Will Scott
e-mail: will.alphasig@gmail.com

Right about now is the time where high school seniors in schools across the country have the opportunity to partake in Grad Nite at Walt Disney World where they basically get the park to themselves. Cast members beckon to their every whim where they'll get to ride rides, buy merchandise, see entertainers perform and explore the park late into the night in the ultimate Grad Party!

Alright now that the spiel is done lets get to the basics.

My school never participated in Grad Nite...mostly because I live in Michigan and the price to get there plus the price to participate would have been so exponentially high that money would have to have grown on trees for all of us to have enjoyed it. But I did get to work Grad Nite in 2007 in the Magic Kingdom in 3 different areas: Main Street at the Emporium, Adventure Land at Pirates of the Caribbean and a small shop near it, and doing Glow which was my personal favorite, pushing portable carts full of glow merchandise around the Magic Kingdom.

I met kids in all of my areas, had personal conversations with them and got to experience Grad Nite with hem...even though I was either stuck behind a counter, or a portable cart trying to fend off people from stealing the merchandise...I experienced foam dance parties, people on stilts dancing with me, celebrities performing and more.

Not to say that I didn't have my downers during Grad Nite...I had to fend of people stealing from my Glow Cart, tell hopefuls that we were out of the Grad Night T-Shirts or Grad Mickey Dolls and hope they didn't start crying, and to answer stupid questions like "Is all this stuff free?" Yeah...you think about that young graduating senior. Your high school taught you well!

The extremely long hours wasn't a perk either...while it did give a bunch of us CP's a chance to break away from the repetitive Main Street Music and work along to some awesome tunes that blasted over the speakers...but working in the Emporium, we tend to get out late anyway. I can honestly say that the latest shift I've ever worked was Grad Nite getting off at 5:00 am after cleaning up for 2+ hours and getting home at 6:00am while most of my roommates had 2 - 3 hours of sleep left, I was just getting into bed for the night. That, plus every student would come to the Emporium for merchandise (not unlike any regular day at the MK) and we would run out so fast that we would have to restock every hour!

I also heard of crazy stories going on during Grad Night like student's making out in bathrooms and on dark boat rides (i.e. Pirates of the Caribbean, Small World, Peter Pan's Flight etc.), and one that I cannot believe...student Mickey Mouse over into the moat...and because he took his head off to breathe, he got termed. Not sure if I believe this story, but I wouldn't doubt it being Grad Nite...

I experienced Grad Nite on a different level as well with my CP friends. Our managers loved us so much (or just did it to shut us up) that they took us on the roof of Main Street (right next to Casey's) to watch the Frey perform on the main castle stage. It was probably one of the most magical and best experiences on my College Program.

I wouldn't trade that experience for anything however...I loved Grad Nite and I really wish that I was down there this year to experience it.

Here's what I found on the website what's in store for this year's Grad Nite...

  • Multiple live stages featuring the hottest musical acts including Katy Perry, Lloyd, Metro Station, Mishon, The White Tie Affair, Lesley Roy, and Wynter!
    Celebrity host Hayden Panettiere
  • One talented Senior, each night, will earn the opportunity to sing on the Grad Nite main stage!
  • Celebrity appearances including Jaslene Gonzalez — Cycle 8 winner of America's Next Top Model and reality TV stars Paula and Ryan from MTV's The Dual 2!
  • Red-carpet treatment
  • Complimentary music album download card
  • Multiple live DJ's and dance zones throughout the Park including celebrity DJ Roonie G
    Special Class of 2009 fireworks
  • Free-play arcade
  • Interactive video games
  • Unlimited access to thrilling rides & attractions including Rock 'n' Roller Coaster® starring Aerosmith, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, all-new Toy Story Mania!, the all-new American Idol Experience and more!
To get the scoop on this year's Grad Night and more information, click the title of the post to go to Disney' Grad Night 2009 website.

So from the looks of it it looks like this year's Grad Nite is going to be set at the Disney Studios which is a change of venue from when I got to work it back in 2007. Not sure how I like it at the Studios but then again my opinion doesn't really matter...I had a blast in my three areas during my Grad Nite...so much that I bought a $10 T-Shirt that I still wear! (It looks awesome!)

What about you guys...any Grad Night Experiences, from the student's perspective or cast members...cool stories, tragic breakdowns? Anyone working Grad Nite this year that's excited or nervous about it? I wanna hear them all! Leave them in the comments below...and if you ever get stressed during Grad Nite, doing what Julie does below is totally acceptable..no matter what your manger says!


  1. great info. :D i was there for my senior year. I paid $180 even tho i live 4 hours from Orlando (Miami)no lie but our school was the first one to arrive like at 3pm, so we waited like 2 hours in a empty parking lot behind Tomorrowland and then someone from disney told our 3 buses to come back later, so they took us to Pleasure Island, everyone got so excited that ppl started to spend their money going to the movies and buying things, LOL. xD so finally at 8pm we went back to the same spot where we got and there was a line of maybe 4000 coach buses, we waited in the bus like 2 extra hours, Our group was very tired, so finally we got to the place where they checked our bags, the whole Senior Soccer Argentinian/Brazilian started to scream ''Miami Beach'' so loud that the 140 of us started to scream too, And our big rival was there (Miami High) and other Miami Schools, everything ended up in a Fight between Miami Schools, We were like 97% latinos from our group and the other Latinos from the other schools, at one moment we had all the white kids from other states looking at us, it was so hillarious..

    It was pretty cool but Magic Kingdom wasn't my thing because that park is designed for kids. My ex HS told us that Gradnite 08 was gng to have foam parties/clubs and other stuff, we got there and there were people doing Break Dance and Dancing, That was it. They Played the Hannah Montona song ''See You Again'' like 2000 times and also the Cupid Shuffle..

    It wasn't my first time in MK, i've going there since i was little, so That night i had to wait 3 hours for the Space ''Mountain Rollercoaster''and we definetly missed the end of the show + the awesome fireworks and light show in front of the castle. LOl i was so upset that i had to go to Youtube and watch it, you can find it there. The guy who recorded it goes to Miami Coral Park HS. ..So many things to add, lol But i'm glad u survived around crazy kids.

    BTW before going to orlando, they called all the seniors in my school to go to the library, we all had to put our small bags in a line and then sit down really far away, minutes later they had Police Dogs smelling and checking our stuff, Haha it was so funny. And one of our teachers told us '' Oh you guys better don't steal because they have a underground ''JAIL'' and they have people working for disney watching you all the time and if you get caught, you will go under arrest and your parents must drive upthere and pick you up and the other consecuences were if someone from our school was caught stealing, They Administration would consider cancel PROM'' HAHA i don't know if it's true but Trust Me my crew where like Guys you better don't steal shittt, not even a freaking small stupid trading pin'' HAHAHA

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