The Magic Kingdom’s Big Chief Seegar

On Main Street USA with Big Chief Seegar.

On Main Street USA with ‘Big Chief Seegar’ (green cape).  He’s only 5 feet tall!

Both Walt Disney World and Disneyland once featured tobacco shops on their respective Main Streets.

Walt Disney World’s tobacco shop closed in the mid-1980s. The Cigar Store Indian, Big Chief Seegar (say his name out loud!) remains as a tribute. Today, he can be found in front on the Crystal Arts shop, on the northeast corner of Main and Center Street at the Magic Kingdom.

That’s him above in the green cape.

But, there’s another one at WDW too!

Big Chief Pipum at Frontierland

Big Chief Pipum at Frontierland (red cape)

Most guests don’t know that you can find the twin to the Main Street Cigar Store Indian in Frontierland, Big Chief Pipum.  He has a red cape.

That one can be found on the porch in front of Prairie Outpost & Supply.  At one time, this location also sold tobacco products, but not for thirty years now.

On our first visit to the Magic Kingdom, 1993.  Seeing the Chief for the 1st time!

1993:  On my first visit to the Magic Kingdom – Seeing the Chief for the 1st time with my mom!

When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, the park featured a shop called “The Tobacconist”.  That shop was located on the west side of the street, between the House of Magic and the Refreshment Corner (now Casey’s corner).  The shop sold tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, hand carved pipes, and loose leaf tobacco.  In the early-1980s, the shop was closed, but tobacco products could still be purchased across the street at the Market House for a few more years.  The Cigar Store Indian Big Chief Seegar was moved down the street to its present location to reflect the change.

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This is the Cigar Store Indian at Disneyland. (He doesn’t have a cool name.)  He wears a blue cape.

Since 2000, tobacco products are no longer sold in any of the Disney parks, but the Cigar Store Indian remains at most of the Disney parks, providing an ever vigilant watch over Main Street, USA and providing a glimpse of Disney World’s past.

Traditionally known as a “Cigar Store Indian” or “Wooden Indian”, statues such as these were used as an advertising figure made to represent tobacconists, much like barber poles advertise barber shops or three gold balls advertise pawn shops.

These figures were three-dimensional sculptures several feet tall up to life-sized.  But, how did an Indian come to represent tobacco products?  American Indians were associated with tobacco since they had introduced the product to Europeans in the 1600s.  The Indian statue served as a visual magnet, drawing the attention of passersbys to the store. 

Throwback Thursday photo with the Chief.

1996:  #TBT Photo – Throwback Thursday photo with the Chief and my sister.

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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

A Rainy Day Parade at the Magic Kingdom

YES, they do!!

YES, they do!!

Next week is June 1st and you know what that means…the rainy season has officially arrived in Orlando!  Get out your ponchos and umbrellas!

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Lots of rain in the Disney World forecast this Memorial Day Weekend!

While the average Orlando rainfall in May is a little over 3”, in June that expected rainfall jumps to over 8” in the average month!  That’s a lot of rain!!

Rainy season: June, July, August, September

Rainy season: June, July, August, September

If you’ve visited WDW more than a couple of times – especially in the summer months – then there’s a good chance that you’ve had the afternoon parade delayed or even canceled by inclement weather.

Here comes the Rainy Day Cavalcade parade!

Here comes the Rainy Day Cavalcade parade!

On days when it’s pouring rain in the afternoon, Disney swaps the ‘Rainy Day Calvacade’ parade for the 3pm Festival of Fantasy parade.  (If it’s lighting/thundering, the parade will be delayed until the storm passes.)

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May 22, 2018: A Rainy Day Parade!

You still get to see all the characters smiling and waving at the crowds while the music plays...

You still get to see all the characters smiling and waving at the crowds while the music plays…

The performers all wear bright yellow raingear and the Main Street vehicles (old timey cars and the double-deckered bus) are packed with Disney characters.

It's amazing how cheerful the performers are!

It’s amazing how cheerful the performers are!

But, come prepared!  The streets at MK do flood very easily!

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May 21, 2018

For more tips on Visiting Disney World in the Rain, read our blog: Rain, rain, go away.

Rainy day at the Magic Kingdom: No Crowds!

Rainy day at the Magic Kingdom: Look no crowds!  And, yes, the parade will go on!  🙂

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Micky and Minnie getting caught in an afternoon cloudburst.

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Usually, the afternoon rain doesn’t last very long, maybe a hour.

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Walking around Epcot’s World Showcase in the pouring rain! Still fun! 🙂

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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When the Cinderella Castle Looked Different

Cinderella Castle

The most famous – and unpopular – change to the Cinderella Castle.

We were thinking about all the changes we’ve seen the Cinderella Castle go through since our first trip to WDW in 1993.

The most dramatic change was for the 15 month-long celebration of WDW’s 25th Anniversary (October 1996 – January 1998).

At the Castle, October 1996

At the pink Cinderella Castle with my mom, October 1996

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of WDW on October 1, 1996, Disney transformed the front of Cinderella Castle into an 18-story “birthday cake.” Complete with red and pink “icing,” giant candy canes and 26 glowing candles, the castle served as the centerpiece for the celebration. This was no small undertaking.

It took more than 400 US gallons of pink paint to cover the castle, which was then decorated with multicolored “sprinkles,” 26 candles, ranging in height from 20–40 feet tall, 16 two-foot long candy stars, 16 five-foot candy bears, 12 five-foot gumdrops, four six-foot stacks of Life Savers, 30 three-foot lollipops, and 50 two-foot gumballs. Additionally, more than 1000 feet of pink and blue inflatable “icing” was needed to finish it off.

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But, it’s been changed other times too:

Happiest Celebration look in 2005

Happiest Celebration look in 2005

We were there in 2005 for the castle’s redecoration commemorating the Happiest Celebration on Earth in honor of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.

The castle’s exterior was adorned with polished gold trim and accents, swags, banners and tapestries. Golden statues of Disney characters were also added to the exterior, including Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and Wendy circling the tallest spire.

Stitich is King!

Stitch is King!  Awful!

The least appreciated Castle transformation – which only lasted 1 day (Nov 16, 2004) – was when the castle was modified to appear as though it was strewn with toilet paper.

“Stitch is King” was posted on a turret as faux graffiti to mark the grand opening of ‘Stitch’s Great Escape!’ ride in Tomorrowland that day. The material was removed after the park closed that evening.

Disney got a lot of complaints over that decor!  Wildly unappreciated and unpopular!!!

Castel repairs, January 2014

Castle repairs going on in January.

Every January, after the millions of Cinderella Castle Dream Lights came down, Disney maintenance starts an in-depth sprucing up of the Castle’s exterior.

They repair any roof leaks, re-seal the exterior, clean all the Castle windows (a big job!), and touch up any Castle paint which got scratched from the Dream Lights.

On Main Street USA, February 2014.  Note the crane moving things in the background.

On Main Street USA in January.  Note the big Disney crane moving things in the background.

For most of January when you walk down Main Street USA, you will see the large crane moving maintenance people and supplies back and forth.

It photobombs everyone’s Main Street photos!  😦

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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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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:   Maleficent Dragon Float Catches Fire

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 2019.

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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

****

When the Cinderella Castle was Bright Pink!

We thought this change was wonderful!

We thought this bold castle color change was wonderful…but a lot of guests hated it!

We went to Disney World in November 1996 to see the “pink birthday castle” unveiled for the 25th anniversary celebration a few weeks earlier.

We were not disappointed!!  It was BRIGHT PINK!

At WDW for the 25 Anniversary celebration - in the of the Pink Castle.

Nov. 1996:  At Disney World for the 25th Anniversary celebration – sitting in front of the “Pink Castle”.  We loved it! ❤

Waiting for the 3 o'clock parade.

Waiting for the 3 o’clock parade to start.

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Magic Kingdom marching band.

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Caroline in the Lion King float.

pink castle

Genie on Main Street USA in the 3 o’clock parade

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All those candles were inflatables and would sway in the breeze.

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The whole Castle wasn’t painted…this is the view from the backside, Fantasyland.

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It really dazzled the eye!

We saved the MK park map from our trip!

We saved the MK park map from our trip! Nov. 1996

Sold at McDonald's for $1.

Disney drinking glasses celebrating the 25th anniversary of WDW. Sold at McDonald’s for just $1.  We wish we had bought more than just one!

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Dec 2017:  The Cinderella Castle Dream Lights are on.  Make it pink!!  🙂

pink ears

April 2018:  Pink Millennial Minnie Ears arrive at MK.  I wish I had these back then!  So pretty!!

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Throwback Thursday: Our mom at the Wedding Pavilion next to the Grand Floridian.

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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

***

International Mermaid Day 2018

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Our favorite mermaid! (I traded a cast member for this pin right in front of Ariel’s Grotto!)

Today – March 29, 2018 – is International Mermaid Day!

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We love The Little Mermaid ride in Fantasyland.

In honor of the day, Freeform is debuting their new series “Siren” tonight.

Mermaid legends come to life in the gripping new drama series “Siren,” premiering March 29 at 8/7c on Freeform. In this epic tale, the coastal town of Bristol Cove is turned upside down when a mysterious girl (Eline Powell) appears and begins wreaking havoc on the small fishing town. Using their resources, marine biologists Ben (Alex Roe) and Maddie (Fola Evans-Akingbola) must work together to find out who and what drove this primal hunter of the deep sea to land, and are there more like her out there?

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Ariel’s Grotto at the Magic Kingdom. No one was in line! Empty.

We got Fast Passes to see Princess Ariel in her grotto on our trip in January.  We walked right in…no wait!

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Our mom hadn’t seen Princess Ariel in years.

We love seeing our favorite mermaid, Princess Ariel, at Ariel’s Grotto in the Magic Kingdom.  But, the wait line can be long and FastPasses to see her are hard to get.

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Our CM friend Ricky was with us.

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Princess Ariel admiring Caroline’s new earrings.

But, not in January!!!

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She’s so pretty!

We were lucky and scored some really good Princess Ariel pin trades right in front of Ariel’s Grotto. The cast member we traded with said that a guest was pin trading with some really old Ariel pins from 2007. So fun!

ariel

Love this ride and love her bridal veil! ❤

ariel mug

My new Ariel mug. I love how her hair is the mug’s handle!

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She waved right at us during the Festival of Fantasy parade that afternoon.

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We had lunch over at Disney’s Art of Animation (a first for us) and guess who we saw there……

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We love Disney PhotoPass!

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ariel

Do you want to Disney Bound as Princess Ariel (when she has her land legs)? We have!

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My favorite color combo!!!

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Caroline ‘Disney Bounding’ as Princess Ariel (after she gets her legs!).

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Throwback Thursday: Meeting Princess Ariel in Disneyland, 2009

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ariel3

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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The Headless Horseman Returns to Fort Wilderness in Fall 2018

headless

He’s at Fort Wilderness first in the early evening, then heads on over to the Magic Kingdom to lead off the Boo to You Parade during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party nights.

Attention, everyone!

The Headless Horseman is returning to the Fort Wilderness Campground this fall.

headless

Spooky!!!!

Fort Wilderness will be offering an “up-close-and-personal” encounter with the Headless Horseman as part of a spooky event themed around the Disney classic “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” film.

sleepy

One of our all time favorite Disney movies! Movie starts at 8pm.

The main attraction of the event is a screening of the 1949 Disney animated Halloween classic. (One of our favorite Halloween movies!!!)

Guests will have an opportunity to interact with, and have their photos taken with, the Headless Horseman himself.

headless horseman

The 2017 LE pin.

All party attendees will receive a limited edition 2018 Headless Horseman pin.

2018 Movie Party Dates:

September 28, 29, 30

October  3-7, 10-14, 17-21, 24-31*

Times:  8pm and 10pm

Premium seating allows you to sit up close in the first 5 rows, first meets with the Headless Horseman, the 2018 limited edition pin, and a special goodie bag filled with candy and special party treats.

Also, new this year is a dessert party at 9 p.m. after the movie if you’re viewing the 8 p.m. show or prior to the movie if you’re viewing the later show. General seating costs $22 per person, while premium seating, which includes a priority photo opportunity with the Headless Horseman and a Halloween treat bag, costs $38 per person. The dessert party at 9 p.m. costs $60 per person.

*Halloween Night is sure to sell out early for this event!

Be sure to reserve your spot in advance by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.

Headless Horseman Leads Parade

The Headless Horseman leading the Boo to You nighttime Halloween parade at Magic Kingdom.

If you can’t make this event, be sure to check out the updated 2018 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party info.

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Our favorite time of the year at Disney World.

 

headless
The headless horseman shows up at the Magic Kingdom after dark every night of MNSSHP.

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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

***