Vinylmation Event at D-Street

Since I’ve been at Disney World, I’ve been collecting Vinylmations (or vinyls for short), which are basically like collecting Disney pins. They’re collectable, unique, you can trade them, and there are certain ones that are hard to find. Some of them have unusual hats or swords or other accessories, and they’re just so cool!

Meet and greet signing event with the artists.

Meet and greet signing event with the artists.

Favorite artist.

Favorite artist.

I like the look of a lot of them, but I only really collect the ‘Park Starz’ series. Those are vinyls that look like icons from the Disney Parks, like the Orange Bird from the Sunshine Tree Terrace, which is next to the Tiki Room in Magic Kingdom.

Vinylmation artist signing event.

Vinylmation artist signing event.

It is fun being a Cast Member because we have meetings once a day led by the managers and they go through important things, like events coming up or sale items, etc. Today they announced that there’d be an ‘Artist Signing at D-Street’ (the store that sells the vinylmations at Downtown Disney) event. I thought that sounded pretty cool. On my break, I read the post myself and found out that there had been only one of these vinyl signings within the past 4 months. Luckily, I got off at 2:30pm so I could go.

D Street at night.

D Street at night.

So, even though I was really tired from working since 6am, when I got off work I drove on down to D-Street in Black Friday traffic to go to the store since the artists were only there from 5-7pm. I thought it’d be crazy busy because the artists who actually designed and drew the vinylmations were there, but actually there was no line!

My signed vinylmation!

My signed Olaf vinylmation! These are going big on ebay! (Wish I had gotten 2!)

I love my vinylmation collection and it was so fun to meet the artists!

I love my vinylmation collection and it was so fun to meet the artists!

They were just standing at a nice table outside the store with security on either side. I really liked the lady who was the artist who designed all the new “Frozen” vinyls. I got the Olaf one (the snowman from the movie) using my 40% off cast member discount, then went back out and had the artist sign it. I got a picture with all of them! She wrote “Hi, I’m Olaf, and I like warm hugs!” and then her autograph! That’s Olaf’s main line from the movie. It was awesome because I just saw the “Frozen” movie yesterday, so I know what’s she’s quoting!

I’m really glad I went because I got to meet some pretty famous artists who have designed really popular merchandise for Disney! Whoooooo! Caroline couldn’t come with me because she was working and Animal Kingdom has late hours this Thanksgiving week.

I have a pretty good vinyl collection going so far, mostly thanks to my aunt for hooking me up when she came out to visit earlier this month. But, just like pins, I can’t wait for the next set of the Park Starz to come out!So that was my fun day, working and collecting! Just another day in the most Magical Place on Earth! 🙂

Case of vinylmations.

Case of vinylmations.

Vinylmation!

Vinylmation!

Vinylmation lighting.

Vinylmation lighting.

Thanksgiving Weekend: Working at Downtown Disney

Thanksgiving Weekend: Working at Downtown Disney

Having Thanksgiving dinner with my CP friends.

Thanksgiving is a great time of year because it’s getting to be close to Christmas! Normally, I love having a break from college and being home and doing fun things like decorating, eating good food, and going to movies.

This year was a bit different because on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Saturday, I worked early morning stocking shifts, which mean I had to be at Downtown Disney by 5:30am.

The CPs in the program with me all work nights, and normally so do I, because the full-time or part-time people work the normal day hours. So, it’s been really hard lying in bed waiting to fall asleep at my normal time of 2am, and then getting up at 4:40am for work (3 days in a row)! The shifts actually aren’t that bad; it’s basically processing the delivery of new merchandise, scanning it into the system, putting ink tags on everything, and then putting the merchandise onto the shelf or back in the stock room.

Thanksgiving note from the managers.

Thanksgiving note from the managers.

I like working holidays because Disney does a great job recognizing the cast members that are working, and this year we had a catered Thanksgiving feast luncheon by Boston Market, how perfect!

During my break, the two other CPs who were working with me (Allie and Damyra) in the other stores in my zone joined me and we had a little lunch in the back lot behind Once Upon a Toy store. It was pretty good, but the feast was missing the stuffing and mac and cheese, both of which are so good from Boston Market! The managers served it to us too, which was pretty cool.

Serving stations.

Serving stations.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Pumpkin pies for everyone!

Pumpkin pies for everyone!

The best thing about the food was the homemade cupcakes someone made. They were pumpkin cupcakes with spiced frosting, and inside of them was a little mini pumpkin pie (with pie crust and pumpkin pie filling), baked inside the cupcake. It was really cool and yummy! Cake & pie together!

While I had to work, Caroline had Thanksgiving off! She didn’t tell anyone for 2 weeks because she knew she’s be barraged by requests from CPs to switch shifts with her! (She went to the DCP Housing’s Thanksgiving Feast earlier.)

Since she had a nice day off and cleaned the apartment since we have our third inspection coming up. 😦

She also got to sleep in, which I was so jealous of because I’d been working 5+ hours by the time she got up.

On Thanksgiving Day, I came home from work at 2:30pm and immediately took a nap! When I woke up at 5pm, we went to Downtown Disney.

Thanksgiving night at the Earl of Sandwich

Thanksgiving night at the Earl of Sandwich

We had a fancy, gourmet, home-cooked dinner at ‘Earl of Sandwich’, lol! That was our Thanksgiving dinner, but Caroline actually got the “Holiday Ham”, which she said was very good. I had a chicken wrap, since I’d already had Thanksgiving food for lunch.

After dinner, we walked all the way to the other end of Downtown Disney, in the freezing cold, and we tried out the “Dine-In” AMC Movie Theater, which was FANCY! The chairs are huge leather sofa type chairs and you have a table in front of you, and a waitress.

Caroline got a holiday drink called the “Snowball”, which came in a round glass and was white. It tasted like peppermint. We both got desserts and it was very fancy! The Disney movie “Frozen” just opened and was AMAZING! Best movie EVER! I loved every one of the songs, and it really blew me away. We’re planning on seeing it at least 2 more times and buying the sound track immediately! So awesome!

Our “Frozen” blog link: Seeing Disney’s “Frozen” Movie

At AMC, having drinks and watching 'Frozen'.

At AMC, having drinks and watching ‘Frozen’.

*****

Downtown Disney at 5:30AM

If you’re wondering what Downtown Disney looks like at 5:30 in the morning, it’s COLD (41 degrees) and DARK (sunrise isn’t until 6:50am). All the Christmas lights are turned on and it’s very quiet.

I had three stocking shifts in a row this Thanksgiving weekend, all 6am – 2:30pm. 😦

Downtown DIsney Christmas display.  So pretty!

Downtown Disney Christmas display. So pretty!

My friend, Ting, works at Pin Traders with me.

My friend, Ting, works at Pin Traders with me.

Off to work at Team Mickey.

Thanksgiving weekend.  Off to work at Team Mickey.

***************************************

two-disney-sisters

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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***     

“Frozen”: Dinner and a Movie

“Frozen”:  Dinner and a Movie

We went to see Disney’s “Frozen” last night at the AMC theater in Downtown Disney. You can actually get dinner while watching a movie there. We both got desserts and it was very fancy!

Having dessert while watching the movie.

Having dessert while watching the movie.

We liked the movie a lot, but were frozen ourselves while driving home; it was so cold!

Only 41 degrees when we left the movie.  Burrrr!

Only 48 degrees when we left the movie. Burrrr!

A photo of us at the 'Frozen' meet & greet in EPCOT-Norway a few weeks ago.

A photo of us at the ‘Frozen’ meet & greet in EPCOT-Norway a few weeks ago.

Caroline at the 'Frozen' character meet & greet area in Norway.

Caroline at the ‘Frozen’ character meet & greet area in Norway.

Movie poster.

Frozen movie poster.  Loved this movie!!

*******************************
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

Downtown Disney at 5:30AM

Downtown Disney at 5:30AM

If you’re wondering what Downtown Disney looks like at 5:30 in the morning, it’s COLD (41 degrees) and DARK (sunrise isn’t until 6:50am). All the Christmas lights are turned on and it’s very quiet.

I have three stocking shifts in a row this Thanksgiving weekend, all 6am – 2:30pm. 😦

Downtown DIsney Christmas display.  So pretty!

Downtown Disney Christmas display. So pretty!

My friend, Ting, works at Pin Traders with me.

My friend, Ting, works at Pin Traders with me.

Off to work at Team Mickey.

Off to work at Team Mickey.

My New Name Tag

My New Name Tag

Puis-je vous aider? (May I help you?)

“At Disney, we operate on a first-name basis. We go about our work in a businesslike way, but we feel that work can be fun, and that we can all be friendly and cheerful while we are doing the things that we are assigned to do. We believe that everyone in our organization is important.” -Walt Disney

It all began with a mouse...

It all began with a mouse…

Thanksgiving Feast

Pilgrim Mickey & Minnie

Pilgrim Mickey & Minnie

Elly was working, so my roommate DeeDee and I went to the Thanksgiving party at Chatham Field on Wednesday night. The food was really, really good, but I had just eaten, so I brought a plate of Thanksgiving Dinner home for me and Elly to share the next day. They scanned our ID badges, so you could only go thru the buffet line once, but the portions were huge!

Celebrate turkey day early with a home-style dinner!

Dear DCP Cast Member,

We hope you’ve worked up an appetite, because tonight, we’ll be hosting our winter diversity event, Thanksgiving!

Nov. 20, 7:30-11:30 p.m.
Chatham Square field

Sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing and cranberry sauce will be served, along with other traditional holiday fare, and rumor has it that classic Disney characters will be joining in the festivities!

Also, don’t miss a great opportunity to donate toys to Toys for Tots. If you bring a new, unwrapped toy to the event, you’ll receive a small token of appreciation from the Housing team.

We’re anxious to feast with you! 🙂

Disney Internships and Programs Events team

Thanksgiving Mickey

Thanksgiving Mickey

2013 Gingerbread House at Grand Floridian

Gingerbread House at Grand Floridian

In front of the beautiful Victorian Gingerbread House

They put up the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House while we were staying there. It’s so beautiful! The Gingerbread House is surrounded by red poinsettia and greenery. There are Hidden Mickey’s in the shingles.

Hidden Mickey!

Hidden Mickey!

The chefs make extra gingerbread shingles and dip them in dark chocolate. You can buy them in the gift shop.

Here’s a video of the final dusting by Executive Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhNvYgnYXQc

The dusting of the gingerbread house takes 10-15 minutes. The chef squirts down the gingerbread with sugar water, and then sifts powdered sugar onto the house.

The Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is celebrating its 15th year! The 2013 ingredients include 1,050 pounds of honey, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 800 pounds of flour, and 140 pints of egg whites! The Gingerbread House stands 16 feet tall.

Gingerbread House activities for the week.

Gingerbread House activities for the week:  15th Anniversary

Some assembly required...

Some assembly required…

16 Feet Tall!

16 Feet Tall!

Visiting the finished Gingerbread House.

Caroline visiting the finished Gingerbread House.

Wow!

This is amazing and smells sooo good! 🙂

Wow!

2013 pin release

2013 pin release for 15th Anniversary celebration

The details:
After 400 hours of baking, the chefs spent 160 hours decorating the house. This unique 80 square feet of retail space is 16 feet high by 17 feet wide and constructed with 1,000 board feet of trim, 60 sheets of plywood, 40 window panes, 100 square feet of display, and 10,000 pieces of gingerbread used.

*******************************
We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney World in the Disney College Program: 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

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with DCP Friends

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with DCP Friends

We got discounted tickets from the Company D store to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with our CP girlfriends.

The weather was perfect, sunny during the day and balmy during the parade.

In front of the castle with our DCP friends.

In front of the castle with our DCP friends.

With Cinderella and Prince Charming.

With Cinderella and Prince Charming.

110 Acre Woods Gang.

110 Acre Woods Gang.

With Prince Phillip & Princess Aurora.

With Prince Phillip & Princess Aurora.

The Cinderella Castle Dream Lights turned on at 6pm sharp!  So pretty!!

The Cinderella Castle Dream Lights turned on at 6pm sharp! So pretty!!

******************************
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 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.
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

Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian

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Pretty mural when you walk into the spa

While we were staying at the Grand Floridian with our aunt, she treated us to a spa day at Senses, complete with a light lunch. So relaxing. The massage felt wonderful!!

Enjoying the Grand Floridian!!

Enjoying the Grand Floridian!!

While you wait for your massage, you can nibble on some sweet treats!

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Cucumber Spa Water

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Fresh fruit, mini zucchini carrot muffins with crystalized sugar, and several choices of tea

After you’re done with your treatment, you can use the spa and sauna.  It is lovely!

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Small heated pool to relax and soak in

Can you spot the hidden Mickeys in this mural?  There are three!

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Heated chairs to relax on!

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Here’s one hidden Mickey!

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Isn’t the detailing so pretty?!

Using my MagicBand to get into the Royal Palm Club.

Using my MagicBand to get into the Royal Palm Club.

Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian

Caroline getting a pedicure.



Nurture Your Senses
Invigorate your mind and body at this retreat reminiscent of a serene Floridian garden at the turn of the 20th century.

Step through a Victorian-style entryway past a lavish mural of old Florida and escape to a timeless haven of pampering and relaxation, where rejuvenating elixirs, calming lighting and comforting music invite you to break away from the everyday.

Utilizing therapeutic and revitalizing techniques, Senses – A Disney Spa boasts a soothing confection of unique therapies—facials, massages, body wraps and aromatherapy—designed to elevate the mind and have you looking and feeling your best.

Spa for Two, approximately 2.2 hours / $495
80-minute Custom Firm Massage for Two
50-minute Pedicure for Two

Warm Stone Massage
75 minutes / $210
The Warm Stone Massage combines Swedish techniques with the soothing effects of stone therapy. Smooth basalt rocks are warmed and used to gently glide along key points on the body.

Relax Manicure and Pedicure Rituals
50 minutes manicure / $55
50 minutes pedicure / $80

Close your eyes, calm the mind and reduce anxiety on this “Relax” journey featuring organic geranium essential oils known for easing tension and stress and fostering a sense of peace and well-being.

Osborne Family Lights at Hollywood Studios

Osborne Family Lights at Hollywood Studios

While we were at Hollywood Studios, we checked out the Osborne Family Lights. They were SPECTACULAR!!! Several million twinkling lights set to a 10 minute holiday music program. WOW!!

A Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

A Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

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Caroline having fun.

Caroline having fun.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!


Every inch of every building is covered in lights!

Every inch of every building is covered in lights!

Let there be light!!!

Let there be light!!!

Marvel at millions of glittering lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music. Share in an awe-inspiring seasonal treat for the entire family. Brilliant multi-colored bulbs wrap the buildings, changing hues and brightness throughout the show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As joyful music surrounds you, a sea of twinkling lights form twirling carousels of heavenly angels, toy soldiers, a spinning Earth, and even Santa and his trusty reindeer. It’s something you have to see to believe!

How It All Began
This stunning spectacle started modestly in Arkansas as a single home’s annual display. Every year, Jennings Osborne and his family set up an elaborate collection of holiday lights. Over time, the collection of lights grew and grew… and grew! In 1995, the Osborne family decided to share their magic with the world. Walt Disney World Resort happily offered to become the new permanent home for this exceptional exhibition of holiday cheer.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!