Disney World Decorates the Parks with more than 40,000 items overnight in only 5 hours!

****

Christmas castle MK

The Magic Kingdom is open extended for “Extra Extra Magic Hours” this fall. Extra time to play if you like to get up early on your vacation…like 6am!

♪♫♪ It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…♪♫♪♫♪♪♫♪

Every Disney World park, resort, and cruise ship in the world gets decorated overnight for the holidays in early November.  It’s a massive worldwide task transforming from Halloween to Christmas.

At Disney World, Disney Parks manager of Disney’s Holiday Services, Lisa Borotkanics, explains how it happens.

halloween1

November 2, 2019:  The park ‘All Clear’ signal wasn’t given until almost 2:30am causing a delay in getting all the holiday decor deployed overnight.  (November 1st was the last night of MNSSHP.) The Halloween bunting was still up at the train station at 8am! It was taken down after park closing that night.

“Yes! All Halloween goes away right after park close [on November 1st, last night of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party] and some Christmas goes up,” a “tired and excited” Lisa says just a few days after managing this year’s holiday overhaul.

By “some Christmas,” she means about 50 percent of what ultimately will comprise the Disney World holiday display.

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Christmas wreaths around the Cinderella Castle.

Holiday decorating continues to go on behind the scenes from November 2nd through Thanksgiving, but you’d never know it: “We want guests to feel that it is all done in one night! The reality is, what they see that first morning is done in less than seven hours. And it’s a very large decor package”

In just the Magic Kingdom alone, there are 40 trees to put up and decorate, 147 wreaths to hang and 590 fruit-ladened garlands to adorn the train station, the Cinderella Castle, cornerstone buildings, Main Street USA, and the lamp posts of Magic Kingdom by the time guests walk in the gates the next morning.

tree

November 2, 2019: All the fabulous holiday decor is  up on Main Street USA!

Additionally, each of Disney World’s three other theme parks, Blizzard Beach water park, Disney Springs, and all of the Disney World Resorts will have erected their own Christmas trees and wreaths, strung tens of thousands of LED lights and ornaments, and other holiday themed decorations by the morning of November 2nd.

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Lots of giant candy canes and toy soldiers.

There are about 160 cast members working on Borotkanics’s Holiday Services team and they are primarily responsible for implementing all these quick turnarounds.

Her job is to ensure that preliminary set-up is both subtle and flawless. For weeks ahead of that crucial November 2nd rollout at around 1am after park close, she oversees the “pre-wiring” of the parks and resorts: “In some cases, like [Disney Hollywood] Studios and [Disney] Springs, we’re putting up the overhead cables early to put up the garlands across the street.”

“Have you ever stood at the Magic Kingdom when it opens on the second day of November and seen the guests come in for the first time when it’s decorated for the holiday season?” asks Lisa. “Hearing children giggle and laugh and say to their parents ‘Oh my gosh, it’s Christmas now!’ That’s just an incredible feeling.”

Once the holiday’s are done on January 6th, 2020, she’s in charge of returning every single one of those 40,000-plus decor items back to Disney World’s 160,000 square feet holiday warehousing backstage, where all the trees, wreaths, garlands, lighting, and other miscellaneous Disney holiday items are put through a cycle of refurbishment and, in some cases, retirement. “Every six years,” she confirms, “there’s a complete change-out” of the decorations.

“We’re always going to decorate on the exterior with fruits and sticks and berries and bows and candles,” Borotkanics says. But the little annual swap-outs and décor updates are all the more reason to keep your eyes open next time you spend the holidays at Disney World.

*****

christmas4

The Main Street Train Station all decorated for the holidays.

It’s Christmastime at Magic Kingdom!

Just a few hours after celebrating the last Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party of the year on November 1st, Main Street USA is now fully decked out for the holiday season.

It’s amazing how they can transform Main Street overnight from Halloween to Christmas.

Video link:  Christmas Decor Arrives at Magic Kingdom

It’s all so beautiful!

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November 3, 2019. The Magic Kingdom train is still parked at the Main Street Train Station because of Tron construction. All the Halloween bunting is now gone.

Christmas Magic Kingdom train station

It really is a feast for your eyes…so beautifully decorated!

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The new Mickey flower heads have much more elongated ears this year, like Oswald.

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City Hall

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The Emporium.

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Main Street USA decorated for the holidays.

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The gaslights are always lit.

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Christmas wreaths around the Cinderella Castle.

****

It’s beautiful during the day, but just magical at night:

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So pretty at night! (Tip:  The best time to take park photos at night is when you’re leaving…no crowds!)

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The Cinderella Castle.

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So beautiful!

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The Main Street Christmas Tree.

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Main Street USA at night.

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Leaving the Magic Kingdom at midnight.

Cinderella Castle Dream Lights.

Wow!

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Merry Christmas!!!

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Disney turns the castle Dream Lights on at 6pm.

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7am:  They are also turned back on in the early morning!

*****
Christmas by the Numbers

Christmas

Christmas at Disney World by the numbers.

150 semi-trailer truckloads of decorations are bought in for decorating 27 resorts, 4 theme parks, and Disney Springs.

8.5 million lights are strung throughout WDW property.

99% of the lighting used for holiday décor is now LED while 1 percent is compact fluorescent lighting.

Every building and lampost is decorated.

Every building and lamp post is decorated.

There are over 1,300 decorated trees across WDW property during the holidays.

300,000 yards of ribbon and bows are used to decorate the 1,300 Christmas trees.

Over 15 miles of garland is strung.

1,314 wreaths are hung.

Reindeer MVMCP parade

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party parade

There are 170 performers and 15 floats in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Magic Kingdom.

The Candlelight Professional

The Candlelight Processional at Epcot

More than 800 performers participate the Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

Watching the Dream Lights come on at 6:15pm.

Watching the Dream Lights turn on.

And, finally let’s not forget all these bright lights!

There are over 200,000 LED lights on Cinderella Castle – the fabulous Castle Dream Lights.

We could watch them change colors all night!

castle1

The Frozen teal color. Fabulous!

******************* 

tree1

The huge Christmas tree on Main Street USA.

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  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!

Two Disney Sisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters enjoying the holidays at Disney World,

****

Finally, every resort has their own huge decorated tree:

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom tree

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Disney Hollywood Studios tree

tree5

Boardwalk Resort tree

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Wilderness Lodge (outside)

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Wilderness Lodge tree (inside)

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Yacht Club Resort tree. (We were trying to see all the decorated Christmas trees at the Disney Resorts in one day!)

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December 1, 2019: The Epcot Christmas Tree at sunset when the lights came on.

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Epcot Christmas tree at night.

GF Tree

Grand Floridian tree

*******

Castaway Cay Christmas - Christmas TreeDuck II

Welcome to Castaway Cay during the holidays!

aulani

Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii!

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 Disneyland too!

Big Chief Pipum at Frontierland

Big Chief Pipum at Frontierland.  He wears a red cape!

Most guests don’t know that you can find the twin to the Disney World Main Street Cigar Store Indian in Disneyland’s 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.

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.

disneyland indian

The Chief looking serious.

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.

indian

Caroline is as tall as he is!

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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 middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.

Daily blog link:  https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

*** 

DAK-Entrance

Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

2018 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Info

November 2018 UPDATE:
The 9 discounted December MVMCP party dates have been added!  🙂
MVMCP
****

Main Street USA all decorated for tonight's party!

November 1, 2018:  Main Street USA is all decorated for the holidays! It’s always ready by the first MVMCP party night, Nov. 8th this year.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 – an after hours, hard ticket event – will be held on 22 nights over two months this year:

MVMCP2018-calendar

MVMCP is on 22 nights this year.

November 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30

December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21

Featuring:  Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Parade, “Holiday Wishes” fireworks, “A Frozen Holiday Wish” which features Elsa transforming Cinderella Castle into an icy wonderland, nightly Castle Dream Lights lighting ceremony, and the stage show “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration!”

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets start at $95 in advance or $105 at the gate.

Party Note:  Main Street USA will be fully decorated for the holidays with the big plaza Christmas Tree all set up by November 4, 2018.

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The 2018 MVMCP brochure

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2018 MVMCP map with all the free cookie and hot cocoa stations.

Tiered Ticket Pricing:

Advance: $95 – adults, $90 – children (3-9); Same day: $105 and $100

Nov. 12, 13, 15

Advance: $99 – adults, $94 – children (3-9); Same day: $109 and $104

Nov. 8, 9, 16, 25, 27, 29

Dec. 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16

Advance: $109 – adults, $104 – children (3-9); Same day: $119 and $114

Nov. 30

Dec. 7, 14

Advance: $115 – adults, $110 – children (3-9); Same day: $125 and $120

Dec. 18, 20

Advance: $125 – adults, $120 – children (3-9); Same day: $135 and $130

Dec. 21

Note:  There are specially priced tickets for DVC members and WDW Annual Passholders on select dates.  Tickets must be purchased in advance to receive the discount.

holidays

Come celebrate the holidays at Disney World!

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

christmas

I took this photo last year. So pretty!

christmas

MVMCP

Discounted ticket prices for cast members are $70 this year.  30% off guest pricing.  ($74.55 with tax)  Note:  The December MVMCP dates have been added!!!

*CM Tip:  Cast Members can purchase discounted tickets for 30% off to MVMCP for four nights in November (some nights in December might be added later) at the Company D Store and at MK Vacation Planning kiosks.

christmas mickey

Party Tip:  The MVMCP party starts at 7pm, but Disney let’s ticketed guests in for the party starting at 4pm.  Plan on going to the Magic Kingdom early (park by 3:30pm) and don’t forget to wear your Christmas sweater!

Even if it’s warm during the day, it can get very chilly in the park after the sun goes down!!!  Stash a jacket in a locker as you enter the park. You’ll need it by midnight!

I love how Disney decorates the lightposts on Main Street!

We love how Disney decorates the lightposts on Main Street! So pretty!

Wondering about the crowds, especially in December???  Well, they are miserable the last 2 weeks in December, BUT wonderful the first two weeks in December!

The 2.5 weeks between Thanksgiving and December 15th is a relatively low crowd period at the Magic Kingdom and Disney World in general.  Enjoy!

Special parade, snow falling on Main Street USA, Castle Dream Lights, free cookies and cocoa...all of it wonderful!!!

Special Christmas nighttime parade with snow falling on Main Street USA, the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights turned on, holiday music playing, free sugar cookies and cocoa for all guests…all of it is wonderful to see!!!  ❤

snow

It’s ‘snowing’ on Main Street USA!

mm (2)

Which do you like better: MNSSHP or MVMCP??? We love them both! 🙂

Christmas Mickey Ears

Love this castle view.  (I took this photo of my Christmas Mickey ears!)

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

MVMCP (2)

It’s ‘snowing’ and the Castle is glowing!!!

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 shiny, 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:  Adventure’s in the Animal Kingdom

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

*****

DAK costume

Caroline at work at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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 middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.

Daily blog link:  https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

***

christmas

Main Street USA last night.  Happy Holidays!!

2018 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Nights

Fall

The Fall Fun at Disney World began August 17th!

The MNSSHP hard ticket, after-hours event is expanding from 32 nights in 2017 to 34 evenings this year, spanning over three months!

  • August 17, 24, 28, 31
  • September 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30
  • October 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31*

We’ll see the return of popular favorites, such as “Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular” stage show in front of Cinderella Castle, Mickey’s “Boo-to-You!” parade down Main Street, and “Happy HalloWishes!” led by everyone’s favorite villains.

MNSSHP1

You don’t need to bring your own trick-or-treating bag as they hand them out for free…but you can if you want to!

Tickets for this Halloween spectacular start at $75 for advance purchase, or $85 at the gate, if available.

*Halloween Night (Oct. 31st) always sells out first! Tickets are $125.

MNSSHP2018-calendar

MNSSHP nights at a glance.

halloween4

Don’t forget to buy the 2018 Magic Band and some 2018 MNSSHP pins! They are only for sale during the party nights from 7pm-Midnight.

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The perfect party hat!

MNSSHP6

♪♫♪This is Halloween, this is Halloween…..♪♫♪

*******

halloween1 MNSSHP

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party started August 17th this year!

Cast members can buy discounted tickets at the Company D store for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at a 30% discount off of general ticket prices for several party nights in August and September.  $55/ticket.

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Minnie looks so pretty!

halloween1

September 25, 2018: Discounted tickets dates have been added for October!

The ticket prices are good for the earlier party dates in August and September – and now some dates in October –  which is wonderful as those are the less crowded nights.

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August 17, 2018, 8pm…Look who just showed up! New Halloween costumes this year!

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Special treats on party nights!

 

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Popcorn!

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Yum!

***

At last year’s MNSSHP party:

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Star Wars: At last year’s MNSSHP party with our significant others.

ghost host

Caroline going as your Ghost Host from the Haunted Mansion.

halloween button

Pickup a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party button (free!) at guest services!

***

halloween-mickey

Boo!

hallowishes

Happy HalloWishes fireworks!

***

halloween13

Main Street USA is so pretty during the fall!

The Magic Kingdom will be fully decorated for Fall/Halloween by Wednesday, August 15th this year.  Two weeks earlier than last year.

600-halloween

Main Street USA on MNSSHP party nights.  Cool lighting and special effects on the entire street!!!

MNSSHP party details:

Hours: 7:00 pm – Midnight

2 Boo To You Parades:  at 8:15 pm and 10:30 pm

HalloWishes Fireworks: at 10:15 pm

mickey halloween

Mickey and Minnie in the Boo To You Parade.

fall (2)

Nobody decorates for the holidays – any holiday! – like Disney! We love Fall!!! 🙂

CP Tip:  The party starts at 7pm, but Disney let’s guests wearing costumes in for the party starting at 4pm. (Normally, adult guests may not wear costumes in the parks.)  Come early and plan on staying until midnight!

Plan on being at MK all day:  Plan on going to the Magic Kingdom in the morning and storing your costume in the lockers near the entrance.  At 4pm, change into your costume and have your photo taken on Main Street before the crowds arrive at 7pm!

If you have time:  Go visit the Headless Horseman at Fort Wilderness in 2018  earlier in the evening.

Everyone arriving in costumes for the evening.

Everyone arriving in great costumes for the party.

Special party lighting on Main Street USA.

Special MNSSHP party lighting all along Main Street USA.

After dark fun!

Having ‘after dark’ fun in our costumes!  PhotoPass on Main Street.

Characters everywhere!

Characters in special costumes everywhere!

We love the Boo to You parade!

We love the Boo to You parade!

The parade smells like candy!

The parade smells like candy corn!

Caroline loves the Disney villians!

Caroline loves the Disney villains!  They are out in force during the party.

Got to meet all 7 dwarves!

Got to meet all 7 dwarfs during the MNSSHP party!

Castle in Halloween colors.

Cinderella Castle in Halloween colors with “fog” rolling in.  (This is our favorite castle color at night!)

Spooky music and lighting and fog throughout the Magic Kingdom.

Midnight – Closing Time:  Spooky music and lighting and fog throughout the Magic Kingdom on party nights.

Have a magical time!

Watch out for the headless horseman who leads the Boo To You Parade each evening!!

Headless Horseman halloween

The Headless Horseman leads the Boo To You Halloween Parade.  🙂 And you can also meet him over at Fort Wilderness earlier in the evening before parade time.

cookie

Special Treats are available during the Halloween season!

Disney provides the treating candy bags for free. There are 13 – a lucky number! – trick-or-treating candy stations too!

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Free candy! Take as much as you would like!!! 🙂

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13 Trick-or-Treat stations.

Halloween

2018 MNSSHP map.

One final party note!

There are new, expanded costume rules!  Please plan your party costume accordingly!

Come Dressed for the Occasion

Looking forward to dressing up for the occasion? Learn about costumes you can wear to this event—and some you can’t too.  Before you brew up ideas for your next disguise, please take a moment to read over our official costume guidelines at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

halloween

Caroline’s Halloween costume made from merchandise bags from Disneyland!!! ❤

More MNSSHP details:

2018 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom new additions:

•Real live pirates will be invading the Pirates of the Caribbean ride! They will interact with guests, plus guests get the chance to join in the hunt for Gunpowder Pete.
•Special lighting and effects are being added to the Mad Tea Party ride that gives it a special glow!
•A new soundtrack and more will be added to Space Mountain.
•Disney Junior Characters, including Doc McStuffins, will be hosting a dance party in the Storybook Circus area for the Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam.

Special Entertainment and Inclusions
•Trick-or-Treating at designated spots throughout the Magic Kingdom
•Guest-only access to Magic Kingdom attractions
•Show: Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular
•Fireworks Show: Happy HalloWishes
•Parade: Boo-To-You Halloween Parade
•Photo opportunities with Disney characters in their Halloween costumes
•Party-exclusive snacks, some at additional cost

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party officially begins at 7:00 pm and ends at midnight; however, party guests can enter the Magic Kingdom at 4:00 pm.

2018 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party prices vary based on selected date (not including tax).

August 17, 24, 31 and September 7, 14, 21, 25:
Advance Sale: Adult $79/Child $74
Same Day: Adult $89/Child $84

August 28 and September 3, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23:
Advance Sale: Adult $75/Child $70
Same Day: Adult $85/Child $80

September 28, 30 and October 2,4:
Advance Sale: Adult $89/Child $84
Same Day: Adult $99/Child $94

October 5, 12, 19, 26, 28, 30:
Advance Sale: Adult $119/Child $114
Same Day: Adult $119/Child $114

October 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25:
Advance Sale: Adult $99/Child $94
Same Day: Adult $109/Child $104

October 31:
Adults $125/Child $120

Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members are eligible for discounts on select dates.  Guests are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes; however, rules do apply.

halloween purple

Boo to you! 🙂

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

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
*****

DAK costume  ad cos

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 middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.

Daily blog link:  https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Halloween balloons MK

Happy Halloween!

Magic Kingdom’s Magician Mickey to Stop Talking

magician

Magician Mickey talks and performs simple magic acts while interacting with guests.

UPDATE:  Mickey’s last day talking will be May 12, 2018!

***

It’s being reported that Magician Mickey – the only “head” character that talks – will stop talking to guests at the Magic Kingdom in mid-May 2018.

Head (i.e., total body) characters never speak, so as not to ruin the magic. But, for the past 4 years, Magician Mickey in his theater on Main Street USA has been talking and performing simple magic tricks for guests.

The line to meet him can be very long, over 2 hours in the summer.

Throwback Thursday:  Caroline’s Birthday Magical Moment

For Caroline’s 22nd birthday, we went to the Magic Kingdom and immediately walked in to see Magician Mickey Mouse as there was no wait line.

Mickey wished Caroline a very Happy Birthday and then performed a magic card trick for us.  So cute!

DSCF2457

Caroline getting a big birthday hug from Magician Mickey.  

November:  Magician Mickey at MK

Celebrating Caroline’s 22nd birthday with Magician Mickey!  We like his costume and golden cape!

Meeting Mickey

Magician Mickey prepping in front of his mirror before greeting us.

Here’s a video of our family’s meet & greet with Magician Mickey a few months later.

So fun!

Magician Mickey Meet & Greet: This is the one location at Disney World where you can meet talking Mickey! For now, Magician Mickey can sing, ask questions, perform card tricks, and interact with guests.

Location: Town Square Theater is one of the first buildings on the right as you enter Magic Kingdom. It’s a convenient location if you want to stop in the first thing in the morning or on your way out of the park.

Rating: Worth it!

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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

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Taking the Keys to the Kingdom Tour

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Seeing Main Street USA in a new light.

We always try and do something new and different on every trip to WDW.  (Realizing that this isn’t easy now that we’ve both worked as cast members at Disney World for a year!)

We booked a Keys to the Kingdom tour this summer while Caroline was working as a cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  The tour fills up fast and we were lucky to get three slots for our trip planned for November.

Our friend Ricky, a current CP, was able to join us at the last minute.  The tour is limited to 20 people and, fortunately, there had been a cancellation that morning.  The tour lasts five hours and is normally $79, but CPs get a ½ price discount.

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Arriving with our friend, Ricky, almost early enough to see the Park’s opening show!

We planned on getting to the Magic Kingdom in time to see the Park Opening Welcome Show with all the Disney characters arriving at the train station waving and singing.  But, the traffic from our hotel didn’t cooperate and we had to stop and pick up Ricky at his apartment.  We got there five minutes after the show ended!

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Our Keys to the Kingdom golden pins!

Our tour time was 9:30am, with a check-in time of 9am.  We went over to the Chamber of Commerce next to City Hall, near Mickey’s Theater where you can meet Mickey, and checked in.  Our name tags were all ready for us.  The tour guide handed us a menu from the Columbia House to select our lunch entrée and beverage, and also offered us a bottle of chilled water while we were waiting.

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A bottle of free chilled water?  Yes, please!!

At 9:30 sharp, everyone was checked in and we got our ‘WhisperEars’, the ear pieces to hear what our guide was saying as she talked into a microphone during the tour.  (Just like after Traditions during our first DCP program when we did our group’s walking tour of MK!)

The headset is very necessary. Our tour guide talked constantly throughout the 5 hour tour even on attractions (Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion), while on the busy sidewalks of the Magic Kingdom, during the morning parade, and on the behind the scenes (backstage) areas where there is a lot of activity going on. Without the headsets, there would be no way of hearing much of what she said.

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Walt has 2 windows on Main Street.  The first is over the train station:  “Keeping Dreams on Track”.

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The second one is over the Plaza Restaurant:  “Graduate School of Design & Master Planning”.

We started off by walking down Main Street USA while our tour guide noted the names on the 2nd floor windows and who the people were, with many of them being Disney Legends.  Then, a street parade came by at 9:45am that was very loud and made it very hard to hear what she was saying.

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Roy O. Disney, Chairman

Interestingly, she pointed out all the lightning rods on every building (Orlando is the lightning capital of the US), and how the US flags flying on top of the buildings aren’t actually the US flag, but ‘pennants’ or ‘banners’.

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Those are not US flags on top of the buildings….

By making them with one less star or one less stripe, the pennants don’t have to be taken down at sunset or illuminated at night.

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Guess what this roof material is….

From Main Street USA, we went over to Adventureland.  A lot of good behind the scenes info was pointed out, like what the Tiki House roof “grass” is made out of (aluminum strips).

We went on the Jungle Cruise, cutting the line and getting an “insider” tour, led by our guide talking the whole time and not the boat captain telling the usual jokes. That was OK because she gave a lot of info on the ride and we were able to go back later on in the day and ride it with the normal captain’s chatter.

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We got a behind-the-scenes look at several hippos out of the water…they only have 1/2 bodies!!

Next up was the Tiki Room.  She didn’t talk at all during the performance, which was nice.

From there, we walked over to Pirates of the Caribbean and joined the Fast Pass line.  That attraction was closed for six months this year to replace all the boats and refurbish the attraction.  All the characters got new costumes and wigs.

Side comment:  There are obviously still problems with the ride’s boats!  You never used to get wet on POC.  Never.  Maybe a tiny splash or two.  But, no longer!  Sit in the first two rows or anywhere along the sides and you will get unpleasantly wet!  Stepping into our boat, I noticed that the water was 2” deep in my row, row 5.  And, me wearing mesh sneakers!  And the seat was wet too.  Ugh.

Our tour guide talked the whole ride pointing out new things, Hidden Mickeys, and telling backstory tales.

(Note, you could remove your WhisperEars at any time if you wanted to focus on the attractions.)

Afterwards, we walked over to Liberty Square and she had a lot of tidbits to share about that part of the park.

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Lunchtime with my friend, Ricky.

By then, we had been on the walking tour almost 3 hours and it was finally time for lunch. We were escorted up to a private area on the second floor of the Columbia Harbour House restaurant where the tables were set with our lunch.

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FINALLY LUNCHTIME!!!

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Tuna fish sandwich with house chips.

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My Keys to the Kingdom golden pin.

There was a place card at each dish to let everyone know where to sit for the lunch they had ordered earlier. Inside the place card was our Keys to the Kingdom golden pin!

After lunch, we went on the Haunted Mansion ride, sneaking in the cast member’s side door to avoid the line out front.  She talked on this ride too with more backstage info.

The tunnels are color coded showing you what Land you are in.

The tunnels are color coded showing you what Land you are in. (Not my photo, no photos allowed on the walking tour!)

From there, we walked back towards Main Street and entered the Utilidors, the under-the-park utility corridors.

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Cinderella Castle under construction, circa 1970.

Most people know that the Magic Kingdom park – the part you see and walk on – is actually the second story of the park.  They put in the utility corridors during the first phase of construction, then covered it with dirt and built the Magic Kingdom on top of that.  So all the trees, etc. had to be brought in and put in huge planters of soil.

florida project

Walt visiting the Florida Project, 1966.  This is the last photo of him taken at what would become the Magic Kingdom.  He passed away 5 months later.

There are some great pictures on the wall which she talked about, but by then we had been on tour 4.5 hours and we thought she was getting a little snotty with the guests. She talked some more about the construction and opening of the park, and noted some photos of the castle with different paint jobs.

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The Pink Castle, 1996

Nobody seemed to like the look of the Cinderella Castle in 1996/1997 when it was very pink!  (We saw it in November 1996!)

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1970:  Roy Disney on Main Street, under construction

What interested us the most – and that we hadn’t noticed before while we were working – were the large Disney pin display boards by year starting in 2002.  OMG, we own so many of these great pins!!

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WDW Opening Day;  October 1, 1971

It was a little emotional hearing about Roy making the 1971 opening day speech with Mickey at his side instead of Walt, who had died of lung cancer in 1966 and never lived to see his enormous dream be built.

Back outside, we walked down Main Street, but from the backstage side.  Guests who walk down Main Street USA with the Cinderella Castle in view think that it must be several city blocks long.  Untrue!  It’s the forced perspective at work again!  From the backside, Main Street USA is very short, only about 300 feet long!

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“Three” story buildings on Main Street USA

And, from the front, the buildings look like they are three stories tall, but in reality because of forced perspective, they are really only two stories.  From the backstage area, Main Street looked so small and short!

Some important information to know before you take this tour:

  • Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour is a mostly outdoor walking tour, so check the weather and dress appropriately. On our day, it was sunny and in the low 80s.  I’m pretty sure we would not have enjoyed doing this tour in the rain!
  • No cameras, video equipment or cellphones may be used throughout the duration of the tour. Photography is strictly prohibited behind the scenes as well as out and about in the Magic Kingdom.
  • Guests must be 16 years of age or older and have a valid photo ID.
  • Please check in at the Chamber of Commerce building adjacent to City Hall 15 minutes prior to the start of your tour. You will forfeit the entire price of your tour if you no-show or cancel within 2 days of your reservation.
  • Same-day bookings are on a walk-up basis only, based on availability. (This is how Ricky was able to come on the tour with us.)

Some highlights of the tour will include:

  • Riding at least 2 classic Magic Kingdom attractions while hearing about their hidden secrets. We rode Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion.
  • Access the famed underground “Utilidor” tunnels that allow cast members and supplies to travel beneath the park unseen. (Since Elly worked at MK, this wasn’t special for her, but our mom wanted to really see it.)
  • Learn little-known trivia about each of the “lands” of the park. (Only went to Adventureland.)
  • Visit the special backstage area where parade floats are stored and serviced. (We did not do this.)
  • Enjoy your choice of lunch entrée at Columbia Harbour House, included with your tour.
  • Receive a surprise gift. (Keys to the Kingdom pin.)

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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

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

*** 

Taping of the 2015 Disney’s Christmas Day Parade at Disney World

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Main Street USA is all decorated for the holidays.  (November 6, 2015)

The taping of Disney’s Christmas Day Parade was held much earlier than normal this year:  November 10 – 13, 2015 at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.

2015 Unforgettable Christmas Celebration

Unforgettable Christmas Celebration 2015

This year’s parade is titled ‘Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration’, which is a change from last year’s popular “Frozen”- themed show.

The 32nd annual Christmas celebration airs nationwide on Dec. 25 at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. CST, MST and PST on ABC. The show will also air in Canada on CBC Network and across the globe on the American Forces Network.

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Nov 10, 2015:  Taping started today!

Guests in the park during the filming days were able to take part with a regular admission ticket; special event tickets were not necessary.

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Registration for free tickets for CMs began Oct 21st!

CM Tip:  Cast members could register for up to six free special viewing area tickets.  These were timed tickets , i.e., 7am, 10am, 12pm, so you didn’t have to stay all day. CMs that entered the lottery via the Disney work Hub link were notified by email around Nov. 1st if they’d won tickets.

Cast members were notified yesterday if they got free tickets for special parade viewing area.

11/02/2015:  Cast members were notified today if they got free tickets for special parade viewing area with date & time.

The all star lineup includes the following:
• Jason Derulo shakes up this year’s parade with his rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
• Ariana Grande pays tribute to the Greek demi-god Hercules with the Disney favorite “Zero to Hero”, along with her latest single “Focus”
• Seal gives his interpretation of “This Christmas” and new hit, “Every Time I’m With You”
• Country music legend Reba McEntire sings her original song, “Going Out Like That” and the popular Christmas tune, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
• Andy Grammer delights the crowd with medley of “Honey I’m Good” and his new single “Good to be Alive,” along with the iconic Christmas song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
• Rising pop star Charlie Puth adds Christmas cheer with “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and his own single, “One Call Away”
• “Should’ve Been Us” singer Tori Kelly spreads Disney magic with the beloved classic “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas” and the holiday favorite, “Winter Wonderland”
• Soulful singer Charles Perry jazzes up the festivities with a “World of My Own/Ev’rybody Wants to be a Cat” medley and his own spin on the famous Christmas duet, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
• The cast of the Disney Channel Original Movie “Descendants,” Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart and Sofia Carson, pay tribute to Disney’s most infamous villains with “Rotten to the Core”

This year’s Disney Christmas Parade will feature Disney Princess floats, and characters from movie favorites including “Toy Story,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Inside Out,” and “Frozen,” along with the all-new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and upcoming “Finding Dory” movie.

Parade Notes, November 2015:

The production company will be shooting various parade elements and guest star performances on Cinderella’s Castle Stage and Main Street USA. Park guests with admission are welcome to view the taping segments from select areas and should arrive as early as possible.

This is an actual television production, so expect songs to be sung multiple times and repeated filming of individual floats and special guests; also the park can be quite crowded on Main Street causing difficulty getting to attractions.

Ready for the parade!

We’re ready for the parade taping!

Many guests dress in Christmas attire for the occasion. To avoid the standing crowds, if you’re not interested in watching the filming, take the train at the entrance of the park to Frontierland and navigate the park from there.

Note that these are “light” crowd days at MK – many of the attractions in the park will have little to no wait times!!

Expect schedule changes and cancellations to park entertainment, especially those on Main Street USA, during the filming, including the Festival of Fantasy parade (will be moved to 5pm).

Note:  The first night of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is on November 8, 2015, so the Magic Kingdom, especially Main Street USA, will be fully decorated for the holidays.  Cast members can get discounted tickets for MVMCP at the Company D stores for $51.80.

Interested in seeing the 2015 Christmas Day Parade taping at Disneyland??? It’s been cancelled! 😦

November 10, 2015 Update: WDW Parade Celebrities!

Parade Celebrities:  The Descendants cast, Reba, Seal, Ariana Grande, Tori Kelly, Charlie Puth, Ashley Benson, Janel Parrish (from Pretty Little Liars), with Robin Roberts returning as the host.

Parade's film crew arriving at 7am.

Parade’s film crew arriving at 7am.

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Robin Roberts returns as the Christmas Day Parade’s host, along with Jesse Palmer.

The entire cast from The Descendants (on the Disney Channel) were at MK in full hair/make-up/costume for parade taping this morning!  They sang two songs.

Dove Cameron (Mal)

Dove Cameron (Mal)

November 10, 2015:  7am – 1:30pm:  Cast of Disney’s The Descendant’s rehearses and tapes scenes for the parade.

They shot the Descendants today in front of the Castle from about 9am-1:30pm. In the early morning, it was just the backup dancers and lighting crew practicing. Then, The Descendants cast came out and they kept reforming the group to get different angles. (Guests got to watch the same song being sung over and over.) It’s a live production so there is no set schedule, but must wrap production by 3pm because of the rescheduled Festival of Fantasy parade at 5pm.

She looks great!

Reba looks great!

reba (2)November 11, 2015:  7am – 3pm:  Reba performed 2 songs in front of the Castle this morning, followed by Seal in the afternoon.

Seal performing this afternoon.

Seal performing this afternoon.

November 12, 2015: 7am – 3pm: Taping of more concerts and holiday songs on the Cinderella Castle stage:  Ariana Grande, Jason Derulo, Andy Grammar, and Jhene Aikojanae.

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Ariana Grande returned for a repeat, back-to-back performance (2014 & 2015). However, she was 3 HOURS late for her taping segment!! The crowd was not happy standing around the castle Hub on the 89 degree, cloudless day. Huge difference in the weather from when she performed last year when it was cold and raining.

November 13, 2015: 7am – 3pm:  Parade rehearsal and taping on Main Street. (Usually several rehearsals of dance numbers in the am, actual taping with fireworks in late morning/early afternoon when the sunlight is better.)

Tori Kelly performs on the Castle stage.

Tori Kelly performs on the Castle stage.

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“Snow” on Main Street USA after the parade taping. (Photo credit:  Inside the Magic)

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

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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

***

New Castle Turrets at Cinderella Castle!

Ariel view of new turret placement.

Ariel view of new turret placement.

The Cinderella Castle is about to get more magnificent!

After over a year of barricades and walls, the hub expansion and construction project around the castle is almost complete.  Finally!

New turrets being driven to WDW on I-4.

New turrets being driven to WDW on I-4.

Rumor has it that the new turrets are going to house state-of-the-art HD show production equipment, controlling the sound and special effects for the shows in front of the castle.

Very pretty!

Very pretty!

New video of turrets in place around the Castle:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=-qEDyBHJdLo

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Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

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 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.

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

The Best Hot Dogs at Disney World!

Ready for some lunch at Casey's Corner

Ready for some lunch at Casey’s Corner.   ❤

Caroline LOVES the corn dogs at Casey’s Corner on Main Street USA and is really looking forward to having lunch there again.

In fact, we eat at Casey’s Corner every time we go to the Magic Kingdom!!

This place was always so busy no matter when we stopped by.

This place is always so busy no matter when we stop by.

Whether they’re baseball fans or not, Casey’s Corner is a draw for most Magic Kingdom guests. Memorializing the famous poem, Casey at the Bat, Casey’s Corner sells our favorite ballpark foods: mini corn dogs, hot dogs, fries, and pretzels. All eaten while drinking icy Cokes, of course.

And, while they do serve the best hot dogs in town, their corn dogs are to die for!

Finally, corn dogs!

Finally, corn dogs!

Best hot dog in town, all it needs is a little ketchup.

Out lunch:  Best hot dog in town, all it needs is a little ketchup.

We like to sit outside and people watch while eating lunch.

Too hot outside!  Eating inside today!

Too hot outside! Eating inside today!

And, last time, we got to see Famous Jim, the ragtime piano player.  He’s celebrating 30 years of playing the piano at Casey’s Corner  (been there since Nov. 27, 1984!).

Famous Jim playing ragtime tunes on the piano.

Famous Jim’s been playing ragtime tunes on the piano for 30 years!!!

Here’s a video of his 30th anniversary celebration:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNBTcuWYaJM

Hit it out of the park with American baseball favorites: hot dogs, nachos, corn dog nuggets, French fries, cotton candy and Cracker Jack. You may even catch Jim tickling the ivories to favorite ragtime tunes outside.

Lunch Menu (11/2014)

Chili-Cheese Dog, topped with Chili and Melted Cheddar. Served with Apple Slices or French Fries $10.29

Barbecue Slaw Dog, topped with Pulled Pork, Coleslaw, and Barbecue Sauce. Served with Apple Slices or French Fries $9.99

Polish Sausage, topped with Caramelized Onions and Stone-ground Mustard. Served with Apple Slices or French Fries $9.49

Hot Dog Meal, served with Apple Slices or French Fries $8.29

Sides:

Ball Park Nachos $8.19

Corn Dog Nuggets $5.49

French Fries $2.99

Cotton Candy $4.19

Brownie $2.99

Cracker Jack $2.59

Beverages:

Assorted Fountain Beverages  $2.99 – $3.29

Dasani® Bottled Water  $2.50

Odwalla All-Natural Lemonade $2.99

Minute Maid Apple Juice $2.59

Milk, Nestlé Nesquik Chocolate Milk $2.59

Coffee, regular or decaf $2.29

Nestlé Hot Cocoa $2.29

OK!

OK!

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Two GirlsTwo Girls and a Mouse Tale by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
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 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.

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

The Cigar Store Indian on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom

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 Disneyland too!

Big Chief Pipum at Frontierland

Big Chief Pipum at Frontierland.  He wears a red cape!

Most guests don’t know that you can find the twin to the Disney World Main Street Cigar Store Indian in Disneyland’s 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.

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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The Chief looking serious.

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.

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Caroline is as tall as he is!

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.

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

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

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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 middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.

Daily blog link:  https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

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DAK-Entrance

Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!