Touring the Dole Plantation on Oahu Island

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A celebration of all things pineapple!

One of the stops on the Aulani Excursion – Majestic Circle Island Tour was at Oahu’s Dole Plantation.

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The Dole Plantation’s Country Store.

Dole Plantation

Celebrating 118 years!

We only had about ½ hour to shop at the Country Store and get some Dole Whip. The Country Store was LOADED with every kind of pineapple merchandise that you can think of and then some.

Everything was bright yellow and very cheerful.

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My Dole Whip in a souvenir cup.

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Caroline’s Dole Whip with chunks of fresh pineapple. So good!

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Pineapples growing in rows. Pineapple plants grow from the leafy tops of the fruit. Simply cut the crown off the top of the fruit and place it in soil. You should have a baby pineapple in about 12 months!

Some more photos from inside the Country Store:

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Yellow, yellow everywhere! The Logo Shop.

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Pineapple everything!

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Fresh pineapple chunks.

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YUM!!!!

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She’s making our Dole Whip treat!

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Prices – $27 for a Pineapple Split!!!

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Saying yes to a Pineapple Macaron. $3.75

Pineapple candies.

We bought this shirt!

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The Dole Plantation is northeast of the Aulani Resort.

Originally operating as a fruit stand beginning in 1950, Dole Plantation opened to the public as Hawaii’s “Pineapple Experience” in 1989.

Dole Pineapple-Plush

A little pineapple.

Today, Dole Plantation is one of Oahu’s most popular visitor attractions and welcomes more than one million visitors a year.

Dole Plantation provides enjoyable activities for the entire family, including the Pineapple Express Train Tour, the Plantation Garden Tour, and the Pineapple Garden Maze.

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Celebrating Dole Whip!

Also popular is our plantation Country Store offering a wide variety of Dole Plantation gifts, local favorites, foods and refreshments including the world-famous Dole Whip.

And, before you leave you can purchase fresh pineapple to take home.

Dole Plantation is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Hope to see you soon!

Dole Plantation

64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy.

Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786

Phone: 808-621-8408

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Dole Plantation

Two Disney Sisters

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

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

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

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

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

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Meeting Moana at Disney’s Aulani Resort

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Meeting Moana at Aulani Resort.

We got to meet Princess Moana outside yesterday afternoon. We met her last year at Disneyland. She is such a world traveler!

Her meet and greet schedule is posted by guest services and also available online.

Moana Meet and Greet Schedule

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♪♫♪ I am Moana…♪♫♪ June 2018

Then, last night we saw her on the character schedule between 8pm – 9pm and got to meet her a second time after dinner!

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Meeting her after dinner.

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She was so friendly and nice!

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Close up of her cool island shoes!

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Her meet and greet is in Aulani’s Pau Hana Room.

Minnie Ears

Our new Hawaiian Minnie Ears. There were only 2 left in the store and we bought them both!

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Young guests can now get a “Moana Makeover” at the resort.

Moana Makeover
Discover your inner adventurer with a Moana-inspired makeover at the Painted Sky teen spa with a themed costume, styled hair, manicure, pedicure and makeup.

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I am Moana of Motunui. You will board my boat and restore the heart to Te Fiti. — at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Oahu, Hawaii.

Video Link:  Aulani Welcomes Moana!

Disney’s newest heroine, Moana, has sailed into Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa. Guests can experience the spirit of adventure and wonder of Hawai’i with fun-filled activities, enchanting storytelling, a special makeover, character greeting moments and more!

“Moana” is the story of an adventurous teenage girl who teams up with the demigod Maui on a daring mission to fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest as she sails among the islands of Oceania to save her people.

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My new Moana pin!

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New limited edition Moana Magic Bands (LE 2400)

When we went to Disneyland in June 2017…there she was at Adventureland greeting guests in Aladdin’s Oasis!

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Meeting Moana at Disneyland in June 2017.  She was so short and pretty!

So, we got to see her 2x last year! First at DHS in Disney World, then later at Disneyland, and now at Aulani!

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Moana signed my signature book.

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Meeting Moana at DHS in February 2017- she was so nice!

She was only at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a few months before she left.

“Currently, Moana and Maui are sailing the seas with Hei Hei. She visited with guests at Walt Disney World for a short time in early 2017. You know how much of a free spirit she is. It’s hard for us to keep up with her. Hopefully, she will return to the Parks to greet guests sometime soon, but no details have been given about if and when she will return.” 

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We went to see Moana on opening day with our mom. (November 23, 2016)

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Moana and Hei Hei at the Polynesian Resort.

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Watch the Moana movie trailer here:  New Moana Movie Trailer.

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Watch the first movie trailer for Moana here:  Disney’s Moana.

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Disney’s newest princess, Moana!

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Interested in Disney Bounding as Moana???

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Fun ideas to Disney Bound as Moana.

Disney Bounding: When Disney fans dress up as contemporary versions of their favorite characters and go to the theme parks.
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Disney Bounding is a way of dressing up as your favorite character using inspired color palettes, accessories, and clothing styles to look like the character, without actually being in a Disney costume. You simply use items from your own wardrobe to pull together a terrific look.

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Coral and tan with seashell accents.

Princess Moana is one of the easiest Disney princesses to Disney Bound to!  Her colors are beautiful – coral and tan.

You can also Disney Bound as other characters in the movie like Maui:

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Disney Bounding as Maui

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Maui

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Ocean colors for Te Fiti

Now, Disney Bounding is different than Cosplay, which is dressing up exactly like the characters.  This is not allowed inside any of the Disney Parks.

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Cosplaying as Moana characters.

You can’t get into the Disney Parks dressed liked this!

 

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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

***

Breakfast at ‘Ama’Ama Restaurant at Disney’s Aulani Resort

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Inside the restaurant.  We had our choice of tables to sit at and admire the beach view.

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I love this!

We had 10am breakfast reservations for ‘Ama’Ama on Wednesday morning to celebrate Ian’s 30th birthday.

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He’s wearing his Happy Birthday button!

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Close up of how to say ‘Happy Birthday’ in Hawaiian!

Happy birthday, Ian!!!  ❤

‘Ama ‘Ama is named after a mullet fish native to Hawaii, also known as striped mullet. The restaurant itself is meant to look like a fishing shack from the 1890’s.

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Chilled POG juice!

For breakfast, you can choose from traditional breakfast favorites like eggs, waffles, bacon and pastries. Island specialties featuring fresh fish, local fruit, Portuguese sausage and other native ingredients are available daily.

All the online reviews said that breakfast was the best meal of the day served here.

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I had the ‘AMA’AMA Breakfast Sandwich. Delicious!

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My brother loved it!

THE DINING EXPERIENCE

Take in the enchanting sights of Ko Olina Beach as you dine at this open-air restaurant.

Style and Theme

The restaurant is named after the ‘AMA‘AMA, a local mullet fish—and it’s inspired by the fishing settlements along the leeward coast of O‘ahu that date back to the 12th century.

‘AMA‘AMA is designed to resemble a beachside house. Its spacious dining room features a thatched roof, mosaic designs, a fountain and a reflecting pool.

Location

‘AMA‘AMA is located beside the Waikolohe Valley pool area, just steps from the beach.

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Breakfast with an awesome view.

Breakfast Menu

Menu Date: June 2018

Breakfast is served 7am – 10:30am

Bakery “Gift of Bread”

Classic Flavors – Cinnamon Roll, Croissant, Apple Danish and Apple Fiber Multigrain Muffin, $11

Hawaiian Flavors – Guava Fan, Coconut Cream Pocket, Croissant, Orange-Macadamia Nut Muffin, $11

Entrees

‘AMA’AMA Breakfast Sandwich – Lobster claw, bacon, sunny side up egg, avocado, heirloom tomato, butter lettuce, truffle oil, served on a brioche bun, $23

Three Egg Omelet served with Aulani Potatoes – choice of:

— Kalua pig, spinach and tomatoes $21

— Seafood and herbs $25

Two Eggs any style – served with Aulani potatoes and choice of Chicken Sausage, Turkey Bacon, Bacon, or Portuguese Sausage, $19 — with a Grilled Sirloin Steak $29

Egg White Frittata – Farmer’s market vegetables, macadamia nut pesto and goat cheese, served with Aulani Potatoes, $19

Corned Beef Hash and Eggs – two poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce and Aulani Potatoes, $19

Traditional Loco Moco Breakfast – Hamburger patty on top of white rice, two eggs with onion gravy, $19

Japanese Breakfast – Broiled Island catch, poached egg, Miso Soup, Steamed Rice, Dried Seaweed, and Pickled Vegetables, $26

Belgian Waffle with apple-banana compote and Nutella cream, $17 — with vanilla ice cream $20

Cereal-Crusted French Toast with fresh berries and raspberry coulis, $17

Buttermilk Pancakes with macadamia nut-vanilla sauce, $17

Tropical Fruit Plate with honey yogurt, $16

Lox and Bagel with cream cheese, red onions, Kamuela tomatoes and capers, $19

Acai Bowl with berries, banana, granola, local island honey and mochi balls, $14

Steel Cut Oatmeal – $9 — with Fresh Berries, $14

Side Dishes

Whole Local Papaya $11

Sliced Pineapple $10

Pancakes (each) $7

Fried Rice $5

Hash Browns $5

Brown Rice $5

Chicken Sausage $7

Turkey Bacon $7

Bacon $7

Portuguese Sausage $7

Corned Beef Hash $9

Egg (each) $5

Featured Breakfast Cocktails

Mimosa – $11

Aulani’s Aloha Mary – $13

Hot Beverages

100% Kona Press Pot Coffee – $13

Honolulu Blend Hawaiian Coffee

Hawaiian blend Cappuccino

Hawaiian blend Espresso

Hawaiian blend Mocha

Hot Cocoa

Hot Tea

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Time for some shopping!

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Aloha!

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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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Caroline at work 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/

***

Aulani dancers

Wonderful show!  Happy birthday, Ian!  ❤

Mickey Mouse Character Breakfast at Aulani’s Makahiki Restaurant

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Meeting Mickey Mouse at Aulani!

On our second day here, we were able to score breakfast reservations for two at Aulani’s Makahiki restaurant.

Reservations are actually difficult to get here year-round.  Make your dining reservations as soon as you book your hotel stay.

Aulani Tip:  This is the only place to meet Mickey and Minnie at the resort.

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My breakfast: Mickey Waffles!  Yes, that’s POG juice!

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Mitch wanted to try the Eggs Benedict.  They were delicious!

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Minnie stopping by our table while we were eating. Our hair flowers match!  🙂

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We met Goofy too!

Makahiki – The Bounty of the Islands

Start the day with a buffet breakfast, live entertainment, and visits with your favorite Disney Characters!

The Breakfast Menu

Enjoy a selection of family favorites, including pancakes, Mickey Waffles, French toast, island fruits, traditional Asian offerings, house-baked pastries, daily specialties and a build-your-own omelet station.

Entertainment

Throughout your meal, enjoy enchanting experiences like:

Some of your favorite Disney Characters— dropping in for photos, fun interactions and a few very special surprises your family will never forget

Island-inspired touches, like a ukulele performance by Aunty

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Close-up of the restaurant’s signature Dolphin Banana. (See the goldfish in his “mouth”???)

Disney Character Breakfast:

Hours:  7:00 AM – 11:00AM

Price:  Adults $39.00, Keiki (Ages 3 to 9) $20.00

Review Date:  June 2018

Continental Breakfast Items

Fresh Fruit Juice, Sliced Island Fruits

Assorted Yogurts, Almond Granola

Breakfast Pastries, Bagels, English Muffins, Assorted Breads, Bread Pudding

Butter, Jam, Honey, Compotes

Western Entrees

Oatmeal with fresh berries

Scrambled Eggs, Omelets, Eggs Benedict, Fluffy Egg White and Vegetable Frittata

Grilled Mahi Mahi, Smoked Salmon

Pork Sausage, Pineapple-Glazed Ham, Chicken Sausage, Deli Meats and Cheese

Bacon, Turkey Bacon, Kalua Pork Hash, Portuguese Sausage

Aulani Potatoes, Hash Browns, Grits, Loco Moco

Pancakes, Mickey Waffles, French Toast

Chinese/Japanese Entrees

Fresh Fruit Juices, Soy Milk

Grilled and Seared Island Fish, Tamago

Soba Noodle Salad, Waipoli Field Greens

Miso Soup

Fried Rice, Steamed Rice

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Pickled Vegetables

Congee with condiments

Omelet Station

Made-to-Order Omelets

Keiki (Kids) Corner

Fruit, Yogurt, Granola, Breakfast Pastries

Mickey Waffles, Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Tater Tots

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Aulani’s Mickey and Minnie.

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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

***

 

Celebrating the 4th of July 2018 at Disney World

Mickey and Minnie on 4th of July

Mickey and Minnie at Epcot on 4th of July

Yes, it’s the most crowded day in July at Disney World, which is also the busiest attendance month at WDW, but, heck yes, it’s a lot of fun!

Just go with the right attitude and you’ll have fun!

4th of July

July 3, 2018, 8pm: Rain is clearing out and the crowds are arriving for the fireworks show.

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July 4th, 2017, 8pm:  Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom.  VERY CROWDED AND HOT!!!!

Expect the parks to be packed, especially the Magic Kingdom, with crazy long ride lines and food lines, and just go with the flow. 🙂

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July 3rd and 4th, 2018

The celebration starts on July 3rd and continues into July 4th!

Can’t make it?  Watch the Live Fireworks Stream of the fireworks! (8:55pm EDT)

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Special holiday pins will be available at the Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom – Special ‘Celebrate America’ Fireworks Over the Castle!

Expect 15 minutes of impressive – and LOUD – pyrotechnics rising not just above the Cinderella Castle, but all around the park. Independence Day is one of the few fireworks displays, along with the Halloween and Christmas versions, that utilize the perimeter bursts, making it seem like the fireworks are all around you.

As you may expect, the fireworks display is accompanied by a rousing patriotic soundtrack that is designed to speak to the soul of America.

memorial day castle

The Magic Kingdom is more fun on the 4th of July after the sun sets and it starts to cool off a little.

DJ Dance Parties!
Boogie down with 2 uniquely themed dance parties at Magic Kingdom park:

  • Independence Day Party in Frontierland: Mosey on over to Frontierland for a star-spangled celebration featuring some favorite country tunes.
  • Independence Day Party in Tomorrowland:Moonwalk your way to Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland for a rockin’ revelry featuring a live DJ and terrestrial tunes.
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4th of July gang celebrating at Epcot

These DJ dance parties will be held the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, July 3, 2018 — From 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday, July 4, 2018 — From 7:00 PM to midnight
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July 4th:  Mickey will be at his meet & greet in Epcot outside American Pavilion.

Unofficial Tip:  Think you’ll watch the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian Resort? You and a lot of other folks are thinking the same thing! Disney will be checking Magic Bands for beach guests on the 3rd and 4th , and parking will be restricted to resort guests only.

Celebrate America - A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky fireworks over Cinderella Castle

‘Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky’ Fireworks over Cinderella Castle

July 3, 2018:

9:15 pm – “Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” Fireworks

Castle 4th of July

Expect special lighting on Cinderella Caste both before and during the show.

July 4, 2018:

Magic Kingdom – 9:15 pm: “Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” Fireworks

Epcot – Special Characters will be out and Special Fireworks Show: Heartbeat of Freedom!

Goofy is from France, Donald from Mexico, Minnie from USA.

We saw Statue of Liberty Minnie Mouse!

July 4, 2018: Throughout the day, Disney characters in their patriotic costumes will appear on the promenade near The American Adventure.

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Hello 4th of July Minnie and Mickey!  We’ve seen this minnie!

The talented Voices of Liberty, a cappella singing group, will perform traditional Americana tunes for a 4th of July Concert on the America Gardens Theater stage at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 pm.

The vibrant American Music Machine will perform pop hits, at 12pm, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 3:50 pm.

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July 4th:  Special fireworks show at Epcot, The Heartbeat of Freedom. WOW!!!

10:00 pm – IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth will feature “The Heartbeat of Freedom” fireworks show, a special 5-minute patriotic fireworks finale added onto illumiNations. [Note that this is 1 hour later than the usual 9pm IllumiNations show.]

Mickey and pals.

Mickey and pals in their 4th of July outfits.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:  Rock the 4th with Star Wars fireworks!

July 4, 2018:   10 pm – Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration: “Star Wars – A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show for the evening’s celebrations. The brand new Toy Story Land is OPEN!

July 4th fireworks at DHS

July 4th fireworks at DHS

Animal Kingdom:  See the new Rivers of Light Show!

There are no special 4th of July events planned at Animal Kingdom. There are never firework events at DAK as they would scare the animals.  But, the new light show around the Tree of Life is cool!

Disney Springs

There are no special holiday events planned at DS.

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Info for cast members

Info for Disney cast members

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It's the 4th of July!  One of the Top 5 busiest days of the year!!

It’s the 4th of July! One of the Top 5 busiest days of the year at MK!!

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Nobody does 4th of July fireworks shows better than Disney!  WOW!!!

Fireworks over Cinderella Castle

9pm:  Seeing special fireworks over Cinderella Castle with special music.  🙂

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Mickey in yet another one of his patriotic outfits!

Caroline wrote a blog about celebrating the 4th of July at Disney World in 2015:

Read it here:  4th of July at Disney!

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07/04/2017, 9pm:  One last Castle shot before the fireworks show began.

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We picked up a pair of these at Walmart for just $6 each!

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Special holiday merchandise at Disney Springs this week.

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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

******

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/

***

fireworks***

Hiking Manoa Falls Trail in Honolulu, Hawaii

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Rainforest views straight out of Jurassic Park.

ON THE MISTY TRAIL OF MENEHUNE

One of the Aulani excursions that we were really excited about was a day hike through a lush Hawaiian rainforest to a hidden waterfall.

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Ready for the hike!

Our bus picked us up outside Aulani’s lobby at 1pm. We all remembered our hats, snacks, water, and were wearing plenty of sunscreen (a must in late June in Hawaii!).

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You can see the Manoa Falls in the distance.

It’s about a 2 mile hike up to the Manoa Falls.  The trail is pretty uneven and on the day we went, it was 90 degrees with 90% humidity in the rainforest. The trail really does have breathtaking views of the Oahu island and coast.

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It’s a jungle out there!!!!

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Ian carrying my good camera.

We were a small group and our forest guide was very nice.  He pointed out all the native flowering plants and knew their Hawaiian names.

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I spotted lots of my favorite heliconia plants aka ‘lobster claws’. So beautiful in red and yellow against all that greenery.

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I’ve never seen a yellow one before.

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Manoa Falls

The 200-foot Manoa Falls waterfall was spectacular! The waterfall is roped off for safety purposes. The water is not swimmable as you run the risk of contracting leptospirosis, yet people were climbing past the roped areas and jumping in the cool water. (We did not.)

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So hot….so humid!!!!!

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Pretty falls, but 100% humidity!

Seeing the bamboo forest on the way down was interesting.  You could swing on the flexible bamboo.

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Adventurer Caroline swinging on some bamboo.

The scenic valley views with heavy vegetation were straight out of movie scene locations from Jurassic Park and LOST.  In fact, the Rainbow’s End Café building was cast the central building in LOST.

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The Bamboo Forest.  Very dense vegetation.

That is the place to get shaved Hawaiian Ice treats after your hike.

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Elly’s POG-juice flavored Hawaiian Ice. $5

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Rainbow Hawaiian Ice from the Rainbow’s End Cafe! (Christian)  Nice!

We got back to Aulani about 5 hours later and all took showers before dinner.

Our Rating of Hike:  4 Stars

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At the trailhead. The hike is free.

Take a short and fun hike on Mānoa Falls Trail through a lush Hawaiian rainforest, inhaling the damp scent of rain-sodden ferns and Eucalyptus trees. Cross tranquil streams, walk along picturesque pools and view ancient rock terraces.

Reach the majestic beauty of the trail’s impressive namesake, a towering 200-foot tropical waterfall!

Return to the head along a path that winds through a magical bamboo forest. Let your guide regale you with tales of the Menehune, little forest people from Hawaiian lore.

menehune

The Menehune are the legendary “little people” of the islands in Hawaiian mythology who live in the deep forests and hidden valleys of the Hawaiian Islands, far from the eyes of humans (like the Irish Leprechaun).

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

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

***

Disneyland’s new Pixar Pier Opened this Morning!

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6:30am.  Ready for guests at 9am.

June 23, 2018:  Today, on this Saturday summer’s morning, Pixar Pier opened at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim replacing the original Paradise Pier.

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Pixar Pal-A-Round (formerly Mickey’s Fun Wheel). Nope!

Located on a seaside waterfront, Pixar Pier’s main attraction is the Incredicoaster, the first ride featuring characters from The Incredibles franchise.

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The Incredicoaster Fast Pass entrance.

The Incredicoaster is the steel coaster (which is made to look like an old, wooden ride) that winds its way around and dominates Pixar Pier. Previously known as California Screamin’, the ride itself is virtually unchanged. But the Imagineers have grafted figures, effects, and other elements onto the coaster to tell a story based on “The Incredibles 2” .

The ride is bookended with scenes featuring bespectacled Edna Mode, fashion designer to the superheroes, who is charged with looking after Jack-Jack, the precocious super-duper-powered baby, while the rest of his family takes a spin on the coaster that’s been dedicated to them. When the infant escapes from the less-than-doting Edna, the ride becomes a madcap race by the Incredibles to capture Jack-Jack.

The highlight of the coaster’s ride experience is the giddy 4-second, 0-to-55 mph electro-magnetic launch. Passengers then soar uphill into the first tunnel and get a hair-raising burst of airtime as the train crests the top of the hill.  The Incredicoaster is one of Disney’s fastest roller coasters.

The Pixar Promenade features new colorful carnival games themed to Pixar films such as La Luna Star Catcher, Heimlich’s Candy Corn Toss, WALL-E Space Race and Bullseye Stallion St.

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Never again!

Pixar Pal-A-Round (formerly Mickey’s Fun Wheel) gives guests views of the pier from 24 gondolas.  We’re still passing on Pixar Pal-A-Round, the large Ferris wheel with swinging cars.  The cars are now adorned with characters from Pixar movies.  Still a hard pass for us – we did the swinging cars once and never again!

Jessie’s Critter Carousel, which is scheduled to open in 2019, replaces the King Triton’s Carousel merry-go-round.  Guests will ride on “critters” instead of the fabulous sequined marine animals.  We loved that carousel and it’s sad to think those animals will be in Disney storage for years now.

The former Ariel’s Grotto and Cove Bar is now Lamplight Lounge.  The restaurant is filled with sketches and artifacts from Pixar movies. The menu features Pixar punny cocktails and a house specialty of ratatouille.

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Pixar Pal-A-Round (formerly Mickey’s Fun Wheel). Nope!

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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

Adventure is out there!