Because Elly and I both have full time jobs now, we decided to leave early Friday morning to get to the party and not miss too much work. Unfortunately that meant getting up at 4:30!! Elly announced “well, I’m not showering!” When we woke up. Lol
We decided to take 2 suitcases each since we were flying on southwest and bags fly free. I’d prefer only one each, but we knew we might be buying some good merchandise, plus I had to bring dress clothes for the big party at the contemporary.
Elly bought me a super sparkly dress for dress and I actually bought her dress for Christmas too! Totally unplanned. I also bought a nice purple dress on Black Friday sales. I probably tried on both outfits 20+ times before to weekend to see which one I should wear. I loved the sparkly one, but I was t sure if it was too sexy and tight – or if I could pull it off. I loved the purple one, but I wasn’t sure it’d photograph well. So, I brought both. Plus a whole other outfit in case. Haha
The flight was pretty good. It’s always turbulent between Denver and Orlando, but I guess I’m getting used to it because I barely noticed.
I knew one of my best Disney friends, Ricky was also flying in, but I knew he would get in like 3 hours before us.
I was totally surprised when we landed and I saw on Facebook that his flight had been delayed and he just landed too! I quickly texted him ” hey, meet me at the Disney store!” I laughed SO hard when he responded “Already there!”
We met up, hugged, pin traded at the Earport, and had lunch at the really nice food court in the airport.
It was so funny because Elly and I purposefully wore our grey Alumni shirts and people kept stopping to say hi and talk about how excited we all were about going to this Homecoming!
Ricky was riding in on Mears and For the first time, we did Magical express to get to our resort! Unfortunately, we were on the completely wrong side of the Airport, so we had to drag our 4 suitcases all the way back to the 3rd level, across the whole terminal, back down to ground level, then all the way to the end of the terminal again.
There were several queues open to check in. Elly couldn’t figure out how to pre check in, so we just walked with our resort info and hoped for the best!
It was pretty easy, he was able to pull up our info and because we were on the reservation, we just got some papers and were on our way. We got in another queue for all the buses lined up outside and were immediately put on the Old Key West/Disney Springs one. We were totally surprised when we got on that the bus was all the way full! We got all the way to the back of the bus, and there were two people sitting next to empty seats. They saw we were together and were super kind enough to move so we could sit together!
We loved he little videos that play during the drive to the hotel. Just more advertisements for Disney. Lol
When we got to Old Key West, our family friends Dan and Pam was so kind and actually met us at the bus stop! We got our magic bands and headed over to the room.
Wow! The room was beautiful! Luckily it was close to the bus stop so it wasn’t too bad managing our suitcases.
Because Old Key West is DVC, all the rooms are like suites. There’s the main bedroom with connecting spa tub, shower and bathroom. Then there is a HUGE living room, kitchen, and eating area. We were going to stay on the pullout couch.
It was so funny because we immediately dumped out all our crap from our suitcases, trying to find anything and you could just see their faces at the mess…I immediately was like “Don’t worry, this’ll all be gone when you get back!” Our friends left to let us get ready for the party!
We showered and got all ready, all the while texting Ricky to see what he was up to and when to meet.
Poor Ricky – not only was his flight super delayed, when he got to the hotel, he realized that there had been a water leak and all the guests had to be put up in a different hotel. So they paid for his taxi to the new place. But when he got dropped off, he was at the wrong hotel! So then he had to walk a couple blocks over with two suitcases to the real hotel! And instead of being super close (near the Outlets), he was moved over 30 minutes away near the Orlando Eye!
We were invited to attend this special DCP networking event before the real party, but I knew we wouldn’t be able to make that. Our friends were so kind, they left the car keys for us, so we went and picked up Ricky so he wouldn’t have to pay for a crazy expensive uber.
We got to the Contemporary around 6pm, a little over an hour late. Luckily we were able to find a good parking spot even though it was super crowded.
We walked in to the event and immediately checked in. We got our magic bands, shirts, backpacks, and wrist bands stating which events we paid for.
Then we saw this huge red carpet to enter! So cool!
But before we went in, we got stopped by two CMs with video cameras. They filmed us answering a couple questions like what we got our of these networking events and what we thought of the weekend so far. Pretty fun!
When we walked into the party, we immediately found another one of my Strollers friends and grabbed a table. Elly and I were starving so we went to the big buffet set up at either end of the room.
The food was great! Nice salads, giant stuffed pasta shells, and full chicken breasts. I felt a little awkward because the buffet was set up right in front of the character line and it felt like we were being stared at because we were the first to get food haha
We were super surprised to see Mickey and Minnie in super fancy Gatsby like costumes. Donald and daisy were there and then also goofy and Plato. We ate and caught up with my friends. After eating, we decided to hold off on dancing to see Mickey and Minnie. I didn’t want to miss it in case they cut the line early.
We walked over and there was 5 rows of people waiting! But we got in line anyway. In total, we waited a full hour to meet them! But it was so worth it!
Next, we took pictures with Walt, then signed our names and locations/year on this giant poster.
Then we saw this giant replica of the Sorcerer Hat. It’s gone now from DHS.
Finally, the DJ started playing the Wobble! And you KNOW I can’t miss that! (Or Cupids Shuffle!) So we joined literally everyone and participated in a massive dance!
By 9pm, they told everyone to head outside for a dessert party!
Out on the front of the building, they set up long tables filled with all these tiny desserts! There were little meringues (I thought they were s’mores, boo), fruit custard shooters, dark chocolate domes, pineapple upside down cake, and a gluten free cookie option. I really don’t like lemon things, so I wasn’t a fan of the first two. I REALLY liked the chocolate except as I was eating, I realized my mouth was on fire! I think they put cayenne pepper in it!
There was also really good juice called “blast from the past” punch!
Both my DAK friends left before fireworks to head to Magic Kingdom. Elly and I stayed though because our shoes couldn’t handle any amount to park time! Lol
Once our friends left, Elly and I were just talking to ourselves and we were totally surprised when people started coming up to talk to us about our book and blog! A couple guys wanted selfies with us – which I totally loved!
The nice things people say about Two Girls and A Mouse Tale book & blog really means so much to me! I really take it to heart when people say we were helpful!
After around 25 minutes, Elly and I left to get home. It was after midnight and we were exhausted since we were up so early!
We headed back to our resort to turn in for the night. Busy weekend ahead of us!
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