The bus was allowed to go to a special entrance so that we would not have to carry our equipment so far. It was a special entrance for the entertainers. I was later informed that this is called "backstage". I was there with about 120 other high school kids from my high school marching band. We had been chosen to participate in the Disney magic for that day. Our high school marching band got the privilege of marching down main street while playing the Mickey Mouse March and It's A Small World. We then got to play at the park for the rest of the day as part of the reward of being chosen as participants.
The selection process was brutal. I think that we played those mind numbing tunes over a hundred times before even making the audition tape. The taping process alone was a nightmare. I am not sure how many "takes" we went through until our band director said the quality was good enough to submit. We then had to wait until the allotted time had passed before we heard the good news. Then we practiced some more!
I should have prefaced this entire blog with the fact that I AM A DRUMMER! I was the ONLY girl drummer in the school and our drum line was massive (four snare drums, four bass drums, two quad players, and three cymbal players- all this not counting our usual percussion pit). These songs were not made for marching drum lines, so I have to admit that I was not looking forward to the parade as much I was looking forward to it being over. (Marching with a drum in a parade is taxing work no matter what time of year it is!)
So, when I went to Disneyland for the first time I actually went backstage before I ever laid eyes on Main street. Now, looking back, I can appreciate just how unique those experiences I had in high school really were. Not everyone - even if they are from Southern California- has the opportunity to be a part of the Disney magic in this capacity. I was able to be a part of a Disneyland Parade while I was still in high school! How cool is that!
I have to admit that the only thing that really stands out to me from that parade was me hoping that I would not trip over the tracks on Main Street and fall on my face. That would be awesome -to spend my first day at Disney in the hospital instead. I could see the one person dropping all their sticks being me (I just had that kind of luck). I always carried extra sticks in case I dropped one, and we had chaperones that walked next to the drum line just in case that did happen, but I imagine the worst scenario possible when performing. (Do you think this may be why I collect drumsticks from all over the country now? ) I did manage to make it through all in one piece and with all of my drum sticks in my possession. It was a miracle!
Now it was time to cross the yellow backstage line and come out on the other side- onstage for my first day at Disneyland.