Seniors experience a magical sendoff

Ethan Kraja, Jason Smith, Kaitlyn Smith, Anner Reyes, Bailey Scanlon, Ravisha Joshi, and Simona Boncik smile in front of Cinderella’s castle as they wait for the nightly firework show.

BY JAMES DE MARTINI 

            In the early hours of March 6, a number just shy of 300 seniors and chaperones embarked on a week-long trip to Orlando for the annual Disney Trip. The trip consisted of five straight days of non-stop Disney action, aside from the one day set aside to visit Universal Studios. After being let loose in the parks, students had free reign to ride, eat, and do whatever they wanted, making memories along the way. 

            The opportunity to go away with the same friendly faces that students have grown up with makes the senior Disney trip so magical. “Being able to do the things that brought me joy as a kid with my girlfriend and friends was such a great experience,” explained Matthew Torino. “Even seeing the teachers there in the parks made me happy. It was a great experience getting to experience Disney with some really important people in my life.”

            With the help of the park-hopper ticket and free 24/7 transportation from park-to-park and the hotel, students were given all the resources to squeeze the most they could out of the five days. “Going to Disney with your best friends is a once in a lifetime experience, and you have to utilize your time as efficiently as possible in order to have the most fun and memorable memories,” explained senior Dane Willis.

Taylor Castagne and Kyle McSorley display their “promposal” sign in the “Be Our Guest” Restaurant which re-creates the castle from Beauty and the Beast.

            Many students committed to getting everything they could out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. “I bought the ‘Genie +’ expansion and fast passes,” Ryan Bell said. “We would have to wake up early or even book before the trip for some rides, like Guardians of the Galaxy, to even get on.”

            Creative and independent travelers took advantage of the “Single-Rider Lane” offered at most attractions as an easy way to reduce waiting times on the parks’ longest lines. “The use of the single-rider lane significantly increased my enjoyment of the rides I went on in Disney due to the fact that me and my friends didn’t care about riding together, so it allowed us to skip the hour long waits and all ride in under 20 minutes,” shared Nicholas Panarella. 

Matthew Torino points his wand at the fire breathing dragon in Harry Potter World at Universal Studios.

            The faculty got in on the fun too, serving more as peers than the authoritative figures students see back at OBHS. The faculty shared tips, tricks, advice on where to eat, and always volunteered if a student needed a ride buddy. “Being able to bond with teachers and peers while having the freedom to travel to any park was awesome!” exclaimed senior Samantha Gough.

            With the seniors’ time in OBHS ending soon, their trip to Disney served as an exciting sendoff to their public-school journey. The 2023 class will not take for granted the opportunity to travel alongside their peers for one last big hurrah. “The trip has always been a magical end of year event,” shared chaperone and Physical Education teacher Alec Alspach. “However, this year being in March, I already see in the hallways that it will strengthen the forever bond with the class of 2023, the teachers who attended, and the hallways of Old Bridge High School.”

Posted on 5/3/23

Photos provided by the Class of 2023

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