Disastrous Festival of Fantasy Parade

The fan that keeps the balloon inflated stopped working.

The fan that keeps the balloon inflated stopped working.

It’s not easy putting on a parade every day – sometimes twice a day! – and have it go perfectly every time.

Sometimes, it’s the weather that won’t cooperate, sometimes it’s the sound system, and sometimes it’s a little bit of everything that goes wrong during the parade!

Such was the case with the FoF parade today.  What could go wrong, did go wrong.

The music got off from the character floats, then the dragon stopped and wouldn’t exit the parade route backing up all the floats behind it.

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The grand finale float with Mickey and Minnie balloon’s collapsed just as it was entering the town square.

Watch the last 4 minutes of this video from when the dragon loses his steam and won’t exit the parade route on: Bad Festival of Fantasy Parade.

What the parade finale float should look like.

What the parade finale float should look like.

Deflate-gate:  When did Mickey know???

Deflate-gate: When did Mickey know???   😉

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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

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
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.

The Rainy Day Cavalcade: A Rainy Day Parade at Disney World

YES, they do!!

YES, they do!!

Tomorrow is June 1st and you know what that means…the rainy season has officially arrived in Orlando!

While the average Orlando rainfall in May is a little over 3”, in June that expected rainfall jumps to over 8” in the average month!  That’s a lot of rain!!

Rainy season: June, July, August, September

Rainy season: June, July, August, September

If you’ve visited WDW more than a couple of times – especially in the summer months – then there’s a good chance that you’ve had the afternoon parade delayed or even canceled by inclement weather.

Here comes the Rainy Day Cavalcade parade!

Here comes the Rainy Day Cavalcade parade!

On days when it’s pouring rain in the afternoon, Disney swaps the ‘Rainy Day Calvacade’ parade for the 3pm Festival of Fantasy parade.  (If it’s lighting/thundering, the parade gets delayed.)

You still get to see all the characters smiling and waving at the crowds while the music plays...

You still get to see all the characters smiling and waving at the crowds while the music plays…

The performers all wear bright yellow raingear and the Main Street vehicles (old timey cars and the double-deckered bus) are packed with Disney characters.

It's amazing how cheerful the performers are!

It’s amazing how cheerful the performers are!

Video clip of the Rainy Day Cavalcade:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTV6ZhjYogs

For more tips on Visiting Disney World in the Rain, read our blog: Rain, rain, go away.

Rainy day at the Magic Kingdom: No Crowds!

Rainy day at the Magic Kingdom: No Crowds!  And, yes, the parade will go on!  🙂

October 2015:  A rainy afternoon at MK.  Look, no crowds!

October 2015: A rainy afternoon at MK. Look, no crowds!

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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.

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.

***

T Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney

T-Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney

T-Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney

I went out to dinner at Downtown Disney with my new friend, Nicole.

We really wanted to go to T-Rex Cafe and were hoping that the line wasn’t too long.  It’s always out the door no matter what the time of day.

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T-Rex Cafe menu

When we got there at 6pm, there was just a 25 minute wait for two people, but there was open seating in the bar area.  We ended up getting seated in the bar right away.  It’s nice because they also serve the full menu.

I ordered my favorite drink – the “Cotton-tini”.  It’s blue cotton candy in a martini glass and then they pour cotton candy vodka liquor on top! Yum!

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Drinking my Cottontini drink while watching the pretty fish swim around the aquarium.

All the food on the menu looked so good!

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T-rexasadillas with chicken

We ended up ordering two appetizers and splitting them.  I got the T-rexasadillas.  So good!

I honestly didn’t think anything could taste better than this.  The T-rexasadillas has grilled chicken and peppers with an avocado sauce on top.

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Footprints Flatbread with chicken

But, then I tried the Footprints Flatbread – grilled chicken, grilled onions, shredded cheese, with a balsamic vinegar dressing on top.  Two thumbs up!

Omg, I can’t tell you how good both these dishes were!

I meant to save a little for snack time later, but we ate the whole thing instead; the appetizers were so good!

No regrets!  🙂

To read the full T-Rex menu, click here.

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

***

Disney College Program Traditions Class

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Welcome to Traditions!

****WARNING!!! This blog contains a step-by-step account of Disney’s Traditions class, including some surprises and magical moments!****

The first step to becoming a Disney Cast Member is Traditions.  This is basically a job orientation class that teaches you everything about the Disney Company and all the great reasons you should be proud to be working here!

traditions

Don’t forget to bring your photo ID!!!

There are typically two sessions: a morning one at 8am and an afternoon one at 2:30pm.  It is sorted alphabetically by last name.  Since my last name is Collins, I had to wake up at 5am to get on the bus at 6:55am to make it to class ontime!  Good thing I’m an early riser!

It’s always super obvious who is going to Traditions since everyone is wearing nice clothing by the bus stop. I went with my new roommate, Kelly.  All of my other 6 roommates have last names after M, so they’ll be attending the afternoon session.

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Cast member Caroline! That’s me!!!  🙂

As we were waiting for the morning session to start, I spotted my name on the powerpoint! How cute is that??

The best part about being at Disney University are the decorations!  All the walls have massive, colorful Disney artwork with inspirational quotes.

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Making Magic

We were led into a large room with several tables set up.  In the middle of each table were giant red boxes.  What could be in them??

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The Big Red Box with a surprise inside for us.

I wanted to open it so badly!!

This is me, vigorously shaking the secret box before class!

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Wearing my new Mickey Ears!

It had Mickey Ears for everyone! Yay!

To start off Traditions, the two speakers, Disney coordinators, do some Disney trivia questions.  They don’t mess around with easy ones either!

I didn’t really know the answer to most of the questions.

Let’s see if you know the answers…

1.  What was the first Disney broadway show?

2.  What are Ursula’s sidekicks’ names?

3.  When Disneyland was first built, which land was the largest?

4.  Which two characters debuted in Steamboat Willie?

5.  What attraction has been moved around 3 times?

FINALLY, a question I knew and my hand shot up in the air!

The question was:

6.  What was the first show to come to Animal Kingdom, originally located in Camp Minnie Mickey, but has now been moved to Africa?

If you remember, I used to work at a lone merchandise cart there!  Answer: The Festival of Lion King!

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My prize pin!

The BEST part?? I got a Disney trading pin for having the right answer!

After two hours of class (10am), I was STARVING!  I remembered to pack a chewy bar and a baggie of Cheese-its since I knew it would be a couple hours before the first break.

I started “secretly” eating my chewy bar and when I looked up, my entire table and the next table had taken my cue and also got out their own chewy bars to eat! haha. We were all hungry!

Since I had already done Traditions before, I knew what was coming next….Everyone onto the buses for a quick trip to the Magic Kingdom.

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Wearing my new dress and whisper ears. Warm day!

Here is me, wearing the “whisper ears” we used to walk through the MK park.  I love when our guides allowed us to stop and take some selfies in front of the castle.

After we got back to the classroom at Disney University, we received our blue company IDs and were wrapping the class up, when the presenters announced that a special guest was here to deliver some magic to us!

Even though I already knew what was going to happen next, I was still so excited!

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It’s the Boss!!!!

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“Hi, everybody!”

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See you later, pal.

Mickey delivering my new Disney nametag!

And, check out all the swag I got in class!  I got the Donald figurine for correctly answering a question about the Four Keys.

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My new nametag!  Tears…..

I was so excited by the end of class!

Traditions is a great way to kick off your career at Disney!

It makes me so excited and thankful for this opportunity!  I never thought that I would work for Disney again!

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Some final advice for DCPers: Bring snacks and a water bottle!  You will be HUNGRY!  Traditions went from 8am to 2pm, and you only  get one 10 minute break!  Definitely eat breakfast before you go and bring snacks to eat while you’re watching the presentations and riding on the bus.

And since you will be walking around outside in the hot Florida weather, you’ll need to stay hydrated and be able to get a quick refill of your water bottle.  Even with my snacks, I was extremely ready for lunch!

To read about my first time at Traditions, click here.

9pm, at the Magic Kingdom with friends:  Using my new ID for the first time.

9pm, at the Magic Kingdom with friends: Using my new ID for the first time.

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

DAK pin trading (2)

Working at DAK with the pinboard for guests to pin trade.

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

***

Mickey’s Retreat!

Mickey’s Retreat

Mickey’s Retreat is right across from The Commons apartments.

BREAKING NEWS!

Mickey’s Retreat will be closing this weekend because of Hurricane Irma.

MNSSHP2

*****

One of the major items on My Summer DCP Bucket List  was to finally go to Mickey’s Retreat!

I knew that it was really nice, but never made the time for it.  Since I haven’t been to Traditions yet (so can’t get into the parks), I decided today was the day to finally go!

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Mickey’s Retreat is located directly across from the Chatham Square complex.  It has several large sports fields, a couple volley ball areas, two swimming pools, areas for grilling, and you can rent boats to go out onto the water!

Admission is FREE for CMs, CPs, and their families.
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And it was beautiful!!!

Two big AND empty pools! My favorite!  The lifeguards were so happy to see us! haha
100_6760I went with one of my new roommates, Sam, and a girl I met on one of the DCP summer arrival Facebook groups, Nicole.

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Here is the view of the volleyball areas.

The new CPs were actually there too to take a written lifeguarding and swimming test!
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The main reason people come to Mickey’s Retreat is to go suntanning on the beach!  There were SO many chairs and no one was here!100_6767

You can rent the boats Saturday and Sunday 1-4pm.  All boats have to be back in by 5pm and you have to pay in cash.  Still $2 is super cheap for a 3 hour boat rental!

All the sports equipment (volleyballs, etc.) is free to rent.

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It got really humid – so sorry for the blurry photos!  Here is a view of the different boats you can rent.  Long canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats!
100_6768The lake is SO beautiful! We even saw some cranes and shore birds walking around.100_6771There is also a huge green, park-like area filled with benches and grilles for parties!
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And this tetherball which reminded me of elementary school! haha!100_6775

And this building which I think you can rent out.  It reminded me of girl scout camp!100_6776Overall – I DEFINITELY recommend putting this on your bucket list and coming if you haven’t already.

The pool was super clean and empty and the lifeguards were very nice.  Next time, I want to bring my lunch and have a picnic! 🙂

*********
Located between Chatham Square and The Commons, Mickey’s Retreat is a free 19-acre recreation facility on Little Lake Bryan open exclusively to Disney Cast Members and their families.
Come out and play, but don’t forget your Disney ID!

Address: 8151 Lake Forest Dr. Orlando, Florida 32821
Phone: (407) 828-3620
Summer Hours: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm (Mon – Sun)
Cost: Free admission for Disney cast members with ID
Facebook page: Mickeys Retreat Facebook Page

Image_Mickey_Chair (2)
***************************************

Caroline costume

Working merchandise 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 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

***

DCP Summer Alumni Check-In Day

Welcome to Casting!

Welcome to Casting!

What a long day!

My check in time was at 7am this morning.  So, in Colorado time, I had to get up at 3am to get ready.  I would’ve slept well except for the crazy birds singing me “the songs of their people” at LITERALLY 12:30AM!  What!  What kind of birds are awake and singing at midnight?? [Mockingbirds!]

I stayed with my Disney friend, Amy Jo, last night and she drove me to Vista Way to check in.  I was having flashbacks to how my last check-in was in August 2013. Yikes.

Hello Vista Way!

Hello Vista Way!

We got there at exactly at 7am and security immediately let us into the complex.  She dropped me off at the front of the line and went to find a parking spot.

Unlike the last time that we checked in, when the CP check-in line was out the door and all the way around the building, there was almost no line today.  It was so interesting running into all the people I’ve been talking to on Facebook, especially the Summer Alumni Accepted group.

The first line was just to get a sticker with our first name on it.  That took forever since they were handwriting everyone’s name on the tag.

Then, we went inside and waited in a line where they gave us a second sticker with our location on it.  When I got mine, the guy was like “OK, strollers in….Magic!” and I was like “????!?!!!?!?!?!!” and he looked at me and was like “Oh, oops! I meant Animal!” Thank god! I was having a heart attack when he said Magic!

Next, I got in another line where they filled in the back of my Program Guide – the roommate section.  I was MOST nervous for this part!  I was praying/hoping for a 1 bedroom in The Commons with a sweet washer/dryer in the apartment.

Please, please, please….

Anndddddd….

Apartment assignment

Apartment assignment

I got a 4 bedroom in Chatham.  When I got back to the car, I looked at my DORMS preferences.  It was 16th out of 18th…almost my last housing choice.

Orange is the new black.

Orange is the new black.

Next up was getting my photo done for my new Housing ID.  Idk what the heck happened to my photo!  It looks like a ghost is in front of me!  Stupid humidity!  I showed it to a girl on the bus and all she could say was, “Wow that looks nothing like you!”

I got my apartment key, taped it to my Program Guide and went to stand in ANOTHER line where they went over Casting info – where it is, what to bring, etc.

My Casting time was at 9am, and after I went through all the lines, we were herded like cattle onto the casting bus.  Luckily, it was the first bus running – 8:30am.  At the last minute, I remembered that I really needed to inform my waiting friend what the heck I was up to and that I was leaving.

Casting was so much faster compared to last time!  I sat in the front of the bus so I was first in line for everything.  First they sit you down with two coordinators who pull up your information and make sure you understand what your first schedule is like and also where to go and what you’re supposed to wear each day of training.

Then I got fingerprinted, or at least tried to get printed.

Of course, I had a horrible time getting fingerprinted because of my sweaty hands.  Stupid Florida humidity!!  I wasn’t even nervous!  I was cool as a cucumber and the guy was freaking out about how sweaty my fingertips were.  He must have given me 5+ tissues.  Finally, I told him that my hands were as good as they’re going to get dry-wise so he gave up and gave me some extra paperwork to fill out.   It basically asked me to list all of my addresses for the past 7 years.

I got back on the bus and was done!

I’m working for Disney again!

There was a trivia contest on the bus back, but I wasn’t ever fast enough with the answers.  But, because I was sitting at the very front, I always passed back the prizes to everyone.  So at the end, I asked if I could get a prize for being so helpful.  She gave me some sweet DCP chapstick for my help!

First floor apartment this time, at the back of the complex by the pool.

First floor apartment this time, at the back of the complex by the pool.

My friend Amy Jo came back and picked me up.  We drove over to Chatham.  By then, I was in full meltdown with nerves and really tired….and really hot.  Oh, and did I mention the humidity in Florida…

I was surprised how close my new apartment is to the housing events area.  And my bedroom looks out at the pool!  I’m on the first floor this time, way at the back to the apartment complex.

When I got there, one bedroom was full and one bedroom had one bed open.  No one was in the apartment.  Amy was so nice and stuck around and helped me get my suitcases unpacked before my roommates came back.  Nothing’s worse than trying to move in while someone else is moving in too!

I had forgotten that the larger Chatham apartments have Jack & Jill bathrooms, so I’ll be sharing the bathroom with the other bedroom (4 girls, 1 bathroom with two sinks and a shower).

Some more photos of my new apartment: Apartment Photos

After a little bit, everyone eventually showed up.  I’m with two girls from New Jersey, one girl from Chicago, one from Michigan, and two from New York.  I think I came the farthest. Looking around, I think I’m on the low end of bringing stuff.  At the airport, I felt like a psycho with three stuffed suitcases, but then when I unpacked, it feels like I don’t have anything! (That’s what my family calls a ‘shop-portunity’!)

Once I was finally unpacked all the way, I called my friend Katie to see if she was interested in eating lunch with me.  By then, it was like 2pm and I was STARVING!!!

The Earl of Sandwich at DTD.

The Earl of Sandwich at DTD.

She picked me up and we went out to Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney!  Yay – my favorite place at DTD!  And – can you believe it, it was her first time ever eating there!  I got my favorite sandwich: the Hawaiian BBQ.  Yum!

My super delicious sandwich!  I have missed eating at EOS!!!

My super delicious sandwich! I have missed eating at EOS!!!

We walked around a little and I looked around, but didn’t buy anything since I don’t have a cast member discount yet.  Katie was super nice and took me grocery shopping after lunch.  Not having a car at the program is going to be really tough, but hopefully got the majority of my heavy grocery stuff.

Now I am just at home, relaxing.  Everyone has friends or family in town with them so no one is here.  I’m going to just sit here and enjoy the quiet.  And also watch some TV since one of the roommates brought one – a huge TV – with them! Yay!!  I love me some downtime!

Such a whirlwind of a day!  I just keep thinking about how much this feels like coming home.

I love it here and can’t wait until Traditions.  🙂

Out at Trader Sam's at the Polynesian for the first time with my friend, Amy Jo.

Out at Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian for the first time with my friend, Amy Jo.  I’m drinking The Pearl.

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

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
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.

My Apartment at Chatham Square

Got my housing assignment and key this morning.

Got my housing assignment and key this morning.

I got my apartment assignment.

I’m back at Chatham for the summer in a 4 bedroom, 8 girls apartment, non-wellness (alcohol OK).

Apartment assignment

Apartment assignment

Can’t wait to meet all my roommates!

Here are some photos of my new place:

First floor apartment this time, at the back of the complex by the pool.

First floor apartment this time, at the back of the Chatham complex by the pool.

Huge living room/dining room area.  Table seats 8.

Huge living room/dining room area. Table seats 8.

Can't say that I've missed this furniture!

Can’t say that I’ve missed this furniture!

Kitchen has two refrigerators.

Kitchen has two refrigerators.

Double sink, dishwasher. One of the roommates has already installed an in-line water filter on the faucet!

Double sink, dishwasher. One of the roommates has already installed an in-line water filter on the faucet!

Kitchen cupboard.  Everything was nice and clean when we got here.There's also a storage closet at the front that fits like 6 suitcases! Its so nice!

Kitchen cupboard. Everything was nice and clean when we got here.There’s also a storage closet at the front that fits like 6 suitcases! Its so nice!

My bed (bedroom #3)

My bed (bedroom #3)

Shared bedroom dresser.

Shared bedroom dresser.

Walk-in closet with lockers.

Bedroom walk-in closet with lockers.

View of pool from my bedroom window.

View of pool from my bedroom window.

Jack-in-Jill bathroom with two sinks.

Jack-in-Jill bathroom with two sinks.

Another bathroom photo.

Another bathroom photo.


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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

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
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.