Pre-Trip "We were suppose to be with the band but now are by ourselves" Pre-Trip Report

Hello everyone!✌

Welcome to my "pre" trip report.

Let me introduce myself first....

My name is Heather. I live in a very small town in Pennsylvania about an hour outside of Philly. I am a married, 42 yr old mother of 2 girls! 15 & 20! (I almost made it through the teen years) My husband and I have been married for 20 years this October...but actually have been together WAY longer than that! (feels like forever)
367234
367235
367236
367237


(My husband and I are horrible photo takers! Especially him, he is ALWAYS making a face. lol)

We have 2 four legged kids that will probably be making an appearance every once in a while. Winston is our 2 yr old Great Dane and Harper is our rescue pit mix whom just turned 6.
367238


On with the details...

Our last trip was 10 years ago...but that was a "Girls Only" trip, so for my hubby, it had been even longer than that!

DATE: December 13-18, 2019

WHERE: One of the All Star Resorts

WHO: Myself, Hubby (Rich) & Youngest Daughter, (Sav)

How did this trip begin???

My youngest is a member of the choir in high school, every four years, they take a trip to Disney. The entire band and choir goes along with their directors and any chaperones. Am I chaperoning???? NOPE!!! I volunteered the Hubs and I to actually drive the rental truck with all of the luggage and the instruments from Pennsylvania to Florida! According to Mapquest, it will take 16 hours & 35 minutes for a total of 1058 miles!!!! This will be the longest driving trip that I think we have ever taken.

My oldest is in college and will be taking a study abroad course in Italy next year, so she is going to sit this one out and stay home to watch the 4 legged kids:)

I do not have many details right now but will update as soon as I have more. We are having a trip meeting this coming Thursday so hopefully, there will be a better itinerary.

I know that we were told that we might miss some things that the kids are doing due to being in charge of the truck. There is only one part THAT I CANNOT MISS.... the choir singing in the Candlelight Procession! I may be a blubbery mess but honestly, this was the whole reason why I wanted to go to begin with.

Have you ever driven to Disney? Gone on a band/choir trip with the school? I would love to hear all about it!


Thanks for reading!!
 

PopPopBear

Member
Advertisement
Hello everyone!✌

Welcome to my "pre" trip report.

Let me introduce myself first....

My name is Heather. I live in a very small town in Pennsylvania about an hour outside of Philly. I am a married, 42 yr old mother of 2 girls! 15 & 20! (I almost made it through the teen years) My husband and I have been married for 20 years this October...but actually have been together WAY longer than that! (feels like forever)
View attachment 367234View attachment 367235View attachment 367236View attachment 367237

(My husband and I are horrible photo takers! Especially him, he is ALWAYS making a face. lol)

We have 2 four legged kids that will probably be making an appearance every once in a while. Winston is our 2 yr old Great Dane and Harper is our rescue pit mix whom just turned 6.
View attachment 367238

On with the details...

Our last trip was 10 years ago...but that was a "Girls Only" trip, so for my hubby, it had been even longer than that!

DATE: December 13-18, 2019

WHERE: One of the All Star Resorts

WHO: Myself, Hubby (Rich) & Youngest Daughter, (Sav)

How did this trip begin???

My youngest is a member of the choir in high school, every four years, they take a trip to Disney. The entire band and choir goes along with their directors and any chaperones. Am I chaperoning???? NOPE!!! I volunteered the Hubs and I to actually drive the rental truck with all of the luggage and the instruments from Pennsylvania to Florida! According to Mapquest, it will take 16 hours & 35 minutes for a total of 1058 miles!!!! This will be the longest driving trip that I think we have ever taken.

My oldest is in college and will be taking a study abroad course in Italy next year, so she is going to sit this one out and stay home to watch the 4 legged kids:)

I do not have many details right now but will update as soon as I have more. We are having a trip meeting this coming Thursday so hopefully, there will be a better itinerary.

I know that we were told that we might miss some things that the kids are doing due to being in charge of the truck. There is only one part THAT I CANNOT MISS.... the choir singing in the Candlelight Procession! I may be a blubbery mess but honestly, this was the whole reason why I wanted to go to begin with.

Have you ever driven to Disney? Gone on a band/choir trip with the school? I would love to hear all about it!


Thanks for reading!!
Will be following along.
 

John Dulmage

Active Member
Hello everyone!✌

Welcome to my "pre" trip report.

Let me introduce myself first....

My name is Heather. I live in a very small town in Pennsylvania about an hour outside of Philly. I am a married, 42 yr old mother of 2 girls! 15 & 20! (I almost made it through the teen years) My husband and I have been married for 20 years this October...but actually have been together WAY longer than that! (feels like forever)
View attachment 367234View attachment 367235View attachment 367236View attachment 367237

(My husband and I are horrible photo takers! Especially him, he is ALWAYS making a face. lol)

We have 2 four legged kids that will probably be making an appearance every once in a while. Winston is our 2 yr old Great Dane and Harper is our rescue pit mix whom just turned 6.
View attachment 367238

On with the details...

Our last trip was 10 years ago...but that was a "Girls Only" trip, so for my hubby, it had been even longer than that!

DATE: December 13-18, 2019

WHERE: One of the All Star Resorts

WHO: Myself, Hubby (Rich) & Youngest Daughter, (Sav)

How did this trip begin???

My youngest is a member of the choir in high school, every four years, they take a trip to Disney. The entire band and choir goes along with their directors and any chaperones. Am I chaperoning???? NOPE!!! I volunteered the Hubs and I to actually drive the rental truck with all of the luggage and the instruments from Pennsylvania to Florida! According to Mapquest, it will take 16 hours & 35 minutes for a total of 1058 miles!!!! This will be the longest driving trip that I think we have ever taken.

My oldest is in college and will be taking a study abroad course in Italy next year, so she is going to sit this one out and stay home to watch the 4 legged kids:)

I do not have many details right now but will update as soon as I have more. We are having a trip meeting this coming Thursday so hopefully, there will be a better itinerary.

I know that we were told that we might miss some things that the kids are doing due to being in charge of the truck. There is only one part THAT I CANNOT MISS.... the choir singing in the Candlelight Procession! I may be a blubbery mess but honestly, this was the whole reason why I wanted to go to begin with.

Have you ever driven to Disney? Gone on a band/choir trip with the school? I would love to hear all about it!


Thanks for reading!!
This sounds like a lot of fun (except for driving the rental truck part!!). I would say more than half of my WDW experiences were due to band and choir trips. In fact, way way way back in the 70's when I was in college, my first 2 times to WDW was when Miami University went to the Tangerine Bowl (no longer a thing) and I was in the band and we went down and got time in MK (the only park built at that time!). My not-yet-my-wife was also in the band with me. Later, when we had kids they were involved in Choir and band, so when they were in high school, we tagged along (NOT as chaperones - we only did SHORT trips as chaperones) multiple times and got to experience them performing on the Tomorrowland Stage, marching through MK and playing in Downtown Disney (what it was at that time). It was so great to see them in those situations. However, as empty nesters, my wife and I went to see Candlelight Processional in Dec. 2017, and I got choked up watching that, and I can't imagine what a mess we would have been if our kids were performing in that!! That will be so AWESOME for you!!
 

cfry06

Well-Known Member
Sounds fun!! We love the Holidays at WDW - agreed that Candlelight Processional is the best. So moving!

We are from Reading, Pa (Exeter twp) also about an hour from Philly!
 

MinnieM123

Well-Known Member
Following along as well here. By the way, the photo of Winston and Haper is so cute. Glad to hear one of them is a rescue. All our dogs have been rescues. :happy:
 

LisaBelle

Well-Known Member
My high school band marched in a parade at WDW in 1984. Not much help for you planning wise but a great time was had by all! What a fun trip to take with your kiddo! Looking forward to reading all about it!

This sounds like a lot of fun (except for driving the rental truck part!!). I would say more than half of my WDW experiences were due to band and choir trips. In fact, way way way back in the 70's when I was in college, my first 2 times to WDW was when Miami University went to the Tangerine Bowl (no longer a thing) and I was in the band and we went down and got time in MK (the only park built at that time!). My not-yet-my-wife was also in the band with me. Later, when we had kids they were involved in Choir and band, so when they were in high school, we tagged along (NOT as chaperones - we only did SHORT trips as chaperones) multiple times and got to experience them performing on the Tomorrowland Stage, marching through MK and playing in Downtown Disney (what it was at that time). It was so great to see them in those situations. However, as empty nesters, my wife and I went to see Candlelight Processional in Dec. 2017, and I got choked up watching that, and I can't imagine what a mess we would have been if our kids were performing in that!! That will be so AWESOME for you!!
Totally agree about driving the rental truck!
Had to comment because my husband and I both went to Miami University and were members of the marching band in the mid-eighties.
 

heatherhy01

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
This sounds like a lot of fun (except for driving the rental truck part!!). I would say more than half of my WDW experiences were due to band and choir trips. In fact, way way way back in the 70's when I was in college, my first 2 times to WDW was when Miami University went to the Tangerine Bowl (no longer a thing) and I was in the band and we went down and got time in MK (the only park built at that time!). My not-yet-my-wife was also in the band with me. Later, when we had kids they were involved in Choir and band, so when they were in high school, we tagged along (NOT as chaperones - we only did SHORT trips as chaperones) multiple times and got to experience them performing on the Tomorrowland Stage, marching through MK and playing in Downtown Disney (what it was at that time). It was so great to see them in those situations. However, as empty nesters, my wife and I went to see Candlelight Processional in Dec. 2017, and I got choked up watching that, and I can't imagine what a mess we would have been if our kids were performing in that!! That will be so AWESOME for you!!
WOW! It must have been quite memorable going for band yourself and then seeing your kids follow in your footsteps! I AM TOTALLY GOING TO BE A BLUBBERING MESS! I am so very excited for the Candlelight Procession and cannot wait for them to announce the narrorators! I have not seen them anywhere, if I am worng, please point me in the right direction!
 

heatherhy01

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I went to Disneyland as part of a high school choir, not that that's any help to you. I really just wanted to say you do NOT look 42 or like you're old enough to have a 20-year-old kiddo.
OH MY GOODNESS! You are too, too kind! Thanks though:)
 

heatherhy01

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sounds fun!! We love the Holidays at WDW - agreed that Candlelight Processional is the best. So moving!

We are from Reading, Pa (Exeter twp) also about an hour from Philly!
Howdy neighbor! I have only seen it one time and that was over ten years ago but I remember getting misty eyed and that it was very moving.
 

heatherhy01

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Following along as well here. By the way, the photo of Winston and Haper is so cute. Glad to hear one of them is a rescue. All our dogs have been rescues. :happy:
Thanks! That photo was taken at doggy daycare:) Winston, we had gotten from my Mom...otherwise, I would never pay for a pet when there are so many that need to be rescued. (this is just my personal preference, no opinion if someone else chooses to do so. I know how heated this topic can get at times and I do not mean to offend anyone)
 

heatherhy01

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My high school band marched in a parade at WDW in 1984. Not much help for you planning wise but a great time was had by all! What a fun trip to take with your kiddo! Looking forward to reading all about it!


Totally agree about driving the rental truck!
Had to comment because my husband and I both went to Miami University and were members of the marching band in the mid-eighties.
LisaBelle! Maybe you and John were there at the same time??? I just think that these will be wonderful memories for these kids. Also, I am currently cringing on spending 16 hours trapped in the rental with hubby;) Maybe I should have thought this through better??? KIDDING!!
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
I had gone back in HS with the band in February 2004. I honestly don't remember a ton about the trip (I had a pretty tragical experience a few days after returning and I think I'm pretty much repressing most memories from that time - odd how the mind works!), but I know we all had a blast. We stayed at All Star Music, and I believe led the afternoon parade in MK. I also think we may have played in Epcot. What I do remember is getting stuck on Figment, and hearing the song over, and over, and over again (and then getting in trouble for being late for our check in with the chaperones). I also believe that even though it was February, it got pretty warm and to do the parade meant a lot of walking backstage. I'm a drummer and was playing snare, but a girl playing quads almost fainted before the parade even started so we ended up switching.
 

heatherhy01

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I had gone back in HS with the band in February 2004. I honestly don't remember a ton about the trip (I had a pretty tragical experience a few days after returning and I think I'm pretty much repressing most memories from that time - odd how the mind works!), but I know we all had a blast. We stayed at All Star Music, and I believe led the afternoon parade in MK. I also think we may have played in Epcot. What I do remember is getting stuck on Figment, and hearing the song over, and over, and over again (and then getting in trouble for being late for our check in with the chaperones). I also believe that even though it was February, it got pretty warm and to do the parade meant a lot of walking backstage. I'm a drummer and was playing snare, but a girl playing quads almost fainted before the parade even started so we ended up switching.
It sounds like you had an amazing time! Sorry about your experience after coming home...yes, sometimes your mind can completely block things out. You may one day, all of a sudden, remember everything from that magical trip. Without even thinking about it, it may just all come flooding back to you. (mean chaperones...don't they know this is the happiest place on earth and are not suppose to be angry while there?)
 

heatherhy01

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Howdy all!

So we had our Disney meeting last night and were given a very "loose" itinerary. Meaning...that some parts are not completely confirmed as of yet with Disney and they are subject to change. This may cause a change to which park on any particular day. So far, this is what we have:

Friday, December 13th

Depart the school for Philadelphia International airport. Arrive at Orlando International. Take the Disney Magical Express to the All Star Sports Resort. Included meal voucher for resort food court

Saturday, December 14th

Meal voucher for breakfast at the resort food court. Load Disney Transportation bus to EPCOT. In the evening, the choir will sing 2 shows for the Candlelight Procession in the American Gardens Theater. (6:45 & 8:15) There is a counter service meal voucher included for today at the park.

Sunday, December 15th

Meal voucher for breakfast at the resort food court. This morning, the choir will participate in the "Disney Sings Workshop" before we load Disney Transportation to Hollywood Studios. There is a counter service meal voucher included for today at the park.

Monday, December 16th

Meal voucher for breakfast at the resort food court. Load Disney Transportation to the Animal Kingdom. This afternoon, the band will participate in the "Your Musical Instrument Workshop". There is a counter service meal voucher included for today at the park.

Tuesday, December 17th

Meal voucher for breakfast at the resort food court. Load Disney Transportation to the Magic Kingdom. The band will march in the afternoon parade. We will stay in the park for evening festivities including fireworks show. There is a counter service meal voucher included for today at the park.

Wednesday, December 18th

Breakfast at the resort. Board Magical Express to Orlando International. Take flight back into Philadelphia International. Bus to school.

This could change so many times but they are hopeful that it stays close to this. We will have a final meeting about 3-4 weeks before leaving. This is when we will receive our pass numbers. Since this is a school trip, we are all getting discounted youth passes. There will not be a park hopper feature, so only one park per day. Also, we will not get our magic bands until we check into the hotel. Some of the parents were VERY unhappy that we will not have our pass numbers to reserve fastpasses until about 3 weeks prior to leaving. I mean, I get why, but this is a school trip which is at a really good cost, I think anyway? It really is a trip for the kids, so untwist your panties and relax!

The workshops sound sooo good too!

Disney Sings: During this workshop, the choir will work with a professional Disney singer. They will work on a particular Disney song from one of the many Disney movies. They will actually record the kids singing to the movie and each child will be given a copy to keep.

Your Musical Instrument: The band will work with a professional Disney band member. They will work on sight reading, and many other different aspects of reading music. (there wasn't much info given on this workshop but I am sure it will be amazing!)

I will leave you with a pic of Winnie in his PJ's:) I will update more soon!

367506
 

heatherhy01

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello Everyone!
Happy Monday! I cannot believe that it is almost May already! I feel like it was just Christmas & New Years!!! The warm weather is upon us here in PA and I cannot wait!!

Today I wanted to chat about the cost of our trip. I am curious what you guys think and if we are getting a good deal???


The cost is as follows:

Savannah as a student in a quad with 3 other students: $1549 plus $54 insurance


Parents in a double: $1749 plus $54 insurance

(ours will be cheaper since we are not flying and are driving the truck. I am waiting for the agent to get back to me with our final cost)

Included in package:


Roundtrip to departing airport
Roundtrip air fare
Magic Express to Disney
5 nights at All Star Sports
5 Resort Breakfast vouchers
5 Counter Service Meal vouchers
4 Day basic Park Passes

The kids get 1 show opportunity & 1 workshop opportunity

Thoughts anyone???


I am going to leave you with another photo of my handsome Winston...I have to dig some out of Harper too!
368100


(LOL! Side note... we won a costume contest for our local holistic pet food store where I live with this photo.)
 

heatherhy01

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
UPDATE!!!!

I had a horrible day yesterday! I mean I felt like everything I touched at work just fell apart. The kicker to end my day was when I received a call from the Band/Choir President telling me that a parent had stepped up to pay for the rental truck for the equipment and hire a professional driver to drive the truck. :oops:

Now, I fully understand that this is actually a great thing for the kids because the less money that gets put out on incidentals, the more they can fund for the actual trip and the cost will come off of the final cost for the kids. I get it. I really do. I just wish we had known sooner than the day before the deposits & insurance was due for the trip leaving me to figure out what I was going to do now??

I will be honest...I cried..after the awful day at work...this was just the cherry on the top.

soooooo.......... The company that the school is using, US Tours, had given me a quote (just yesterday) of $998/person for myself and the hubby since we would be driving and not flying.

We had the following choices to make:

1. I could go by myself with the group and pay $2100 for a single since I did not have anyone going with me.
2. My husband and I could drive down ourselves for $2000 and still go with the group.
3. I could get on the Disney website and see how much it would be to book myself???

Which do you think I did??

YUP!! December 13th thru December 18th, All Star Music, Quick Service Dining for $2441! I DID IT!!! I booked the trip and made my deposit!

I just figured that the extra $400 was worth it to be in a different hotel (this way Savannah will "feel" like she is on her own but we will still be "there") We also got the dining plan which includes snacks & the mug. AND...we will receive our magic bands earlier and can reserve our fast passes ahead of time!!! We are still going to be driving. I am not a huge flyer and we are trying to keep costs down. I will keep checking and if I find reasonable flights, I may just book them. Also, I may upgrade us to the standard dining plan so we can at least do some table service (we are all about the food in Disney)!

This is actually perfect because we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this coming October and we had spent our honeymoon in where else? Disney! So this will be like our little celebration!😍🥰

My question for all of you.....

Can I make payments each month through the website or do I have to call? I remember reading something about making payments but could not recall. Also, since we are staying on property, do we have to pay to park??

I leave you with a pic of my Harper...

368577


This was Harper and a foster that we had stay with us for 2 years, Archer. Archer is no longer with us and has crossed the Rainbow Bridge:(
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom