Celebrating the 4th of July 2017 at Disney World

Mickey and Minnie on 4th of July

Mickey and Minnie at Epcot on 4th of July

Yes, it’s the most crowded day in July (which is the busiest attendance month at WDW), but, heck yes it’s a lot of fun!

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July 4th, 8pm:  Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom.  VERY CROWDED AND HOT!!!!

Expect the parks to be packed, especially the Magic Kingdom, with crazy long ride lines and food lines, and just go with the flow. 🙂

The celebration starts on July 3rd and continues into July 4th!

Can’t make it?  Watch the Live Fireworks Stream of the fireworks! (8:55pm EDT)

Info for cast members

Info for  Disney cast members

Magic Kingdom – Special ‘Celebrate America’ Fireworks Over the Castle!

Expect 15 minutes of impressive – and LOUD – pyrotechnics rising not just above the Cinderella Castle, but all around the park. Independence Day is one of the few fireworks displays, along with the Halloween and Christmas versions, that utilize the perimeter bursts, making it seem like the fireworks are all around you.

As you may expect, the fireworks display is accompanied by a rousing patriotic soundtrack that is designed to speak to the soul of America.

DJ Dance Parties!
Boogie down with 2 uniquely themed dance parties at Magic Kingdom park:

  • Independence Day Party in Frontierland: Mosey on over to Frontierland for a star-spangled celebration featuring some favorite country tunes.
  • Independence Day Party in Tomorrowland:Moonwalk your way to Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland for a rockin’ revelry featuring a live DJ and terrestrial tunes.
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2017 gang at Epcot

These DJ dance parties will be held the following dates and times:

  • Monday, July 3, 2017 — From 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday, July 4, 2017 — From 7:00 PM to midnight
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July 4, 2017:  Mickey at his meet & greet in Epcot outside American Pavilion.

Unofficial Tip:  Think you’ll watch the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian Resort? You and a lot of other folks are thinking the same thing! Disney will be checking room keys for beach guests on the 3rd and 4th , and parking will be restricted to resort guests only.

Celebrate America - A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky fireworks over Cinderella Castle

‘Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky’ Fireworks over Cinderella Castle

July 3, 2017:

9:00 pm – “Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” Fireworks

Castle 4th of July

Expect special lighting on Cinderella Caste both before and during the show.

July 4, 2017:

9:00 pm – “Celebrate America – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” Fireworks

Epcot – Special Characters will be out and Special Fireworks Show: Heartbeat of Freedom!

Goofy is from France, Donald from Mexico, Minnie from USA.

We saw Statue of Liberty Minnie Mouse!

July 4, 2017: Throughout the day, Disney characters in their patriotic costumes will appear on the promenade near The American Adventure.

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Hello 4th of july Minnie and Mickey!

12:30, 1:45, 3:00pm – Voices of Liberty 4th of July Concert (features an expanded cast performing a patriotic salute, including the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps and Disney characters) – on the America Gardens Theater stage.

4:15 and 5:00pm – Voices of Liberty inside the American Adventure Rotunda

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July 4, 2017:  Special fireworks show at Epcot, The Heartbeat of Freedom. WOW!!!

10:00 pm – IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth will feature “The Heartbeat of Freedom” fireworks show, a special 5-minute patriotic fireworks finale added onto illumiNations. [Note that this is 1 hour later than the usual 9pm IllumiNations show.]

Mickey and pals.

Mickey and pals in their 4th of July outfits.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:  Rock the 4th with special fireworks!

July 4, 2017:   10:15 pm – Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration: Fireworks with a rock n’ roll soundtrack for the evening’s celebrations.

July 4th fireworks at DHS

July 4th fireworks at DHS

Animal Kingdom:  See the new Rivers of Light Show!

There are no special 4th of July events planned at Animal Kingdom. There are never firework events at DAK as they would scare the animals.  But, the new light show around the Tree of Life is cool!

Disney Springs

There are no special holiday events planned at DS.

It's the 4th of July!  One of the Top 5 busiest days of the year!!

It’s the 4th of July! One of the Top 5 busiest days of the year at MK!!

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Nobody does 4th of July fireworks shows better than Disney!  WOW!!!

Fireworks over Cinderella Castle

Seeing special fireworks over Cinderella Castle with special music.  🙂

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Mickey in yet another one of his patriotic outfits!

Caroline wrote a blog about celebrating the 4th of July at Disney World in 2015:

Read it here:  4th of July at Disney!

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07/04/2017, 9pm:  One last Castle shot before the fireworks show began.

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dole whip

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

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Trump Will Speak at Hall of Presidents Now

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Current signage outside the Hall of Presidents.

The Hall of Presidents show at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World closed in January 2017 and is still not scheduled to reopen yet. (Normally, it would reopen the last week in June right before the 4th of July holiday.)

Many people have wondered what role the new, very unpopular president would play in the Magic Kingdom attraction since he was elected.

On June 23, 2017, Disney announced it plans for Trump to speak.

“The same thing that we’ve done with other presidents, is the same plan we have for President Trump,” said Jacquee Wahler, vice president of communications. When asked if Trump would have a speaking role, Wahler said that he would.

6/27/2017:  Update from Disney Parks Blog:

Since the Magic Kingdom Park opened in 1971, The Hall of Presidents has brought together a one-of-a-kind look at the office of the President of the United States through film and the magic of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics technology. Despite some media reports to the contrary, President Trump will have a speaking role in The Hall of Presidents, like every president since 1993. We have been working closely with the current White House — just as we have with previous administrations — and the president’s recording session has been scheduled. The attraction will re-open in late 2017.

Whenever we refurbish one of our attractions, we take the opportunity to consider a broad range of enhancements. In this case, The Hall of Presidents is getting a new show, and a complete theater upgrade including a new sound system, lighting and high-definition projection system. The multi-screen viewing experience you may have seen in prior versions of the attraction is returning with an even wider vantage point of our country’s history.

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Since Bill Clinton, every sitting president has recited a speech during the attraction.  However, since Trump is functionally illiterate and reads at a 4th grade level, it has proven difficult for Disney to get an audio from him.  They may end up using some pieced audio from a previous TV appearances.

Initially, the Walt Disney World website said the attraction would be closed between January 17th and June 29, 2017. No specific reopening date has been announced, but Disney Parks Blog says The Hall of Presidents will now reopen in “late 2017.”

The delay is because Trump has been “unavailable” to tape a 2 minute speech and he has yet to donate one of his personal Trump suits with an oversized red tie for the animatronic to wear.  They may end up having to buy a suit from Trump’s business in NYC for it to wear. (Hard to believe that a “billionaire” can’t afford to donate one of his suits to Disney!)  Rumor has it that Trump also didn’t approve of the animatronic sketches and wanted the avatar to look “thinner”.

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46% of voters chose unwisely in November 2016!

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President Obama giving a 2 minute message of hope and freedom.

We will not step foot inside Hall of Presidents while Mr. Trump is center on that stage babbling about ‘Making America Great Again’.

For a behind-the-scenes look at President Obama recording his address for Hall of Presidents, watch this:

Coolest president ever!  President Obama Records Voice for Hall of Presidents

Thank you President Obama for 8 successful years as the leader of the free world.

See more video of Obama here:  President Obama Comes To Hall of Presidents

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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

What is the Disney HUB?

The Disney Hub log-in webpage:

The Hub log-on page

The Disney Hub log-on page for all cast members

The Disney Hub is a web-based collection of information and tools available to all Disney Cast Members. You can register for your Hub user ID and password at any of the Disney Cast Service Centers or at any Hub kiosk across property.

Once you are registered, you can access The Hub from anywhere, including your personal computer or the computer labs in Housing, at: thehub.disney.com/wdw.

You will find that The Hub contains a wealth of helpful information including:

  • Extra Hour$ Hotline
  • Disney University library resources, activities, locations
  • Cast services: Casting, ID office (Access Control), Casting Scout, Payroll forms
  • Personal information, such as your mailling and email address
  • Your work schedule
  • Your pay stub
  • Eyes & Ears stories
  • Breaking news about the Walt Disney World Resort and The Walt Disney Company
  • Disney facts and trivia
  • News, weather, sports, movies and music news
  • Cast activities and events
  • Mickey’s Retreat information and events
  • Cast-exclusive offerings and programs
  • Company D sales and information
  • Role-based messages and activities
  • Training opportunities
  • Disney Look guidelines
  • Departmental details and services

In addition to these general features, The Hub also has a section just for Disney Internships and Programs participants. This section includes information, messages and tips on many topics, including the following:

  • Career planning
  • Upcoming events
  • Photos from recent housing events
  • Education program
  • Transportation schedules
  • HTM: Housing the Magic episodes
  • Copies of the weekly email and The Communicator newsletter
  • Program extension information
The Hub explained page from the Program Handbook

The Hub is explained in a page from the DCP Program Handbook

CP Moment On Your Own (2)

For a lot of CPs working at Disney World – or Disneyland – is their very first time living away from home!


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dole whip

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

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Goodbye to ‘Wishes’ Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom!

Disney has the best fireworks shows in the world!

Wishes fireworks over the Cinderella Catsle

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
I wish I might have my wish tonight.

 

After 14 years, the ‘Wishes’ Nighttime Fireworks Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom will say goodbye tonight (May 11, 2017) with the very last performance.

happily

The new fireworks show!

A new show called ‘Happily Ever After’ begins Friday night, May 12th, 2017.

‘Happily Ever After’ captures the heart, humor, and emotions of Disney films through awe-inspiring fireworks, state of the art projections, and brilliant lasers.

Disney Parks Blog will be live steaming the event:  Live Stream from the Magic Kingdom.

Make a wish....

Always make a wish when Tinkerbell leaps off the Cinderella Castle and glides over Fantasyland!

We saw – or heard – the Wishes fireworks show every single day while working for Disney during our year-long DCP program at Disney World.

wishes

We cried along with our friends watching Wishes fireworks on the very last night of our program!

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Ever wonder just what do all those firework shows at Disney World cost????

Wishes at the Magic Kingdom!

‘Wishes’ over the Magic Kingdom!

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is the highest consumer of fireworks in the world.

Disney does not disclose the cost of fireworks, but just the nightly – and sometimes twice a night – ‘Wishes’ fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom costs anywhere from $41,000-$55,000 a night. (The special New Year’s Eve fireworks at MK are estimated to cost over $100,000!)  That means it costs at least $15 million a year for Magic Kingdom fireworks alone.

Disney World puts on about 2,500 firework shows a year at three of their parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios). No fireworks displays are ever used at Animal Kingdom – it would scare the animals!  And, there are no fireworks shows at Disney Springs.

If you want to assume that Illuminations at Epcot and Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios are slightly less, maybe half the cost, that comes out to at least $30 million a year for them. This would not include any special fireworks displays that happen for 4th of July, or Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Villains in the Sky at Hollywood Studios, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, nor the daytime fireworks that are a part of most of the stage shows performed in front of the Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom.

Rough, conservative estimate for WDW fireworks – $45 – $50 million dollars annually.

It seems like everytime Disney changes or expands the fireowrks show, the parking fees go up!

It seems like every time Disney changes or expands the fireworks show, the parking fees go up!

Rumor has it that Disney uses the revenue from all their parking lots (currently $20/day) to help cover the cost of the fireworks. So, when you pay for parking, you’re really paying for the evening’s fireworks show. Nice!  (Be sure to stay for the fireworks and not leave early!!)

Expect parking fees to go up soon with the new fireworks show launching this week!  🙂

5pm: Moving the Illumnations fireworks platforms into position.

5pm: Moving the Illuminations fireworks platforms into position at Epcot.

Moving out into the center of the Friendship Lagoon.

Moving the launching platforms out into the center of Friendship Lagoon.

VIP Seating for Illuminations

Caroline watching the beginning of the Illuminations show.

CP Moment Illuminations

A CP Moment:  Watching IllumiNations for the first time with your coworkers.

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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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New Cast Member Costumes for Pandora – The World of Avatar Coming to DAK

pandora

New cast member costumes for Pandora were previewed this week.

There’s something about the look of these costumes that vaguely looks like a combination of the Spaceship Earth cast member costumes at Epcot and the Tomorrowland costumes at the Magic Kingdom!

pandora6

New name tags for all cast members working in Pandora.

There are three groups residing in Pandora: Alpha Centauri Expeditions, Scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative, and EXPAT Community.

Each of these groups have specific roles in Pandora and each will have special costumes that reinforce those roles for guests.

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Alpha Centauri Expeditions costume (attractions cast member costume)

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Scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative. (This costume seems so familiar!)

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EXPAT Community costume (food service and merch costume)

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Cast Member Exclusive Preview!!!

May 5th!

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Cast preview on Friday morning!

 

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This is going to be AMAZING!

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Pandora – The World of Avatar opens for guests May 27, 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

avatar (2)

Welcome to the World of Avatar!

This new land will transport guests to the visually stunning world of Pandora. Here, guests will wonder at floating mountains and bioluminescent plants, and can join the Na’vi on two excursions that take adventure to the next level.

avatar

Na’vi River Journey

First, the family friendly Na’vi River Journey will send guests through a bioluminescent rainforest. (Similar to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at MK.)

NEW VIDEO!:  Animontronics on Na’vi River Journey

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The bioluminescence forest.

pandora

Cool photo pass op!

The journey ends with an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora.

Soarin on a banshee.

Flight of Passage! Soaring on the back of a banshee.  This will be one crazy simulator ride!!!

Second, Avatar Flight of Passage will offer guests the jaw-dropping experience of exploring the world of Pandora atop a Banshee. (The banshee flight simulator is similar ride to Soarin’ Around the World ride at Epcot.) The new ride system will be “considerably more thrilling” than the current Soarin’ attraction. Guests will “climb up the mountains of Pandora” in the queue for the ride before entering the show building where they will ‘take off and fly’, literally launching off the cliffs on a Banshee.

IMG_6744

We love DAK and can’t wait for Pandora to open next month!

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dole whip

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

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Celebrating Earth Day 2017 with ‘Party for the Planet’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Party for the Planet #DisneyAnimals

Guests can honor Earth Day 2017 by participating in ‘Party for the Planet’ activities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on April 21-23, 2017. [Earth Day is April 22, 2017.]

Party for the Planet is “a fun and festive way to connect with nature and be inspired to protect our planet” through a variety of special offerings at Animal Kingdom, including opportunities to explore the nature and wildlife of the park.

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Special sweet treats will be available.

Guests visiting over the weekend of April 21-23 can pick up a Party for the Planet Times Guide when entering the park to help plan your the day. While at the Oasis, guests can also select one of 10 different animal cut-outs and they are encouraged to take photos for sharing on social media using the hashtag #DisneyAnimals.

Guests can also shop for special merchandise inspired by nature and wildlife including Boiled Books (featuring embossed artwork and stationery created with pressed natural elements, like leaves, flowers and seeds), Petal Pushers (a purveyor of giftable plants), and Jortra (selling handmade jewelry made from coffee beans, orange peels and cantaloupe seeds). These special vendors can be found outside Island Merchantile on Discovery Island and at Mombasa Marketplace in Africa.

And, there will be special characters at the meet and greet:

Jiminy Cricket (2)

Jiminy Cricket only comes out on Earth Day weekend!

DAK Tree

At the Tree of Life

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Tree of Life Cupcake, $5.19. Well worth it!

Jiminy Cricket at DAK

Jiminy Cricket at DAK last year.  He was out at Planet Rafiki all weekend this year.

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On Saturday’s safari.

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My new Earth Day earrings!

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dole whip

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

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‘Frozen’ Summer Games Returns to Blizzard Beach in May!

frozen

Frozen’s Summer Games returns May 26th!

The “Frozen” Summer Games 2017 will be returning to Disney’s Blizzard Beach starting May 26th, with even more snowy, summery fun!

And for the first time in forever, you will be able to meet and take photos with Kristoff and Olaf at Blizzard Beach.

Guests visiting Blizzard Beach can join Team Kristoff or Team Olaf to participate in a variety of activities, games, and crafts from Ice Pail Relays and a Snowball Toss to Ski Pole Limbo and Slide Races. It’s going to be a blast!

Listen for a DJ spinning some cool Disney tunes throughout the day!

Sun’s out, guns out!

Let’s go!!!!   🙂

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blizzard

Blizzard Beach is open from 10am – 5pm daily.

Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon (our favorite!) are open daily.

The water park’s hours are currently from 10am – 5pm daily.  The water parks do close for thunderstorms, so always check before you go!

To check on water park hours:  Disney’s Water Parks Hours
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And, over at Typhoon Lagoon the new Miss Adventure Falls ride is open!

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The new Miss Adventure Falls tube ride

Read all the details about the new Miss Adventure Falls here:  Miss Adventure Falls is Open!

olaf (2)

We’ve met Olaf a couple times at several different locations and he’s a lot of fun!

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dole whip

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

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