Walt Disney

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Jazmine Garcia

More stories from Jazmine Garcia

Dedicated Decathletes
February 27, 2018

Fine arts programs make magic at Disney World and Universal Studios Florida

Making+magic+%2F%2F+Posing+in+front+of+Cinderella%E2%80%99s+Castle%2C+students+enjoy+their+last+day+at+Disney+World%E2%80%99s+Magic+Kingdom+March+10.+Fine+Arts+students+traveled+to+Orlando+to+march+in+a+Disney+parade.+
Making magic // Posing in front of Cinderella’s Castle, students enjoy their last day at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom March 10. Fine Arts students traveled to Orlando to march in a Disney parade.

Making magic // Posing in front of Cinderella’s Castle, students enjoy their last day at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom March 10. Fine Arts students traveled to Orlando to march in a Disney parade.

courtesy photo

courtesy photo

Making magic // Posing in front of Cinderella’s Castle, students enjoy their last day at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom March 10. Fine Arts students traveled to Orlando to march in a Disney parade.

Band, choir and theatre took a flight of passage to Disney World to experience the magical world. Students learned how cast members (Disney employees) work backstage to keep the magic of the parks alive by marching in a parade and participating in a Disney workshop.

The Pride left school on charter buses, packing only the bear necessities for the trip. The band experienced the newly-opened Pandora world, in the world of Avatar. After spending a day at Magic Kingdom, the band was prepared for the magical experience of marching at Disney World in Orlando, FL. Joining a part of their world, musicians met backstage in between the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and Splash Mountain in Frontier land. Students were no longer guests, but Disney cast members entering the “no fun zone.”

It was our first day in Disney World and everyone in my group wanted to ride the Rockin’ Rollercoaster only I had never been on a rollercoaster so I was hesitant. I was eventually convinced to ride it and I don’t regret it. It was so much fun and set the tone for the entire trip. After that, I was open to trying lots of new things.”

— Alex Cruz, senior

“This trip was a dream come true. I felt like a little kid again,” Ford said. “What made it even better was that I was around people that I consider my closest and best friends, our friendships and bonds made my dream seem even more magical. I am forever grateful for the memories I have and will make with my friends and the Wylie East band.”

Learning what happens behind the scenes at Disney, new cast members were introduced to the guest coordinator who thoroughly explained the expectations and guidelines. The band then had an hour to put on the full uniform and unload instruments. They were lined up in rows of six and told to smile when not playing.

“It was a surreal feeling being able to see all the attractions at Disney and the castle while marching,” sophomore Spencer Armstrong said.

Going the distance, the Pride of the East started at Frontierland and marched down Main Street USA. The parade proved to be a hit when guests lined up to see musicians in bright blue and white march in front of Cinderella’s Castle. The band played the school Fight Song and the killer short-tune medley, UpTown Funk. The last two days were spent at Universal Studios where the jazz band performed.  

“It was our first day in Disney World and everyone in my group wanted to ride the Rockin’ Rollercoaster only I had never been on a rollercoaster so I was hesitant. I was eventually convinced to ride it and I don’t regret it,” senior Alex Cruz said. “It was so much fun and set the tone for the entire trip. After that, I was open to trying lots of new things.”

Along with the band, choir and theatre traveled to Disney World to participate in a workshop. The 2.5 hour workshop included all 40 choir and theatre students who went on the Disney World trip.

“I loved riding the hulk; it was not what I expected,” sophomore Liz Harkins said. “I feel like Universal was for the thrill-seeker while Disney focuses more on the magic.”

Reading new music, the workshop director led the group in vocal warm-ups, and then recorded students making sounds, like laughing awkwardly, screaming “wee” and roaring like lions.  While students recorded two songs from The Lion King, medley style, an editor was busy transferring all of the music and sound recordings into a short Lion King film.

“I’m so glad the school allowed all of fine arts to travel to Disney to have an amazing experience,” freshmen Victor Cruz said.

After getting some valuable information about auditions and Disney Internships, students learned a dance to a Disney song which is used a lot by Disney cast members. Performers viewed the film, hearing their own voices, and seeing their faces featured in a Disney video. Seniors Carissa Thatcher, John Tompkins and junior Emerson Rinewalt were featured soloists during the workshop. While students were tired, they were able to enjoy Epcot’s Illuminations firework and laser show, at last seeing the lights.

Choir and theatre came home for spring break Monday, March 12 after spending the day at Hollywood Studios. The Pride of the East caught the rest of the break Tuesday.

“Our group had an amazing chemistry and we really bonded. It was definitely worth the four-year wait,“ Cruz said.

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