20 Perks of Being a Disney DCP Cast Member

DCP Perks (2)

The perks of being a DCP cast member are pretty good for a paid ($12 – $15/hr. for CPs in 2020) internship program.

They can save you thousands of dollars while you are working at Disney.

I work for Disney!
I work for Disney!

1. On your first day working for Disney, you will take the Disney Traditions class. Afterwards, you’ll get your Company ID. Your Disney ID allows you unlimited entrance to all US Disney theme parks in Florida and California.

Note: There are some Blackout Dates dates throughout the year, mainly effecting the Magic Kingdom guest passes. As those times are when the Parks are at peak capacity, you don’t want to go then anyway. Why go to a Park when it’s mobbed with people when you can enjoy the Parks anytime?

2. After working 150 hours, you’ll be mailed the first set of 3 One Day Park Hopper Disney Guest Passes to use to get friends and family into the Parks for free! Every 150 hours, you’ll be mailed another set of passes (up to 9 free passes per calendar year).  You’ll also have opportunities to receive additional free passes through volunteering with Disney VoluntEARS and at other company events.

3. Your company ID gets you a company discount of 20% off all merchandise. During the Disney Family Holiday Celebration period (Oct. 2019 – Feb. 2020), the CP cast member merchandise discount goes up to 40% off! The discount is good at all Parks, Disney hotels, Disney Stores, Disney online, on Disney cruise ships, and at Disney Ports.

4. At many Disney table service restaurants, you can get 20% off your meal.  At some restaurants, it’s a 40% discount –  Disney Dining Discounts for Cast Members!  The catch is that it’s hard to remember exactly which restaurants are currently giving the CM discount and sometimes, even if a restaurant gives the discount, they may only honor it at non-peak hours, i.e., dinner after 9pm. Again, the only way to know is to always ASK!

5. Cast members get to shop at Disney’s private Cast Connection where overstocked or slightly damaged clothing and merchandise is sold for 50-75% off retail, plus then you can use your 10-20% cast member discount on top of that.

6. If you need extra Park passes for visiting family and friends, CMs can purchase discounted tickets (10% off) for them at the Company D Store. The first ten days of the month, the Company D store also does pin trading, limited to 2 pin trades per day per cast member. They usually have several unusual or unique pins on their pin board. Always worth a look!

7. CPs also can get 30% off discounted tickets to the big seasonal event parties like 2019 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the 2019 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

8. Your company ID gives you free entrance to both Disney Water Parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, on most days of the year! You can buy 1/2 admission passes for your family and friends. And, you get  Free Parking at any Disney Park and the two water parks, currently $25/day at Disney World.

9. If you work during the Fall internship, you’ll be mailed a  coupon booklet for the Disney Family Holiday Celebration  filled with 60% off coupons for Disney hotel stays, 50% off Disney table service dining, and 6 free soda coupons and free popcorn coupons. If you take advantage of all of these coupons, especially if you have family members visiting you during your program, you could save thousands of dollars.

10.  DCP Housing is a bargain. Let me repeat that:  It is a bargain! For about $100/week, taken directly out of your paycheck, you will get a fully furnished apartment with all utilities (A/C, heat, water, very slow wifi internet, cable, phone, sewer and trash/recycling) included. Washer/dryers are in your apartment or onsite. You won’t have to pay any deposits to turn on the electricity, etc. like you would renting a regular apartment. At Disney World, free bus transportation to and from work is also included, all hours of the day and night. All apartment complexes have 24 hour gated security and roaming security guards (important if you’re getting off a 2am shift or going to a 6am shift!)

All apartment complexes also have a large pool, and some have hot tubs, tennis courts, basketball courts, bar-b-que grills, and other recreational opportunities like billiards.

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January 16, 2019: Life is the Bubbles! Welcome Housing Event.

11. Disney CP housing hosts monthly Housing Events themed character parties with free food, great DJs, and character meet & greets. They are a blast! Go to all of them!!!

12. Many local area businesses give cast members discounts of 10% off just by showing your Disney ID!  Both our favorite Chinese restaurant and our nail salon gave us 10% off our bills. Many businesses advertise the CM discount on their doors or menus, but, if not, ASK! You might be surprised at how many businesses say yes. If you chose not to stay in Disney housing, many nearby apartment complexes offer 10% rent discounts to cast members. If you’re not sure, ASK!

13. One of the best perks are last-minute discounts for Disney Cruises from any of the ports (Cape Canaveral is the closest.) As a cast member, you can get 40-60% discount off of Disney cruises. The available cruise dates, ships, and ports are listed about 3-4 weeks out on the company HUB page.  Your CM discount (20%) works at all the Disney ports and onboard ship!  🙂  [Note:  You must be employed by Disney for 90 days prior to booking cruise.]

14.   Here’s the full list of cast member discounts at Disney Springs: CM Discounts at Disney Springs.

15. The AMC Theater at Disney Springs gives CMs a 10% discount on movie tickets and the Starbucks at Disney Springs gives a 10% discount to cast members.

16. You’ll be invited to private, after hours cast member only parties at the Parks, with unlimited rides with no lines and free food! So much fun!!!   You can also sign up for Behind-the-Magic Backstage Tours of your favorite rides!

17.  You get into the private Disney club for cast members and their families, Mickey’s Retreat, right across from the housing complexes for free!

18.  If you’re into Costumes, which is what Disney calls their work uniforms, each work location has a different costume to wear!  They are free and Disney cleans them for free too!  How cool is that!??!!

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We love the new fireworks show Happily Ever After!!

19.  Fireworks, fireworks, fireworks!  If you like fireworks shows, then come work at Disney World where’s there’s at least 3 fireworks shows nightly!!  There’s Happily Ever After at the Magic Kingdom, the new Epcot Forever at Epcot, and Star Wars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Every night, and sometimes 2x a night!

20.  Bonus Perk: And, finally, something that we think is a pretty good perk:  flexible scheduling with the ability to request time off or trade/giveaway your shifts if you would like to see what working at another WDW location is like.

We worked merchandising at Downtown Disney/Disney Springs (Elly) and Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Caroline).  But, we could trade or pick up open shifts at any of the four Parks, the two water parks, or any of the hotel gift shops at Disney World!

There’s never a dull day at Disney World!

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    ******Disney is My Life*****

Working at Walt Disney World is a magical experience that few get to have in their lives.

Unlike other jobs, you actually look forward to going to your work to play on your days off.  Also, unlike other jobs, you get the special pleasure of spreading happiness to guests from all over the world.

This is not to say that the job is easy. You are challenged day in and day out with guest’s high expectations. But, it has made you stronger as a person as a result. You are exposed to many different cultures that broadened your understanding of the world. You know how to say basic phrases like “how many in your party?” and “remain seated, please” in at least three different languages.  You know that the most important language is non-verbal, especially when you are attempting to soothe a guest who is “critiquing” you in a language you do not understand.

After you became a Disney cast member, when was the last time you waited in line for more than 30 minutes? Why would you wait when you can get in to any park for free anytime? You know when the peak crowd times are at all the parks.  Doing a whole day at the parks is almost unthinkable at this point. It’s so much better to only go for a few hours, use your three FastPasses, maybe grab a quick bite to eat or Disney snack, and then go home early. Sometimes, it’s even better to go to the parks just to relax and hang out and not even go on a single ride. And, why not? Walt Disney World is your home now.

You can get Mickey waffles whenever. Random morning off? Mickey waffles at the Contemporary. Mickey waffles at Grand Floridian. Resort hop to find the best locations. But y’all know that Trail’s End Restaurant is the very best breakfast buffet with the best cast member discount!

Once you’ve worked for Disney long enough you have friends everywhere in the parks. It’s like in high school when you can walk around and say hi to friends as you go to class, except you’re doing it at the Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And honestly, this is so much better!

As a cast member, you find yourself spending all your money on Disney merchandise (Disney knows this…that’s why they give you a great 20% cast discount!). You can’t help yourself either because you are tortured every time you go to work seeing all the other guests with the merch you want. Like rose gold ears or the WDW sweatshirt. You didn’t even know you wanted them until they were impossible to get. Then it just felt like the guests who did have them were taunting you until you finally found them at WoD and bought them.

You can tell the time at night by all the fireworks shows. 9:00pm – IllumiNations. 10:00pm – Happily Ever After. Until they went and changed the time to 7:30pm. Who does that? Don’t they know we set our evening by these time signals?

Being a cast member in Orlando, Florida takes FOMO (fear of missing out anxiety) to a new level. Who cares if you’re exhausted from working a 60 hour week? You still feel guilty for staying home to sleep in on your one day off because in Orlando there are literally THOUSANDS of things you could be doing with your time. But, all you really want to do is sleep and be a normal person.

As soon as you become a cast member people suddenly start contacting you for free tickets/discounts. You haven’t talked to them in almost 5 years, and suddenly you’re a Disney cast member and they just happen to reach out and want to reconnect after so long, at Disney World of course. Oh, and by the way, can you get me and my extended family in for free?

Living and working at Walt Disney World is an experience that most people outside of Orlando cannot understand. It definitely has its perks, like going to Disney World for free and experiencing magical things most guests never get to see, but it also is a challenge to adapt to the “Disney” life. However, no matter how much you complain, deep down you love your job and do it for the Disney Magic you get to create every day.

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working together at DAK costume Two Disney Sisters

Working together at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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

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Two Disney Sisters

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Two Disney Sisters

Andy’s Room at the DCP Alumni Homecoming event.

two girls Toy Story Andys Room

Fall DCP Housing event at Chatham Square.

Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney Sisters

 

2017-2018 Dining Discounts for Disney Cast Members

Dining at the Crystal Palace.

Dining at the Crystal Palace  – 20% discount for cast members!

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CM discount valid until September 29, 2018!! We love this show and the food is excellent!!!

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40% Dining Discount list until September 29, 2018!

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Reservations can be made at www.DisneyWorld.com/Dining.


Remember, cast members get 20% off merch and 20% of dining most of the year.

  • Current 2017-2018 dining discount blockout days:
    • Dec. 23, 2016 – Jan. 2, 2017
    • Feb. 14, 2017
    • April 15-16, 2017
    • May 13-14, 2017
    • July 1-4, 2017
    • Nov 23-26, 2017
    • Dec 22 – Jan 1, 2018
    • Feb 14, 2018
    • July 1 – 4, 2018

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Remember, there are black out dates for dining discounts!  This year, 4th of July weekend is blocked.

Here’s our CP tip:  Ask every time!  There are too many restaurants and blackout dates and restrictions to keep track of!  We always ask (nicely of course!) at every place we eat at, including the QSFB ones!

You just never know!

Dining reservations can be booked directly online at: www.disneyworld.com/dining or by calling 407-WDW-CAST.

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The fine print.

 

DINING DISCOUNTS:  PARTICIPATING WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT RESTAURANTS

* ALL LOCATIONS ARE SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING RESTAURANT BLOCK-OUT DATES:  Nov. 23 – 26, 2017; Dec. 22, 2017 – Jan. 1, 2018; Feb. 14, 2018; March 30 – April 1, 2018; May 12 – 13, 2018; July 4, 2018

THEME PARK DINING

Magic Kingdom Park

  • Casey’s Corner
  • Columbia Harbour House
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
  • Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café
  • Pinocchio Village Haus
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant
  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (Lunch Only)
  • Tortuga Tavern

Epcot

  • Biergarten Restaurant
  • Chefs de France (Lunch Only)
  • Coral Reef Restaurant (Lunch Only)
  • Electric Umbrella
  • Kringla Bakeri og Kafé
  • La Cantina de San Angel (Lunch Only)
  • Liberty Inn
  • Lotus Blossom Café
  • Nine Dragons Restaurant (Lunch Only)
  • Restaurant Marrakesh
  • Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room (Lunch Only)
  • San Angel Inn Restaurante (Lunch Only)
  • Sommerfest
  • Sunshine Seasons
  • Teppan Edo (Lunch Only) – Discount does not apply to add on menu items category
  • The Garden Grill
  • Tokyo Dining (Lunch Only) – Discount does not apply to add on menu items category
  • Tutto Italia Ristorante (Lunch Only)
  • Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (Lunch Only)
  • Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • 50’s Prime Time Café (Lunch Only)
  • ABC Commissary
  • Backlot Express
  • Catalina Eddie’s
  • Fairfax Fare
  • Hollywood & Vine (Lunch Only)
  • Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner
  • PizzeRizzo
  • Rosie’s All-American Café
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Flame Tree Barbecue
  • Harambe Market
  • Pizzafari
  • Restaurantosaurus
  • Satu’li Canteen
  • Tiffins
  • Tusker House Restaurant

RESORT DINING

Disney’s All-Star Resorts

  • All food courts

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

  • Landscape of Flavors

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Boma – Flavors of Africa
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place
  • Sanaa
  • The Mara

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

  • ESPN Club (Lunch: Monday-Friday only)
  • Flying Fish Café
  • Trattoria al Forno (Dinner Only)

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Contempo Café
  • The Wave…of American Flavors

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

  • Trail’s End Restaurant

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • 1900 Park Fare (Breakfast Only)
  • Cítricos
  • Gasparilla Island Grill
  • Grand Floridian Café

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

  • Good’s Food to Go
  • Olivia’s Café

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

  • Capt. Cook’s
  • Kona Café (Dinner seating must occur after 8 p.m.)

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

  • Everything POP Shopping & Dining

Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts

  • Boatwright’s Dining Hall
  • Riverside Mill Food Court
  • Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

  • The Artist’s Palette
  • The Turf Club Bar and Grill

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

  • Wind and Waves Grill
  • Wind and Waves Market

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Artist Point
  • Roaring Fork
  • Whispering Canyon Café

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

  • Ale and Compass
  • Cape May Café (Breakfast Only)
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse (Dinner seating must occur after 8 p.m.)

Disney Springs

  • AristoCrepes
  • B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co.
  • D-LUXE Burger
  • Disney Operated Food Trucks
  • The Daily Poutine

WATER PARKS & SPORTS DINING

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

  • Avalunch
  • Lottawatta Lodge

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

  • Leaning Palms
  • Typhoon Tilly’s

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill

Note: Always review the restaurant block-out dates and restrictions.

Disneyland® Resort participating restaurants and block-out dates >>

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Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!

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

Now that she’s back, things get wild.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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DAK costume

Adventure is out there!

 

Disney Springs Cast Member Discounts!

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Welcome to Disney Springs!!!

There are over 200 shopping, dining and entertainment experiences at Disney Springs and most offer cast member discounts!

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Covered shopping!!!  Yes, please!

But, wait, what are the Cast Member Discounts you ask??

Well, here they are:

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Town Center discounts:  10%-20%

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The Landing discounts

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West Side discounts.

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The very popular Sprinkles offers Cast Members a 10% discount on their cupcakes!  Yum!

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So many places to eat and shop now!!!

 

Want more discount info?

Dining Discounts for Cast Members

Perks of Being a Disney Cast Member

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Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!

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

Now that she’s back, things get wild.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About the Author:

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

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

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

DAK costume

Adventure is out there!

20-40% Dining Discount For Disney Cast Members

Dining at the Crystal Palace.

Dining at the Crystal Palace this summer (with a 20% CM discount!)

UPDATED FOR 2017!  https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/2016-disney-family-holiday-celebration-info/

Here are the new Disney Dining Discounts for October 19, 2015 – October 16, 2016:

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40% Dining discount with no block-out days at these restaurants.

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20% Dining discount with restrictions, only available for certain meals or at certain times of the day, i.e., after 8pm.

Note that most WDW dining is blocked out for the 20% cast member dining discount on these upcoming dates:

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Some upcoming blockout dining dates.

 

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Remember, there are black out dates!:(

The complete list of all the parks and resorts dining places that give CMs a discount.

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The complete restaurant list

Here’s our CP Dining tip:  Ask every time about getting a discount!  There are too many restaurants and blackout dates and restrictions to keep track of!  We always ask (nicely of course!) at every place we eat at, including the QSFB ones!  You just never know!

Dining reservations can be booked directly online at: www.disneyworld.com/dining or by calling 407-WDW-CAST.

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The fine print.

Dining Recommendation:  Our very favorite restaurant at WDW is Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness.  It serves the best breakfast ever! Using your CM dining discount, the breakfast buffet with tax and gratuity is under $15!!!

Trail’s End Restaurant Review

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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 (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) 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:

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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2016 Dining Discounts for Disney Cast Members

Dining at the Crystal Palace.

Dining at the Crystal Palace this summer (20% discount!)

NEW!  UPDATED FOR 2016:  Updated Dining Discounts

 

The 2015 Family Holiday Celebration booklet came out on October 19, 2015 and it’s loaded with three dining coupons for 30%, 40%, and 50% off your next dining experiences!  (Remember, you can get 20% off most of the time.)

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Dining discounts.  (Click to enlarge)

Here are the new Disney Dining Discounts for October 19, 2015 – October 16, 2016:

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Note that all WDW dining is blacked out for the cast member dining discount on these upcoming dates:

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Remember, there are black out dates!

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A few of the blockout dates coming up.

 

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The list of all the parks and resorts dining places that give CMs a discount.  BUT, note all the restrictions!!  Sometimes, you can only get the discount at lunchtime…

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Resort, Disney Springs, and the water park restaurants that offer CM discounts.

Here’s our CP tip:  Ask every time!  There are too many restaurants and blackout dates and restrictions to keep track of!  We always ask (nicely of course!) at every place we eat at, including the QSFB ones!

You just never know!

Dining reservations can be booked directly online at: www.disneyworld.com/dining or by calling 407-WDW-CAST.

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The fine print.

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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.

Amazon link:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Disney Dream Cruise – Sailing Away Dance Party!

Disney Dream Cruise – Sailing Away Dance Party!

Disney Dream Bahamas Cruise: 4 Days/3 Nights

Day     Port                        Guest Ashore    Guest Onboard
1          Port Canaveral, Florida   —                   4:00 p.m.

2          Nassau, Bahamas             9:30 a.m.       5:45 p.m.

3          Castaway Cay                   8:30 a.m.        4:45 p.m.

4          Port Canaveral, Florida    7:30 a.m.

We left Orlando for Port Canaveral at 10am as we had an early check-in time of 11:45am.  We both have been on other cruises, but this is the first time we sailed with Disney.  The Disney Dream was launched in 2011 and has room for 4,000 passengers and 1,500 crew. It is a HUGE ship with 12 decks!

We arrived at the Disney terminal in Port Canaveral without knowing what stateroom we had been assigned to. We were happily surprised to learn that we had been upgraded to a Deluxe Family Suite (sleeps 5) with oceanview and veranda on Deck 7! We love Disney!

Ready to set sail with Captain Mickey aboard the Disney Dream.

Ready to set sail with Captain Mickey aboard the Disney Dream.

After dropping our luggage off at the curb, we checked-in at the terminal port. The Disney characters were already there and we got to meet both Captain Mickey and Minnie. The check-in process was the best and fastest of any cruiseline that we’ve sailed with. When you walk onboard the ship from the gangplank, officers and crew are lined up in the Grand Atrium to announce your names and welcome you aboard.

The Grand Atrium is lovely with a huge art deco flower art piece hanging from the center of the ceiling.

WOW!!!

WOW!!!

A lunch buffet was being served at Cabanas on Deck 11, the pool deck. We knew we were going to have a fabulous time on the cruise when we saw how delicious the buffet was! There were plenty of free tables at Cabanas if you wanted to sit inside, and also lot of covered seating around the pool if you wanted to sit outside.

Beautiful mural at Cabanas.

Beautiful mural at Cabanas.

Disney is the only cruiseline to offer a soda fountain bar with unlimited ice and drinks. (Other cruiselines make you buy a beverage package.) Cabanas was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After hours, on the same deck, Flo’s V8 Café (like in California Adventure in Disneyland) served hamburgers, pizza, sandwiches, and salads until late into the night.

Our stateroom was available at 1:30pm and our luggage arrived at 2pm. The cabin was beautiful! After some settling in, we decided to explore the ship from top to bottom before the Sailing Away party started at 4:30pm. So much to do!

Disney Dream Recreation (from Wikipedia):

The ship features the first water coaster at sea, called the “AquaDuck”, a 765-foot long winding waterslide with a four-deck drop and a course that winds 13 feet over the edge of the ship and through the ship’s forward funnel. The AquaDuck runs the width of the ship and the length between the funnels, almost the size of a U.S. football field. Other water activities include a Mickey’s Slide and 3 pools. All pools contain fresh water.

The adult-only, Quiet Cove Pool, includes a series of connecting pools with depths ranging from 6” to 4 ft.deep sun-bathing pools with a bar at the end of the 6 inch “pool”. There are also hot tubs for adults & families, some of which have glass in the floor. The ship also boasts a Walt Disney Theatre, which shows first run Disney movies and live Broadway style shows.

There is a giant 24 x 14 ft. LED screen facing Donald’s Pool, attached to the forward funnel.

Activities aboard the Disney Dream include: a 9 hole mini-golf course, a walking track, digital sports simulators, a full-sized basketball court that can be converted for use as a soccer pitch, volleyball court, or football/table tennis area.

Some cabin photos:

Our decorated cabin door.  The doors are made of metal and you can use magnets to decorate it.  We got our name decal off of ebay before the cruise, and the ship’s gift shops also sell door décor.

Our decorated cabin door. The doors are made of metal and
you can use magnets to decorate it. We got our name decal
off of ebay before the cruise, and the ship’s gift shops also sell door décor.

Our lovely stateroom with veranda on Deck 7.

Our lovely stateroom with veranda on Deck 7.

Sailing Away Dance Party:

Party being broadcast live on the huge LED screen.

Party being broadcast live on the huge LED screen.

The Sailing Away dance party was a high energy blast! All the characters were there dancing away as the ship slowly left dock and made its way through the canals of Port Canaveral and out into the open sea. It was a cool and overcast day, but the pools were open and people were sliding down the Aqua Duck slide.

Having fun at the Sailing Away party.

Having fun at the Sailing Away party.

As we left port, the ship’s horns started to play. Disney Dream’s horn plays songs from Disney movies and parks: “When You Wish Upon a Star” (Pinocchio), “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” (Cinderella), “Be Our Guest” (Beauty and the Beast), “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” (Pirates of the Caribbean), “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor’s Life for Me)” (Pinocchio), and “It’s a Small World”. Wonderful to listen to!!!

The fabulous Disney Dream’s horn show:  A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes 

Ship’s horns playing Disney tunes.

Ship’s horns playing Disney tunes.

One went to the Disney pins trading event one night:  Trading Disney Cruise Pins Onboard the Disney Dream.

Dream cruise Castaway Cay

Docked at Castaway Cay.

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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

***

The Perks of Being a DCP Cast Member

DCP Perks (2)

The perks of being a DCP cast member are pretty good for an internship program. They can save you thousands of dollars while you are working at Disney.

1. The first day you are at the Traditions class, you’ll get your company ID. Your ID allows you unlimited entrance to all Disney theme parks worldwide (except Disneyland Tokyo) and the Disney water parks. There are some black-out dates throughout the year, mainly effecting the Magic Kingdom on holiday weekends. As those times are when the Parks are at peak capacity, you don’t want to go then anyway. Why go to a Park when it’s mobbed with people when you can enjoy the Parks anytime?

2. You get a company discount of 20% off all merchandise. During the Holiday Celebration period (Nov. – Feb.), the CP merchandise discount goes up to 40%. The discount is good at all Parks, Disney hotels, Disney Stores, Disney online, on Disney cruise ships, and at Disney Ports.

3. A few weeks after you complete the Traditions class and start working, you’ll be mailed a Blue Main Gate Pass for yourself and then 3 Guest Passes to use to get friends and family into the Parks for free. It will come loaded with 6 day park hopper passes. (3 x 6 = 18 free Park Hopper passes, a perk worth over $1,000!) You’ll also have opportunities to receive additional free passes through volunteering with Disney VoluntEARS and at other company events.  Read more about it here.

4. At some Disney table service restaurants, you can get 20% off your meal. The catch is that there isn’t a published list of exactly which restaurants are currently giving the CM discount and sometimes, even if a restaurant gives the discount, they may only honor it at non-peak hours, i.e., dinner after 9pm. Again, the only way to know is to always ASK!

5. Your company ID gives you free parking at any Park or waterpark, currently $17/day at Disney World.

6. If you work during the Fall internship, you’ll be mailed a Family Holiday Celebration coupons booklet filled with 60% off coupons for Disney hotel stays, 50% off Disney table service dining, and 6 free soda coupons or free popcorn coupons. If you take advantage of all of these coupons, especially if you have family members visiting you during your program, you could save thousands of dollars.  You will also receive another 3 Guest Passes for friends any family!  You can use those with your original guest passes (letting in 4 people) or you can use it individually (letting in 1 person) and save your original guest passes for later!

7. Disney CP housing is a bargain. For about $100/week, taken directly out of your paycheck, you will get a fully furnished apartment with all utilities (A/C, heat, water, cable, internet, phone, sewer and trash/recycling) included. You won’t have to pay any deposits to turn on the electricity, etc. like you would renting a regular apartment. At Disney World, free bus transportation to and from work is also included. All apartment complexes have 24 hour gated security and roaming security guards (important if you’re getting off a 2am shift or going to a 6am shift!) All apartment complexes also have a large pool, hot tubs, tennis courts, and other recreational opportunities like billiards.

8. If you chose not to stay in Disney housing, many nearby apartment complexes offer 10% rent discounts to cast members. If you’re not sure, ASK!

9. Disney CP housing hosts monthly themed character parties with free food, great DJs, and character meet & greets. They are a blast! Go to all of them!!!

10. Many local area businesses give cast members discounts of 10% off. Both our favorite Chinese restaurant and our nail salon give us 10% off our bills. Many businesses advertise the CM discount on their doors or menus, but, if not, ASK! You might be surprised at how many businesses say yes.

11. One of the best perks are last-minute discounts for cruises from any of the ports (Cape Canaveral is the closest.) As a cast member, you can get 40-60% discount off of Disney cruises. The available cruise dates, ships, and ports are listed about 3-4 weeks out on the company Hub page.  Your CM discount (20%) works at all the Disney ports and onboard ship!  🙂  [Note:  Must be employed by Disney for 90 days prior to booking cruise.]

12. Cast members get to shop at Disney’s private Company D store where overstocked or slightly damaged clothing and merchandise is sold for 50-75% off retail, plus then you can use your 20-40% cast member discount on top of that. The first ten days of the month, the Company D store also does pin trading, limited to 2 pin trades per day per cast member. They usually have several unusual or unique pins on their pin board. Always worth a look!

13. If you need extra Park passes for visiting family and friends, CMs can purchase discounted tickets for them at the Company D store.

14. The AMC Theater at Downtown Disney gives CMs a 10% discount on movie tickets.

15. You’ll be invited to special cast member only previews (we got to see “Saving Mr. Banks” at the Hollywood Studios premier before it opened nationwide). The next special preview we hope to attend is for the opening of the Snow White and Seven Dwarfs mine ride.

16. You’ll be invited to private, after hours cast member only parties at the Parks, with unlimited rides with no lines and free food! 🙂

17. And, finally, something that we think is a pretty good perk:  flexible scheduling with the ability to trade or giveaway your shifts if you need time off or would like to see what working at other WDW locations is like.  We work merchandising at Downtown Disney (Elly) and the Animal Kingdom (Caroline).  But, we can trade or pick up open shifts at any of the four Parks, the two water parks, or any of the hotel gift shops at Disney World.  If you’re into costumes, each work location has a different costume to wear!  How cool is that!

  • I work for Disney!

    I work for Disney!

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

At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

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 (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) 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.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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

***