How To Join the DCP Alumni Group

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Disney College Program pin.

Alumni Update:

Until this semester, ICPs couldn’t join the DCP Alumni Assoc…but they can now!

Greetings from the Disney Alumni Association!

Congratulations on successfully completing your DCP program!

By now you have received the official communication on this new, exclusive group of College Program alumni. Don’t forget to complete the registration process.  Click here to join today!

Join Us:  www.dcpalumni.com

Best Regards, Disney Campus Recruiting

Join the DCP Alumni Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/disneyalumniassociation/

  • Network and connect with over 100K College Program Alumni across the country
  • Receive invites to future Alumni exclusive events on Disney property
  • Participate in webinars with Leaders from around the Company and partake in networking and learning opportunities
  • Receive exclusive Professional Development webinars and workshops with Disney Recruiters
  • Receive Disney Alumni Association exclusive merchandise
  • Be the first to know about Disney Internships and Programs opportunities

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NEW!!!    Want to buy some Alumni merchandise?  It’s now online!!

Click here to shop:  Disney College Program Alumni Merchandise

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DAA

Continuing the Magic….

Update from DAA if you haven’t been accepted yet:

Several times a year, the Disney Alumni Association (DAA) experiences a backlog about joining, i.e., when the Spring and Fall CPs all graduate.

If it’s been more than 2 weeks, please contact the DAA email inbox at: wdw.disney.college.program.alumni@disney.com

We can then specifically look up the individual’s lost information.

Marcie Lemke, DAA admin

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Remember, to join the DAA, you must be in “Good Standing” with the company and not on Restricted Rehire status!

The Number #1 reason for Restricted Rehire status is: ‘Failure to Return All Costume Pieces’!!!!  Don’t be that person!

 

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If you didn’t return all your costume pieces at the end of program, you’ll be on Restricted Rehire until you do and can’t join the DAA.  😦

 

What is Restricted Rehire?  Read more here:  Disney Restricted Rehire Status

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They’re here!!!!  Get your DCP Housing pin while supplies last:

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The brand new DCP Housing pins are being released every month into 2017!!!

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DCP Merchandise Update:  Our DCP Alumni packages came with all the free DCP merch!  The t-shirts fit perfectly!  We’ll be wearing them to MK on our next trip!

DCP Alumni  t-shirt, car decals, stickers & more!

DCP Alumni t-shirt, business card holder, car decals, stickers & more!  FREE!!!

Alumni (2)

DCP Alumni Logo

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DCP Alumni Homecoming Event Update:  January 19 -21, 2018

Don’t miss this event!

Read more here:  2018 DCP Homecoming Event at WDW

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We went to the 2016 DCP Alumni Homecoming in January 2016.  We had a blast…so much FUN, so many great people!!!  We’re going to the next one in January 2018 too!

Read about it here:  2016 DCP Homecoming Event

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Our DCP welcome package

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Celebrating 35 Years!

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Caroline signing in on the DCP alumni big board.  January 2016

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Two Disney Sisters

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

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

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

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

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Our Blog Has Gotten Over 1.5 MILLION Views!!!

blogOver the weekend, our Disney blog hit 1.5 MILLION views from over 180 countries.
 
To all our fans far and wide who follow our adventures, we say THANK YOU!!!

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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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DCP Homecoming Weekend – DAK Party

The last big event that we planned to attend for Homecoming was the big party at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  It was originally set to be at Hollywood studios, just like the last year’s event.  But I was totally excited when they announced that it would be moved to DAK!  At first, they said the party started at 8:30, but you could get in at 7 to hang out.  Then, right before the weekend, they announced that you could get into at 3 so you could have time to enjoy the park! Really, so nice and thoughtful!

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We got there after dinner and had some time to walk around my two former homes at Strollers and Discovery Island.  I LOVED seeing the new charges with Discovery Island. Outfitters has been changed to open up a larger/wider store called Riverside Depot.  And they filled all the merchandise in Is,and mercantile with Outfitters.  I loved how they kept with the theming of the two stores.  And I love how the Depot is like a dark blue – my favorite color!  There is also a huge glass mural behind the register.  Very nice!  And I like how they changed the register setup to be more similar to the stores in Disneyland.

After taking some pictures of the Tree of Life, we met up with Ricky and headed to Africa!

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The park was still in the process of closing for the night and I got a kick out of seeing all the semi frustrated cast members who didn’t realize there was an event that rented out Africa for the night.  You could practically hear them say “why aren’t these people LEAVING?!?” Haha. (I could really relate, been there!)

The first part of the night would be a vip showing of Festival of the Lion King so we tried to stick around the entrance of that so we’d get a good spot.  Right before they allowed us to move in, our friend Kelsey found us again!

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Everyone started filtering in so we did too.  It was a total surprise when we looked around and realized we somehow were the very last people into the arena! So much for good seats!  We ended up getting a good spot, right in front of an alumni group from the 80s.  They kept chanting “retro” or “vintage” and were such a rowdy bunch, it was hilarious!

They had is wilderness guy as the emcee and he was pretty funny.  He told some dirty jokes which I was surprised about!

Right away he did the drawing for the prizes from the packet.  Elly and I worked all afternoon on it and so we were really nervous about if we’d get called!  I was really surprised at how many people got prizes.  I’d say at least 15 people were picked!  They all got water bottles a shad to go into the middle of the arena to accept them.  I was actually glad not to be picked! Haha

We did notice that most of the winners were from the older generation of the CP.  Marcie to,d me that here wasn’t anyone from the very first program in 1981 attending, but there was one person from the 1982 program.  He was the one to win the grand prize.

Next up was the drumming group that sometimes plays in Africa.  I’m always surprised how good they can dance.  Lot of hip shaking hahah

They played for a little bit then pulled audience members for a dance along.  It was pretty fun, but it would have been more fun to be a participant.

Just when I started getting worried that this was the extend of the event, they finally announced that the Festival of the Lion King was about to begin! Yay!

After the Festival of the Lion king, they announced that there were be tons of food, special character meet and greets of King Louie, Balo, and Rafiki.  We all agreed we were ok missing that since we see them all the time at Dak!

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There was also free henna tattoo artists and also a fortune teller.

We came out and immediately got in the food line.  The snacks were so good!  There were little corn dogs, cheeseburger flavored wraps, and WHOLE soft pretzels with melted cheese dip! Yum!!

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We got all the way through the line and saw the pretzels were out.  And we literally didn’t move until the brought more out. Haha the line was so long, but really, we were doing them a credit because the best part was missing!

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They must have had them cranking, because within a minute, they brought 50 more pretzels out.

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We sat down and ate our snacks.  So good!

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Then we took some Dak pack pictures in our new shirts!
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The dancing was getting pretty good, but Kelsey and I wanted to get a drink from the bar first.  I ordered a Dirty Shirley (yum!)

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We made our way to he dance floor and I took one sip of my drink.  The bartender had floated the alcohol instead of mixing it and the second it hit my throat, I knew there’d be issues.

I have super reactive airwaves and tend to choke on liquids all the time.  I have taken to warning new friends since its been happening so frequently.  I’ll slightly choke on something and then my throat will close so forcefully that I sit there, trying to cough and breath for like a minute or so as tears are streaming and I feel like I’m dying.

Well this happens right there, in the middle of ten Africa dance floor.  I start really choking.  And I still have a good mouthful of drink in my mouth.  And I’m trying to figure out, should I spit it back into my drink, should I spit it out onto the ground?  I was in the midd,e of the floor and my bright hair draws some attention and I was feeling so embarrassed.

I’m trying to cough and swallow without opening my mouth and all I’m doing in a circular motion of accidental swallowing, choking more, coughing more.

Ok, this went on for longer than a minute.  Keys,eye was getting nervous, Elly was getting nervous, I thought I was dying.  Oh my god.

Finally, Elly kind of screamed “Caroline!” Which distracted me enough to just force all the liquid down my super tight throat (still going the wrong way down) and then I had to go to the bathroom to hack a lung for a good 10 minutes.  My face was all red from not breathing and also embarrassment and my makeup was ruined from all the forced tears from coughing so hard.

Ugh literally can’t take me anywhere.

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I came back to the dance floor, trying to be casual again.  My friends were still embarrassed to be seen with me.  But they were able to do a giant selfie with everyone!  So we strategically placed ourself near the stage so we could be in the front haha
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Ok, this is such a cool photo!  But let me tell you how sweaty everyone was standing for for 5 minutes, so close to everyone. Haha

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We danced, we eat some Rice Krispies we found and Lesley hooked us up again by finding a guy handing out the cool buttons!

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We did a lap and it was so funny – we found this long line in the back of Africa and we were like “oh cool, what’s here?!’ So we just got in line.  We finally asked what people were waiting for, and everyone screams “the exit!!” Hahah the longest line here was to leave!

By then, Kelsey and Ricky had to leave.  Good thing, because it started pouring and the DJ had to go away and all the characters had to go in.

They opened up Tusker House which I was thankful so we didn’t get drenched.  Plus I’ve never been inside there, so it was fun to explore!

We sat down and met some really nice girls who I’ve been Facebook friends with but never met.  So nice!

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And then we were totally surprised when the characters came inside!  So instead of waiting in a giant line, we just met them right away!

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Once it stopped raining,around 11:30 we were ready to leave.  We headed back to Rafiki’s train and saw they were separating people in several lines.  Contemporary, Coronado, and Main Entrance.  Instead of allowing us to just walking through to the front, we had to go backstage, on a Transstar to bring us to the front.  They separated us into groups of 50 and we had to wait for half an hour for the bus to go.  We were standing, and it was so packed!  All I could think was how this looked exactly like the Transstar bus whenever Dak was open late.

It took forever!  We had to go all the way around backstage, past DaK Lodge, then down the road until we could do a uturn and head all the way back through the main entrance and around all the Dak parking. Ugh!

The girl next to us got really sick and was pressing her face against the window and standing between some strangers legs.  She must have been really desperate because you know how gross those windows are!

We had to cross two parking lots to get to our car and then we were finally on our way home!  Elly and I agreed this was the worst part of the weekend.  It took us more than an hour and a half just to leave/get out of the park!

But, this whole day as been amazing!  I can’t believe how perfectly everything worked out and how great the whole weekend has been!

We didn’t go to bed until after 1:30 in the morning.  Hopefully we are sleeping in tomorrow!

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DCP Homecoming Weekend – Saturday Meet & Greet

Saturday was a super busy today!  Elly and I both paid for the special meet and greet Saturday morning at Epcot.  Because I was with Elly, we had to choose the later  time slot lol

Our time slot was 10am-11am.  I wanted to get there a little earlier because we had our park tickets in will call and I was worried they might close off the lines early.

Of course, that didn’t go as planned!  We got home so late the night before, plus with the 2 hour time difference, it was slow moving the next day. Mi am a morning person so I had no problem getting up early. My after showering and getting Elly up, I walked over to the Old Key West quick service to get some kids’ egg breakfast plate.

Still, we didn’t get out until after 9:30. Min was really stressing out about it because I was going to be pissed if we showed up too late and missed the event!

As I waited for the bus, I checked the Alumni Facebook group and immediately saw Marcie’s post about there being issues with the event and how she was going to refund the $10 fee for it!

I was SO worried because it sounded like the whole event had been canceled!

And then when I saw which characters were there, I was REALLY stressing!

But Elly and I agreed to just show up and hope for the best.

We got to Epcot, picked up our park tickets, and then tried to figure out where the Odyssey was. Lol

Of course, we didn’t bother to stop to ask any cast members – no way they’d give us correct directions! Haha. But it turns out we knew the building, if not the name.  It’s the giant empty building next to Test Track and Mexico.  We love going there because the bathrooms are always clean and empty!

When we got there, we didn’t have our Alumni Event lanyard and weren’t wearing our bands to indicate that we paid for this event.  Luckily we brought all the wrist bands and quickly showed the lady.

She informed us that there were two character lines – Jack, Sally, and Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas and also Dug, Russel, and Carl from Up! Yes!!!

Elly and I got to meet Mr. Fredrickson when we extended our program in 2014.  I was totally surprised when I got home and saw on Facebook, that I literally met them on the same day, just two years later!  So cool!

We walked into the room and it looked pretty crowded. We immediately located and warmed the free food. Entire buffet tables filled with Mickey rice crispy treats and then all the ice creams : Mickey premium bars, Mickey ice cream bars, the fruit bars.  Yay!  And there were really nice party drink containers filled with yummy juice, iced tea, and water.

Right away, I ran into my friend Steven.  We actually did our program together at Dak, I was at Discovery Island and he was at Strollers.  We never met or ran into each other, but we had a lot of mutual friends since a lot of Strollers people were deployed to the Island.  Once I got accepted for the Summer Alumni program in Strollers, I friended him to ask him tons of questions about Strollers!  He was always so nice so I was glad we ran into each other to finally meet in person.

As I was perusing the food, I heard my name and saw my Strollers friend Kelsey in line for the Up characters!  Elly and I got in line with her and started catching up.

Apparently there was a huge snafu with the Homecoming Transportation.  As in it never showed up for the 9am people. Who still hadn’t arrived by the time we got there after 10am.  No only that, but the food had run out and people were really pissed out it.  A lot of people posted in the group that they had gotten through the line for the NBC characters and then tried to get in line for the other set, and the event staff kicked them out of the event!  I guess I can understand the thinking behind it because there were still people coming home hadn’t met any characters and the characters were only there for two hours.

As we were waiting in line, a couple really nice girls in front of us and behind us recognized us and talked to us about how much they like and appreciate our blog!  It always surprises me and makes me feel so great when people are so nice!  We talked with them the entire way through the line and even became friends on Instagram!

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We finally got to the front of the Up line and I was so impressed with the setting!  It was framed with giant multicolored balloons and it even had Kevin, peeking out from behind some trees.

I hugged Dug and Russel and shook Mr. fredrickson’s hand.  So funny.

After we got out of that line, I got up some courage to talk to Marcie!  I saw her a bunch yesterday, but I didn’t realize it was THE Marcie running the Alumni Facebook group!

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I went up to say hello and to tell her how much I appreciated everything she’s done for the Alumni and how great the event has been!

In the middle of talking to her, I hear my name screamed really loud!  I look around and saw my friend Kelsey had gotten into the NBC line!  I figured, it was so late, the lines were closed.  But the attendants totally let us go!  There were like two people in front of us so we met them really fast!

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Jack was so great, he said my ears were so sparkly, they should put me on top of a Christmas tree!  He also appreciated my orange wristband because it looked like a jack o lantern!

I also hugged Oogie and it was so fun.

I never saw NBC before.  I have been to several Halloween parties and my favorite part of Hallowishes is when Oogie is talking.  It gives me chills!  So it was pretty cool meeting them!

I couldn’t believe how perfect the event was!  From our point of view, there were no issues!  Despite my griping to Elly, it was actually really great that we were so late.  The event was secretly extended to accommodate the later arrivals, but I think a lot of people just didn’t show up when they read the posts on Facebook.  We left at around 10:45.

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If you didn’t have a park ticket, you were escorted out of the park by event staff.  But we were free to explore!  The first thing we did was go to the former Captain EO venue to watch the Shorts.  It shows 3 shorts in 3D and it was really cool!  We didn’t realize that the entire seating area moves too.  So like when something heavy falls in the screen, we all thumped too.  It was so hard to tell which short was our favorite – they were all amazing!

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We didn’t even have time for the World Showcase, and before we knew it, it was the afternoon!  We had planned to go home to change before the big event at DAK.  So we split off from Ricky and Kelsey and promised to meet up later that night.

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Disney DCP Alumni Homecoming Weekend 2016

DAA

Continuing the Magic…

Because Elly and I both have full time jobs now, we decided to leave early Friday morning to get to the party and not miss too much work.  Unfortunately that meant getting up at 4:30!! Elly announced “well, I’m not showering!” When we woke up. Lol

We decided to take 2 suitcases each since we were flying on southwest and bags fly free.  I’d prefer only one each, but we knew we might be buying some good merchandise, plus I had to bring dress clothes for the big party at the contemporary.

Elly bought me a super sparkly dress for dress and I actually bought her dress for Christmas too! Totally unplanned.  I also bought a nice purple dress on Black Friday sales.  I probably tried on both outfits 20+ times before to weekend to see which one I should wear.  I loved the sparkly one, but I was t sure if it was too sexy and tight – or if I could pull it off.  I loved the purple one, but I wasn’t sure it’d photograph well.  So, I brought both. Plus a whole other outfit in case. Haha

The flight was pretty good.  It’s always turbulent between Denver and Orlando, but I guess I’m getting used to it because I barely noticed.

I knew one of my best Disney friends, Ricky was also flying in, but I knew he would get in like 3 hours before us.

I was totally surprised when we landed and I saw on Facebook that his flight had been delayed and he just landed too!  I quickly texted him ” hey, meet me at the Disney store!”  I laughed SO hard when he responded “Already there!”

We met up, hugged, pin traded at the Earport, and had lunch at the really nice food court in the airport.

It was so funny because Elly and I purposefully wore our grey Alumni shirts and people kept stopping to say hi and talk about how excited we all were about going to this Homecoming!

Ricky was riding in on Mears and For the first time, we did Magical express to get to our resort!  Unfortunately, we were on the completely wrong side of the Airport, so we had to drag our 4 suitcases all the way back to the 3rd level, across the whole terminal, back down to ground level, then all the way to the end of the terminal again.

There were several queues open to check in.  Elly couldn’t figure out how to pre check in, so we just walked with our resort info and hoped for the best!

It was pretty easy, he was able to pull up our info and because we were on the reservation, we just got some papers and were on our way.  We got in another queue for all the buses lined up outside and were immediately put on the Old Key West/Disney Springs one.  We were totally surprised when we got on that the bus was all the way full!  We got all the way to the back of the bus, and there were two people sitting next to empty seats.  They saw we were together and were super kind enough to move so we could sit together!

We loved he little videos that play during the drive to the hotel. Just more advertisements for Disney. Lol

When we got to Old Key West, our family friends Dan and Pam was so kind and actually met us at the bus stop!  We got our magic bands and headed over to the room.

Wow! The room was beautiful!  Luckily it was close to the bus stop so it wasn’t too bad managing our suitcases.

Because Old Key West is DVC, all the rooms are like suites.  There’s the main bedroom with connecting spa tub, shower and bathroom. Then there is a HUGE living room, kitchen, and eating area.  We were going to stay on the pullout couch.

It was  so funny because we immediately dumped out all our crap from our suitcases, trying to find anything and you could just see their faces at the mess…I immediately was like “Don’t worry, this’ll all be gone when you get back!”  Our friends left to let us get ready for the party!

We showered and got all ready, all the while texting Ricky to see what he was up to and when to meet.

Poor Ricky – not only was his flight super delayed, when he got to the hotel, he realized that there had been a water leak and all the guests had to be put up in a different hotel.  So they paid for his taxi to the new place.  But when he got dropped off, he was at the wrong hotel!  So then he had to walk a couple blocks over with two suitcases to the real hotel!  And instead of being super close (near the Outlets), he was moved over 30 minutes away near the Orlando Eye!

We were invited to attend this special DCP networking event before the real party, but I knew we wouldn’t be able to make that.  Our friends were so kind, they left the car keys for us, so we went and picked up Ricky so he wouldn’t have to pay for a crazy expensive uber.
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We got to the Contemporary around 6pm, a little over an hour late.  Luckily we were able to find a good parking spot even though it was super crowded.

We walked in to the event and immediately checked in.  We got our magic bands, shirts, backpacks, and wrist bands stating which events we paid for.

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Then we saw this huge red carpet to enter! So cool!

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But before we went in, we got stopped by two CMs with video cameras.  They filmed us answering a couple questions like what we got our of these networking events and what we thought of the weekend so far.  Pretty fun!
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When we walked into the party, we immediately found another one of my Strollers friends and grabbed a table.  Elly and I were starving so we went to the big buffet set up at either end of the room.

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The food was great!  Nice salads, giant stuffed pasta shells, and full chicken breasts. I felt a little awkward because the buffet was set up right in front of the character line and it felt like we were being stared at because we were the first to get food haha

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The characters!

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We were super surprised to see Mickey and Minnie in super fancy Gatsby like costumes.  Donald and daisy were there and then also goofy and Plato.  We ate and caught up with my friends.  After eating, we decided to hold off on dancing to see Mickey and Minnie. I didn’t want to miss it in case they cut the line early.

We walked over and there was 5 rows of people waiting!  But we got in line anyway.  In total, we waited a full hour to meet them!  But it was so worth it!

Next, we took pictures with Walt, then signed our names and locations/year on this giant poster.

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Then we saw this giant replica of the Sorcerer Hat.  It’s gone now from DHS.
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Finally, the DJ started playing the Wobble!  And you KNOW I can’t miss that! (Or Cupids Shuffle!) So we joined literally everyone and participated in a massive dance!

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ricky friday

By 9pm, they told everyone to head outside for a dessert party!

Out on the front of the building, they set up long tables filled with all these tiny desserts!  There were little meringues (I thought they were s’mores, boo), fruit custard shooters, dark chocolate domes, pineapple upside down cake, and a gluten free cookie option. I really don’t like lemon things, so I wasn’t a fan of the first two.  I REALLY liked the chocolate except as I was eating, I realized my mouth was on fire!  I think they put cayenne pepper in it!

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There was also really good juice called “blast from the past” punch!

Both my DAK friends left before fireworks to head to Magic Kingdom.  Elly and I stayed though because our shoes couldn’t handle any amount to park time! Lol

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Once our friends left, Elly and I were just talking to ourselves and we were totally surprised when people started coming up to talk to us about our book and blog! A couple guys wanted selfies with us – which I totally loved!

The nice things people say about Two Girls and A Mouse Tale book & blog really means so much to me!  I really take it to heart when people say we were helpful!

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After around 25 minutes, Elly and I left to get home. It was after midnight and we were exhausted since we were up so early!

We headed back to our resort to turn in for the night.  Busy weekend ahead of us!

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two-disney-sisters

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

*** 

The Perks of Being a Disney CP

DCP Perks (2)
The perks of being a DCP cast member are pretty good for a paid ($10 – $15.00/hr. for most CPs in 2018/2019) 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. 2018 – Feb. 2019), 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 Disney Discounts for Cast Members 2018!  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 2018 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party  and  the 2018 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! And, you get Free Parking at any Disney Park and the two water parks, currently $22/day at Disney World.

9. If you work during the Fall internship, you’ll be mailed a Disney Family Holiday Celebration 2018   coupon booklet filled with 60% off coupons for Disney hotel stays, 50% off Disney table service dining, free holiday ornament coupon, 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, and other recreational opportunities like billiards.

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!??!!

wishes-fireworks-2

We love the new Happily Ever After fireworks show!!  :’)

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, IllumiNations at Epcot, and Star Wars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Every night, and sometimes 2x a night!

20.  Free locker rental at all the parks.  Just show your ID.  Also, free stroller (single or double!) rentals at any of the parks too.

Bonus Perk: And, finally, something that we think is a pretty good perk:  flexible scheduling with the ability to request time off or trade 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!

Never a dull day at WDW!

legacy (3)

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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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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!

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.

 

Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2016

SB Castle 1

Sleeping Beauty Castle is beautiful!

We thought we would post a link to the Disneyland blackout dates for using cast member guest passes, in case family and friends are planning a visit to see you during your DCP program!

New official link to check on Blackout dates at all Disney Parks including Disneyland and California Adventure:  https://blockoutdates.disney.com/

May 22, 2015: the 60th anniversary celebration begins!

May 22, 2015: The eighteen-month long 60th Diamond Anniversary Celebration began!

 

Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2016:

Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year’s Day and the days around MLK Day)

Weekdays in February (minus the days around President’s Day)

The first week in March

Weekdays the second half of April

Weekdays in May

Weekdays the first week of June

The first half of September; weekdays for the remainder of September and October

Weekdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving)

Weekdays during the first two weeks of December

 

To check on the daily park crowd forecast at Disneyland, click here:   Is It Packed??? 

 

The Worst Times to Visit Disneyland in 2016:

MLK weekend: Jan. 16 – 18, 2016

President’s Day weekend: Feb. 13 – Feb. 15, 2016

Spring Break and Easter: March 7 – April 12, 2016

Summer: June 4 – August 21, 2016

Labor Day Weekend: Sept. 3 – Sept. 5, 2016

Columbus Day weekend: Oct. 8 – Oct. 10, 2016

Halloween weekend: Oct. 29 – Nov. 1, 2016

Veteran’s Day weekend: Nov. 11 – Nov. 13, 2016

Thanksgiving week: Nov. 19 – 27, 2016

Christmas week through the first week of the New Year: Dec. 17, 2016 – Jan. 8, 2017

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During blackout days, you can’t use your Disney Guest Passes to swipe friends and family into the park for free.  Also, Disney limits the number of rooms available for CPs to use their cast member hotel discount.

New CPs can expect to get their guest passes after working 150 hours (about 5 weeks into their program), after completing Traditions class on around Day 3.

Read more at our Disneyland blog: Disneyland Diamond Celebration!  

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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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