Christian is Officially a Disney Cast Member!

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Welcome to Disney Traditions!

****WARNING!!! This blog contains a step-by-step account of Disney’s Traditions class, including some surprises and Magical Moments!****

The last step to becoming a Disney Cast Member is Disney Traditions training.

This is basically a job orientation class that teaches you everything about the Disney Company and all the great reasons you should be proud to be working here!

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Don’t be late!

There are typically two sessions: a morning one at 8:30am and an afternoon one at 2:30pm.  They’re sorted alphabetically by last name.  Since Christian’s last name is Collins, he had to wake up at 7am to get on the bus at 7:30am to make it to class ontime.  (You always need to allow a lot of extra time for Disney buses so that you are never late!)

It’s always obvious who is going to Traditions since everyone going is wearing nice clothing at the bus stop.

The best part about being at Disney University is the decor!

All the walls have massive, colorful Disney artwork with inspirational quotes.

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Making Magic

Now, for those of you who have no idea what Disney’s Traditions Class is – it’s one of most amazing training experiences!

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Welcome!

It’s required that every Disney Cast Member take this class. It’s not only full of Disney history, but also legal, HR, and Safety information. They explain what Disney Guest Services is including the Four Keys that cast members live and work by.

CP Moment:  Learning the Four Keys.

CP Moment: Learning the Four Keys.

During the class, they go over the 4 Keys basics that are the basis of how to be an excellent Disney cast member. The 4 Keys are: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency.

But, the key ingredient to the company’s success is above-and-beyond great guest service and the personal touch, aka “pixie dust”, that CMs provide to all guests.

During the training course, there are a lot of lectures, powerpoint presentations, and videos of Disney history, benefits, legal, and safety information.

They hold Traditions in a large training room with several tables set up.

To start off Traditions, two speakers, both Disney coordinators, do some Disney trivia questions.  They don’t mess around with easy ones either!

Let’s see if you know the answers…

1.  What was the first Disney broadway show?

2.  What are Ursula’s sidekicks’ names?

3.  When Disneyland was first built, which land was the largest?

4.  Which two characters debuted in Steamboat Willie?

5.  What attraction has been moved around 3 times?

6.  What was the first show to come to Animal Kingdom, originally located in Camp Minnie Mickey, but has now been moved to Africa?  Answer: The Festival of Lion King!

After the training session, everyone gets onto a bus for a quick trip to the Magic Kingdom.

The group is driven right to the entrance of the secret tunnels – the Utilidors – at Magic Kingdom. That’s always really cool to see!!!

They walked around Main Street USA and Fantasyland while wearing “whisper ears”, meaning they had earbuds in listening to the instructor as he lead them around. It’s pretty VIP. (That way none of the Park guests knew the group was there in training. The leader looks straight ahead as he walks and talks, not looking at the group trailing behind him.)

Their trainer allowed the group to stop and take some selfies in front of the castle.  The first of many, many selfies at Disney World during the program!!!

After they got back to the classroom at Disney University, Christian received his blue Disney company ID.

He was officially a Cast Member!

When they were wrapping up the training class, the presenters announced that a special guest was here to deliver some magic!

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And the whole room loses it…..

So exciting!  Break out the Kleenex!!!!

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It’s the Boss!! Stopping in to say hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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“Hi, everybody!”

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See you later, pal.

Mickey was delivering Christian’s new Disney nametag to him!

Traditions is a great way to kick off your career at Disney!

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Some final advice for DCPers: Bring snacks and a water bottle!  You will be HUNGRY! Traditions went from 8:30am to 1pm, and you only  get one 10 minute break!  Definitely eat breakfast before you go and bring snacks to eat while you’re watching the presentations and riding on the bus.

And since you will be walking around outside in the Florida weather, you’ll need to stay hydrated and will get a chance to refill your water bottle.

CP Moment

CP Moment #3:  Getting your Disney name tag

 

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Looking back:  Our First Day as Disney Cast Members

Attending Disney Traditions classes with Caroline.

Elly attending Disney’s Traditions class at Disney University in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Caroline is ready for class to start  🙂

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We’ve written two books about our time at the DCP:

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

 

Throwback Thursday #5: Earning Our Ears

CP Moment:  Earning My Ears

CP Moment: Earning My Ears

A year ago, we were at our Traditions class and “earning our ears” at WDW.  We were on our way to our year of working at Disney!

At Disney University for the first time.

At Disney University for the first time.

Disney “Traditions” is a class that every cast member takes at Disney University. During the morning training course, there are a lot of lectures and PowerPoint presentations, and then the class is bussed over to the Magic Kingdom for a few hours of Orientation.

1st Day:  So excited!  Officially working for Disney!

1st Day: So excited! Officially working for Disney!

After we got back to the classroom, just when things were wrapping up, we heard a knock at the door.

Mickey handing out our name tags!  ;')

Mickey handing out our name tags! ;’)

In comes Mickey Mouse! He went around shaking everyone’s hand. He had brought us our Disney nametags with him! That was really special.

Traditions notebook with our new name tags.

Traditions notebook with our new name tags.

A lot of CPs had tears in their eyes!  🙂

At Disney Casting, finding Hidden Mickeys in the sparkles on the wall!

At Disney Casting, finding Hidden Mickeys in the sparkles on the wall!

Off to be fingerprinted!

Off to be fingerprinted!


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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney, available now on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.

 

Taking Disney Classes in the Parks

Taking Disney Classes in the Parks

CP Moment:  Taking classes during your program.

As part of the Disney College Program, you can sign up for free classes at Disney University. New in 2015, at Disney World your school has to offer credit for the Disney class or you can’t enroll (Disney budget cutting at work!).  This is the opposite of Disneyland where everyone gets enrolled in at least 1 Disney class.

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Your university must give you credit, or you can’t enroll.

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Most classes are now just 4 weeks, not the length of the DCP program.

Disney University in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Welcome to Disney University in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

At the Florida DCP program, taking a Learning Class is optional, while at the California DCP program, taking a class during your program is  mandatory.

Depending on your major, some colleges will give you credit for both taking a class during your program (3 credits) and for the DCP internship itself (3-5 credits). You must ask your academic adviser about this option!  As we weren’t hospitality or business majors, our college, the University of Colorado-Boulder, wouldn’t give us any credit for doing the program.

The learning classes at Disney University are different than the Disney Training Classes online that all cast members must complete during their program.

Attending Disney Traditions classes with Caroline.

Attending my Experiential Learning class with Caroline.

Caroline is ready for class.

Disney Program Field Trips

We had several of our Disney learning classes held at the Parks. The first one was during Traditions when we toured MK in a large group. Touring MK as a Cast Member.

A few months later, one of our Experiential Learning classes was held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Field Trip to Hollywood Studios.

They were a lot of fun and we learned a lot of backstage Disney trivia.

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Our learning class required a group project.

We had group presentations on our last day of class. Only one guy in our group was taking it for university credit; we other three were just auditing the class. But, we would have gotten an “A” in the class! Probably the best part of taking the class was that Caroline and I always had Thursdays off together!

T-Rex restaurant in Downtown Disney.  First time eating there.

T-Rex restaurant in Downtown Disney. First time eating there.

To celebrate, our group went out to the T-Rex Restaurant in Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs).

Our group.

Our group for Experiential Learning class.

Caroline’s Cotton-tini drink being made (vodka and cotton candy)!

Caroline’s Cotton-tini drink being made (vodka and cotton candy)!

We’ll be going to the service celebration where the DCP students officially graduate from the program. Mickey, in cap and gown, will be there to give us a diploma and our graduation Mickey Cap! Can’t wait!!

To read more about the class we took, click here: Disney Experiential Learning Class.

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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Training at Disney World

Training at Disney World

Disney offers CPs so much training during their internship program!

Disney provides a lot of training for their Cast Members, including the college program interns. The training starts the first week during the Disney Traditions classes, then continues both online and at work.
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The training courses cover everything from job safety to merchandising to cash handling. They also have an extensive Disney University learning program especially geared towards hospitality and business majors.

Last semester, Caroline and I took an education class through Disney University called Experiential Learning. Caroline got an “A” and I got an “A-“. We’re not taking any classes this semester because Caroline is taking a real CU class, one that she needs for graduation, online. She has weekly reading and papers due for that class.

In 5 months of training, I learned:

Completed training, Page 1

Completed training, Page 1

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Completed training, Page 2

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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

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New Job!

New Job!

It’s official: I now have an @Disney.com email address for my new Disney job! 🙂

I had three job offers from Disney this month. The first offer was to continue in my DTD merchandising role as a CP intern for the spring semester. The second offer was a Disney Professional Internship at Disney University doing a job very similar to what I did as a teaching assistant at CSU during my master’s program. (Helping CP interns with their resumes, cover letters, setting up classrooms for lectures, etc.)

And, the third offer was for a Professional Internship to be a DTD Merchandise Coordinator. I accepted this one. I’ll be supervising the spring CP interns, handling the closing paperwork and money, etc. I get to wear a radio and earpiece.

I started training for my new job this week. On my very first day training as a coordinator (new costume, by the way), we got a ‘Code Alpha’ at Ghirardelli’s Chocolates at DTD and I had to respond ASAP. A little boy had somehow fallen off his chair and scraped his entire back (ouch!). Paramedics were there because anytime you fall backwards like that to the floor, you worry about head injuries and concussions.

My manager told me to go ‘make some magic’ for him, so I went to Once Upon a Toy and got him an 18” plush Mickey and brought it back. The paramedics put a band-aide on Mickey’s back before giving it to him. It was really cute and the little boy cheered right up.

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Ice Cream Shop

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Ice Cream Shop

My first night as an official merchandise coordinator is on Christmas Eve, working until 12:45AM!  😦

 

DCP Graduation Day!

Graduation Day!
With our Disney University diplomas, and Donald and Daisy.

Our graduation ceremony was held last week at Chatham Square. All the characters were in graduation costumes. We were given Mouse Ears and our diplomas for successfully completing the Disney College Program internship.

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Our graduation caps!

They had a really nice bar-b-que set up for the CP interns. It was a lot of fun! 🙂

Graduation day for us! (Pluto was playing with the tassel on Caroline's head.)

Graduation day for us! (Pluto was playing with the tassel on Caroline’s head.)

Lots of good bbq food!

Lots of good bbq food!

Pulled pork sandwiches.

Pulled pork sandwiches.

A CP Moment.

A CP Moment:  Graduation Day

Things we learned at the Disney Program: What the DCP Program taught us

But, wait a minute!  Last month, we applied to extend our DCP internship into the Spring…and we both we accepted!!!

We’ll be staying on and working for Disney now until May!!  Whoo-hoo!!!

We’ll be moving into a new apartment in 2 weeks, The Commons.

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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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Last Day of Class

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We had our last day of class, and finished with group presentations. Only one guy in our group was taking it for university credit; we other three were just auditing the class. But, we would have gotten an “A” in the class! Probably the best part of taking the class was that Caroline and I always had Thursdays off together!

T-Rex restaurant in Downtown Disney.  First time eating there.

T-Rex restaurant in Downtown Disney. First time eating there.

To celebrate, our group went out to the T-Rex Restaurant in Downtown Disney.

Our group.

Our group.

Caroline’s Cotton-tini drink being made (vodka and cotton candy)!

Caroline’s Cotton-tini drink being made (vodka and cotton candy)!

We will be going to the service celebration where College Program students officially graduate from the program. Mickey, in cap and gown, will be there to give us a diploma and our graduation Mickey Cap! Can’t wait!!

To read more about the class we took, click here: Disney Experiential Learning Class