Disney Vacation Club’s Exclusive Members Only Lounge at Epcot

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The DVC Member Lounge is located on the 2nd floor of the Imagination Pavilion.

Our friends are Disney Vacation Club members and got to check out the new DVC Member Lounge at Epcot last month.

They liked it a lot.  It’s a great place to take a break when the park is busy.

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Check-in here.

It opened last year in the Imagination Pavilion as part of the 25th anniversary of Disney Vacation Club, and it will continue to stay open through 2017 as Disney celebrates Membership Magic Ever After.

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Walk up these stairs to the 2nd floor.  Have your DVC card out!

Lounge Highlights:

Make yourself at home in the DVC Member Lounge that features:

  • Comfortable seating
  • Complimentary soft drinks
  • Children’s play area
  • Wi-Fi
  • Charging stations
  • Computers with printers
  • Member Services Advisors

When & Where:

  • Hours of Operation: Open daily from 10am to 6pm
  • Location: Second floor of the ImageWorks merchandise location within the Imagination! Pavilion at Epcot

Important Details:

  • Valid Membership Card and photo ID required at check-in. The name on the Membership Card must match the name on the photo ID.
  • Party size is limited to the Member and up to 5 guests per Membership Card.
  • Children may not be left unattended in the Member Lounge.
  • Personal cups may not be used with the Coke Freestyle machines.

 

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DVC member’s only!

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South view.  Lots and lots of glass!

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It’s all about the views!

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FREE soda, iced water, and hot coffee/tea!!!

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Charging stations (free)

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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 2017 International Festival of the Arts at Epcot

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The brand new International Festival of the Arts at Epcot!

What: 2017 Epcot International Festival of the Arts

When:  Fridays through Mondays, January 13 to February 20, 2017

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Artist at work

Festival Highlights Include:

  • Artist appearances
  • Artful photo ops
  • Workshops and seminars with visiting artists
  • Commemorative merchandise
  • Community arts musical showcase
  • Culinary masterpieces
  • Destinations Discovered Tour
  • Disney on Broadway Concert Series
  • Gallery exhibits
  • IllumiNations
  • Interactive mural
  • Living statues
  • Walking chalk gallery and more!

7Even More to Explore!

  • Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt
  • Kidcot Fun Stops
  • World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered Tour

 

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Cookie painting!

The Festival of the Arts features five unique food booths, each with an eclectic menu that puts an emphasis on presentation and plating as much as bold flavors.

Original artwork will be on display at the Odyssey Festival Showplace located in the Odyssey building near the entrance to World Showcase.

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Some of the merchandise available

In addition, chalk artists will reproduce classic works on canvas as well as park sidewalks, Epcot Living Statues literally come to life and guest performance artists create magic on the spot—with only a wave of their paintbrush!

Several Disney artists will be appearing throughout the festival including Jason Grandt, David Buckley, Jerrod Maruyama, and Kristin Tercek.

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Disney on Broadway concert series

The America Gardens Theatre offers the free Broadway Concert Series, with songs from Aladdin, Newsies, The Lion King and more. Guests can sing along to sensational, show-stopping renditions of unforgettable Disney hits… bravo!  Visit the America Gardens Theatre stage at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. on each festival day to catch the Disney on Broadway Concert Series.

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We really like the t-shirts featuring Figment!

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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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Buying a Christmas Pickle at Epcot Germany

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Epcot Germany – A beautiful town square with a real clock tower.

The Germany pavilion is one of our favorite places to shop at Epcot!

Crystal princesses.

Crystal princesses.  So pretty!!

We’ve bought some crystal figurines there and we can’t talk about Germany without talking about the wonderful caramel popcorn at the Karamell Kuche shop!!!

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At the Karamell Kuche shop….so delicious!!!!

And, Snow White meets there every afternoon by her wishing well.

Meeting Snow White before dinner.

Meeting Snow White at her wishing well.

Something fun to buy at Epcot for the holidays is a Christmas Pickle!

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The “Christmas Pickle” is sold at Epcot Germany.  $20

Christmas Pickle Backstory: In the early 1890s, Woolworth department stores started selling glass ornaments imported from Germany that were in the shape of various fruits and vegetables, including a pickle.

Around the same time it was claimed that the Christmas Pickle was a “very old German tradition” and that the pickle was the last ornament hung on the tree on Christmas Eve, buried deep in the tree’s branches.

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A whole Christmas tree of Christmas Pickles at the shop!

The first child to find it on Christmas morning is rewarded with one of three things: the privilege of opening the first gift, or receiving an extra gift from Santa, or being granted a year of good luck.

We are friends with an ICP from Germany who worked at Epcot’s Germany pavilion last year and he said that he never heard of the ‘Christmas Pickle’ before coming to America, and neither did any of his coworkers!

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It seems like this pickle would be easy to find on Christmas morning…

Bottom line, the Christmas pickle is actually an American Christmas tradition, not German!

But, we still like the idea of getting an extra present on Christmas morning!

Read more about our visit to Epcot Germany here:  Epcot Germany Pavilion.

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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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The Art of Disney with Larry Dotson

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“Halloween at Disney’s Magic Kingdom”

For the second time, we got to meet Disney artist Larry Dotson, this time at The Art of Disney at Epcot last week.

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The Art of Disney at Epcot

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Larry signing our prints.

We got two new prints, one Halloween, one Christmas:

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Elly’s Christmas print.

He signed our new prints:

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Boo to You!

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Merry Christmas

Larry’s work can be seen at all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney Golf Course Pro Shops, Art of Disney Galleries, and Disney Cruise Line. (We first saw his artwork on our Disney Dream cruise.)

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Larry working on his latest piece for Disney.

It was a pleasure to meet him again and he signed several of our purchases for us.

Artist Showcase with Larry Dotson, Disney Artist

Walt Disney World Resort is pleased to present the artwork for internationally recognized artist, Larry Dotson. Larry’s oil paintings of Disney scenes capture the magical memories of trips to Disney Parks. Join us as we debut some of his latest releases.

Upcoming signing events:

November 7 – 9:  The Art of Disney, Epcot
November 10 – 14:  The Art of Disney, Epcot
November 18 – 20:  Norway Pavilion, Epcot
November 25 – 27:  The Art of Disney, Epcot
December 5 – 7:  The Art of Disney, Epcot
December 8 – 11:  The Art of Disney, Epcot

Epcot - France.  Les Halles Boulangerie et Patisserie

Epcot – France.   Les Halles Boulangerie et Patisserie

Epcot's 2014 Flower & Garden Show.

Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Show.

larry-dotsonMeeting Larry two years ago while on our DCP Program:  Meeting Disney Artist Larry Dotson

Larry working on his latest piece for Disney.

Larry working on a Main Street USA piece for Disney.

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Christmas photo (2)

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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2016 Candlelight Processional at Epcot

The Candlelight Processional

The wonderful Candlelight Processional at Epcot

Dates for this year’s Candlelight Processional are:  November 25th – December 30, 2016.

Celebrity Narrators

Each night, a celebrity narrator tells the biblical tale of a savior born to a virgin in Bethlehem. Gorgeous choral pieces performed by an orchestra and various choirs are interwoven with the narration, inspiring the audience with songs of hope and joy.

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Neil Patrick Harris has performed the narration for several years now and is excellent!  He’ll be back this year too.

An exciting line-up of celebrities—including a few new faces and voices—are lending their dramatic talents to the production, including:

November 25 to 27:  Steven Curtis Chapman

November 28 to December 1:  Neil Patrick Harris

December 2 to 3:  Whoopi Goldberg

December 4 to 6:  Edward James Olmos

December 9 to 10:  Anthony Mackie

December 10 to 12:  Robby Benson*

December 13 to 15:  Meredith Vieira

December 16 to 18:  Jim Caviezel

December 19 to 21:  Joe Morton

December 22 to 24:  Ming-Na Wen*

December 25 to 27: Jodi Benson*

December 28 to 30:  Cal Ripken, Jr.

* Three of the names should be familiar to Disney fans as they are actors who have voiced classic Disney characters: Robby Benson, the beast in “Beauty and the Beast”; Ming-Na Wen (Mulan); and Jodi Benson (Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”).

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So good! (Everyone was commenting on how super thin he is!)

Video of Neil Patrick Harris at 2014 Candlelight Processional.  Wonderful!

During our DCP program, we went on December 23rd – almost Christmas Eve! – and got to see the Candlelight Processional lead by one of our favorite country singers, Trace Adkins.  It was wonderful!  It really got us in the Christmas spirit!  🙂

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The beautiful new logo for the 2014 Candlelight Processional was created by our CM friend, Jason Tackett.

The beautiful logo for Epcot’s Candlelight Processional was created by our CM friend, Jason Tackett.

Event Details:

Interested in adding a dining experience to your Candlelight Processional Evening?

Click here: Candlelight Processional Dining Experience

The Candlelight Processional is a breathtaking retelling of the Christmas story in words and music complete with a 50-piece orchestra, choir and celebrity guest narrators. The narrator reads the Christmas story and favorite carols of the season are interspersed throughout the program.

The Candlelight Processional is held every night during the Christmas season. The first performance is on November 25, 2016 and then runs daily through December 30, 2016. There are three performances each evening at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. The length of the show is about 45 minutes.

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Ticket to see Edward James Olmos narrate!

The performance is included in regular Epcot park admission at no additional cost. All Epcot guests are welcome to view this wonderful presentation.

The Candlelight Processional is held in Epcot at the American Gardens Theater in the American pavilion. This is an open air theater and, although there is a roof, you may get wet if it rains. Remember to dress for being outside. Although you are in Florida, it still may be quite cool on a December evening.

The choir consists of members of Disney’s Voices of Liberty (red & black attire), the Cast Member choir (green robes), and visiting high school and guest choirs (gold robes).

Note:  Cast member auditions for the 2016 Candlelight Processional choir were held this summer in July, and CMs were notified if they were selected as a participant by mid-August 2016.

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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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Disney World Refurbishment Schedule Fall 2016 – Spring 2017

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!

Note:  Last updated by Disney World on October 16, 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 – or has permanently closed!

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 summer and fall months.octoberMagic Kingdom

  • Big Thunder Mountain closed 8/8/2016- 11/18/2016
  • Liberty Square Riverboat closed 1/3/2017- 1/12/2017
  • Magic Kingdom Railroad closed 1/9/2017- 2/16/2017
  • Hall of Presidents closed 1/17/2017- 6/29/2017
  • Stitch’s Great Escape is now a seasonal attraction 10/2/2016
  • Haunted Mansion closed 11/28/2016- 12/1/2016
  • Swiss Family Treehouse closed until 10/25/16
  • Splash Mountain closed 12/7/2016

Epcot

  • Infrastructure Work in park: 9/28/2016- 12/17/2016

     Permanently closed

  • Habit Heroes in Innoventions West closed 1/18/2016
  • Captain EO – closed 12/6/15
  • Off Kilter- final performance 9/27/2014
  • Mo’Rockin- final performance 9/27/2014
  • World Showcase Players- final performance 9/25/2014
  • Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps- final performance 9/27/2014
  • Maelstrom- closed 10/6/2014
  • The Spirit of Norway- closed 10/6/2014
  • Test the Limits Lab- closed permanently 1/6/2015
  • My Magic+ Service Center located inside Innoventions East is now closed. You can visit Guest Relations in Future World or any of the FastPass kiosks.
  • Sum of All Thrills and StormStruck have closed permanently 9/15/2016

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Look for the brand new Rivers of Light finally opening this month.

      Permanently closed attractions:

  • Wild by Design Tour- last tour was 9/26/2014. This was discontinued.
  • Tip Board permanently closed
  • Sunrise Safari Tour- last tour was 12/28/2014. This was discontinued.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Many attractions have permanently closed due to Star Ward Land and Toy Story Land construction which will continue into 2017.

  • Pizza Planet closed 1/11/2016- Late 2016
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster closed 10/27/16- 11/9/2016

     Permanently closed rides and attractions:

  • American Idol Experience closed. Last day was 8/30/2014.
  • Backlot Tour closed permanently 9/27/2014
  • American Film Institute Showcase at the end of the Backlot Tour closed permanently 8/17/2014.
  • Legend of Jack Sparrow closed
  • Phineas & Ferb Meet and Greet- closed permanently 1/5/2016
  • Lightning McQueen & Mater Meet and Greet- closed permanently 1/5/2016
  • Joffrey’s coffee kiosk closed 1/4/2016
  • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Meet and Greet: Mike and Sulley at Street of America closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Prop Shop- closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Studio Catering Co. closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Watto’s Grotto closed permanently 04/03/16
  • High Octane Refreshments closed permanently 04/03/16
  • New York News closed permanently 04/03/16
  • Youse Guys Moychindise closed permanently 04/03/16

Water Parks:

  • Blizzard Beach – closed 10/16/2016- 12/24/2016
  • Typhoon Lagoon- closed 12/25/2016- 3/11/2017 Shark Reef has closed permanently

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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

Things You Must Do at Disney World!

Four Parks (2)

Four Parks, One World:  Welcome to Disney World!  (Photo credit:  WDW Shutterfly)

The checklists below for the 4 parks are from last year, but they are still very helpful in planning and making sure that you don’t miss out on the things that you really want to do and see during your vacation at Walt Disney World.

There are FastPasses available at each park for the premier attractions, but are generally gone by early morning during the peak crowd weeks, so plan accordingly.

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You can get FastPasses for a lot of these MK attractions….but only 3 per day (unless you are a resort guest) so plan accordingly!

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Maelstrom is now Frozen Ever After, of course.  And the brand new IMAX film is playing at Soarin’.  Get a FastPass to see that!

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The brand new Rivers of Life attraction is now playing in the evening at DAK.

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This checklist for DHS is mainly to show how DHS has become a 1/2 day park with all the construction for Toy Story Land and the new Star Wars Land.  More than 1/2 of these attractions are now closed.  There’s not a lot to do on some days if you didn’t get any FastPasses; you might not want to wait around for Fantasmic at 8pm.

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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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