Best Disney Souvenirs

Best Disney Souvenirs

In our Dole Whip tee shirts from the Polynesian Resort.


We think that the 20 best WDW souvenirs are:

1. Monogrammed Disney Ears (The Chapeau MK)
2. MagicBand Bracelets (everywhere)
3. Pressed Pennies (everywhere)
4. Celebration Buttons (everywhere)
5. Disney Trading Pins (everywhere)
6. Vinylmations (everywhere)
7. Photos with Disney characters (everywhere)
8. Personalized Disney Ornaments (Days of Christmas DTD, Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe MK)
9. Mr. Potato Head Parts (Once Upon A Toy)
10. Star Wars Merchandise (Tatooine Traders Hollywood Studios)
11. Monorail Set with characters (World of Disney DTD, Mouse Gear Epcot, Emporium MK)
12. Cinderella’s Castle with characters (Emporium MK)
13. Resort Merchandise (all on-site properties)
14. Personalizing your Merchandise (Edith’s Head to Toe Hollywood Studios)
15. Passports with Country Stamps (Epcot)
16. Personalized T-shirts (Design a Tee DTD)
17. Engraved Glass Items (Glaskunst in Germany)
18. Balloons (Main Street MK)
19. Coffee Mugs (gift shops)
20. Your Park ticket! 🙂

General advice on WDW souvenir shopping:

Buy it when you see it, you may not see it again. There are lots of items unique to a location and there’s a good chance that you won’t come across it again later.

If you’re staying on-site, you can send gifts back to your hotel for free.  Be sure to take advantage of that free service if you buy too much to carry.

Some more ideas:

Snow White tee shirts from the Grand Floridian.

Our Snow White tee shirts from the Grand Floridian.


Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.

Florida Minimum Wage Increases

Florida Minimum Wage Increases

The minimum wage in Florida, which is what Disney College Program interns earn, went up to $7.93/hour on January 1, 2014. Overtime pay is now $11.90/hour.

Of course, as a Professional Intern, I make 25% more than that working as a DTD Coordinator. Yeah!!! 🙂

Work at Disney

Sweet Memories: CP Fall 2013

Sweet Memories: CP Fall 2013

Caroline and I were talking about what were our Top 5 favorite memories of the Fall 2013 Disney College Program. We blogged about these good times; some of them seem like from so long ago. Between working a lot of hours and all the fun activities we’ve done, our time in Florida has flown by!

Caroline’s Top 5:

1. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (we went 3 times!!!)

2. Going to the Winter Ball with my friends

3. First time staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, having mickey waffles for breakfast

4. Character breakfast at Akershus, Norway Pavilion at Epcot, meeting all the Princesses

5. Meeting Anna and Elsa before “Frozen” came out, then only a 15 minute wait time to see them. Now, it’s always a 3 hours+ wait time!

Elly’s Top 5:

1. Completing my “Park Starz” vinylmation set, especially the Orange Bird!

2. Getting my make-up done at the Grand Floridian, having a spa day

3. Eating at the Coral Reef restaurant at Epcot

4. My mom coming out in November for a surprise visit!

5. At work: Acing my French test & getting a promotion to Coordinator

What a year!

What a year!

Disney College Program Extension

Disney College Program Extension

Both Caroline and I were offered extensions in our Disney Program and we accepted!!!

Subject: Disney College Program: Congratulations!
From: “”
Disney College Program: Congratulations!

Dear Elly,


We are pleased to let you know that you have been selected to extend your Disney College Program in a/an Merchandise Role at your/a Current Location for the Spring Extension 2014 season!

Your transfer date will be January 5, 2014 and your departure date will be May 9, 2014.

Please review your major responsibilities below:

Responsibilities may include demonstrating and selling merchandise in indoor and outdoor areas; cash handling – both manual and using computerized registers; stocking and cleaning shelves and carts; receiving/putting away stock and deliveries; stroller/wheelchair rental – including repetitive lifting, stacking, and pushing strollers and wheelchairs; preparation of food/candy; selling of alcohol and tobacco; providing information to Guests; approaching Guests and engaging them in conversation; preparing packages for shipping/delivery; working independently or as part of a large team; standing for extended periods; and working outdoors.

To accept your invitation or decline your offer, please click the button below: Respond to Extension Offer.


Disney College Program

We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.

Thanksgiving Weekend: Working at Downtown Disney

Thanksgiving Weekend: Working at Downtown Disney

Having Thanksgiving dinner with my CP friends.

Thanksgiving is a great time of year because it’s getting to be close to Christmas! Normally, I love having a break from college and being home and doing fun things like decorating, eating good food, and going to movies.

This year was a bit different because on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Saturday, I worked early morning stocking shifts, which mean I had to be at Downtown Disney by 5:30am.

The CPs in the program with me all work nights, and normally so do I, because the full-time or part-time people work the normal day hours. So, it’s been really hard lying in bed waiting to fall asleep at my normal time of 2am, and then getting up at 4:40am for work (3 days in a row)! The shifts actually aren’t that bad; it’s basically processing the delivery of new merchandise, scanning it into the system, putting ink tags on everything, and then putting the merchandise onto the shelf or back in the stock room.

Thanksgiving note from the managers.

Thanksgiving note from the managers.

I like working holidays because Disney does a great job recognizing the cast members that are working, and this year we had a catered Thanksgiving feast luncheon by Boston Market, how perfect!

During my break, the two other CPs who were working with me (Allie and Damyra) in the other stores in my zone joined me and we had a little lunch in the back lot behind Once Upon a Toy store. It was pretty good, but the feast was missing the stuffing and mac and cheese, both of which are so good from Boston Market! The managers served it to us too, which was pretty cool.

Serving stations.

Serving stations.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Pumpkin pies for everyone!

Pumpkin pies for everyone!

The best thing about the food was the homemade cupcakes someone made. They were pumpkin cupcakes with spiced frosting, and inside of them was a little mini pumpkin pie (with pie crust and pumpkin pie filling), baked inside the cupcake. It was really cool and yummy! Cake & pie together!

While I had to work, Caroline had Thanksgiving off! She didn’t tell anyone for 2 weeks because she knew she’s be barraged by requests from CPs to switch shifts with her! (She went to the DCP Housing’s Thanksgiving Feast earlier.)

Since she had a nice day off and cleaned the apartment since we have our third inspection coming up. 😦

She also got to sleep in, which I was so jealous of because I’d been working 5+ hours by the time she got up.

On Thanksgiving Day, I came home from work at 2:30pm and immediately took a nap! When I woke up at 5pm, we went to Downtown Disney.

Thanksgiving night at the Earl of Sandwich

Thanksgiving night at the Earl of Sandwich

We had a fancy, gourmet, home-cooked dinner at ‘Earl of Sandwich’, lol! That was our Thanksgiving dinner, but Caroline actually got the “Holiday Ham”, which she said was very good. I had a chicken wrap, since I’d already had Thanksgiving food for lunch.

After dinner, we walked all the way to the other end of Downtown Disney, in the freezing cold, and we tried out the “Dine-In” AMC Movie Theater, which was FANCY! The chairs are huge leather sofa type chairs and you have a table in front of you, and a waitress.

Caroline got a holiday drink called the “Snowball”, which came in a round glass and was white. It tasted like peppermint. We both got desserts and it was very fancy! The Disney movie “Frozen” just opened and was AMAZING! Best movie EVER! I loved every one of the songs, and it really blew me away. We’re planning on seeing it at least 2 more times and buying the sound track immediately! So awesome!

Our “Frozen” blog link: Seeing Disney’s “Frozen” Movie

At AMC, having drinks and watching 'Frozen'.

At AMC, having drinks and watching ‘Frozen’.


Downtown Disney at 5:30AM

If you’re wondering what Downtown Disney looks like at 5:30 in the morning, it’s COLD (41 degrees) and DARK (sunrise isn’t until 6:50am). All the Christmas lights are turned on and it’s very quiet.

I had three stocking shifts in a row this Thanksgiving weekend, all 6am – 2:30pm. 😦

Downtown DIsney Christmas display.  So pretty!

Downtown Disney Christmas display. So pretty!

My friend, Ting, works at Pin Traders with me.

My friend, Ting, works at Pin Traders with me.

Off to work at Team Mickey.

Thanksgiving weekend.  Off to work at Team Mickey.



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 in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale


Two Girls and a Mouse Tale


Days of Christmas Store

Days of Christmas

This is a Disney Christmas store that’s open 365 days a year!

I picked up an Extra Hours shift this week at the Days of Christmas store at Downtown Disney. I love the costume!  🙂

Days of Christmas personalizes everything from ornaments to throws, blankets, sweatshirts and Mickey hat ears.

Full of stockings, tons and tons of ornaments, home decor including Disney Village pieces, advent calendars, and there’s a section off to the side with Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise. Plus, you can get ornaments personalized and wrapped here by me!

I did a lot of present wrapping during my shift and got a lot of compliments on my wrapping skills!  It was fun!!

Days of Christmas store.  Smells like candy canes inside!

Days of Christmas store. Smells like candy canes  and pine trees inside!

Christmas everywhere you look!

Christmas everywhere you look!

Disney ornaments!!!

Disney ornaments!!!

Looking like Santa's helper.

Looking like Santa’s helper.  🙂


Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.