So many lucky students are involved in Disney World’s YES Program every year and so many of those students and their chaperones often find themselves asking many questions about the process. If you fall under one of those categories, don’t worry, here are a few great tips to help the day go by smoothly, from first planning the trip to leaving the amusement park sunburned and happy with your school group.
The first and most important step of your trip is to ensure that you have confirmed the important aspects of your arrival, performance, and departure to the DPA via email. Be sure to confirm the show content, costume/appearance, marching performance guidelines, auxiliary guidelines, stage performance guidelines, accompaniment preparation, and entrance location and time. After these basics have been discussed you should follow through with a final confirmation, discussing the actual event time, meeting time, vehicle arrival time and location, and final map needs.
Most of the rules of transportation will be discussed within the group, but Disney would like the group to remember that each participant should have their own seat and be with his or her group at all times. Separate shuttle trips or rest stop trips are not allowed and all changes in travel should be discussed with Disney beforehand. The escort in charge of the motor coach will be comped a ticket into the park, however no extra non-performing children or adults may enter the backstage or performance area.
Something often forgotten on these trips is how to handle your uniform/ performance gear. Disney security will not allow personal uniform bags into the venue, so be sure to arrange uniform transportation and storage separate from your group. It is best to have an equipment truck already at the park and unloaded in the proper security area before arrival at the park.
If you have a meet and greet planned, please be prepared to be 15-30 minutes early in order to avoid miscommunication or missed tour guide opportunities. As far as any other changes in meeting, performance, or arrival/departure times or locations please be sure to contact the DPA (800-359-0509/4). If the number of motor coaches needed changes, you are running late, you are lost, or you have a change in departure plans feel free to contact the number above and straighten out your plans with them.
There are no options to eat at the performance venue and it may be some time before your group will be allowed to leave the area, so it is best to pack plenty of snacks and drinks. It is also acceptable to factor in some restaurant time during waiting time for performances. Nutrition and hydration are highly important to you, your group, and Disney during your visit!
Since you will be in the Sunshine State be sure to pack plenty of sun protection: sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc. If your group plans on having some beach time or water park adventures, be sure to do this AFTER your performance, ensuring no sunburn or discomfort during the big event! On the flip side, be sure to bring rain gear and be prepared for any weather changes during your exciting day.
Each group should consist of no more than 15 students per facilitator, no less than 5, and should be fully prepared to present tickets before or during their performance. Before you get to the park you should take a picture of the ticket info in case of a misplacement, or take advantage of the visual ID at the bottom left hand corner of each ticket. Groups should print their names on the back of each individual ticket, be careful to not cover up any important information, and have them pre-collected so they can be scanned while the group is getting ready or performing. If you do lose a ticket, just head over to Guest Relations with the copied code or picture to quickly take care of the problem and you will have your group inside the theme park in no time!