Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Update

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The beautiful light sculptures floating on into the lake.  They change color during the performance.

09/27/18:  Saturday night (tomorrow) is the last performance for the Water and Light Shamans in the Rivers of Light show.

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Water Shaman beating on the drums.

After Saturday’s performance, the boats will be empty for subsequent performances. This is due to budget cuts taking place across the WDW park this Fall.

(See our blog about the other budget cuts at DAK this month: Rafikis Planet Watch is Closing)

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Dozens of beautiful lights sculptures floating all over the lake.

We finally got to see Rivers of Light and have to admit that we were not impressed.

Disney has a vast catalog of songs and melodies from 90 years of movie making, including all the great songs from The Lion King.  They used none of it for Rivers of Light.

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All the beautiful optics you expect from a Disney performance are there: Lights, water fountains, huge flames, but the music and story is blah.

The whole show and all the music is not engaging.  There’s a clear disconnect between the beautiful optics of the colorful show with all its waterworks and flames and the storyline & music.

When this show first premiered for Disney VIP guests just before Earth Day 2016, it was a disaster and the whole thing was scrapped causing a 10-month delay in the opening.  All the original grand opening merchandise from April 2016 had to be destroyed.  The show premiered for guests in February 2017.

From the premiere:   Continuing the grand Disney tradition of innovative, after-dark entertainment, “Rivers of Light” combines live performance, floating set pieces, a soaring musical score, fountains and more in a celebration of animals and nature. The story magically unfolds on the broad natural stage of the Discovery River, conveying the uplifting spirit of an ancient and timeless lantern ceremony and filled with symbolism, storytelling and plenty of heart.

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Lovely.

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Color change

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All the pretty lotus flowers change colors and open up during the show to put on a synchronized water fountain show.

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Very dramatic.  I like the lights reflecting on the water’s surface.

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It really is a pretty show, it just needs a better storyline to bring it all together.

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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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car 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!

Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Opens February 17, 2017!

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Beautiful!

From Walt Disney World Blog, 02/09/2017:

Today, we’re happy to announce one of the park’s newest nighttime experiences, “Rivers of Light,” will make its official debut on February 17, 2017.

Continuing the grand Disney tradition of innovative, after-dark entertainment, “Rivers of Light” combines live performance, floating set pieces, a soaring musical score, fountains and more in a celebration of animals and nature. The story magically unfolds on the broad natural stage of the Discovery River, conveying the uplifting spirit of an ancient and timeless lantern ceremony and filled with symbolism, storytelling and plenty of heart.

To make dining or FastPass+ reservations for this new show, visit: MyDisneyExperience.com or the My Disney Experience app.

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Our blog from earlier this month:

Rivers of Light is finally making its debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

The dress rehearsals and technical work on the show have wrapped up and it’s looking good.

If you have been following the technical difficulties surrounding Rivers of Lights, you’ll remember it was first scheduled to open Earth Day 2016 (04/22/2016).  Caroline even made a special trip to WDW to watch the grand premiere…that never happened!

Instead, a barge sank in the lagoon and the entire show had to be reworked leading to a year-long delay!  More details below…

But, first, watch a Dress Rehearsal Preview:  Rivers of Light Preview

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The Tree of Life is used as the backdrop for the show.

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All the new nighttime attractions and entertainment happening at DAK this summer.

The show, originally slated to debut on April 22, 2016 – Earth Day – was indefinitely delayed due to problems with the automated show barges and floats, including one float that unfortunately sank during a rehearsal performance in April.

The show’s downtime and delay has also been used to rewrite large portions of the performance that Disney management deemed “too boring”. The show features animal-inspired floats and lanterns, special lighting and waterworks and fountains,  plus live performers and storytellers.

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The new huge Rivers of Light amphitheater with seating for 5,000 guests.

The amphitheater overlooking the park’s Discovery River, which seats over 5,000 guests, was completed in March 2016 and is open for guests to sit in and rest during the day.

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Elephants on one of the barges.

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Tigers too!

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These illuminated glass sculptures are HUGE, 10-12 feet!

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New RoL merch.  Very pretty!  The lotus flower is the ride’s symbol.

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Popcorn in a Lotus Flower container.

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We’re looking forward to seeing it after almost a year delay….finally!

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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

***

Rivers of Light Finally Opening Soon!

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Beautiful!

If all goes according to plan, Rivers of Light should finally debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom sometime in late October!

The dress rehearsals and technical work on the show are both scheduled to be wrapping up today (September 30th).  After that, the show could technically debut at any time, and we’re thinking in a few weeks (around November  1st) after Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party wraps up.

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The Tree of Life is used as the backdrop for the show.

Now, this is good news for us as we’ll be there at the end of the month! [For those of you that follow our blog, you’ll remember that Caroline made a special trip to DAK on Earth Day 2016 to see the RoL debut that never happened!]

Dress Rehearsal Preview:  Rivers of Light Preview

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All the new nighttime attractions and entertainment at DAK this fall.

The show, originally slated to debut almost 6 months ago on April 22, 2016 – Earth Day -, was indefinitely delayed due to problems with the automated show barges and floats, including one float that unfortunately sank during a rehearsal performance in April.

The show’s downtime and delay has also been used to rewrite large portions of the performance that Disney management deemed “too boring”. The show features animal-inspired floats and lanterns, special lighting and waterworks and fountains,  plus live performers and storytellers.

RoL1

The new Rivers of Light amphitheater with seating for 5,000.

The amphitheater overlooking the park’s Discovery River, which seats over 5,000 guests, was completed in March and is open for guests to sit in and rest during the day.

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New RoL merch.  Very pretty!

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Popcorn in a Lotus Flower container.

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We’re looking forward to seeing it finally!

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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

***

Rivers of Light Opening Delayed!

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All the new nighttime attractions and entertainment that’s planned for DAK.

The debut of the new “Rivers of Light”, a nighttime spectacular planned for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, has been delayed.  The show was scheduled to begin on April 22, 2016.

Rumor has it that one of the float’s barges sank yesterday during a trial run!

Sneak Preview of the show (pre-sinking):  Rivers of Light Show

DAK

Soft opening for Cast members:  May 24th!

Other new attractions that were also set to premiere that day at Animal Kingdom, including an after-dark version of the popular Kilimanjaro Safaris, have been delayed.  The park was planning special lighting effects for its iconic Tree of Life and additional street entertainment that would kick off on April 22nd , which is Animal Kingdom’s birthday as well as Earth Day 2016.

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Beautiful!

“With the expansion of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we’re excited to give guests even more opportunities to celebrate the magic of animals and nature as day turns into night. While we’d hoped to debut these offerings on April 22nd, unfortunately, they will not open as planned on that date as we give the team more time to bring these innovative experiences to life in a way we know will exceed our guests’ expectations,” said Andrea Finger, a Walt Disney World spokeswoman.

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The April 22, 2016 opening date had been announced in early March.

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The new Rivers of Light amphitheater

An amphitheater overlooking the park’s Discovery River, seats over 5,000 guests, has now been completed and is open for guests to sit in and rest during the day.

The “Rivers of Light” show will feature animal-inspired floats and lanterns plus live performers in the form of storytellers.

Disney did not set a new opening date for “Rivers of Light”, but further information is expected in mid-to-late May.

Here was a rundown of the Rivers of Light preview events for guests to see it during its testing schedule leading up to the official opening on April 22nd.  Now, add one month to all these dates and it will be pretty accurate:

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The release of all the new RoL merchandise was delayed too.  😦

April 6th, 9th, 12th, and 13th – Cast Previews

April 15th – AP/DVC “Premium” Preview (2 showings: 8:30 pm and 10:15 pm)

April 16th – AP/DVC Preview (2 showings: 8:30 pm and 9:45 pm)

April 17th – AP/DVC Preview (2 showings: 8:30 pm and 9:45 pm)

April 19th – Press event

April 22nd – Grand Opening Night (2 showings: 8:30 pm and 9:45 pm)

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New RoL merch.

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Popcorn in a Lotus Flower container.

Read more about the delay from Disney Parks Blog:  https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/update-on-nighttime-experiences-at-disneys-animal-kingdom/

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

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 (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

***

New Rivers of Light Merchandise

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New lanyard and Rivers of Light pin on a Rivers of Light beach towel.

In anticipation of the new Rivers of Light attraction opening at DAK on April 22, 2016 (Earth Day), some of the new merchandise photos have been released.

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Popcorn container in lotus flower design.

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Back of the black RoL t-shirt with the new logo (too hot to wear in the summer in Florida!!!)

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The new Rivers of Light attraction promises to be AMAZING!!!

Read more about the new attraction at: Rivers of Light

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Opening April 22, 2016!

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Close-up of new pin’s Lotus design

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Some of the cool LED animals in the RoL show.

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Elephants.

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Tigers!

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These illuminated glass sculptures are HUGE, 10-12 feet!

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AK1

Working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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

***

April 2016: New Rivers of Light to Open!

You can see the stadium seating going in on both side of Discovery River Lake.

You can see the stadium seating going in on both sides of Discovery River Lake.

First Look at the new Rivers of Light:   New Rivers of Light Show

We got to check on the progress of the new Rivers of Light attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom last month.

The soft opening day has been set for April 19, 2016, with a grand opening set for Earth Day 2016 on April 22, 2016.  (Earth Day is also the anniversary day for DAK’s opening back on April 22, 1998.)

There will be stadium seating for 10,000 or so guests, very much like what’s at ‘Fantasmic!’ in Hollywood Studios right now.

Seating will be available on both sides of Discovery River Lake between Expedition Everest and the Theater in the Wild, currently home to Finding Nemo: The Musical.

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As viewed from the bridge into Africa.

Projection rock.

Projection rock (on right) for show’s electronics and lighting.

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January 2016:  Still moving dirt!

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Huge crew working on this project to keep it on track for the grand opening!

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Grand opening rock at DAK:  April 1998

 

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CM guest passes are blocked out April 19 – April 30th because of all the grand opening events.

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“Rivers of Light” promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting our guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

“Rivers of Light” concept art.

Rivers of Light promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.

The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. [We’re hoping it will be somewhat like the fabulous ‘World of Color’ show at California Adventure in Disneyland!]

This means that DAK will be able to stay open much, much later.

Sometimes in the winter, DAK closes as early as 5pm.

And, of course, no fireworks are allowed because of the sleeping animals.

It’s going to be amazing!

Rivers of Light will premiere late April 2016.

Construction video (May 2015): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pokwZ4RSCvM#t=101

This will be so pretty so see a night!

The fully illuminated Tree of Life.  This will be so pretty to see at night!

The other thing that they’ve been working on at Discovery Island is replacing every single leaf on the Tree of Life with 200,000 twinkling, LED illumination lights that can be set to music!

The Rivers of Light show will include projection mapping onto the huge Tree of Life itself.

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

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 (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

***

Update on Disney’s Animal Kingdom ‘Rivers of Light’

You can see the stadium seating going in on both side of Discovery River Lake.

You can see the stadium seating going in on both sides of Discovery River Lake.

Every day at work, I get to see them working on the new ‘Rivers of Light’ viewing area and the show’s infrastructure. (Rivers of Light is the new water-based night show coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this spring.)

They have made huge progress this summer on the seating area.

They have made huge progress this summer on the seating area.

There will be stadium seating for 10,000 or so guests, very much like what’s at ‘Fantasmic!’ in Hollywood Studios right now.

Seating will be available on both sides of Discovery River Lake between Expedition Everest and the Theater in the Wild, currently home to Finding Nemo: The Musical.

Projection rock.

Projection rock (right) for show’s electronics and lighting.

Recently, they drained down some of the lake’s water and were installing the light and fountain features.

“Rivers of Light” promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting our guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

“Rivers of Light” concept art.

Rivers of Light promises to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.

The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. [We’re hoping it will be somewhat like the fabulous ‘World of Color’ show at California Adventure in Disneyland!]

This means that DAK will be able to stay open much, much later.

Sometimes in the winter, DAK closes as early as 5pm.

And, of course, no fireworks are allowed because of the sleeping animals.

It’s going to be amazing!

Rivers of Light will premiere in the Spring of 2016.

Construction video (May 2015): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pokwZ4RSCvM#t=101

This will be so pretty so see a night!

The fully illuminated Tree of Life.  This will be so pretty to see at night!

The other thing that they’ve been working on at Discovery Island is replacing every single leaf on the Tree of Life with 200,000 twinkling, LED illumination lights that can be set to music!

The Rivers of Light show will likely include projection mapping onto the huge Tree of Life itself.
🙂

On the bus with all my DAK coworkers.

On the bus with all my DAK coworkers.

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

Two Girls

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.

***