The Class of 2015 Conquers Busch Gardens


Logan Morris

Juniors, on the junior class trip excitedly venture through Busch Gardens in their pack of friends.

Jose Balcazar, Staff Writer

It is an annual tradition for each class to plan a class trip to one of the many extravagant amusement parks that Florida has to offer. This year the elected student board for the Class of 2015, designated Busch Gardens as the site of the junior class trip. With the hard work from the junior class officers, which includes Allyssa Dobkins (President) and Nathalie Huet (Vice-President), they were able to coordinate an amusing trip to Busch Gardens, Tampa.

Busch Gardens is the the home of 6 different roller coasters, including the acclaimed Shiekra and the relatively new Cheetah Hunt. Although many journey to Busch Gardens to experience these thrilling roller coasters, they also offer an animal conservatory that gives people the opportunity to immerse themselves in the different cultures where each animal exhibit is set in its own different area, like Timbuktu, Egypt and Congo, Africa. Each thematic area includes one or two roller coasters and an exhibit of animals such as elephants, giraffes, and crocodiles. This blend of thrilling and beautiful elements provided the students with a distinct visit that would create a convivial time.

On December 20, the Class of 2015 was destined to arrive at Busch Gardens at approximately 11:00 a.m. Although some might consider the bus ride as an elongated form of torture, others saw the bus ride as a way to form kindling new friendships or enhance pre-existing ones. Upon arrival, the students were directed to the entrance of Busch Gardens where the class sponsor, Ms. Depaola, handed out the tickets and instructed the students about the regulations and responsibility that they must possess since they are representing Coral Gables Senior High. Once the students were handed the tickets, they split up into groups and were able to roam Busch Gardens as they pleased.

“We were free to group as we pleased and were able to enjoy an entire day of roller coasters as long as we got back on the bus at the designated time,” junior class president, Allyssa Dobkins, said.

At the park, some thriller-seeking students rode every possible ride that was available to them. The most anticipated ride to most students was Shiekra. Shiekra is a floor-less roller coaster where, at one point, visitors are hung at the edge of the rail for about 5-7 seconds and then dropped unknowingly. Not only does this ride achieve extreme speeds, but it also encounters many twists and loops that collectively create an amusing and thrilling ride. Another major anticipated ride was the relatively new Cheetah Hunt, which reaches intense speed similar to that of a real cheetah. Because of this intensifying speed, it did not include cork screws and loops, making the speed it’s primary factor of allurement.

Many students, including junior Coby Sanchez, said, “Out of all of the theme parks that I have been to, Busch Gardens is my favorite because it has the best roller coasters, like Sheikra and Cheetah hunt with intensifying high speeds and heights.”

As the day ended, the students were given the opportunity to finish the activities they had planned and were given instructions to board the bus at 5:00 p.m. As Ms. Depaola checked that every student was on board and gave the OK to return to school grounds, many students shared their stories on what their favorite rides were and any malfunctions that occurred.

When asked whether or not she thought the class trip was a success, Ms. Depaola said, “The class trip was 100% successful. It was a perfect day to go, and the park was not packed with other visitors, which allowed the students to go on rides multiple times.”

At approximately 11:00 p.m the students arrived at school where their parents and/or family members were awaiting their arrival and any stories they might have of their expeditions.