2016 Candlelight Processional at Epcot

The Candlelight Processional

The wonderful Candlelight Processional at Epcot

Dates for this year’s Candlelight Processional are:  November 25th – December 30, 2016.

Celebrity Narrators

Each night, a celebrity narrator tells the biblical tale of a savior born to a virgin in Bethlehem. Gorgeous choral pieces performed by an orchestra and various choirs are interwoven with the narration, inspiring the audience with songs of hope and joy.

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Neil Patrick Harris has performed the narration for several years now and is excellent!  He’ll be back this year too.

An exciting line-up of celebrities—including a few new faces and voices—are lending their dramatic talents to the production, including:

November 25 to 27:  Steven Curtis Chapman

November 28 to December 1:  Neil Patrick Harris

December 2 to 3:  Whoopi Goldberg

December 4 to 6:  Edward James Olmos

December 9 to 10:  Anthony Mackie

December 10 to 12:  Robby Benson*

December 13 to 15:  Meredith Vieira

December 16 to 18:  Jim Caviezel

December 19 to 21:  Joe Morton

December 22 to 24:  Ming-Na Wen*

December 25 to 27: Jodi Benson*

December 28 to 30:  Cal Ripken, Jr.

* Three of the names should be familiar to Disney fans as they are actors who have voiced classic Disney characters: Robby Benson, the beast in “Beauty and the Beast”; Ming-Na Wen (Mulan); and Jodi Benson (Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”).

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So good! (Everyone was commenting on how super thin he is!)

Video of Neil Patrick Harris at 2014 Candlelight Processional.  Wonderful!

During our DCP program, we went on December 23rd – almost Christmas Eve! – and got to see the Candlelight Processional lead by one of our favorite country singers, Trace Adkins.  It was wonderful!  It really got us in the Christmas spirit!  🙂

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The beautiful new logo for the 2014 Candlelight Processional was created by our CM friend, Jason Tackett.

The beautiful logo for Epcot’s Candlelight Processional was created by our CM friend, Jason Tackett.

Event Details:

Interested in adding a dining experience to your Candlelight Processional Evening?

Click here: Candlelight Processional Dining Experience

The Candlelight Processional is a breathtaking retelling of the Christmas story in words and music complete with a 50-piece orchestra, choir and celebrity guest narrators. The narrator reads the Christmas story and favorite carols of the season are interspersed throughout the program.

The Candlelight Processional is held every night during the Christmas season. The first performance is on November 25, 2016 and then runs daily through December 30, 2016. There are three performances each evening at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. The length of the show is about 45 minutes.

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Ticket to see Edward James Olmos narrate!

The performance is included in regular Epcot park admission at no additional cost. All Epcot guests are welcome to view this wonderful presentation.

The Candlelight Processional is held in Epcot at the American Gardens Theater in the American pavilion. This is an open air theater and, although there is a roof, you may get wet if it rains. Remember to dress for being outside. Although you are in Florida, it still may be quite cool on a December evening.

The choir consists of members of Disney’s Voices of Liberty (red & black attire), the Cast Member choir (green robes), and visiting high school and guest choirs (gold robes).

Note:  Cast member auditions for the 2016 Candlelight Processional choir were held this summer in July, and CMs were notified if they were selected as a participant by mid-August 2016.

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two-disney-sisters

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

***

Dapper Days Fall 2016

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Dapper Day is coming up!

“Dapper Day Eve” Cocktails, Fri. Nov 11, 2016, 9pm-1am, The Boathouse, Disney Springs

Join our “Dapper Day Eve” outing to Disney Springs for dockside drinks as we take in the lineup of retro dream boats, from vintage American Amphicars to romantic Italian Water Taxis. This is not a private event, no ticket required, 18+.

dapper1Dapper Day Fall Outing to Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Florida, Sat, Nov. 12, 2016, all day and night, 9am-9pm!

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Worldwide Dapper Days 2016

Fall 2016 Dapper Day events:

October 15 – Disneyland Paris
November 6 – Disneyland  Anaheim, California
November 5+6, Dapper Day Expo, Disneyland Hotel*
November 12 – Epcot, Walt Disney World Orlando, Florida

All sophisticated fashions from vintage-inspired to contemporary-chic are encouraged as we “travel the globe” in style! It’s our first DAPPER DAY outing to EPCOT! And it’s during the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival! Get a room and take advantage of our special discounted rates at select WDW Hotels over our November 12 event.

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* California guests can pick this special Dapper Day pin up at the Disneyland Hotel!

Come dressed in your absolute best!

Link to planned events:  www.DapperDay.com

dapper3For more information go to: https://www.facebook.com/DapperDay

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

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

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This is 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 and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Disney World Refurbishment Schedule Fall 2016 – Spring 2017

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!

Note:  Last updated by Disney World on October 16, 2016

There’s nothing more frustrating than going all the way to Disney World for a long-planned vacation and finding out that your favorite ride or attraction is closed for refurbishment – or has permanently closed!

Disney tries to schedule most of the serious refurbishments for popular attractions during the slow, winter months. But, sometimes refurbishments and closures for repairs do get scheduled during the summer and fall months.octoberMagic Kingdom

  • Big Thunder Mountain closed 8/8/2016- 11/18/2016
  • Liberty Square Riverboat closed 1/3/2017- 1/12/2017
  • Magic Kingdom Railroad closed 1/9/2017- 2/16/2017
  • Hall of Presidents closed 1/17/2017- 6/29/2017
  • Stitch’s Great Escape is now a seasonal attraction 10/2/2016
  • Haunted Mansion closed 11/28/2016- 12/1/2016
  • Swiss Family Treehouse closed until 10/25/16
  • Splash Mountain closed 12/7/2016

Epcot

  • Infrastructure Work in park: 9/28/2016- 12/17/2016

     Permanently closed

  • Habit Heroes in Innoventions West closed 1/18/2016
  • Captain EO – closed 12/6/15
  • Off Kilter- final performance 9/27/2014
  • Mo’Rockin- final performance 9/27/2014
  • World Showcase Players- final performance 9/25/2014
  • Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps- final performance 9/27/2014
  • Maelstrom- closed 10/6/2014
  • The Spirit of Norway- closed 10/6/2014
  • Test the Limits Lab- closed permanently 1/6/2015
  • My Magic+ Service Center located inside Innoventions East is now closed. You can visit Guest Relations in Future World or any of the FastPass kiosks.
  • Sum of All Thrills and StormStruck have closed permanently 9/15/2016

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Look for the brand new Rivers of Light finally opening this month.

      Permanently closed attractions:

  • Wild by Design Tour- last tour was 9/26/2014. This was discontinued.
  • Tip Board permanently closed
  • Sunrise Safari Tour- last tour was 12/28/2014. This was discontinued.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Many attractions have permanently closed due to Star Ward Land and Toy Story Land construction which will continue into 2017.

  • Pizza Planet closed 1/11/2016- Late 2016
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster closed 10/27/16- 11/9/2016

     Permanently closed rides and attractions:

  • American Idol Experience closed. Last day was 8/30/2014.
  • Backlot Tour closed permanently 9/27/2014
  • American Film Institute Showcase at the end of the Backlot Tour closed permanently 8/17/2014.
  • Legend of Jack Sparrow closed
  • Phineas & Ferb Meet and Greet- closed permanently 1/5/2016
  • Lightning McQueen & Mater Meet and Greet- closed permanently 1/5/2016
  • Joffrey’s coffee kiosk closed 1/4/2016
  • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Meet and Greet: Mike and Sulley at Street of America closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Prop Shop- closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Studio Catering Co. closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Watto’s Grotto closed permanently 04/03/16
  • High Octane Refreshments closed permanently 04/03/16
  • New York News closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Youse Guys Moychindise closed permanently 04/03/16

Water Parks:

  • Blizzard Beach – closed 10/16/2016- 12/24/2016
  • Typhoon Lagoon- closed 12/25/2016- 3/11/2017 Shark Reef has closed permanently

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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

When Hurricane Matthew Closed Disney World

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Several of our blog fans have asked us about doing a follow-up blog to what happened after Disney closed WDW in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew’s arrival and Disney activated their Hurricane Rideout Teams.

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4:45pm on Thursday afternoon, the Magic Kingdom is closing.

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5pm:  The WDW parks are all closed.

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5:30pm:  The Magic Kingdom is closed and deserted!  Really raining hard!

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Everything is closed!

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The cast members on the Hurricane Rideout Teams worked 48-72 hour shifts making magic for guests.

Some cast members expressed disappointment that the hurricane changed course slightly and went about 20 miles east of expected… 20 miles for a storm the size of Texas!

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Friday, October 7, 2016:  The Magic Kingdom is closed!

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The WDW parks closed on Thursday afternoon and didn’t reopen until Saturday morning.

Real Floridians were thankful that the storm stayed offshore until making landfall in northern Florida near St. Augustine.

From there up through the Carolinas, especially North Carolina, there was terrible flooding and widespread power outages effecting millions of people.

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The path of Hurricane Matthew.

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Hurricane Matthew stats:  Over 1,300 killed by the storm.

Over a thousand people died from Hurricane Matthew, mostly in Haiti from drowning.

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The view from the Swan Resort on Friday morning.  Rainy and windy.

We were thankful the hurricane caused little damage in Orlando.

This city is still recovering from the triple tragedies over a 5 day period in early June 2016 when the Orlando area suffered a trio of horrific events: The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history that killed 49 clubgoers and wounded 53 more. The slaying of a young singing sensation Christian Grimmie from The Voice. The tragic disappearance and drowning of a 2-year-old boy snatched by an alligator at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.  #OrlandoStrong

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Some people were sad that it wasn’t more destructive I guess.

We didn’t need the destruction of a Category 4 hurricane blowing though Orlando too!
***

hurricane-mickey

Disney will need to make a new hurricane pin!  Summer of 2004 WDW closed 3x for hurricanes!

Disney World closed its parks for just the fifth time since its opening, due to Hurricane Matthew.

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Thursday morning at 10am.

Since opening in 1971, the WDW parks have only had four unplanned closures, all in anticipation of hurricanes.

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The MNSSHP party events were cancelled for both Thursday and Friday night.

On October 6, 2016, a spokeswoman for Walt Disney World said, “Based on the most recent forecasts for Hurricane Matthew, Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will all be closed today (Thursday, 10/06/16) by 5 p.m., and will remain closed through Fri., Oct. 7, 2016.”

Disney World shuttered its gates on Sept. 15, 1999, for Hurricane Floyd; August 13, 2004 for Hurricane Charley; Sept. 4 and 5, 2004, for Hurricane Frances; and Sept. 26, 2004, for Hurricane Jeanne. [2004 was a very bad year for Florida hurricanes!] It was also evacuated in a brisk 30 minutes on 9/11/2001 due to the terrorist attacks in NYC and Washington DC, but the parks were not closed beforehand.

Sometimes hurricanes can delay the parks from opening. Back in 1995, category 1 Hurricane Erin hit Walt Disney World in the early morning hours, delaying the park opening until 11am that day so that all the wind damage could be cleaned up.

hurricane1

soup

The grocery shelves around Orlando really were wiped out of water, bread, eggs, milk…and soup!

hurricane.jpg

How Floridians prepare for hurricanes…

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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

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

 

New Holiday Treat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Opens Next Month

dhs1

The Jingle Bell spectacular will be projected onto the Chinese Theater with a special holiday fireworks show at the end.

For Disney guests that want to see something new at the Parks this holiday season – and are bummed that the Osborne Family Lights won’t be returning with the demolition of the DHS Streets of America last April – there’s something new planned for the holidays at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Starting November 14, 2016 – December 31, 2016, there’s an all-new “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” holiday spectacular. The show comes to life on, above and all around the Chinese Theater with state-of-the-art projections, special effects, fireworks and a rousing seasonal musical score… and SNOW!

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Mickey’s Christmas Carol

The show features memorable holiday moments from classic Disney xmas films including “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” “Beauty and the Beast Holiday Edition,” “Pluto’s Christmas Tree,” “Bambi,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and more, all building to a festive finale that’s “So tinsel!”

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The elves help find and return Santa to the North Pole in time for Christmas.

And did I mention there will be snow?  🙂

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Beauty and The Beast Holiday Edition

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two-disney-sisters

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

***

Disney Housing Cable and Internet for DCP Program

Bring a good router and an ethernet cord.

Previous advice:  Bring a good router and an Ethernet cable with you to Florida.  Now: Same.

October 17, 2016 Update! Read this!!!

internet

Disney Housing is installing internet cable boxes in all the housing complexes….SLOWLY!

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The new router/modem combo being installed in the apartments. (Photo credit: CP Alicia M.)

This means that in the very near future, you will no longer need to bring a router with you to the program.  But, you still need to bring an ethernet cable and a newer TV.

Every change has a positive and a negative side.

Positives:  Don’t need a router, faster internet service, faster streaming, able to take online classes from your university in your apartment and not have to go to Vista Way office, wifi hotspots in all apartment complexes.

Negatives:  Housing can control – and block – access to websites that it doesn’t like – sort of like high schools do.  We’re hearing that not all TVs work with the cable now and you need a smart TV (digital not analog) to get the channels, wifi speed is still not all that great.

We think that the faster internet service far outweighs any negatives for the vast majorities of CPs!  (Who exactly had all that time to be watching porn in their apartment???)

We will report on the new “faster” internet speed once all the apartments are hooked up to it and what exactly that speed is in early November.

CP Jakelyn’s comment about new, “faster” internet service:  Using my own router, I had about 1.75mb/s download and 0.5mb/s upload. Using the new DISNEY-HOUSING wifi, I get 7.5mb/s download and 3.1mb/s upload. So, yeah, it’s faster.

wifi-magic-kingdom

**Recapping our Summer 2015 Tech Blog:  The Way We Were**

By now, probably everyone has heard that the internet connectivity and speed at DCP Housing is terrible.  There is no good internet connectivity in any of the apartments.

wifiThe nearest Starbucks has OK wifi, as does Panera.  If you need a quiet place with wifi, some CPs recommend trying the Vista Way Clubhouse, especially during the morning.

This is important if you like to stream movies, plan on taking an online class during your program, like to Skype with family and friends, maybe do a job interview or two….

We recommend that you bring a good router and an ethernet cord to the program. Housing provides the apartment modem.

Let’s start with what internet speed you’re used to.

If you have Comcast at home, you can test it at: http://speedtest.comcast.net/

For other providers, just search “Checking Internet Speed for —“ for the link.

This is my speed for my home computer:

High Speed internet.

High Speed internet.  Perfect for downloading movies, gaming, etc.  Download speed 94 mbps, Upload speed 12 mbps.

Now, this is the speed at my DCP apartment this summer: Ookla Speedtest .

Literally 1/100th of the internet speed at home.  Terrible for uploading/downloading.

Literally 1/100th of the internet speed at home. Terrible for uploading/downloading.

***

Remember, this is one of those “lowest bid” updates to the apartments, so it’s not great.

Tip: While you don’t need to bring a router anymore to the program, just an ethernet cable, we believe that the cheapest router from Walmart probably works better than the integrated router in this combo unit.

Router brand tip:  WD My Net N900 HD DualBand Router for $59.99 from Staples.

tv

TV Listing Guide for the DCP apartments.

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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

2016-2017 Disney Family Holiday Celebration Info

UPDATE:  The 2017-2018 Disney Family Holiday Celebration – with the 40% merchandise discount – starts October 16, 2017!

2017-2018 Disney Family Holiday Celebration link

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2016 Disney Family Holiday Celebration booklet

December 11, 2016 Update:  

holiday

Cast members can shop at the Emporium this week – in costume!- before MK Park opening!  Whoo-hoo!!!!!  40% discount!

WELCOME TO THE 2016 DISNEY FAMILY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION!

family-holiday

Check your mailbox for some VIP mail!!

The Disney company holds this celebration throughout the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in recognition of your hard work all year long. We hope you enjoy the celebration.

Happy Holidays to you!

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Do NOT lose these tickets!! They can NOT be replaced!  (Only original tickets are accepted, so don’t bother printing these!)

Your Disney Family Holiday Celebration tickets can 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 17, 2016 – February 9, 2017

New official link to check on blockout dates at all Disney Parks: https://blockoutdates.disney.com/

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Overview of the 2016 Family Celebration

GENERAL INFORMATION

This booklet contains the information you need to participate in the 2016 Disney Family Holiday Celebration.

2016 Disney Family Holiday Celebration booklet for WDW

Some of the 2016/2017 Family Holiday Celebration Highlights:

 

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Always check the Hub for blockout days!

ADMISSIONS

  • Walt Disney World and Disneyland Theme Park admission:  1 Free Park Hopper Ticket!
  • 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
  • Link to check any upcoming  Blockout Days: Disney Blockout Days
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Three discount dining certificates!

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
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    Participating restaurants, page 1

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    Page 2

  • ALL RESTAURANT LOCATIONS ARE SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING BLOCK-OUT DATES:
    Nov. 24-27, 2016; Dec. 23, 2016 – Jan. 2, 2017; Feb. 14, 2017; April 15-16, 2017; May 13-14, 2017; July 1-4, 2017***
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40% off Disney merchandise!!!

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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$49/night Disney resort room!!!

Starting on Oct. 3, 2016, Cast Members, Crew Members, Imagineers, Employees and Retirees are invited to book rooms at select hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney–s Vero Beach Resort and Disney–s Hilton Head Island Resort and enjoy special rates for stays most nights Oct. 17, 2016 – Feb. 9, 2017.

For example, Cast Members can enjoy rates starting at just $49 per night plus tax at Disneys All-Star Sports Resort for stays most nights Oct. 30–Nov. 18, Nov. 26–Dec. 10, 2016, Jan. 2–Jan. 4,  Jan. 8–Jan. 12, and Jan. 16–Feb. 9, 2017. Ask about great rates at
other resortsž!

Book online via the Walt Disney World Resort Room Discount link or the Disneyland Resort Room Discount link on the Cast tab on the Hub.

WDW Booking number:  407-WDW-CAST

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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Don’t forget to get your free 2016 Disney Cast Member exclusive ornament!!

ornament

The 2016 CM Christmas ornaments are here!

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two-disney-sisters

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

***

Shark Reef at Typhoon Lagoon is Closed

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It’s permanently closed now.

October 3, 2016:  Shark Reef is Permanently Closed!!

Your last day to swim with the fishes was October 3, 2016.  😦

Shark Reef allowed guests to snorkel through an unheated, saltwater reef populated with stingrays, bonnethead sharks, leopard sharks and colorful tropical fish.  It was a staple of Typhoon Lagoon since it opened back in 1989.  The hefty maintenance and upkeep cost of the exhibit are the reasons behind the closing.

All the aquatic life in the shark pool is moving over the the Living Seas at Epcot this month.

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Logo for the new Miss Fortune Falls

Construction will begin soon on the brand new Miss Fortune Falls, a family raft ride set to open in March 2017.

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Miss Fortune Falls, the new family raft ride, is going in right here!

***

This year, Disney is switching the water park closings around, and Blizzard Beach is closing in late October for its annual refurbishment (reopening 12/25/16), followed then by Typhoon Lagoon closing for a slightly longer period than normal to complete Miss Fortune Falls.  It will reopen around March 12, 2017, depending on construction.

2016-2017 Water Parks Refurbishment Schedules

***

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Shark Reef at Typhoon Lagoon

During our DCP Spring Program:  Our Adventures Swimming at Shark Reef

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In front of Mayday!

We went to Shark Reef yesterday because Elly wanted to swim across it.  I was too scared so Elly went by herself and I took pictures for her.  I didn’t want to go in because I heard the water was freezing and I was already cold from floating in the lazy river water!

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Elly swimming in Shark Reef

Elly floated across the coral reef and got out, saying that it was amazing and that I had to do it!  But, I held off and we went and got some food instead.  We both got the kids hot dogs with a side of fries and applesauce.  We always try to order off the kids menu because it is cheaper and you get more to eat!

Then, we walked back to the Shark Reef because I was feeling brave. We got our complimentary diving mask and snorkel and got in line. You start out on a rocky ledge and you have to try floating in the cold saltwater in front of a lifeguard before you swim past the drop off.

The drop off is almost 20 feet down and you just slowly float along the surface of the water all the way across the pool, trying not to kick and splash.

It was a little scary because it was so deep but I am a good swimmer, so I wasn’t too nervous.

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Great White Shark at Shark Reef

The weather was so perfect, high 80s with some clouds. We definitely had a blast today!  I wish we had been doing this more because it is a lot more relaxing than spending the day walking around the Parks and dealing with the crowds.

I can cross this off my DCP Bucket List.  Done!

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 I can’t wait to come back to Typhoon Lagoon on my next day off.  🙂

Caroline

***

Typhoon Lagoon map showing Lazy River.

Typhoon Lagoon map showing Shark Reef location.

sharf reef (2)

Typhoon Lagoon planning pin

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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

***

Hurricane Ride Out Teams Have Been Activated at Disney World – Hurricane Matthew Arrives

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Crazy!

 

***

BREAKING NEWS FOR WDW CAST MEMBERS!

HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE:

September 5, 2017:  We are posting WDW operational updates for Hurricane Irma on this blog:  Hurricane Irma is Coming!

We’ll be updating the blog twice a day at 9am and 9pm.

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Hurricane Matthew Arrives!

BREAKING NEWS!  Oct 6th, 2016, 11am EDT:

All WDW Disney Parks and Disney Springs are closing at 5pm today and remaining closed tomorrow, Friday October 7, 2016.

***

pathDisneyWorld.com Update October 6, 2016
Based on the most recent forecasts for Hurricane Matthew, Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will all be closed today by 5 p.m. and will remain closed through Friday, Oct. 7, 2016.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Theme Park is also canceled for tonight and tomorrow.
***

Thursday, Oct 6th, 2016,  1pm Update:

From the National Weather Service – Orange County

Wind:

Latest Local Forecast: equivalent Cat 1 Hurricane force winds.

Peak wind forecast: 65-85 mph with gusts to 105 mph.

Flooding Rain:

Latest Local Forecast: Flood Watch is in effect.

Peak rainfall amounts: additional 3-5 inches, with locally higher amounts.

***

Oct 5, 11pm EDT:  Operational Closures at WDW

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closed

First closing notification

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MNSSHP has been cancelled for Thursday night.  Official MK closing was 7 pm, but now it’s closing at 5pm to secure the park.

******  Stay tuned for more announcements*****

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Oct 5, 2016, 3pm  Hurricane warning for Orange County

*** Hurricane Ride Out Teams Now Activated at Disney World ***

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 3:15pm MDT

Fort Wilderness, Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villa, and Polynesian Bungalow guests are being asked to voluntarily relocate to other resorts at no extra cost by Thursday morning and the WDW resort is not presently accepting new reservations. (Relocation will become mandatory if winds exceed 30 mph.  It’s not safe to be under trees or over water during hurricane winds.)

Guests who decide to cancel WDW hotel stays between October 5 and October 9, 2016 due to the storm will receive full refunds.  WDW Hurricane Matthew Updates.

Cast Member Hurricane Ride Out Teams – Activated!

Disney cast members are known to go above and beyond for resort and park guests.  This includes during a hurricane!

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Hurricane Ride Out Team info

Every location has a written hurricane safety plan.  Remember, Safe-D begins with me!

Cast members on Hurricane Ride Out Teams will be on shift for 72 hours straight. CMs are paid their normal rate until hour 8 worked, then from hour 8-16 is OT, and from 16 onward would be DT.

CMs will hang out at their location during the storm and do tasks as needed, mostly centered around keeping things safe and comfy for guests. Meals and a place to sleep and shower will be provided at no cost.  Example: Magic Kingdom cast members will spend their entire time in the park and not be released to leave until the storm has passed and the park is clean and safe for guests.  No park will reopen until all storm debris has been cleaned up and all rides have been reinspected.  Stay connected via the Hub for Saturday park status updates.

Remember, Disney World has its own power station and water treatment plant.  Even though DCP housing is only 4 miles away, the housing complexes are on the Orlando power grid and may lose power.

map

Very high winds, and maybe even tornadoes, are in the Friday forecast!

Park Tie Downs

Cast members are beginning what is known as a park-wide “tie down” which essentially involves removing all loose items around the parks and hotels, including trash bins, tables, chairs and anything else not firmly attached to the ground, and storing them in a secure location where they won’t be blown around by the wind.

In addition, anything that is loose but attached to a building (like a hanging sign or banner) is being tied down and secured with rope and zipties.

Disney is taking all appropriate steps to ensure that the storm has as minimal an impact on a guest’s vacation as possible.  They are updating their main page hourly with advisories:  https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/

CPs Living in Disney Housing Complexes

Disney is bringing in about a dozen people for the next 72 hours (starting today, Oct 6th) that will be working 24/7 at all of the DCP housing complexes making sure that all cast members are safe. They will be handling any emergency situations such as apartment flooding or wind damage, ensuring that all damage reports are taken care of immediately.

No guests will be allowed into the DCP housing complexes after 4pm. Residents are only allowed in their own complex (i.e., Vista Way residents are not allowed in The Commons after 4pm.)

Taping of windows is not allowed.

Florida Airports are Closing Ahead of Hurricane Matthew

Airlines are canceling hundreds of flights as Hurricane Matthew sweeps along the Florida coast.  Across the state, nearly 1,500 flights have been scrapped, according to FlightAware.com.

Orlando International Airport (MCO) officials said commercial operations will cease Thursday around 8 p.m., but passengers with an in-bound flight around that time should contact their airline for specific information.

The Orlando Sanford International Airport said it will cease domestic commercial flights at 10 a.m. Thursday. International flights will cease at 6:30 p.m.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport announced plans to close at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Officials at Miami International Airport will continue monitoring the storm and warned of possible flight cancellations. On its website, officials noted that generally “airports don’t’ operate in sustained crosswinds that exceed 35 mph.”

The Palm Beach International Airport website doesn’t say when flights will be suspended, but asked travelers to stay away, noting that the airport is not intended for use as a shelter.

The Jacksonville International Airport website also advises travelers to check flight status with the airlines before heading to the airport.

***

landfallHurricane Warning in effect for Orange County until Saturday, 1:15 AM EDT.

Areal Flood Watch in effect from Thursday, 8:00 AM EDT until Friday, 8:00 PM EDT. Source: U.S. National Weather Service.

warning2HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT:  National Weather Service Update

* LOCATIONS AFFECTED – ORLANDO – APOPKA – CHRISTMAS

* WIND – LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: EQUIVALENT CAT 1 HURRICANE FORCE WIND – PEAK WIND FORECAST: 60-80 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 100 MPH – WINDOW FOR TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS: THURSDAY EVENING UNTIL EARLY SATURDAY MORNING – WINDOW FOR HURRICANE FORCE WINDS: EARLY FRIDAY MORNING UNTIL FRIDAY AFTERNOON

– CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: EXTREME – THE WIND THREAT HAS INCREASED FROM THE PREVIOUS ASSESSMENT. – EMERGENCY PLANS SHOULD INCLUDE A REASONABLE THREAT FOR MAJOR HURRICANE FORCE WIND GREATER THAN 110 MPH OF EQUIVALENT CATEGORY 3 INTENSITY OR HIGHER. – TO BE SAFE, AGGRESSIVELY PREPARE FOR THE POTENTIAL OF DEVASTATING WIND IMPACTS. REMAINING EFFORTS TO SECURE PROPERTIES SHOULD NOW BE BROUGHT TO COMPLETION. – EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND LIFE THREATENING WIND IS POSSIBLE. FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY SHELTER MAY RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY, LOSS OF LIFE, OR IMMENSE HUMAN SUFFERING. MOVE TO SAFE SHELTER BEFORE THE WIND BECOMES HAZARDOUS.

– POTENTIAL IMPACTS: DEVASTATING – STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO STURDY BUILDINGS, SOME WITH COMPLETE ROOF AND WALL FAILURES. COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF MOBILE HOMES. DAMAGE GREATLY ACCENTUATED BY LARGE AIRBORNE PROJECTILES. LOCATIONS MAY BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS OR MONTHS. – NUMEROUS LARGE TREES SNAPPED OR UPROOTED ALONG WITH FENCES AND ROADWAY SIGNS BLOWN OVER. – MANY ROADS IMPASSABLE FROM LARGE DEBRIS, AND MORE WITHIN URBAN OR HEAVILY WOODED PLACES. MANY BRIDGES, CAUSEWAYS, AND ACCESS ROUTES IMPASSABLE. – WIDESPREAD POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS OUTAGES.

* FLOODING RAIN – LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT – PEAK RAINFALL AMOUNTS: ADDITIONAL 3-5 INCHES, WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS.

pumpkins

4pm Update:  If the parks are open tomorrow and it’s raining, bring a poncho and wear sandals, especially at the Magic Kingdom!  MK floods very easily…Main Street, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland…all flood with only 2-3″ of rain!

matt

5:30pm:  The Magic Kingdom is closed for the night!

5:30pm Update:  All the Disney Parks at WDW are closed!  The Magic Kingdom closed at 5pm and by 5:30pm it was deserted and raining hard!  😦

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Several of our blog fans have asked for an update after the parks and resorts reopened yesterday.

48 Hours Later Follow-up Blog:  When Hurricane Matthew Closed Disney World

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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Hall of Presidents Extended Closure in 2017

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President Obama gives the current message of hope and freedom.

The Hall of Presidents show at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World will close for 6 months in early 2017 to be reworked and add a new leader of liberty and freedom.

Finally, a woman will be on that stage when it reopens!!! 🙂

votedNot only will Disney make a lifelike animatronic of Hillary, she will donate one of her actual signature campaign pantsuits for it to wear, including jewelry and shoes.

Our new president will also record a 2 minute message of freedom and hope to be given by the figure.

The Hall of Presidents is scheduled to be closed from January 17, 2017 through June 30, 2017.

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Secretary Clinton accepting her party’s nomination for the president of the United States.  July 28, 2016

We’re hoping that Hillary donates the white pantsuit that she wore when accepting the Democratic nomination for president in Philadelphia, PA in July 2016.

Her choice of a white suit for the historic occasion harkened back to the not-so-distant past, when suffragettes wore white to promote their struggle to gain the right to vote.

We are planning a trip to WDW in Fall 2017 to see this show!!

Go Hillary!  We’re with her!  🙂

campaign-2016-debate

Secretary Clinton also wore a white pantsuit for the 3rd presidential debate on October 19, 2016!

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She wore red, white & blue pantsuits to the three presidential debates against Donald Trump.

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#GoHillary

***

The Clintons have been to Walt Disney World several times over the years:

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In 1984 with Chelsea.  The stayed at the Contemporary Resort.

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With Mickey Mouse in 1993

clinton3

In 1996 during the 25th anniversary WDW celebration.  She’s standing in front of Michael Eisner, Disney CEO.

 

November 9, 2016:  2016 Presidential Update

It is with profound shock and grief that we announce that Secretary Clinton – against all polls and forecast – did not win the presidential election.  While it looks like she won the popular vote by millions, she has lost the Electoral College.

We are in disbelief!

The Hall of Presidents will close January 20, 2017 and not reopen until June 30, 2017.

It will reopen with the greatest con man America has ever seen standing on that stage babbling something about “Making America Great Again”.

We will not step foot inside Hall of Presidents while Mr. Trump is center on that stage.

hall

January 20, 2017

 

For a behind-the-scenes look at President Obama recording his address for Hall of Presidents, watch this:

Coolest president ever!  President Obama Records Voice for Hall of Presidents

January 19, 2017:  Seeing President Obama at Hall of Presidents one last time…Hall of Presidents closes for a 6 month refurbishment on Friday.

Thank you President Obama for 8 successful years as the leader of the free world.

President Obama Comes To Hall of Presidents

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

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