Bandman, Orlando is one of the least expensive destinations in the country to visit. Try plannning a trip to New York city or Chicago and see how much the cost goes up. I have a lot of friends in the student travel business down here in Florida and it is amazing how much the costs vary from destinations assuming you have the same amount of days, etc. Also, the more people you have does not make a trip cheaper, everyone still gets their money. Most vendors have a pre-set group discount rate which applies to groups of 20 or more. As far as the band fees being high($500), we have no idea what their operating budget is. Also, he said that they do BOA and all of these other big events. To compete on this level most schools hire top quality arrangers, show writers, and have an entire staff much like the top drum corps and these people ain't cheap! When I did the BOA regionals and nationals our show cost about 25k to produce when considering the above plus props, flags, costumes, etc.