Goodbye to ‘Wishes’ Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom!

Disney has the best fireworks shows in the world!

Wishes fireworks over the Cinderella Catsle

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
I wish I might have my wish tonight.

 

After 14 years, the ‘Wishes’ Nighttime Fireworks Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom will say goodbye tonight (May 11, 2017) with the very last performance.

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The new fireworks show!

A new show called ‘Happily Ever After’ begins Friday night, May 12th, 2017.

‘Happily Ever After’ captures the heart, humor, and emotions of Disney films through awe-inspiring fireworks, state of the art projections, and brilliant lasers.

Disney Parks Blog will be live steaming the event:  Live Stream from the Magic Kingdom.

Make a wish....

Always make a wish when Tinkerbell leaps off the Cinderella Castle and glides over Fantasyland!

We saw – or heard – the Wishes fireworks show every single day while working for Disney during our year-long DCP program at Disney World.

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We cried along with our friends watching Wishes fireworks on the very last night of our program!

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Ever wonder just what do all those firework shows at Disney World cost????

Wishes at the Magic Kingdom!

‘Wishes’ over the Magic Kingdom!

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is the highest consumer of fireworks in the world.

Disney does not disclose the cost of fireworks, but just the nightly – and sometimes twice a night – ‘Wishes’ fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom costs anywhere from $41,000-$55,000 a night. (The special New Year’s Eve fireworks at MK are estimated to cost over $100,000!)  That means it costs at least $15 million a year for Magic Kingdom fireworks alone.

Disney World puts on about 2,500 firework shows a year at three of their parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios). No fireworks displays are ever used at Animal Kingdom – it would scare the animals!  And, there are no fireworks shows at Disney Springs.

If you want to assume that Illuminations at Epcot and Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios are slightly less, maybe half the cost, that comes out to at least $30 million a year for them. This would not include any special fireworks displays that happen for 4th of July, or Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Villains in the Sky at Hollywood Studios, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, nor the daytime fireworks that are a part of most of the stage shows performed in front of the Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom.

Rough, conservative estimate for WDW fireworks – $45 – $50 million dollars annually.

It seems like everytime Disney changes or expands the fireowrks show, the parking fees go up!

It seems like every time Disney changes or expands the fireworks show, the parking fees go up!

Rumor has it that Disney uses the revenue from all their parking lots (currently $20/day) to help cover the cost of the fireworks. So, when you pay for parking, you’re really paying for the evening’s fireworks show. Nice!  (Be sure to stay for the fireworks and not leave early!!)

Expect parking fees to go up soon with the new fireworks show launching this week!  🙂

5pm: Moving the Illumnations fireworks platforms into position.

5pm: Moving the Illuminations fireworks platforms into position at Epcot.

Moving out into the center of the Friendship Lagoon.

Moving the launching platforms out into the center of Friendship Lagoon.

VIP Seating for Illuminations

Caroline watching the beginning of the Illuminations show.

CP Moment Illuminations

A CP Moment:  Watching IllumiNations for the first time with your coworkers.

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

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

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

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

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The Floating Lanterns of Tangled at the Magic Kingdom

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The Floating Lanterns of Tangled at the Magic Kingdom.  So pretty at sunset when they come on!

Due to it’s wild popularity, the PhotoPass op with Tangled’s Floating Lanterns has been extended indefinitely passed the original planned March 15, 2017 final night.

We’re so happy to hear this!

Our favorite scene from Disney’s Tangled is when they sing the “At Last I See the Light” song!

Full song:  At Last I See The Light video

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Disney announcement on March 14th.  Lines for this photo op at sunset have been over an hour long during Spring Break 2017!

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Our friend, Ricky, capturing some magic last week.

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Our favorite scene!  Beautiful with all the floating lanterns!

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We love this Tangled scene so much that we went to a Paint Nite a few weeks ago and painted it!!

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Elly filling in the castle elements.

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Now for some lanterns…

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Everybody painted their castle scene just a little bit different!

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Caroline making good progress on her canvas.

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Caroline’s Floating Castle Lanterns

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Waiting for the paint to dry.

Adding in a few floating lanterns here and there!  Queue the Disney music!!

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Each one is just a little bit different, and all are fabulous!

And three hours later…our Floating Castle Lanterns paintings are all done.

Beautiful! 🙂

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Original movie artwork of the floating lanterns.

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This meme is so funny!  Yes, the photo op is right outside the restrooms!!!

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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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Princess Tiana’s Riverboat Party – An All New Ice Cream Social Aboard the Liberty Square Riverboat

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Welcome aboard!

All-New, Old-Fashioned Fun aboard the Liberty Square Riverboat at the Magic Kingdom!

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Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen looking fabulous!

Make the most of your next visit to Magic Kingdom Park where Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen are throwing an unforgettable party… and you’re invited!

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Unlimited drinks and sweets are all included in the cruise.

The occasion begins on the dock as your royal hosts welcome you and your sweet tooth to an ice cream social, complete with ice cream and toppings, drinks, and sweet treats.

Then, board the Liberty Square Riverboat and relax while enjoying Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade—all from the comfort of your special onboard viewing location!

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Such a beautiful gown!

After the parade, Princess Tiana and Naveen will join you to continue the party as you all cruise around the Rivers of America, circling Tom Sawyer Island.

Pricing and Reservation Details

This special event is available for $49 per adult and $29 for children ages 9 and under (tax included). For reservations, you can book online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.

Disney Bounding

Thinking about Disney Bounding as Princess Tiana for the day?  We’ve got some ideas for you!

Look like a princess: Disney Bounding as Princess Tiana

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Disney Bounding as Princess Tiana

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dole whip

Two Disney sisters!

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

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

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

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

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Raglan Road’s Mighty Irish Festival 2017 at Disney Springs!

mighty irish

This weekend!

The mightiest of mighty Irish festivals, Raglan Road’s Mighty Festival, kicks off on Thursday, March 16, 2017 and runs thru Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Experience a rollicking party in March during a uniquely Disney and authentically Irish tribute to St. Patrick’s Day! Enjoy festive encounters of all kinds with entertainment and merchandise inspired by the Emerald Isle.

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Raglan Road at Disney Springs

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They’re after me Lucky Charms!

Irish Sights, Shopping and More: Just follow the shamrocks as they take you on an Irish history lesson—from the Cliffs of Moher and Blarney Castle to the Rock of Cashel. It’s a perfect opportunity to pick up fun facts about several famous landmarks!

Be sure to stop by Raglan Road’s Shop which will have a wide selection of St. Patrick’s Day merchandise available, including Raglan Road t-shirts and souvenirs, Celtic jewelry and much more.

irish mickey

Irish Mickey and Minnie

Mickey and Minnie get to wear their Irish costumes only 1 day a year….

Music and Merriment: Kick up your heels for family-friendly festivities filled with singing, dancing and more! Whether you’re looking for high-energy sets showcasing authentic live music or a step-by-step workshop teaching you how to dance like the Irish, you’ll find it all during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Disney Springs’ Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant.

Irish Food & Beverage: Savor traditional Irish fare and refreshment, from the flavors of the countryside to classic pub favorites. You’re invited to sink your teeth into some corned beef specials and quench your thirst with specialty drinks at a variety of locations.

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St. Patrick’s Day Chili Cook-off & Irish Festival

Irish Mickey & Minnie on St. Patrick’s Day

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March 17th!

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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

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Mickey Mouse and Some of His 500+ Costumes!

OUR BEST MICKEY PHOTO EVER!  

Engaged at Disney World!  ❤

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Engaged at Disney World, February 2017!

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Our Disney Life Goal:  Take as many photos of Mickey in different outfits as possible!

Mickey Mouse has over 500 costumes for pretty much any occasion or activity that you can think of him doing.  Minnie has slightly fewer costumes, around 450 outfits currently.

June 2013:  Disneyland Mickey

Disneyland Mickey

August 2013: Mickey handing out our name tags!  ;')

At our Traditions class – Mickey handing out our name tags!

September:  MK Mickey

MK Mickey

Hi Mickey!

Festival of Fantasy Mickey & Minnie, Magic Kingdom

German Mickey

German Mickey at DCP Housing event

mickey-in-the-rain

Rain soaked Mickey

Chinese Mickey

Chinese New Years Mickey

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King Mickey and Minnie on Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday

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St. Patricks Day Irish Mickey

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Easter Mickey

easter Mickey

Springtime Mickey and Minnie looking very dapper.

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1920s Mickey at California Adventure Park

4th of July Mickey

4th of July Mickey, Epcot

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Mickey celebrating the 4th.

Disney Dream:  Captain Mickey

Disney Dream cruise: Captain Mickey

Disney Dream Beach Mickey

Beach Mickey at Castaway Cay on Disney Dream cruise

life guard mickey

Lifeguard Mickey

February 2014:  Pirate Mickey

Pirate Mickey

Castaway Cay Mickey

Castaway Cay Mickey

Halloween Mickey

Halloween Mickey

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Mickey

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Mickey

Boo to You parade Mickey

Boo to You parade Mickey

November:  Magician Mickey at MK

Magician Mickey at MK on Caroline’s birthday!

Meeting Mickey

Magician Mickey talks to us for the first time!!!

Selfie

Taking a selfie with Sorcerer Mickey at DHS

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Voting Mickey

Thanksgiving Mickey

Thanksgiving Mickey

JULIANNE HOUGH, MICKEY MOUSE, MINNIE MOUSE, DEREK HOUGH

TV Dancing Mickey

December:  Christmas Mickey

Christmas Mickey and Minnie

CHristmas

Christmas Parade Mickey

Castle

Performing Mickey on Cinderella Castle center stage.

December:  Winter Ball Mickey

Winter Ball Mickey

Very Merry Christmas Party Mickey

Very Merry Christmas Party Mickey

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Kristoff Mickey with Anna and Olaf

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Their fancy white costumes (St. Patrick’s Day)

Star Wars Mickey

Star Wars Mickey

MGM Mickey

Hollywood Studios: Sorcerer Mickey

Epcot Mickey

Epcot Mickey

DAK Mickey

DAK Safari Guide Mickey

DAK Jungle Jammin' Parade Mickey

DAK Jungle Jammin’ Parade Mickey (we miss this parade!)

Polynesian Mickey

Hawaiian Mickey at Ohana’s in the Polynesian Resort

March:  St. Patrick's Day Mickey

St. Patrick’s Day Mickey

Main Street Parade Mickey

Main Street Parade Mickey at Disneyland

Hollywood Mickey

Hollywood Mickey at California Adventure

Skipping through the Park Mickey

Skipping through the Park Mickey ready to greet morning guests

Big hug Mickey

Big hug Mickey, California Adventure

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60th Diamond Anniversary Mickey at Disneyland

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Frontierland Mickey

Contemporary Resort

Mickey at the DCP Alumni Ball.

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Team Mickey!

VoluntEARS Mickey

VoluntEARS Mickey

Mickey at Typhoon Lagoon Starlit Splash Party!!

Tropical Mickey at Typhoon Lagoon Starlit Splash DCP party.

Graduation Mickey

DCP Graduation Mickey

Goodbye Mickey!

Goodbye Mickey!  We’ll see ya real soon!

1996:  First Visit with Mickey!

Throwback Thursday, 1996: Visiting with Mickey!

mickey-mouse-happiness

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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

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Meeting Disney Legend Richard at the Grand Floridian

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Meeting  Disney cast member – and Disney Legend – Richard, of the Grand Floridian.

Anyone who has ever visited the Grand Floridian Resort &  Spa has no doubt seen his familiar smiling face.

Disney cast member, Richard Gerth, who’s celebrating birthday #92 this year!, has been greeting guests at the Grand Floridian since 1991.  🙂

In 2013, Richard was presented with the Walt Disney Legacy Award. This is the highest award any Disney cast member can receive. According to Robert Hitchcock of the Disney Parks Blog, “Richard has greeted thousands of guests, and assisted thousands of brides with wedding photos on their special day.”

Link to his facebook page:  Disney Legend Richard

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Disney cast member Richard Gerth.

The day we were there, he was posing with guests in front of the Grand Floridian’s beautiful Grand Atrium Lobby.

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He calls himself a “train conductor” as he preps all the bride’s trains for their grand entrance into the Grand Floridian’s Grand Atrium Lobby.

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One of the thousands of brides that he’s attended to on her wedding day.

In addition to being the greeter, Richard is also the Official Fairy Tale Wedding Greeter and has helped over 3,500 brides on their special day!

Video link by Disney:  A Day with Richard

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Hanging with Walt Disney Living Legend, ‘Auntie’ Kau’i Brandt.  She’s 84 years old!


We also got to meet another Disney Legend working at Walt Disney World, Auntie Kaui, who makes leis for guests – and brides – over at the Polynesian Resort.

Meeting Disney Legend Auntie Kaui at the Polynesian

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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

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What We Learned from the DCP

accepted

The BEST feeling!!!

Disney leaves out a few things about the DCP program when you get accepted:

They forget to inform you about the long hours, the crappy pay, and the obnoxious guests

They fail to mention your costume won’t breathe and you’ll always be uncomfortable because your pants never fit

They don’t tell you missing celebrating holidays at home with family kills you inside

They don’t tell you that strollers are your worst enemy

They don’t tell you that your twin bed probably isn’t long enough for you

They don’t tell you not take the bus, not if you can help it

On the very last day of our Spring DCP program.

On the very last day of our Spring DCP program.

And, they also forget to tell you…

They don’t tell you that you will have the absolute best time you could ever imagine!

They don’t tell you that the MOMENT you leave, all you’ll want to do is go back!

And that you book your next Disney trip almost immediately!

They don’t tell you the horrible depression you will endure when you can’t go to Magic Kingdom whenever you want!

They don’t tell you that you’ll regret not riding your favorite ride One Last Time!

They don’t tell you you’ll start to tear up whenever you see a Disney commercial/poster/friend’s vacation, without fail, every time!

They don’t tell you everyone from home starts to get sick of how much you will talk about Disney and how many useless (but true!) facts you now share everyday with everyone!

They don’t tell you that you meet the most spectacular people!

They don’t tell you that people you got the courage to talk to that first week never leave your side, in the absolute best way possible!

They don’t tell you your best friends/soul mates were waiting for you at Disney all along!

They don’t tell you when you first get back your answer to, “What’s the best part?!” will be, “Getting in for free!” and then you will start to realize the best part was the relationships and friendships you built!

They don’t tell you how many times you’ll Facebook or the amount of texts you will send, just so your friends won’t forget you exist!

They don’t tell you that you will find people who could potentially be at or in your (hopefully Disney!) wedding!

They don’t tell you that you’ll miss these people with all your heart and would give the world just to hug them again!

They don’t tell you you’ll find any and every possible way to talk/see/keep in contact with these people!

They don’t tell you that you become a creepy stalker of your friends still working at Disney!

They don’t tell you that you will want to know Every. Single. Detail. about their new roommates, Traditions, work place, coworkers, time off, ride experiences, hidden Mickey findings, character interactions, Dole Whip eating, parade watching, firework shows…!

They don’t tell you that you’ll regret not staying on and going seasonal!

They don’t tell you how you’ll miss the little things about where you worked, even if you despised parts (or managers) of it!

They don’t tell you CMs can be good crazy or legit crazy, but you’ll love working with them anyway!

They don’t tell you your fellow cast members can help you through any situation and for that you are thankful!

They don’t tell you that you’d give ANYTHING to go back for one day, even if it’s a 12 hour day that includes a Code V!

They don’t tell you even though you’re supposed to be removed from your FB Shift Exchange group, you’re still going to be in it because it feels like you’re still there!

They don’t tell you that valuable life lessons will be learned, which would not have been as meaningful had they happened anywhere else!

They don’t tell you months after you worked there, you will always feel like you left just last week!

They don’t tell you that you’re always going to be attached to WDW!  It’s “home” to you now!

They don’t tell you you’d give anything to go back to those perfect 4-5 months!

And, finally, they don’t tell you that Disney changes your life! 🙂

CP Moment:  Clocking out for the last time.  :'(

Final CP Moment: Clocking out for the last time. 😥

** We’ve put together a list of 50 experiences that all CPs have, let us know if we’ve missed any!  Enjoy the feels!

50 Moments All CPs Have 

DCP photo

From accepted to Alumni….

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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

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