Grad Bash: Class of 2020 Takes Orlando


Daniel Toll

Seniors Jonathan Rodriguez, Sofia Alfonso, Isabel Jaen, Ellie Morris and Marina Tischenkel smile as they enjoy their time at Gradbash.

Ana Capiro, Spanish Editor

As senior year comes to its last few months, with only about 10 weeks until graduation, the Class of 2020 is already celebrating. 160 seniors left for Orlando on Feb. 27, where they spent two days exploring two theme parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. A long-lasting tradition for the graduating class, Grad Bash is an opportunity for students to create memories among friends and enjoy their final school trip.

The trip began at the Bird Road entrance of the school at 4:30 AM, as students awaited the three buses that would take them directly to the parks. The four-hour-long ride to Islands of Adventure, where the seniors would spend their first day, was mostly spent sleeping and watching movies as they charged up for an exciting day of attractions and food. After a short break for breakfast as the sun rose, the group arrived at Islands of Adventure at around nine in the morning, ready to enjoy all the rides.

Some seniors rushed to all the classic attractions like The Incredible Hulk Coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and The Jurassic Park River Adventure, while others made it their mission to go to new rides with the longest wait times and get those out of the way before revisiting staple attractions at the park. Among these new rides were Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which was described by many as well-worth the three-hour wait time, and Skull Island: Reign of Kong, which was not as popular with those that had the chance to go on it. After a long day of traveling and exploring, students headed towards the hotel where they would have a pizza party and rest up for another vigorous day.

“We’re really lucky to have been able to have Grad Bash before all trips got cancelled because of the corona virus. It’s a huge part of the senior year experience and I’m glad I was able to have it,” senior Brooke Ford said.

The second day in Orlando began bright and early, as seniors had to be packed and ready to go by 8:30 AM in order to take advantage of the day at Universal Studios before heading home in the evening. Universal Studios, apart from the usual attractions, was in the middle of Mardi Gras festivities so students got to enjoy the rides along with this energetic celebration.

“I had never been to the Harry Potter areas in either park and I was so taken aback by the attention to detail in the design of the shops and the building facades. It really felt like I was in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley,” senior Arianna Rodriguez said.

For many students their favorite part was riding Rip Ride Rockit over and over, an enormous roller coaster that blasts the rider’s song of choice as they experience crazy drops and turns. Others preferred Diagon Alley and its accurate representation of the shops and architecture described in Harry Potter, forgetting they were muggles for a little while.

After two long days at the theme parks senior headed back home, sunburned and tired out from all the fun. Grad bash proved once again to be an amazing experience for the graduating class, who left with new memories that will mark the end of their high school experience.

Ana Capiro
A collection of Grad Bash memories, from a Spongebob Squarepants float at Universal Studios to Butter Beer in Islands of Adventure’s Harry Potter World.