Renting a Surrey Bike on the Boardwalk

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The Boardwalk Surrey Bikes.

I have been trying to convince my CP friends to rent one of those surrey bikes at the Boardwalk. It looks like SO much fun!

Since it was our last week of our summer College Program, I planned an epic night of bike riding followed by dessert at Beaches and Cream over at the Yacht Club!

We all got off work by 6pm and met up at the Boardwalk.

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If only the Boardwalk had been this empty when we were biking around!!  It was filled with summer crowds on the night we were there.

The surrey bike rental is right in front of the Boardwalk.  They were actually setting up for a movie on the lawn while we were “gearing” up for this!  (Get it? GEARING!??)
100_7432They make you fill out a contract before you ride.  We were laughing because the rule is before 8pm, anyone over 18 can be the driver.  After 8pm, you have to be 21 and older.

We were super confused because you know that you can get alcohol at the Boardwalk, you’d think you’d want a more competent DD than just someone over 21 driving. 😉

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Here is the contract, which I had to fill out as the Driver and then everyone else in the party also had to sign it.

It was just $22 to rent the bike.  We had him split the bill 5 ways to make it easy for all of us to pay since none of us carry cash.  At less than $5 per person, it was cheaper than a movie ticket!

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Ready to roll.

After some group photos, we were off!!

I LITERALLY have NEVER laughed so hard in my life!!!!!

It kind of looks easy, watching other families go around the lake loop.  You start at the boardwalk, normally heading towards Epcot, cross over the International Gateway bridge, past the Yacht and Beach club, and then make a complete circle back at the Boardwalk.

I was the driver and my ICP friend, Eve, (from Thailand) was in charge of the bell. Well, guests gave no bothers at all about a giant mult-person bike hurdling towards them! haha  I kept telling my friends, “Don’t worry, my hand is ON the brake!” as we are literally going on two wheels around the corners.  I didn’t mean I was using the brake, but my hand was on it!

We were coming up to the “hill” right before the Friendship bridgeway and I was trying to get everyone to kick it up a notch because I knew it would be harder than it looks. Instead, we literally came to a complete stop on this hill!!!  (There’s a reason they call it “Heartbreak Hill”!)

We were laughing so hard as all the pedestrians strolled past us!

We made it almost all the way around and didn’t realize that there was a second hill on the other side of the Boardwalk!  We couldn’t make it up it and came to a complete stop, all of us just dying with laughter!  Luckily, a cast member was walking in the opposite direction and stopped to give us a boost up the hill.

The complete loop is only supposed to take less than 30 minutes….it took us over an hour!  When we got back to the rental place, I hopped off and asked the CM if we could go around again.

The guy working there was very nice and said it was OK!  He made it a Magical Moment for us!  So off we went!  We pedaled about one shop down the Boardwalk and realized…we didn’t want to conquer those hills again.  It was my bright idea to just do a U-turn and head back to the rental place.

Except, we had stopped our surrey between a shop and a street performer!  We got completely stuck at a dead stop length-wise on the Boardwalk!  We were all laughing so hard!  We tried to simultaneously pedal backwards and that did nothing!

Luckily, a random guest saw how much we were struggling (the surrey’s are very heavy) and grabbed onto the front of the bike and, as I steered, he backed us up enough so that we could turn completely around.  Too funny!

By the time we completed our outing, I was completely soaked in sweat from all the pedaling, from the Florida humidity, and from the embarrassment!

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Ready to conquer some hills!

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The Boardwalk at night. So pretty with the lights reflecting off the lake.  The Frozen fireworks at DHS were just starting.

It was literally the best night of my DCP program! ❤

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Dock sign says: “Wishing You a Magical Day”.


We decided to walk to Beaches and Cream to cool down and were so happy to catch the 9pm Frozen fireworks going off at Hollywood Studios, perfectly framed over the Boardwalk!
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 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.

***

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

Breakfast at Be Our Guest

As soon as I heard Be Our Guest was open for breakfast, I KNEW I wanted to go!  I was so excited when my CP friend Ricky surprised me on my very last day with reservations!

Here is what it looked like at Rope Drop, with everyone funneling in!
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Even though we were on a mission, we had to stop and admire Cinderella’s castle!  It was so beautiful!

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Heading to breakfast at Be Our Guest with Ricky!

If you’re visiting Magic Kingdom for the first time, don’t forget to stop and say hello the the mouse and the man that started it all!  It’s located directly in front of the castle.

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We headed to New Fantasyland and checked into our reservation.
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Sitting in the Master’s chair, waiting to order our food

All adult meals cost $19.99 and all kids meals cost $11.99.
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We were very excited to learn that drinks were unlimited!  We got one of everything! 100_7659 100_7660

Because breakfast and lunch is quick service, you can seat yourself!  We chose to sit in the main ball room – it’s so beautiful!100_7664

They were SO fast at bringing our food out!  We didn’t even have our drinks yet!

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Ricky and I decided everything looked amazing!  So I ordered the Croissant Doughnut and he got the Open Faced Bacon and Egg sandwich and we split them!

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Croissant Doughnut: fried doughnut topped banana caramel sauce, pastry creme, and chocolate ganache. YUM!

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Open-Faced Bacon and Egg Sandwich: poached eggs, applewood-smoked bacon, and brie cheese on a toasted baguette served with fresh fruit. YUM!

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What an amazing way to begin our day at Magic Kingdom!!! I think that the breakfast was SO good!  It definitely is a little pricy, but the food was so fancy and delicious.  Yum!!

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace with my DCP Roommates!

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Ready for breakfast, 10:30am.

When my roommates found out I was going to the Crystal Palace, we all started talking about doing a roommate breakfast!

And AMAZINGLY, we all were off on Tuesday AND there was an reservation available for a large group!

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Breakfast brunch, $29.99

Our reservation was at 10:30am, so we carpooled together, parked over at the Contemporary and took the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom.

We all dressed up and wore our Mickey ears.  It was awesome!  I absolutely LOVE buffets and, luckily, so do my roommates.

While we were waiting for our table, we looked out over at the newly-expanded Castle Hub area and there was Mary Poppins! With no line!  We had to go say hi!

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Meeting Mary Poppins

She was so sweet and told us all to get some tea at the Crystal Palace.

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Breakfast time!

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My breakfast.

The best part of this meal was the deep fried French toast, covered in sugar! YUM!!!  I also really liked the fajita scrambled eggs.  And the Mickey Waffles, of course!

As if this meal could not get any better, while we were eating Winnie the Pooh arrived to say hello!

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Meeting Winnie the Pooh

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Me and Winnie

I wore my Parkbound button that says: “There’s a rumbly in my tumbly”. Pooh loved it!

Eeyore was so sad but so cute.

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Eyeore having a sad day.

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Piglet signing my autograph book next.

He drew some sad rain clouds and a heart in my autograph book!

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Grrrrr…..

Tigger was hysterical!  He came up to me and literally growled in my ear! haha! I’ve never experienced that before!

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So cute!!!

After brunch, we stopped and took some great photos together in front of Cinderella Castle.

My roommates are super fun!

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I just have to say how much I LUCKED OUT with these great roommates!  I absolutely love living with all seven of them and I’m so glad the DCP put us together. ❤

To read more about my crazy 3 reservations in 1 day, click here: Be Our Guest Lunch and here: Crystal Palace Dinner.

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DAK pin trading (2)

Working the Pin Board 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

*** 

T Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney

T-Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney

T-Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney

I went out to dinner at Downtown Disney with my new friend, Nicole.

We really wanted to go to T-Rex Cafe and were hoping that the line wasn’t too long.  It’s always out the door no matter what the time of day.

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T-Rex Cafe menu

When we got there at 6pm, there was just a 25 minute wait for two people, but there was open seating in the bar area.  We ended up getting seated in the bar right away.  It’s nice because they also serve the full menu.

I ordered my favorite drink – the “Cotton-tini”.  It’s blue cotton candy in a martini glass and then they pour cotton candy vodka liquor on top! Yum!

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Drinking my Cottontini drink while watching the pretty fish swim around the aquarium.

All the food on the menu looked so good!

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T-rexasadillas with chicken

We ended up ordering two appetizers and splitting them.  I got the T-rexasadillas.  So good!

I honestly didn’t think anything could taste better than this.  The T-rexasadillas has grilled chicken and peppers with an avocado sauce on top.

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Footprints Flatbread with chicken

But, then I tried the Footprints Flatbread – grilled chicken, grilled onions, shredded cheese, with a balsamic vinegar dressing on top.  Two thumbs up!

Omg, I can’t tell you how good both these dishes were!

I meant to save a little for snack time later, but we ate the whole thing instead; the appetizers were so good!

No regrets!  🙂

To read the full T-Rex menu, click here.

*************************************** 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 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.

***

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

***

Filling Out DCP DORMS Form for Housing

Tomorrow!!!

Tomorrow!!!

I finally got my email to fill out Dorms!

As you know, I have been using Facebook to find a good roommate match.  You can read about that here.

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This is a new updated process.  You usually receive this email 10 days before your arrival and it is where you link with your roommates and select your housing references.

When I did my first program, they were just rolling this out.  Before Fall 2013, you had to be in line with who you wanted to live with and it was first come, first serve for housing preferences.  So you literally had people lining up in the middle of the night!  I can’t imagine how frustrating it must have been trying to meet up with everyone you wanted to live with!  With my first program, you were able to link with 1-7 other people since the maximum is 8 in one unit.

Once I got my DORMS email, you have to read and confirm two different articles about housing rules.  Then it brings you to a page where you link with your roommates.  Your special ID number is in your email.  And – if you didn’t know, this will actually be your Cast Member ID number!

One person in your group needs all of your groups ID numbers to link everyone.  Once that happens, you’re good to go!  It was VERY surprising when I logged onto Dorms and saw they were only allowing people to link with two other people!  Everyone on the Facebook groups were freaking out – especially if they were hoping to get a larger apartment!

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You have two options: choosing to be “adventurous” and be randomly put in with people.  Or if you have a person you want to live with, you link with them here.

I, unfortunately, spent a lot of time connecting with people who I wanted to live with and had similar interests as me.  However, I tried to link with them and it wouldn’t let me because we were doing different programs!  I had no idea that summer program and Fall Advantage program people couldn’t live together!! 😦

I felt SO horrible for the girl I was going to live with – we both had to be “adventurous” with our roommates since we didn’t find anyone in the right programs to link to.  I know we will meet up and be friends, but I really wish it had worked out better!

Here is the updated DCP Rent Prices:

2017-rent

The page below is also new to me!  In Fall 2013, we were able to select just 3 options for complexes and 3 options for occupancy. Just because you put “1 bedroom, Commons” doesn’t mean you’d necessarily get both of those.  Elly and I put: 1, 2, 3 bedroom and Commons, Chatham, and Patterson in our preference order and ended up getting a 3 bedroom in Chatham.

This new DORMS has every available living situation and you had to pick and drag it in the order you most preferred!  I really liked how specific it was!  You also have the option of being “adventurous” in this choice too!Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.36.47 AMI really, REALLY want to live in The Commons in a 1 bedroom again!  I loved the laundry availability and I really want to check out the new store there (The Grid).

These are my final preferences:
Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.37.39 AMWish me luck!

05/26/2015 UPDATE:

I literally got my #16 – last!!! – choice.  😦

Choice #16:  4 bedroom, 8 girl apartment at Chatham Square, $100/week.

Choice #16: 4 bedroom, 8 girl apartment at Chatham Square, $100/week.

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dak costume (2)

Wearing my DAK straw hat (with my best friend/coworker, Ricky).

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

***