10 Things I Miss About Downtown Disney

Getting off work early one evening.

Getting off work early one evening.

I worked Zone 1 (the Marketplace) merchandise at Downtown Disney for almost a year.  I loved working at DTD, especially the hours – it was a rare early bird shift for me!  Most of my work days started in the afternoon and went into the late evening.

My favorite shop to work at was Tren-D, followed by Team Mickey, which closed earlier in 2014.  I liked both of those store’s costumes and that the stores were air conditioned (as opposed to Pin Traders, which is NOT air conditioned, just ceiling fans.  HOT!)

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/working-together-at-tren-d/ 

Below is a list of the things that I miss the most about DTD.  (I’ve added a few links to some of my earlier DTD blogs if you’d like to see some photos.) 

  1. The Nightlife

Ah, Downtown Disney at dusk, when the lights come on and the music starts up…magical!  The guests are always in a good mood and ready to have a good time.  Seeing the twinkling lights reflecting off the lagoon water and smelling the delicious dinner smells in the air from all the restaurants; it was just so much fun to be there in the evening.

Downtown Disney at nightime.

Downtown Disney at nightime.

  1. Pin Trading with Guests

Pin trading with guests, both young and old, was always fun and sometimes unexpected.  More of my Magical Moment encounters with guests happened during pin trading than anything else.

  1. World of Disney

The best Disney shopping in the world!  World of Disney is 50,000 square feet – 12 rooms – of Disney superstore with every kind of Disney merchandise.  If it’s not here, it’s probably not available anywhere!

  1. Earl of Sandwich

My favorite place to eat at DTD.  The sandwiches, the soups, the desserts…all of it wonderful!  If it’s hot out, there’s indoor seating in the AC and, if it’s nice out, there are tables outside so you can sit and people watch.

  1. Ghirardelli Soda and Fountain Shop

Chocolate anything from Ghirardelli’s is delicious!  You can just smell the deliciousness in the air when you walk in the door.  Best of all, they hand out free samples of chocolate squares ALL DAY LONG!

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/ghirardelli-soda-fountain-ice-cream-shop-downtown-disney/

  1. Goofy’s Candy Company

The icy glaciers from Goofy’s are a cool treat and just the thing on a hot day.  Best of all, you can have as many 1 oz. samples of any of the eight icy flavors as you want!

The candy and sweets in the shop are eye-catching and so pretty to look at. https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/goofys-candy-co-glaciers/

  1. AMC Dine in Theater

What’s not to like about dinner and a movie…and we got a cast member discount too!  We saw ‘Frozen” here the week it opened while having a nice relaxing dinner.

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/frozen-dinner-and-a-movie/

  1. Disney’s Days of Christmas

If you’re into Christmas like me, then this is your store!  I actually got to work several shifts at DOC and really loved the store’s costume!  It’s a fun place to shop year round and stock up on birthday and Christmas presents for family and friends.

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/days-of-christmas/ 

  1. Disney’s Pin Traders

The largest collection of pins at WDW and the place to be on “first issue” pin days.  We got several exclusive pins from here while working for Disney.

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/pin-traders-at-downtown-disney/

    10. The Ferry

One of only two rides at DTD – the other one being Characters in Flight – the ferry is an often overlooked treat.  It’s the easiest way to get from DTD’s Marketplace on the east side to DTD’s West Side.  Due to all the construction going on in 2014, they’ve had to suspended the ferry at times, but if it’s running, give it a try, especially at night.

ferry (2)

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Things to come in 2015 & 2016:  Disney Springs

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/disney-springs-update/

Into The Woods

 

The Baker & his wife, wanting a child (perhaps a little gingerbread boy?)

The Baker & his wife wanting a child (perhaps a little gingerbread boy?)

Into The Woods opens Christmas Day 2014!  Can’t Wait!!!

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/watch-the-first-trailer-for-disneys-into-the-woods-1201272870/

This looks so good! 

Based on the Broadway musical, “Into the Woods” stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine and Anna Kendrick and was composed by Stephen Sondheim.

The trailer opens with the various iconic characters offering wishes, followed by the warning “This Christmas Be Careful What You Wish For.”

Into the Woods tells the story of a gang of fairy tale characters who enter a dark forest in the hopes of achieving their deepest wishes. The film stars Meryl Streep as the Witch, James Corden as the Baker, Emily Blunt as the Baker’s Wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as her Prince, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Billy Magnussen as her Prince, Christine Baranski as Cinderella’s Stepmother, Lilla Crawford as Red Riding Hood, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, Tracey Ullman as Jack’s Mother, and Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf.

The Disney fairytale mash-up, based on various Grimm fairy tales, revolves around a childless baker and his wife who attempt to lift a family curse by journeying into the woods to confront the witch that put the spell on them. Along the way, they encounter Rapunzel, Cinderella, “Jack and the Beanstalk’s” Jack Little, Red Riding Hood and other classic fairy tale characters. 🙂

 

20 Things All DCP Alumni Have in Common

True!

True!

  1. As soon as your DCP program ends, you want to go back because you miss being able to pop over to a Disney theme park when you’re bored.
  2. You immediately start saving all of your money so you can book a Disney vacation ASAP.
  3. You spend the rest of your school breaks at Disney until you graduate.
  4. You are now the Disney expert among your family and friends, and everyone knows this.
  5. You start to annoy everyone because every story you tell starts, “This one time at Disney…”
  6. You know all of the words spoken by the ghost host in the Haunted Mansion, and you find yourself reciting them at random times of the day.
  7. You lose track of time in the evening because you no longer hear fireworks every night at 9 p.m.
  8. You’ve memorized the safety spiels of the monorail, the parking trams and every attraction, and you know them in both English and Spanish.
  9. You go through roller coaster withdrawal when you go longer than a month without riding Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, or Expedition Everest.
  10. Without realizing it, you still point at everything using your two-finger Disney point.
  11. Every picture you post on #TBT is of you during your DCP Program.
  12. When anyone you know goes on a trip to Disney, you immediately like all of the photos they post online.
  13. When you tell your friends about the time when you were in Mexico, you forget that you now have to clarify that you mean Epcot, not the actual country.
  14. You can spot a Disney antenna topper a mile away, and get really excited when you see one on someone’s car back home.
  15. When your friends can’t come up with anything to do, you always suggest a Disney movie marathon.
  16. You’ve taken to listening Disney music whenever you’re in the car (with the volume all the way up so you can sing along).
  17. You use acronyms like WDW, DLR, DAK and TTC, and people look at you like you have five heads.
  18. You are way more inspired by Walt Disney quotes than anyone else.
  19. You rethink your whole career plan because you want to move back and work at Disney.
  20. When you go back to visit, you get overly emotional during Wishes because you feel like you’re home. 🙂

castle drawing (2)

A dream is a wish your heart makes….

(adapted from the DCP Blog:  https://disneyprogramsblog.com/20-things-all-disney-college-program-alumni-have-in-common/)

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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:

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

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First Week of DCP Internship

Welcome to Walt Disney World!

Welcome to Walt Disney World!

Monday, Day 1:  Check-in Day

Welcome!

You will receive your housing assignment and also set up payroll deduction for your weekly housing payments. You will also have your photo taken for your Housing Property ID.  Smile!

It is extremely important that you are within Disney Look Guidelines in regards to hair, makeup, jewelry, and body modifications when you arrive so that you are not delayed with taking your photo. Please also be sure you are not wearing a sleeveless shirt. Your photo will be taken for your ID, so your shoulders must be covered.

You will be scheduled for a Housing Welcome Session. This mandatory meeting will be scheduled when you receive your housing assignment will take place either in the late afternoon/early evening of your arrival day, or the following day in the morning or early afternoon.

Background Check

For the safety and security of all of our guests and cast members, all new cast members must undergo a criminal background check.

As part of the background-check process, it will be necessary for you to be fingerprinted. The fingerprints are then submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for further processing. On your application, you authorized this process and agreed to undergo a criminal background check prior to the start of your employment. This authorization also allows us to use this process to conduct a criminal background check on you at any time during your employment.

Drug Testing

To ensure a safe and healthy environment for our guests and cast, we are committed to maintaining a workplace that is free of the influences of drugs. For specific roles, an offer of employment is conditional based on a satisfactory result of a drug test result for illegal substances. The company also has a policy of drug and alcohol testing on a random basis or under other circumstances during the course of employment.

Employment Eligibility Verification

You will need to have your employment eligibility documents with you so that we can verify your I-9 Work Authorization Form. These must be the originals. Photocopies of these documents will not be accepted. If you do not have the proper employment eligibility documents with you, you will not be able to begin working.

Work Location

A representative from the work locations will give you information about your role and your training schedule.

Disney Traditions Schedule

You will receive the date and time of your Disney Traditions class. Disney Traditions is your company orientation class and your first day of work. It is a program that introduces each new generation of cast members to the culture and heritage of the world-famous Disney organization.

NOTE: If you do not have the proper employment eligibility documents with you, you will not be able to attend Disney Traditions or start your location training.

Lifeguard Swim Test

Lifeguards typically take their swim test the first day of check-in. Details will be distributed during the check-in process. During your swim test you will be tested on the following:

200-yard swim

2 minute tread without the use of hands

Retrieving a 10 lb brick from deep water using a feet-first surface dive

Vision test

Tuesday, Day 2:  Unpack and Get Settled into Your Apartment

Housing Welcome Session Meeting

Program participants who did not attend the Housing Welcome Session on check-in day will attend a session.

Other than the welcome session, this is typically a free day for participants – it allows you time to unpack, meet your roommates, and go shopping for groceries or other apartment essentials. During larger arrival periods, there is often a social activity in the evening.

Wednesday, Day 3 or Day 4:  Traditions Class

Attend Disney Traditions

Disney Traditions is the program that introduces each new generation of cast members to the culture and heritage of the world-famous Disney organization. With a focus on the past, present and future of Disney, Disney Traditions will help you recognize and appreciate the connections you have to the Disney story, the daily impact you can have on the quality of the Disney show and the role you can play in our company’s growth and success.

Professional attire will be required when you attend Disney Traditions class and Disney College Program Education courses.

Additional questions you may have regarding grooming guidelines are covered in the Disney Look section of this site. You will be required to meet these guidelines when you arrive, including the Disney Look guidelines for hairstyles.

Friday, Day 4, Day 5, & Day 6:  Costuming, Training, Use Your Cast Member Pass for First Time!

Work Location Training

After you have completed your Disney Traditions class, you will begin your work location training (typically a few days of job shadowing). Some may begin this training immediately after their Disney Traditions class. Others may have a day or two between Disney Traditions and when their location training starts.

Visit the Parks!  Parking and entrance is free for Cast Members!  🙂

tired (2)
http://cp.disneycareers.com/en/onboarding/fl/pre-arrival-information/your-first-few-days/

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 Two Girls

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 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.

***

2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

At the International Food and Wine Festival

At the International Food and Wine Festival

We went to the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot several times last year and had a blast every time!

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/epcots-food-and-wine-festival/

In November, we plan on going again for this year’s celebration!  Can’t wait!!! 🙂

wdw (2)

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2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-food-and-wine-festival/

Taste Your Way Around the World

Each fall, as the seasons transform, so too does Epcot—where dozens of unique flavors and fun experiences unfold across the park.

Delicious Surprises Await

Enjoy the pinnacle of food and wine celebrations, celebrity chef cooking demos and some of the most unique dining opportunities in the world.

The menus for the 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival marketplace kiosks are below.

There are 28 kiosks in total that will be serving you special cuisine from September 19 to November 10, 2014.

As usual, there will be a huge variety of dishes on offer!  Bon appetite!

Africa

  • Beef tenderloin tips berbere style with okra, jalapeños, tomato and pap
  • South African bobotie with turkey and mushrooms (gluten free)
  • MAN Vintners Chenin Blanc
  • Fairview Pinotage
  • The Wolftrap Red: Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier

Australia

  • Garlic shrimp with roasted tomatoes, lemon myrtle and rapini (gluten free)
  • Grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies (gluten free)
  • Pavlova: Crispy meringue shell with fresh berries and vanilla custard
  • Coopers Brewery, Original Pale Ale
  • Chateau Tanuda Grand Barossa Dry Riesling
  • Kilda Chardonnay
  • Nine Stones Shiraz

Belgium

  • Potato and leek waffle with beer-braised beef
  • Belgium waffle with warm chocolate ganache and whipped cream
  • Belgium waffle with berry compote and whipped cream
  • Hoegaarden
  • Stella Artois
  • Leffe Blonde
  • Stella Artois Cidre
  • Chilled coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • Beer flight (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde and Stella Artois Cidre

Brazil

  • Mocequa de pescado: Regal Springs premium tilapia with coconut lime sauce and steamed rice (gluten free)
  • Crispy pork belly with black beans, tomato and cilantro (gluten free)
  • Pao de queijo: Brazilian cheese bread
  • Cocada: Brazilian coconut candy
  • Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer
  • Carnaval Moscato Sparkling White Wine
  • Tannat Reserve
  • Frozen Caipirinha

Brewer’s Collection

  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • BraufactuM Colonia
  • BraufactuM Palor
  • Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • BraufactuM Roog
  • BraufactuM Darkon
  • BraufactuM Progusta IPA
  • Beer flight 1 (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Radeberger Pilsner, BraufactuM Colonia, BraufactuM Palor and Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
  • Beer flight 2 (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Altenmünster Oktoberfest, BraufactuM Roog, BraufactuM Darkon and BraufactuM Progusta IPA

Canada

  • Canadian cheddar cheese soup
  • Seared rainbow trout with bacon, frisee and maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette (gluten free)
  • “Le Cellier” wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce (gluten free)
  • Moosehead Lager
  • La Face Neige Apple Ice Wine
  • La Face Neige Sparkling
  • Mission Hill Family Estate Syrah

China

  • Beijing roasted duck in steamed bun with hoisin sauce
  • Mongolian beef in a steamed bun with chili mayo
  • Black pepper shrimp with Sichuan noodles
  • Chicken potstickers
  • TSINGTAO Beer
  • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Riesling
  • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Syrah
  • Kung Fu Punch with vodka and triple sec
  • Happy Lychee with tequila and vodka
  • Mango green tea with popping bubbles

Craft Beers

  • Sierra Nevada, Kellerweis® – Chico, CA
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Punkin Ale – Milton, DE
  • Shiner Brewery, Wild Hare Pale Ale – Shiner, TX
  • Abita Brewing Company, Purple Haze – Abita Springs, LA
  • Goose Island, 312 Urban Wheat Ale – Chicago, IL
  • Florida Beer Company, Sunshine State Pils – Cape Canaveral, FL
  • Magic Hat Brewery, Dream Machine IPL – South Burlington, VT
  • Terrapin Beer Company, Rye Pale Ale – Athens, GA
  • Beer Flight 1 (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Sierra Nevada, Kellerweis; Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Punkin Ale; Shiner Brewery, Wild
  • Hare Pale Ale; and Abita Brewing Company, Purple Haze
  • Beer Flight 2 (featuring 4 4-ounce servings): Goose Island, 312 Urban Wheat Ale; Florida Beer Company, Sunshine State Pils; Magic Hat
  • Brewery, Dream Machine IPL; and Terrapin Beer Company, Rye Pale Ale

Desserts and Champagne

  • Dessert Trio: Passion fruit coconut creamsicle, blueberry lime cheesecake roll and chocolate espresso opera cake
  • Guylian Belgian chocolate seashell truffles
  • Nicolas Feuillatte Rosé*
  • Möet & Chandon Nectar Impérial
  • Ruinart Blanc de Blanc
  • Dom Pérignon
  • Frozen S’mores featuring Monin® Toasted Marshmallow Syrup

Farm Fresh

  • Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon hash with sweet corn, potatoes, hollandaise and pickled jalapeños (gluten free)*
  • Griddled “yard bird” with braised greens (gluten free)
  • Orlando Brewing Company, I-4 IPA – Orlando, FL
  • Ba Ba Black Lager, Uinta Brewing Company – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale, Bold City Brewery – Jacksonville, FL
  • Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale, Cigar City Brewery – Tampa, FL
  • Florida Orange Groves, Key Limen-Key Lime Wine
  • Chateau St. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica® Riesling
  • Francis Old Vines Zinfandel
  • Beer Flight (4 4-ounce servings): I-4 IPA, Ba Ba Black Lager, Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale and Florida Cracker Belgian Style White Ale

 

 

10 Things I Miss About Disney’s Animal Kingdom

animal kingdoma (2)

I loved my work costume!

After working merchandise at Discovery Island for almost a year, DAK became my home away from home.  I miss it – and my fellow cast members – every day!

DAK coworkers (2)

August 2015:  Ice cream break with my DAK coworkers!

It was super fun to be able to come back as work as an alumni in the Summer of 2015!

I really loved working at DAK, especially the hours.  No working until 2am like at the Magic Kingdom!  Nope, those animals have to go the bed! In the winter months, I would get off work by 7pm.

Below is a list of the things that I miss the most about DAK. (I’ve added links to some of my earlier DAK blogs, if you’d like to see some photos.)

DAK4

DAK’s Tree of Life

1. The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life dominated my time at DAK.  It was the first thing that I saw walking into work and many nights, the last thing that I saw as I was leaving the Park.  If they shut off the lights to the Tree and I was still stocking merchandise for the morning crew, it was getting late!

At 145 ft., this 14 story artificial tree has the images of more than 300 animals hand-carved into its trunk.  Every time I looked at it, I saw a new animal hidden in the carvings.

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/my-last-day-at-animal-kingdom/

2. Animal Kingdom Lodge

I got to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge twice during my time at the DCP internship.  Both times, I had views of the savannah in front of the Lodge and got to see the animals being fed in the morning.  The Lodge itself is beautiful, especially decorated at Christmastime.

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/animal-kingdom-lodge/

3. The Attractions

You want to ride a roller coaster?  Expedition Everest is for you!

You’re hot and want to get wet to cool off?  Kali River Rapids is just the thing!

You want to be scared on a ride?  Take a seat on Dinosaur and be prepared to get scared!

You want a ‘midway’ amusement park experience with games and fun rides?  DinoLand is just the place!

4. The Animals

Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s 500 acres are home to some 1700 animals representing 250 different species throughout the Park. All of them are extremely well cared for and live in interesting habitats.  I should know – I did a backstage tour a few months ago.

5. The Characters

DAK has Park-exclusive characters that can only be seen at DAK.  Russell and Dug can be seen near the Tree of Life (“The wilderness must be explored!”). Pocahontas can be visited with at Discovery Island. Jimmey Cricket comes out to play just once a year – on Earth Day, only at DAK.  Rafiki is just a train ride away, hanging out at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The list goes on…

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/character-meet-greets-at-animal-kingdom/

6. The Conservation Message

Through my role, I collected over $1,000 for the Disney Conservation Fund.  Most months, I was one of the top fundraisers for DCF and got awards and prizes.  I really admire Disney’s commitment to worldwide conservation efforts.

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/cast-member-of-the-month/

7. The Food

The bar-b-que at the Flame Tree Barbeque is delicious and the outdoor seating is so pretty.  The carved animals are done in a prey/predator theme, each area different, all in vibrant colors of teal, orange, and yellow.

Pizzafari has delicious pizza and wonderful indoor (AC!) seating if it’s getting too hot outside. Each room has a different animal theme, all of it wildly colored.  So pretty!

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/touring-disneys-animal-kingdom-in-the-rain/

8. Kilimanjaro Safari

With its lush setting and animals roaming around freely everywhere, this is one of my favorite attractions at DAK!

9. Flights of Wonder

This is not your average bird show. The birds are trained with lots of positive reinforcement (i.e., food bits) and like performing for the audience. They are all very smart and it’s a good show!

10. Finding Nemo – The Musical

WOW!  If you’ve seen this musical, you know what I mean!!!  It’s 35 minutes of the most elaborate live show performed in any WDW park.  The scale of this show is HUGE, some of the props and puppets are larger than a minivan!

 And, lastly: Avatar is Coming!

Construction began in 2014 on the new Avatarland, causing several of the attractions at the front of the Park – like Camp Minnie Mickey – to be moved. Can’t wait to see this in a few years!

https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/rivers-of-light-coming-to-the-animal-kingdom/

snow white

I miss my DCP friends most of all!

Animal Kingdom (2)

My home park!

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DAK pin trading (2)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

***

Disney Springs Update

ds logo (2)
Major construction continues from one end of Downtown Disney to the other, and all the roadways in-between!

Disney Blog released two new drawings of what the expanded Lake Buena Vista Dr. will look like by 2015/2016.  (http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2014/07/new-renderings-offer-a-glimpse-at-the-future-access-to-disney-springs/).

They should have begun this expansion – especially the two new parking garages – back in 2000.  Parking’s been terrible at Downtown Disney for 10+ years and Lake Buena Vista hasn’t been able to handle the daily traffic loads for years.

New I-4 interchange that will offer guests direct access to Disney Springs.

New I-4 interchange that will offer guests direct access to Disney Springs.

Widening Lake Buena Vista Drive from seven to ten lanes.

Widening Lake Buena Vista Drive from seven to ten lanes.

We can’t wait until it’s all finished!  Definitely need to plan a trip to see it all in 2016!

Disney Springs after dark.

Disney Springs after dark.

Disney Springs, Florida logo

Disney Springs, Florida logo

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We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney World in the Disney College Program: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale. It’s filled with advice about the DCP program and how to get the most out of your internship.
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and wrote about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We give advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship at Disney, 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+Tal