Celebrating the Holidays at Disney’s Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay Christmas - Christmas TreeDuck II

Welcome to Castaway Cay!

Disney makes a big deal out of all the holidays, but really goes all out for the Christmas season!

Disney’s Castaway Cay is the private island that Disney owns and that all their cruise ships sailing the Caribbean stop in at.

We stopped there on our Disney cruise aboard the Disney Dream.

christmas Mickey

In December, Captain Mickey dons a festive holiday sweater to greet sailing guests at Port Canaveral.

tree

Christmastime aboard the Disney Dream.  So pretty!

Magical Winter Holidays with Disney Cruise Line

Mickey and all his friends sail with you!

gingerbread house Dream

The gingerbread castle aboard ship! WOW!!!

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So pretty and festive with holiday music playing in the background.

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The giant Christmas tree on the island.

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Close-up of the giant “ocean creatures” decorations.

Mickey1

Mickey greeting guests in his beach attire.

minnie

Minnie in her beach outfit.

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Santa’s sleigh.

goofy (2)

Santa Goofy. When he’s not at sea, you can find him greeting guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the holiday season.

castaway

Chip has the chocolate chip nose.

gingerbread

December 19, 2018:  It’s amazing that they assemble this gingerbread castle onboard ship!

castaway6

Olaf is the island’s mascot.

cruise

Disney cruises are the best!

mermaid Ariel cruise

Merry Christmas!

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Castaway Cay

Us going ashore for the day at Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay is Disney’s private tropical island in the Bahamas. From our breakfast table over a cup of coffee, we watched as our big cruise ship was slowly maneuvered alongside the Castaway pier.

Castaway Cay from the air.

Castaway Cay from the air.

Snorkeling Bay.  We saw lots of fish, including some sea bass.  They have huge nets stretched across the mouth of the bay to keep out large predator fish, like sharks and barracudas.

Snorkeling Bay. We saw lots of fish, including some sea bass. They have huge nets stretched across the mouth of the bay to keep out large predator fish, like sharks and barracudas.  Nothing larger than 6″ across can enter the bay.

We did not snorkel out as far as the underwater Mickey, but a lot of kids did.

We did not snorkel out as far as the underwater Mickey, but a lot of kids did.

Our shore excursion for the day included unlimited snorkeling, floaties, and bicycling around the island. A huge bar-b-que lunch was provided under covered, open air picnic table seating just up from the beach.

Nets across the bay opening to keep out sharks.

Nets across the bay opening to keep out sharks.

Bicycling around the entire island. The island vegetation was so thick it reminded us of Jurassic Park!

Bicycling around the entire island. The island vegetation was so thick it reminded us of Jurassic Park!

We bicycled around the island after lunch from Snorkeling Bay to the adult beach at Serenity Bay, but they also run trams back and forth every 6 minutes.

Serenity Bay, the over 18 beach for adults only.  Deserted!  We counted only ten people on the adult beach.

Serenity Bay, the “Over 18” beach for adults only.  Deserted!  We counted only ten people on the lovely white sand beach.

We loved the beach here.  It was shallow with a sandy bottom a long ways out. You could drag your beach chair into the water, and sit and enjoy the waves splashing over your toes.

We loved the beach here. It was shallow with a sandy bottom a long ways out. You could drag your beach chair into the water, and sit and enjoy the waves splashing over your toes.

Collecting sea shells by the sea shore.

Collecting sea shells by the sea shore.

Even after a whole day out on the beaches enjoying the surf and sun, we weren’t ready to go back to the ship at 4pm.

Our 40% cast member discount also worked on Castaway Cay, so we stopped in the shops and picked up some t-shirts and special Castaway trading pins.

A perfect Caribbean day at Castaway Cay!

A perfect Caribbean day at Castaway Cay!

They warn you in the morning before you leave the Dream that if you hear the ship’s horns playing and you’re not back onboard, you’re late! Literally, the horns started playing as we walked up the gang plank!  We stayed until the very last minute because who knows when we’ll get a chance to return.

We won a foot and leg massage at the spa by playing bingo the day before, and we still had that to do before dinnertime!

So much to do on this cruise and so little time!

olaf

Olaf from ‘Frozen’ was doing a hula dance by the gangplank.

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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

Caroline working 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/

DAK-Entrance

Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

***

Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney Sisters

Frozen Summer Fun at DHS!

At DHS with my friend, Katie.

At DHS with my friend, Katie.

I’ve been to Hollywood Studios three times in the past two weeks to see Frozen Summer Fun 2015!

First stop:  Starbucks!!!

First stop: Starbucks, of course!!!

Where Hollywood Studios huge Mickey’s Hat once stood, is now a huge DHS Event Stage featuring Olaf’s Summer Cool Down dance party.

Olaf’s Summer Cool Down Coolest Dance Party!

Olaf’s Summer Cool Down Coolest Dance Party!  Right in front of the Chinese Theater on the DHS Event Stage.

Olaf and the Frozen gang perform onstage several times a day at the Coolest Dance Party ever.

And, it “snows” on Hollywood Blvd. during the performance too!!!  Snowing in Florida in the summer!!!

a

The Hyperion Theater and FastPass waiting area for show.

The ‘For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration’ show has moved to the bigger Hyperion Theater.  It’s even better than last year’s show, and last year’s was pretty good!  More snow, more special effects, more singing!!  🙂

♪♫♪ Let it go, let it go…♫♪♫

At the Frozen sing-along

At the Frozen sing-along…so nice to sit in the air conditioning and relax for 1/2 hour out of the sun!

But, the BEST part is the Frozen Fireworks show at night!!

My roommate got us VIP seating in front of the Event Stage last night!!!  Whoo-hoo!!!

Perfect seats!

Perfect seats!  Thank you, Hannah!!

Queen Elsa making it snow again.

Queen Elsa making it snow again.   ♪♫♪ Let it go, let it go…♫♪♫

OMG, the fireworks were so good, all set to Frozen music.  A LOT of blue fireworks and sparklers!

OMG, the fireworks were so good, all set to Frozen music. A LOT of blue fireworks and sparklers!

Snowing on Hollywood Blvd. last night... in Florida, in July!!!

Snowing on Hollywood Blvd. last night… in Florida, in July!!!

Watch the Frozen Royal Welcome parade:  http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/theme-park-rangers-blog/os-disney-frozen-summer-fun-2015-facts-post.html

More from Disney about everything going on at DHS this summer: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2015/06/video-frozen-summer-fun-returns-to-disneys-hollywood-studios/

frozen5

Read our earlier blog about EVERYTHING to do at Frozen Summer Fun. Runs through September 7, 2015: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/frozen-summer-fun-starts-tomorrow-at-disneys-hollywood-studios/

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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.

***

Frozen Fever

We got to see the new ‘Frozen Fever’ short before the premier of the new Cinderella movie last night.

We really liked it and it was really cute…but too short! Only 1 song…

Video: Frozen Fever Trailer

New dresses for Disney princesses to want!!

New dresses for Disney princesses to want!!

One of the cutest things was that every time Elsa sneezed, little snowballs appeared.  Very cute!!

Olaf with the little snowballs.

Olaf with the little snowballs.

Disney announced yesterday that they are starting pre-production for Frozen 2.

Can’t wait to see that in 2017!

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Even in the middle of winter, the world is yearning for a new Frozen. And it’s here!

The filmmakers who brought us the animated hit musical ‘Frozen’ in November 2013 have created a seven-minute short centered around Princess Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and the snowman Olaf (Josh Gad).

There are new warm-weather frocks and dresses for the mini-movie, which will be seen in theaters before ‘Cinderella’, out March 13, 2015.

It’s Anna’s birthday, and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever in ‘Frozen Fever.

FRO2 (2)

Anna’s birthday

Onscreen, Elsa magically makes her own full-length emerald gown and a playful birthday frock for sister Anna. “All that wonderful art direction you saw from the feature is in the short. They really look spectacular. That was a lot of fun, to design a dress that Elsa would make in the summer, but still be true to herself being made of ice,” says Lee.

Meanwhile, the snowman Olaf manages to survive the rising temperatures, thanks to the magic winter cloud created at the end of Frozen. Josh Gad was excited to voice the feel-good character again.

The birthday plans go awry when the powerfully magic Elsa comes down with a cold on the big day.

“Elsa doesn’t get a cold in the usual way,” says Lee. “She’s special. Surprising things occur that wreak a little havoc.”

Olaf at the party

Olaf at the party

fro5 (2)

An unusual Disney family portrait, including Sven the reindeer, Olaf the snowman, Kristoff, the princess, and the queen.

“Olaf has that smile. He has that everything-is-good quality and is ever-optimistic,” says Gad. “It’s a wonderfully delicious character to revisit.”

“The gang is back together. And literally it’s like we never went away,” says Gad. “Every day we’re reminded of Frozen in our lives. So it feels like a continuation of a saga that has many parts still untold. It felt like coming home again after a short absence.”

The first revisiting of the now-beloved characters features some surprising changes, including older sister Elsa’s attitude. Elsa, weighed down by her royal duties in Frozen, has lightened up so much that she’s throwing Anna a birthday bash.

“It’s another side of Elsa the audience hasn’t seen before and we hadn’t really played with in the original feature,” says Chris Buck, who reunited with Jennifer Lee to direct the short.

Frozen Fever

Frozen Fever

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bookstore (2)

At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

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 (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) 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.

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.

***

Frozen Fever: A 7 Minute Mini-Movie Coming Soon!

New dresses for Disney princesses to want!!

New dresses for Disney princesses to want!!

Even in the middle of winter, the world is yearning for a new Frozen. And it’s here!

Video: Frozen Fever Trailer

The filmmakers who brought us the animated hit musical ‘Frozen’ in November 2013 have created a seven-minute short centered around Princess Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and the snowman Olaf (Josh Gad).

There are new warm-weather frocks and dresses for the mini-movie, which will be seen in theaters before ‘Cinderella’, out March 13, 2015.

It’s Anna’s birthday, and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever in ‘Frozen Fever.

FRO2 (2)

Anna’s birthday

Onscreen, Elsa magically makes her own full-length emerald gown and a playful birthday frock for sister Anna. “All that wonderful art direction you saw from the feature is in the short. They really look spectacular. That was a lot of fun, to design a dress that Elsa would make in the summer, but still be true to herself being made of ice,” says Lee.

Meanwhile, the snowman Olaf manages to survive the rising temperatures, thanks to the magic winter cloud created at the end of Frozen. Josh Gad was excited to voice the feel-good character again.

The birthday plans go awry when the powerfully magic Elsa comes down with a cold on the big day.

“Elsa doesn’t get a cold in the usual way,” says Lee. “She’s special. Surprising things occur that wreak a little havoc.”

Olaf at the party

Olaf at the party

fro5 (2)

An unusual Disney family portrait, including Sven the reindeer, Olaf the snowman, Kristoff, the princess, and the queen.

“Olaf has that smile. He has that everything-is-good quality and is ever-optimistic,” says Gad. “It’s a wonderfully delicious character to revisit.”

“The gang is back together. And literally it’s like we never went away,” says Gad. “Every day we’re reminded of Frozen in our lives. So it feels like a continuation of a saga that has many parts still untold. It felt like coming home again after a short absence.”

The first revisiting of the now-beloved characters features some surprising changes, including older sister Elsa’s attitude. Elsa, weighed down by her royal duties in Frozen, has lightened up so much that she’s throwing Anna a birthday bash.

“It’s another side of Elsa the audience hasn’t seen before and we hadn’t really played with in the original feature,” says Chris Buck, who reunited with Jennifer Lee to direct the short.

Frozen Fever

Frozen Fever

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

bookstore (2)

At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

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 (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) 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:

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

***

School Bread at Epcot Norway

Epcot's Hidden Gem – Norway’s Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

Kringla Bakeri is located in the Norway pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase. Walk through the door and you’ll find yourself in a quaint, Scandinavian kitchen. Kringla Bakeri is best known for School Bread, a semi-sweet, roll-like pastry filled with vanilla custard.

After reading some excellent online reviews about it, we decided to give it a try.

A whole tray of School Bread. Very popular!

A whole tray of School Bread. Very popular!

This treat is a sweet bread roll, injected with vanilla custard, then covered with sweet icing and toasted coconut. The School Bread recipe comes from a classic Norwegian snack (properly called “Skolebrød”), which kids took to school in their lunches and parents sold at bake sales.

The bread is a cross between a cinnamon roll and a dinner roll. It’s not super moist, more like a dry dinner roll. It has black flecks of some spice – cardamom? – in it that we wished was cinnamon instead.

Four of us split one roll. Two of us didn’t like it at all, and all four of us decided that we probably wouldn’t ever order it again, even if we were in Norway.

No, I don't think so!

No, I don’t think so!

The Kafe features a selection of other traditional pastries like lefse, and also a large selection of sandwiches, many of which contain some sort of fish. (No thank you!)

Sandwiches with fish and cheese.

Sandwiches with fish and cheese.

We love lefse!!

We love lefse!!

These looked tasty!

These looked tasty!

Delicious!

Delicious!

There is lots of seating outside, which is nice in the evening or when the weather isn’t too hot.

New this year is the large selection of ‘Frozen’ themed treats available.

Olaf marshmallow on a straw is very popular with the kids!

Olaf marshmallow on a straw is very popular with the kids!

Frosted sugar cookies.

Frosted sugar cookies.

It’s considered good luck to touch the troll’s big nose…it means that you’ll be back! 🙂

Epcot Norway folk lore:  If you touch the troll's nose, you'll be back!

Epcot Norway folk lore: If you touch the troll’s nose, you’ll be back!

We always stop by and touch the troll’s nose for luck!

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

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.

***

Sneak Peek at 2014 Disney’s Frozen Celebration Christmas Day Parade

December 9, 2014:  Taping the Frozen Celebration parade at Magic Kingdom.

December 9, 2014: Taping the Frozen Celebration parade at Magic Kingdom.

Here’s a sneak peek at 2014 Disney’s Frozen Celebration Christmas Day Parade from all the taping at WDW that happened this week.

Main Street USA parade taping:

Kristoff coming down Main Street

Kristoff coming down Main Street

Tim Tebow walking down Main Street with the ice men.

Tim Tebow walking down Main Street with the ice axe men.

Olaf on his float.

Olaf on his float.

Elsa and Anna float

Elsa and Anna float

Robin Roberts, parade's cohost.

Robin Roberts, parade’s cohost.

elsa (2)

Queen Elsa getting ready for her closeup.

Here comes Mickey & Minnie!

Here comes Mickey & Minnie!

Cue the snow!!!

Cue the snow!!!

Tuesday's Parade taping.  (Photo credit:  WDW Shutterbug)

Tuesday’s Parade taping. (Photo credit: WDW Shutterbug)

Robin Roberts and Tim Tebow cohosting the 2014 taping.

Robin Roberts and Tim Tebow cohosting the 2014 taping.

Castle Performances:

Adriana Grande singing two songs, “Santa Tell Me” and “Last Christmas” in front of the Castle.

Adriana Grande singing two songs “Santa Tell Me” and “Last Christmas” in front of the Castle.

 

More "Let It Go" performances.

Lexi Walker, from the “Let It Go” cover hit, performed the song with a middle school choir from Lake Nona, Fla.

A cold and cloudy/rainy day in Orlando.

Singing on a cold and cloudy/rainy day in Orlando.

Olaf again

Olaf again

Prince Royce singing “Feliz Navidad”.

Prince Royce singing “Feliz Navidad”.  It was so dark and rainy that the Castle lights were turned on.

(Photo credits: WDW Shutterbug and Inside the Magic)

A sneak peek at the Christmas Day parade taping at the Magic Kingdom from today: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M27Fgk1iJ24

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We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney World in the Disney College Program: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tal

‘Frozen’ Friday Night Out Event at Barnes & Noble

Frozen Friday

Frozen Friday

Unfortunately, we were both working on Friday night (August 1st) and missed the ‘Frozen Friday’ Night Out event at our local B&N here in Thornton, CO.

The internet is buzzing with how BAD the Frozen costumes were; they were so bad that they were actually good!

We’ll let you be the judge.

“Olaf”…really???!!!!

“Olaf”…really???!!!!

Not sure...Anna???

Not sure…Anna???

Elsa

Elsa

anna4 (2)

(from Buzzfeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/do-you-want-build-a-nightmare?bffb)

*******************************
We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tale