Have you ever stumbled upon a show at Walt Disney World? Maybe you saw a marching band at Magic Kingdom and enjoyed their performance. Or maybe you were having your chill rest day at Disney Springs and noticed some younger performers at the marketplace stage. Walt Disney World often highlights high school, middle school, or even elementary school students, showcasing talent from around the world.
In the fall of 2018, my daughter was presented with that same opportunity with her dance studio’s competition team. It was quite the timing, as we had just had our first family vacation to WDW the spring prior, and we had some serious Disney blues. Of course, it was an undertaking, to say the least. On our previous trip, we had seen one of her former teachers from her studio dancing in the parade at Magic Kingdom. My daughter was already in love with the idea, and we just knew we had to make it happen.
We invited my best friend to come along. We put down our deposit, and we started planning. As the competition drew near, and then after the last recital we finally were ready to depart. We were ready with matching shirts, dining reservations, fast passes, and everything needed to enjoy an incredible split stay, topped off with the magic of getting to be the entertainment at Walt Disney World.
On performance day, my daughter and the rest of the team had a quick rehearsal in the parking lot of our resort, which was the Port Orleans French Quarter. It’s such a beautiful resort, and I highly recommend staying there. After the dancers were in their warm-up attire, costumes tucked safely inside their carry-on suitcases, we left them at the lobby with their studio director and headed off to Disney Springs to get snacks, drinks, and prime seats!
As for the girls, they were getting a quick course on how to be a Disney Cast Member. They were able to warm up at the Disney training center, where the professional dancers practiced for shows and were transported around the property on a tour bus. They learned that as of that moment, they were not only peeking behind the curtain, they were now behind the magic! If anyone approached them or spoke to them, they had to conduct themselves as a cast member, complete with a two-finger point and ending the interaction with “have a magical day.”
Once they took to the stage, I saw all of them light up and their jumps were a little bit higher, smiles a little brighter, and steps a little bit lighter. It must have been the pixie dust! It was truly a magical moment watching my child live her dream. It was even better when I finally looked around and saw the crowd gathering to watch them, and heard the cheers from strangers who didn’t have to stop, didn’t have to cheer- but were entertained and maybe felt a little of their energy and their magic from the stage. Every performer lives for the moment when they can feel the energy from the crowd and know they are brightening someone’s day with their talents.
If you ever have the chance to see one of these performances at Walt Disney World I highly recommend you stop and enjoy the show. It’s just another example of the magic surrounding you.
If your dance studio, choir, band, or other performing arts group would like the chance to perform at the most magical place on earth, I would love to help you! Please contact me, and I will make sure that your group and their family have a fantastic experience on the stage and in the parks.
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