My daughter’s team got a wild card bid to Summit in 2016. The team worked hard all year, pretty much a straight run of first place and grand champion awards at every event except NCA. But the bid didn’t come until the very last competition of our season. It was an amazing surprise. And then I panicked because there was very little time to cover the costs.
If you’ve been to Summit you already have your own list of memorable moments. These are some quick memories my daughter and I listed from our experience:
- The wristbands – the bracelets get you into your room, express rides at the park, it’s a simple little accessory that just provides one more “wow” in the whole experience. Plus it’s a great souvenir.
- Seeing the electronic parade – We happened to be at the theme park after competing at just the right time. The photos don’t hold a candle to actually being there. And it’s so easy to get back and forth to the parks because dedicated buses run while the parks are open.
- Being at ESPN Wide World of sports complex – seeing that huge globe and knowing that THIS is where the famous athletes in other sports play. I’ll always treasure the photo of her, and her team, in front of the globe.
- Practicing on the field at All Star Sports Resort – when you’ve seen photos of all the other teams you admire on the football striped mats with the red, white and blue buildings and oversize football helmet . . . well just wait till you’re standing in that very spot, practicing with your team. Now you know you’ve made it!
- Mickey Waffles – Where else can you get the genuine, authentic Mickey waffles every morning for breakfast. And although Disney has a lot of healthy food (my daughter groaned when pressed to have protein and fruit before the waffles) those treats were quite possibly the first smile every morning.
- Not having to curl daughter’s hair – That’s the standard hair style for our gym, very curly and teased but the humidity is pretty high in Florida so we got to go with straight hair teased (which was still a challenge but so much easier!)
- Riding on the bus to competition with parents of the team from Japan! Wow! I actually lived in Japan as a small child and it was amazing to see that these families had traveled so far to compete.
- Finding the charging station that was, for the most part, unoccupied – It’s incredibly busy, packed with athletes and everyone is constantly going from one venue to another . . . finding a cool, quite place to charge up was a pleasant surprise. It became our designated “meeting spot” for my daughter and the 2 teammates I chaperoned.
- Seeing the other teams compete – Every team at Summit is nothing short of amazing. You won’t see teams that still need time to develop and mature, so the competition is extremely tight and each round is breathtaking.
- 3 Zero deduction buttons – since my daughter’s team was on a wild card bid, they had to compete 3 times. The first day they had to place in the top 3 (2nd), the second day of competition they had to place in the top 2 (2nd), and then the third day is the “real” competition with the top 10 teams. Her team finished 6th. Zero deductions every single time they hit the mat – wow.
- Standing in line for 45 minutes in the sun to get giant slushies for our cheer pal group – again, very busy. But by the end of the third day of competing, it was totally worth the time in line to reward them with a sweet, cold treat. (But do bring frogger clothes to help you stay cool)
- (11.1) The entire experience – really, there is nothing quite like it.
If this is your first time enjoy! By the time you get to Summit, it really is so much of an experience that no matter how the team finishes, it is nothing short of amazing and exhausting all rolled into one.