WEST HALIFAX CHEER
Goes to DAYTONA, FLORIDA!
UPDATED MARCH 2016
Dear parents and athletes,
We at WHC are so excited to announce that WHC’s 4 Senior Teams will be travelling to Daytona Beach, Florida!!
Firstly, we want to be clear of the expectations of the competition. We are going purely for experience, and to see what cheer is like in not only another province, but another country. We have no expectations of winning. If it happened, that would be FABULOUS; but it is neither our intention nor our expectation. We are going purely for the experience of the competition, the atmosphere, and to have an absolute blast while doing it. Placements mean nothing, and we’ll take the judges feedback with pride. We want to be PROUD of our teams, of what they have accomplished, and to show the Americans that cheer isn’t just their sport; it’s ours too.
This information package will contain all the information we currently have regarding our trip. Things may change between now and the departure date. However, we want to be clear on a few points. The first is that we are very aware that this trip is an expensive investment for families, and therefore felt it was not our place to mandate that people HAVE to participate in any or all specific activities, other than the competition itself and the banquet. You may choose not to fly with us or choose not to stay with us for the entire duration (although we are making it a requirement for the “cheer” portion of the trip). However, we encourage you to be involved outside of the required times if at all possible, as it keeps the teams together and encourages the bonding experience. I do ask that if your plans are different than the group, that you provide us with contact information so we can reach you for any schedule changes. Based on the demographics of the attendees, we built the itinerary and plans based around a large group of families travelling together, or pairs of moms & daughters who will be rooming together, rather than 60 kids and a few chaperones.
Should you have any questions about the content of this information package, please let us know and we will do our best to answer all your questions.
Thanks!! Can’t wait for April!
Erica, Jana, Ashley
The planning of this trip has taken up considerable amounts of time from our volunteer planning committee. Extensive research was completed to identify many various options, which were then presented back to the group for final decisions. We considered many things, including costs, activities, and team exercises to make the most of this trip. We also recognized the demographic of our group – in that 95% of the athletes travelling with us were going with their families or a parent; and not as an unaccompanied minor. Therefore, we felt that this trip would be best planned as a blend of both team and family orientated events. We do recognize that some children are travelling with other families, and we’ve considered that as well.
This Trip Itinerary Package outlines the details for all aspects of the trip as we are aware of them at this time.
Athlete Code of Conduct/Rules
This code of conduct is an agreement that you understand the rules of the trip with WHC, and agree to abide by them. Failure to abide by these rules may result in the athlete or parent being suspended from all WHC activities for duration deemed appropriate by your WHC Board of Directors. We expect all athletes and parents to behave in a manner that represents WHC, Nova Scotia, and Canada in a positive, supportive, kind, polite, and respectful way.
Be respectful to all staff and employees you encounter at the airport, hotel, bus drivers, theme parks, competition venue, malls, restaurants, and EVERYWHERE else:
- Abide by all airport rules, including baggage allowance; carry on allowances, line-up protocols, etc. Make sure you know what’s allowed and what’s not allowed before you go.
- Be respectful to others while travelling. Some people have an easier time with travelling than others. Be patient, especially if someone is having a difficult time, or is travelling with young children or elderly.
- Be respectful to the bus drivers.
- Be respectful to the hotel staff. Be aware that the rooms may not be ready by the time we get to the hotel (check in time is 4 pm, and many will be arriving long before that).
- Be respectful to the hotel maids and cleaning staff.
- The competition hosts are our friends. Be courteous, polite, and show them how awesome Canadians really are!
- Abide by hotel rules. No running near the pool, no food in restricted areas, no swimming after posted hours, etc.
- There will be a LOT of teams at the competition. Be respectful, cheer on everyone, and meet as many people as you can!
- No negativity or disrespect of any other teams. You never know who can hear you (athletes AND parents), and if you say something negative and someone overhears you, you’ve now skewed their opinion of our team, our province, and our country in their eyes.
- Wear your WHC travel team tank top to warm up on Friday night.
- Wear your uniform for awards.
- No jewelry or nail polish. They will check. We will check. Don’t do it.
- Do not do anything that is illegal. For example, the legal drinking age is 21 in Florida. It doesn’t matter that it is 19 in Nova Scotia – you are required to abide by the rules of the city where you are. If you are under 21, it is illegal to drink alcohol. If you are over 21 – you need to drink responsibly. If you are under 21 and you choose to engage in drinking or any other illegal activity, your parents will be notified and you could face WHC disciplinary actions, as well as legal issues in Florida. USE COMMON SENSE!
- The important thing to remember that anything you do reflects us as an organization and you as a person. Any questionable behaviour can be subject to disciplinary action.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016: Arrive in Orlando
The WHC Group Air Canada Flight Times are as follows:
HALIFAX (YHZ) – ORLANDO (MCO) 13APR2016 AC1218 06:15 09:09
***Please arrive at the airport approximately 3 hours prior to departure. Yes, this means 3:15 am!!
For those passengers who have indicated they require the bus service – the bus will pick you up at the Orlando International Airport at approximately 10 am and take you to the BlueGreen Fountains Resort.
Friday, April 15, 2016: Practice day at TOP GUN GYM ORLANDO
WHC has rented Top Gun’s gym in Orlando on Friday, April 15, 2016.
3 pm: The bus will DEPART the BlueGreen Fountains resort at 3 pm to go to the Top Gun gym
7 pm: The bus will arrive back at the BlueGreen Fountains resort (approximate time)
Please note that this trip is for coaches and competing athletes only.
You must wear your WHC Daytona Tank Top & bow, and have your practice sneakers on.
****Your TOP GUN waiver must be completed and handed into your team mom/coach prior to departure to participate. See the appendix of this document for the waiver, or see the WHC Orange Dome office for a copy.
Top Gun’s merchandise pro-shop will be open for purchases. Please bring American cash if you are interested in purchasing something. We will allocate time for shopping at the end of our practice time.
Saturday, April 16, 2016: Competition Day in Daytona Beach
EARLY time (TBD): Bus takes us from hotel to Daytona Beach (approximately 1.5 hour drive)
Note: It is mandatory that all athletes travel on this bus TO DAYTONA
LATE time (TBD): Bus takes us from Daytona Beach back to the BlueGreen Fountains hotel
Note: It is NOT mandatory you take the bus back to Orlando from Daytona
****Your NCA waiver must be completed and handed into your team mom/coach prior to departure to participate. See the appendix of this document for the waiver, or see the WHC Orange Dome office for a copy.
Please note that we will not receive a Daytona competition schedule until a week prior to the competition.
Sunday, April 17, 2016: Team Event Day
12:00: BBQ of Hot Dogs and Light Fare at 12 pm
1:00 – 2:30: Team building/games/events planned/led by Coaches Alli & Jess! Prizes to be won!
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm: WHC Orlando Team Dinner at the Golden Corral, 11701 International Drive
8:00 pm: WHC Nighttime Pool Party and fun at the BlueGreen Fountains!
Monday, April 18 – Tuesday, April 19, 2016: Free Days! Have Fun!
Wednesday, April 20, 2016: Time to head home L
7:00 am & 10 am: Buses pick up passengers (who have requested this service) to go from the BlueGreen Fountains hotel to the Orlando International Airport.
The WHC Group Air Canada Flight Times are as follows:
ORLANDO (MCO) – HALIFAX (YHZ) – 20APR2016 AC1219 10:10 am 14:45
WHC Air Canada Flight Information
The WHC Air Canada flights leave from the Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport (www.hiaa.ca). Be advised that you have to pay to park/leave your car there, so you may want to car pool, or have someone drop you off at the airport. For those of you who are brining and leaving your vehicles, you can use the Park n Fly. Here is a link for a coupon for the park and fly:
WHC’s official Group Flight is with Air Canada. Please refer to the Air Canada website for details regarding carry-on and checked luggage allowances. If you are flying with a separate airline, please be aware that each airline has its own rules that you should be aware of.
For detailed Baggage Allowance questions for Air Canada, here is the information.
Flight times: Please remember that the flight is at 6 am, meaning you must be at the airport the recommended 3 hours prior to departure, which means 3 am!
Our Travel Agent for the official WHC Air Canada Flight is:
Quote group reference #MSBPPC
It is recommended you review your airline’s policies and flight itineraries for information regarding your flight, if you are booked separately from the WHC group. Pay attention to items such as:
- Checked baggage allowance & weight limitations
- Carry-on allowance & weight limitations
- Regulations regarding electronic devices
- Check in times
- Seat selection charges
- Other specific information regarding your flight.
Please remember that regardless of which Airline you are travelling, there are specific restrictions enforced for carry-on luggage:
Anyone travelling to the USA, including infants, requires a valid Canadian Passport. You may also require additional documentation, depending on your circumstance.
Please go to www.passport.gc.ca for details, however, here are some main points:
- ALL travellers flying to the USA require a valid Canadian passport (even infants).
- Persons under 18 are considered children and may require:
- Canadian Passport
- Consent Letter (when travelling with one of two parents, or travelling alone)
- Supporting documentation (such as a birth certificate or citizenship card)
- Other Legal Documents such as: divorce papers, custody court orders, or a death certificate (if one parent is deceased).
Please go to http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/publications/travelling-with-children for details on the above documentation.
REMEMBER that it is up to YOU to make sure that YOU have all the necessary travel documentation that YOU are required to bring.
WHC recommends that all travellers get medical travel insurance, in case of sickness or accident while travelling abroad. We are not offering group travel insurance at this time, however, if you are interested in pursuing group travel insurance, please let us know and we can provide assistance.
WHC Athletes and coaches are covered for the cost of international insurance while competing through Cheer Nova Scotia. The cost for this is included in the mandatory athlete fee. This covers injuries sustained during the competition, and does not cover travel incidentals such as missed flights or cancellation insurance.
The official WHC hotel is the BlueGreen Fountains hotel.
12400 International Drive |Drive, Orlando, FL 32821
This hotel will be our official Team Hotel/Resort in Orlando. This hotel has “suites”, meaning it has two-and-three bedroom condo-style rooms with full kitchens, two bathrooms, a washer/dryer, and balcony.
Notes to remember about this hotel:
- Please remember that the prices for the two-bedroom are $139 plus 12.5% sales tax per night, and the three bedroom rooms are $189 plus 12.5% sales tax per night (in USD).
- Note that the hotel typically charges a USD$14.95/day resort fee, which they have waived for us.
- This hotel also does NOT have daily housekeeping (this is typical of “suite” type hotels). The maid service will change the garbage and give you fresh towels, but they do not clean the entire unit every day.
- BlueGreen Fountains also is located along the I-Ride Trolley route (can easily take you anywhere on International Drive).
- Your room has a washer and a dryer so you can pack lightly (save room for shopping finds!)
Note that it’s unlikely all our rooms will be ready by the time we arrive, as check in time is later in the afternoon, so make sure you pack a bathing suit and a change of clothes in your carry-on. They may have a couple of rooms that we can put our luggage in and get changed, but there is no guarantee, so be prepared for this. It’s okay. You can just hang out here until the room is ready:
NCA/NDA International Daytona Beach International Competition Information and the Daytona Beach Bandshell
WHC has chartered two busses that will pick all athletes (and families/parents who wish to take the bus) up on Saturday morning at a specific time (TBD based on the competition schedule) and take us to Daytona Beach for the day. The bus will pick up all athletes at a specific time (TBD) from Daytona and take us back to the BlueGreen Fountains Hotel.
Competition Name: NCA/NDA International Championships
Host: NCA (National Cheerleading Association/National Dance Association)
Website: http://nda.varsity.com/Competitions/Classic-Championships (it’s the one at the bottom of the page)
Location: Daytona Beach Bandshell
Address: 70 Boardwalk, Daytona Beach, Daytona, Florida.
Please note that it is MANDATORY for the athletes to take the bus with the team to Daytona.
They are not required to take the bus back to Orlando (can travel with parents if preferred).
- All athletes will be given identification (bracelets, shoe tags, or something similar) that must be worn at all times in order to warm up and/or compete.
- Spectator Fees (CASH ONLY) for the 2016 NCA Daytona Beach Competition is $15 per person (CASH ONLY) and children 7 and younger are free.
- Parking will be available at the Ocean Centre Garage and surface lots (cost may be applicable and may vary).
- There is a lot of good information on the Daytona Beach Bandshell website including maps, information on how to get to the parking lots and into the buildings. I suggest you take some time to read through it (http://www.daytonabandshell.com)
- Make sure you eat during the day, and eat healthy, and drink lots of water, as it will be HOT!
As this trip is a blend of group activities (the competition specifically) and free family time to explore the parks, we wanted ensure we had a fun day as part of our team events. This will take place on Sunday, April 17, 2016. WHC is planning to have a fun-filled time with the athletes throughout the day on the grounds at the hotel with planned activities. This is a reserved day for team bonding. In the past, we’ve gone to theme parks, however for this trip we decided we would stay at our beautiful hotel/resort so we can organize group activities right on-site. In addition, many theme parks are quite large and the athletes may not actually get to see each other. This option also keeps the overall cost down, as we would not be asking you to spend money on a theme park which you may not particularly wish to go to, as well as reducing the cost for us to provide transportation to and from a theme park, as we would not all fit on the complementary shuttles.
We are working on the details for this day, but to-date, the following is planned (high level):
- 12 pm – 1 pm WHC BBQ in which all athletes and families are welcome (light fare);
- 1 pm – 2:30 pm Afternoon of relaxation, activities, games, team bonding;
- 5 pm – 7:30 pm Team Dinner at the Golden Corral Buffet;
- 8:30 pm Nighttime Pool Party at the BlueGreen Fountains
In planning this trip (with team bonding in mind) we decided that it would be beneficial to have one main team dinner for all athletes and family.
We will be holding this the Sunday night at the Golden Corral Buffet located at 11701 International Drive (this is only a 3 minute drive from our hotel). http://www.goldencorral.com/
Please feel free to dress up to attend this dinner!
Here is a sample of the menu available at most Golden Corral Restaurants. We’re confident everyone can find something to eat here!
During the time between the scheduled group activities (competition, team banquet, and WHC Fun day), families are free to explore Orlando. For the unaccompanied minors, they must be under supervision of their chaperones before embarking on any activities. In this section, we’ve provided some information for people to pick and choose which of the Orlando attractions they would like to participate in. There are many different options for day or week passes to many different theme parks.
In the coming weeks, we will provide people with some resources for various theme parks, navigating International Drive, and some various restaurants, etc.
The “I-RIDE” is a trolley that goes up and down International Drive. The website is: http://www.iridetrolley.com/
Things to know about the I-RIDE:
- I-RIDE hours of operation are 8:30 am – 10:30 pm.
- Red line arrivals are approximately every 20 minutes
- Green Line arrivals are approximately every 30 minutes
- Single fare is USD$2 a ride, and children under 9 (with an adult) are USD$1. Exact change is required.
- You can also purchase passes if you plan to use it frequently throughout the week:
|One Day Pass:||$5.00 per person|
|Three Day Pass:||$7.00 per person|
|Five Day Pass:||$9.00 per person|
|Seven Day Pass:||$12.00 per person|
|Fourteen Day Pass:||$18.00 per person|
|***Passes not sold on Trolleys.
You can buy the passes at more than 100 locations which can be found on the website, and here: http://www.iridetrolley.com/passes.asp
******DO NOT FORGET YOUR UNIFORM!!! PACK IT IN YOUR CARRY-ON!!*****
Before you go:
- Be sure to check the weight and size restrictions for the airline on which you are traveling! Be aware of potential extra costs for oversized, overweight, and extra or first bags.
- Spread your belongings out among all the suitcases for your travelling party. In the event that a piece of luggage is lost, everyone only loses a few things instead of one person losing everything.
- Take a photo or a photocopy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport (or leave it with someone at home). If you lose your passport, you can use the photo or photocopy to report your passport number to have it reported.
- Keep a wallet-sized card with important phone numbers and contact information on it in case you need to reference it quickly.
- If you are planning to use your cellphone while in the USA, you should contact your provider to add an American plan to your package for the month to avoid very high bills when you return to Canada.
- Debit is not used in the USA nearly as frequently as it is in Canada. Be prepared to use cash or credit card or travellers checks. If you are carrying cash, keep it on your PERSON at all times.
- Notify your credit card company that you are leaving the country, so they don’t freeze your card assuming it was stolen.
Helpful info: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/air
- Put a luggage tag on all your items, carry on and/or checked baggage.
- Don’t forget to bring:
- UNIFORM, SNEAKERS, and BOW (and socks, make-up, and any other accessories) – IN YOUR CARRY-ON!
- WHC Trip swag (tank top, other WHC gear)
- Bathing suits
- At least one hat
- Camera/cell phone
- Comfortable clothes and shoes for walking around theme parks
- Something dressy for our banquet
- Money, credit cards, travellers checks, etc.
- Don’t over pack. Remember that the BlueGreen Fountains has a washer and dryer right in your room, so you can always do laundry instead of bringing too much stuff. Don’t forget you might also buy some new clothes there too! Save some room in your luggage for taking items home with you.
- Don’t forget your TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION. It is very important that you have all the necessary paperwork if you are travelling without both of your parents. Everyone’s situation is different, so it’s up to you to make sure you have all the travel documentation required.
- You can lock your suitcase, but be aware that they may search it (even your checked bag) and may just cut the lock off.
- Don’t forget to NOT pack any sharp objects such as nail files, clippers, scissors, pocket knives, etc. They will likely be confiscated.
- You cannot bring blunt objects such as hockey sticks, golf clubs, or something that can cause injury (clearly).
- Other things you can’t bring on planes: weapons, gasses, dry ice, Tasers, guns, lighters, matches. So you know, leave your Taser at home 😉
- You can bring electronics on the plane, but there are often restrictions on when you can use them. Abide by the rules of the aircraft.
- For liquids, gels, and aerosols: Pack these in a clear plastic bag. You can have them in bottles no bigger than 100 ml, and the total volume cannot exceed 1L.
- Medication: Make sure your medication is clearly labelled.
- Pack a bathing suit in your carry on, in case your luggage gets lost. You can still swim when you get to the hotel!
- Bring things to entertain yourself on the flight such as books, magazines, music. Be aware that electronic devices are not permitted during certain times in flight.
- Keep in mind that you may not be able to check into the hotel prior to 4 pm, and your flight might arrive much earlier. Pack your bathing suit in your carry on, or have it easily accessible, so you can go swimming while waiting for your room to be ready.
- If your ears are sensitive (i.e. they hurt if you fly), bring gum to help them pop!
- Bring earphones in case there is an in-flight TV. They charge for them on the plane, but most standard ear buds or earphones will work.
- Don’t forget that you can’t take water/liquids through security, but after you get through, you can purchase water. This is recommended as it can get dry on the plane. They will give you a drink on the plane, but only you know how much you would normally consume. Plan accordingly.
Day of travel:
- Arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to your scheduled departure time.
- Dress comfortably but remember that you’re travelling with a group representing your cheer group and your province and your country. Yoga pants are better than pajama pants!
- Don’t wear clothing with metal. You have to go through security, no metal makes it easier.
- Don’t forget you will have to remove your shoes when going through customs, so easy-on-easy-offs are best.
- Make sure your phone and electronic devices are fully charged and pack a charger in your carry-on in case there are delays, you can charge your device at the airport.
- Expect to wait in line. For a long time. And often.
- Have your passport and e-ticket ready at check in. If you need to have other documentation (custodial papers, etc), have them ready as well.
- Have your liquids, gels, and aerosols that are in your carry-on handy in a clear plastic bag to put through the security check. See the section above for liquids and gels in a carry-on bag.
- You will have to take laptop computers out of their case.
- You are not permitted to bring nail clippers, scissors, lighters, and many other forbidden items on board the airplane.
- If you are carrying-on medication, it should be in its original bottles and be ready to show customs if necessary.
While in the USA:
- Cell Phone Usage: Be wary of the roaming charges. A helpful tip is to ask your cell phone provider to put an “American Plan” on your phone for the month we’re away, that way; it might minimize your roaming charges. Every provider and plan is different; please check with your specific provider.
- Check the FaceBook group (using Wi-Fi) often if you can. Wi-Fi is available at the hotel, and many other “hot spots” like the parks and the malls. We will be posting information throughout the trip, and we encourage it as a way to share your experiences with the group. It will also help us know where everyone is going each day!
- If WHC is paying for your room, long distance charges and incidentals will be billed back to you.
- Save all your receipts. You are limited as to how much worth of goods you can bring back to Canada, and will be asked to identify the amounts on the customs declaration card on your way home. The limit is $800 per person (Canadian) for trips 7 days long or more.