MSD seniors’ reflect on their ‘Grad Bash’ experience at Universal


Madison Lenard

Universal Orlando Resort holds annual Grad Bash events that give high school seniors private access to Universal Studios and Island of Adventures.

Erika Ryan, Writer

MSD seniors attended “Grad Bash” on Friday, April 8. Grad Bash, known to be a senior rite of passage, consists of a trip to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. During their time at the parks, students had the opportunity to ride thrilling attractions and spend time with friends.

In total, 250 seniors from MSD attended the event. Students left MSD from the senior lot at approximately 1:30 p.m. and arrived at Universal at 6 p.m. on Friday. Once students arrived, they went through security checkpoints where their bags were checked for any illegal substances.

Once done with the security checkpoints, students were free to go wherever they wanted within the park. While out, students had varying experiences within the park; some students were satisfied with their Grad Bash experience, while others felt differently.

With long lines at Grad Bash and wait times of over one to two hours for small rides, some students thought Grad Bash was not worth the money. Popular roller coaster rides, like Rip Ride Rockit, The Incredible Hulk Coaster and the Jurassic Park VelociCoaster, had wait times of more than an hour.

“Compared to my other friends, I didn’t have the greatest Grad Bash experience,” senior Hannah Leon said. “The lines were very long, some lasting a few hours, which was crazy to me. At the end of the night, I was tired from standing in the lines for so long, I just wanted to go home.”

The long lines were not the only reason why some students did not enjoy their experience; moreover, not all rides were up and running for riders to enjoy. Attractions like the Revenge of the Mummy were closed for the whole duration of the trip for renovation purposes. The Incredible Hulk Coaster and the Jurassic Park VelociCoaster were also closed for most of the night.

“While some rides had an hour or more wait time, some weren’t even open,” senior Nicolas Negreira said. “The Velocicoaster and the Hulk were closed down since there was such a long wait time they couldn’t bring anyone else on. It was a little disappointing honestly not being able to get on these rides.”

Other students enjoyed their Grad Bash experience and were satisfied with the trip. Students who got the most out of the experience went straight to Islands of Adventure and waited to ride the bigger attractions first, then moving down to Universal Studios to ride the smaller and virtual rides.

“I made sure right when we arrived, my friends and I would go to Islands of Adventure first and get the long lines for the big rides out of the way,” senior Giselle Hansen said. “What we did was very efficient and we got on all the rides we wanted, including the VelociCoaster and the Hulk.”

The opportunity to go on the rides before they closed was not the only activity students enjoyed. Some students didn’t go on many rides, yet they still enjoyed the experience that they had with their friends, seeing this as one last opportunity to be on a trip with peers before college.

“My friends and I really didn’t get to go on a lot of rides on the trip,” senior Vedarth Kondapally said. “The lines were super long and some rides just ended up being closed. The trip was great regardless though; my friends and I had fun even though we didn’t get on most rides. We were all able to spend time together before we leave for college and that was good enough for us.”

After experiencing Grad Bash, MSD seniors have different thoughts about the trip, being that not everyone believes it was the right celebration to close their high school experience. Others saw the trip as a perfect ending. Regardless, seniors were able to have an opportunity to spend time with their classmates and have fun before graduating high school.