Maleficent Dragon Float Catches Fire at the Magic Kingdom

dragon1May 11, 2018:  The fire-breathing Maleficent Dragon float in the Festival of Fantasy Parade caught fire today at the Magic Kingdom as the parade neared Liberty Square.

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Guests stood around and filmed the burning dragon before cast members moved them away from the float. It was weird because the dragon continued to moved his head and the parade music continued to play.

The parade promptly stopped and several cast members responded with small portable fire extinguishers, which did not put out the fire burning in the dragon’s head.

Video Link:  Malificent Dragon Catches Fire at Magic Kingdom

The float’s pilot escaped unharmed.  The motorized dragon continued to lift its head up and down while the flames made their way down its neck to the float’s body.  No cast members or park guests were injured during the incident.

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The float is a total loss.

The Maleficent Dragon float was a total loss when the fire was finally put out.

fire1Yesterday, the dragon float was replaced by a new float featuring Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora.  (We saw this float being used for them during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade last year.  Of course, then it was a lot more festive and decorated for the holidays.)

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New float featuring Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora debuted in the FoF parade on Saturday, May 12th.

A new dragon float – the steampunk star of the Festival of Fantasy parade – will be added back into the parade in early 2019.

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01/25/2019 Update:  Maleficent – in all her fire-breathing glory – is back!!!

🙂

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After an 8-month absence, Maleficent, in her guise as a Steampunk dragon, returned to the Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy parade today on January 25, 2019. Welcome back Maleficent!

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Dumbo Ride Two girls

Two Disney Sisters

We’ve written two books about our time working and playing at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

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#DCP

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carpet aladdin

Flying high in Adventureland with the wind in my hair!

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Look out below!  That camel spits!

Secrets of Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow.  Notice the crooked shutters on the upstairs window!

As you enter Liberty Square, after crossing over the Liberty Square Bridge, there’s a building right in front of you, usually with just a few guests waiting in line.

It’s Sleepy Hollow, which serves the most delicious funnel cakes in all of Disney World!

But, look closely at those shutters on the building!  The colonists hung their shutters with cow hide leather, which they had in abundance, allowing them to save metal for rifles and horseshoes.

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More crooked shutters

Shutters on houses in the 1700s were not decorative like they are today; colonists closed them at night to keep out the “bad air” and opened them in the morning to let in daylight.  Over time, the leather would become weathered and worn causing the shutters to hang crooked.

All over Liberty Square, Disney Imagineers used metal designed to have the appearance of leather to hang window shutters. They also made sure the shutters were hung crooked in order to have a more authentic look.

Liberty Square Insider Tip:  Since there were no indoor or public restrooms in colonial times, there are also no restrooms in Liberty Square.  (The restrooms in Columbia Harbour House are actually located in Fantasyland.)

The 'open sewer' trogh running through Liberty Square.

The brown ‘open sewer’ trough running through Liberty Square, notice the red “earth” color of pavement.

Have you ever noticed that brown ribbon of pavement in Liberty Square?  There’s a reason for that!  In colonial times, there were no indoor restrooms so they just threw their sewage out of a window – sometimes second story window – or doorway right into the middle of the street.  The brown pavement represents a river of sewage created by this!  Eew!!

Colonial costume for Yankee Trader.

Elly wearing colonial costume for working at The Yankee Trader.

As a cast member, Elly picked up work shifts at the Yankee Trader and at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe over at Liberty Square.

Going home after a long day.

Going home after a long 12 hour day.

The Yankee Trader, one of our favorite stores, closed in summer 2014 and reopened that fall as the Haunted Mansion’s Memento Mori Shop.

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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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Snack Time at Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow.  Notice the crooked shutters!

After the 3pm parade, we are always ready for a snack!  And, for Caroline, that means a funnel cake!

Caroline with her funnel cake.

Caroline with her funnel cake.

As you enter Liberty Square, after crossing over the Liberty Square Bridge, there’s a building right in front of you, usually with just a few guests waiting in line.

It’s Sleepy Hollow.

You can get freshly-made funnel cakes, ice cream, waffle sandwiches, and other sweet treats.

Look closely at those shutters on the building!  The colonists hung their shutters with leather. Over time, the leather would become weathered and worn causing the shutters to hang crooked.

Disney Imagineers used metal designed to have the appearance of leather to hang the shutters. They also made sure the shutters were hung crooked in order to have a more authentic look.

The 'open sewer' trogh running through Liberty Square.

The brown ‘open sewer’ trough running through Liberty Square, notice the red “earth” color of pavement.

Insider tip:  Since there were no indoor or public restrooms in colonial times, there are also no restrooms in Liberty Square.  (The restrooms in Columbia Harbour House are actually located in Fantasyland.)  Have you ever noticed that brown ribbon of pavement in Liberty Square?  There’s a reason for that!  In colonial times, there were no indoor restrooms so they just threw their sewage out of a second story window into the middle of the street.  The brown pavement represents a river of sewage created by this!  Eew!!

More on snacks at Disney World: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/best-snacks-at-disney-world/
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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Haunted Mansion Backstage Tour

One of my favorite rides at MK!

One of my favorite rides at MK!

I am so excited because I got to go on another backstage tour through my work (DAK) and it was on my favorite ride – The Haunted Mansion!!

Always room for one more....

Always room for one more….;)

So, if you know me at all, you know that I am not an early riser.  I am much better at it than Elly, but I still don’t do it without some grumbling.  When I saw that the meeting time was at 6:40am…..ugh, no thank you!  But, it was my all time favorite ride, so I HAD to do it!

The plan was for my CP friend, Amanda, to pick me and Sara up from The Commons at 5:45am so that we could go get some Starbucks and be there by 6:30am. It would have been fine, if Amanda’s alarm had gone off that morning.  Sara and I sat outside of The Commons in the dark until 6:20am, texting and calling Amanda to wake her up and then finally texting other people who we knew were also going on this tour.  We got nothing, no response.

Finally, Sara and I decided to run back to my apartment, grab Elly’s car keys (luckily she wasn’t working that day!), and race to Magic Kingdom!  I was incredibly impressed that I was able to get all the way from The Commons to backstage of Magic Kingdom in UNDER 15 minutes with almost NO speeding! Woo-hoo!  🙂

We got a text from another CP in the group which said, “If you can catch up to us in the Utilidors, then you can be in the tour.  If not, then you can just go home.”  WHAT??!!!  Not very nice, and very stressful to read!

Sara and I parked and ran to the Westclock Bus to take us back behind the Haunted Mansion.  We ran through the Utilidors and kept getting stopped because we looked so lost and were wearing our street clothes.  But we did it!!! We found the group and made it on the tour!!

DAK cast members on HM Backstage tour.

DAK cast members on HM Backstage tour.

The old woman who did our tour was perfect for her role.  She has the highest seniority at the Haunted Mansion and has worked there for 17 years.  17 YEARS!!!!  She was extremely intimidating to say the least.

She began her tour by telling us that if we couldn’t keep the chatter down, then she’d end the tour early.   Hilarious, as the average age of our group was around 35.  She acted like we were a school tour of 2nd graders.

She said that we could take as many photos as we wanted AND use flash photography if we needed to!!!

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Portrait of the Master of the Mansion

We started out by doing a walking tour of the entire ride with the lights on.  We got to stay in each room as she pointed out interesting details and facts of the room.

Something I had heard before was that during the 2007 renovation, seven hidden Jack Skellingtons were added to the HM ride.  The first one is in this photo in the first HM room.  Jack can be found in the wrinkles above the left eyebrow.

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Same portrait as above, but with lights on.

Here is a photo of our entire DAK group.  They told us to make a scared face!  haha.  I think mine is the best.   😉

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Boo!

After we watched the first scene in the stretching room, we all got to lay down and watch as the room slowly folded in on itself!  So scary!  And weird.  I bet no one has ever seen this room so empty!

There are 160 black “Doom Buggies” that move through the 10 minutes of the spookiest rooms in all of the Magic Kingdom!

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The long hallway of the Portrait Gallery….this is the first floor of the HM.

I love this scene!  It is so cool how the busts’ eyes watch you as you move along.  We actually got to go up and touch the heads!  The trick is that the faces are actually concave into the other side of the wall.  It’s just a trick your eyes play on you as you move across the room.

There are two Jack Skellingtons in this room.  They are near the chair.  One is a picture of Jack on a book cover and the other is just Jack’s head on the spine of a book.

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The Library with watching busts and 1 crow.

Next time you’re in this scene, check out how creepy the coffin is!  There are hidden skulls around it.

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The Glass Conservatory with coffin.

Also, we got to pet the scarecrow!  It was surprisingly soft.  The original concept of the HM ride was to have the crow follow along with you and narrate the ride.  That plan was scraped, but you can still see the crow in every scene.

I LOVE this part of the ride!  Especially when the evil hand shadow crosses it!

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Tick, tock…The 13th hour clock…the Witching Hour.

Several people try to jump out of their Doom buggies to steal the ball every year.  Apparently the going rate online for it is $500,000.  However, what you can’t see is that between the railing and the table is actually nothing!  It drops down to the floor below.

There was a guy who jumped over to the table, but missed.  He fell and broke his arm and his leg, and kept screaming “Help! I can’t get out!” which, if you know Haunted Mansion, is exactly what the guy in the coffin is saying!  He wasn’t discovered until the end of the night when the music was finally turned off and the lights turned on for cleaning. Ouch!

There are now grates to over the open area, but a few years ago, a high schooler on graduation night tried to jump across and landed on the grates.  Except he landed between two of the bars, broke through, and got stuck.  Because he was bigger, they had to pull him all the way through to get him out.  He ended up getting  about 70 stitches around his stomach.  Ouch!

Note the railing....

Note the railing in the circular Seance Room….

Sorry this is such a bad photo!  But I love this scene!  I love when the ride breaks down in this room because there is always so many interesting things to look at!

I actually have several clear photos of the ballroom from when I did the Magic Band testing last semester.  However, I don’t want anyone to stumble upon it and have the magic ruined!  Needless to say, it was AWESOME!

We got to see the dancers!!!

We got to see the dancers!!!

The BEST part about our backstage tour was the guide gave us a special opportunity to actually go into the ballroom!  We got to walk around the table and look at all the actual ghosts which are being reflected through a series of mirrors into the ballroom.  We got to dance with the ghosts!  And to touch the plates and silverware on the table, and see the Hidden Mickey!  This was my coolest and most amazing WDW experience so far!!!! 🙂

In 2013, our tour guide said that there were 14 instances of people throwing human ashes during the HM ride, especially during the ballroom scene.  Each time it happened, it closed the ride for about four hours while custodial was called in to vacuum them up!

The attic

The attic

The protrait of the Haunted Mansion Bride.

The portrait of the Haunted Mansion Bride.

Out of the Haunted mansion (you exit the house via the 3rd floor attic!), and onto the graveyard...

Out of the Haunted mansion (you exit the house via the 3rd floor attic!), and onto the graveyard…

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The singing ghosts.

Hidden Mickey!!  This is right before the fat lady sings (so you know the ride is over!).

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Can you see the Hidden Mickey?

Sara and me in our Doom Buggy.  Glad to have her as ‘my partner in crime’ this semester!  🙂

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Sunrise at the Haunted Mansion.

Sara and me in front of the carriage after the tour.  Still no Park guests!  8am

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In front of the black carriage hearse led by an invisible horse.

First stop after the backstage tour – Starbucks on Main Street!  Yum!  I got an iced coffee with caramel. So good!

Starbucks on Main Street

Drinking our Starbucks drinks on Main Street USA. Yum!

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Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!

This is not Caroline’s first time in the Disney College Program. Along with her sister, she was previously accepted into the program a few years earlier.  Back in Colorado, Caroline was wishing for a little more pixie dust to brighten up her life.  On a whim, she decides to apply to the exclusive Disney Alumni Summer Program.

Now that she’s back, things get wild.

Wild, as in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Caroline is assigned to work in Stroller Rental.  While not the most glamorous position in the park, it’s often ground zero for humanity at its best and at its worst.

While Caroline makes many “Magical Moments” for deserving guests whose pixie dust has gone temporarily sideways, she also receives magical moments of her own through the friendships she makes, going to Disney cast member exclusive events, and all the spectacular dining opportunities at Disney World.

Caroline tells all – from the ins and outs of Disney’s secret training class called Traditions; to learning how to be a happy cast member during on-the-job training; to what it’s like to interact with fellow cast members and the guests who are ready to explore the most magical place on earth.

Join Caroline as she takes you on a wild ride through her adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be careful, it’s a jungle out there!

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

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DAK costume

Adventure is out there!

About the Author:

Caroline’s love for all things Disney, and desire to grow up to be a Disney princess, is the reason she always wanted to work for Disney.  Her dream came true working as a cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Caroline is the co-author of the book, Two Girls and a Mouse Tale, about her adventures working at Disney World with her sister.

She is currently a 7th grade Social Studies teacher in Colorado.