Disney Experience: Reflecting on the Class of 2022 Senior Trip


Cinderella’s castle from the first day at Magic Kingdom

From March 29 to April 3, the Cinnaminson High School Class of 2022 was on their annual senior trip. We had to report to CHS at 3:00 a.m. in order to check-in at the school before leaving for the airport. With a 7:30 a.m. flight to Orlando, we were able to head right from the airport to Disney upon arriving in Florida.

I was initially skeptical about going to Disney; prior to the senior trip, I had never been to Disney before. I wasn’t sure if I would like the parks since I am not a huge fan of amusement parks in general. However, after the trip, I can say there is much more to the Disney experience than a traditional amusement park may offer.

I went back on the night of the second day to Magic Kingdom to watch the firework show.

Disney is currently in the midst of its 50th-anniversary celebration. As the biggest theme park in the world, Disney opened its doors on October 1, 1971. Due to this 50th anniversary celebration, the parks were on the more crowded side during our trip.

The first day consisted of visiting Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom features Disney attractions such as Cinderella’s castle, Tomorrowland, and Main Street, U.S.A. What stood out to me upon my first time walking into Magic Kingdom was the level of detail. Each ride was its own little experience with delicately crafted details. I loved the Ariel ride and how it really feels like you are moving through the movie. My favorite part of Magic Kingdom though was getting to see the castle and Main Street lit up at night – it was so pretty! The day was a long one, as students went straight from the airport to the parks, however, Magic Kingdom was a great place to start. Also, as someone who had never been to Disney before, getting to kick off the trip by visiting Magic Kingdom helped me see right away what Disney is all about!

One of the features of the CHS park tickets was the option for students to “park hop” after 2 p.m. each day. For students who were interested in checking out more than one park in a single day, this option allowed them to leave the designated park of the day after 2 p.m.

Personally, I loved the park hopping feature because it allowed students to have more freedom; additionally, it made it possible for students to have trips specifically tailored to their interests in the different parks.

The Epcot Ball from the second day of the trip

The second day of the trip was dedicated to Epcot, which featured the Epcot ball, Soarin’, and different “countries” to visit. The CHS trip was during the international flower festival, which meant there were many different Disney character displays made entirely out of plants.

Epcot was my personal favorite park. I loved the Soarin’ ride because it featured beautiful pictures, and it was indoors, which was nice. Additionally, Epcot had a wider variety of food options at the different kiosks. Because the portions were smaller, I was able to try many different foods from the different “countries”. My favorite was a pound cake with grilled peach slices, which I bought from the Northern Bloom stand in the Canada section. The booth is a part of the annual Flower and Garden Festival.

On the third day of the trip, seniors visited the two Universal Parks. We were able to enjoy attractions such as Harry Potter World, Dr. Seuss Land, and the Jurassic Park Velocicoaster. Additionally, on the third day, we had the class pool and pizza party at the hotel.

The weather for the day at Universal was very nice – it was slightly overcast with a light breeze. Like Disney, prior to my senior trip, I had never been to Universal. When I walked into the Harry Potter world for the first time, it felt like I was on the movie set! The Harry Potter Experience is divided into both the Universal Parks, with one housing Diagon Alley and the other featuring the village of Hogsmeade. For anyone who has read the books or watched the movies, the trip to Universal is such an interesting experience. From Ollivander’s wands to Gringotts Bank, park visitors are immersed in the different details of the Wizarding World. It was also on this day that we had our student council lunch day with the class officers and advisors, Mrs. Mulville and Mrs. Schweitzer. It was so fun getting to spend time with everyone in a different, more relaxed environment.

Hogwarts from the Universal Day

Hollywood Studios was the primary destination for the fourth day of the trip. With rides such as Tower of Terror, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and the Star Wars rides, Hollywood Studios features some of Disney’s biggest rides. However, because of the bigger rides, Hollywood Studios was not my personal favorite. I did however enjoy Toy Story Land. As you walk in, you are surrounded by oversized displays of toys, which creates the feeling that visitors themselves are one with the toys. I especially liked the (again!) attention to detail from the oversized Uno cards to the giant Monopoly board ceiling. To wrap the day up, Hollywood Studios had a nice gift shop where I was able to get a lot of presents for my family!

The fifth and final day in the park was allotted for Animal Kingdom. With the Tree of Life, the animal safari, and the Avatar attractions, Animal Kingdom has a more earthy focus than the other three Disney parks. For the first four days, the weather was relatively clear with limited rain; however, Animal Kingdom day was met with some heavy rains in the afternoon. I was just very glad it didn’t start pouring while I was on the safari ride!

It was on this rainy bus ride to the airport that the chaperones learned the flight from Orlando to Philadelphia was canceled. When we arrived at Orlando International Airport, we did not pass through security, but rather waited in the space prior to a security check for hours.

Because of widespread Southwest Airlines flight cancellations, there were many people outside of the CHS seniors waiting at the airport or in nearby hotels. While it was pretty tricky to get students rooms, the chaperones and the travel agency worked hard to help us out. We eventually got a place to stay, though we had to be back at the airport the next day early in the morning. Although the last (unplanned) day was not the easiest, it is certainly something to remember and a story we get to share with our classmates! I also know that everyone worked so hard to help us get back to Cinnaminson as soon as possible, so I am grateful for everyone’s assistance!

Overall, I would not say Disney was a relaxing vacation, but rather a more exciting one. For any students who are interested in the trip, I recommend giving it a chance, if you are able to do so. While I was skeptical at first, the trip is an investment toward lifelong memories with your friends and classmates.