The Bears Take Disney


The first flight has arrived safely,” Mr. Copen updated parents on the safe arrival of their students through Remind101. The day had finally come; Oakdale had arrived in Florida. Travelers had been waiting for February 11th for months, counting down the days in Ms. Hornbaker’s room as a group, and on many of their home calendars and phones.

“I downloaded an app on my phone, it told me how many heartbeats I had left until Disney,” Junior Haley Schuman’s phone may not have considered how fast her heart was beating as the date approached. When the 11th finally came around, Haley and the rest of the travelers left school early to catch their flights.

The two planes left Reagan National Airport full of smiling faces that Wednesday; students and chaperones ready for their heated vacation. All Star Movies Resort was preparing for the group, the pool and Mickey waffles ready for their arrival. Some of the band’s wonderful chaperones drove a truck all the way from Oakdale to Disney World filled with uniforms, instruments, equipment, and even some of the students’ bags, which awaited the students at the hotel. The group was greeted by giant statues, a wonderful food court, and warm weather at their hotel.

The Bears spent five days in the parks, spending their time meeting the characters, riding the rides, and most importantly, eating turkey legs. At $11 a leg they were a bit pricey, but incredibly worth it.  Students weren’t just at Disney to stuff as many turkey legs into their mouths as they could, they did all spend some time learning. Disney clinics were offered depending on the group they were traveling with. Characters, including Goofy, came into the clinics to add some Disney magic into learning. Leadership, dance, band, color guard, acting, and show choir all learned some new skills from Disney professionals.

“I made so many friends I never would have at home,” student Jade Barber reminisces on the making of new friends. The group did some serious bonding while in Disney. The night of the 12th the group enjoyed a wonderful buffet and beautiful fireworks in Epcot. The baked mac and cheese was a definite favorite of students, considering the staff had to refill the platter multiple times. Breadsticks and brownies may have also been snuck out of the buffet in students’ bags for some midnight snacks. On Valentine’s Day the group went to see “Fantasmic!” – a production in which Mickey Mouse fights off villains with varying lights and lasers. Tuscarora, Walkersville, and Oakdale brought some school spirit into the amphitheatre by starting a wave across the entire crowd. At Hollywood Studios, students raced to be in front of the lines for The Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster. The different schools bonded throughout the week and new friends were made.

Did Oakdale leave their mark on Disney? Most definitely. The Show Choir performed their, coincidentally, Disney based show at the Waterside Stage in Downtown Disney. The band and color guard also performed, marching through Magic Kingdom during the Main Street Electrical Parade.

The only major hiccup in the trip was on the journey home. Despite a delay due to weather conditions, the second flight still underwent significant turbulence. Everyone landed home  home safely though, making the turbulence just one part of an otherwise fantastic trip. Oakdale’s Disney World trip is a fun and exciting experience for all of the students involved. If you too feel as though you want to join in on the fun, look into one of the groups who go! The Disney trip is bi-annual, meaning you could be on your way to sunny Orlando in 2017!

by Gabby Redpath

Disney characters dance in front of the castle.
Disney characters dance in front of the castle.