Best Day Ever at the Disney Parks!

Disneyland in tilt-shift

Disneyland as seen in in tilt-shift.  Love it!

Several years ago, Disney started releasing a series of 3-minute Disney theme park videos of “A Day at…” done in tilt shift.

We LOVE them all!

We wish they would continue the tilt-shift series and do one for Hollywood Studios next!

A magical day at the Magic Kingdom.

Spending a magical day at the Magic Kingdom.

Watch A Day at the Magic Kingdom video:   Best Day Ever at the Magic Kingdom

Epcot awaits!

The countries of Epcot await you!

Watch A Day at Epcot video: Best Day Ever at Epcot   

Expedition Everest! Watch out for the Yeti!!

On Expedition Everest! Watch out for the Yeti!!

Watch A Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Best Day Ever at Disney’s Animal Kingdom      

Disneyland, where it all started.

Disneyland, where it all started.

Watch A Day at Disneyland video: Best Day Ever at Disneyland   

Waiting for World of Color to start at California Adventure.

Waiting for World of Color to start at California Adventure Park.

Watch A Day at California Adventure Park video:  Best Day Ever at Disneyland’s California Adventure Park

Oui!! Yes, please!

Oui!! Yes, please!

Watch A Day at Disneyland Paris video:   Best Day Ever at Disneyland Paris  

Try, try, try and take a Disney cruise during your time at Disney! So much fun!!

Try, try, try and take a Disney cruise during your time at Disney! So much fun!!

A Day Aboard the Disney Dream Cruise Ship:  Best Day Ever Aboard the Disney Dream  

We love them all!  ❤
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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:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Throwback Thursday #6: A Year of Mickey Mouse

1996:  First Visit with Mickey!

Throwback Thursday, 1996: Our First Visit with Mickey!

Mickey Mouse has over 250 costumes for pretty much any occasion or activity that you can think of.  We spent a year having our photo taken with him in his various outfits!  June 2013 – May 2014

June 2013:  Disneyland Mickey

June 2013: Disneyland Mickey

June: Frontierland Mickey

June: Frontierland Mickey

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

August 2013: Traditions Class – Mickey handing out our name tags!  :’)

September:  MK Mickey

September: MK Mickey

Halloween Mickey

October:  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

November: Magician Mickey at MK

Meeting Mickey

Mickey talks for the first time!!!

Thanksgiving Mickey

November 2013:  Thanksgiving Mickey

December:  Christmas Mickey

December: Christmas Mickey

December:  Winter Ball Mickey

December: Winter Ball Mickey

Very Merry Christmas Party Mickey

Very Merry Christmas Party Mickey

Star Wars Mickey

January:  Star Wars Mickey

German Mickey

January Olympics:  German Mickey

Disney Dream:  Captain Mickey

February 2014:  Disney Dream: Captain Mickey

Disney Dream Beach Mickey

Disney Dream Beach Mickey

February 2014:  Pirate Mickey

February 2014: Pirate Mickey

Castaway Cay Mickey

Castaway Cay Mickey

MGM Mickey

MGM Mickey

Epcot Mickey

Epcot Mickey

DAK Mickey

DAK Mickey

DAK Jungle Jammin' Parade Mickey

DAK Jungle Jammin’ Parade Mickey

Festival of Fantasy parade Mickey

Festival of Fantasy parade Mickey

Polynesian Mickey

March 2014:  Polynesian Mickey

March:  St. Patrick's Day Mickey

March: St. Patrick’s Day Mickey

Main Street Parade Mickey

Main Street Parade Mickey

Hollywood Mickey

Hollywood Mickey

Skipping through the Park Mickey

April 2014:  Skipping through the Park Mickey

Big hug Mickey

Big hug Mickey

VoluntEARS Mickey

VoluntEARS Mickey

4th of July Mickey

Patriotic Mickey:  Epcot USA

Graduation Mickey

DCP Graduation Mickey

Goodbye Mickey!

Goodbye Mickey!

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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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The Denver Post Travel – Paper Trails

The Denver Post Travel - Paper Trails

Castaway Cay, Bahamas

The Denver Post travel section has a Sunday feature called Paper Trails. We sometimes blog about the places we’ve been.

This is the link to our blog about the Disney Dream Cruise:

http://neighbors.denverpost.com/album_pic.php?pic_id=17877

Last summer, we visited California Adventure and the Denver Post published our travel photo and blog.

Blog of our Disneyland adventures.

Blog of our Disneyland adventures.

Trading Disney Cruise Pins

Disney Cruise Pins

How we feel about our boyfriends (most of the time!)

We loved the DCL exclusive pins that we got on the Dream cruise!

We traded a ship's officer for this one!

We traded a ship’s officer for this one!

DCL exclusive pins:  Mickey, Minnie, Chip & Dale pins.

DCL exclusive pins: Mickey, Minnie, Chip & Dale pins.

We traded two girls from Japan for this Year of the Horse pins.    It's from Tokyo Disneyland!  :)

We traded two girls from Japan for this Year of the Horse pin. It’s from Tokyo Disneyland! 🙂

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Other other blogs were wrote about cruising as a Disney Cast Member:

Planning for a cruise aboard the Disney Dream: Sailing as a Disney Cast Member 

Sailing away aboard the Disney Dream:  Our Disney Cruise – The Sail Away Party!

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

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

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

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

***

Characters at Sea and more

Characters at Sea and more

All year, we have been collecting photos of Mickey in his different costumes and this cruise was like JACKPOT!

Captain Mickey arriving for his meet & greet.

Captain Mickey arriving for his meet & greet.

When we got to the Disney terminal to check-in, Minnie was already there greeting guests wearing her cruise director costume. Captain Mickey arrived about 20 minutes later for his meet & greet.

Olaf from ‘Frozen’ was doing a hula dance by the gangplank.

Olaf from ‘Frozen’ was doing a hula dance by the gangplank.

Because of the way we booked our cruise within two weeks of sailing, we were automatically assigned the late seating time for dining. The first thing we did onboard was change our dining reservation time from late seating (8:15pm) to early seating (5:45pm). Because our ship was sailing with >10% vacancy, this was not a problem for us, but I don’t think that’s true normally.

Once onboard the Dream, the character greeting times are listed on an LED screen by the Grand Atrium and also in your daily Personal Navigator newsletter that is delivered to the cabin nightly.

LED screen listing character appearances throughout the day, 8am-10pm.

LED screen listing character appearances throughout the day, 8am-10pm.

Copies of the Personal Navigator newsletter with all the things to do onboard and ashore.

Copies of the Personal Navigator newsletter with all the things to do onboard and ashore.

Guests actually bring yellow highlighters onboard with them and read the Personal Navigator newsletter cover–to-cover highlighting all the things they want to do so they don’t miss out on anything. First run Disney movies play from 8am to midnight in the Buena Vista Theatre; we watched “Frozen” in 3D one night. And, every night there is a new Broadway show performed in the Walt Disney Theater. We loved it all!

Dining onboard the Dream was wonderful. Disney does rotational dining where you get to dine in a different restaurant every night. Your servers move with you from restaurant to restaurant, showing up in a different costume each night. The first night, we ate at the Enchanted Garden, the restaurant theme was inspired by the gardens of Versailles. It was beautiful. The food was “‘Continental Market”.

Enchanted Garden

Enchanted Garden

The second night of the cruise we ate at the Royal Palace, the more formal of the three restaurants. The food was “French Dinner”. (I had Chateaubriand Beef, fork tender!)

Outside the Royal Palace.

Outside the Royal Palace.

On third night, we ate at Animator’s Palate, a really cool restaurant with a lot of animation going on in the large LED screens along the walls of the restaurant. Fishes, turtles, sharks, etc. start out swimming in one LED panel, then slowly swim around the entire restaurant. The food was “Pacific Rim Cuisine”. This was the night the dining crew celebrated Caroline’s birthday by bringing her a special dessert and singing “Happy Birthday”.

Animator’s Palate on Caroline's birthday night.

Animator’s Palate on Caroline’s birthday night.

Caroline with her special birthday dessert.

Caroline with her special birthday dessert.

All the food served for dinner during each the four course meals was delicious from the appetizers, to soups/salads, to main entrees, to the dessert selections…all of it was top notch. We tried to order at least one seafood dish, either the appetizer or entrée, at each meal.

Some more character photos:

With Princess Minnie

With Princess Minnie

Sailor Mickey & Minnie

Sailor Mickey & Minnie

At Castaway Cay.

At Castaway Cay.


beach

Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay

Going ashore for the day at Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay is Disney’s private tropical island in the Bahamas. From our breakfast table over a cup of coffee, we watched as our big cruise ship was slowly maneuvered alongside the Castaway pier.

Castaway Cay from the air.

Castaway Cay from the air.

Snorkeling Bay.  We saw lots of fish, including some sea bass.  They have huge nets stretched across the mouth of the bay to keep out large predator fish, like sharks and barracudas.

Snorkeling Bay. We saw lots of fish, including some sea bass. They have huge nets stretched across the mouth of the bay to keep out large predator fish, like sharks and barracudas.

We did not snorkel out as far as the underwater Mickey, but a lot of kids did.

We did not snorkel out as far as the underwater Mickey, but a lot of kids did.

Our shore excursion for the day included unlimited snorkeling, floaties, and bicycling around the island. A huge bar-b-que lunch was provided under covered, open air picnic table seating just up from the beach.

Nets across the bay opening to keep out sharks.

Nets across the bay opening to keep out sharks.

Bicycling around the entire island. The island vegetation was so thick it reminded us of Jurassic Park!

Bicycling around the entire island. The island vegetation was so thick it reminded us of Jurassic Park!

We bicycled around the island after lunch from Snorkeling Bay to the adult beach at Serenity Bay, but they also run trams back and forth every 6 minutes.

Serenity Bay, the over 18 beach for adults only.  Deserted!  We counted only ten people on the adult beach.

Serenity Bay, the over 18 beach for adults only. Deserted! We counted only ten people on the white sand beach.

We loved the beach here.  It was shallow with a sandy bottom a long ways out. You could drag your beach chair into the water, and sit and enjoy the waves splashing over your toes.

We loved the beach here. It was shallow with a sandy bottom a long ways out. You could drag your beach chair into the water, and sit and enjoy the waves splashing over your toes.

Collecting sea shells by the sea shore.

Collecting sea shells by the sea shore.

Even after a whole day out on the beaches enjoying the surf and sun, we weren’t ready to go back to the ship at 4pm. Our 40% cast member discount also worked on Castaway Cay, so we stopped in the shops and picked up some t-shirts and special Castaway trading pins.

A perfect Caribbean day at Castaway Cay!

A perfect Caribbean day at Castaway Cay!

They warn you in the morning before you leave the Dream that if you hear the ship’s horns playing and you’re not back onboard, you’re late! Literally, the horns started playing as we walked up the gang plank!

We had won a foot and leg massage at the spa by playing bingo the day before, and we still had that to do before dinnertime! So much to do, so little time! 🙂

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

After sailing across the Caribbean Sea overnight under a moonlit starry sky, we arrived in the Bahamas at 8am. We decided to have breakfast at Cabanas buffet (good decision) and watch as the ship docked at Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Maneuvering the huge ship into its docking slip was fascinating as we actually backed into the dock, sort of like parallel parking a car.

View from our Balcony:  Nassau, Bahamas.

View from our Balcony: Nassau, Bahamas.

The Disney Dream docked.

The Disney Dream docked.

The Disney Dream with Atlantis in the background.

The Disney Dream with Atlantis in the background.

Our shore excursion for the day was an hour long, narrated bus tour of the city, followed by a stop at the Ardastra Zoo and Gardens. The zoo is known for its large flock of free roaming Caribbean Flamingoes, the national bird of the Bahamas and the largest of the five species of flamingoes. The males stand over five feet tall.

The bus was a small, air-conditioned mini bus that could hold twenty passengers. Our driver was born on the island and had a wonderful Bahamian accent, which sometimes made him difficult to understand over the speaker. As he pointed out, Nassau has about 250,000 residents and about 400,000 cars and trucks! They drive British-style on the left side of the road and the streets are very, very narrow and congested with traffic and parked vehicles. Very few bicyclists were around; people were either driving or walking to their destinations.

Standing on top of the old Fort.  What views!

Standing on top of the old Fort.  What views!

We drove all over Nassau as he pointed out national buildings (parliament, art gallery, etc.), statues (Christopher Columbus), native trees and plants with edible fruits, took us to the historic Fort for a short walking tour and to admire the views of the turquoise ocean, and then on to a straw market. Elly bought a conch shell ($5) and Caroline got a very pretty tropical patterned long dress ($20) to wear to dinner that evening.

Walking on the beach.

Walking on the beach.

The Andastra Zoo and Gardens was fun. Most of the animals at the Zoo were colorful birds, especially parrots. They herd the flamingo flock onto the parade grounds at 2pm and walk them around, sort of in formation. That’s something we’ve never seen before! You could volunteer to join the flamingoes on the grounds (Elly did), and they would come up to you and check out anything sparkling, like rings or hair beads. It was so much fun.

Flamingoes on parade.  Beautiful birds!!

Flamingoes on parade. Beautiful birds!!

flamingoes

Elly on the flamingo parade grounds.

There were a group of women selling handmade straw bags and other items in a stall by the gift shop. It was interesting talking to them and watching them sew with colorful straw on all sorts of items. Elly bought a straw placemat with two pink flamingoes on it and they sewed her name on it for her.

Feeding the Lorakeets, aka Rainbow Lory Parrots.

Feeding the Lorakeets, aka Rainbow Lory Parrots.

They also have a large flock of Lorikeets that you can feed apple slices to several times a day. The birds were so gentle and tame, and so polite, chirping softly while nibbling on the apple slices in your hand. 🙂
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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 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.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tale