How To Autograph Like a Disney Princess

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All the Disney princesses have a unique signature and they always sign their autograph the exact same way!

Yup, that’s right.  All the Disney characters at every Disney Park must sign their name using the same the Disney signature font.  Same swirl – or heart – over the i, same swirl underneath the name, same floating bubbles….

How cool is that??!!!

We always collect character autographs while visiting any Disney park:

Mickey Mouse on Main Street USA

Mickey Mouse signing our book at the Magic Kingdom

Mickey Mouse at Animal Kingdom

Mickey Mouse signing our book at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Our newest princess autograph is Moana’s:

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Moana signing my autograph book, cool signature.

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Meeting Moana at Disneyland in June 2017.

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Seeing her again at Disney World!

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Meeting her at Disney’s Aulani Resort in July 2018.

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The whole family meeting Moana at Disney’s Aulani Resort last month.

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All the official Disney characters signatures.

All characters must learn to sign their name the correct way.

All characters must learn to sign their name the correct way. It takes a few days of training and practice to make it perfect.  🙂

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But, what if you don’t have time to stand in the character meet and greet lines???

Did you know that you can get a signed autographed postcard or picture from your favorite Disney character in the mail?

disney-postcardSend your request to your favorite character to the address below.  What Disney will send you varies from 5 x 7 character postcards to full 8 x 10 photos… make sure you address the letter to your favorite character – they’ll try to send the letter back from that character when they send the picture!  Usually takes 4 weeks.

Walt Disney World Communications

P.O. Box 10040

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

                                                                – OR –

The Walt Disney Company

Attn: Fan Mail Dept.

500 South Buena Vista Street

Burbank, CA 91521

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But wait, what about Walt’s famous signature?

Do you think you can recognize it??

The offical Disney Company logo.

The official Disney Company logo, Walt Disney Pictures.

You might think that you know Walt Disney’s signature – after all it’s at the beginning of every Disney movie – but you’re wrong!

logo3 (2)The Disney Company logo is actually a “stylized version” of Walt Disney’s signature.

As can be seen on legal documents, Disney’s own signature was not nearly as exciting or intricate.

That's his real signature on his passport.

That’s his real signature on his passport.

The ‘Walt Disney’ signature used by the company was actually designed by an animator and is not his real signature. They say that Disney didn’t like the way his real signature looked. In fact, rumor has it that Walt couldn’t even reproduce the famed Disney signature!

But, you know who can reproduce his style of writing???

Mickey Mouse!

Yup, look at how he signs his name and it’s actually Walt’s signature!

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The official Disney Font.  You can download it onto your computer and write all your emails with it!

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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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A Rainy Day Parade at the Magic Kingdom

YES, they do!!

YES, they do!!

Next week is June 1st and you know what that means…the rainy season has officially arrived in Orlando!  Get out your ponchos and umbrellas!

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Lots of rain in the Disney World forecast this Memorial Day Weekend!

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

Rainy season: June, July, August, September

Rainy season: June, July, August, September

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

Here comes the Rainy Day Cavalcade parade!

Here comes the Rainy Day Cavalcade parade!

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

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May 22, 2018: A Rainy Day Parade!

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

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

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

It's amazing how cheerful the performers are!

It’s amazing how cheerful the performers are!

But, come prepared!  The streets at MK do flood very easily!

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May 21, 2018

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

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Heavy rain coming down this afternoon.

Rainy day at the Magic Kingdom: No Crowds!

Rainy day at the Magic Kingdom: Look no crowds!  And, yes, the parade will go on!  🙂

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Micky and Minnie getting caught in an afternoon cloudburst.

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Usually, the afternoon rain doesn’t last very long, maybe a hour.

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Walking around Epcot’s World Showcase in the pouring rain! Still fun! 🙂

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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When the Cinderella Castle Looked Different

Cinderella Castle

The most famous – and unpopular – change to the Cinderella Castle.

We were thinking about all the changes we’ve seen the Cinderella Castle go through since our first trip to WDW in 1993.

The most dramatic change was for the 15 month-long celebration of WDW’s 25th Anniversary (October 1996 – January 1998).

At the Castle, October 1996

At the pink Cinderella Castle with my mom, October 1996

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of WDW on October 1, 1996, Disney transformed the front of Cinderella Castle into an 18-story “birthday cake.” Complete with red and pink “icing,” giant candy canes and 26 glowing candles, the castle served as the centerpiece for the celebration. This was no small undertaking.

It took more than 400 US gallons of pink paint to cover the castle, which was then decorated with multicolored “sprinkles,” 26 candles, ranging in height from 20–40 feet tall, 16 two-foot long candy stars, 16 five-foot candy bears, 12 five-foot gumdrops, four six-foot stacks of Life Savers, 30 three-foot lollipops, and 50 two-foot gumballs. Additionally, more than 1000 feet of pink and blue inflatable “icing” was needed to finish it off.

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But, it’s been changed other times too:

Happiest Celebration look in 2005

Happiest Celebration look in 2005

We were there in 2005 for the castle’s redecoration commemorating the Happiest Celebration on Earth in honor of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.

The castle’s exterior was adorned with polished gold trim and accents, swags, banners and tapestries. Golden statues of Disney characters were also added to the exterior, including Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and Wendy circling the tallest spire.

Stitich is King!

Stitch is King!  Awful!

The least appreciated Castle transformation – which only lasted 1 day (Nov 16, 2004) – was when the castle was modified to appear as though it was strewn with toilet paper.

“Stitch is King” was posted on a turret as faux graffiti to mark the grand opening of ‘Stitch’s Great Escape!’ ride in Tomorrowland that day. The material was removed after the park closed that evening.

Disney got a lot of complaints over that decor!  Wildly unappreciated and unpopular!!!

Castel repairs, January 2014

Castle repairs going on in January.

Every January, after the millions of Cinderella Castle Dream Lights came down, Disney maintenance starts an in-depth sprucing up of the Castle’s exterior.

They repair any roof leaks, re-seal the exterior, clean all the Castle windows (a big job!), and touch up any Castle paint which got scratched from the Dream Lights.

On Main Street USA, February 2014.  Note the crane moving things in the background.

On Main Street USA in January.  Note the big Disney crane moving things in the background.

For most of January when you walk down Main Street USA, you will see the large crane moving maintenance people and supplies back and forth.

It photobombs everyone’s Main Street photos!  😦

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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

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Maleficent Dragon Float Catches Fire at the Magic Kingdom

dragon1May 11, 2018:  The fire-breathing Maleficent Dragon float in the Festival of Fantasy Parade caught fire today at the Magic Kingdom as the parade neared Liberty Square.

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Guests stood around and filmed the burning dragon before cast members moved them away from the float. It was weird because the dragon continued to moved his head and the parade music continued to play.

The parade promptly stopped and several cast members responded with small portable fire extinguishers, which did not put out the fire burning in the dragon’s head.

Video Link:   Maleficent Dragon Float Catches Fire

The float’s pilot escaped unharmed.  The motorized dragon continued to lift its head up and down while the flames made their way down its neck to the float’s body.  No cast members or park guests were injured during the incident.

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The float is a total loss.

The Maleficent Dragon float was a total loss when the fire was finally put out.

fire1Yesterday, the dragon float was replaced by a new float featuring Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora.  (We saw this float being used for them during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade last year.  Of course, then it was a lot more festive and decorated for the holidays.)

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New float featuring Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora debuted in the FoF parade on Saturday, May 12th.

A new dragon float – the steampunk star of the Festival of Fantasy parade – will be added back into the parade in 2019.

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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

****

When the Cinderella Castle was Bright Pink!

We thought this change was wonderful!

We thought this bold castle color change was wonderful…but a lot of guests hated it!

We went to Disney World in November 1996 to see the “pink birthday castle” unveiled for the 25th anniversary celebration a few weeks earlier.

We were not disappointed!!  It was BRIGHT PINK!

At WDW for the 25 Anniversary celebration - in the of the Pink Castle.

Nov. 1996:  At Disney World for the 25th Anniversary celebration – sitting in front of the “Pink Castle”.  We loved it! ❤

Waiting for the 3 o'clock parade.

Waiting for the 3 o’clock parade to start.

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Magic Kingdom marching band.

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Caroline in the Lion King float.

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Genie on Main Street USA in the 3 o’clock parade

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All those candles were inflatables and would sway in the breeze.

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The whole Castle wasn’t painted…this is the view from the backside, Fantasyland.

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It really dazzled the eye!

We saved the MK park map from our trip!

We saved the MK park map from our trip! Nov. 1996

Sold at McDonald's for $1.

Disney drinking glasses celebrating the 25th anniversary of WDW. Sold at McDonald’s for just $1.  We wish we had bought more than just one!

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Dec 2017:  The Cinderella Castle Dream Lights are on.  Make it pink!!  🙂

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April 2018:  Pink Millennial Minnie Ears arrive at MK.  I wish I had these back then!  So pretty!!

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Throwback Thursday: Our mom at the Wedding Pavilion next to the Grand Floridian.

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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 Cast Member Costumes at Disney World

sir mickey costume CP moment

CP Moment: Getting my costume for Sir Mickey’s at the Magic Kingdom.

One of the most exciting CP moments is going to Disney costuming for the first time and being fitted for your work uniform, aka ‘costume’.

You’re allowed to check out up to five complete work costumes at a time, plus accessories like a jacket and hat and gloves, if your costume has one.

When your costume gets dirty or wrinkled, you can just trade it in for a clean one. Costumes can be machine washed and some DCP apartments like The Commons have a washer/dryer unit in the apartment.

Each of the WDW Parks has its own costuming warehouse open 7 days a week, with the one for the Magic Kingdom being the largest.

On our way to Animal Kingdom costuming.

On our way to Animal Kingdom costuming.

Magic Kingdom costuming

Welcome to Animal Kingdom costuming

Finding a costume using RFID inside Disney's Epcot Operational Costuming Center

MK Costuming

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April 2018:  New DAK Discovery Island costumes:

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Our CM friend modeling her new DAK outfits.

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Here are some of the costumes we wore as cast members:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom costumes:

Caroline costume

Caroline working at DAK (merchandise). Full summer shorts costume with hat.

Discovery Island Merchantile

Discovery Island Merchantile: Skirt option.

It's a jungle out there...

Elly:  It’s a jungle out there…

Caroline in her stocking

Caroline in her DAK stocking “mud” costume.

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Caroline working Stroller Rental.  Great place to pin trade with guests!

The AK costume jacket. Warm!

The DAK costume jacket. So warm! Only size left at DAK Costuming:  XXXL.  She said yes!

Beautiful!!

Beautiful!!  😉

Costume Fittings

CP Moment #4:  Getting Your DAK Costume

Our Disney Springs costumes:

Pin Traders

Pin Traders at Disney Springs

Days of Christmas

Days of Christmas with jacket

Tren-D

Tren-D

Team Mickey (now closed)

Team Mickey (now closed)

days of Christmas

Days of Christmas

DTD Zone 1 Coordinator

DS Zone 1 Coordinator costume

Magic Kingdom costumes:

Agrabah Bazaar

Agrabah Bazaar in Adventureland

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Sir Mickey’s merch costume at the Magic Kingdom.

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Liberty Square

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Catching the bus to MK at 6am!!!

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costumes

CM Tip:  Disney sizing chart follows European sizing, so if you are normally a size 14 womens, for Disney costumes, you’ll be a size 18 or 20 here!  😥

Washer and dryer right off the kitchen.  No more trips to the common laundry room!!

The Commons:  There’s a stacked washer/dryer in every apartment, right off the kitchen. No more trips to the laundry room!!

Trolley Car Costume DHS

Our friend works at the Starbucks Trolley Car Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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May2017: The new costumes of Pandora at DAK

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New cast member costumes for Pandora.

There’s something about the look of these costumes that vaguely looks like a combination of the Spaceship Earth cast member costumes at Epcot and the Tomorrowland costumes at the Magic Kingdom!

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New name tags for all cast members working in Pandora (cast members are from ‘Earth’).

There are three groups residing in Pandora: Alpha Centauri Expeditions, Scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative, and EXPAT Community.

Each of these groups have specific roles in Pandora and have special costumes that reinforce those roles for guests.

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Alpha Centauri Expeditions costume (attractions cast member costume)

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Scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative. (This costume seems so familiar, maybe Epcot?)

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EXPAT Community costume (food service and merch costume)

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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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car DAK costume

Adventure is out there!

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/

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DAK-Entrance

Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Celebrating Earth Day 2018: Epcot’s Living with the Land

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The Land pavilion at Epcot   ❤

One of my favorite places at Epcot is ‘The Land’ pavilion. The Land covers six acres, making it Epcot’s largest pavilion.  It includes a cool futuristic glass greenhouse.

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A Hidden Mickey!

The 2.5 million square foot facility is dedicated to human interaction with the land itself. It explores how humans can both use the land for their benefit and how they can also destroy it. Future Technology in better preserving the land is explored in the pavilion, along with a focus on the celebration of the land itself.

Current Attractions:

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5 minute wait, no Fast Passes necessary.

Living with the Land Boat Ride – Sponsored by Chiquita Banana – A boat ride about agriculture taking you from an indoor story portion exploring rain forests and deserts to a huge glass greenhouse revealing the plants grown in The Land for Epcot restaurants, including hydroponic gardens and fish house.

We love this ride!!

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Soarin’ Around the World

Soarin’ Around the World – A motion simulator attraction that takes you over various famous world locations. Wildly popular, get a FastPass for it before you come to Epcot or first thing in the morning. Always long lines. Tip:  Without a FastPass, the best time to see Soarin’ is at 8:45pm right before IllumiNations starts at 9pm.

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Sunshine Seasons food court. We always eat here!

Good Eats! The Sunshine Seasons food court is one of the best food courts at Walt Disney World!  Delicious food (quick service, inexpensive) with chicken, pasta, asian fried rice and chicken, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and bakery items are available. In addition, there’s a large amount of seating in the pavilion.  A great place to take a break and cool off or get out of the rain in the summer.

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New fancy cupcake this month.

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Some photos from Living with the Land boat ride (Feb 2018)

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Caroline found a Hidden Mickey on the wall!

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Entering the fish house.

This aquatic room always has a Hidden Mickey in it!  Look closely!

 

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We take this boat ride on every trip to Epcot!

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The Land at Epcot9 lb. Lemons!!!  Yes, we saw them!

The Land by our friend, artist Jason “Tiki” Tackett.

‘The Land’ drawn by our friend and cast member, Disney artist Jason “Tiki” Tackett.

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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.

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