The Chocolate Lover’s Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream!!!

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Beaches and Cream soda fountain at the Yacht Club.

After renting our Surrey Bike and pedaling around the Boardwalk for an hour, we headed over to our reservation at Beaches and Cream.

I was so excited – none of my CP friends have tried the Kitchen Sink, so we were doing it on our last week of the program.

I tried the Kitchen Sink during my last program with Elly…and it was super gross.  😦

I do not like coffee ice cream + pineapple topping, which was what I got with every bite last time!! Yuck!!

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Trying the Kitchen Sink with my ICP friends that work strollers at DAK with me: Eve, Julia, and Jane!

This time around, I begged my friends to try something different than the $50 Original Kitchen Sink.

I heard that there were actually different types of Kitchen Sinks, so I convinced my friends to try the chocolate one with me.

There are actually 3 types of Kitchen Sinks at Beaches and Cream: the B&C Original, the Chocolate Lovers, and the Neapolitan.

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Chocolate Lovers Kitchen Sink: 3 scoops chocolate ice cream, 3 scoops cookies and cream, 2 scoops vanilla, 4 brownies, 4 oreos, 2 milky ways, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, white and dark chocolate shavings, and a WHOLE CAN OF WHIP CREAM!!!!!  Yes, please!

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OMG!!!

Luckily, all my girlfriends love chocolate as much as I do and we were all set to order the Chocolate Lovers Kitchen Sink.

Here's a funny shot, trying to get all of us in the photo! Our waitress was so nice!

Here’s a funny shot, trying to get all of us in the photo! Our waitress was so nice!

So good!!

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Excited to dig in with my ICP friend, Jane!

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All gone! So good!!

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that we finished the entire thing! Yum!!!!

Here’s a list of what’s included in the Chocolate Lover’s Kitchen Sink (5,000+ calories!!):

  • ½ cup fudge topping, warmed
  • ½ cup caramel topping, warmed
  • 2 4-oz. scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 3 4-oz. scoops chocolate ice cream
  • 3 4-oz. scoops cookies and cream ice cream
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 brownies (6-inch x 6-inch), cut in half
  • 2 regular-sized Milky Way  candy bars, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate shavings
  • 1 tablespoon white chocolate shavings
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate cookies with cream filling (Oreos), crushed
  • 1 tablespoon milk chocolate chip morsels
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 ENTIRE 14-oz CAN OF WHIPPED CREAM!

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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

***  

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!
***************************************
 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 Animal Kingdom Kilimanjaro Safari Ride Photos

Welcome to my park!

Welcome to my park!

I have been SO lucky seeing so many animals upclose every time I ride the Safari that I thought I’d share some great photos I took of the DAK animals…

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Hippo area

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Resting from the heat of the day.

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Swimming hippos

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Bird riding on hippo’s back!

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Crocs!

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Love this tree!

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Giraffes

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Giraffes

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Baby elephant

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My favorite DAK photo!

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Rhino in the road. Had to stop.

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Lion Pride Rock

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There’s a hidden AC vent at Lion Pride Rock to keep them cool.

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Baby rhino

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Mom and baby

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Ostrich

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I love this photo!

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safari (2)

Riding on the safari expedition.

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At our book launch in Boulder, Colorado.

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.

***

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

Magic Kingdom Park Opening Show – Good Morning!

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Me and Ricky at the Magic Kingdom, bright and early!

One of my Disney Bucket List items was to finally see the special character show that Magic Kingdom holds every day at Park Open.  Of course, I’ve never gone with Elly, or my family, because they’re really hard to motivate in the early morning! haha!

A few days before the end of my program in August, I was going Disney Crazy trying to get everything done that I wanted to do during the short, 10-week DCP summer program.

I was on break at work with my CP friend, Ricky, and he totally surprised me with a 9am breakfast reservation this next day at Be Our Guest right after park open at Magic!  It was perfect!

We were out late with our DAK coworkers the night before and we only got about 5 hours of sleep before the big day.  I literally had to run for the bus to catch it on time, and I was pretty shocked to see Ricky had made it too. (He also had to run to catch it at his apartment!  We both cut it pretty close.)

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We’re here!      8:27am, the sun is shining and it’s already 80 degrees.

We made it to the Contemporary Resort at 8am and walked over to Magic Kingdom.  It’s less than a ten minute walk from the cast member bus drop-off point at the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom entrance.

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I literally have never been to MK so early!  I was surprised to see that there weren’t that many people there waiting to get in.  The expected crowd forecast was for 25,000 guests that day.

You go past security and bag check, scan in your ticket, and then they hold all the guests right by the Mickey flower face in front of the Main Street train station.

The show starts about 15 minutes before park open.  So, today the park opens at 9am and therefore the show would be at 8:45am.  We got there by 8:30am and got a great viewing spot for it!

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8:30am

There was a Photopass CM set up in front of the Mickey face and Ricky and I got a photo together.  Don’t we look ready for a full day of magic and adventure?! Ricky has been so much fun to hang out with this summer!

It was SUCH a beautiful day!

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Not a cloud in the sky this morning.

I had no idea what to expect of the Opening Show, so we just stood right in the front with our cameras ready!

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My MagicBand.

I, of course, was decked down in my Disney gear! 🙂

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Mayor Lever arriving at 8:44am to start the show.

At the start of the show, the mayor (Mayor Lever, as in “Pull the lever and vote for me!”) comes out and starts talking, getting the very sleepy and somewhat subdued crowd warmed up and excited for the day

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Good morning! Good morning to you…..

Then, all these adorably dressed dancers come out and they dance to a song called “Good Morning!”

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The train’s cars are filled with waving and singing Disney characters!

Next, the Magic Kingdom train starts to pull into the Main Street station more….

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Hello!

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All the characters getting off the train.

And it’s filled with Disney characters!  Including my boss, Mickey Mouse!100_7616

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Hi Mickey!!

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All the princesses are there…and a few non-princesses like Cinderella’s mean stepsisters and stepmother.

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Alice, White Rabbit, Snow White, and Pluto waving good morning.

Everyone disembarks from the train all at once and they all are waving at us!  It was so great!

And then, they brought out the “Family of the Day”!

Earlier, a random family got picked out of the audience to be a part of the show and personally meet Mickey Mouse!

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Magic Kingdom’s Family of the Day waving.

Not gonna lie – I teared up, it was so sweet!

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They all had streamers like you see when a cruise ship departs port.

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Goodbye!

The finale was a great song about Pixie Dust, and then somehow all the characters had streamers and were throwing them down to the crowd!!??

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Minnie waving goodbye.

It was so much fun!

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See ya real soon, Mickey!!

Mickey Mouse giving one last wave to everyone before they enter the park to play!

WOW!  I am so glad I finally got to see the Park Open show!  It was amazing!

It really is a fun way to start off a great day at the park.

If you’re an early riser or are highly motivated, I recommend trying to see this show at least once during your stay at Walt Disney World!  It only lasts for 10 minutes, so don’t be late!

🙂

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

***

Registering for the DCP January 2016 Homecoming Event

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Save the date!

As soon as it was announced that there would be another DCP Homecoming Event, Elly and I knew we had to go to it!

It was announced on the Alumni Facebook group that the event would have 2,000 participants this time, as opposed to the 400 last year, and there is also a new $200 registration fee.  Everybody about lost their minds over the fee because last year’s event was free.  BUT, there is also going to be some new swag – like the exclusive Alumni magic band!!!!!

Elly and I talked it over and we decided that we didn’t mind paying the extra fee since all the events that weekend sounded so fun!

The registration was due to open Thursday, August 20th at noon our time.  Elly and I had our Macs, iPads, and smart phones out and ready! haha!  (I have a feeling we weren’t the only ones!)

We kept refreshing the link until the website opened up at 12:01pm.

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Server problems.

Almost immediately, we got an error message (above).

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Registration page.

I was waiting for this page where it asks for your name and email to get you into the registration webpage.  I ended up getting that error page 12 times in a row!  Finally – over an hour later – I was able to go to the next step of registration process!  Whew!

Here is a list of the special events offered over the MLK holiday weekend:

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Friday, January 15, 2016: Dessert and Wishes event at the Contemporary Resort.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016: Hollywood Studios gathering

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Reunion

The next part really threw people off!  Extra add-ons, but for an added fee!  😦

The offerings are: Bowling at Splitsville, a special character meet and greet at Epcot, and a family day at Mickey’s Retreat.

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Alumni fun…for an additional fee!

The only one Elly and I really wanted to go to was the character special meet and greet!

We can’t wait to find out who will be there!!!  (Last year, it was Mickey and Minnie in fancy costumes!)
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Next, you had to sign up for when you want to pick up your Alumni packet.

Elly and I chose the Friday at 5pm timeslot because we aren’t sure when we are flying in.  I think it might be too close to the first event – the party at the Contemporary starting at 6pm.  But, since this is at the Contemporary too, maybe it won’t be too bad and we can go straight there.

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The final part of weekend registration was paying the $200 fee, plus any of the add-ons, plus a processing fee!
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$211 in event fees.

Here is my final check of my info for Registration.  You can see all the Submission Error screens I had up (about 20!)!

Confirmed at last!!!

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Confirmation page.

Elly and I wore our DCP Alumni shirts that day – for extra pixie dust luck!

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We’re going!

So excited!!!!!
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Also – for all our rushing and nerves about not getting a spot for this year’s Homecoming, as of yesterday (August 21st), there were still 1,400 spots left!

We’re wondering if the $200 non-refundable fee stopped a lot of people from registering for this event.

Anyone else going to the 2nd Annual DCP Homecoming in January 2016??

We can’t wait to meet you there!  🙂

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

***

Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian Resort

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Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian Resort.  We had tickets to the 5:15pm first seating.

One of my Disney Bucket List items was to try the Spirit of Aloha dinner at the Polynesian Village Resort.

I knew it would be awesome, but it is pretty expensive.  The prices are based on the levels of seating.  I got tickets for the category 3 seating, which is in the very back for a little under $50 per person.

Normally, cast members can get 40%-50% dining discounts at the really nice restaurants on property.  Unfortunately, there aren’t any CM discounts for the Spirit of Aloha show.

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We had two Category 3 seats, right in the middle. With tax, it was $122. No discount for CMs.

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The all-inclusive menu.  All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Hawaiian luau.

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It all looked so good!

A very friendly waiter sat us at an awesome two-person table, right at the front of the upper floor seating.

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I saw a lot of guests ordering Pele’s Fire Punch, the house cocktail drink made with rum and pineapple juice.

Soft drinks and ice water are complimentary, but if you want to splurge, you can also order specialty, alcoholic cocktails.

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Perfect!

I got some nice white wine to go with my dinner.

When you get to your table, the “cold” dishes, i.e., the salads and Pineapple-Coconut bread are already set out.

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Three cold salads and fresh pineapple chunks.

It’s family style eating, so you just grab what you want and put it on your own plate – which is shaped like a palm tree leaf!

My favorite was the cold noodle dish on the far right (Soba Noddle Salad). Yum!! I loved that everything was pineapple and citrus flavored!

The main course was SO much meat!  Almost too much!

I really liked the bar-b-qued ribs and the pulled pork.

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The meat platter:  Aloha Pulled Pork, Polynesian Pork Ribs, Roasted Chicken, and Vegetable Medley.

By the time I got around to sampling the roasted chicken breasts, I was way too full to even try them!

All throughout the dining, there was an INCREDIBLE show onstage with live music and Hawaiian dancing!

Photos from the dancing during dinner:

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Native Hawaiian dancing.

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Huba-huba!!

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Yes, please!

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Hawaiian Fire Dancer.

Here are some more photos of the Spirit of Aloha show:

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The final course of the luau was the BEST part!

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Huge dessert serving of pineapple-banana bread pudding.

It was pineapple-banana bread! Omg YUM!!!

If only I had saved more room, I was totally obsessed with this pineapple-banana bread pudding!

Coupled with fresh pineapple and warm caramel sauce, this bread pudding was to die for!!

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Too full to finish it! 😦

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Everyone got a flower lei when they checked in.

Absolutely, this is one of my most favorite experiences at Disney this summer!

I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a unique dining experience and definitely for anyone who loves pineapple!
🙂
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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 (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.

***