HS Marching Band Trip/Travel Agency

My DS’s school marching band goes to WDW every 4 years and is due to go in 2023, probably February like they did last time. DW is one of the band parent officers and will go as a chaperone. All the officers and band director are relatively new, so there is not much information from previous trips. I believe that they used a well known agency who specialized in marching band trips.

I do know that they stayed at an All-Stars Resort because there were many complaints that it was dirty and too far from the parks. They did 3 days in WDW including the March at MK and a workshop. They also went to UOR for 1 day, and someone remembered it being a big rush.

My question is, who do you recommend as a travel agency for school bands? Is Touring Plans an option or not because of lack of experience in this group setting?

The other factor is the size of the marching band. It is smaller than it was from the last trip and there are requirements for the number of performers. Currently there are 35 in the band and 7 color guard. It’s possible to grow next year, but not sure how much.

Here are the policies:

Disney Campus:

Universal STARRS program:

I also found the group ticket pricing from WDW and UOR. UOR is considerably less $. I would imagine the hotel would be less too and potentially close, just thinking of Cabana Bay. Also, these teenagers would like the rides at UOR because more are geared toward older kids than WDW. Universal also offers workshops just like WDW.

So we may not want an agency that specializes in just WDW if we need to book primarily with UOR for the marching and workshop.

Side notes.
I chaperoned with the band Saturday to a competition. The college marching band that performed at the conclusion just blew me away. It was like a pep rally. DS really loved it.

If we can convince DD to join the marching band, I can also go with as a chaperone to WDW/UOR :crossed_fingers:. But right now she is very resistant. :confused:

2 Likes

There are a lot of travel companies available that specialize in marching band (and other performing groups) travel. In addition to the travel basics that we all are familiar with, there are other logistical considerations for not only the larger group, but also for the instruments, uniforms, etc.

If I come across any of them I will share. :slight_smile:

1 Like

My brother is a band director and they go to Disney every few years. He has used CCiS Travel and Tour-riffic of Texas and said both are Disney certified.

My daughter’s band is going to NYC as they are marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, and they are using Perform America of TX. They also do Orlando as a destination according to their website.

One thing to consider is payments - we owe $1,500 for the NYC trip and pay directly to the travel company, which I’m sure is a huge benefit of the band not having to follow up to individuals.

3 Likes

I am a High School Band director, and our band and choir both travel together to WDW every 4 years. We will be going this school year–May of 22. We use Group Travel Planners to arrange our trips https://www.grouptravelplanners.com/ They are a “Disney Preferred” travel group. There are a lot of agencies out there that specialize in working with school groups. My first Florida Trip at this school was in 2006, and I took quotes from quite a few different companies at the time. This was the one that I thought was the best (not just the cheapest, but put together the best package for us), so we’ve used them ever since–2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, and now planning with them for our current trip. Let me know if you have any other questions, and I’ll do my best to answer.

3 Likes

I’m a travel agent and even I would tell you to go with an agency that does only group travel.

They know all the ins and outs of the unique aspects groups like your face.

You can ask that they not book you into All Star Music. They usually book groups into Music or Sports, but if the group is willing to pay I’ve also seen groups at Port Orleans and Coronado.

1 Like

I have nothing to contribute to your question, but just popping in to say that I was in marching band in high school and it was one of the defining experiences of my life! Hope DS is enjoying it.

We visited Disneyland, marched in a parade there, and did soundstage thing, etc. So much fun. I’m sure WDW will be mind boggling.

1 Like

The Macy’s Parade is so fun!! I’ve not marched in it but in 2019 my sister (former Macy’s employee) got us bandstand tickets and we had the best time! Lots of waiting around but worth it. We also went to the balloon inflation.

3 Likes

Thank you all! Will keep gathering travel company recommendations to look into. :grin:

Let me know if you, or someone that you know of has experienced the Universal Orlando marching band program.

1 Like

OK, so some travel companies are labeled as a “Preferred Youth Travel Planner” for Universal Orlando performance trips.

If we are not able to march in Disney because of the band size or the group actually chooses Universal instead, it may be wise to use one of these companies.

1 Like