Honey Bees Recycle the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

Taking down the GF Gingerbread House in January 2015.

Taking down the GF Gingerbread House the first week in January.  The gingerbread is composted.

A behind-the-scenes look at what happens to all the gingerbread from the 2017 Grand Floridian Gingerbread House  display when it was taken down in early January 2018.

Royal icing used to glue the gingerbread pieces to the house.

Closeup of the Royal Frosting used to glue the gingerbread pieces to the house.

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Washing off the icing with plain water.

The house frame is reused every year.

The house frame is reused every year.

Cool video of the WDW bees working hard: Bees Recycle Disney Gingerbread

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A honey bee going from flower to flower.

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A cold honey bee landed on our car at the DAK parking lot!

Those same honey bees have a ball at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival  in the spring!

Your favorite Disney gingerbread houses from the Walt Disney World Resort are shared with bees to help pollinate the spectacular flowers blooming right now during the 24nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival!  Come on by and see the spectacular flower displays!

30 million blooms!

30 million blooms! Come and see it!

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

2018 Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival starts February 28, 2018.

The F&G Festival is so beautiful!

The F&G Festival is so beautiful! (I took this photo on my cell phone!)

***

January 2018:  It was cold when we were at Disney World this month!  All the newly planted flowers were covered up at Epcot:

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Tampa set a new low last night – 28 degrees!

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Disney trying to protect all those pretty flowers for the F&G Festival starting next month!

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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

***

Feliz Navidad Celebration at Epcot Mexico

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The Mariachi Cobre and the Folklórico dancers.

The Feliz Navidad event is going on now at the 2017 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays!

Located in front of the Mexico pavilion, the daily event features a festive mariachi band and dancers, and welcomes guests to join the celebration of the holidays a la Mexicana.

Guests can learn about Mexican culture and their Christmas traditions through dance and music, including the popular song “Feliz Navidad”.

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The Folklórico dancers.

The Mariachi Cobre and the Folklórico dancers bring the magic of Las Posadas to all, with their traditional and beautiful costumes.

Feliz Navidad is performed six times a day during the 2017 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.

See it soon….it ends on Saturday!

, 2017.

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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

**** 

 

The Christmas Pickle Tree at Epcot Germany

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The Christmas Pickle is sold at Epcot Germany. $20

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

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 tree of Christmas pickles!

The first child to find it on Christmas morning is rewarded with one of three things: the privilege of opening the first gift, the 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 and he said that he never heard of the ‘Christmas Pickle’ before coming to America, and neither did any of his coworkers!

In fact, a survey conducted in 2016 revealed more than 90 percent of Germans asked had never heard of the Christmas pickle.

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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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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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Werther’s Original Caramels at the Karamell Kuche shop….so delicious!!!!

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

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Do you hang a Christmas Pickle on your tree on Christmas Eve?

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

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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

2017 Festival of the Holidays at Epcot

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Mini Three Kings Bread Rolls

Returning this year to 2017 Festival of the Holidays at Epcot is the Feast of the Three Kings!

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

We love Mickey & Minnie’s fiesta costumes!

Inspired by food and drinks of the Caribbean, the kitchen pays homage to the Día de los Reyes Magos, a holiday celebrated in the Caribbean, Latin America and Spain, not only with the food but also with history, as you get to learn about the celebration itself.

The Feast of the Three Kings features drinks like Coquito (with and without rum) and dishes like a roasted pork with mashed yucca and pickled green bananas, the very traditional Three Kings Bread and a shredded beef tamale with avocado crema.

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The Three Kings

Feast of the Three Kings

Dine like royalty as you enjoy scrumptious foods and delicious drinks of the Caribbean. Inspired by the story of the Magi, this holiday kitchen celebrates the tradition of Three Kings’ Day—El Dia De Los Reyes Magos.

Food

  • Shredded Beef Tamale with Avocado Crema and Cilantro Rice
  • Roasted Pork with Smashed Yuca and Pickled Green Bananas
  • Three Kings Bread

 Beverages

  • Presidente Pilsner, Dominican Republic
  • Coquito with a Bacardi® Rum Floater
  • Coquito (non-alcoholic)

*****

Here’s the recipe for Epcot’s Three Kings Bread so you and your family and make it and enjoy it at home!

Three Kings Bread

 DOUGH

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 4 teaspoons instant yeast

SUGAR PASTE

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 egg

GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FINISHED BREAD

  • 1 egg
  • 16 Maraschino cherries, chopped
  • Red and green sugar

FOR DOUGH:
1. Place the eggs and water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
2. Add the sugar, butter, shortening, salt, orange zest, vanilla, and 3 cups of the bread flour to the mixing bowl. Sprinkle instant yeast on top of the flour.
3. Knead on medium speed for 12 minutes, until soft dough forms. Dough will be slightly sticky. If dough is not soft after 12 minutes, add 1/4 cup of flour at a time and knead for 1 additional minute.
4. Portion the dough into 16 balls on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

FOR SUGAR PASTE:
1. Cream shortening, sugar, and cake flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
2. Add egg and mix, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl, until well blended.
3. Set aside.

FOR GLAZE:
1. Whisk powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of the milk, and vanilla extract together until smooth.
2. Add additional tablespoon of milk, if needed.
3. Set aside.

FOR THREE KINGS BREAD:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Beat egg and brush on top of dough.
3. Pipe the sugar paste in an “x” over the top of the balls of dough.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
5. Cool for 15 minutes and top with glaze.
6. Sprinkle red and green sugar and chopped maraschino cherries on top of glaze.

You can also find delicious food at Las Posadas holiday kitchen near Mexico. They are serving one of my favorite dishes for the holidays: Buñuelo Navideño – a thin round fried pastry, drizzled with honey and dusted with cinnamon and brown sugar. Delicioso!

Makes 16

Epcot International 2017 Festival of the Holidays takes place until December 30, 2017.

Rosca de Reyes cake

Rosca de Reyes cake – yummy!

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

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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

**** 

Celebrity Narrators for the 2017 Candlelight Processional at Epcot

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Beautiful!

Dates for this year’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot are:  November 24th – December 30, 2017.

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, December 18 -21, 2017.

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

November 24 to 26, 2017: Laurie Hernandez

November 27 to 28, 2017: Matt Bomer

November 29 to 30, 2017: Ana Gasteyer

December 1 to 3, 2017: Whoopi Goldberg

December 4 to 5, 2017: Pat Sajak

December 6 to 8, 2017: Jodi Benson

December 9 to 11, 2017: Kurt Russell

December 12 to 14, 2017: Warwick Davis

December 15 to 17, 2017: Trace Adkins

December 18 to 21, 2017: Neil Patrick Harris

December 22 to 24, 2017: CCH Pounder

December 25 to 27, 2017: Jaci Velazquez

December 28 to 30, 2017: Chandra Wilson

***

Dates, Times and Location:

November 24th to December 30, 2017

5:00pm, 6:45pm and 8:15pm

America Gardens Theater, Epcot

NPH (2)

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

Video of  Neil Patrick Harris at Epcot 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!  🙂

***

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 24, 2017 and then runs nightly through December 30, 2017.

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.

epcot

Ticket to see Edward James Olmos narrate from last year’s Candlelight Processional!

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).

Update:  Cast member auditions for the 2017 Candlelight Processional choir were held this summer in July, and CMs were notified if they were selected as a participant by mid-August 2017.  Rehearsals started this week.

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

In front of Cinderella Castle with Dream Lights turned on.

We love the Dream Lights at the Cinderella Castle!

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

*** 

2017 Disney’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot Returning in November

Dates for this year’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot are:  November 24th – December 30, 2017.

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.

Neil (2)

Neil Patrick Harris has performed the narration for several years now and is excellent!  He’ll be back this year too, December 18 -21, 2017.

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

November 24 to 26, 2017: TBD

November 27 to 28, 2017: Matt Bomer

November 29 to 30, 2017: TBD

December 1 to 3, 2017: Whoopi Goldberg

December 4 to 5, 2017: Pat Sajak

December 6 to 8, 2017: TBD

December 9 to 11, 2017: TBD

December 12 to 14, 2017: Warwick Davis

December 15 to 17, 2017: Trace Adkins

December 18 to 21, 2017: Neil Patrick Harris

December 22 to 24, 2017: CCH Pounder

December 25 to 27, 2017: Jaci Velazquez

December 28 to 30, 2017: Chandra Wilson

***

Dates, Times and Location:

November 24th to December 30, 2017

5:00pm, 6:45pm and 8:15pm

America Gardens Theater, Epcot

NPH (2)

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

Video of  Neil Patrick Harris at Epcot 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!  🙂

And, he’ll be returning this year, December 15 – 17th!

***

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 24, 2017 and then runs nightly through December 30, 2017.

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.

epcot

Ticket to see Edward James Olmos narrate from last years processional!

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 2017 Candlelight Processional choir were held this summer in July, and CMs were notified if they were selected as a participant by mid-August 2017.  Rehearsals started this week.

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

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

*** 

Dapper Day Spring 2017

easter Mickey

Mickey and Minnie looking very dapper!

What:  Dapper Day Orlando!

When:  Saturday, April 29 & 30, 2017 at 9:00am

Where:  Magic Kingdom (April 29th) and Epcot (April 30th)

Details:  Come dressed in your absolute best!

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It’s always extra fun to Disney Bound on Dapper Day!

For more information go to:  Special Things To Do at WDW on Dapper Day!

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Join us worldwide for Dapper Day Spring 2017! 

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Our friend was at Dapper Day weekend at Disneyland last weekend and had a blast!

Dapper Days, Disneyland, CA:  April 22 – 23, 2017

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Stop in at the Expo in Disneyland.

Official link to planned events worldwide:  www.DapperDay.com

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You’re invited!  Bring your friends!

Spring 2017 Dapper Days

Special rates for Disney hotels in CA and FL are available! See links below:

Sat+Sun April 22+23, DAPPER DAY EXPO Free at The Disneyland Hotel
Sun April 23, DAPPER DAY Spring Outing to Disneyland CA
Sat April 29, DAPPER DAY Spring Outing Day 1 to The Magic Kingdom FL
Sun April 30, DAPPER DAY Spring Outing Day 2 to EPCOT FL
Sat May 6, DAPPER DAY Spring Outing to Disneyland Paris

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A very Dapper Mickey & Minnie out and about at Mickey’s Retreat in January 2016.

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Some photos from Dapper Day 2016 at WDW (photo credit:  DCP Blog)

dress

The perfect dress for Dapper Days!

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Sweet Dapper Days treats will be available this weekend on Main Street USA.

Specialty Cupcakes at the Magic Kingdom

Guests will love these specialty sweet treats, which look almost too good to eat!

“Hats off to Spring” Cupcakes – Vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream, or chocolate cupcake with mocha buttercream. Each cupcake is topped with a sugar cookie sandwich filled with raspberry jam and coated in white chocolate.

Dapper Quartet Cupcakes (four small cupcakes served together) – Two vanilla and two chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and fondant bowties, with colors matching the Dapper Dans on Main Street, U.S.A.

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Enjoy a picnic lunch

Picnic in the Park

Guests may enjoy a Saturday afternoon picnic in the park on Saturday, April 29. Boxed lunches available at Tomorrowland Terrace, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., with a special reserved picnic area in the East Plaza Garden.  ($14.99)

Lunch comes with house-made chips, fruit cup, Dapper Rose cupcake, fountain beverage, and a choice of:

Fried Chicken

Chicken Caesar Salad

Greek Salad Wrap

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

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How pretty!

Floral offerings on Main Street, U.S.A.

A variety of corsages and rose wands from Disney Floral & Gifts will be available for purchase on Main Street, U.S.A. near Uptown Jewelers.

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Hat’s off to the family on Dapper Day 2017!!!

More dress ideas:

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The purple one of the left looks very “Haunted Mansion”!

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Lovely Dapper Day dresses!  Pretty in green.

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Pretty in red!

Dapper Days mug

Minnie’s 2017 Dapper Days mug

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dole whip

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

***