Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A fun-filled, 14-hour-long day at the Universal Orlando theme parks has come to an end for the Bluefield Beaver Band. Today was the second day of the band's end-of-the-year trip to Florida. Yesterday, we experienced the magic of Disney at the Magic Kingdom theme park, seeing classic Disney "celebrities" such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and Donald Duck in the shadows of the Cinderella Castle. Today, the theme of the day was action and adventure as students toured the different roller coasters and attractions at Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure. We got to the parks bright and early at about 9 a.m. and explored the jungles of Jurassic Park, the zany streets of Dr. Seuss Landing and the towering castles of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which was perhaps the most popular area to visit among the students. Many students purchased magic wands based on the ones used by the characters in the Harry Potter series of books, and we all indulged in "butterbeer" - a non-alcoholic drink that's so popular at the park, more than five million have been sold since the Harry Potter-themed area of the park opened in 2010. As evening descended on Orlando, we gathered for dinner at Hard Rock Café, where we were invited to dance through the restaurant to the tune of Village People's "YMCA." After dinner, a large group of students ran from attraction to attraction to get some last-minute rides in before the park closed. Senior trumpeter Austin Tyree was covered in sweat after sprinting across the park for one last ride on The Incredible Hulk roller coaster. About 10 students and myself were completely out of breath, but made it in time for the final ride of the day. It was all smiles afterwards. "This is one of the best days I've had in a while," Tyree laughed after the ride. These are the moments the students will remember for the rest of their lives.