Secrets of Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow.  Notice the crooked shutters on the upstairs window!

As you enter Liberty Square, after crossing over the Liberty Square Bridge, there’s a building right in front of you, usually with just a few guests waiting in line.

It’s Sleepy Hollow, which serves the most delicious funnel cakes in all of Disney World!

But, look closely at those shutters on the building!  The colonists hung their shutters with cow hide leather, which they had in abundance, allowing them to save metal for rifles and horseshoes.

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More crooked shutters

Shutters on houses in the 1700s were not decorative like they are today; colonists closed them at night to keep out the “bad air” and opened them in the morning to let in daylight.  Over time, the leather would become weathered and worn causing the shutters to hang crooked.

All over Liberty Square, Disney Imagineers used metal designed to have the appearance of leather to hang window shutters. They also made sure the shutters were hung crooked in order to have a more authentic look.

Liberty Square Insider Tip:  Since there were no indoor or public restrooms in colonial times, there are also no restrooms in Liberty Square.  (The restrooms in Columbia Harbour House are actually located in Fantasyland.)

The 'open sewer' trogh running through Liberty Square.

The brown ‘open sewer’ trough running through Liberty Square, notice the red “earth” color of pavement.

Have you ever noticed that brown ribbon of pavement in Liberty Square?  There’s a reason for that!  In colonial times, there were no indoor restrooms so they just threw their sewage out of a window – sometimes second story window – or doorway right into the middle of the street.  The brown pavement represents a river of sewage created by this!  Eew!!

Colonial costume for Yankee Trader.

Elly wearing colonial costume for working at The Yankee Trader.

As a cast member, Elly picked up work shifts at the Yankee Trader and at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe over at Liberty Square.

Going home after a long day.

Going home after a long 12 hour day.

The Yankee Trader, one of our favorite stores, closed in summer 2014 and reopened that fall as the Haunted Mansion’s Memento Mori Shop.

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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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Celebrating the 4th of July 2017 at Disney World

Mickey and Minnie on 4th of July

Mickey and Minnie at Epcot on 4th of July

Yes, it’s the most crowded day in July (which is the busiest attendance month at WDW), but, heck yes it’s a lot of fun!

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July 4th, 8pm:  Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom.  VERY CROWDED AND HOT!!!!

Expect the parks to be packed, especially the Magic Kingdom, with crazy long ride lines and food lines, and just go with the flow. 🙂

The celebration starts on July 3rd and continues into July 4th!

Can’t make it?  Watch the Live Fireworks Stream of the fireworks! (8:55pm EDT)

Info for cast members

Info for  Disney cast members

Magic Kingdom – Special ‘Celebrate America’ Fireworks Over the Castle!

Expect 15 minutes of impressive – and LOUD – pyrotechnics rising not just above the Cinderella Castle, but all around the park. Independence Day is one of the few fireworks displays, along with the Halloween and Christmas versions, that utilize the perimeter bursts, making it seem like the fireworks are all around you.

As you may expect, the fireworks display is accompanied by a rousing patriotic soundtrack that is designed to speak to the soul of America.

DJ Dance Parties!
Boogie down with 2 uniquely themed dance parties at Magic Kingdom park:

  • Independence Day Party in Frontierland: Mosey on over to Frontierland for a star-spangled celebration featuring some favorite country tunes.
  • Independence Day Party in Tomorrowland:Moonwalk your way to Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland for a rockin’ revelry featuring a live DJ and terrestrial tunes.
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2017 gang at Epcot

These DJ dance parties will be held the following dates and times:

  • Monday, July 3, 2017 — From 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday, July 4, 2017 — From 7:00 PM to midnight
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July 4, 2017:  Mickey at his meet & greet in Epcot outside American Pavilion.

Unofficial Tip:  Think you’ll watch the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian Resort? You and a lot of other folks are thinking the same thing! Disney will be checking room keys for beach guests on the 3rd and 4th , and parking will be restricted to resort guests only.

Celebrate America - A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky fireworks over Cinderella Castle

‘Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky’ Fireworks over Cinderella Castle

July 3, 2017:

9:00 pm – “Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” Fireworks

Castle 4th of July

Expect special lighting on Cinderella Caste both before and during the show.

July 4, 2017:

9:00 pm – “Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” Fireworks

Epcot – Special Characters will be out and Special Fireworks Show: Heartbeat of Freedom!

Goofy is from France, Donald from Mexico, Minnie from USA.

We saw Statue of Liberty Minnie Mouse!

July 4, 2017: Throughout the day, Disney characters in their patriotic costumes will appear on the promenade near The American Adventure.

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Hello 4th of july Minnie and Mickey!

12:30, 1:45, 3:00pm – Voices of Liberty 4th of July Concert (features an expanded cast performing a patriotic salute, including the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps and Disney characters) – on the America Gardens Theater stage.

4:15 and 5:00pm – Voices of Liberty inside the American Adventure Rotunda

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July 4, 2017:  Special fireworks show at Epcot, The Heartbeat of Freedom. WOW!!!

10:00 pm – IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth will feature “The Heartbeat of Freedom” fireworks show, a special 5-minute patriotic fireworks finale added onto illumiNations. [Note that this is 1 hour later than the usual 9pm IllumiNations show.]

Mickey and pals.

Mickey and pals in their 4th of July outfits.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:  Rock the 4th with special fireworks!

July 4, 2017:   10:15 pm – Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration: Fireworks with a rock n’ roll soundtrack for the evening’s celebrations.

July 4th fireworks at DHS

July 4th fireworks at DHS

Animal Kingdom:  See the new Rivers of Light Show!

There are no special 4th of July events planned at Animal Kingdom. There are never firework events at DAK as they would scare the animals.  But, the new light show around the Tree of Life is cool!

Disney Springs

There are no special holiday events planned at DS.

It's the 4th of July!  One of the Top 5 busiest days of the year!!

It’s the 4th of July! One of the Top 5 busiest days of the year at MK!!

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Nobody does 4th of July fireworks shows better than Disney!  WOW!!!

Fireworks over Cinderella Castle

Seeing special fireworks over Cinderella Castle with special music.  🙂

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Mickey in yet another one of his patriotic outfits!

Caroline wrote a blog about celebrating the 4th of July at Disney World in 2015:

Read it here:  4th of July at Disney!

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07/04/2017, 9pm:  One last Castle shot before the fireworks show began.

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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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What is the Disney HUB?

The Disney Hub log-in webpage:

The Hub log-on page

The Disney Hub log-on page for all cast members

The Disney Hub is a web-based collection of information and tools available to all Disney Cast Members. You can register for your Hub user ID and password at any of the Disney Cast Service Centers or at any Hub kiosk across property.

Once you are registered, you can access The Hub from anywhere, including your personal computer or the computer labs in Housing, at: thehub.disney.com/wdw.

You will find that The Hub contains a wealth of helpful information including:

  • Extra Hour$ Hotline
  • Disney University library resources, activities, locations
  • Cast services: Casting, ID office (Access Control), Casting Scout, Payroll forms
  • Personal information, such as your mailling and email address
  • Your work schedule
  • Your pay stub
  • Eyes & Ears stories
  • Breaking news about the Walt Disney World Resort and The Walt Disney Company
  • Disney facts and trivia
  • News, weather, sports, movies and music news
  • Cast activities and events
  • Mickey’s Retreat information and events
  • Cast-exclusive offerings and programs
  • Company D sales and information
  • Role-based messages and activities
  • Training opportunities
  • Disney Look guidelines
  • Departmental details and services

In addition to these general features, The Hub also has a section just for Disney Internships and Programs participants. This section includes information, messages and tips on many topics, including the following:

  • Career planning
  • Upcoming events
  • Photos from recent housing events
  • Education program
  • Transportation schedules
  • HTM: Housing the Magic episodes
  • Copies of the weekly email and The Communicator newsletter
  • Program extension information
The Hub explained page from the Program Handbook

The Hub is explained in a page from the DCP Program Handbook

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CP Moment On Your Own (2)

For a lot of CPs working at Disney World – or Disneyland – is their very first time living away from home! Welcome!


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dole whip

Two Disney Sisters

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

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

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

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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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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.

happily

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.

wishes

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

tangled1

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.

bathrooms

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

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

Liberty_Square_Riverboat

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!

cruise

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

tiana

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.

Irish Pub (2)

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

Irish Mickey & Minnie on St. Patrick’s Day

pats

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

***