Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

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One of my Bucket List items was to stay at a new Moderate resort during my Summer Alumni Program!  I’ve stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort before, and loved it so I was looking for something similar! Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 12.39.25 PM

The Coronado Springs Resort is BEAUTIFUL!  It is a huge resort, centered around a giant lake!

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Just like the Caribbean, there are different clusters of rooms.  We requested the Cabanas.  It is right next to the main area (including the food court!) and it has its own bust stop.

The rooms were really nice.  I think they’ve been newly renovated.

100_6911The main reason I wanted to stay at the Coronado was for the pool!  And it did not disappoint!
Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 12.42.49 PMIf you’d like to read more about my adventures visiting the pool (and the pool bar!), click here.
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My favorite part of the resort were all the hammocks located around the lake.  As you’re walking along, you can lay down and relax!100_6943 100_6944

I loved the Coronado!  I still think I liked the Caribbean Beach Resort a little bit better, just because I liked the color palette of the buildings and it felt more beachy, but this was a perfect mini vacation!Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 12.39.15 PM

Disney College Program Traditions Class

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Welcome to Traditions!

****WARNING!!! This blog contains a step-by-step account of Disney’s Traditions class, including some surprises and magical moments!****

The first step to becoming a Disney Cast Member is Traditions.  This is basically a job orientation class that teaches you everything about the Disney Company and all the great reasons you should be proud to be working here!

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Don’t forget to bring your photo ID!!!

There are typically two sessions: a morning one at 8am and an afternoon one at 2:30pm.  It is sorted alphabetically by last name.  Since my last name is Collins, I had to wake up at 5am to get on the bus at 6:55am to make it to class ontime!  Good thing I’m an early riser!

It’s always super obvious who is going to Traditions since everyone is wearing nice clothing by the bus stop. I went with my new roommate, Kelly.  All of my other 6 roommates have last names after M, so they’ll be attending the afternoon session.

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Cast member Caroline! That’s me!!!  🙂

As we were waiting for the morning session to start, I spotted my name on the powerpoint! How cute is that??

The best part about being at Disney University are the decorations!  All the walls have massive, colorful Disney artwork with inspirational quotes.

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Making Magic

We were led into a large room with several tables set up.  In the middle of each table were giant red boxes.  What could be in them??

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The Big Red Box with a surprise inside for us.

I wanted to open it so badly!!

This is me, vigorously shaking the secret box before class!

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Wearing my new Mickey Ears!

It had Mickey Ears for everyone! Yay!

To start off Traditions, the two speakers, Disney coordinators, do some Disney trivia questions.  They don’t mess around with easy ones either!

I didn’t really know the answer to most of the questions.

Let’s see if you know the answers…

1.  What was the first Disney broadway show?

2.  What are Ursula’s sidekicks’ names?

3.  When Disneyland was first built, which land was the largest?

4.  Which two characters debuted in Steamboat Willie?

5.  What attraction has been moved around 3 times?

FINALLY, a question I knew and my hand shot up in the air!

The question was:

6.  What was the first show to come to Animal Kingdom, originally located in Camp Minnie Mickey, but has now been moved to Africa?

If you remember, I used to work at a lone merchandise cart there!  Answer: The Festival of Lion King!

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My prize pin!

The BEST part?? I got a Disney trading pin for having the right answer!

After two hours of class (10am), I was STARVING!  I remembered to pack a chewy bar and a baggie of Cheese-its since I knew it would be a couple hours before the first break.

I started “secretly” eating my chewy bar and when I looked up, my entire table and the next table had taken my cue and also got out their own chewy bars to eat! haha. We were all hungry!

Since I had already done Traditions before, I knew what was coming next….Everyone onto the buses for a quick trip to the Magic Kingdom.

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Wearing my new dress and whisper ears. Warm day!

Here is me, wearing the “whisper ears” we used to walk through the MK park.  I love when our guides allowed us to stop and take some selfies in front of the castle.

After we got back to the classroom at Disney University, we received our blue company IDs and were wrapping the class up, when the presenters announced that a special guest was here to deliver some magic to us!

traditionsEven though I already knew what was going to happen next, I was still so excited!

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It’s the Boss!!!!

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“Hi, everybody!”

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See you later, pal.

Mickey delivering my new Disney nametag!

And, check out all the swag I got in class!  I got the Donald figurine for correctly answering a question about the Four Keys.

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My new nametag!  Tears…..

I was so excited by the end of class!

Traditions is a great way to kick off your career at Disney!

It makes me so excited and thankful for this opportunity!  I never thought that I would work for Disney again!

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Some final advice for DCPers: Bring snacks and a water bottle!  You will be HUNGRY!  Traditions went from 8am to 2pm, and you only  get one 10 minute break!  Definitely eat breakfast before you go and bring snacks to eat while you’re watching the presentations and riding on the bus.

And since you will be walking around outside in the hot Florida weather, you’ll need to stay hydrated and be able to get a quick refill of your water bottle.  Even with my snacks, I was extremely ready for lunch!

To read about my first time at Traditions, click here.

9pm, at the Magic Kingdom with friends:  Using my new ID for the first time.

9pm, at the Magic Kingdom with friends: Using my new ID for the first time.

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DAK pin trading (2)

Working at DAK with the pinboard for guests to pin trade.

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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Mickey’s Retreat!

Mickey’s Retreat

Mickey’s Retreat is right across from The Commons apartments.

BREAKING NEWS!

Mickey’s Retreat will be closing this weekend because of Hurricane Irma.

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One of the major items on My Summer DCP Bucket List  was to finally go to Mickey’s Retreat!

I knew that it was really nice, but never made the time for it.  Since I haven’t been to Traditions yet (so can’t get into the parks), I decided today was the day to finally go!

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Mickey’s Retreat is located directly across from the Chatham Square complex.  It has several large sports fields, a couple volley ball areas, two swimming pools, areas for grilling, and you can rent boats to go out onto the water!

Admission is FREE for CMs, CPs, and their families.
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And it was beautiful!!!

Two big AND empty pools! My favorite!  The lifeguards were so happy to see us! haha
100_6760I went with one of my new roommates, Sam, and a girl I met on one of the DCP summer arrival Facebook groups, Nicole.

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Here is the view of the volleyball areas.

The new CPs were actually there too to take a written lifeguarding and swimming test!
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The main reason people come to Mickey’s Retreat is to go suntanning on the beach!  There were SO many chairs and no one was here!100_6767

You can rent the boats Saturday and Sunday 1-4pm.  All boats have to be back in by 5pm and you have to pay in cash.  Still $2 is super cheap for a 3 hour boat rental!

All the sports equipment (volleyballs, etc.) is free to rent.

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It got really humid – so sorry for the blurry photos!  Here is a view of the different boats you can rent.  Long canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats!
100_6768The lake is SO beautiful! We even saw some cranes and shore birds walking around.100_6771There is also a huge green, park-like area filled with benches and grilles for parties!
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And this tetherball which reminded me of elementary school! haha!100_6775

And this building which I think you can rent out.  It reminded me of girl scout camp!100_6776Overall – I DEFINITELY recommend putting this on your bucket list and coming if you haven’t already.

The pool was super clean and empty and the lifeguards were very nice.  Next time, I want to bring my lunch and have a picnic! 🙂

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Located between Chatham Square and The Commons, Mickey’s Retreat is a free 19-acre recreation facility on Little Lake Bryan open exclusively to Disney Cast Members and their families.
Come out and play, but don’t forget your Disney ID!

Address: 8151 Lake Forest Dr. Orlando, Florida 32821
Phone: (407) 828-3620
Summer Hours: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm (Mon – Sun)
Cost: Free admission for Disney cast members with ID
Facebook page: Mickeys Retreat Facebook Page

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Caroline costume

Working merchandise 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

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Caroline’s Summer 2015 Alumni DCP Bucket List

Go on the Haunted Mansion ride at least once a week? Check!!!

Go on the Haunted Mansion ride at least once a week? Check!!!



As I was gearing up for my Summer 2105 Alumni Program, I came up with my new To-Do list for while I’m in Florida for the entire summer.

I know, it’s hard to believe that I spent almost an entire year there and yet I STILL have things I missed doing!

But, spoiler alert!  It’s all about the food I’m going to eat this summer.

Goal:  Try something new every weeek!

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 8.36.23 PMSO excited!

The Cinderella Castle

Go to the Magic Kingdom at least 2-3x a week! Check!!!

Here’s my DCP Summer of 2015 Bucket List:

Have a Cronut at Epcot? Don't mind if I do!!

Have a Cronut at Epcot? Don’t mind if I do!!

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Caroline costumeTwo 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

***

Disney College Program Purple Welcome Postcard

imageI’m so excited to finally receive my purple DCP Welcome postcard!  My arrival date is so close!

May 26th – Disney World here I come!!!

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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. 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

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