Life Of A Brave: Senior Class Celebrates Grad Nite At ‘The Happiest Place On Earth’

by Brett Baligad

On Friday, seniors bussed down to Anaheim to celebrate their Grad Nite at Disneyland and California Adventure. The day was filled with excitement, as the class got to roam the parks and make final memories with their friends.

To keep up with class tradition, the class of ‘23’s official ditch day was this past Friday. To celebrate, the senior class left school at 10:00am and went to Disneyland and California Adventure for the day. Upon entering, the class had access to visit both parks and do what they pleased. 

To many, the parks had looked very different from their last time visiting. In 2019, Star Wars Galaxy Edge opened in Disneyland, and in 2021, the Avengers Campus opened in California Adventure.

“Galaxy Edge was one of my favorite parts of the day. As a Star Wars nerd, I took a picture with storm troopers,” said senior Sam Hentges.

Even with new additions to the park, iconic landmarks still stood present with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Hyperspace Mountain and The Haunted Mansion still proved to be favorites amongst the senior class.

By 9:00pm, Grad Nite officially started at California Adventure with a water light show and live music. At this time, only high school seniors would have access to the park. Schools, such as sister school St. Joseph’s, were in attendance for the night. With only high school students in attendance, lines became shorter and the atmosphere became younger. Across all of the schools in attendance, the common theme was apt culmination of the high school experience, as it felt like a private party across the iconic theme park.

“Grad Nite was a lot of fun. I like that they closed the park for all of the seniors. The music, rides and atmosphere made it a really fun night,” said senior Ryan Gutierrez.

A majority of the rides in California Adventure continued to stay open during Grad Nite including the newly renovated Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT and Incredicoaster. Many seniors also got to visit the Avengers Campus for the first time, as it recently opened in 2021.

If rides were not up to speed for the seniors, Pixar Pier and Radiator Springs each hosted a DJ set for seniors to dance. Both DJs played music predominantly from the last five years, or during the class of ‘23’s high school experience. The energy continued to be evident, with the dance floor staying active until the end of the night.

“I had a lot of fun dancing to the music. The Radiator Springs DJ set was really popping, so my friends and I turned up,” said senior Christopher Facio.

Grad Nite stands to be one of the highlights of a Brave’s senior year experience. Being eight days before graduation, this was the last time the senior class was together leading up to the graduation. With finals wrapping up today, the Braves look in anticipation of the much deserved Summer vacation.

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