2017 Dia de los Muertos – Celebrating the Day of the Dead at Disneyland and California Adventure Park

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The traditional skeleton display for the Day of the Dead celebration.  Very festive.

From September 15 through November 2, 2017 Frontierland in Disneyland will feature a musical trio of iconic skeleton figurines called calacas, brightly colored flowers, and other decorative items celebrating the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

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Día de los Muertos explained: It’s a time of joy, not sadness, to remember family and friends who have passed.

Traditionally, the Day of the Dead – known as “All Souls Day” – falls on November 1st, the day after Halloween (All Hallows Eve).

Festive offering table.

Festive offering table with sweets and candy and colorful flowers.

Very cheerful during the day, lots of colorful flowers and sugary treats.

La Catrina, the symbol of the Day: It’s all very cheerful during the day, lots of colorful flowers and sugary treats.

There are special sweet treats out for the celebration, along with a trick-or-treating candy station open nearby during the Halloween Party nights.

We got to see last year.  We saw it during the day (above) and then we returned at night to see it after dark:

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Halloween night

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The calacas skeletons still singing….It very pretty at night.

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La Catrina at night.  I like her better during the day!  Sort of scary looking!

Día de los Muertos at Disneyland

Celebrate Día de los Muertos in Disneyland to honor the art, symbols and traditions of this age-old holiday.

Join the festivities as Frontierland hosts a special tribute to the Day of the Dead. This annual Mexican celebration remembers loved ones that have passed while embracing an eternal connection.

Now through November 2, Zocalo Park will feature a musical trio of iconic calacas—skeleton figurines—as well as brightly colored flowers and other decorative items commemorating the occasion.

Stop by and savor the tasty Orange Pumpkin Flan and other traditional Mexican treats exclusively at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurant while enjoying the authentic décor!

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The Tree of Life

And over at California Adventure Park:

This fall and winter, guests at Disney California Adventure Park will have the opportunity to celebrate the everlasting bonds of family and the spirit of the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

Starting with a new seasonal experience from Sept. 15 through Nov. 2, 2017 this immersive celebration will include special entertainment, featuring musicians and dancers, interactive activities — including a representation of Mexican folk art — and special décor and food inspired by this Mexican celebration of family.

The celebration will feature the upcoming Disney•Pixar animated motion picture, “Coco,” with special themed experiences inspired by the film. Select elements of the celebration will move to “a bug’s land” beginning Sunday, Nov. 5, where they will be presented alongside a special sneak peek of the film, which will continue through the holiday season until Jan. 7, 2018.

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Celebrating

Celebrating Día de los Muertos at Disneyland!

Video from Disney Parks Blog explaining Día de los Muertos celebration:  Day of the Dead 2015

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Minnie Mouse during Day of the Dead celebration.

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Look for special sweet treats available at the bakery.

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Churro cupcakes are available!!!

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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

***

Trump Refuses to be in Disney’s Hall of Presidents after Iger Resigns

BREAKING NEWS!
Disney CEO has resigned from Trump’s business council.

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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Current signage outside the Hall of Presidents.

The Hall of Presidents show at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World closed in January 2017 and is still not scheduled to reopen yet. (Normally, it would reopen the last week in June right before the 4th of July holiday, about 7 months after the election.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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dole whip

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

***

This is What Happened to the Animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom During Hurricane Irma

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DAK re-opened Tuesday morning. Some rides like Kali Rapids, the train,  and the safari were still closed.

Many guests were wondering this past weekend what Disney does with the inhabitants of Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Hurricane Irma looming in the forecast and Disney park closure announcements starting on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 9, 2017).

Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s is home to some 1,700 animals representing 250 different species throughout the 500-acre park. That’s a lot of wildlife to keep track of!

Welcome to my park!

Welcome to DAK!

Disney doesn’t evacuate their animals off property.  They have safe locations for them behind the scene, aka “backstage”, at the Animal Kingdom Park. All of the wildlife pens and barns were built of reinforced concrete and designed to be able to withstand a Category 3 Hurricane.

As a Disney Cast Member, Caroline took an exclusive DAK backstage tour.  She learned how the animals get called back to their pens in the evening with special whistles and signals.  The animals actually can’t wait to return to their overnight pens because they know that food and water, along with fresh bedding, is waiting for them!  The whole process takes 3 hours to complete.

Last weekend, Disney had all their cast member zookeepers, trainers, and veterinary staff on hand during the hurricane. These experts monitored the behavior of the animals and continually checked on them both before, during, and after the storm.

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Sunday:  DAK is closed due to Hurricane Irma!

With the announced park closure on Saturday afternoon, the Hurricane Rideout Teams  were activated across the WDW property.  These crews are made up of volunteer cast members who agree to stay in their park or resort for at least 72 hours during the storm.  [Caroline’s CM friend was stationed at The Living Seas aquarium in Epcot all weekend during the hurricane.]

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The alligators were OK in their enclosures.

Some water-dwelling creatures such as the alligators and turtles were left in their outdoor man-made habitats since this is where they were the safest.  All birds were brought inside.  (The native Florida birds that live at DAK were left outside.)

Disney takes every precaution with their animals, ensuring that they all were kept safe.  Not one animal was harmed during Hurricane Irma with winds that topped 80mph in Orlando!  All animals were safe and sound on Tuesday morning when the park re-opened.

If you’re interested in seeing the animal pens and how well Disney treats all their animals, you can take a backstage tour at DAK called Backstage Tales!

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/animal-kingdom/backstage-tales/

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Mickey and Minnie greeting hurricane stranded guests at DAK Lodge on Saturday afternoon. 🙂

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DAK closed early on Saturday (9/09/17) afternoon and park tie down was happening. All the turnstiles were wrapped to keep them protected from wind damage.

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Property damage on Monday: One of many trees blown down at DAK Lodge.

 

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Lots of wind damage all over DAK, but the paths had all been cleared for guests by opening time on Tuesday morning.
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The safari was not operating on Tuesday because of all the wind damage.

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dole whip

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

***  

Hurricane Recovery Teams are Active at Disney World Today

All Disney cast members scheduled to work Sept 11th or 12th will now be paid!!!

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YEAH!

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Sept 11, 2017:  The WDW parks and Disney Springs are all closed today.


Disney World is Still Closed due to Hurricane Irma!

No Park will reopen until all storm debris has been cleaned up and all rides have been reinspected.  Hurricane Recovery Teams have been activated across the WDW property.

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Sept 9th, Saturday afternoon. All the scrim and banners have been taken down. Tie down of all trash cans and light fixtures has begun.


WDW Closed:  Saturday evening (7pm/9pm), all day Sunday, all day Monday

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All parks closed Sept 10th and 11th!

Disney World main page with any park re-opening updates:  https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/.

“We are beginning an initial assessment of our property,” a Disney World spokeswoman said early Monday morning. “While we experienced high winds and rain, we maintained power throughout the storm.”

Hurricane Irma struck Disney World’s 25,000 acres of land southwest of Orlando from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. on September 11, 2017. The National Weather Service reported that the Orlando area saw sustained winds up to 58 mph and gusts up to 79 mph.

Orlando remains under curfew until 6 p.m. Monday afternoon.

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Every trash can at every Park and Disney Resort was tied down or filled with water by Sunday, Sept 10, 2017 ahead of the storm.

closed11. Disney reported the following damage Monday morning: 

  • Animal Kingdom – lots of trees down, debris
  • Epcot – trees down and flooding
  • Disney’s All Star Resorts – several trees down
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – flooding in the lobby area, trees down
  • Disney’s Art of Animation – trees down
  • Disney’s Beach Club – tree debris
  • Disney’s Boardwalk – tree limbs down, debris
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – tree down, debris
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort –  90 mph wind speeds recorded and transformers exploded near the resort, some trees down
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa –  leaky roofs
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – large trees downed, some longhouse roof damage
  • Disney’s Pop Century – trees down/uprooted, lots of tree debris
  • Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter – main building closed due to flooding, several downed trees, lots of tree debris, some pool fencing and light fixtures down
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside – large trees down and uprooted
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs – trees down, lots of debris
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – large pine tree down blocking bus entrance, trees down in parking lot
  • Disney’s Yacht Club – tree limbs down, debris

Sept 11th: The following message was posted to Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests this morning:

Good Morning!

Despite the weather, we hope your evening was comfortable.  As a reminder, we continue to observe local curfews and ask that you remain in your Resort room or building for your safety.  We will inform you once the curfew is lifted and ask that you stay tuned to channel 3 on your in-room television for more details.  Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

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Mickey and young resort guests watching it rain. (Sunday afternoon, Sept 10th)

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Lots of wind damage all over DAK, but the paths had all been cleared.

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Property damage on Monday: Tree down at DAK Lodge.

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Massive tree blown down at the Polynesian Resort last night.

2. Orlando Curfew is in Effect until 6pm Tonight

Sept 11th: Due to power outages and storm damage with a lot of tree debris on the streets, the curfew for Orlando continues until 6pm tonight.

planes3.  Florida Airports Are Still Closed

Over 12,500 flights in and out of Florida were canceled this weekend, so expect long lines at the airport when you get there.  Airports are trying to reopen and resume normal operations by Sept. 13th.

Note that all airports in Florida are reporting that their parking garages are FULL and not to drive to the airport as there is nowhere to park your car.

Tampa International Airport (TIA):  Closed Saturday, September 9th, 8pm.

Orlando International Airport (MCO):   Closed Saturday, September 9th at 5pm.

Orlando Sanford International Airport:  Closed Saturday, September 9th at 5:15pm.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport:  Closed Saturday, September 9th. Mandatory evacuation orders in effect over weekend.

Miami International Airport (MIA):  Closed Saturday, September 9th. Mandatory evacuation orders were in effect.  “MIA is not a designated hurricane shelter. Operations at the airport stop when winds reach sustained winds of 55 MPH.”  9/11 Update: Miami International Airport will be closed Monday after sustaining “significant water damage throughout,” according to CEO Emilio Gonzalez.

Palm Beach International Airport:  Closed Saturday, September 9th. Mandatory evacuation orders in effect.

Jacksonville International Airport:  Closed Saturday, September 9th, 7pm.

 

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Cast members went door to door last night to all the resort rooms and personally handed out flashlights to guests. They also handed out small boxes of cereal and shelf stable milk.

4.  Disney Resorts are Open and staffed with Volunteer Hurricane Rideout Teams

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

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Mickey and Minnie greeting hurricane stranded guests at DAK Lodge on Saturday afternoon. 🙂

Please be extra nice to any cast member that you see.  The voluntary WDW Hurricane Rideout Crews were activated ahead of Hurricane Irma.  They have been working non-stop since Saturday afternoon!

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Every Disney resort has activities for guests planned for today.

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Goofy helping entertain the small guests at the Contemporary Resort.

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Resort update.


A Message from Disney Resorts to Our Guests:

While you are staying with us, we are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma. As the weather approaches we would like to share some helpful tips for your visit.

~We anticipate resort dining locations may experience lengthy waits.  Pre-made boxed lunches and snacks are available.

~Housekeeping services may be limited.

~Please turn to channel 3 on your in-room TV for more information regarding Hurricane Irma.

~Disney films on your in-room TV will be complimentary until further notice.

We appreciate your patience and understanding and apologize for any inconvenience. Should you have any questions or need additional assistance, our front desk Cast Members are happy to assist you.

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Huge tree blown down at the Polynesian Resort last night.

5.  WDW Hurricane Recovery Teams are Checking all Parks and Resorts for Any Damage

The Walt Disney World Resort has it’s own power plant and didn’t lose power during the hurricane.

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Tree down at DAK.

However, there are many trees on property that need to be inspected for damage and all downed trees need to be removed before guests can safely return.

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Everything was tied down and secured ahead of Hurricane Irma.

The massive Disney Tree Farm is fully stocked and able to replace most damaged landscaping.

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dole whip

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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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Night of Joy Events Canceled This Weekend Due to Hurricane Irma

Friday, September 8th UPDATE:  Disney World is Closing for Hurricane Irma!

Closed:  Saturday (7pm), all day Sunday, all day Monday

September 8, 2017: Here is more from Disney’s statement today:

Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney Springs, water parks, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex are making the following operational changes:

Disney’s Blizzard Beach: Closed as of Friday, 9/8 – Monday, 9/11

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon: Closing early on Saturday 9/9 at 5 PM – Monday, 9/11

ESPN Wide World of Sports: Closed on Saturday, 9/9 –  Monday, 9/11

Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 7 PM  – Monday, 9/11

The Saturday, 9/9 Rivers of Light performance is canceled.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 7 PM  – Monday, 9/11

The Saturday, 9/9 Fantasmic! and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular performances are canceled.

Epcot: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 9 PM – Monday, 9/11

The Saturday, 9/9 Illuminations Reflections of Earth performance is canceled.

Magic Kingdom: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 9 PM –Monday, 9/11

The Saturday, 9/9 Happily Ever After fireworks performance is canceled.

Disney Springs: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 9 PM –Monday, 9/11

***
mnsshp1BREAKING NEWS:

In anticipation of inclement weather associated with Hurricane Irma, please note the following event cancellations at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Note:  If more events get canceled, we will update this blog.

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halloween-mickeyMickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has been canceled on Sunday, September 10, 2017.

Guests are invited to exchange their Sunday, September 10 event tickets for one of the following options:

  • Tickets to attend another Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
  • Tickets to attend an upcoming Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
  • 1 Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper Option, to be used within the next two years.
  • Receive a full refund for event tickets.

Also, Night of Joy has been canceled on Saturday, September 9, 2017.

The Night of Joy performances on Friday night will take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex as planned, while Saturday night’s performances have been canceled due to Hurricane Irma.  https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/night-of-joy/

  • Guests with tickets for Saturday are welcome to attend Friday’s event instead by exchanging their ticket at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Box Office starting at 4:00pm Friday.

Requests for a full refund for either event night will be honored; please call (407) 939-7818.

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

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

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

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

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

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

*** 

Disney World’s Hurricane Rideout Teams Have Been Activated for Hurricane Irma!

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Sunday, September 10th 8am Update: Hurricane Irma Made landfall over Key West early this morning and is now headed due north.

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BREAKING NEWS FOR WDW CAST MEMBERS!

HURRICANE IRMA – PARK UPDATE:

Damage Reports from Hurricane Recovery Teams:  WDW Hurricane Recovery Teams Reporting In

If you missed a shift because of Hurricane Irma, you will be paid for it!!

pay

YEAH!

***

Disney Parks and Disney Springs scheduled to re-open September 12, 2017.

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DAK is closed due to Hurricane Irma!

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DAK closed early on Saturday (9/09/17) afternoon and park tie down was happening. All the turnstiles were wrapped to keep them protected from wind damage.

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Everything was tied down and secured ahead of Hurricane Irma.

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Every trash can at every Park and Disney Resort was tied down or filled with water by Sunday, Sept 10, 2017 ahead of the storm.

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If trashcans couldn’t be tied to something, they were filled with water.

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The Grand Floridian car being towed away and out into safe storage Saturday afternoon (09/09).

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Typhoon Lagoon preparation – all picnic tables turned over.

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Disney World is Closed for Hurricane Irma!

Closed:  Saturday evening (7pm/9pm), all day Sunday, all day Monday

September 8, 2017: Here is more from Disney’s statement today:

Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney Springs, water parks, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex are making the following operational changes:

Disney’s Blizzard Beach: Closed as of Friday, 9/8 – Monday, 9/11

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon: Closing early on Saturday 9/9 at 5 PM – Monday, 9/11

ESPN Wide World of Sports: Closed on Saturday, 9/9 –  Monday, 9/11

Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 7 PM  – Monday, 9/11

The Saturday, 9/9 Rivers of Light performance is canceled.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 7 PM  – Monday, 9/11

The Saturday, 9/9 Fantasmic! and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular performances are canceled.

Epcot: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 9 PM – Monday, 9/11

The Saturday, 9/9 Illuminations Reflections of Earth performance is canceled.

Magic Kingdom: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 9 PM –Monday, 9/11

The Saturday, 9/9 Happily Ever After fireworks performance is canceled.

Disney Springs: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 9 PM –Monday, 9/11

flashlight

Cast members went door to door last night to all the resort rooms and personally handed out flashlights to guests. They also handed out small boxes of cereal and shelf stable milk.  Characters were in the resort lobbies meeting guests.

A Message from Disney Resorts to Our Guests:

While you are staying with us, we are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma. As the weather approaches we would like to share some helpful tips for your visit.

~We anticipate resort dining locations may experience lengthy waits.  Pre-made bagged lunches and snacks are available.

~Housekeeping services may be limited.

~Please turn to channel 3 on your in room TV for more information regarding Hurricane Irma.

~Disney films on your in room TV will be complimentary until further notice.

We appreciate your patience and understanding and apologize for any inconvenience. Should you have any questions or need additional assistance, our front desk Cast Members are happy to assist you.

US-CARIBBEAN-WEATHER-HURRICANE

Saturday afternoon, guests at the Magic Kingdom Park in the pouring rain!

 

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Sunday, Sept 10th, 2017: The Disney Parks are closed!

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Thursday, Sept 8th:  The cancellations have started across the WDW property:

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Resort buses will stop running early on Saturday night.

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Dining reservations for this weekend are being automatically canceled with no penalty.


******  Stay tuned for more announcements!  This blog will be updated daily at 9am and 9pm.*****

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Disney cruise ships are heading back to port…or not leaving port at all.

1. Disney Cruise Line Cancels Three Cruises Due to Hurricane Irma

September 5, 2017:  Due to weather concerns caused by Hurricane Irma, Disney Cruise Line is ending two cruises early and cancelling three other upcoming cruises.

The September 2nd sailing of the Disney Fantasy, which has been sailing a modified Western Caribbean itinerary will return to Port Canaveral on September 7th, two days earlier than scheduled. Guests traveling on this sailing will receive a refund equal to two nights of their fare, plus will be given a 25% discount on a future cruise.

The September 9th sailing of the Disney Fantasy has been cancelled. All guests will receive a full refund, plus a 25% discount on a future cruise.

The September 4th sailing of the Disney Dream, which has been sailing a modified Bahamian itinerary will also return to Port Canaveral on September 7th, one day earlier than scheduled. Guests traveling on this sailing will receive a refund equal to two nights of their fare, plus will be given a 25% discount on a future cruise.

The September 8th and September 11th sailings of the Disney Dream have been cancelled. All guests will receive a full refund, plus a 25% discount on a future cruise.

All affected guests have from September 18, 2017 through October 18, 2017 to book a future cruise with the 25% discount offer.

*****

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2. All Toll Roads are Now Free in Florida

September 5, 2017:  Residents and visitors evacuating South Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma won’t have to pay tolls starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 5th.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott told the Miami Herald/Times the governor’s order applies to all Florida roadways and toll systems “until further notice.”

Gov. Scott said in a statement he wants “to keep traffic flowing.”

“Ensuring the safety of Florida families and visitors is our top priority and suspending tolls statewide will help people quickly evacuate and make it easier for all Floridians to access important hurricane supplies to ensure they are fully prepared,” Scott said.

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3. Florida Governor Cancels All School: K – College

SEPTEMBER 7, 2017: WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott is directing all public K-12 schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices to close Friday, September 8 – Monday, September 11.

Governor Scott said, “Today, I am directing the closure of all public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices for their normal activities effective Friday through Monday, to ensure we have every space available for sheltering and staging. Floridians are facing a life-threatening storm in Hurricane Irma, and every family must prepare to evacuate. Our state’s public schools serve a vital role in our communities as shelters for displaced residents and staging areas for hurricane recovery efforts. Closing public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices will provide local and state emergency officials the flexibility necessary to support shelter and emergency response efforts.”

Hurricane Irma Path Updates:

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September 7th: Prepare, prepare, prepare!!!!

Category 3 Hurricane (major), 110 – 130 mph winds:  Devastating widespread damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.  Prepare for at least 7 – 10 days of emergency conditions.

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work

Cast members should get as many clean costumes as they can by Saturday!


4. Cast Member ‘Hurricane Ride Out’ Teams –  Hurricane Rideout Crews and Hurricane Recovery Teams Have Been Activated!!!

Disney cast members are known to go above and beyond for resort and park guests.  This includes during a hurricane!  If you’re interested in being on a Hurricane Rideout Crews or Hurricane Recovery Teams, sign up on the Hub now. My ID logon.

Action Details: On the Hub, go to the Work tab. Click on Labor Service Center. Then Submit and Review My Labor Requests. Under Interest Forms, you will see a link for ‘Ride Out Crew’. Register there.

ride-out

Hurricane Ride Out  Crew info – The Crews have been activated!

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

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

CMs will hang out at their work location during the storm and do tasks as needed, mostly centered around keeping things safe and comfy for guests. Meals and a place to sleep and shower will be provided at no cost.

Example: Magic Kingdom cast members will spend their entire time in the park and not be released to leave until the storm has passed and the park is clean and safe for guests. No park will reopen until all storm debris has been cleaned up and all rides have been reinspected.  Stay connected via The Hub for park status  and work updates.

Remember, Disney World has its own power station and water treatment plant.  Even though DCP housing is only 4 miles away, the housing complexes are on the Orlando power grid, not the WDW property grid, and may lose power for several days.

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Storm’s a’coming!  Batten down the hatches!

Park Tie Downs:  When Storm Winds Exceed 30mph

Disney World main page with any park advisories and Hurricane policies:  https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/.

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

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

Disney is taking all appropriate steps to ensure that the storm this weekend has as minimal an impact on a guest’s vacation as possible.

5. CPs Living in Disney Housing Complexes

Disneyupdate

Update for cast members

CPs living in Disney Housing that are not on Hurricane Rideout Crews will be “sheltering-in-place” for the hurricane starting on Saturday night, 9pm.

Disney will bring in about a dozen people to help Disney Housing personnel if Hurricane Irma nears Orlando.  They will work 24/7 for as long as necessary at the DCP housing complexes ensuring that all cast members are safe. They will be handling any emergency situations such as any apartment flooding or wind damage, ensuring that all damage reports are taken care of immediately.

September 8, 2017 email from Disney Housing: “Because of safety concerns, our team will not be able to respond to maintenance requests, such as leaks, during the storm. Utilize something (like an empty garbage can) to collect the water and prevent it from spreading throughout your unit until we can assist.”

This week, cast members should buy/get:

  1. Bottled water
  2. Extra food
  3. Flashlight
  4. Portable battery pack for their phone
  5. Fill up your gas tank
  6. Cash – at least $50

Also, turn in all your dirty costumes by Saturday morning and get 5 fresh ones for next week.

Per Hurricane protocol, no guests will be allowed into the DCP housing complexes after 4pm on Hurricane Warning Day. Residents will only be allowed in their own complex (i.e., Vista Way residents would not be allowed in The Commons after 4pm.)

Taping of windows is not allowed.

cast connections (2)

Cast connection has food and water for cast members!

Remember, Cast Connection is open and has food and water supplies for cast members to stock up before the storm!  Take the K bus as parking is very limited.

Cast Connection will be closing early on Saturday afternoon, so go NOW!

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Stock up now ahead of the storm!!!! Bottled water $1.00

Please review this checklist and get prepared:  Hurricane Preparedness Checklist – What To Do

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flood

Rainfall could exceed 10″ in Orlando from the hurricane.

6.  Florida Airports Will Be Closing Ahead of Hurricane Irma

Expect airlines to cancel thousands of flights this weekend and suspend operations as Hurricane Irma sweeps across Florida and airports close for days.   Travelers this weekend are advised to check flight status with their airline before heading to the airport.

American Airlines announced Wednesday afternoon that it will shut down operations at five airports in South Florida on September 9, 2017.

All airports in Florida are reporting this morning that their parking garages are FULL and not to drive to the airport as there is nowhere to park your car.

Tampa International Airport (TIA):  Closing Saturday, September 9th, 8pm.

Orlando International Airport (MCO):   Orlando International Airport will halt all flights starting on Saturday, September 9th at 5 PM.

Orlando Sanford International Airport:  The Sanford airport will completely close on Saturday, September 9th at 5:15 PM.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport:  Closing Saturday, September 9th. Mandatory evacuation orders in effect.

Miami International Airport (MIA):  Closing Saturday, September 9th. Mandatory evacuation orders in effect.  “MIA is not a designated hurricane shelter. Operations at the airport stop when winds reach sustained winds of 55 MPH.”

Palm Beach International Airport:  Closing Saturday, September 9th. Mandatory evacuation orders in effect.

Jacksonville International Airport:  Closing Saturday, September 9th, 7pm.

southwest plane

We always fly on Southwest to Florida!

Update from Southwest Airlines (our favorite airline!)

Southwest Airlines is closely monitoring the projected track of Hurricane Irma and possible Stations that may experience operational disruptions in the coming days.  Before you head to the airport, please check the status of your flight for the most up-to-date information regarding your flight.

Our scheduled service on Tuesday, September 5, thru Wednesday, September 13, may be disrupted (flights may be delayed, diverted, and/or cancelled) at the following cities:

  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Fort Myers (RSW)
  • Havana (HAV)
  • Jacksonville (JAX)
  • Nassau (NAS)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Punta Cana (PUJ)
  • San Juan (SJU)
  • Tampa (TPA)
  • West Palm Beach (PBI)

Customers who are holding reservations on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 thru Wednesday, September 13, 2017 and want to alter their travel plans may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby (within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs and in accordance with our accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge.

We ❤ Southwest!

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mnsshp

The Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party button (free!)

7.  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – Some Upcoming Nights Canceled!

halloween1

Breaking News: MNSSHP Party on September 10th has been canceled!

When Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or the Headless Horseman Appearing at Fort Wilderness are canceled, guests are offered a full ticket refund.  Cast members with discounted party tickets will be offered replacement tickets for other party nights.

headless

Spooky!!!!

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wind forecast

Sept 8th, 9pm forecast


SEPTEMBER 9, 2017: A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR ORANGE COUNTY

…HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT… * LOCATIONS AFFECTED – Orlando – Apopka – Christmas * WIND – LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Equivalent Strong Tropical Storm force wind – Peak Wind Forecast: 50-65 mph with gusts to 80 mph – Window for Tropical Storm force winds: early this afternoon until Monday afternoon – CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: High – The wind threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. – Emergency plans should include a reasonable threat for hurricane force wind of 74 to 95 mph of equivalent Category 1 intensity. – To be safe, aggressively prepare for the potential of extensive wind impacts. Remaining efforts to secure properties should now be brought to completion. – Dangerous and life-threatening wind is possible. Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury or loss of life. Move to safe shelter before the wind becomes hazardous. – POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Extensive – Considerable roof damage to sturdy buildings, with some having window, door, and garage door failures leading to structural damage. Mobile homes severely damaged, with some destroyed. Damage accentuated by airborne projectiles. Locations may be uninhabitable for weeks. – Many large trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and roadway signs blown over. – Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. Several bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable. – Large areas with power and communications outages. * FLOODING RAIN – LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Flood Watch is in effect – Peak Rainfall Amounts: Additional 6-10 inches, with locally higher amounts – CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: High – The flooding rain threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. – Emergency plans should include a reasonable threat for major flooding where peak rainfall totals well exceed amounts conducive for flash flooding and rapid inundation. Rescues and emergency evacuations are likely. – To be safe, aggressively prepare for the potential of extensive flooding rain impacts. – Life-threatening flooding is possible. Failure to take action may result in serious injury or significant loss of life. If flood related watches and warnings are issued, heed recommended actions. Poor decisions may result in being cut off or needlessly risk lives. If vulnerable, relocate to safe shelter on higher ground before flood waters arrive. – POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Extensive – Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues. – Rivers and tributaries may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become dangerous rivers. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. – Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out. * TORNADO – LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: – Situation is favorable for tornadoes – CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: Moderate – The tornado threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. – When implementing emergency plans, include should include a reasonable threat for scattered tornadoes. – To be safe, earnestly prepare for the potential of significant tornado impacts. – Listen for tornado watches and warnings. Be ready to shelter quickly if a tornado approaches. – POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Significant – The occurrence of scattered tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. – Several places may experience tornado damage with a few locations seeing considerable damage, power loss, and communications failures. – Locations could realize roofs torn off frame houses, mobile homes demolished, boxcars overturned, large trees snapped or uprooted, vehicles tumbled, and small boats tossed about. Dangerous projectiles can add to the toll. * FOR MORE INFORMATION: – Family emergency plans: Federal Emergency Management Agency –https://www.ready.gov – Local weather conditions and forecasts – http://www.weather.gov/mlb

 

***

winds

The good news is that when the DCP apartments were built in the 1980s-1990s, they were built to code to withstand a Category 1 Hurricane. The bad news is that Orlando is expecting a Category 2 Hurricane > 100mph winds on late Sunday night into Monday morning. 😦

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matt

October 6, 2016, 5:30pm, Hurricane Matthew nears Orlando.  The Magic Kingdom is closed for the next 2 days!

Just last fall, Disney World had to close for a Hurricane.

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew shut down Disney World for 2 days.

Read about that WDW closure here:  When Hurricane Matthew Closed Disney World

cat 5

September 5, 2017 Update:  Category 5 Hurricane! Winds OVER 185mph battering islands in the Caribbean!!!

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

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

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

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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Celebrity Narrators for the 2017 Candlelight Processional at Epcot

epcotDates for this year’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot are:  November 24th – December 30, 2017.

Celebrity Narrators

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

Neil (2)

Neil Patrick Harris has performed the narration for several years now and is excellent!  He’ll be back this year too, December 18 -21, 2017.

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

November 24 to 26, 2017: TBD

November 27 to 28, 2017: Matt Bomer

November 29 to 30, 2017: TBD

December 1 to 3, 2017: Whoopi Goldberg

December 4 to 5, 2017: Pat Sajak

December 6 to 8, 2017: TBD

December 9 to 11, 2017: TBD

December 12 to 14, 2017: Warwick Davis

December 15 to 17, 2017: Trace Adkins

December 18 to 21, 2017: Neil Patrick Harris

December 22 to 24, 2017: CCH Pounder

December 25 to 27, 2017: Jaci Velazquez

December 28 to 30, 2017: Chandra Wilson

***

Dates, Times and Location:

November 24th to December 30, 2017

5:00pm, 6:45pm and 8:15pm

America Gardens Theater, Epcot

NPH (2)

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

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

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

And, he’ll be returning this year, December 15 – 17th!

***

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

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

Event Details:

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

Click here: Candlelight Processional Dining Experience

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

The Candlelight Processional is held every night during the Christmas season. The first performance is on November 24, 2017 and then runs nightly through December 30, 2017.

There are three performances each evening at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. The length of the show is about 45 minutes.

epcot

Ticket to see Edward James Olmos narrate from last year’s Processional!

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

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

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

Note:  Cast member auditions for the 2017 Candlelight Processional choir were held this summer in July, and CMs were notified if they were selected as a participant by mid-August 2017.  Rehearsals started this week.

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

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

***