First Animal Kingdom Shift

First Animal Kingdom Shift

Me in the Animal Kingdom costume with the 14 story ‘Tree of Life’ in background.

Last week, Caroline swapped out a shift and worked at Tren-D in Downtown Disney with me.

Yesterday, I picked up an extra shift and worked with Caroline at the Animal Kingdom for the first time. I got to meet four of Caroline’s six coordinators/managers.

It was a lot of fun. And, Caroline stayed at the Park after work and did some great pin trades. She also rode on several of the rides in Animal Kingdom, including Dinosaur.

Caroline’s Facebook Update (10/28/13): Got off work early and decided to ride Dinosaur! I ended up sitting next to the cutest little boy. Right as the ride began, he turned to me and said “This is my worst nightmare come to life!” Haha — atDinoLand U.S.A.
(He ended up having a great time!)

8:30am shift for Caroline.  She's wearing her new Animal Kingdom jacket, which she likes.

8:30am shift for Caroline. She’s wearing her new
Animal Kingdom jacket, which she likes.

 

Halloween Party for DAK Cast Members Only

Halloween Party for DAK Cast Members Only

On Friday night, the Animal Kingdom closed at 6pm for guests, then reopened at 6:30pm for a private Halloween party for Animal Kingdom cast members only!

We went with our fellow cast member, Becca, and it was so much fun! We got vouchers at the gate for supper (hot dogs, chips, drinks, Mickey Mouse ice cream bar…$15 value!).

The managers were staffing the rides for us…no waits! They had set up skill games where you could win coupons that could be traded in for Disney candy prizes at the end of the night. I won 10 coupons! But, best of all, I won the Grand Prize – VIP premium seating at Illuminations in EPCOT for four!!!!

It was a great party!! Thanks DAK! 🙂

Elly and me in front of my work store.

Elly and me in front of my work store.

DinoLand set up for the party.

DinoLand set up for the party.

Elly walking over to dinner.

Elly walking over to dinner.

DinoLand decorated like a carnival for the party.

DinoLand decorated like a carnival for the party.  So fun!

What a great party!!!

What a great party!!!

Facebook Update (10/28/13): Got off work early and decided to ride Dinosaur! I ended up sitting next to the cutest little boy. Right as the ride began, he turned to me and said “This is my worst nightmare come to life!” Haha — atDinoLand U.S.A.
(He ended up having a great time!)

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At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

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.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

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Disney Class Field Trip to DHS

Disney Class Field Trip

At DHS.  There’s a rumor going around that the Hat might soon be removed.  We hope not!

Our Disney University class on Experiential Learning meets on Thursday afternoons, and this week the class went on a field trip to Hollywood Studios. We had to ride several rides and fill out a paper about the experiences and what we liked/didn’t like about it.

It was our first time at Hollywood Studios since starting the internship in August. The day was nice – barely 80 degrees – but it felt chilly after such a long, hot & humid summer! 🙂

On the tram ride from the parking lot...chilly!

On the tram ride from the parking lot…chilly!

"It all started with a mouse..."

“It all started with a mouse…”

Finishing the assignment before 4:30pm!

Finishing the assignment before 4:30pm!  Yeah!!!

Taking Disney Classes in the Parks

CP Moment:  Taking classes during your program.

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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:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

 

 

Days of Christmas Store

Days of Christmas

This is a Disney Christmas store that’s open 365 days a year!

I picked up an Extra Hours shift this week at the Days of Christmas store at Downtown Disney. I love the costume!  🙂

Days of Christmas personalizes everything from ornaments to throws, blankets, sweatshirts and Mickey hat ears.

Full of stockings, tons and tons of ornaments, home decor including Disney Village pieces, advent calendars, and there’s a section off to the side with Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise. Plus, you can get ornaments personalized and wrapped here by me!

I did a lot of present wrapping during my shift and got a lot of compliments on my wrapping skills!  It was fun!!

Days of Christmas store.  Smells like candy canes inside!

Days of Christmas store. Smells like candy canes  and pine trees inside!

Christmas everywhere you look!

Christmas everywhere you look!

Disney ornaments!!!

Disney ornaments!!!

Looking like Santa's helper.

Looking like Santa’s helper.  🙂

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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.

The Four Keys

The Four Keys card.

The Four Keys card.

The Four Keys

Some of the Four Keys cards I’ve gotten in the past 2 months.

My managers at Animal Kingdom are all very nice and go out to their way to recognize employees acting in the Disney Way.

Our first week here in August, we all took the Disney “Traditions” class; it’s a class that every cast member takes at Disney University in Lake Buena Vista. During the class, they go over the 4 Key Basics that Walt Disney invented and are the basis of how to be an excellent Disney employee. The 4 Keys are: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. These recognitions go on your employee record.

So far, I’ve gotten 15 Four Key cards from my managers! 🙂

I <3 the Animal Kingdom!

I ❤ the Animal Kingdom!

October 2014 Update:
One of the Fall CPs went as the Four Keys to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party last night!!

The Four Keys with two Belles.  :)

The Four Keys with two Belles. 🙂

*******************************
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.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tale

Making New International Friends

Making New International Friends

I have a couple of good friends in my program who, like me, also have their Master’s degree and are 25 or 26 years old. Their names are Hang and Ting, and both are from China. Hang is a 6’5” big guy from Mongolia and is a really fun person to work with at the outside carts. He’s surprising good at dancing, and there’s live music every night at Downtown Disney.

The thing I like best about Ting is that she works in Pin Traders and she saves some good pins for me! She also lets me know if there’s anything good in the Vinylmation box or anything new going on in the store. She only works at Pin Traders now because she’s part-time and they’re only assigned to one store. (I rotate through five work locations in Zone 1.)

The other day, I realized I hadn’t seen Hang for a while so when he came into work, I asked him where he had been. He was like, ‘Oh, I called in sick two days in a row.’ I said, ‘Why, were you really sick or something?’, and he says, ‘No, not at all, my feet really hurt, I didn’t even move from bed, my feet hurt too bad.’

I thought this was the funniest thing ever because here at Disney they treat absences really seriously. You’re only allowed to get 3 points (which you can get from being late, calling in sick, not showing up to work), and after 3 points you get a “reprimand” which means big trouble. If you’re applying to a Professional Internship or for an extension, you can forget about getting it if you have more than those points. Anyway, he called in sick just because his feet hurt and I thought that was the funniest thing ever!

I asked him, “Why don’t you get some inserts for your shoes if they hurt so badly?’ He’d never heard of them. So I said I’d buy him a pair next time I went to Walmart and he could pay me back. I got him some and brought them into work for him. He immediately put them in his shoes and the next day thanked me on and on about how much better his feet felt. I felt pretty good about that. And he paid me back. LOL!

Another story about my friend Hang is that he “read my numbers” during our lunch break the other day. I told him my birthday (8/9/88) and since the number 8 stands for ‘Money’ apparently, he said that says a lot about me and Money since I have so many 8s in my birthday. Here’s hoping that’s true! LOL. And the number 9 stands for Royalty and is considered a very Royal number.

So there we go: Elly = Money and Royalty! Hahahahaha! 🙂

Pumpkin carving!  It's almost Halloween!!!

Pumpkin carving! It’s almost Halloween!!!

Talking to the Boss

Talking to the Boss

At my work, there are a lot of “Leaders”, which means there’s a lot of supervisors. The people right above me are called Coordinators, and they coordinate where everyone should be and who is taking their breaks and when. Then there’s the Managers and they watch over everything in our store and lead the daily meetings. Above them is the Area Manager who runs our whole zone, which is all the stores in the rotation that I could work (Zone 1 Downtown Disney).

The other day I was feeling particularly brave, and I noticed the Area Manager’s office door was open. He only works normal daytime hours, so I’ve only seen/met him once or twice. I ducked my head in and say hi, and he knows exactly who I am and invites me in to sit down and chat. He knew all the things that I’ve been doing good at lately, like Paper Sorting at the end of the night and all the money handling I’ve been recently trained in. He was the nicest guy! I sat and talked with him in his office for about 45 minutes and he was asking me all these things, like what I thought about this process we do at work, or this new rule, etc. It was great!

I mentioned Caroline and how she’s doing the program too with me, and how she’s gotten about 15 of these special cards called “Four Keys Cards”. You get those from the managers directly when you’re doing really well or do something extra special like help a guest in a special way, and they get entered on your permanent record. I mentioned that Caroline has so many and he says, ‘Well, I’m sure you have just as many’, and I just laughed and I was said, no I only have one so far. He thought that was a great “note” to give him because he was just thinking to tell the mangers to recognize the staff more. I think that says a lot about how Caroline’s managers are so involved and how nice they are, and that they notice when she does good things at work.

He gave me his card and said for me to email him or come talk to him about anything that’s going on, like new rules and stuff, because he really wanted to know a “good CP’s opinion”. I’m called a CP meaning College Program. That felt good.

He also really wanted to know what I’ve been doing to “stay with Disney”. He wants me to do a Professional Internship or to stay for another cycle, meaning doing an extension. He said he was going to “email some people” and “get my name out there”. It was a great feeling to know that I’ve been talked about among the Managers and that the Area Manager knew a lot about me, and how he wants me to stay, and that he values my opinion.

A good way to start off my workday. 🙂

Front of Four Keys card.

Front of Four Keys card.

Four Keys card from my manager.

Four Keys card from my manager.