Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!


Heading into the party!



In front of the castle!

What a busy “weekend”!  We bought tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party using our cast member discount ($44 instead of $77).  We were so tired from walking around Epcot all night the day before that we didn’t get out of the house until 3pm! We parked at the Polynesian so that we could ride the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom, but the monorail was broken!  We had to wait for the boat to come and take us…it took forever!


We got there and immediately got a locker to store our costumes for free with our cast member ID!  Then to kill time until 7pm, we checked out the new Fantasyland ‘princess meet and greet’.  We chose Rapunzul and Snow White, and they were perfect!  We loved Snow White’s voice, it was just like the movie!  And, they liked my special Halloween ears!


Then we walked over to the Peter Pan ride and saw that Captian Hook was out!  So we jumped in line and were the last people to meet him before he had to leave!  So cool!


We decided to walk back to Main Street to get some dinner at Casey’s Corner.  I got the mini corn dogs and Elly got the hot dog meal.  So good!  I definitely recommend going there for something quick!


We changed into our costumes and Elly immediately started getting recognized.  I don’t know why, must have something to do with her foot tall crown…? Haha. But people were constantly going up to her and saying how much they loved her costume and getting pictures of her!  Too bad she didn’t brush up on the movies before wearing the costume because people kept making movie references and she had noo idea. haha.


We pin traded with a manager who told us to wait in this tiny area because a villain would be coming out soon.  So we waited all by ourselves and the photo pass girl for 10 minutes until Jafar came out!  It was incredible!  He was so funny, lots of jerky movements.


Then we heard Lotso from Toy Story 3 was also there!  So we walked over and there was no line.  I immediately walked up and he gave me a big hug! So cute!!!  I forgot to smell him to see if he smelled like strawberries though.  He must get lots of hugs the entire night! Haha


The evil stepsisters and Lady Tremene were also walking around so we stalked them until there wasn’t a line.  I had a great conversation with them about how I loved their dresses and how we were definitely the fairest in the land. Haha. They were hilarious!


We heard that the parade was delayed because there was a huge thinderstorm so we walked back to the Fantasyland princess meet and greet because we heard that the princes would also be out.  But, the line was 50 minutes!  So we went and walked right onto the Winnie the Pooh ride instead.  We got to see Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore all in their costumes!  So cute!

We saw this huge line and realized all seven dwarves were out!!  We waited in line for 45 minutes to meet them!  It was incredible!  They were sitting next to all these glitter jewels.  I loved it!


We went to Main Street to watch the castle show and we ended up getting permission to stand in a photo area so no one was around or in front of us! Such a good view!

We got up close to the castle to see the Halloween fireworks. All orange, green, and purple and really great music!  My fav so far!


Next was the Villain dance party at the castle!  All the villains came out and danced and then were supposed to come down the castle ramps for some photos.  It was delayed for an hour because of the rain.  They literally had 15 people on their hands and knees wiping rain water off the stage.  When they did come on stage and dance, it was amazing!  I love Professor Facilitate!  He is such a good dancer!  Haha

Because everything was so delayed, they didn’t come down for photos because they had to be in the parade, which also had been delayed an hour.  We were so hungry by then (11pm!) that we walked farther down Main Street and got Halloween cupcakes at the bakery!  Yum!  We had great seats to see the Boo To You parade!  It was so cool!  I love villains! 🙂


Everything was so delayed that it was midnight when it was all done so we just cut across the street and got in line to buy some pins.  We got the last Halloween Night pin set in the whole store!  It was so cool, 5 pins plus and extra cool one for $85.  So worth it!

We were so tired by then, we immediately walked to the monorail.  We got all the way there, and were waiting and then Elly remembered that we completely forgot to go to our locker!  Dang it!   So we walked all the way back in and got our bags checked again, scanned our tickets, and walked to our locker, ughhhh.

We finally got all our stuff and got on the monorail and headed home.  Got home at 1:30am, soooo tired.  Elly was bouncing off the walls though since she normally gets off at this time.   It’ll be rough for me to work tomorrow though!


Amazing night!


Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.

Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival!

We just got back from going to the Food and Wine festival at EPCOT!  It was a “soft opening” and a cast member only preview!  Woo!
We got out of class today and were trying to decide if we should go to the Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks (I still haven’t seen them lol) or EPCOT because some of our classmates were talking about how it was just open tonight from 2-8pm for cast members only and there weren’t going to be that many people there.  I hadn’t even heard about the special opening until today!

I didn’t really know much about Food and Wine, and I’m not that into wine so I wasn’t sure if I would like it. But we decided that since we are going to be at Magic Kingdom all day tomorrow for our Not So Scary party, we should go for EPCOT!


We headed over at 6pm and immediately hit up the stations.  All around the World Pavilion are stations from a bunch of countries (30).  Each country has 4 to 5 food options and 6 to 8 alcohol options!  Everything is between $2 and $6 per item.  It’s really cool because you get a passport at the beginning and each country you go to will stamp it for you!

Our first stop was Argentina.  We shared a beef empanada.  It was really good!  Then, we went to Australia and got a pavlova.  It was crispy meringue shell with fresh Driscoll’s berries and vanilla custard. Yum!


Mexico was next, and we got a taco de rib-eye with salsa de chipotle.  I also ordered a sangria to drink.  The taco was good, but a little spicy, and I thought the sangria was just ok.  I realized that I’m used to Aunt Laura’s REALLY yummy sangria that is cut half red/half white white, plus ginger ale.  I thought this one was just too much red wine for me. Lol


Bottom’s up!

We heard about these really cool tiny giftcards that are an inch big and on a little bracelet that you can use for Food and Wine. They’re really nice because you don’t have to keep getting out your wallet and it helped you moved faster through the stations!  So we stopped at Mexico and both put $30 on each card! 🙂


Then we skipped most of Asia (Singapore, China, South Korea).

The next station we stopped at was Germany.  We wanted all of it!  We ended up getting a roast bratwurst in a pretzel roll and an apple strudel with Werther’s Original Karamel and vanilla sauce.  They were out of the Schinkennudeln (pasta gratin with ham and cheese) by the time we got there at 7pm. It was pretty good! The brat was embarrassingly long for the tiny bun, but it was served with mustard and we both liked it.


We skipped Poland and went to Italy.  It all looked so good!  They had baked cheese ravioli with creamy beef Bolognese sauce, Parmesan, and mozzarella, sweet Italian sausage with peepers and onions on ciabatta bread, and also a chocolate covered cannoli filled with sweet ricotta and chocolate!  Yum!!  They were out of the first two already, so we just shared a cannoli! It was so good!

We stopped at Norway and rode the cool ride there.  I think it smells so good in there and I realized today that it’s because they sell this cool perfume there!  I sprayed myself with it so I smelled great the rest of the day! Haha (hint hint for Christmas!).  I had a great conversation with a nice girl (intern) that works there!  She is doing the international college program. She signed my autograph book in Norwegian and I took a picture with her!  🙂


Next up, we went to the Florida Local stand.  It was our top two favorite!!  We ordered Florida grass-fed beef sliders with Monterey Jack! Omg, the most delicious slider EVER!  Elly and I got one each and we had to sit down and savor it because it was too good!  We def want to go back again just for the burger!!


Japan was next and we were on the fence about getting anything.  By then, we were starting to feel super filled we still were only at Station 17 out of 30!  We ended up getting a California Roll and it was awesome! For $4, you get three rolls with soy sauce and chop sticks! Yum!

By then, it was 8pm, and the Food and Wine was only supposed to be 2-8pm and we still wanted to go to Belgium!  We saw that some of the stations were already closed!  So, we hurried to Belgium and kind of cut through the line and literally got the last Belgium waffle with warm chocolate ganache and whipped cream! Omgggg you have no idea how much we loved it!  Top two favorite!  We were so sad that we only got one to share, but by the time we walked from the line, the station was closed!  Thank god we got one though, so good!

We skipped France because I’m not into creme brûlée, and we were on a mission to get the Dole Whip and Rum drink!  We got to the Refreshment Port and got Dole pineapple fritters, fried shrimp with Dole pineapple sweet and sour sauce, and my orange Dole Whip with creme de cacao white (vanilla flavored alcohol).  It was great, the vanilla made it taste like a orange dreamsickle!


By then, it was 9pm on the penny, and I was legit gonna throw up if I ate one more thing.  We skipped out on the rest because it was all closed down and went to the Nemo ride to relax.  Haha.

We came out, did a little shopping and then left because it was after 10pm and the park was all the way closed. Haha.

Food and Wine was AMAZING!!!  I’m so glad I convinced Elly to go tonight because it was incredible!  The food was so good and we had a blast!  It worked out so well sharing everything with Elly!  All the food was pretty good priced and it was even better to split it because then we could eat more! Haha. We switched off paying with our giftcards and it was just really nice and convienent!  Elly and I want to go back and hit up the good stations again!  Great day!!! 🙂


Eating Around the World!

Apartment Inspections

Apartment Inspections

One part of the DCP living experience is monthly apartment inspections. We are told about the monthly apartment inspections when we sign the lease. For the inspections, the housing staff sends two employees to check out your apartment and make sure that you’re keeping it clean, as well as not hiding any items not allowed in the apartments (candles, drugs, cigarettes, alcohol [if underage]). You can either Pass, Fail, or earn the “White Glove” award.

If you Pass, nothing happens and you will be inspected again the following month. If you Fail, you have to pay a fee ($25/roommate) and the housing team returns in 72 hours to check to see that the problems have been fixed. If not remedied, the fine goes up and they return again and you get a demerit. You can also earn the ‘White Glove’ award if your apartment is 100% spotless. You get a merit and special treats for everyone for that award!

They put notices up at the guardhouse which buildings will be inspected next, so it’s not a surprise inspection by any means. You’re given plenty of notice which week your apartment will be inspected, just not which day.

In this apartment, the only ones who check out the vacuum are roommate #5 (me) and roommate #6 (Caroline). We are also the only ones to empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, wipe down countertops, clean the kitchen floor, take out the trash/recycling,etc. Our bedroom/bathroom is White Glove clean. 🙂

I worked until 12:30AM last night and didn’t get to sleep until after 2AM. At 11:30am, there was a pounding on the apartment door. Roommate #1, in bedroom #1 closest to the door, refused to leave her bedroom and answer the door. Roommate #4 also refused to answer the door. Roommate #5 (me) was sound asleep, and roommate #6 (Caroline) was in the shower, getting ready to go to work. Naturally, roommate #5 had to answer the door!

I then had to escort the two housing inspectors around the apartment as they opened every drawer, looked in the fridge, the microwave, the pantry, and the oven. Roommate #6 was drying her shoes overnight in the oven and the inspector was HORRIFIED to find shoes in the oven and had NEVER heard of such a thing. Thankfully, the oven wasn’t on (then)!!

Roommate #2 had left pears in Walmart bags in the pantry to literally rot and explode, and then drip stinky juices down over everyone’s food and paper supplies. Just that morning, roommate #6 had cleaned up that mess, taken out the smelly trash, and wiped up spilled soup on the stove from the night before.

The inspectors also inspected each bedroom, but neither roommate #1 nor roommate #4 would walk around the apartment with them after their bedrooms were inspected. I had to watch her inspecting everything and making snide remarks about some of the lack of cleaning, even though my bedroom was perfectly cleaned. They couldn’t inspect my bathroom because of Caroline showering, so we got 0’s for that, but it didn’t count.

My advice to pass the inspection is to simply make sure that the apartment is clean. Vacuum all the floors, clean all the appliances and counters, wash mirrors, sinks, toilets, bathtubs, etc. Also, make sure your garbage and recycling bins have nothing in them. Do all of these things and you’ll definitely pass!

I would like to earn the “White Glove” award, but with so many roommates who all have different work schedules, that’s not going to happen. 😦

You do the dusting, and I'll do the mopping...

You do the dusting, and I’ll do the mopping…

Mickey’s Not So Scarty Party!

Main Street USA on Halloween Party nights.

Main Street USA on Halloween Party nights.

Mickey's Not So Scary Party Map

Mickey’s Not So Scary Party Map

Mickey's Not So Scarty Party!

This second map covers the September 27th party date trick-or-treat trails.

Caroline and I have tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party for Friday night. (We both have Friday off! Yeah!!) We’ve got our costumes picked out and are so excited! Party hours: 7:00 pm – midnight, Boo to You Parade at 8:15 pm and 10:30 pm, Fireworks at 9:30 pm.

Don your favorite costume and get ready to trick-or-treat at this Halloween-themed event held in Magic Kingdom theme park.

Now for the inside scoop:

• There will be 11 trick or treat locations including two trails, three of which are in New Fantasyland. You may even find some interesting “characters” involved to make your experience even trickier.
• Worried that all the good candy will be gone by the time you get here? Take heart in the fact that there will be more than 11 semi-trailer refrigerated truck loads of mixed candy for the whole season!

Parking at Downtown Disney

Parking at Downtown Disney

Earlier this year, we announced Disney Springs, the exciting, multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney. If you’ve visited recently, you know that our expansion has officially begun. While we’ve been getting a lot of questions, one of the most popular topics seems to be parking: Will we have more spots? Where will they be located? And where should guests park in the meantime? Read on, because I’ve got answers …

Yes, more parking is coming! The best part: parking will continue to be complimentary. Work recently started on the first of two multi-level parking garages; it is expected to be complete in late 2014 near AMC Theatres. A second garage, closer to World of Disney, is set to open in 2016. Additionally, we’ll continue to offer surface parking.

Enjoy over 70 venues filled with ways to delight you day and night!

• If you’re staying at a Disney Resort, leave the driving to us!
• If you’re driving, here are a few ‘must-knows’:
1. We’ve added additional parking options that will come in handy most Fridays, Saturdays and holidays – you can follow the signs to plentiful parking in the SunTrust and Casting Building lots across the street from Downtown Disney.
2. On our busier days, guests parking in the Team Disney lot can enjoy a complimentary shuttle with direct service to Downtown Disney West Side or can take a short walk to their desired destination.
3. When in doubt, ask a Cast Member – they’re there to help!
4. Last, try the boat transportation! It’s a nice, breezy ride that’s especially enjoyable on a hot day!


July 2014:  Update on Disney Springs and parking:


Look!  No traffic!!!  ;)

Look! No traffic!!! 😉

Why, we'll have DTD all to ourselves!!

Why, we’ll have DTD all to ourselves!!

Working Carts at Downtown Disney


Working Glow Carts at Downtown Disney!

Downtown Disney is a great place to work. I don’t remember going to Downtown Disney when we’ve been to WDW before, but I love going to Downtown Disney when we’re in CA at Disneyland.

In California, Downtown Disney is a great place to pin trade and you can get pretzels and even make a build-a-bear there! The one in Orlando is just the same, except it’s twice as big. It takes more than 40 minutes to walk from one side to the other along the waterfront with no people traffic, and it takes even longer when it’s full of people walking s-l-o-w-l-y.

On the bridge looking across the Seven Seas Lagoon.

My work view:  On the bridge looking across the Seven Seas Lagoon.

The picture above is my view when working the Bridge Cart location which sells drinks, hats, sunglasses, and iPhone cases. It’s not very fun working the cart during the day; it’s very slow and very hot.

But, at night it’s super fun. I get to watch the volcano at the Rainforest Cafe erupt every half hour and I give directions to guests. You talk to people all the time when you’re working the carts at night, and that makes time go really fast.

Rainforest Cafe volcano smoking during the day.

Rainforest Cafe volcano smoking during the day.

Right next to the Rainforest Café, under the volcano, is the Lava Lounge, which is a bar that sits on the waterfront. Caroline says that it’s very good. There’s a little pontoon boat that’s free to ride on, and it can take you from one end of Downtown Disney to the other. I always try to recommend it to guests as much as possible because it’s a cool view of Downtown Disney and not a lot of people know about it. [I am currently collecting the pontoon boat pin set and only have one more to go to complete the set of eight.]

Working Carts at Downtown Disney

Working at night.  DTD stays open most nights until 2AM!

What a lot of people also don’t realize is that Downtown Disney is in the process of a huge make-over. Right now there are 75 stores, and when the expansion is done there should be 120 stores and two additional parking garages. That’s really good news because right now parking is a mess! There’s never anywhere for the guests to park close in, so they have to park across the street at Disney Casting and Team Disney. It really confuses them and parking there ends up being a pretty long walk to the shops. Employees used to be able to park there, but now we have to park even farther away, at least a 20-25 minute walk into work each day.


Current Downtown Disney logo

ds logo (2)

New Disney Springs logo.

In September 2015, the Downtown Disney are will be called the new Disney Springs, and it will have more water features and a big bridge that will connect one side to the other. It will be completed in three years, 2016. Hopefully by then, Pin Traders will have some AC! That store is hot to work in in the afternoons!

Disney Springs

The new Disney Springs Marketplace, West Side.  Opening Sept 2015.



Two Disney sisters.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale


Working Glow Carts at Downtown Disney


Star Wars light sabers glowing in the night.

I get to work Glow Carts when I’m working Carts and Strollers in the evening. It’s basically a push cart that we bring out at night, and we sell character spinners of Buzz, Mickey, Tinkerbelle, etc., and also these cool Star Wars wands and swords which are LED bright and look so awesome at night.

Buzz Lightyear spinners.

Buzz Lightyear spinners, $15.

The character spinners are $15 and the swords are $12. And, every kid wants one! You’d think that a small cart that basically sells water, hats, toys, and iPhone cases wouldn’t make a lot of money, but at night when the Glow Cart is out, I see $100 bills a lot! I mean if you buy just three spinners, you’ve already spent $45 dollars. I like it because when it’s just beginning to get dark, I go around and turn everything on. We also have light-up Mickey ears and necklaces, but the swords are the top seller. I stand there and just play with a spinner while wearing a LED necklace or two and its fun!

At the bridge cart, we’re right next to this fancy Italian restaurant that has live music in a big courtyard. They have live music on most nights and, on the weekends, they have an excellent guitar player that plays current hits on his guitar; he’s so good. Working Glow Carts at night is super fun (but a real torture during the day!). The nights are balmy, no rain, no blazing hot sun. It’s all lively, awesome music, cool glow toys, and everyone’s happy and having a great time enjoying themselves.


working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:



Working When It Rains

Working When It Rains

While it’s been pouring rain in Colorado, it has been dry, dry, dry here in FL this past week. We’ll go 5-6 days with nothing, just some white, puffy clouds, no breeze, 94 degrees, and then finally we’ll get a good afternoon thunderstorm. I know it’s been raining in other parts of the state, but not here at Disney World. Today is probably our first day where it’s been cloudy and rainy all day, with thunderstorms bringing loud thunder and lightning. Of course, it’s my one day off! But, at least I can appreciate it from the couch.

Caroline is working today and should be happy because we close carts when we hear thunder or see lightning, and we’re supposed to have them all closed up before it starts raining to protect the merchandise from getting wet.

But, that doesn’t always happen, usually there isn’t too much lightening so the managers hold off closing the carts as long as possible. Then, we’ll finally get a call and a manager will say, “Oh, it’s pouring out there, I guess you should close carts….”

It’s fun then because then we “task” inside, meaning we’ll get little assignments at 20-minute intervals to do things like: “Greet guests and dust all fixtures” or “Straighten and organize all clothing racks”. That’s fun and time flies, but you have to go back and forth to the computer a lot, and then when the rain ends, they’ll send back out to the cart to reopen it. But, I don’t think Caroline will have to worry about that today! Lots of rain, all day!

A lot of guests have noticed that I’m from Boulder, Colorado (from my name tag) and said they’ve heard about the flooding on the news. I haven’t met any guests from Colorado yet, and I don’t work with anyone from there either. Mostly the guests are people from Brazil and the UK, and retired people living here coming in for the pin trading at EPCOT over the weekend.

My manager knows my name is Ariel, even tho my name tag says Elly. I work with an Eric and he says that he likes when he sees the weekly schedule and Eric and Ariel are working the same shift. (From the “Little Mermaid” you know…)

Having It My Way At McD’s

Having It My Way At McD's

Ahhhhh, Caroline & I enjoying dinner at Mickey D’s by the Outlet Mall.

No one was there and it’s a really nice McDonalds with padded seats, free wi-fi, etc.

Apple pies for dessert! 🙂

Stuffed Animals at WDW

Baby giraffe with blanket.  Look at those eyes!

Baby giraffe with blanket. Look at those eyes!

Baby Dumbo with blanket.

Baby Dumbo with blanket.

Stuffed Animals at WDW

Cute Story at Team Mickey

Working at Team Mickey, we basically sell sports tee-shirts and golf shirts. You see a lot of families come in and walk around because Team Mickey is the next big store on the walkway next to Ghirardelli chocolates.

This weekend, I was the “Merchan-tainer” there, meaning I’m not assigned to a register, I just walk around and talk to people and pin trade. I also wear a huge sash with all the different buttons like “I’m Celebrating” or “Happy Birthday”, and I hand those out as much as I can.

A family came in with a little girl and I see that she has one of those stuffed animals that Caroline sells when she works at “Creature Comfort” at Animal Kingdom. They are pretty cute because there’s like 20 different ones, all baby versions of the Disney characters with a blanket attached to it so it doesn’t get lost. I say to the little girl, “Oh, do you have a baby stuffed animal there?” and she’s like, “Yeah, it’s a giraffe”. And, she shows me it all cuddled in her arms, and then takes out one of those ‘Magic Bottles’ for dolls, where the milk disappears when it’s tipped, and starts feeding it. It was so cute! Obviously, she had been to Animal Kingdom earlier that day and gotten one at Caroline’s store, and then brought it with her when she came to Downtown Disney.

In a related note, something funny happened the other day. Caroline and I were walking around World of Disney at Downtown Disney before one of my shifts and we were in the “Princess Room” where they have a lot of the those baby stuffed animals I was talking about. We were just walking by them, and Caroline stops and says, “Hey,
these aren’t folded right!”, and proceeds to re-wrap the blanket that comes with the stuffed animal the ‘correct’ tight way around it. I thought that was funny because Caroline was “taking pride in her work”, even tho she wasn’t working! LOL