Starbright Holidays at Disney Springs

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300 drones flying in synchronized formation to holiday music!

11/16/16:  Three hundred (300!) drones took to the skies over Disney Springs on Wednesday night in the first drone performance of this scale in the United States.

“Starbright Holidays” is a choreographed nighttime drone performance set to holiday music.

Watch 300 drones form a whirling Christmas Tree:  Christmas Tree in the Sky

Accompanied by an original Disney arrangement of classic holiday songs recorded by a full orchestra, the sparkling experience invites guests to look up to sky and wish upon a holiday star. This is the first time a drone show of this scale has ever been performed in the U.S.

Disney World secured permission from the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this month to use drones on its properties.

The brightly lit drones flew in formation over a restricted area of the park, in view of Disney Springs, the shopping district, and entertainment zone formerly known as Downtown Disney.

Technology giant Intel said it was the first public performance in the United States of the company’s 300 Shooting Star drones. The drones feature built-in LED lights that can create more than four billion color combinations.

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Blue dove of peace.

The drones dance in formation, creating a huge floating, rotating Christmas tree and other holiday symbols like doves and angels.  Using the sky as the stage for an aerial ballet, the “Starbright Holidays” show will run nightly through Jan. 8, 2017.

The drones have plastic foam bodies and weigh about 10 ounces, about the same as an ultralight running shoe.  “They are going to be flying them over the water and they will almost certainly have some kind of geo-fence built into the software,” Waite said, describing it as similar to an invisible dog fence that won’t let the drones operate beyond a certain point.  And even in the unlikely event a 10-ounce drone falls 150 feet from the sky, “It may not feel great,” Waite said, “but it’s not going to injure you very much.”

“Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration” will join other holiday enhancements at Disney Springs, including a brand-new Christmas Tree Trail, special seasonal entertainment, meet and greets with Santa, and festive decor throughout all four neighborhoods – Town Center, The Landing, West Side and Marketplace.

Full video of the 5 minute holiday show:  Starbright Holidays 2016

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Drones fly every evening through January 8, 2017, weather permitting.

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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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Sprinkles is Open at Disney Springs

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Sprinkles at Disney Springs

The new cupcake shop – Sprinkles – opened up at Disney Springs Town Center a few weeks ago, and the crowds went wild!

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The Sprinkles cupcake ATM.

You don’t even have to go into the shop.  There’s a cupcake ATM right outside!  The cupcake ATM, which is open even when the bakery is closed, can hold up to 400 cupcakes.  It’s constantly restocked throughout the day to ensure freshness. Note:  The cupcake ATM  also carries dog-friendly cupcakes!

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How to chose just one???

Cupcakes are $4.95 each or $52 for a dozen.

They also carry ice cream, cookies, sodas, juices, and coffee drinks.

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And they carry mini cupcakes too!  $3.50 each

You can sign up here for perks like getting your first cupcake for free and getting a free cupcake on your birthday:  Sprinkles Perks.

Disney cast members get a 10% discount.

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Sprinkles menu, June 2016

Sprinkles Disney Springs

1676 East Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830

(407) 560-9192

Store Hours:  Monday – Sunday, 10am – 12am

Click here on Sprinkles Cupcakes for our daily Disney menu!

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Yes, please!

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Now open!!!  Stop on by!!

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Sprinkles Cupcakes!

September 2016 Update!

Breaking News!!  A new Sprinkles Cupcakes location is planned at Downtown Disney Anaheim in California, right next to Disneyland!  The shop will be next door to the first Starbucks in Downtown Disney, in a portion of the space recently vacated by Quiksilver.

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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:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Disney Springs Cast Member Discounts!

springs

Welcome to Disney Springs!!!

Major construction continues at a fast pace from one end of Disney Springs to the other, and on all the roadways in-between!  More than 30 new tenants will be moving in this summer.  When it’s complete, it will include more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment experiences.

Disney Springs Town Center opened May 15, 2016 and it’s lovely.

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Big shopping crowds on May 15, 2016

But, wait, what are the Cast Member discounts you ask??

Well, here they are:

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Town Center discounts:  10%-20%

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The Landing discounts

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West Side discounts.

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The very popular Sprinkles offers Cast Members a 10% discount on their cupcakes!  Yum!

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So many places to eat and shop now!!!

More drawings of the new Disney Springs shopping and dining complex:

Disney Springs Town Center (opening in 2016).

Disney Springs Town Center.

Marketplace, West Side

Marketplace, West Side

The Landing (formerly Pleasure Island).

The Landing (formerly Pleasure Island).

Disney Springs 2016

Ariel view:  The Landing at Disney Springs at night.

Disney Springs after dark.

Disney Springs after dark.

Disney Springs logo

Official Disney Springs logo

 

Want more discount info?

2016 Dining Discounts at WDW for Cast Members

Perks of Being a Disney Cast Member

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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.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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

***

Welcome to Disney Springs!

It’s official, Disney held a renaming christening party today for Disney Springs, the shopping and dining district formerly known as Downtown Disney!

9/29/15: Lunchtime crowd gathers at DTD for the name changing ceremony.

9/29/15: Lunchtime crowd gathers at DTD for the name changing ceremony.

New signage has gone up at WDW for Disney Springs. They no longer say Downtown Disney.

New signage went up at WDW last week for Disney Springs. They no longer say ‘Downtown Disney’.

Major construction continues at a fast pace from one end of Disney Springs to the other, and on all the roadways in-between!

Some concept art of what Disney Springs will look like in Spring 2016:

Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs.

Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs.  Opened today.

Mickey at the grand opening of M

9/29/15: Mickey at the grand opening of Morimoto Asia today.

Disney Springs Town Center (opening in 2016).

Disney Springs Town Center (opening in 2016).

Marketplace, West Side

Marketplace, West Side

The Landing (formerly Pleasure Island).

The Landing (formerly Pleasure Island).

Disney Springs logo

Official Disney Springs logo

Video of the backstory of Disney Springs:  Disney Springs 2016  

What DTD will look like in Spring 2016.

What DTD will look like as Disney Springs in Spring 2016 (lake view).

We’re less than a year away from the final transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs by Spring 2016. The construction works continues at a fast pace, with new shops and restaurants opening weekly!

Personally, we’re very glad to see all the work being done to expand Buena Vista Blvd. and the opening of the two new parking garages (finally!).

Disney Springs is being expanded to include more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment experiences.

It’s a 3 year construction project (2013-2016).

New Disney Springs signage everywhere.

New Disney Springs signage everywhere.

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Disney Springs logo.

They should have begun this expansion – especially the two new parking garages – back in 2000.  Parking’s been terrible at Downtown Disney for 10+ years and Lake Buena Vista hasn’t been able to handle the daily traffic loads for years.

Every CP we know, including us!, has sat on a bus in stopped traffic on Lake Buena Vista Drive going to and from work.

New I-4 interchange that will offer guests direct access to Disney Springs.

2016:  New I-4 interchange that will offer guests direct access to Disney Springs.

Widening Lake Buena Vista Drive from seven to ten lanes.

Summer 2016:  Widening Lake Buena Vista Drive from seven to ten lanes will finally be complete.

We can’t wait until it’s all finished!  We are definitely planning a trip in 2016 to see it all done!

Disney Springs 2016

Ariel view:  The Landing at Disney Springs shopping and dining district, Spring 2016

Disney Springs after dark.

Disney Springs after dark.  Almost double the restaurants and shops are planned.

Disney Springs, Florida logo

The official Disney Springs, Florida logo

Disney Springs Construction Work:

  • Roadwork on Buena Vista Drive  Through Mar. 2016
    Due to heavy roadwork, expect delays on Buena Vista Drive. It is recommended that Guests use complimentary Walt Disney World Resort transportation from Parks and Resorts to Disney Springs and plan to arrive early for reserved dining and entertainment experiences.
  • Parking Lots – Entrance 2 – Lots A-G  Dec. 1, 2014 – Aug. 1, 2016
    Loss of parking lot Entrance 2 to Guest/Cast traffic and associated lots A-G in preparation for the construction of Town Center and the East Garage.

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Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

            by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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

***

Disney Springs Update

New signage has gone up at WDW for Disney Springs. They no longer say Downtown Disney.

New signage has gone up at WDW this week for Disney Springs. They no longer say ‘Downtown Disney’.

Major construction continues at a fast pace from one end of Downtown Disney to the other, and on all the roadways in-between!

Disney Springs logo

Official Disney Springs logo

Video of the backstory of Disney Springs:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7zSXqXPFIg

What DTD will look like in Spring 2016.

What DTD will look like in Spring 2016.

We’re less than a year away from the final transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs by Spring 2016.

Personally, we’re very glad to see all the work being done to expand Buena Vista Blvd. and the opening of the two new parking garages (finally!).

Disney Springs is being expanded to include more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. It’s a 3 year construction project (2013-2016).

ds logo (2)
They should have begun this expansion – especially the two new parking garages – back in 2000.  Parking’s been terrible at Downtown Disney for 10+ years and Lake Buena Vista hasn’t been able to handle the daily traffic loads for years.

Every CP has sat on a bus in stopped traffic on Lake Buena Vista Drive going to and from work.

New I-4 interchange that will offer guests direct access to Disney Springs.

2016:  New I-4 interchange that will offer guests direct access to Disney Springs.

Widening Lake Buena Vista Drive from seven to ten lanes.

Summer 2016:  Widening Lake Buena Vista Drive from seven to ten lanes will be completed.

We can’t wait until it’s all finished!  We definitely need to plan a trip to WDW to see it all in 2016!

Disney Springs 2016

Disney Springs shopping and dining district 2016

Disney Springs after dark.

Disney Springs after dark.  Almost double to restaurants and shops are planned.

Disney Springs, Florida logo

The official Disney Springs, Florida logo

***************************************

Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

            by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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

***

New Vivoli Gelateria Gelato at Downtown Disney

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Vivoli Gelateria Gelato

There is a brand new gelato place in Downtown Disney.

I’ve never had gelato before so I definitely wanted to try it!  It’s been soooo hot in Orlando this summer!!!

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The menu

There are three sizes and you can get multiple flavors in one cup.

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There are also drinks and snacks like a nutella brownie! Yum!

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Italian cookies and treats to go with your gelato.

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Small hand-sized sandwiches too, with Italian ham and cheeses.

There are tons of flavors, so don’t forget to test taste some before you decide.

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All made fresh onsite.

I ended up getting the Chocolate Hazelnut one and my friend Katie got half Apple Cinnamon and half Mango.
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It’s decorated with family photos of the owners of the store.

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Photos of the original Gelato store in Italy.

The original store opened in Italy many years ago.

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Pastel colors for the cups. No Baskin-Robbins neon pink color here!

I love the themeing and all the pretty colors in the store!I

The gelato was so smooth and creamy.  LOVED IT!!!

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Taking my gelato outside to eat.

Such a nice treat to eat while you’re walking around Downtown Disney on a hot summer’s day!

To read more about Vivoli Gelateria Gelato, click here.

***************************************

Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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

***

2016 Refurbishment Closure Schedule for Disney World and Disneyland

Four Parks, One World

Four Parks, One World    (photo credit: WDW Shutterbug)

Note:  Last updated by Disney World on January 4, 2016

There’s nothing more frustrating than going all the way to Disney World for a long-planned vacation and finding out that your favorite ride or attraction is closed for refurbishment!

Disney tries to schedule most of the serious refurbishments for popular attractions during the slow, winter months. But, sometimes refurbishments and closures for repairs do get scheduled during the peak summer months.

Magic Kingdom

  • Splash Mountain- closed 1/10/2016- 1/14/2016
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin closed- 1/18/2016- 2/11/2016
  • Liberty Square Riverboat closed- 1/18/2016- 2/22/2016
  • Mad Tea Party closed- 2/22/2016- 2/26/2016
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin closed- 1/25/2016- 2/3/2016
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: 4/4/2016 – 7/15/2016
  • Swiss Family Treehouse: 07/06/2016 – 09/24/2016
  • Liberty Square Riverboat: 08/15/2016 – 08/21/2016
  • “it’s a small world”: 08/22/2016 – 09/15/2016
soarin

Closed until July 2016!  They are upgrading the movie and adding a 3rd theater.

Epcot

  • Re-Imagination of Maelstrom Oct. 15, 2014 – Apr. 30, 2016
  • Frozen Ever After: Opening May 1, 2016
  • Soarin’: Jan. 4, 2016 – Summer 2016

Hollywood Studios

Expect many closure announcements in 2016 due to the construction of Star Wars Land on the left side of the park.

  • Pizza Planet – closed 1/11/2016 – Nov. 2016
  • Phineas & Ferb Meet and Greet – closing permanently 1/5/2016
  • Lightning McQueen & Mater Meet and Greet – closing permanently 1/5/2016
  • Joffrey’s coffee kiosk – closing permanently 1/4/2016

Animal Kingdom

  • Kali River Rapids- closed 1/4/2016 – 2/11/2016
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek- closed 1/4/2016- 1/21/2016
  • Flights of Wonder- closed 1/25/2016- 3/17/2016

Monorail
Mar. 10, 2015 – January 2016
The Walt Disney World Resort Monorail System is undergoing refurbishment and may be on modified service and/or routes. If Guests plan to use this form of transportation during their visit they should check to be sure of the best option available on their day of travel, as alternative transportation options will be available.

Blizzard Beach closes until January 2016 next week.

Blizzard Beach is now open again!

Water Parks

  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park- Annual Refurbishment-  Oct. 4, 2015 – Jan. 2, 2016 (Open!)
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park- Annual Refurbishment-  Jan. 3 – Mar. 12, 2016 (Closed!)

Disney Springs Area

  • Roadwork on Buena Vista Drive  Through Mar. 2016
    Due to heavy roadwork, expect delays on Buena Vista Drive. It is recommended that Guests use complimentary Walt Disney World Resort transportation from Parks and Resorts to Downtown Disney and plan to arrive early for reserved dining and entertainment experiences.
  • Parking Lots – Entrance 2 – Lots A-G  Dec. 1, 2014 – Aug. 1, 2016
    Loss of parking lot Entrance 2 to Guest/Cast traffic and associated lots A-G in preparation for the construction of Town Center and the East Garage.
  • Fulton’s Crab House Jan. 1 – Apr. 1, 2016
  • Planet Hollywood Jan. 1 – Jun. 1, 2016

Resorts

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

  • Exterior Repair and Painting Aug. 17, 2015 – May 5, 2016

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

  • General Construction through Early 2016
    During this time, Guests will observe construction taking place and certain pathways and buildings may be unavailable.
  • East Pool Through Early 2016
    Closed for enhancement. Guests may see or hear work in progress.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • General Resort Refurbishments Oct. 2, 2015 through 2017
    Due to multiple resort refurbishment projects, Guests will notice construction work in various areas. Noise may be overheard while this work is being completed, but construction will not begin until after 9 a.m.
  • Certain pathways, including the nature trail, will be unavailable. Oct. 2, 2015 – 2017
  • The Hidden Springs leisure pool area (the leisure pool at The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge), resort beach, playground and Recreation fire pit will be unavailable. Oct. 26, 2015 – 2017

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel

  • Guest Room Renovations  June 2016 – September 2016
    Renovation work is scheduled to take place between 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. No guests will be accommodated in the renovation area as to minimize impact on the guest experience.

DISNEYLAND:

The Diamond Celebration begins May 22, 2015!

The Diamond Celebration began May 22, 2015 and goes until September 5, 2016!

Disneyland

With the construction of the new Star Wars Land beginning in January 2016, Disneyland will be closing many attractions, sometimes for a long period of time!

Disneyland Park

  • Autopia:  1/11/16 – 4/2/16
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes:  1/11/16 – 4/2/17
  • Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station:  1/11/16 – 4/2/16
  • Disneyland Railroad Mickey’s Toontown:  1/11/16 – 4/2/17
  • Disneyland Railroad New Orleans Square Station:  1/11/16 – 4/2/17
  • Disneyland Railroad Tomorrowland Station:  1/11/16 – 4/2/17
  • Sailing Ship Columbia:  1/11/16 – 4/2/17
  • Haunted Mansion:  1/11/16 – 1/22/16
  • Jungle Cruise:  1/11/16 – 4/2/16
  • Mark Twain Riverboat: 1/11/16 – 4/2/17
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island:  1/11/16 – 4/2/17
  • Fantasmic!  1/11/16 – 7/2/17
  • it’s a small world:  1/25/16 – 2/6/16
  • Splash Mountain: 2/8/16 – 4/18/16
  • Big Thunder Ranch:  Closing January 11, 2016

Disney California Adventure

  • Grizzly River Run:  1/11/16 – 1/14/16
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug!:  1/13/16 – 1/22/16
  • World of Color :  1/19/16 – 2/2/16
  • Soarin’ Over California:  1/4/16-1/23/16 ,1/25/16-1/29/16, 2/1/16-2/5/16, 2/8/16-2/12/16, 2/15/16-2/19/16, 2/22/16-2/26/16
  • Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular:  Closing January 11, 2016
  • Olaf’s Snow Fest: Closing January 7, 2016

 From Disney: “Information and dates subject to change without notice. Last updated January 4, 2016.

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Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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

***