Walt-z to Disneyland

Grad Nite tickets sells out

Dozens of students lined up in front of the Associated Student Body (ASB) building, in hopes to receive one of the Grad Nite tickets that are available. With unexpected news announced by Assistant Principal of student activities Patricia Perez, the hopes to visit Disneyland diminishes.

On Jan. 17, the Bonita Vista High (BVH) ASB began selling Grad Nite tickets at the cost of 295 dollars for seniors during lunch, which later extended to after school. However, on Jan. 20, Perez released a Jupiter Grades message to seniors and their parents announcing that Grad Nite tickets were now sold out.

“Grad Nite tickets, unfortunately, we’re sold out. But I’ve been communicating to seniors and their families via Jupiter Grades to provide daily updates to let them know how things are coming along [with the tickets],” Perez said.

According to Perez, by the end of the previous school year, schools submit applications showing student interest attending Grad Nite. Through the application, they send an estimate of the number of tickets they will need along with the number of buses they are going to need, with each bus holding 55 students and two chaperones. However, this process to receive tickets occurred prior to Perez arriving at BVH. Moreover, Perez mentions that she has been in consistent contact with WorldStrides Adventures America, the Grad Nite ticketing company.

“They let me know that as long as I communicated with them on how things looked once we started selling tickets they would commit to working with us to see what they could do to help accommodate all of the seniors wanting to attend,” Perez said.

“It’s a very unpredictable time to sit and decide or think and predict […]This one, it’s tickets from Disneyland and seats on a bus. So that’s where we need to work to see if we can get those additional seats and tickets.””

— Assistant Principal of student activities Patricia Perez

Perez explains that last year, the ASB had under-sold tickets, leading to a half empty bus and loss in money. When ordering the Grad Nite tickets, it is a common practice for schools to base and calculate the interests from the previous year. Thus, based on the low interests of Grad Nite during the 2021-2022 school year, the 2022-2023 Grad Nite tickets were unexpectedly sold out.

“It’s a very unpredictable time to sit and decide or think and predict. They contracted 300 tickets [and] six buses. [During] Homecoming, we had to keep expanding the venue to accommodate everyone. That one was possible because the venue had additional space,” Perez said. “This one, it’s tickets from Disneyland and seats on a bus. So that’s where we need to work to see if we can get those additional seats and tickets.”

Needing to get an estimate of how many tickets will be needed to purchase, the ASB started to sign seniors on a waitlist after tickets sold out on Jan. 20. The waitlist was a Google Form where students input their name, ID number and other information. As tickets became available for purchase, the ASB contacted the waitlisted seniors—prioritizing those who submitted the form first.

“They kept their parents’ permission slips, money [and] everything with them. We took their names and their ID number, so that we can continue to communicate with them and reach out to them as we get updates from the Grad Night event coordinators,” Perez said.

The ASB started ticket sales early January rather than starting later in the year so that Perez can communicate with the WorldStrides Adventures America and update them with how many tickets Perez will need to order. However, for ASB Finance Commissioner Diego Dollero, he faced challenges when working with seniors and helping them purchase a ticket.

“It’s really overwhelming. There’s a lot of kids coming at the same time. They all want tickets and bus seats together so it’s very hard to make everyone happy and get everyone what they want,” Dollero said.

Making sure the seniors are satisfied with their bus seats is not the only challenge the finance commissioners face. Selling the tickets themselves is a tedious process that consumes a lot of time, considering there are only five finance commissioners and three open windows. Furthermore, the finance commissioners are obligated to check whether a student is eligible to attend Grad Nite.

On Jan.19 at Bonita Vista High (BVH), seniors start to line up after school to get a Gradnite ticket. Seniors are to have a signed permission slip, an ID, and money coming up to the register. (Anissa Barajas)

“Not only do we have to take their money, but we also have to search them up on the choices list and the senior contracts. So, we would take the money and the other one would look them up on the list,” Dollero said.

Following the tedious process, for some students like senior Azul Fernandez, it may be confusing. Hoping to purchase a Grad Nite ticket, Fernandez expresses her frustration with the ASB.

“I’m kind of frustrated that [the] ASB hadn’t been making announcements very clearly before. So, this seems a little disorganized in a way. It feels all over the place. I was waiting during yesterday’s lunch and it was still kind of chaotic,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez believes that there are some ways the ASB could further improve the process to purchase a ticket or to receive a waitlist.

“[They] definitely [should] announce things more because they depend on the posters, but I feel like having the reminders in the afternoon and in the morning would be good, especially at a time where they know the rush is kind of starting,” Fernandez said.

Although the situation is stressful for Perez, ASB commissioners and seniors, the seniors have been handling the situation better than how Perez expected. She expresses her views on the students’ reactions.

“I was actually extremely impressed. When we sold out, they were very patient. They were flexible and adaptable and allowed us to get them on a waitlist,” Perez said. 

At the end of the day, Perez is continuing her work to purchase additional tickets for the seniors who are waitlisted. However, she continues to show hope for every student waitlisted to attend Grad Nite.

“The seniors have been amazing. Their families have been amazing. I want them to know that we are committed as a Baron family to ensuring that all students feel included in the events that we coordinate and that they get to experience these memorable opportunities,” Perez said. “We want them to have these memories and that we will do whatever we can to make it possible for them.”