2017-2018 Disney Trip
Every three years, the music department takes a trip to perform and attend clinics.  We are currently in the process of planning a trip for the 2017-2018 school year.  As we learn more, we will provide you with more information regarding the time frame, itinerary, and costs associated.
Disney Trip
Interest and Information Form (due 9/20/2017)
REQUIRED FORMS
downloads and
information
ROOMMATE REQUEST FORM

Due 11/20/2017

Recent Updates

What's Next?

  • 10/23/2017 - School Board votes to approve trip.
  • 10/20/2017 - Cookie Dough Fundraiser ends. ($2939.20 raised!)
  • 10/9/2017 - Cookie Dough Fundraiser begins.
  • 10/6/2017 - Participant list finalized.
  • 10/6/2017 - Snap! Raise Fundraiser ends. ($21,765.59 raised!)
  • 9/6/2017 - Snap! Raise Fundraiser begins.
  • 6/3/2017 - Mattress Fundraiser ($4625 raised!)
  • 5/26/2017 - Gov. Wolf signs SB 133 (regarding Real ID Act)
  • 5/15/2017 - Parent Fundraising Meeting
  • 5/12/2017 - Contract with World Class Vacations signed and returned 
  • 4/29/2017 - Final Contract approved by LMSD Administration
  • 3/4/2017 - Overnight Field Trip Forms Submitted
  • ​​Required Forms - These three forms (Consent, Medical, and Code of Conduct) should be filled out and submitted by Friday, 11/10/2017.
  • 11/20/2017 - Second Payment ($500) due. If less than $500 remains on your balance we will be in touch to let you know how much to pay. Make checks out to Lower Merion High School and make sure your child's name is written on the check.

The Big Picture

Beginning in 2003, the Lower Merion High School (LMHS) Music Department has taken a trip to Disney World every three years. Over the years hundreds of students have taken part in performances at Disney World while on the trip in addition to traveling with and building relationships with their peers and adults in the LMHS community. Every time we go on this trip we build on our experiences from previous trips and look to find new ways to make it even more meaningful for the students, and 2018 is no exception.

Who is eligible for this trip?

Why Disney World?

What musical experiences will students get on this trip?

There is probably no more monolithic name in the entertainment business than Disney. Ever since its founding Disney has been a company that takes pride in going the extra mile to ensure not just high quality, but a truly magical experience for its customers. This attention to detail and dedication to an ideal are qualities that we hope to encourage in our students. What better way than to take them to Disney World for an experience that transcends the boundary between experiencing the magic from both sides as both a consumer and a performer?
All students in grades 10-12 who are enrolled in Concert Choir, Concert Band, or Symphony Orchestra are invited to participate in this trip. Students in 9th grade are not eligible for this trip, even if they are enrolled in the ensemble classes that are traveling.

As in past years, each ensemble will be scheduled to perform for the public on a Disney stage. In recent years, LMHS ensembles have performed at an outdoor, lakefront pavilion at Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex that is open to the public (no park admission necessary).

In addition, this year LMHS ensembles will take part in a workshop program that allows students to work with professional Disney musicians to create a soundtrack for an animated sequence. This program comes very highly recommended from colleagues both inside and outside LMSD and we are very excited to include it in this year’s trip.

Trip Details

When is the trip?

How will you travel?

Who handles the travel arrangements?

The trip will last for five days and four nights. We will depart from LMHS early on the morning of Thursday, March 1, 2018 and return late in the evening on Monday, March 5, 2018.

Students will miss three days on school while on this trip. They are responsible for making arrangements with their teachers to make up all work missed.
We will leave from LMHS and travel by school bus to Philadelphia International Airport. From there we will fly to Orlando. Once in Orlando, we will use a combination of charter buses and Disney transportation. After flying back to Philadelphia on the last day, school buses will return everybody to LMHS.

We are very pleased to once again be working Bruce Bevan and World Class Vacations . They specialize in student travel, and are especially familiar with travel to Disney World.

Where will you stay?

How are meals handled?

What theme parks will you visit?

We have found the best place to stay for this trip is one of Disney’s All-Star resorts. We will likely be staying at either All-Star Sports or All-Star Music. Students are housed at quadruple occupancy (four people to a room).

There are two meals per day bundled with the trip package. These take the form of meal coupons and prepaid debit cards. We recommend the following:
  • Breakfast - $10 Disney Dining Card (one per day)
  • Lunch - Students should buy lunch on their own.
  • Dinner - Disney/Universal Meal Coupon (one per day)
Disney is very good at accommodating all manner of food allergies. If you child has a food allergy they need only to alert the Disney staff.

We will spend one day each at the following theme parks (as far as the schedule allows):
  • Magic Kingdom (Disney)
  • EPCOT (Disney)
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney)
  • Animal Kingdom (Disney)
  • Universal Studios Florida AND Universal’s Islands of Adventure Includes the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley AND Hogsmeade

What adults will be there to supervise students?

We travel with a full complement of adults to keep students safe and happy throughout the trip. Among those traveling with us are:
  • LMHS Teachers - Mr. Datsko, Mr. Hunnex, Mrs. Villante, and Mr. Cooperstein (LMHS Music Faculty) will all be going on this trip, along with Mrs. O’Bannon and Mrs. Minecci (LMHS non-Music Faculty).
  • LMHS Administration - Mr. Kilpatrick (asst. principal) and Ms. Flocco (principal’s secretary) will be traveling with us.
  • LMSD Nurses - We will have two LMSD Staff Nurses traveling with us to care for any students who require medication or become ill while on the trip.
  • LMHS Instructional Aides - Instructional Aides will travel with us as needed to support students who require extra assistance as dictated in their IEPs.

Students are all grouped and assigned a chaperone who acts as their surrogate parent throughout the trip. Their assigned chaperone will be their main source of information while we're on the trip and an adult they can turn to if they have questions or need help.

A private security company has been contracted to provide two security guards each night to monitor student rooms overnight and ensure everybody’s safety.

How much does it cost?
Will there be fundraising opportunities to help defray the cost of this trip?
At this time, the cost is not fixed, but our current estimate is that it should not exceed $1,440 per student for the trip package. We typically break down the total into three payments:
  • Initial Deposit - $500 (due Sept. 25, 2017) This payment reserves your place on the trip.
  • Second Deposit - $500 (due Nov. 20, 2017)
  • Final Payment - $440 or remaining balance (due Jan. 3, 2018)

All payments should be made by check or money order to “Lower Merion High School” and include the student's name in the memo field.

The LMSD legal department has asked us to remind you that according to our contract with World Class Vacations the cost is subject to change in accordance with sharp swings in the price of jet fuel. While this is possible, we have never experienced a change in price from World Class Vacations once our contract with them has been signed. (NB It has already been signed.)
We offer several fundraising opportunities for students to raise money for their trip. Each fundraiser allows students to raise money in a different way and students can choose which fundraisers they’d like to participate in.

Fundraisers that are currently on our calendar:
  • Mattress Sale - June 3, 2017 ($4625 raised!)
  • Snap! Raise - Sept 5 - Oct. 5, 2017 ($21,765.59 raised!)
  • Cookie Dough Sale - Oct. 9-20, 2017 ($2939.20 raised!)

What is the cancellation policy?
Trip Insurance
Trip insurance is not included as part of the normal trip package. It is available for purchase separately and is encouraged by our travel agency. NOTE: Travel insurance purchases do not go through the school. Trip Insurance costs around $50 and covers:
  • Trip cancellation & Interruption
  • Trip Delay
  • Baggage & Personal Effects
  • Baggage Delay
  • Accident Sickness Medical Expense
  • Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation of Remains
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment
  • OPTIONAL Cancel for Any Reason (additional fee)

Trip insurance is recommended by our travel agency. We especially encourage families of seniors to purchase trip insurance.*

For more information on purchasing trip insurance, please visit Travel Guard's website.

Trip insurance cannot be purchased before the first deposit is paid.

*If the trip is cancelled due to weather every attempt will be made to reschedule it during the 2017-2018 school year, but if that is not possible it may be rescheduled for the following year, leaving any graduating seniors out. Trip insurance would cover this.

If you have already made the initial deposit and find that you need to withdraw from the trip, please contact your student’s music teacher. Often we are able to avoid cancellation fees by replacing one student with another for the trip. If that is a possibility, we will work to make it happen, potentially allowing for a full refund of your deposit.

If there is no student to take the place of somebody who is withdrawing from the trip, the following penalties may apply to any refunded deposits:
  • Any cancellations after the first deposit date are subject to a $50 per person penalty.
  • Any cancellations after the second deposit date will be charged a $350 per person penalty.
  • Any cancellations after Room List Date (Dec. 15, 2017) are subject to 100% penalty on total price package.

REAL ID ACT
Will I be affected by Pennsylvania's non-compliance with the federal Real ID Act ?
Students who are under the age of 18 when we travel are not required to present a government-issued ID to pass to through security at the airport.

All adults and students who are 18 or older must present a valid ID at the airport.

For safety reasons, we require all students under 18 to travel with some form of ID as well, but it does not need to meet Real ID requirements. School ID is acceptable.





**FINAL UPDATE 10/20/17**

The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted Pennsylvania an extension to the REAL ID enforcement deadline until Oct. 10, 2018. This means that students 18 or older will be able to use their Driver's License or other state-issued ID to board flights.


READ MORE HERE
The newest information from DHS and PennDOT states that PA driver's licenses and other state-issued ID will be acceptable for boarding flights when we travel.