Knock, Knock…Anyone Home??

Maelstrom is gone forever.  :(

Maelstrom is gone forever. 😦

We loved this ride! If only we had known it was closing for good in early October 2014…we would have ridden it a few more times during our DCP program!

We stopped in at Maelstrom last week to say farewell. All the signs are down.

Knock, knock...anyone home???

Knock, knock…anyone home???

We talked to a few of the CPs that worked the Maelstrom ride and they are all greeters now at the Norway Pavilion. Their student work visas don’t expire until March 2015.

"Over the falls with you..."

“Over the falls with you…”

Caroline even wore her Maelstrom t-shirt in honor of the occasion.

Caroline even wore her Maelstrom t-shirt in honor of the occasion.

The Maelstrom ride was a Disney favorite, floating guests through the perils of the North Sea in 10th-century-style warrior’s longboats. It opened in 1988.

In September 2014, WDW announced it was shutting down the Maelstrom ride in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot and replacing it with a ride inspired by the movie ‘Frozen’. The new attraction – also a water ride – will take guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film.

We are hoping that the new boats will be more like the Pirates of the Caribbean boats or It’s a Small World boats, wider with more passenger capacity per boat! Sometimes the Maelstrom lines were very long!

Early October before Maelstrom closed...the wait lines were very long!

Early October before Maelstrom closed…the wait lines were very long!

Backstage secret:  There's a CM breakroom here on the 2nd floor.  That's why the light is on!

Backstage secret: There’s a CM breakroom here on the 2nd floor. That’s why the light is on!

Cool video below by a guy driving on the highway near WDW who caught of the Maelstrom boats leaving Epcot!
Adios longboats we’ll miss you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqiVbM3iQdc

Epcot Norway folk lore:  If you touch the troll's nose, you'll be back!

Epcot Norway folklore: If you touch the troll’s nose, you’ll be coming back someday!  🙂

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bookstore (2)

At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

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

Our Judge Judy Appearance: Cancelled!

That Judge Judy doesn't put up with any BS!

That Judge Judy doesn’t put up with any BS!

We had five roommates during our Fall 2013 DCP semester and, thankfully, no roommates during the Spring 2014 semester.

We started writing a book about our Disney experiences this year and were offered a contract by Theme Park Press, the world’s leading independent publisher of books about the Disney company, its history, its films and animation, and its theme parks.

Our book, ‘Two Girls and a Mouse Tale’, was published on August 30, 2014 to good reviews.

However, there was one person who didn’t like it.  Within a week after the book was published, she read the book’s backcover blurb on Amazon.com and immediately unfriended Caroline on facebook.  We thought that was the end of it.  No loss.

Fast forward to a little over two months later.  One evening in early November, a senior producer from the Judge Judy show calls Caroline while we were on our way to see Theresa Caputo’s “The Experience: Live” show in Denver.

She leaves a message for Caroline to call her back.  Seems one of the five roommates was claiming “Defamation of Character”.

What exactly is defamation of character?

In order to sue for defamation of character, it’s not enough that somebody express or publish a defamatory statement. There must also be real damage caused by the statement.  Defamation of character occurs when someone makes a false statement about you that causes you some type of harm. The statement must be published (meaning some third party must have heard it), false, and it must result in harm, usually to the reputation. The most obvious negative consequence that a defamatory statement can cause is harm to your professional reputation.

None of the five fall roommates are identified in any way in our book; they are all called “the roommate” and anonymous.  We deliberately didn’t use their names, hometowns, colleges, majors, age, race, physical descriptions, tattoos, or anything that could identify them.

Also, we didn’t hang out with any of them ever, didn’t work at the same location/park with any of them, and never socialized after work with them at the Disney parks or anywhere.  No one knew who our roommates were.

truth (2)Yet, this one roommate saw herself in the book – although she later claimed that we made up stories about roommates/her (not true) – and she contacted Judge Judy saying she had been libeled and defamed.

This roommate was under the impression that the book should have been called: “Two Girls, a Roommate, and a Mouse Tale”.  She wanted all our book profits for damages.

The producer was very interested in having us appear on the show.  Judge Judy is a writer herself and has published many books.

DSCN3118

Travel info, hotel, taxi vouchers…

We got clearance from the book’s publisher and from our lawyer, and we agreed to go on the show.  Actually, our publisher wanted us to go on the show and wave around copies of the book and perhaps mention Theme Park Press. He thought it would be good publicity.

DSCN3120

We’re the Defendant!

The dates were set for us to fly out to Hollywood November 18 – 20, 2014. The show got us plane tickets, including one for our mom as she was going as our witness, a hotel room near Paramount Studios where the Judge Judy show is taped, and taxi transfers to and from the airport & show.  They were also offering us each a small stipend as we would be missing work and also a per diem for food.  They overnighted the contract to us to sign.

It all sounded like fun to us!  A 3 day/2 night all-expenses paid trip to Hollywood!!  Whoo-hoo!!!!

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Arbitration Agreement

But, then the senior producer called us on November 14, 2014 saying that the roommate had gotten cold feet and was afraid it might harm her “professional career” (part-time sales clerk at local mall).  The producer was so frustrated after having to talk to the roommate all week (welcome to our world…).

The producer thought that the roommate didn't have a case and would have lost.

The producer thought that the roommate didn’t have a case and would have lost.

So, our Judge Judy appearance was canceled.  Too bad!!!

Meanwhile, this roommate has been self identifying herself all over Amazon.com, leaving a bad book review and negative comments.  We’ve contacted Amazon.com about getting her review taken down as it’s obviously biased.

Case dismissed!  😉

It would have been fun...

The Appearance Agreement:  It would have been fun…

We had already picked out our outfits for the show.

We had already picked out our outfits for the show.

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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.
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+Tal

2014 Candlelight Processional at Epcot

(from DisneyParksBlog)

Beautiful new logo for the 2014 Candlelight Processional created by our CM friend Jason  Tackett.

Beautiful new logo for the 2014 Candlelight Processional created by our CM friend Jason Tackett.

The “Candlelight Processional,” a highlight of the holiday offerings at Epcot, will return to the park tonight (November 28, 2014).

The show is a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator with seasonal songs performed by a live choir and orchestra.

So beautiful!

So beautiful!

Shows take place each day at 5pm, 6:45pm and 8:15pm (except on December 7, when shows will take place only at 6:45pm and 8:15pm).

The Candlelight Professional

The Candlelight Professional

First up in this year’s schedule of narrators is actress Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” Joining the lineup for the first time this year are Jonathan Groff, who voiced Kristoff in “Frozen” and comedian Ana Gasteyer. Check out the full schedule below (entertainment is subject to change).

Jodi Benson – November 28 – 29, 2014

Neil Patrick Harris – November 30 – December 2, 2014

Jonathan Groff (NEW!) – December 3 – 4, 2014

Whoopi Goldberg – December 5 – 6, 2014

Levar Burton – December 7 – 9, 2014

Edward James Olmos – December 10 – 14, 2014

Chita Rivera – December 15 – 17, 2014

Ana Gasteyer (NEW!) – December 18 – 20, 2014

Marlee Matlin – December 21 – 23, 2014

Isabella Rossellini – December 24 – 25, 2014

Blair Underwood – December 26 – 27, 2014

Steven Curtis Chapman – December 28 – 30, 2014

2014 Disney Holiday Pins

The Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party trading pin.

The 2014 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party trading pin.

During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, we picked up a few of the new 2014 Disney Holiday pins.

The 2014 MVMCP pin.

The 2014 MVMCP pin:  Mickey & Minnie

Mom thought it was irritating that the pin is only available at 3 shops at MK during the party and the pins tend to sell out very early in the evening.  Elly and I didn’t mind, I guess we are used to the Disney crowds!

They go on sale exactly at 7pm when the party starts, but the guests start lining up around 6pm to buy them! And you have to be wearing a party band to buy them!  😦 We got the red holiday pin, and heard they were also available in blue and green.  But, we didn’t see those colored pins anywhere. When we went over to the Disney resorts to see the gingerbread displays, we picked up a few of their holiday pins too! From the Grand Floridian:

The 2014 Grand Floridian Holiday pin.

The 2014 Grand Floridian Holiday pin.

Inside the GF pin.

Inside the GF pin:  Winnie the Pooh.

From the Boardwalk Resort:

The Boardwalk Holiday pin.

The Boardwalk Holiday pin.

Inside the Boardwalk pin.

Inside the Boardwalk pin:  Goofy.

******************************* 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+Tal

Opening Weekend for ‘Big Hero 6’ at DTD

With Baymax.

With Baymax at DTD, Orlando.

We arrived in Orlando during opening weekend for Disney’s new movie, Big Hero 6.

While we were walking around Downtown Disney, we saw that they put up a 40-foot-tall, inflatable and illuminated Baymax near the AMC theater.

DSC00179

Video of Baymax being inflated:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAJkCEYd160

Seeing Big Hero 6 with the family.

Seeing Big Hero 6 with the family.

We went to see the movie over Thanksgiving weekend and liked it.

DSCN3101

Poke!

Poke!

Big Hero 6
From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes ‘Big Hero 6,’ an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo.
With the help of his closest companion–a robot named Baymax–Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated ‘Big Hero 6’ hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.

Big Hero (2)

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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.
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+Tal

Throwback Thursday: Meet & Greet with Pocahontas Characters

Meeting Pocahantas, Novemebr 2014.

Meeting Pocahontas, November 2014.

On this Thanksgiving Day 2014, we thought we would do a blog about meeting Pocahontas!

While Caroline was working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this spring, she got to see Pocahontas fairly often because her meet and greet area was moved from the Camp Mickey & Minnie area to right next to Island Merchantile where Caroline was working.  (This was due to all the construction going on for the new Avatarland opening in 2017.)

We haven’t seen the other characters from the Pocahontas movie since our 1996 WDW trip!  We were so surprised to see Governor Radcliff running through the DAK entrance getting his MagicBand scanned!  We followed him over to a shady area by the entrance and were the first in line to meet him & Meeko.

He gave us a special rock with the letter “R” on it to give to Pocahontas when we saw her later.  He was so funny…stomping his heels when he wanted something from the character attendant….just too funny to watch!

Governor Radcliff literally running around the front entrance of DAK.

Governor Radcliff literally running around the front entrance of DAK.

Signing Caroline's autograph book.

Getting Caroline’s autograph book signed.

First time we've seen these two since 1996!

First time we’ve seen these two since 1996!

Meeko photobombing the photo!

Meeko photobombing the photo!  He was great!

The rock that Governor Radcliff gave us.

The rock that Governor Radcliff gave us.

Pocahantas looking at the rock.  She had no gold to trade for it.

Pocahontas looking at the rock. She said she had no gold to trade for it.

She said that he was looking for gold and offering the Indians pretty rocks for their gold, if they had any.

Signing Caroline's autograph book.

Signing Caroline’s autograph book.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Throwback Thursday photos:  Meeting the Pocahontas movie characters at the Wilderness Lodge in November 1996.

With Governor Radcliff, Nov. 1996

With Governor Radcliff, Nov. 1996  (Caroline was too afraid/suspicious of him to come that close!)

Meeting Pocahantas for the first time.  November 1996.

Meeting Pocahontas for the first time. November 1996.

Meeko signing Elly's autograph book.  Nov. 1996.

Meeko signing Elly’s autograph book. Nov. 1996.

*******************************
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+Tal

2014 Cinderella Castle Dream Lights: A Frozen Holiday Wish

Watching the Dream Lights come on at 6:15pm.

Watching the Dream Lights come on at 6:15pm.

We got to see the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights being turned on twice last week.  Disney decorates Cinderella Castle for the holiday season with a “Dream Lights” effect that makes the Castle seem to be covered in ice. Over 200,000 LED lights are draped over the turrets and roofs and down the sides of the Castle to create this beautiful effect.

Cinderella Castle Dream Lights

Cinderella Castle Dream Lights

New this year:  Queen Elsa turns the Cinderella Castle icy!

Just after dark, around 6pm, the characters from ‘Frozen’ come out right before the Castle lights turn on and do a short show. This brand new castle lighting show stars Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf from Frozen, replacing Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother from previous years.

The Frozen show starts the evening’s celebrations, followed by the Castle lighting ceremony at 6:15 pm.  The Castle lights remain on, with the Castle slowly changing colors, for the rest of the evening until park closing.

Video of the new Frozen castle lighting show:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkNlx_5CohI

So beautiful!

So beautiful!

*******************************
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+Tal