2015 Candlelight Processional at Epcot

The Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional at Epcot

Dates for this year’s Candlelight Processional are:  November 27th – December 30, 2015.

Disney has announced this year’s 12 celebrity narrators:

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.

This year, an exciting line-up of celebrities—including a few new faces and voices—are lending their dramatic talents to this year’s production, including:

Neil (2)

11/28/2015: Neil Patrick Harris has done the narration for several years now and is excellent!!

November 27 to 29, 2015: Gary Sinise 

November 30 to December 3, 2015: Neil Patrick Harris

December 4 and 5, 2015: Whoopi Goldberg

December 6 to 8, 2015: Joe Morton

December 9 to 11, 2015: Ana Gasteyer

December 12 to 14, 2015: Meredith Vieira

December 15 to 17, 2015: America Ferrera

December 18 to 20, 2015: Chandra Wilson

December 21 to 23, 2015: Daniel Dae Kim

December 24 to 26, 2015: Edward James Olmos

December 27 to 28, 2015:  Blair Underwood

December 29 to 30, 2015:  Amy Grant

NPH (2)

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

Video of Neil Patrick Harris at 2014 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!  🙂

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

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

(The cast member auditions for the 2015 Candlelight Processional choir were held this summer in July, and CMs were notified if they were selected as a participant by August 14, 2015.)

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 interspersed are favorite carols of the season.

The Candlelight Processional is held every night during the Christmas season. The first performance is on November 27, 2015 and then runs daily through December 30, 2015. 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.

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

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 Two Girls

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.

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Disneyspeak – How to Talk Like a Disney Cast Member

Welcome to the DCP Program!

Welcome to the DCP Program!

During your DCP internship, you’ll hear a lot of Disneyspeak, or Disney lingo, starting with talking to the Disney recruiters during the application process.

Disney loves acronyms, particularly those with three letters. Many popular acronyms assume the word “ride” is tacked on to the end of an attraction to get the right number of letters. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is “DAK” (pronounced like it rhymes with “pack”). Kilimanjaro Safaris is KSR, Dinosaur is DTR (adding “The” as well as “Ride”), and The Great Movie Ride is GMR.

Since these don’t make pronounceable words, you just say the letters. If you work in the MK rotation that includes Aladdin, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, you’re at ATT.

String enough of these together and it’s almost incomprehensible to someone who doesn’t work for Disney.

Here are a few more examples of Disneyspeak that you’re likely to hear during a DCP internship and at the Parks:

Attraction – a park ride or show.

CM – Cast Member, an employee of Disney.

CP – College Program intern working at Disney for a semester.

Guest – The people visiting Disney.

Costume – Cast Member’s uniform.

DAK – Disney Animal Kingdom, where Caroline works.

DCP – Disney College Program.

DDP – Disney Dining Plan.

DL or DLR- Disneyland resort in Anaheim, California.

Disney Point – Pointing guests in any direction with two fingers, your index and middle finger together.

DTD – Downtown Disney, where Elly works.  Now, Disney Springs!

DU – Disney University.

EMH – Extra Magic Hours.

EPCOT – Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow; but, for CPs it means: Every Paycheck Comes On Thursday!

ER – Early Release, when a CP is going home early. (Lived for ERs!!)

MK – Magic Kingdom.

On stage – any area where a Cast Member might be seen by Guests.

Backstage – any area where a Cast Member can’t been seen by Guests.

PAC – Parade Audience/Access Control. (Caroline’s least favorite activity!)

WDW – Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The Hub – Online employee access to Disney employment info (work schedules, etc.)

101 – An attraction is down.

102 – Attraction is working again.

Alpha Unit – First Responders, call 911.

Code H – Horse on Main Street left behind a deposit.

Code V – Someone has upchucked somewhere, need clean-up.

Code White – Cremated remains sprinkled somewhere by a guest, need vacuum clean-up.

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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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Installing the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights

The crane "ruins" a lot of guests photos for 2 weeks!

The crane looming over the Castle “ruins” a lot of guests photos for 2 weeks!

Seeing the crane alongside the Cinderella Castle in September can only mean one thing:  The Dream Lights are being installed! 🙂

The installation of the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights started on September 8th and will continue through September 21, 2014, when the crane will be removed.  Disney decorates Cinderella Castle for the holiday season with a “Dream Lights” effect that makes the Castle seem to be covered in ice. Over 200,000 LED lights are draped over the turrets and roofs of the Castle to create this beautiful effect.

New this year:  Elsa turns the Cinderella Castle icy!

New for 2014:  Queen Elsa!

New for 2014: Queen Elsa!

Starting on November 5th, the Snow Queen will be filling Cinderella’s shoes as the new host of the Magic Kingdom’s Castle Dream Lights show. Instead of the Fairy Godmother waving her wand and illuminating Cinderella Castle with over 200,000 holiday lights, it’ll be Elsa using her icy magic to turn the Castle into a winter wonder.

**Sigh**  Lovely!

**Sigh**   Just lovely!

A short show called “Cinderella’s Holiday Wish” starts the evening’s celebration, followed by the Castle lighting ceremony around 6:15 pm.  The Castle lights will remain on, slowly changing colors, for the rest of the evening.

More photos of the Magic Kingdom decorated for Fall: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/magic-kingdom-decorated-for-fall/

 

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.

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

Christmas Day 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Our Christmas stockings from home.

Christmas 2013 was the first time we ever spent Christmas away from home. We missed our family and we missed our boyfriends!

While I had Christmas off, Caroline worked all Christmas day, from 7:30am to 6pm. Because of traffic, she had to leave for work extra early and then got home late.

We opened our presents that night. At home, we always open our stockings first. Mom had sent us our stockings, loaded with goodies, the week before Christmas. We opened so many wonderful gifts and cards from family and friends, and then we exchanged presents with each other.

Opening our stockings first.

Opening our stockings first.

Without my sister there to celebrate with me, Christmas would have been very lonely and I would have been even more homesick! Merry Christmas, Caroline!! 🙂

Christmas night.  Our roommates were all still at work.

Christmas night. Our roommates were all still at work.

Christmas Day at Disney World

Christmas Day at Disney World

Jingle Jungle Parade.

While I had Christmas off, Caroline did not. On Christmas Day, she worked from 7:30am – 6pm, a long shift. The Animal Kingdom has been staying open late for extended hours this holiday week, most nights until 9pm or 10pm. She was hoping for an early release on Christmas Day, but too many people called in sick.

6am Christmas morning:  Waiting to catch the bus to work in the cold & dark!

6am Christmas morning: Waiting to catch the bus to work.

Because of all the sick call-ins this holiday week, she’s been pulled out of the store during parade time to help with crowd control. That’s always exciting duty! Nobody wants to be told they can’t cross over the street during the parade! That Caroline is a toughie!   🙂

Caroline working at Island Merchandise in the Animal Kingdom.

Caroline working at Island Merchandise in the Animal Kingdom.

The cast member exclusive ornament that we got from Disney Program as a thank you!

The cast member exclusive ornament that we got from Disney Program as a thank you!

The Magic Kingdom reached capacity by 10am of Christmas morning. (Theoretically holding 100,000 guests, but because of parking lot restrictions, closer to 60,000 guests.) That meant that overflow guests were directed to the other three theme parks.

Animal Kingdom is the largest park in terms of size, but has the smallest guest capacity. So you really, really notice when it gets crowded. The wait times on the popular rides (Everest, Dinosaur) exceeded 100+ minutes for most of the day.

Park Closures

Disney uses different closure “phases” to gradually restrict the types of guests allowed into a theme park. Closures start at Phase 1 and progress up to Phase 4, where no additional guests of any sort are allowed into the park.

Phased closures do not necessarily last all day: for example, if Magic Kingdom is under a Phase 4 closure at 10:00 a.m. on Christmas Day, sufficient guests might leave by 7:00 p.m. that all restrictions on park entry are lifted.

Phase 1 Closure
Casual visitors are turned away at the automobile toll plazas. This means that people without tickets, those with one-day, single-park tickets, and those intending to use cast member passes will not be allowed to park.
Other guests that may enter during Phase 1 restriction:
Those with multi-day or multi-park tickets
Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those re-entering the park that day
Those “hopping” from another park.
Those with in-park reservations or appointments.
Those arriving via Disney transportation

Phase 2 Closure
The following guests are allowed through the turnstiles and into the parking lots:
Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those re-entering the park that day
Those “hopping” from another park
Those with in-park dining reservations or appointments
Those arriving via Disney transportation

Phase 3 Closure
The following guests are allowed through the turnstiles and into the parking lots:
Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those with in-park dining reservations or appointments.

Phase 4 Closure
The park and parking lot are closed to all arriving guests.

 

Christmas tree at Animal Kingdom.

Christmas tree at Animal Kingdom.

 

So many cool ornaments!

So many cool ornaments!

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We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney World in the Disney College Program: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tal

Holidays Around the World

Holidays Around the World 2013 at Epcot.

Holidays Around the World 2013 at Epcot.

We went over to Epcot for the evening with our friends. Caroline won four tickets for VIP IllumiNations seating outside the Italy pavilion. We bought some hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies before the show.

Hot chocolate with friends.

Hot chocolate with friends.

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery

Gingerbread cookies fresh from the oven!

Gingerbread cookies fresh from the oven!

We also got to see the Candlelight Processional lead by one of my favorite country singers, Trace Adkins. It was a wonderful Christmas-y evening with good friends.

Huge Christmas tree at American pavilion.

Huge Christmas tree at American pavilion.

Holiday Culinary Treats from Around the World

Holiday Passport 2013

Holiday Passport 2013

Embark on a tour of festive holiday tastes as you gift your senses with the flavors of the season.

All around Epcot, a host of colorful locations are busy preparing savory eats, mouthwatering sweets and delightful customary dishes—from classic offerings you know and love, to international food and beverage items you may be trying for the first time. Discover the unique delicacies available at each area, including:

Future World : The Land – Future World West
Gingerbread village and bar
Canada Pavilion : Canada Beer Cart
Pecan maple bark

The American Adventure Pavilion
Gingerbread men
Chocolate chunk cookies
Sugar cookies
Hot chocolate
Hot apple cider
Peppermint bark

Germany Pavilion
Glűhwein (hot spiced wine)
Stollen (holiday fruit cake)

China Pavilion
Kaikouxiao (happy face fried cake)

United Kingdom Pavilion
“Apple Jack”

France Pavilion
Bûche de Noël au chocolat
Glace au pain d’Epices (gingerbread ice cream)

Japan Pavilion
Teriyaki chicken karaage (bite-sized chicken chunks with teriyaki sauce)

Norway Pavilion
Rice cream

Mexico Pavilion
Sweet tamales

In addition, be on the lookout for several outdoor stops where you can purchase featured drinking mugs and souvenir popcorn buckets too!

mickey trees (2)

 

Taping the Disney Christmas Day Parade at Magic Kingdom

Taping the Disney Christmas Day Parade at Magic Kingdom

Taping in front of Cinderella’s Castle.

Taping Video: http://video.disney.com/watch/christmas-day-parade-4eca9c3dcf29db8919faa813

We spent the day at the Magic Kingdom watching them tape the Christmas Day parade events.

Taping today!!

Taping today!!

Main Street USA ready for parade.

Main Street USA ready for parade.

Caroline on Main Street

Caroline on Main Street

Lara Spencer from ‘Good Morning America’ was in hair and make-up all day over by the Plaza Restaurant. We watched her do all the cutaway intros, take after take! Look for us during the broadcast on Christmas Day standing in the crowd right behind Lara!

Lara Spencer from GMA.

Lara Spencer from GMA.

Our view of Lara Spencer taping her intros.

Our view of Lara Spencer taping her intros.

We got to see “American Idol” winner, Candice Glover, perform her song from her album. We also saw The Wanted (an English-Irish boy band) perform their segment. Neil Patrick Harris was the parade MC.

The parade.

The parade.

The Magic Kingdom was mobbed with people! In the late afternoon, we went over to Fantasyland where it was much less crowded. We had never seen Belle’s new show “The Enchanted Tales with Belle”, and that was fun to do.

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We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tale