New DCP Housing ‘Flamingo Crossings’ Nearing Completion

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flamingo crossing

2,600 apartment units. That does NOT look like enough parking spaces for 10,000 DCP participants!

The new DCP housing development for cast members doing an internship program with Disney Parks is almost ready to welcome its first DCP participants.

The $630 million residential community will have 10,400 beds (2,600 residential units), two 25,000-square-foot community centers, two resort-style pools, and more.  It replaces the current 4 DCP apartment locations.

The first participants are scheduled to move in this May 2020, with a phased occupancy rollout lasting for the next three years.

In addition to housing, the development will include the Disney Education Center (replacing Disney University), providing unprecedented integration for program participants to engage in ‘uniquely Disney’ learning experiences and the ability to earn up to nine credit hours in college coursework. Program residents will also have access to resources needed for academic success, including group and private study rooms, computers with free printing, and Wifi.

“The college students who have been part of our college and internship programs have helped make magic for millions of our guests for more than three decades,” said Kristi Breen, vice president of Disney International Campus Programs.

Mike from BlogMickey stopped by and checked out the construction progress:

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One of the Community Centers.

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Very high density housing.  I’m sure they will look nicer once painted.

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No balconies. I’m assuming Disney is moving all the old furniture from the current 4 housing complexes over to Flamingo Crossings.

******
Two Years Ago: February 2018  

dcp groundbreaking

Mickey Mouse came to the groundbreaking ceremony!

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Flamingo Crossings

Disney is building 2,600 new apartments for its College Program!

In February 2018,  Disney confirmed that all 2,600 planned apartment units were for the Disney College Program with any units not occupied by the program being leased to current Disney employees. They also confirmed that the new apartments would house educational facilities within them.  Disney University would be moving to the new complex too.  If would be great if Magic Kingdom Costuming moved there too.

Disney currently owns or leases four local complexes to house its college interns with a total of 1,580 units.  The only one owned directly by Disney is Vista Way, while the others are owned by third parties.  These would be closed and sold when Flamingo Crossing opens in Summer 2020.

This would also greatly simplify the current CP bus routes from the four apartment complexes.

CP Moment Housing (2)

These will all be shut down and replaced by Flamingo Crossings over the next 3 years.

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Disney University is moving over to Flamingo Crossings this Fall.

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two disney sisters1

Cheers to the new year! #2020

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

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Now and Then:

Two Disney Sisters

Andy’s Room wall.

two girls Toy Story Andys Room

At the Fall DCP Housing event at Chatham Square.

 

Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland Are Now Both Closed Indefinitely

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Disneyland Hong Kong is reopening June 18th!

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hk

Closed until further notice.

Hong Kong Disneyland has joined Shanghai Disneyland in closing indefinitely amid the Coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 100, infected thousands and restricted millions from traveling to China tourist destinations during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Hong Kong Disneyland announced that the theme park would be temporarily closing indefinitely on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

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The streets are deserted.

HK

Closed indefinitely!

“As a precautionary measure in line with prevention efforts taking place across Hong Kong, we are temporarily closing Hong Kong Disneyland park from January 26, 2020 out of consideration for the health and safety of our Guests and Cast Members,” the park said in a statement posted on its website. “We are in close contact with health authorities and the government about the situation and will announce a reopening date once they determine it is advisable.”

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Notice from the Hong Kong Disneyland website.

Coronavirus symptoms include fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Most of the fatalities from the outbreak have been from pneumonia in elderly patients with preexisting conditions, according to the World Health Organization.

The Coronavirus outbreak and a fear of a spike in the infection rate has forced the closure of tourist destinations across China and put airlines and hotels on high alert during the Lunar New Year when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel domestically and internationally.

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Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Hong Kong.

The closures of Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland comes during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, one of the busiest travel seasons of the year in China.

Some of China’s best-known tourist attractions have also been closed by the Coronavirus outbreak, including the National Museum of China on Tiananmen Square, a section of the Great Wall of China near Beijing, and the Forbidden City.

Airlines suspending flights into and out of China today, Jan 29th:

US carriers:  United, American

British Airways

Air Canada

Air France

Air India

South Korean budget carrier Seoul Air

Indonesia’s Lion

Finnair

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific

Singapore-based Jetstar Asia

shanghai-disneyland-castle-3

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland closed its doors Saturday 1/25/2020 in reaction to the spread of the Coronavirus that has now killed over 100 people in mainland China.

The resort complex, which normally operates 365 days per year and welcomes more than 10 million visitors annually, announced last Friday afternoon local time that it will shutter the Shanghai Disneyland theme park, the Disneytown retail and dining area, the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, and Wishing Star Park.

It did not give a date for their reopening.

hk3

They have new costumes to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

This week is the Chinese Lunar New Year.  Chinese Lunar New Year is the peak time of year for internal travel within China, when typically half of the country’s 1.4 billion population travel to their home towns to be reunited with family. Seven cities – over 11 million people – have been placed under lock down measures to prevent the spread of the disease, and vast numbers of cinemas have also closed their doors.

shanghai

Visitors to Shanghai Disneyland Resort’s website can find the following message:

In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and Cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown including Walt Disney Grand Theatre and Wishing Star Park, starting January 25, 2020. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and be in close contact with the local government, and we will announce the reopening date upon confirmation.

Shanghai Disney Resort will assist in the refund for guests who have purchased tickets for admission to Shanghai Disneyland, have booked a resort hotel, or have booked tickets for Beauty and the Beast Mandarin Production through the original ticket purchase channel, and we will introduce the detailed procedure and guidelines via the resort’s official platforms as soon as possible.

We wish our guests a healthy and happy Spring Festival!

Shanghai Disney Resort

January 24, 2020”

shangaiThe resort is issuing refunds to guests looking to cancel their trip due to the outbreak.

Cast members can’t use self admission or guest passes through at least the end of the month.

hk

Expect the park to be closed at least until February 29, 2020.

shanghai

Expect the park to be closed at least until February 29, 2020.

******************* 

Mulan Epcot China

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney sisters2 DCP Alumni

Two Disney Sisters

****

Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!!! 🙂

Visiting Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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toy story

A view from the top! Wheeeee……

We love Toy Story Land!  There’s so much to do and the food there is very good.

toy Story

Caroline and Mitch

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At the front entrance of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  You can meet Woody here most mornings.

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Christian’s first visit.

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Back again.  ❤

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Slink Dog’s roller coaster ride. This ride is a blast!

There’s enough to do that you should plan on spending at least 3-4 hours here.

We stayed until after sunset when all the lights came on.

Magical!

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We love the Christmas lights overhead.  The colors are all so vibrant!

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Slink Dog’s roller coaster at night.

The characters from Toy Story are out walking around and at their meet and greet area all day and into the night.

bo peep DHS

Bo Peep is very tiny, under 5 feet tall! They meet by Toy Story Mania.

Bo Peep and Jesse meet with Woody at the front entrance and also at their meet and greet area by Toy Story Mania.

Bo Peep

Bo Peep

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Pushing the Big Yellow Ball.

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This is where you can meet Forky too.

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Forky.


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These are a few of the Instagram walls of Toy Story Land:

Popsicle Wall

The colorful #PopsicleWall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We love it!

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Christian at the Popsicle Wall.

Action:  Next time you’re walking over to the cute restroom in Toy Story Land, look around for the #PopsicleWall and take some photos.

Action Rating:  Worth it!

Look at these super cute Popsicle benches:

Popsicle Bench

Popsicle Bench

Popsicle Bench

We love colorful new benches!  ❤

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Holding up the Popsicle Wall.

Here are more Magical Walls to find at Toy Story Land:

block wall DHS

Caroline at the #BlockWall.

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The #BlockWall is located over by the restrooms in Toy Story Land.

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Look at how cute even the trashcans are here!

checkers wall

Checkers Wall

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Christian at Checkers Wall

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Mitch at Checkers Wall

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Lion Puzzle Wall

DHS wall

Woody Wall

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Pushing Buzz Lightyear’s button.

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Mr. Potato Head Wall

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Caroline at the Coffee Wall with her Starbucks coffee!

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Feeling hungry?

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Woody’s Lunchbox. The outdoor dining tables and chairs are on the left.

Woody’s Lunchbox:  Andy from Toy Story has taken his lunch box and thermos and used them to build a walk-up food service location that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to all of us “toys” visiting Toy Story Land!

The restaurant is actually a metal lunch box turned on it’s side with Andy’s thermos as a support column!  Super cute themeing!

woodys-lunch

Yes, you can get alcoholic beverages at this lunch box!

Fun twists on American dishes like a S’mores French Toast Sandwich are available for breakfast, and hot sandwiches available for lunch and dinner include kid-friendly grilled cheese sandwiches and BBQ Brisket Melt. Potato Barrels and Totchos (tater tot nachos) are available for lunch and dinner.

Lunch Box Tarts (frosted raspberry or chocolate pop tarts) provide a sweet pastry treat all day long.

woody lunch box

Woody’s Lunch Box menu

Disney has partnered with Mini Babybel cheese as the Official Snack Cheese for Woody’s Lunch Box at Disney World.

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We tried the Grilled Cheese sandwich, the Beef Brisket sandwich, the tomato soup, and potato barrels (tater tots) with Root Beer Floats for dessert. It was all very good!

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My lunch.  The Grilled Cheese is very good.

Woody’s Lunch Box Menu

woodys lunch box menu1woody's lunch box menu2woody's lunch box menu3

**************** 

toy story4

At the Toy Story 4 premiere.

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

***

Now & Then:

Two Disney Sisters

Meeting them again at Andy’s Room

CP Moment First Housing Event Toy Story

During our program at a DCP Housing event at Chatham Square.

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woody falling (2)

No they do not!  But, guests still yell this at Woody all day long!

‘HarmonioUS’ Fireworks Show is Coming to Epcot Soon

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HarmonioUS at Epcot

HarmonioUS

“Epcot Forever” is being replaced in Spring 2020 by “HarmonioUS,” a new nighttime spectacular that celebrates the role of Disney music in uniting the world.  Disney promises the new show will be “the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney Park”.

HarmonioUS2

HarmonioUS: Expect large LED floats, very similar to the nightly Rivers of Light floats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Parks Live Entertainment teams recently passed a major milestone in the development of the show with the delivery of several large floating platforms that will provide the base for the technology used to create “HarmonioUS.”

Watch video of first Floating Platform Barge Arriving here: HarmonioUS Barge Arrives at Epcot

“HarmonioUS” will bring an innovative show of massive floating set pieces that house a variety of show effects, including custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, colorful lights, lasers, pyrotechnics and more to the World Showcase Lagoon.

The show is a magical nighttime dreamscape of Disney music and images where guests can discover how Disney music has the power to inspire and unite us all.

You can catch an early glimpse of concepts for the show now by visiting Walt Disney Imagineering Presents the Epcot Experience, located in the Odyssey Events Pavilion.

Expect this new fireworks show to last at least 20 years.

harmonious

HarmonioUS logo

*****

Epcot-Forever

October 1, 2019 – April 2020.

The current nighttime fireworks show at Epcot is “Epcot Forever”.

“Epcot Forever” has been described as a love letter to the park. The show tells the story of Epcot, beginning with the first spark of inspiration and the opening day anthem, “We’ve Just Begun to Dream,” and continuing through chapters dedicated to the thematic pillars of innovation, exploration, imagination and celebration. It concludes with an all-new verse of the classic song, “One Little Spark,” leading into a spectacular grand finale fireworks show promising “A Whole New World” of magical possibilities to come.

Epcot-Forever

October 1, 2019 – April 2020.

The temporary fireworks show debuted October 1, 2019 replacing the long-running IllumiNations.

Fireworks

Epcot Forever

Celebrating the history of Epcot via its music, characters and vision, the Epcot Forever show uses massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, fireworks, lasers, and special effect kites.

Epcot Forever features low flying kites that are visible at night thanks to unique built-in LED lighting.

Watch a bit of Epcot Forever:  Epcot Forever – New Fireworks Show at Epcot

epcot kites

Illuminated Kites flying soaring during the Epcot Forever fireworks show.

epcot forever1

We love Disney parks fireworks!

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Epcot Forever with the new Epcot logo.

******************* 

epcot two sisters

Having a fun day at Epcot! Caroline is wearing one of her new Minnie Ears.

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

*****

Two Disney sisters2 DCP Alumni

Meeting Princess Aurora at Disneyland

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aurora

Meeting Princess Aurora. She’s very pretty!

We were surprised to see Princess Aurora greeting guests in front of the Wishing Well at Snow White’s Grotto in Disneyland last week.

It’s such a pretty, calm place and there was no line to meet her.

Aurora

Princess Aurora waiting to meet a guest.

Aurora

It was chilly and she was wearing her fur-trimmed costume!!!!  ❤

Aurora

So pretty!

Aurora

Twinning!

Aurora

She had to leave right after we met her.

Aurora

Princess Aurora walking back into the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Aurora Wishing well

Christian making a wish.

DLR Castle

January 16, 2020: It was such a light post-holiday crowd day, with the threat of rain in the afternoon, which held off until 10pm. We had the park to ourselves and got to ride on everything, some of the rides 2x even.  We really recommend going to Disneyland in January!

Aurora Roses

Disneyland roses in bloom.

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Who wore it better????

dlr8 Aurora

Princess Aurora looking over her Sleeping Beauty Castle.

aurora2 Disneyland Castle

Christian at Disneyland.

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Interested in Disney Bounding as Princess Aurora??

It’s easy!

aurora1

Disney Bounding in Aurora’s pink outfit.

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Disney Bounding in Aurora’ cottage outfit.

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We were lucky to meet her a few years ago at Disney World during Christmastime:

Meeting Princess Aurora at the Magic Kingdom’s Candy Cane Garden

Princess Aurora

Meeting a very pretty Princess Aurora.

During the holiday season, Princess Aurora can be found on Main Street USA near City Hall at the Candy Cane Garden in the Magic Kingdom.

We were excited to meet her for the first time.

Princess Aurora

Elly and Aurora taking a selfie together.

aurora

Selfie time!

candy cane garden

You can meet Princess Aurora during the day in the Candy Cane Garden.

Christmas will be here soon!

The Christmas Countdown sign.

Mailbox for Santa letters in the Candy Cane Garden.

Mailbox for Santa letters in the Candy Cane Garden.

Princess Aurora

Meeting Princess Aurora for the first time.

Candy Cane Garden

The Candy Cane Garden is very festive.

Bonus Tip:  If you’re at  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party  (a hard ticket event during certain nights Nov.-December), you can meet Santa here before the Holiday Celebration Parade!!!  Expect long lines.  He’s only there until December 24th, then he returns to the North Pole!  ❤

santa

Santa and Mrs. Claus!!!

Candy Cane Garden

The Candy Cane Garden is open daily through the holiday season, 10am – 5pm.

******************* 

two disney sisters1

Cheers to the new year!

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney sisters2 DCP Alumni

Two Disney Sisters

****

2020: It’s Disney’s ‘Year of The Mouse’!

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mulan2

Mickey and Minnie greeting guests in their new costumes.

From now through Feb. 9th, celebrate the 2020 Chinese Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure Park!

Ring in the Year of the Mouse with spectacular entertainment, festive eats and family activities that welcome another year of good fortune for you and your family.

Encounter favorite characters in their pretty Lunar New Year-themed attire.

Watch the new video: 2020 Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure Park

Mickey Lunar New Year

2020 is Disney’s Year of the Mouse.

******

lunar new yearWe got to see it last week:

mulan

Mulan and Mushu

Paradise Pier

We had the best room at Paradise Pier!

CAL

All the decor is up for celebrating the Lunar New Year.

Every light post has new banners on it.


Lots of interesting food.

Paradise Pier

All the decor is so red and pretty.

Minnie Ears Lunar Year

Minnie’s new Lunar New Year ears. So pretty!

Special pins:

lunar new year1

New 2020 pin.

new year

2020: The Year of the Mouse

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Now, actually it’s the Year of the Rat……why didn’t Disney go with Remy???

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Remy the rat from Ratatouille.

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Sneak peek at the ride cars for the new Ratatouille attraction opening at Epcot this summer.

remy

Caroline holding a little Remy.  He’s a cutie!

remy

Remy pin.

Rat Chinese

2020: The Year of the Rat.

****************** 

Mulan Epcot China

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney sisters2 DCP Alumni

Two Disney Sisters

****    

Mushu

Caroline meeting Mushu.

      

Shanghai Disneyland Closes in Response to Corona Virus Outbreak

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shanghai-disneyland-castle-3Shanghai Disneyland closed its doors Saturday 1/25/2020 in reaction to the spread of the Coronavirus that has now killed 26 people in mainland China.

The resort complex, which normally operates 365 days per year and welcomes more than 10 million visitors annually, announced Friday afternoon local time that it will shutter the Shanghai Disneyland theme park, the Disneytown retail and dining area, the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, and Wishing Star Park. It did not give a date for their reopening.

hk3

They have new costumes to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

This week is the Chinese New Year.  Chinese New Year is the peak time of year for internal travel within China, when typically half of the country’s 1.4 billion population travel to their home towns to be reunited with family. Seven cities have been placed under lock down measures to prevent the spread of the disease, and vast numbers of cinemas have also closed their doors.

shanghai

Visitors to Shanghai Disneyland Resort’s website can find the following message:

In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and Cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown including Walt Disney Grand Theatre and Wishing Star Park, starting January 25, 2020. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and be in close contact with the local government, and we will announce the reopening date upon confirmation.

Shanghai Disney Resort will assist in the refund for guests who have purchased tickets for admission to Shanghai Disneyland, have booked a resort hotel, or have booked tickets for Beauty and the Beast Mandarin Production through the original ticket purchase channel, and we will introduce the detailed procedure and guidelines via the resort’s official platforms as soon as possible.

We wish our guests a healthy and happy Spring Festival!

Shanghai Disney Resort

January 24, 2020”

shangaiThe resort is issuing refunds to guests looking to cancel their trip due to the outbreak.

BREAKING: Hong Kong Disneyland Reportedly Suspends Face Character Meet-and-Greets as Coronavirus Threat Looms

Picture1

The Chinese New Year is January 25, 2020.

******************* 

Mulan Epcot China

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

 

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney sisters2 DCP Alumni

Two Disney Sisters

****

Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!!! 🙂

 

Disneyland’s Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour

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walt2
We got to take the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour at Disneyland last week.

Tickets are hard to get.  Only two tours are offered a day, limited to 24 people per tour.

You can book tickets 30 days out, $124/ticket.

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Walt, now one of the 999 spirits at the Haunted Mansion.

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walt1

We were on the 9:30am tour. There’s usually 2 morning tours a day, rain or shine.

Starting the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour

We arrived, as instructed, about half an hour before our tour start time and checked in at 9am. We selected our lunch meal for the end of the tour and were handed a pair of customized buttons to wear and our earpieces.

walt3

Starting our 3-hour tour at the Firehouse.

Walking in Walt’s Footsteps Tour

The heart of the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour is an approximately three-hour walk around the only Disney theme park in the world that Walt was able to set foot in during his lifetime.

The tour guide uses the park as a “living storybook” to tell the history of Walt’s life and his creations.

walt4

January 17, 2020. Very light post-holiday crowds.

Our tour began on Main Street U.S.A., where we heard about Walt’s boyhood in Marceline and Kansas City, which influenced Disneyland’s idealized Main Street USA.

walt tour

Listening to Walt’s dedication speech.

walt tour2

The Disneyland Opening Day dedication speech that Walt gave July 17, 1955.  It’s January and the tulips were blooming!

We stood at the Town Square flagpole while Walt’s opening day dedication speech from July 17, 1955 was played through our earpieces. This was the first of many archival audio clips that are incorporated into the tour.

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Yes, that’s announcer Ronald Reagan doing the opening day ceremony broadcast.  Many years later, he would be added to the Hall of Presidents at Disney World.

“To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”     –  Walt Disney

walt5

The window for Elias Disney.

As we walked up Main Street U.S.A., our guide pointed out the windows memorializing legendary Disneyland designers, imagineers, and cast members.

walt7

The Sleeping Beauty Castle got a new paint job and gold trim last year. Very pretty.

Standing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, we heard the introduction to the original Disneyland television show.  About half of America’s population (60 million people!) watched Disneyland’s opening day TV special.

walt

Boarding ahead of guests.

walt8

We walked right on, walking up the exit ramp.  We like this ride!

Inside Fantasyland, we heard the familiar tale of Walt being inspired to build Disneyland after taking his daughters to the Griffith Park carousel. Next, we were “back-doored” onto the Alice in Wonderland ride, bypassing the 15-minute queue out front.

Walt Tree

It’s from Colorado too!

Over in Frontierland, we heard about Walt’s love for his wife, Lillian, which led to the petrified tree trunk purchased for her as an anniversary gift.

Our next destination was New Orleans Square, where our guide shared the secrets of Club 33 and the 21 Royal suite, neither of which we were allowed to enter. We also heard clips of Walt describing future plans for Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, both of which debuted after his death.

walt9

When we first arrived two days ago, the holiday holly and decor was still up on the train station! But, it was gone today.

Next, it was all aboard the Disneyland Railroad, as we boarded at New Orleans Station and steamed around to Tomorrowland. After a long restroom break – we were way ahead of schedule because there were no crowds anywhere – we heard stories about long-gone attractions like the Midget Autopia and Carousel of Progress.

Waly Submarine Finding Nemo

Up until the submarine voyage ride opened, the Disneyland ride ticket booklets only went A – D. With this attraction, they added an E Ticket.

walt tour3

When this attraction opened on June 14, 1959, it was called Submarine Voyage.  A major portion of the ride simulated the voyage under the Arctic Ocean’s polar ice cap undertaken by the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus on August 3, 1958. Now, it’s Finding Nemo.

We stood beneath the snowy peak of the Matterhorn and learned about Disneyland’s first-ever E-ticket attraction, Submarine Voyage, which opened in June 1959.  It was quickly followed by two other new E ticket attractions…can you guess what they were???

Lincoln

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

Our tour concluded in the exit hallway of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, which we had never seen before. Our guide shared stories about Walt’s final dream of EPCOT, and his untimely death from lung cancer in 1966.

Lincoln

Walt himself wrote and directed this. He greatly admired President Lincoln.

Walking back to the firehouse with the background audio of “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins playing in our ears was wonderful.

walt2

Back at the Firehouse.

Walt’s Firehouse Apartment Tour

At this point, our tour group got to spend about 15 minutes visiting Walt’s private apartment above the Main Street Firehouse.

For serious Disney fans simply seeing up-close the lamp that’s left eternally lit in Walt’s honor – not to mention his personal grilled cheese griddle – almost justifies the cost of the entire tour.

walt apartment

Me and mom in front of Walt’s sofa bed. The apartment is very tiny, only 500 sq. feet.

You’re not allowed to take any personal photos or videos inside the apartment, but your guide will take one posed shot of you with your own camera. The framing is less than ideal because, by agreement with the Disney family, they are only allowed to photograph one specific corner of the room.

We did manage to sneak in a few photos while waiting our turn for a posed shot:

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The apartment’s docent.

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Walt’s sofa bed. It still has the 60 year old mattress inside!

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Lillian’s matching sofa bed across from Walt’s.

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A close-up of the Victorian carpeting. The designer of the apartment’s look also worked on Mary Poppins. Not surprised.  Not a fan of the decor.

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Walt’s 1960s TV that he could watch his Disneyland TV show on ABC on.

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Walt’s lamp that is never turned off.

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Me and mom.

Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Meal

The meals, dessert, and drinks we selected at the beginning of the tour were boxed up by Jolly Holiday Bakery and delivered to the Tour Gardens, where we were able to sit down and relax in the chilly shade after walking around Disneyland for 3 hours.

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All lunches come with a bottled drink, water or soda.

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Mom’s lunch.

My turkey sandwich with house-made potato chips was delicious, and the best part of the meal was the massive Matterhorn Macaroon.  Yum!

Macaroon

Yum!

Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Parting Gift and Final Thoughts

As we finished our lunch, our tour guide gave us one final gift: an exclusive pin with Walt’s dedication speech engraved inside. Perfect.

Walt pin

Walk in Walt’s Footsteps pin.

Walt's tour

It’s a miniature of the dedication plaque at the town square.

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Some Disneyland photos from Then and Now:

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Photo of Walt taken the year he died, 1966.

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Walt walking outside his firehouse. 1960s

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Main Street

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The petrified tree anniversary gift Walt gave Lillian.

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Everyone hates these trolley rails at Disneyland!!!

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Pinocchio’s Whale in Storybook Land.

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Walt overseeing the original planting of Storybook.

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Walt and Mickey.

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Have you seen this spike???  We have!

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Two Disney Sisters at Disneyland

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

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Two Disney Sisters

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two disney sisters Mickey Mouse

Meeting the Boss at Disneyland!

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The lamp is always lit.

 

It’s Cold Out! – Disney Princesses Wearing 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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January 22, 2020: Time to break out the scarfs and gloves!!!

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01/22/2020, 10am:  It’s only 39 degrees out!  Nighttime lows are 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 17, 2020: Meeting Princess Aurora in her warm winter gown – trimmed in pink fur! – at Disneyland this week. It was only 60 degrees.

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When we ran into Cinderella that night she was wearing her heavy winter gown too.

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The new Frozen 2 queens greeting guests in their winter outfits.

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The new Frozen 2 queens greeting guests in their winter outfits.

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

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Moana in her new winter costume (note the long sleeves and warm leggings).

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

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Country Belle wearing her winter cape at Epcot this week.

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Belle in her winter costume with Prince Adam.

They are extra beautiful in their winter gowns and capes!

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)

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

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

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 at the Magic Kingdom.

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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Snow White – wearing a tiara!!! – in her winter outfit on the Cinderella Castle stage.

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November 2019: The two Frozen queens in their new outfits.

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We love their new costumes!

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Close-up of Queen Anna’s engagement ring. It’s a sparkler!

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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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We think the Disney Princess costumes are the best! This is Princess Aurora in her blue gown.

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frozen Two Disney Sisters

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

**** 

Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!!! 🙂

 

Are Those Real Skeleton Bones at Disneyland???!!!

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That skull & bones are real!!!

That skull and crossbones in the Captain’s headboard at Disneyland are REAL!!!

For most Disneyland fans, there is a lot of joy in finding hidden secrets about the Park that we all love to visit.

Today, we present to you a very interesting fact about the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in Disneyland:  The skull and the crossbones that sit above the bed in the Captain’s Quarters treasure room are actually real bones!!

Super Creepy!!!

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The Pirates of the Caribbean ride definitely has the most skulls and bones!!

Back in 1967, just after Walt Disney had passed away, the Pirates of the Caribbean first set sail at Disneyland. But along with singing pirates and fair maidens, it held a dark secret.

Disney lore has it that while the ride was still under construction, the Disney Imagineers were unhappy with the look of the fake plastic skeletons placed about the ride. They didn’t think they looked authentic enough.

The solution was simple: Use real human bones!

They asked around and the UCLA medical school provided cadaver skeletons to Disneyland from men who had donated their bodies to “science”, which were then donated after gross anatomy classes to Disney, and positioned in the classic poses we see today on the ride.

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Skeletons playing chess.

There’s a pair of skeleton friends playing chess, one sitting atop a mountain of gold coins, a dead captain with a sabre in his ribs… While it may seem grotesque using real bones, they remained for quite some time.

Disney hasn’t officially confirmed exactly when the skeletons were replaced with fake bones, but they slowly were swapped out and the human remains returned to UCLA during the various ride refurbishments throughout the years.

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Yup, they’re real!

But, they didn’t remove them all!

Although the Captain’s skeleton laying in bed looking through a magnifying glass are no longer the remains of a deceased man, the bones on the headboard behind him are real!

That is a genuine skull and human crossbones!

It’s unknown why Disney chose to leave them there when the others were removed.  (Possibly, they came from a different source than UCLA and couldn’t be returned.)

If you look closely, you’ll notice that they’re darker and more aged than the rest of the skeletons on the ride. It’s the skull and leg bones of a Caucasian male.

Human skeletons were never used when the next Pirates rides were constructed at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in 1973, or at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, or at Disneyland Paris in 1992.

Sailing into a hurricane!

Captain Skeleton sailing into a hurricane!

Yo ho, yo ho!   Dead men tell no tales!  😉

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We got to see the new Pirate Redd for the first time this week.

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Pirate Redd drinking some rum….

A few years ago when we went to Disneyland with a first time visitor he was like: “What’s with all the skeletons everywhere at Disneyland?”

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We don’t remember this scene at all! It must be new. 🙂

When you think about it, there are skeletons all over Adventureland, in lots of scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean,  some over in Fantasyland on Peter Pan’s Flight, a skeleton hanging in the stretching room of the Haunted Mansion, the pile of animal bones signaling the entry to the piranha pool in Jungle Cruise, and a dinosaur fossil in Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

No bones about it, that’s a lot of bones!!!  😉

Skeleton Pirate

Yo ho, yo ho, it’s a pirate life for me!

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walt's ghost (2)

We think that Walt would have loved all the ghosts and skeletons at all the Disney Parks around the world!

Disneyland Fact:  Opening on March 18, 1967, the Disneyland version of Pirates of the Caribbean was the last attraction that Walt Disney himself participated in designing, debuting just three months after his death.

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two disney sisters1

Cheers to the new year!

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

****

Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!!! 🙂 #TwoDisneyPrincesses

mickey pirate

Pirate Mickey walking around Adventureland

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hehehehe