I was sad to read this morning on Facebook that Disney is pulling the plug on the Grad Nite program in Orlando, which I attended in 2000, the year that I graduated high school.
For those of you who don’t know what Grad Nite is, Disney closes the park on select evenings every spring to allow high school students from all over the Southeast into the park on a special field trip that lasts all night long. The kids get to dance in the clubs on Paradise Island, eat, ride on all the rides, listen to concerts from select musical guests (the year I went, it was Destiny’s Child, Jessica Simpson, Youngstown & BB Mak!) and basically have a blast. It was at Grad Nite that I rode my first roller coaster ever (Space Mountain)! I definitely understand Disney’s reasoning for not wanting to close the park down any longer, as they’re losing out on ticket sales in a prime tourist season, but it’s a tradition that high school students all over Florida and the surrounding states will surely miss!
The week that we had Grad Nite, my friends Shelley and Jeremy and I were also in Orlando for the State Spanish Competitions. We arrived separately from our classmates with our teacher, since we had permission to leave the competitions to attend Grad Nite, and our teacher took this picture of us before everyone else arrived. I’m glad I have the image to commemorate the beginning of our Grad Nite experience!
I will always remember the wonderful time I had at Grad Nite!