2017 Mardi Gras Celebration at Disney Parks

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Mickey and Minnie on Fat Tuesday

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday – is today – February 28, 2017!

It’s celebrated at all the Disney parks, but especially at Disney World and Disneyland!

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Meeting Princess Tiana at the Magic Kingdom.  Her gown is so beautiful!!!

Disney World:

At Disney World’s Port Orleans Resort, there is a mini-float parade consisting of themed golf carts decorated by resort cast members at 10am on Fat Tuesday.

The parade features music, select Disney characters in Mardi Gras costumes, and free party beads and candy for guests along the parade route.

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Try some sugar-dusted beignets at Sassagoula restaurant at Port Orleans!

We got to eat at Sassagoula Floatworks Food Factory at Port Orleans for Mardi Gras and really liked it! Dining at Disney’s Port Orleans.

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My delicious Beignets! No, six isn’t too many!!!!

House specialties include famous New Orleans-style Beignets, fresh baked goods, pizza, pasta, hamburgers, split-roasted chicken, BBQ ribs, Po’ Boys and scrumptious sandwiches.

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Chip and Dale in their Mardi Gras costumes.

And, Princess Tiana will be at her meet and greet area all day signing autographs for guests:

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February 2017

At Disneyland:

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Mickey celebrating as Mardi Gras King

The New Orleans Square of Disneyland is always decorated for Mardi Gras!

The streets of New Orleans Square are filled with jazz music and the smells of delicious cajun food.

New Orleans Square Holiday Decorations Disneyland

New Orleans Square at Disneyland. So pretty!

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Princess Tiana and Gator Louie

Don’t forget to meet Princess Tiana from Disney’s Princess and the Frog!

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Meeting Princess Tiana at New Orleans Square, Disneyland.

Interested in Disney Bounding at the parks as Princess Tiana?

It’s easy to do!

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A few Princess Tiana Disney Bounding ideas!

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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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Celebrating the 2017 Chinese Lunar New Year: The Year of the Rooster

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Mickey and Minnie in special costumes for the Chinese New Year celebration.

Disney is celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year at both Disneyland in California and at Hong Kong Disneyland this year!

Happy New Year from Disney Parks Blog

1. Disney California Adventure Park:  Paradise Pier

January 20 to February 5, 2017

Watch the 2017 California Adventure Park Celebration!

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Happy New Year!

A Wonderful New Year Wishes

Ring in the Chinese Lunar New Year with unforgettable experiences at Disney California Adventure Park.  (The Chinese Lunar New Year is January 28, 2017.)

It’s a perfect opportunity to focus on family—all while offering warm wishes for a wonderful future and celebrating the occasion as well!

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It’s the year of the Fire Rooster!

Sensational Sights to Behold

Over the course of this special event, certain areas of the park will be decked out with festive décor and a variety of continental colors.

Stroll along walkways where awe-inspiring ornamental lanterns have been woven into the walls for all to enjoy. Then, marvel as you feast your eyes upon banners and signs high in the sky—each presented in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese, wishing one and all a Happy Lunar New Year!

Entertainment for Young and Old

No matter who you choose to visit with, be sure to catch an impressive array of authentic performers. And be on the lookout for a few familiar Disney Characters too, dressed in their best and ready to take part in all the fun. 

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The Chinese New Year celebration continues at Disneyland Hong Kong until February 21, 2017.

2. Disneyland Hong Kong

January 28 – February 21, 2017

Ring in Chinese New Year through January and February 2017 at the Disneyland Hong Kong Resort—and help bring luck, health and happiness to the year ahead!

(Note:  There might be a few blackout days for cast members in February: Hong Kong Disneyland Blockout Dates)

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is welcoming the Year of the Rooster from January 28 to February 21, 2017 resplendent in colorful peach blossoms and festive Chinese New Year decorations.

Romance will be in the air on February 14th. The Resort creates elegant dining settings for couples to celebrate together on Valentine’s Day at this Happiest Place on Earth.

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Duffy celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year!

CNY Family Fun with Disney Friends adds some Disney Magic

During the Chinese New Year celebration, Disney friends Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip & Dale, Duffy & ShellieMay, will change into bright Chinese New Year outfits to share best wishes with guests daily at Main Street, U.S.A.

Festive Dining In Abundance

A range of 80 gourmet delights with distinct Chinese New Year flavors will fill the menus of the restaurants in the park and the two themed hotels. Why not celebrate the beginning of the Year of Rooster with a cheeky Happy Albert Chocolate Mousse from the Market House Bakery, and enjoy savory and sweet snacks bearing auspicious names like “Lucky Ball” and “Happy New Year Fish”. Celebrate family togetherness with a “Chinese New Year Treasure in Pot Set Menu” at River View Cafe in Adventureland, or feast on the Plaza Inn’s “Chinese New Year Special Set”. 

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Special merchandise

Collectible Keepsakes Bestow Endless Blessing

Mystic Point’s monkey, Albert, is among the great variety of more than 30 memorabilia in the “Chinese New Year Assortment” to aptly mark the Year of the Rooster. Do not miss the Chinese New Year Limited Edition Pin 2017 and the Chinese New Year Jumbo Pin exclusive for Magic Access members.

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Romantic Celebration on Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day, the Resort presents special dining menus creating the perfect romantic rendezvous for couples. Valentine’s Day buffets and set dinners are served at the restaurants of the two hotels. Guests can also enjoy specially created beverages like “The Love Rose” and “Pink Valentine”. Bestow your loved one with the most elaborate Valentine’s Day dinner set for two at Walt’s Cafe – it comes with a lovely pair of Duffy & ShellieMay Tsum Tsum Plush and a photo taken with Duffy & ShellieMay to commemorate the special occasion. Make the day even more memorable by sharing “his and hers” keepsakes from the Valentine’s Day and the Season of Love assortments featuring sweet pairs – Mickey and Minnie, and Duffy and ShellieMay.

January 28, 2017:  Shanghai Disney Celebrates the New Year

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January 28, 2017: This morning’s Chinese Lion ceremony at Shanghai Disneyland theme park.

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So pretty.  The red color signifies good fortune.

Mickey-shaped lanterns dangle over the streets of Disneytown, Shanghai Disneyland Resort’s shopping, dining & entertainment district.

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Night of Sevens Housing event.

Read our blog about going to a DCP Housing Event celebration last summer with special characters:  Disney Housing Summer Event

 

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2017 is the Year of the Rooster

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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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Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2017

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Sleeping Beauty Castle in the early morning sunlight.  Lovely!

We thought we would post a link to the Disneyland blockout dates for using cast member guest passes, in case family and friends are planning on visiting you in sunny California!

New official link to check on blockout dates at all Disney Parks including Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure:  https://blockoutdates.disney.com/

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The weather at Disneyland is beautiful in the springtime!

Best Times to Visit Disneyland in 2017:

Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year’s Day and the days around MLK Day, Jan 16th)

Weekdays in February (minus the days around President’s Day, Feb 20th )

The first week in March

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Some upcoming blockout days for guests passes in March (Spring Break) and April (Easter).

Weekdays the first half of April

Weekdays in May

Weekdays the first week of June

The first half of September after Labor Day; weekdays for the remainder of September and October

Weekdays in November (minus the week of Thanksgiving, Nov 23rd)

Weekdays during the first two weeks of December

To check on the daily park crowd forecast at Disneyland, click here:   Is It Packed??? 

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Disneyland in front of Pirates, December 27, 2016.  NO THANK YOU!!!

The Worst Times to Visit Disneyland in 2017:

MLK weekend: Jan. 14 – 16, 2017

President’s Day weekend: Feb. 18 – Feb. 20, 2017

Spring Break : March 11 – March 26, 2017

Easter Week:  April 8 – April 16, 2017

Memorial Day weekend:  May 27 – 29, 2017

Summer: June 3 – August 27, 2017

4th of July weekend:  July 1 – 4, 2017

Labor Day weekend: Sept. 2 – Sept. 4, 2017

Columbus Day weekend: Oct. 7 – Oct. 9, 2017

Halloween weekend: Oct. 28 – Nov. 1, 2017

Veteran’s Day weekend: Nov. 10 – Nov. 13, 2017

Thanksgiving week: Nov. 18 – 26, 2017

Christmas week through the first week of the New Year: Dec. 23, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018

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Disney’s California Adventure Park

During blockout days, you can’t use your Disney Guest Passes to swipe friends and family into the park for free.  Also, Disney limits the number of rooms available for CMs to use their cast member hotel discount.

New CMs can expect to get their guest passes after working 150 hours (about 5 weeks into their program), after completing Traditions class on around Day 3.

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Disneyland even has its own star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood!

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We ❤ Disneyland!  We’ll see ya real soon!

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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3 Kings Day Celebration at Disneyland

The sculptures of the Three Wise Men bearing gifts.

The sculpture of the Three Wise Men bearing gifts.

Three Kings Day (Día de los Reyes Magos) honoring the 3 Wise Kings bearing gifts to the baby Jesus is on January 6, 2017.

At Disney’s California Adventure Park, the celebration activities for the event are scheduled for January 5 – 8, 2017.

We love Mickey & Minnie's costumes for the event!

We love Mickey & Minnie’s latino costumes for the event!  So festive!

Three Kings Day entertainment includes your favorite Disney characters in festive, colorful costumes, and plenty of holiday photo opportunities.

Los niños can have fun coloring pictures of the Three Kings and can even design their own custom crown with sparkling “jewels.”

Rosca de Reyes cake

Rosca de Reyes cake – yummy!

For a sweet treat, try the cake known as Rosca de Reyes—there could even be a tiny toy hidden inside!

[Rosca de Reyes (King’s Ring) is a Latin American pastry traditionally eaten to celebrate Epiphany.  For decoration, figs, quinces, cherries or dried and candied fruits are used, sort of like a Spanish fruit cake.

It is traditionally eaten on January 6th, during the celebration of the Día de Reyes (literally “Kings’ Day”), which commemorates the arrival of the three Magi or Wise Men.]

Video of Three Kings Day:  Celebrating 3 Kings Day at Disneyland

Three Kings Celebration at Disney’s California Adventure Park

Capping off Disney’s “¡Viva Navidad!” celebration will be the special three-day celebration of Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes) January 5, 2017 through January 8, 2017 in Paradise Garden. Traditional Rosca de Reyes bread will be served in honor of this special holiday.

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The 3 Wise Kings Bearing Gifts for the baby Jesus

The Epiphany—or twelfth day of Christmas—is celebrated around the world in many ways. Join us as we mark the occasion known as El Día de los Reyes Magos in Mexico, Central and South America with traditional festivities.

Fanciful Displays

Enjoy sculptures of the 3 Wise Men bearing gifts to Bethlehem as well as replicas of children’s shoes—customarily left outside the home, to be magically filled with toys by the Three Kings during the night.

Kids’ Activities

Los niños can have fun coloring in pictures of the Three Kings or even design their own custom crown with sparkling “jewels.”

Traditional Treats

Savor a taste of the circular cake known as Rosca de Reyes—and enjoy good luck for the year if your piece contains a secret baked-in surprise! 

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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

***

Dia de los Muertos – Celebrating the Day of the Dead at Disneyland 2016

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The traditional skeleton display for the Day of the Dead celebration.  Very festive.

Today – November 2, 2016 – was the last day of the Dia de los Muertos – Celebrating the Day of the Dead celebration at Disneyland.

From mid-October through November 2, 2016, Disneyland (but not Disney World) celebrates Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with a traditional skeleton display in Frontierland during Halloween time.

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Día de los Muertos explained: It’s a time of joy, not sadness, to remember family and friends who have passed.

Traditionally, the Day of the Dead – known as “All Souls Day” – falls on November 1st, the day after Halloween.

Festive offering table.

Festive offering table with sweets and candy and colorful flowers.

Very cheerful during the day, lots of colorful flowers and sugary treats.

La Catrina, the symbol of the Day: It’s all very cheerful during the day, lots of colorful flowers and sugary treats.

There are special sweet treats out for the celebration, along with a trick-or-treating candy station open nearby during the Halloween Party nights.

We got to see it in October 2015 during the 60th Diamond Anniversary celebrations at Disneyland.

We saw it during the day (above) and we also returned at night to see it:

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Halloween 2015

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The calacas still singing….It very pretty at night.

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La Catrina at night.  I like her better during the day!

Día de los Muertos

Celebrate Día de los Muertos in Disneyland to honor the art, symbols and traditions of this age-old holiday.

Join the festivities as Frontierland hosts a special tribute to the Day of the Dead. This annual Mexican celebration remembers loved ones that have passed while embracing an eternal connection.

Now through November 2, Zocalo Park will feature a musical trio of iconic calacas—skeleton figurines—as well as brightly colored flowers and other decorative items commemorating the occasion.

Stop by for Calaveras-style face painting—offered daily from 10am to 6pm—or simply savor the tasty Orange Pumpkin Flan and other traditional Mexican treats exclusively at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurant while enjoying the authentic décor!

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Celebrating Día de los Muertos at Disneyland!

Video from Disney Parks Blog explaining Día de los Muertos celebration:  Day of the Dead 2015

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Minnie Mouse for Day of the Dead celebration.

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Look for special sweet treats available at the bakery.

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Churro cupcakes!!!

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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

***

2016-2017 Disney Family Holiday Celebration Info

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2016 Disney Family Holiday Celebration booklet

December 11, 2016 Update:  

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Cast members can shop at the Emporium this week – in costume!- before MK Park opening!  Whoo-hoo!!!!!  40% discount!

WELCOME TO THE 2016 DISNEY FAMILY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION!

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Check your mailbox for some VIP mail!!

The Disney company holds this celebration throughout the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in recognition of your hard work all year long. We hope you enjoy the celebration.

Happy Holidays to you!

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Do NOT lose these tickets!! They can NOT be replaced!  (Only original tickets are accepted, so don’t bother printing these!)

Your Disney Family Holiday Celebration tickets can be accessed via The Hub >>Complimentary Admission module.

Your Disney Family Holiday Celebration Guest tickets must be used in conjunction with your valid Main Entrance Pass.

Thank you for all you do, and Happy Holidays!

Valid: October 17, 2016 – February 9, 2017

New official link to check on blockout dates at all Disney Parks: https://blockoutdates.disney.com/

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Overview of the 2016 Family Celebration

GENERAL INFORMATION

This booklet contains the information you need to participate in the 2016 Disney Family Holiday Celebration.

2016 Disney Family Holiday Celebration booklet for WDW

Some of the 2016/2017 Family Holiday Celebration Highlights:

 

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Always check the Hub for blockout days!

ADMISSIONS

  • Walt Disney World and Disneyland Theme Park admission:  1 Free Park Hopper Ticket!
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park admission
  • One round at Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course or Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course
  • Link to check any upcoming  Blockout Days: Disney Blockout Days
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Three discount dining certificates!

FOOD & BEVERAGE

  • Three discount meal certificates: 30%, 40% and 50% off
  • Disney Dining Plan discounts (Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan and Disney Dining Plan)
  • Six popcorn, Mickey ice cream bar, or soft drink coupons
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    Participating restaurants, page 1

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    Page 2

  • ALL RESTAURANT LOCATIONS ARE SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING BLOCK-OUT DATES:
    Nov. 24-27, 2016; Dec. 23, 2016 – Jan. 2, 2017; Feb. 14, 2017; April 15-16, 2017; May 13-14, 2017; July 1-4, 2017***
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40% off Disney merchandise!!!

MERCHANDISE

  • Special holiday discount on merchandise (40% discount!)
  • Cast discount at Cast Connection  (10% discount!)
  • Special Company D discount
  • One complimentary Disney PhotoPass™ photo download
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$49/night Disney resort room!!!

Starting on Oct. 3, 2016, Cast Members, Crew Members, Imagineers, Employees and Retirees are invited to book rooms at select hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney–s Vero Beach Resort and Disney–s Hilton Head Island Resort and enjoy special rates for stays most nights Oct. 17, 2016 – Feb. 9, 2017.

For example, Cast Members can enjoy rates starting at just $49 per night plus tax at Disneys All-Star Sports Resort for stays most nights Oct. 30–Nov. 18, Nov. 26–Dec. 10, 2016, Jan. 2–Jan. 4,  Jan. 8–Jan. 12, and Jan. 16–Feb. 9, 2017. Ask about great rates at
other resortsž!

Book online via the Walt Disney World Resort Room Discount link or the Disneyland Resort Room Discount link on the Cast tab on the Hub.

WDW Booking number:  407-WDW-CAST

RECREATION

  • Holiday room discount!
  • Special discount on tickets for La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil
  • Special discounts on select events hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
  • Special holiday-themed childcare programs at the YMCA Family Centers at the Walt Disney World Resort
  • 50% off initial fee at Lifeline Fitness Center
  • Holiday greens fee special
  • 50% off bicycle/boat rentals and other Walt Disney World Resort recreation discounts
  • Special holiday spa discount
The holidays are an extra magical time at the Magic Kingdom!!!

The holidays are an extra magical time at the Magic Kingdom!!!  Come celebrate with us!  🙂

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Don’t forget to get your free 2016 Disney Cast Member exclusive ornament!!

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The 2016 CM Christmas ornaments are here!

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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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Disneyland’s New Eastern Gateway Parking Lot Opening 2018!

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The Eastern Gateway.  Finally!  Parking at Disneyland has always been a struggle!

Disneyland Resort is planning to break ground soon on their Eastern Gateway, a new arrival point that will provide guests even more choices for access and parking when it opens in late 2018. This project on the east side of the Disneyland Resort will include a new parking structure with 6,800 spaces, a new transportation facility and an elevated pedestrian bridge.

The new pedestrian pathway and elevated bridge over Harbor Blvd. will directly link guests arriving at the parking structure and eastern transportation facility with the main Disneyland Resort entrance plaza.

Disney's recent land purchases.

Disney’s recent land purchases across Harbor Blvd. (east side)

Location of the new parking structure looks great!

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The pedestrian bridge will link to this DLR entry spot.  Perfect and long overdue as anyone who has driven on Harbor Blvd. – or as a pedestrian waiting at the crossing light – will tell you!

They’ve need more parking nearby, especially for guests going to Downtown Disney for the evening.

Downtown Disney needs some non-resort parking for its guests.

Downtown Disney badly needs some close by, non-resort parking for its guests.

The OC Register reported that Disneyland Resort acquired 1515 and 1585 South Manchester Avenue for the purchase price of $48 million. Disney also purchased the Carousel Inn April 2015 for $32 million.

Two parking lots are available at Disneyland: Mickey and Friends and Toy Story. Both are far away from the park's entrance.

Two parking lots are available at Disneyland: Mickey and Friends and Toy Story.
Both are far away from the park’s entrance and require bus service.

Right now, guests can park at two Disney parking lots: the Mickey and Friends parking structure or the Toy Story parking lot.

Mickey and Friends Parking Structure is a six-level facility and is the second largest parking area in the world. (The largest is at Tokyo Disneyland.) There is tram service from the parking structure to the Disneyland Main Entrance Plaza. Restrooms and drinking fountains are located near the tram loading area under the escalators. Wheelchairs/ECV users will be directed to a special parking area, then proceed to the wheelchair/ECV ramps in the tram loading area.

For the Toy Story Parking Lot: There is bus service from the lot to the shuttle bus area on the east side of the Disneyland Main Entrance Plaza.

2016 Costs — Parking is $18.00/day for cars, $23.00/day for “oversized” vehicles, and $28.00/day for buses and tractors with trailers. Annual passholders who have the parking option on their pass may park in either facility at no additional charge.

We expect parking fees at the new structure to be $20/day.

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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

***