The In’s and Out’s of Disney Pin Trading

DAK pin trading (2)

Pin trading at the Outpost, wearing my hip lanyard. I traded pins with guests all day long.

Long before I was a Disney cast member, I was a Disney pin trader.

During every family vacation to Disney World or Disneyland, I would trade or buy as many Disney pins as I could afford.  I especially like collecting holiday pins.

Yesterday, right before I went on my break, a young girl came up to me and asked to see the trading pins that I was wearing.  Not all roles can wear trading pins (more on that later), but if you can, cast members get to choose between wearing them on a neck lanyard or a hip lanyard that Disney provides.  I like to wear my trading pins on a hip lanyard so guests don’t have to lean in so close to me.  I hadn’t refreshed my pins since I arrived at work that morning and the guest didn’t see anything that she wanted to trade.

She asked to see the trading pins on the large Outpost pin board.  When I got out the pin board, I was surprised to see a pretty Belle pin from 2002.  It was the best pin on the board.  Any serious pin trader would snap it up pronto.

Country Belle

Country Belle

As my guest was slowly contemplating the pin selection, I kept thinking to myself, “Any pin but Belle, any pin but Belle.”  Of course, she said, “I think I want the Princess Belle pin”.  *Sigh*

Three days later, I was with my friends over at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort for some dessert.  I stopped in at the front desk to check out their pin book.  Guess what pin was on the very first page of the pin book?  Yup, it was the Belle pin!  The little guest must be staying there this week and traded the Belle pin for one she liked better.

Every day, tens of thousands of pins get bought and traded by guests all across the Disney World property.  The odds of me finding that same Belle pin three days later over by Epcot are infinitesimal!  Literally like finding a needle in a haystack!

Later on that night, I checked eBay and there she was, the 2002 Belle pin in her blue country outfit, selling for $10.

Guests ask me if it’s easy for cast members to tell “real” Disney pins from scrappers. Just like jewelers can tell a real diamond from a cubic zirconium at a glance, it only takes a day or two on the job to immediately tell the difference.

But, here’s the truth:  To most guests, especially the little ones, it doesn’t matter!  They’re pin trading for fun and most times are interested in only certain pins, like Disney princess pins.  They don’t like any of the pins on their newly purchased My First Lanyard with Pins, and can’t wait to trade them away for something they like.

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Made in China

And, here’s another truth: All Disney pins are made in China.  The difference between “real” trading pins that cost $8 at the parks and much cheaper scrappers, which were probably made at the same factory, usually is a subtle variation in color or a slightly different (cheaper) metal.  Again, most casual pin collectors don’t care.

Dealing with the serious pin collectors is another matter.  They go to the parks early and interrupt cast members helping other guests demanding to see the pins.  If it’s later on in the day and my pins aren’t very “good”, i.e., special/rare, woe to me!  They act like they are personally insulted that my pins are so common or boring.

A few of my Belle pins.

A few of my Belle pins.

Pin Trading Tips

Pin trading is big at Disney’s parks and resorts. While the simple act of trading pins with a cast member is easy, I have some tips for guests wanting to start a collection.

Disney pin trading rules.

Disney pin trading rules.

Tip#1: Look beyond the lanyards

Cast member lanyards are the most obvious place to look for Disney pins, but they’re not the only option. You can find pins at resorts, merchandise locations, and Disney Vacation Club kiosks. In some locations, pin boards and pin books are sitting out nearly all the time. At others, you have to ask to see these extra pins, but they’re nearly always available.

Every Walt Disney World resort (with the exception of the Swan and Dolphin) does pin trading somewhere. Just ask at the front desk or concierge, and they can direct you to the resort’s pin board or pin book.

Some other good pin trading locations to look for include:

  • Pin boards at park stroller rental locations (me!)
  • The Pin Drum at the photo purchase area of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Pin Oven Mitt at Main Street Confectionary in Magic Kingdom
  • The D-Street Vinylmation pin book at Downtown Disney
  • The Frontier Trading Post pin board at Magic Kingdom
  • Popcorn trading pins at Big Top Store in Magic Kingdom
  • Pin boards at the Magic Kingdom bus area
  • Pin trading book at African Outpost in Epcot
  • Pin Tree of Life at The Outpost outside Disney’s Animal Kingdom

You can also find pin boards behind many merchandise registers.

Tip #2: Know where the best lanyards are

Many cast members – but not all – wear pin lanyards.  Merchandise cast members wear them most often, followed by custodial and guest relations.  For safety reasons, cast members working attractions generally do not wear trading pins.

Pins are refreshed most often for merchandise lanyards because these get the most trading action. This is great if you’re lucky enough to spot a lanyard just after it’s gotten fresh pins. However, merchandise cast members often have a poor pin collection simply because guests trade with them so often.

Custodial cast members get fewer trades, so it’s always worth taking a look at their lanyards. If you spot a manager or coordinator wearing pins, you’ll want to get a look at those, too. They probably trade the least because they are so busy running around all the time.  But, you never know with cast members, you just might come across some spectacular pin finds.

Tip #3: Visit Disney Pin Traders at Disney Springs

Disney Pin Traders at Disney Springs has the best pin trading. When their pin wall is open, you can check out dozens and dozens of pins. The wall is refreshed often, too, so this is a good place to find special pins. Unfortunately, the pin wall isn’t always open but you can ask any cast member working there for information on the next trading time.

Tip #4: Know your pins

Serious pin traders know the value of a special pin when they see it. If you’re serious about pin trading, do some research before you arrive at WDW to identify pins or pin sets that you’re particularly interested in collecting.

Tip #5: Guests can pin trade with other guests

Not all guests who wear pins in the parks are looking to trade with other guests. Many just want to show off their pins. We once traded pins with two wonderful Japanese guests while sailing aboard the Disney Dream cruise ship.  All their trading pins were from Disneyland Tokyo and all our pins were from Disney World.  It was so much fun and we got several very special pins!

Tip #6: Observe proper pin trading etiquette

All pin traders should know how to approach cast members correctly and politely conduct a pin trade. Always ask to see a CMs pins rather than leering at them from a distance. Cast members wearing pins are always happy to show them to you, but it can get uncomfortable when guests are staring at your lanyard from 5 feet away without saying anything. You can trade two pins per cast member per day.

Tip #7: Trading for mystery pins

This is one of my favorite things!  Backward pins are mystery pins that you must trade for without knowing what they are first. You can’t trade a mystery pin right back to the cast member if you don’t like it.

When a guest traded a “good” pin (in my opinion), I sometimes would put it on my lanyard backwards as a mystery pin.  Young guests would quiz me about it, trying to get some hints if it was worth trading for or not.  I never turned around a common pin as I think that’s kind of mean, but some cast members do, so be warned!  Keep some pins on hand that you don’t care about to trade for mystery pins and keep in mind that you can always trade them away to the next CM you see.

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We especially liked the special pin trading event with the ships’ officers held aboard the Disney Dream cruise ship!

Pin Trading Aboard the Disney Dream!

We traded a ship's officer for this one!

We traded a ship’s officer for this one!

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dole whip

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

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The Scent of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I love this photo of the elephants playing that I took during a safari ride.

I love this photo of the elephants playing that I took during a safari ride. ❤

The number one scent that I associate with DAK is probably not the one you’re thinking of!

Nope, it’s not the smell of wild animals or animal manure!

After working at DAK through every season now, I would have to say that the scent that I most associate with my workplace is sunscreen lotion.

sunscreen (2)

Yeah, slather that sunscreen on!

Working at the front of DAK, it seems like everyone that gets off the trams coming in from the parking lots pauses and literally hoses down themselves and their children with sunscreen.  And, not just the lotion kind that comes in bottles.  Over the past few years, sunscreen aerosol spray has become very, very popular.

9am:  Working Main Entrance Strollers

9am: Working Main Entrance Strollers

At 9am, white misty clouds of sunscreen with a vaguely coconuty smell fill the plaza in front of the entrance turnstiles where I work.

It’s a tropical scent that I’ll always associate with DAK!

Other scents of WDW: The Wonderful Scents of Disney World

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At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

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

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

***

12 Things You Must Do During Your Spring DCP Program

Congratulations on your acceptance!

Congratulations on your acceptance!

The Spring 2016 DCP program is almost 3 weeks shorter than the Fall 2015 DCP program.

This can only mean one thing:  There’s no time to waste!

The following “must do’s” should be on everyone’s DCP Bucket List:

Welcome to Walt Disney World!

Welcome to Walt Disney World!

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At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

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

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

***

Ohana’s Character Breakfast with Friends at the Polynesian Resort

Polynesian Mickey stopping by our table.

Polynesian Mickey stopping by our table.

My best friend during the summer program, Ricky, and I planned several more character dining experiences near at the end of my time at Disney.

The day after trying the fabulous breakfast buffet at Trail’s End Restaurant, we planned a character breakfast at Ohana’s at the Polynesian Resort.  Fewer coworkers were able to come with us because of their hectic work schedules, so I invited my roommate, Hannah, to come along. She loves Lilo and Stitch, and hadn’t met them yet in any of the parks.  (She wasn’t able to come with us for our roommate breakfast at Crystal Palace a few weeks ago because of work.)

Unfortunately, when I woke up the morning of the breakfast, I immediately realized that I was sick. Really, really sick. I could barely stand up in the shower and my skin felt so sensitive that the shower water actually hurt my skin.  (This is the downside of working at a world class theme park.  You are exposed to germs and viruses from across the planet every day!)  I knew I couldn’t bail on my roommate and all my coworkers; I had to go to the breakfast no matter what.

We were all dressing up for the fancy breakfast at 10am and had to catch a cast bus to the Polynesian.  Because the buses sometimes run late, and the fact that we’re all college kids, I’m always surprised when the whole group is actually ready on time. I think it must be because most of my coworker friends are ICPs in the international program.  They have a different sense of time and are always punctual.  They’re rarely, if ever, late for anything.

Our group with Pluto

Our group with Pluto

We got to Ohana’s and were immediately seated and given a basket full of yummy, freshly-baked Hawaiian bread.  Ohana’s serves the breakfast food family style to the table, in gigantic metal bowls with large spoons to serve yourself onto your individual plates.

My friend Ricky is always checking his phone!

My friend Ricky is always checking his phone!

I was really excited to get some more chilled “moonshine” juice just like they served at Trail’s End restaurant yesterday, but here it’s called P.O.G juice, which stands for pineapple, orange and guava juice.  It was perfection.

Carafes of P.O.G. juice.

Carafes of chilled P.O.G. juice.

I love the Mickey Waffles and order them whenever I can.  I was happy to see that they not only had Mickey Waffles, they also had Stitch Waffles too!  Super cute!

Food photos!

Food photos!

Lilo

Lilo stopping by.

While we were eating, Polynesian Mickey, Stitch, Lilo, and Pluto all came by our table to visit us.  I had forgotten how short Stitch is!  Halfway through breakfast, Hawaiian music started playing and all the kids got up and started parading around the restaurant, laughing with the characters.  I loved it!

We ate it all!

We ate it all!

After we were done stuffing ourselves silly with eggs and waffles, half our group went to the Magic Kingdom to play, and the other half – my group – caught a cast bus to the Animal Kingdom to get to work on time.  I was feeling worse and worse as the breakfast wore on, but still had to make it to work. I ended up working for just two hours before I couldn’t take it anymore and asked for an ER (early release from shift).

I wasn’t sure if my feeling sick was related to getting stung by a bee the day before or not, but I think so.  I should have taken more Benadryl before leaving my apartment.  I told my managers that I thought I might be having an allergic reaction to my bee sting.  My managers were so kind and immediately sent me home with some Benadryl from the first aid kit.  I got an ROS – Relief of Shift on my record.  It isn’t a point or a negative mark, but if you get a lot of these on your record in a short period of time, it can look bad.  This is the first time that I’ve missed work during this program.

I went home and immediate took a long nap.  I had get better fast because my friend Ricky had planned a great International Lasagna Dinner for later on in the evening and everyone was coming to it.  I couldn’t miss that!

“Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch”

Breakfast Menu, July 2015

Served 7:30am – 11am, $24.99

The ‘All you care to eat’ meal is brought table-side by servers. Sweet bread, fruit, breakfast skillet, and Mickey Waffles are brought to your table as soon as you’re seated.

Basket of Sweet Hawaiian Breads

Seasonal Fruit

Hawaiian breakfast platter for the table includes:

Hua Paka (Scrambled Eggs) – made fresh, hot & delicious

Uala Kahiki (Fried Potatoes) – island-style potatoes, with caramelized onions & scallions

Pua’a (Pork) – pork breakfast sausage links & smoked bacon

Mickey or Stitch Waffles – brought tableside by a server

Beverages:

Unlimited P.O.G. juice – the juice is a blend of pineapple, orange and guava juices

Milk, hot cocoa, bottled water, coffee, and tea

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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.

***

Taping of the 2015 Disney’s Christmas Day Parade at Disney World

castle xmas (2)

Main Street USA is all decorated for the holidays.  (November 6, 2015)

The taping of Disney’s Christmas Day Parade was held much earlier than normal this year:  November 10 – 13, 2015 at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.

2015 Unforgettable Christmas Celebration

Unforgettable Christmas Celebration 2015

This year’s parade is titled ‘Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration’, which is a change from last year’s popular “Frozen”- themed show.

The 32nd annual Christmas celebration airs nationwide on Dec. 25 at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. CST, MST and PST on ABC. The show will also air in Canada on CBC Network and across the globe on the American Forces Network.

parade.jpg

Nov 10, 2015:  Taping started today!

Guests in the park during the filming days were able to take part with a regular admission ticket; special event tickets were not necessary.

parade (2)

Registration for free tickets for CMs began Oct 21st!

CM Tip:  Cast members could register for up to six free special viewing area tickets.  These were timed tickets , i.e., 7am, 10am, 12pm, so you didn’t have to stay all day. CMs that entered the lottery via the Disney work Hub link were notified by email around Nov. 1st if they’d won tickets.

Cast members were notified yesterday if they got free tickets for special parade viewing area.

11/02/2015:  Cast members were notified today if they got free tickets for special parade viewing area with date & time.

The all star lineup includes the following:
• Jason Derulo shakes up this year’s parade with his rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
• Ariana Grande pays tribute to the Greek demi-god Hercules with the Disney favorite “Zero to Hero”, along with her latest single “Focus”
• Seal gives his interpretation of “This Christmas” and new hit, “Every Time I’m With You”
• Country music legend Reba McEntire sings her original song, “Going Out Like That” and the popular Christmas tune, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
• Andy Grammer delights the crowd with medley of “Honey I’m Good” and his new single “Good to be Alive,” along with the iconic Christmas song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
• Rising pop star Charlie Puth adds Christmas cheer with “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and his own single, “One Call Away”
• “Should’ve Been Us” singer Tori Kelly spreads Disney magic with the beloved classic “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas” and the holiday favorite, “Winter Wonderland”
• Soulful singer Charles Perry jazzes up the festivities with a “World of My Own/Ev’rybody Wants to be a Cat” medley and his own spin on the famous Christmas duet, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
• The cast of the Disney Channel Original Movie “Descendants,” Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart and Sofia Carson, pay tribute to Disney’s most infamous villains with “Rotten to the Core”

This year’s Disney Christmas Parade will feature Disney Princess floats, and characters from movie favorites including “Toy Story,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Inside Out,” and “Frozen,” along with the all-new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and upcoming “Finding Dory” movie.

Parade Notes, November 2015:

The production company will be shooting various parade elements and guest star performances on Cinderella’s Castle Stage and Main Street USA. Park guests with admission are welcome to view the taping segments from select areas and should arrive as early as possible.

This is an actual television production, so expect songs to be sung multiple times and repeated filming of individual floats and special guests; also the park can be quite crowded on Main Street causing difficulty getting to attractions.

Ready for the parade!

We’re ready for the parade taping!

Many guests dress in Christmas attire for the occasion. To avoid the standing crowds, if you’re not interested in watching the filming, take the train at the entrance of the park to Frontierland and navigate the park from there.

Note that these are “light” crowd days at MK – many of the attractions in the park will have little to no wait times!!

Expect schedule changes and cancellations to park entertainment, especially those on Main Street USA, during the filming, including the Festival of Fantasy parade (will be moved to 5pm).

Note:  The first night of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is on November 8, 2015, so the Magic Kingdom, especially Main Street USA, will be fully decorated for the holidays.  Cast members can get discounted tickets for MVMCP at the Company D stores for $51.80.

Interested in seeing the 2015 Christmas Day Parade taping at Disneyland??? It’s been cancelled! 😦

November 10, 2015 Update: WDW Parade Celebrities!

Parade Celebrities:  The Descendants cast, Reba, Seal, Ariana Grande, Tori Kelly, Charlie Puth, Ashley Benson, Janel Parrish (from Pretty Little Liars), with Robin Roberts returning as the host.

Parade's film crew arriving at 7am.

Parade’s film crew arriving at 7am.

robin

Robin Roberts returns as the Christmas Day Parade’s host, along with Jesse Palmer.

The entire cast from The Descendants (on the Disney Channel) were at MK in full hair/make-up/costume for parade taping this morning!  They sang two songs.

Dove Cameron (Mal)

Dove Cameron (Mal)

November 10, 2015:  7am – 1:30pm:  Cast of Disney’s The Descendant’s rehearses and tapes scenes for the parade.

They shot the Descendants today in front of the Castle from about 9am-1:30pm. In the early morning, it was just the backup dancers and lighting crew practicing. Then, The Descendants cast came out and they kept reforming the group to get different angles. (Guests got to watch the same song being sung over and over.) It’s a live production so there is no set schedule, but must wrap production by 3pm because of the rescheduled Festival of Fantasy parade at 5pm.

She looks great!

Reba looks great!

reba (2)November 11, 2015:  7am – 3pm:  Reba performed 2 songs in front of the Castle this morning, followed by Seal in the afternoon.

Seal performing this afternoon.

Seal performing this afternoon.

November 12, 2015: 7am – 3pm: Taping of more concerts and holiday songs on the Cinderella Castle stage:  Ariana Grande, Jason Derulo, Andy Grammar, and Jhene Aikojanae.

ariana

Ariana Grande returned for a repeat, back-to-back performance (2014 & 2015). However, she was 3 HOURS late for her taping segment!! The crowd was not happy standing around the castle Hub on the 89 degree, cloudless day. Huge difference in the weather from when she performed last year when it was cold and raining.

November 13, 2015: 7am – 3pm:  Parade rehearsal and taping on Main Street. (Usually several rehearsals of dance numbers in the am, actual taping with fireworks in late morning/early afternoon when the sunlight is better.)

Tori Kelly performs on the Castle stage.

Tori Kelly performs on the Castle stage.

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“Snow” on Main Street USA after the parade taping. (Photo credit:  Inside the Magic)

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

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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

***

Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

Star Wars - The Force Awakens poster, aka the

Star Wars – The Force Awakens poster, aka the “Where’s Luke?” movie poster.

Two new movie trailers for the new Star Wars movie were released yesterday:

Star Wars trailer #1

Star Wars trailer #2

Looks great!!

Coming to theaters December 18, 2015! The Fandango ticket website crashed on Monday, overwhelmed by all the ticket requests.  I’m guessing that opening day is sold out nationwide, maybe even opening weekend.

Meanwhile, Build-A-Bear has the cutest Star Wars stuffed bears:

Star Wars bears.

Star Wars bears.

So many Star Wars bear costumes.

So many Star Wars bears – the gang’s all here!

Darth Bear

Darth Bear

The entire front of the store was Star Wars bears and costumes!

The entire front of the store was Star Wars bears and costumes and accessories!

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And at the Boulder Bookstore in Boulder, Colorado.

And at the Boulder Bookstore in Boulder, Colorado.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

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

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

***

Dapper Day Spring 2016

Dapper Days at the Disney Parks

Dapper Days 2016 at the Disney Parks:  Step out in style!

What:  Dapper Day Orlando!

When:  Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 9:00am

Where:  Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Disney World Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Come dressed in your absolute best!

For more information go to: https://www.facebook.com/DapperDay

dapperday (2)Join us! 

Dapper Day, Disneyland, CA:  May 1, 2016

Dapper Day, Disneyland Paris: April 16, 2016

Link to planned events:  www.DapperDay.com

dapper

A very Dapper Mickey & Minnie out and about at Mickey’s Retreat in January 2016.

dapper day

Some photos from Dapper Day 2016 at WDW (photo credit:  DCP Blog)

dress

The perfect dress for Dapper Days!

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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

***

2015 Disney Family Holiday Celebration Info

BREAKING NEWS!

The brand new 2016 Disney Family Holiday Booklet is out!

View info:  2016 Disney Family Holiday Booklet info

***

2015:

The 2015 Family Holiday Celebration discounts started Oct. 19, 2015.

The 2015 Family Holiday Celebration discounts started Oct. 19, 2015.

WELCOME TO THE 2015 DISNEY FAMILY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION!

The company holds this celebration throughout the Walt Disney World® Resort in recognition of your hard work all year long. We hope you enjoy the celebration. Happy Holidays to you!

NEW Beginning this year, your Disney Family Holiday Celebration tickets will be accessed via The Hub >>Complimentary Admission module.

Your Disney Family Holiday Celebration Guest tickets must be used in conjunction with your valid Main Entrance Pass.

Thank you for all you do, and Happy Holidays!

Valid: October 19, 2015 – February 11, 2016

book2GENERAL INFORMATION

This booklet contains the information you need to participate in the 2015 Disney Family Holiday Celebration.

2015 Family Holiday Celebration Booklet

Some of the Celebration Highlights.

Some of the Celebration Highlights.

Some of the 2015/2016 Family Holiday Celebration Highlights:

Park Admissions

Park Admissions.  Mind the Blockout Dates!!

 ADMISSIONS

  • Walt Disney World® Theme Park admission
  • DisneyQuest® Indoor Interactive Theme Park admission
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park admission
  • One round at Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course or Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course
book6

Three coupons for extra dining discounts!

FOOD & BEVERAGE

  • Three discount meal certificates: 30%, 40% and 50% off
  • Disney Dining Plan discounts (Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan and Disney Dining Plan)
  • Six popcorn, Mickey ice cream bar, or soft drink coupons
40% merchandise discount!!!

40% merchandise discount!!!

MERCHANDISE

  • Special holiday discount on merchandise (40% discount!)
  • Cast discount at Cast Connection  (10% discount!)
  • Special Company D discount
  • One complimentary Disney PhotoPass™ photo download
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Fabulous room discounts!

RECREATION

  • Holiday room discount
  • Special discount on tickets for La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil®
  • Special discounts on select events hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports® Complex
  • Special holiday-themed childcare programs at the YMCA Family Centers at the Walt Disney World® Resort
  • 50% off initial fee at Lifeline Fitness Center
  • Holiday greens fee special
  • 50% off bicycle/boat rentals and other Walt Disney World® Resort recreation discounts
  • Special holiday spa discount
The holidays are an extra magical time at the Magic Kingdom!!!

The holidays are an extra magical time at the Magic Kingdom!!!  Come celebrate with us!  🙂

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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 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

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Earning Four Keys Fanatic Cards

One of my Four Keys recognition cards. I set a personal goal of earning at least one every week!

One of my Four Keys Fanatic recognition cards. I’ve set a personal goal of earning at least one every week!

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

On my second day of the DCP program, I went to Disney’s “Traditions” class; it’s a class that every cast member takes at Disney University in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. During the class, they go over the Four Key basics that were Walt Disney’s philosophy.  They are the basis of how to be an excellent Disney cast member (employee).

The Four Keys are: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. These Fanatic Card recognitions go on your permanent Disney cast member record.

The Four Keys

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

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

I love the Tree of Life at DAK!

I love the Tree of Life at DAK!  ❤

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

The Four Keys with two Belles. :)

The Four Keys with two pretty Belles. 🙂

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two Disney Sisters

Ready for a fun – and long – day at the Magic Kingdom!

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

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Update on Pandora – The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Pandora – The World of AVATAR

Pandora – The World of AVATAR

Pandora – The World of AVATAR

Even though the opening of Avatarland at DAK isn’t until mid-2017, construction on the new land really picked up this summer!

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Construction view from DAK entrance.

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One of the Floating Mountains of Pandora under construction

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Pandora from the entrance in Africa.

The Floating Mountains of Pandora.

The Floating Mountains of Pandora.

Disney announced last month that the new land will be called ‘Pandora – The World of AVATAR.’  [I prefer Avatarland.]

Right now, most of the activity is hidden behind construction walls at the former Camp Minnie-Mickey area. Avatarland has taken over the entire area at the front of DAK once occupied by the Disney character meet-and-greet area and the “Festival of the Lion King” show, which relocated to a new, much bigger theater in mid-2014.

Towering construction cranes – at least 2 or 3 at a time – can be seen from DAK’s entrance area, working away all day long.

The bridge to the former Camp Minnie-Mickey area will be the main entrance, with another entrance from Africa near the new land’s cliffs.

Several new buildings are being built onsite: “buildings that were used by previous human travelers to the planet, which have been retrofitted into food and supply source,” i.e., restaurants and merchandise locations.

The futuristic Avatarland will be populated by lush jungle foliage, floating mountains and the ruins of a military base camp sprinkled with audio-animatronics, 3-D projections and hologram effects. An area themed as the Pandora Landing Station Mess Hall will serve as a quick-service restaurant.

Soarin on a banshee.

Soarin on a banshee.  This will be one crazy simulator ride!!!

The main attraction will be a banshee flight simulator similar ride to Soarin’ at Epcot. Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, who is spearheading the project, says the new ride system will be “considerably more thrilling” than the current Soarin’ attraction. Guests will “climb up the mountains of Pandora” in the queue for the ride before entering the show building where they will take off, literally launching off the cliffs on a Banshee. [No thank you!]

Pandora boat ride

Pandora boat ride

Disney is also building an indoor boat ride similar to Pirates of the Caribbean which will take riders on a river journey through the beautiful LED-illuminated forests of Pandora.

Pandora during the day.

Pandora during the day with the floating mountains, waterfalls and cliffs.

After dark, special lighting effects will play a prominent role in Avatarland, with LED-lighted sidewalks and illuminated plants that respond to the touch.

Pandora at night.

Pandora glowing at night.

Read our update on Rivers of Light:  New Rivers of Light Coming in 2016

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January 10, 2014: Groundbreaking ceremony

January 10, 2014: Groundbreaking ceremony for Avatarland.

Video of the groundbreaking ceremony on Jan 10, 2014: Breaking Ground on Avatarland

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Adventure Mickey was there too, which is good since he lost his meet & greet area!

Adventure Mickey was there too, which is good since he lost his meet & greet area!  😉

Preview of Avatarland: Highlights of Coming Attraction

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At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

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

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

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