I can picture it like it was yesterday. The year is 1998, my junior year of high school. I’m walking into band class listening to former Mouseketeer, Justin Timberlake, singing with NSNYC on my Sony Walkman. Our band teacher is motioning excitedly for us to get seated. He has a major announcement. Drum roll……
We are going to Disney World! Stinging hot tears of pure joy are now rolling down all of our faces. We are hysterical! We had been dreaming of performing in Disney for years, and begging our teacher to go. Now he was granting our wish. This was a big deal in our small rural town as most of us had never visited the house of mouse.
Over the next few months we held a fundraiser in which we sold those candy bars to literally anyone and everyone. We were determined to all be able to afford to go on this once in a lifetime trip with one another.
Fast forward a few months to our departure day. Four coach buses were lined up, waiting to take us on our journey to the most magical place on Earth. Our instruments were loaded, suitcases as well. We were ready for our overnight bus ride from Kentucky to Florida.
We arrived and finally got to live out our dream, performing in the Magic Kingdom. It was every bit as magical as we had dreamed. Onlookers were clapping and cheering. It was pure magic.
The rest of our time was just as magical; riding rides, enjoying treats and having the time of our lives with my fellow students.
Side note: These glorious memories were likely photographed with a Kodak camera in which case the film is still in a drawer somewhere having never been developed as was typical of the 90’s.
Cut to 2019 and I now get to help students make those same dreams come true as they did for me in 1998. I married a music teacher and I help coach the colorguard for the marching band. This past February was our third time taking the band to Walt Disney World!
With each trip I see sixteen-year-old old me in their eyes and it’s 1998 all over again. The same excitement at becoming a cast member for the day; going backstage and marching down Main Street.
So the next time you see a band marching through the park give them some positivity! They’ve dreamed hard and worked even harder to make this dream a reality.
Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough–Peter Pan
If you can dream it, you can do it–Walt Disney