The Class of 2022 Makes Its Long-Awaited Trip to the “House of Mouse”

Chaminade seniors take a picture at Cinderella’s Castle during their visit to Magic Kingdom Park.

Sean Atkinson ’24

This past March marks the first time in two years that a senior class was able to go on the annual Chaminade High School trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The students, as well as the teachers accompanying them, had to wake up early in the morning to fly down to Florida. There were nine coach buses reserved to bring the students and teachers to the airports, where two flights departed from JFK Airport and one flight departed from LaGuardia. 

In addition to this trip being the first one in two years, the seniors and faculty stayed at a new location: the Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. It had a number of amenities such as a pool, which many students took advantage of as a way to relax on their trip.

After the long flight, students took buses to Magic King- dom. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors were only allowed to “park hop” after 2 p.m. to maintain crowd control; as a result, most of the day was spent at this first park.

After their day out, students and teachers all had a group dinner in Epcot, where they also had a private viewing of the fireworks display. To round out the first day at Disney, the seniors went on the Soarin’ Around the World ride as a class, and then returned to Port Orleans to get some sleep and get ready for their next day.

Day two was spent at Universal Studios, where students also had access to both of the parks: Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Most students took advantage of this by visiting the Harry Potter World theme park, located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The seniors were given the day to roam around, explore, and

enjoy the parks with their friends.

Due to a pre-planned event at Universal Studios, students had to leave by 5 p.m.; however, they were still able to visit Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort where they enjoyed a nice, filling group dinner before heading back to their rooms at Port Orleans.

On the morning of day three, students were woken up early and given passes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This was a great way for seniors to try out the new Star Wars ride and purchase memorabilia such as one of the park’s most popular items: the custom lightsaber.

Similar to the previous days, students were able to spend the whole day exploring Hollywood Studios and hanging out with friends. In traditional Marianist style, students and faculty joined

together in a group Mass that evening in order to set time aside for God. To end their time on the Disney trip, seniors were then able to grab dinner at restaurants of their choosing; many tried the Beauty and the Beast-inspired “Be Our Guest” restaurant.

James Cash ’22 and Eric Destaebler ’22 were eager to reflect on their experience. Cash noted that “it was a truly magical experience and the perfect cap-off to the great four years I had at Chaminade.” Destaebler had a similar experience, stating, “The trip was awesome, and it was cool that I could be around all my friends.”

With all the trials and tribulations that the COVID-19 pandemic has put students through, it was especially heartwarming that after two years of cancellations, the school was finally able to celebrate the seniors’ four years at Chaminade. The Disney trip proved to be a great bonding experience for the seniors and allowed them to have one more memory associated with their time as Flyers.