Every two years, my high school’s band, orchestra, choir, and dance academy take a week long trip to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. We spend each day a park (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot), a day in Universal Studios, and we get to perform on stage in Downtown Disney and take a behind-the-scenes workshop with one of the Disney cast members. I took my last trip with my school over Spring Break. I was in such optimistic anticipation on the bus trip to Florida. I was ready for the warm weather, all the fun in the parks, taking pictures, and performing in front of hundreds of people, and especially Epcot and Downtown Disney. What I hadn’t anticipated, however, was the days and days of unforgiving rain.
The first day spent in Disneyworld was in Epcot. My trip began with warmth and sunshine. My school’s band traveled to a behind the scenes area, where we recorded our own music to a clip from Tarzan! We were conducted by a famous saxophonist who plays in a quartet every day in Epcot. It was absolutely amazing to work with part of the Disney cast, which few people ever get to do. Afterwords, my friends and I immediately went to Tutto Italia Ristorante, my favorite restaurant in the whole park. I enjoyed a delicious plate of cantilloni, created by chefs and served by waiters directly from Italy. The atmosphere and food was so authentic, and the staff was so friendly. My friends and I were even allowed to write a note to our favorite waitor, Giovanni.
That day I felt like I traveled the world. I visited Italy, Britain, Mexico, China, Norway, Germany, Morocco, France, and the ye olde United States. Every country was its own little world. I was captivated by the architecture, the people with true accents, and the thrilling rides and shops. The most magical moment was that evening when my entire group gathered to watch Illimunations, a firework show held over the water surrounded by Epcot. I knew the music well because my Disney-obsessed band teacher always played it. Watching the fireworks, the floating globe, and hearing the marvelous music, I completely forgot about everyone around me. For those minutes, I was in awe of the lights reflecting on the water. I could see each country light up around me, and I felt like the entire world could see what I was seeing.
As the week went on, however, the lovely weather turned sour. Every morning began with pouring rain that would last the entire day. My friends and I all had to buy rain ponchos and run from building to building so we wouldn’t get soaked. What surprised me was how this weather didn’t stop anybody from having a good time. While in the Magic and Animal kingdom, rides were still open, and performers were still performing. I even got to dance with Stitch in the open air. When it was my band’s turn to perform on stage at Downtown Disney, I was worried all the rain would ruin the fun. But it didn’t! We played beautifully, and it was so much fun to see all the passersby stopping and enjoying our music. It didn’t matter if all my classmates and I were soaking wet. This is what we loved to do, and there were hundreds of soaking wet tourists who didn’t mind the rain just as much as us. It was those final moments on stage that I learned it didn’t matter what the weather was like. Disneyworld truly is the most magical place on Earth!
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