Feliz Navidad Celebration at Epcot Mexico

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The Mariachi Cobre and the Folklórico dancers.

The Feliz Navidad event is going on now at the 2017 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays!

Located in front of the Mexico pavilion, the daily event features a festive mariachi band and dancers, and welcomes guests to join the celebration of the holidays a la Mexicana.

Guests can learn about Mexican culture and their Christmas traditions through dance and music, including the popular song “Feliz Navidad”.

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The Folklórico dancers.

The Mariachi Cobre and the Folklórico dancers bring the magic of Las Posadas to all, with their traditional and beautiful costumes.

Feliz Navidad is performed six times a day during the 2017 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.

See it soon….it ends on Saturday!

, 2017.

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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Disney’s Hall of Presidents Reopens with Trump

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Terrible likeness…he must hate it being so vain! He looks like Jon Voight.

BREAKING NEWS!

After a long delay, Hall of Presidents finally re-opened December 19, 2017!

Video link:  2017 Hall of Presidents with Trump

Holy smokes!  Trump looks sooooo bad!!!

We will NOT be seeing it!

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It’s been a longggg year!

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#Truth  Other presidents giving Trump the stink eye.

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I see the wrinkly resemblance!

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June 1, 2017:

Disney CEO has resigned from Trump’s business council.

Trump has yet to record the audio and still hasn’t donated a suit for his animatronic  to wear!  Don’t hold your breath on this one!

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Disney CEO Bob Iger quits Trump advisory team as ‘matter of principle’

June 1, 2017: Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger said he will step down from Trump’s business advisory council, protesting the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate deal.

“Protecting our planet and driving economic growth are critical to our future, and they aren’t mutually exclusive,” Iger said in a statement. “I deeply disagree with the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”

He also posted his decision on Twitter, saying he’d resigned from Trump’s business council “as a matter of principle.”  Iger served on Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, a group of business leaders who offer the president advice.

Read more:  http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/disney-trump-feud-causes-delay-at-hall-of-presidents/article/2627218   

***

July 4, 2017:  HoP Still Closed

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For 12 months: Signage outside the Hall of Presidents. (Jan -Dec 2017)

The Hall of Presidents show at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World closed in January 2017 and is still not scheduled to reopen yet. (Normally, it would reopen the last week in June right before the 4th of July holiday, about 6 months after taking office.)

Many people have wondered what role the new, very unpopular president would play in the Magic Kingdom attraction since he was elected.

On June 23, 2017, Disney announced it plans for Trump to speak.

“The same thing that we’ve done with other presidents, is the same plan we have for President Trump,” said Jacquee Wahler, vice president of communications. When asked if Trump would have a speaking role, Wahler said that he would.

6/27/2017:  Update from Disney Parks Blog:

Since the Magic Kingdom Park opened in 1971, The Hall of Presidents has brought together a one-of-a-kind look at the office of the President of the United States through film and the magic of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics technology. Despite some media reports to the contrary, President Trump will have a speaking role in The Hall of Presidents, like every president since 1993. We have been working closely with the current White House — just as we have with previous administrations — and the president’s recording session has been scheduled. The attraction will re-open in late 2017.

Whenever we refurbish one of our attractions, we take the opportunity to consider a broad range of enhancements. In this case, The Hall of Presidents is getting a new show, and a complete theater upgrade including a new sound system, lighting and high-definition projection system. The multi-screen viewing experience you may have seen in prior versions of the attraction is returning with an even wider vantage point of our country’s history.

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Since Bill Clinton, every sitting president has recited a speech during the attraction.  However, since Trump is functionally illiterate and reads at a 4th grade level, it has proven difficult for Disney to get an audio from him.  They may end up using some pieced audio from a previous TV appearances.

Initially, the Walt Disney World website said the attraction would be closed between January 17th and June 29, 2017. No specific reopening date has been announced, but Disney Parks Blog says The Hall of Presidents will now reopen in “late 2017.”

The delay is because Trump has been “unavailable” to tape a 2 minute speech and he has yet to donate one of his personal Trump suits with an oversized red tie for the animatronic to wear.  They may end up having to buy a suit from Trump’s business in NYC for it to wear. (Hard to believe that a “billionaire” can’t afford to donate one of his suits to Disney!)

Rumor has it that Trump also didn’t approve of the animatronic sketches and wanted the avatar to look “thinner”.

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46% of voters chose unwisely in November 2016! #NotMyPresident

***

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President Obama giving a 2 minute message of hope and freedom.

We will not step foot inside Hall of Presidents while Mr. Trump is center on that stage babbling about ‘Making America Great Again’.

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

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

See more video of Obama here:  President Obama Comes To Hall of Presidents

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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Christmas Holiday at Epcot France Pavilion

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La Tour Eiffel jumbo ornament surrounded by poinsettias.

The France pavilion at Epcot is especially pretty at Christmastime with all it’s holiday décor.

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Epcot France 2017

We especially love the oversized Christmas ornaments out by the fountain.

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Arc de Triomphe jumbo ornament. So pretty!

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Celebrating Buche de Noel served on on Christmas Eve.

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All the buildings and windows are draped with holiday decor.  (The 30 year old Impressions de France film really needs updating!!!)

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Elly and Ian on Epcot’s Friendship Bridge.

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Epcot France at Christmastime.

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It’s very romantic at night.

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The Eiffel Tower in red, white, and blue.

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Epcot’s Holidays Around the World celebration is going on right now!

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Let’s not forget about the Christmas Tea at the UK pavilion!


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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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The Christmas Pickle Tree at Epcot Germany

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The Christmas Pickle is sold at Epcot Germany. $20

Something fun to buy at Epcot for the holidays is a Christmas Pickle!

Christmas Pickle Backstory: In the early 1890s, Woolworth department stores started selling glass ornaments imported from Germany that were in the shape of various fruits and vegetables, including a pickle.

Around the same time it was claimed that the Christmas Pickle was a “very old German tradition” and that the pickle was the last ornament hung on the tree on Christmas Eve, buried deep in the tree’s branches.

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A whole tree of Christmas pickles!

The first child to find it on Christmas morning is rewarded with one of three things: the privilege of opening the first gift, the receiving an extra gift from Santa, or being granted a year of good luck.

We are friends with an ICP from Germany who worked at Epcot’s Germany pavilion and he said that he never heard of the ‘Christmas Pickle’ before coming to America, and neither did any of his coworkers!

In fact, a survey conducted in 2016 revealed more than 90 percent of Germans asked had never heard of the Christmas pickle.

green pickle

It seems like this pickle would be easy to find on Christmas morning…

Bottom line, the Christmas pickle is actually an American Christmas tradition, not German!

But, we still like the idea of getting an extra present on Christmas morning!

Read more about our visit to Epcot Germany here:  Epcot Germany Pavilion.

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Epcot Germany – A beautiful town square with a real clock tower.

The Germany pavilion is one of our favorite places to shop at Epcot.

Crystal princesses.

Crystal princesses.  So pretty!!

We’ve bought some crystal figurines there and we can’t talk about Germany without talking about the wonderful caramel popcorn at the Karamell Kuche shop!!!

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Werther’s Original Caramels at the Karamell Kuche shop….so delicious!!!!

And, Snow White meets there every afternoon by her wishing well.

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Do you hang a Christmas Pickle on your tree on Christmas Eve?

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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Disney Princesses in Their Winter Outfits

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All the Disney princesses wearing their winter costumes.

When the temperature in Orlando falls below 65 degrees, the Disney princesses change into their heavier winter gowns.

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November 2018:  Nighttime lows in the 30s this week! Burrr!!!!!!

This generally only happens in the December – February time period, so it’s hard to catch them wearing their winter gowns and capes.

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January 27, 2019: Princess Ariel looking lovely in her warm winter costume on a chilly day. (“She has legs!”)

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January 2018: Moana in her winter costume (note the sleeves and leggings).

It’s been cold in Orlando this week, so they’ve been wearing their winter costumes every day.

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Belle in her winter costume with Prince Adam.  (Feb 2018)

They are extra beautiful!  All that velvet and heavy satin and the long gloves and capes….so pretty!

Winter Belle at Hollywood Studios

Winter Belle and the Beast at Hollywood Studios

Tiana looking warm.

Tiana looking warm in her winter gown. (Liberty Square)

Cinderella stepsisters & mother in their winter outfits.

Cinderella stepsisters & mother in their long-sleeved winter outfits. (Fantasyland)

Meeting Snow White before dinner.

Snow White in her winter gown. (Epcot)

Merida wearing her long cape.

Merida wearing her long cape. (Epcot)

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Princess Aurora in her long-sleeved gown. (MK)

Pocahantas

Jan 2017: Pocahontas in her old winter outfit. (DAK)

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Dec 2017: Pocahontas in her new winter costume.  She wears gloves now. (DAK)

 

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Pocahontas in her winter outfit (no gloves). It was so cold today that both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach were closed! March 2018.

Keeping warm at the Festival of Fantasy parade:

Anna and Elsa in their capes.

Anna and Elsa in their winter capes and gloves.

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The Frozen Float

The Frozen princesses.

The Frozen princesses.

Cinderella all covered up.

Cinderella all covered up.

Cinderella keeping warm.

Cinderella keeping warm.

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Princess Aurora and her Prince staying warm.

Rapunzel keeping warm.

Rapunzel keeping warm.

We didn't even know that Tinkerbell had a green jacket!

We didn’t even know that Tinkerbell had a green jacket!

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Belle looks beautiful in her long sleeved gown and white fur stole.

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The Disney princesses staying warm in their winter outfits.  (Jiminy Cricket looks concerned about Alice!)

Winter Aurora

Winter Aurora

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Belle looking lovely in her winter gown (Dec 2017, MK).

And the rarest one: Chimney sweep Mary Poppins!!!

And the rarest one: Chimney sweep Mary Poppins!!!

A warm cape for Princess Ariel.

A warm cape for Princess Ariel.

Tiana and Prince Naveen

Prince Naveen in his winter outfit

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And here is the rarest of all the winter costumes….TARZAN!  Whoo-hoo!!!!

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December 2018: Snow White – wearing a tiara!!! – in her winter outfit on the Castle stage this week.

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Disneyland:  At Disneyland, they hold Christmas Fantasy Parades during the holidays with special princess costumes and tiaras.

Princess Aurora

Princess Aurora looking lovely.

Winter Cinderella

Winter Cinderella

Winter gown.

Another winter gown for Princess Aurora.

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Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!

This is not Caroline’s first time in the Disney College Program. Along with her sister, she was previously accepted into the program a few years earlier.  Back in Colorado, Caroline was wishing for a little more pixie dust to brighten up her life.  On a whim, she decides to apply to the exclusive Disney Alumni Summer Program.

Now that she’s back, things get wild.

Wild, as in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Caroline is assigned to work in Stroller Rental.  While not the most glamorous position in the park, it’s often ground zero for humanity at its best and at its worst.

While Caroline makes many “Magical Moments” for deserving guests whose pixie dust has gone temporarily sideways, she also receives magical moments of her own through the friendships she makes, going to Disney cast member exclusive events, and all the spectacular dining opportunities at Disney World.

Caroline tells all – from the ins and outs of Disney’s secret training class called Traditions; to learning how to be a happy cast member during on-the-job training; to what it’s like to interact with fellow cast members and the guests who are ready to explore the most magical place on earth.

Join Caroline as she takes you on a wild ride through her adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be careful, it’s a jungle out there!

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

Book link on Amazon.com:  Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

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DAK costume

Caroline working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

About the Author:

Caroline’s love for all things Disney, and desire to grow up to be a Disney princess, is the reason she always wanted to work for Disney.  Her dream came true working as a cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Caroline is the co-author of the book, Two Girls and a Mouse Tale, about her adventures working at Disney World with her sister.

She is currently a 7th grade middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.

Daily blog link:  https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

***

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney sisters.

2017 Festival of the Holidays at Epcot

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Mini Three Kings Bread Rolls

Returning this year to 2017 Festival of the Holidays at Epcot is the Feast of the Three Kings!

We love Mickey & Minnie's costumes for the event!

We love Mickey & Minnie’s fiesta costumes!

Inspired by food and drinks of the Caribbean, the kitchen pays homage to the Día de los Reyes Magos, a holiday celebrated in the Caribbean, Latin America and Spain, not only with the food but also with history, as you get to learn about the celebration itself.

The Feast of the Three Kings features drinks like Coquito (with and without rum) and dishes like a roasted pork with mashed yucca and pickled green bananas, the very traditional Three Kings Bread and a shredded beef tamale with avocado crema.

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The Three Kings

Feast of the Three Kings

Dine like royalty as you enjoy scrumptious foods and delicious drinks of the Caribbean. Inspired by the story of the Magi, this holiday kitchen celebrates the tradition of Three Kings’ Day—El Dia De Los Reyes Magos.

Food

  • Shredded Beef Tamale with Avocado Crema and Cilantro Rice
  • Roasted Pork with Smashed Yuca and Pickled Green Bananas
  • Three Kings Bread

 Beverages

  • Presidente Pilsner, Dominican Republic
  • Coquito with a Bacardi® Rum Floater
  • Coquito (non-alcoholic)

*****

Here’s the recipe for Epcot’s Three Kings Bread so you and your family and make it and enjoy it at home!

Three Kings Bread

 DOUGH

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 4 teaspoons instant yeast

SUGAR PASTE

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 egg

GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FINISHED BREAD

  • 1 egg
  • 16 Maraschino cherries, chopped
  • Red and green sugar

FOR DOUGH:
1. Place the eggs and water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
2. Add the sugar, butter, shortening, salt, orange zest, vanilla, and 3 cups of the bread flour to the mixing bowl. Sprinkle instant yeast on top of the flour.
3. Knead on medium speed for 12 minutes, until soft dough forms. Dough will be slightly sticky. If dough is not soft after 12 minutes, add 1/4 cup of flour at a time and knead for 1 additional minute.
4. Portion the dough into 16 balls on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

FOR SUGAR PASTE:
1. Cream shortening, sugar, and cake flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
2. Add egg and mix, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl, until well blended.
3. Set aside.

FOR GLAZE:
1. Whisk powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of the milk, and vanilla extract together until smooth.
2. Add additional tablespoon of milk, if needed.
3. Set aside.

FOR THREE KINGS BREAD:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Beat egg and brush on top of dough.
3. Pipe the sugar paste in an “x” over the top of the balls of dough.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
5. Cool for 15 minutes and top with glaze.
6. Sprinkle red and green sugar and chopped maraschino cherries on top of glaze.

You can also find delicious food at Las Posadas holiday kitchen near Mexico. They are serving one of my favorite dishes for the holidays: Buñuelo Navideño – a thin round fried pastry, drizzled with honey and dusted with cinnamon and brown sugar. Delicioso!

Makes 16

Epcot International 2017 Festival of the Holidays takes place until December 30, 2017.

Rosca de Reyes cake

Rosca de Reyes cake – yummy!

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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

**** 

Several Guests Try to Climb the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Are they crazy???


12/04/2017:
Four guests were spotted climbing portions of the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom yesterday.

One photo shows a man in a white shirt attempted to scale the tree that’s carved and designed with animals. Another man in a black shirt was also photographed standing at the bottom of the tree taking a selfie.

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Stopping to take a selfie.

Disney security was called and the guests were not successful in their climb to the top. Upon arriving at the scene, the guests were told to get down and were spoken to by Disney security, but no trespassing charges were brought against them nor were they “banned for life” from Walt Disney World as many are speculating.

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What are they thinking????

Of course, this isn’t the first time a guest has been seen climbing a facade at Walt Disney World. Just over two years ago a drunk guest successfully scaled the Mexico Pavilion facade at Epcot during the 2015 International Food and Wine Festival.

Drunk guest Climbs Mayan Temple at Epcot

OMG!

OMG!

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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

****