DCP Homecoming Weekend – Saturday Meet & Greet

Saturday was a super busy today!  Elly and I both paid for the special meet and greet Saturday morning at Epcot.  Because I was with Elly, we had to choose the later  time slot lol

Our time slot was 10am-11am.  I wanted to get there a little earlier because we had our park tickets in will call and I was worried they might close off the lines early.

Of course, that didn’t go as planned!  We got home so late the night before, plus with the 2 hour time difference, it was slow moving the next day. Mi am a morning person so I had no problem getting up early. My after showering and getting Elly up, I walked over to the Old Key West quick service to get some kids’ egg breakfast plate.

Still, we didn’t get out until after 9:30. Min was really stressing out about it because I was going to be pissed if we showed up too late and missed the event!

As I waited for the bus, I checked the Alumni Facebook group and immediately saw Marcie’s post about there being issues with the event and how she was going to refund the $10 fee for it!

I was SO worried because it sounded like the whole event had been canceled!

And then when I saw which characters were there, I was REALLY stressing!

But Elly and I agreed to just show up and hope for the best.

We got to Epcot, picked up our park tickets, and then tried to figure out where the Odyssey was. Lol

Of course, we didn’t bother to stop to ask any cast members – no way they’d give us correct directions! Haha. But it turns out we knew the building, if not the name.  It’s the giant empty building next to Test Track and Mexico.  We love going there because the bathrooms are always clean and empty!

When we got there, we didn’t have our Alumni Event lanyard and weren’t wearing our bands to indicate that we paid for this event.  Luckily we brought all the wrist bands and quickly showed the lady.

She informed us that there were two character lines – Jack, Sally, and Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas and also Dug, Russel, and Carl from Up! Yes!!!

Elly and I got to meet Mr. Fredrickson when we extended our program in 2014.  I was totally surprised when I got home and saw on Facebook, that I literally met them on the same day, just two years later!  So cool!

We walked into the room and it looked pretty crowded. We immediately located and warmed the free food. Entire buffet tables filled with Mickey rice crispy treats and then all the ice creams : Mickey premium bars, Mickey ice cream bars, the fruit bars.  Yay!  And there were really nice party drink containers filled with yummy juice, iced tea, and water.

Right away, I ran into my friend Steven.  We actually did our program together at Dak, I was at Discovery Island and he was at Strollers.  We never met or ran into each other, but we had a lot of mutual friends since a lot of Strollers people were deployed to the Island.  Once I got accepted for the Summer Alumni program in Strollers, I friended him to ask him tons of questions about Strollers!  He was always so nice so I was glad we ran into each other to finally meet in person.

As I was perusing the food, I heard my name and saw my Strollers friend Kelsey in line for the Up characters!  Elly and I got in line with her and started catching up.

Apparently there was a huge snafu with the Homecoming Transportation.  As in it never showed up for the 9am people. Who still hadn’t arrived by the time we got there after 10am.  No only that, but the food had run out and people were really pissed out it.  A lot of people posted in the group that they had gotten through the line for the NBC characters and then tried to get in line for the other set, and the event staff kicked them out of the event!  I guess I can understand the thinking behind it because there were still people coming home hadn’t met any characters and the characters were only there for two hours.

As we were waiting in line, a couple really nice girls in front of us and behind us recognized us and talked to us about how much they like and appreciate our blog!  It always surprises me and makes me feel so great when people are so nice!  We talked with them the entire way through the line and even became friends on Instagram!

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We finally got to the front of the Up line and I was so impressed with the setting!  It was framed with giant multicolored balloons and it even had Kevin, peeking out from behind some trees.

I hugged Dug and Russel and shook Mr. fredrickson’s hand.  So funny.

After we got out of that line, I got up some courage to talk to Marcie!  I saw her a bunch yesterday, but I didn’t realize it was THE Marcie running the Alumni Facebook group!

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I went up to say hello and to tell her how much I appreciated everything she’s done for the Alumni and how great the event has been!

In the middle of talking to her, I hear my name screamed really loud!  I look around and saw my friend Kelsey had gotten into the NBC line!  I figured, it was so late, the lines were closed.  But the attendants totally let us go!  There were like two people in front of us so we met them really fast!

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Jack was so great, he said my ears were so sparkly, they should put me on top of a Christmas tree!  He also appreciated my orange wristband because it looked like a jack o lantern!

I also hugged Oogie and it was so fun.

I never saw NBC before.  I have been to several Halloween parties and my favorite part of Hallowishes is when Oogie is talking.  It gives me chills!  So it was pretty cool meeting them!

I couldn’t believe how perfect the event was!  From our point of view, there were no issues!  Despite my griping to Elly, it was actually really great that we were so late.  The event was secretly extended to accommodate the later arrivals, but I think a lot of people just didn’t show up when they read the posts on Facebook.  We left at around 10:45.

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If you didn’t have a park ticket, you were escorted out of the park by event staff.  But we were free to explore!  The first thing we did was go to the former Captain EO venue to watch the Shorts.  It shows 3 shorts in 3D and it was really cool!  We didn’t realize that the entire seating area moves too.  So like when something heavy falls in the screen, we all thumped too.  It was so hard to tell which short was our favorite – they were all amazing!

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We didn’t even have time for the World Showcase, and before we knew it, it was the afternoon!  We had planned to go home to change before the big event at DAK.  So we split off from Ricky and Kelsey and promised to meet up later that night.

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Disney DCP Alumni Homecoming Weekend 2016

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Continuing the Magic…

Because Elly and I both have full time jobs now, we decided to leave early Friday morning to get to the party and not miss too much work.  Unfortunately that meant getting up at 4:30!! Elly announced “well, I’m not showering!” When we woke up. Lol

We decided to take 2 suitcases each since we were flying on southwest and bags fly free.  I’d prefer only one each, but we knew we might be buying some good merchandise, plus I had to bring dress clothes for the big party at the contemporary.

Elly bought me a super sparkly dress for dress and I actually bought her dress for Christmas too! Totally unplanned.  I also bought a nice purple dress on Black Friday sales.  I probably tried on both outfits 20+ times before to weekend to see which one I should wear.  I loved the sparkly one, but I was t sure if it was too sexy and tight – or if I could pull it off.  I loved the purple one, but I wasn’t sure it’d photograph well.  So, I brought both. Plus a whole other outfit in case. Haha

The flight was pretty good.  It’s always turbulent between Denver and Orlando, but I guess I’m getting used to it because I barely noticed.

I knew one of my best Disney friends, Ricky was also flying in, but I knew he would get in like 3 hours before us.

I was totally surprised when we landed and I saw on Facebook that his flight had been delayed and he just landed too!  I quickly texted him ” hey, meet me at the Disney store!”  I laughed SO hard when he responded “Already there!”

We met up, hugged, pin traded at the Earport, and had lunch at the really nice food court in the airport.

It was so funny because Elly and I purposefully wore our grey Alumni shirts and people kept stopping to say hi and talk about how excited we all were about going to this Homecoming!

Ricky was riding in on Mears and For the first time, we did Magical express to get to our resort!  Unfortunately, we were on the completely wrong side of the Airport, so we had to drag our 4 suitcases all the way back to the 3rd level, across the whole terminal, back down to ground level, then all the way to the end of the terminal again.

There were several queues open to check in.  Elly couldn’t figure out how to pre check in, so we just walked with our resort info and hoped for the best!

It was pretty easy, he was able to pull up our info and because we were on the reservation, we just got some papers and were on our way.  We got in another queue for all the buses lined up outside and were immediately put on the Old Key West/Disney Springs one.  We were totally surprised when we got on that the bus was all the way full!  We got all the way to the back of the bus, and there were two people sitting next to empty seats.  They saw we were together and were super kind enough to move so we could sit together!

We loved he little videos that play during the drive to the hotel. Just more advertisements for Disney. Lol

When we got to Old Key West, our family friends Dan and Pam was so kind and actually met us at the bus stop!  We got our magic bands and headed over to the room.

Wow! The room was beautiful!  Luckily it was close to the bus stop so it wasn’t too bad managing our suitcases.

Because Old Key West is DVC, all the rooms are like suites.  There’s the main bedroom with connecting spa tub, shower and bathroom. Then there is a HUGE living room, kitchen, and eating area.  We were going to stay on the pullout couch.

It was  so funny because we immediately dumped out all our crap from our suitcases, trying to find anything and you could just see their faces at the mess…I immediately was like “Don’t worry, this’ll all be gone when you get back!”  Our friends left to let us get ready for the party!

We showered and got all ready, all the while texting Ricky to see what he was up to and when to meet.

Poor Ricky – not only was his flight super delayed, when he got to the hotel, he realized that there had been a water leak and all the guests had to be put up in a different hotel.  So they paid for his taxi to the new place.  But when he got dropped off, he was at the wrong hotel!  So then he had to walk a couple blocks over with two suitcases to the real hotel!  And instead of being super close (near the Outlets), he was moved over 30 minutes away near the Orlando Eye!

We were invited to attend this special DCP networking event before the real party, but I knew we wouldn’t be able to make that.  Our friends were so kind, they left the car keys for us, so we went and picked up Ricky so he wouldn’t have to pay for a crazy expensive uber.
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We got to the Contemporary around 6pm, a little over an hour late.  Luckily we were able to find a good parking spot even though it was super crowded.

We walked in to the event and immediately checked in.  We got our magic bands, shirts, backpacks, and wrist bands stating which events we paid for.

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Then we saw this huge red carpet to enter! So cool!

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But before we went in, we got stopped by two CMs with video cameras.  They filmed us answering a couple questions like what we got our of these networking events and what we thought of the weekend so far.  Pretty fun!
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When we walked into the party, we immediately found another one of my Strollers friends and grabbed a table.  Elly and I were starving so we went to the big buffet set up at either end of the room.

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The food was great!  Nice salads, giant stuffed pasta shells, and full chicken breasts. I felt a little awkward because the buffet was set up right in front of the character line and it felt like we were being stared at because we were the first to get food haha

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The characters!

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We were super surprised to see Mickey and Minnie in super fancy Gatsby like costumes.  Donald and daisy were there and then also goofy and Plato.  We ate and caught up with my friends.  After eating, we decided to hold off on dancing to see Mickey and Minnie. I didn’t want to miss it in case they cut the line early.

We walked over and there was 5 rows of people waiting!  But we got in line anyway.  In total, we waited a full hour to meet them!  But it was so worth it!

Next, we took pictures with Walt, then signed our names and locations/year on this giant poster.

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Then we saw this giant replica of the Sorcerer Hat.  It’s gone now from DHS.
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Finally, the DJ started playing the Wobble!  And you KNOW I can’t miss that! (Or Cupids Shuffle!) So we joined literally everyone and participated in a massive dance!

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By 9pm, they told everyone to head outside for a dessert party!

Out on the front of the building, they set up long tables filled with all these tiny desserts!  There were little meringues (I thought they were s’mores, boo), fruit custard shooters, dark chocolate domes, pineapple upside down cake, and a gluten free cookie option. I really don’t like lemon things, so I wasn’t a fan of the first two.  I REALLY liked the chocolate except as I was eating, I realized my mouth was on fire!  I think they put cayenne pepper in it!

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There was also really good juice called “blast from the past” punch!

Both my DAK friends left before fireworks to head to Magic Kingdom.  Elly and I stayed though because our shoes couldn’t handle any amount to park time! Lol

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Once our friends left, Elly and I were just talking to ourselves and we were totally surprised when people started coming up to talk to us about our book and blog! A couple guys wanted selfies with us – which I totally loved!

The nice things people say about Two Girls and A Mouse Tale book & blog really means so much to me!  I really take it to heart when people say we were helpful!

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After around 25 minutes, Elly and I left to get home. It was after midnight and we were exhausted since we were up so early!

We headed back to our resort to turn in for the night.  Busy weekend ahead of us!

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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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