Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Florida: Day One (Getting there, Disney-MGM Studios)

Our choir joined the bands on the big trip to Walt Disney World this year, and of course I went along. But unlike what I normally do on this blog, which is write, I instead have made a photoblog of my entire trip. All in all, I took some 500 pictures. Granted, a lot of them were blurry, but still, that makes up quite a bit for me. So, without further ado, I present:

Florida: Day One

We woke up at about 3 in the morning, since our flight was leaving at 7:25 and we needed to get to the school at 4:30 to load up the buses and luggage.

See? Disgustingly early.

So early that Amanda had nothing but the Fresh Prince to watch on TV.

Add to that the fact that it was snowing outside. This prompted us to worry about delays at the airport, especially considering the fact that my parents and sister were flying on a separate flight.

I made Mike clean off the car, because he's pretty decent when he does it for mine on cold mornings.

Meanwhile, I wondered why I wore shorts when it was snowing out.

We got over to the school, and it was madness: 100 kids were all toting their luggage, and in most cases instruments, all around. We threw all the stuff on to a truck, and then...

...hopped on buses to take us on the half-hour ride to EWR (that's Newark-Liberty Int'l Airport, for those of you who aren't nerds).

Jake, one of our friends and someone who you will see a lot of in these pictures, Mike, and I all sat in the last row of the bus. This was a mistake, because everytime we hit a bump on 287, we'd fly a foot into the air.

Jolted awake, we got into the airport, only to discover a lengthy line formed by our group at check-in. Mike demonstrated exactly how he felt about this wait.

Fast forward a few hours (sorry, no pictures on the plane, I was busy reading), and we landed in...

...sunny Orlando, Florida! You can tell because of the sunglasses.

Mr. Bush demonstrated the latest trends in aviator style.

See? See what happens when you don't wear sunglasses?

OK, maybe those of us who wind up looking like the Terminator should just pass on wearing them.

Jake quickly discovered, for the first time of many, that the lights didn't work on our bus. This would only happen on the three other different buses we rode throughout the trip.

Thanks, Mr. Bus Driver! Now, can you turn on the fans and things?

Then we started rolling off to my favorite of the Disney parks, Disney-MGM Studios.

We were all dead tired by this point; I figured out that we'd been awake and moving about for the equivalent of a full day of school. Meanwhile, our friends at home had the day off due to the snow.

The band and choir directors had basically posted two blank lists and had everyone sign up. This didn't work out too well, since the "Mickey" bus was considered the cool one. People would just go and cross other names off the list to get on that one. "Minnie," however, was practically empty. Jake and I signed up too late, so "Minnie" it was. At least we could make fun of people.

Or practice drive-by shootings in Grand Theft Auto. Jeez, all that scenery out the window, and he's worried about his wanted level?

A short drive later, we were at the gates of the World!

The Swan, along the way to the park.

When we got to the park, I stowed my jacket and camera in a locker; of course, it then rained, and I saw a million things I would have taken pictures of. But I digress. We went to Pizza Planet for lunch, took advantage of the ridiculously awesome vouchers that gave us a ton of food for free, and planned out an afternoon of fun. We hit basically every ride we could (Rock 'n' Roller Coaster was closed, for example) and saw a ton of shows and movies.

Funny side-story: on the Tower of Terror, our guide, Terrence, asked us if we had "any last words" before the ride. I blurted out, "Terrence is an awesome name!" He paused, looked over at us, and goes, "Indeed it is." They're pretty good actors, I have to say.

Also, we had the most cynical group on that ride. When "E=mc^2" appeared on the screen in front of us, some kids in front pretended to get scared. Or at least I
think they were pretending. I might be wrong.

Anyway, back to the pictures.

One of the directors also runs the golf team, prompting us to ask him if this was "some sort of Mickey Mouse team" he was running. I know, we're on the cutting edge of humor.

Then at night it was time for the Fantasmic! show. Here's the crowd from our seats right in the middle. I'm proud to say we managed to get the entire crowd to do the Wave, which was pretty sweet to watch.

This dude was sitting behind us. Sweet beard!

During the show, they use basically every effect they can, including lighting the entire lake on fire.

I'm convinced that at roundtable meetings to plan these sorts of shows, it goes something like...

"So, what can we do to make this show interesting?"
"No, we do that all the time."
"Too much work."
"What about...fire?"
"Always a good standby. OK, Johnson, you win. Let's light the lake on fire!"

"Quick, something else!"
"How about water shooting up in the air?"

Obligatory character sighting. Can you name them all?

Mickey blew stuff up. Terrorist.

After the show, we wandered like cattle back to the main gates to leave.

See ya, MGM. You were fun.


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