To My DCP Ohana

To my Disney College Program Family,

We have all gone our separate ways. We have gone back to school; we have extended our programs; we have gone part time at Disney; we have traveled the world and we have found new jobs. Our paths have taken us in directions we didn’t know were possible until they were happening, but something just doesn’t feel right.

And that’s because we aren’t together.

I walk around campus and I feel lonely. I know people, I have friends, I go out…but it just doesn’t feel the same anymore. I look around at all of these groups of friends and I’m jealous.

I’m jealous because my close group of friends is scattered all around the country and I don’t know when I’ll see them again.

Something magical happens when you do a Disney College Program. You step out of your comfort zone because somehow…you already feel comfortable. You find yourself wanting to meet new people and make new friends because you want more people to share your love of Disney with. You click with so many people in such a short amount of time and you become inseparable.

In my almost five years of college, I have never experienced anything like this. Nothing I have ever been a part of really felt like…a family. And I need to thank each and every one of you for making my home away from home so incredibly special.

I miss that moment we met for the first time.

I miss seeing your faces at work.

I miss driving to work and having dance parties in the car or taking Transtar to work and being scared the whole ride something was going to happen.

I miss bonding in the break room.

I miss taking pictures in our god awful costumes.

I miss group chats.

I miss sleepovers.

I miss inside jokes.

I miss days off spent exploring the parks together.

I miss cheating on Disney and heading to Universal.

I miss lying by the pool and having deep talks about life.

I miss parties and HOB nights.

I miss waiting in 30 minute long lines for Taco Bell after work.

I miss making stupid faces for ride photos.

I miss impromptu photo shoots.

I miss riding Tower of Terror a million times in a row.

I miss having meals together.

I miss graduation day.

I miss being able to text you that I needed you and you showing up at my door five minutes later.

I miss everything.

I miss everything every, single, day.

It doesn’t get easier; when you spend every day with someone for six months of your life, not having them around is hard. It’s painful. But I am thankful that we had six months of experiences together. I am thankful for late nights at iHop, Sunday and Wednesday nights at HOB, mornings spent at Trails End, and countless days spent getting to know and love each other while playing in our magical backyard.

You won’t understand this feeling until you go through it yourself. It can’t be explained, it can’t be faked and it can’t be taken for granted.

I miss and love you all. Thank you for making my program what it was. You have set the bar extremely high for my future friends–let’s pray they like Disney as much we do.

If you’re currently going through your program, cherish these moments you are sharing with your best friends. And if you are long gone from your program, go text your best friends and thank them for being part of your journey, whether it’s been six months or six years.IMG_3313

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#HHN25

I am not a fan of horror. I hate it. In fact, I can’t even watch scary movies because I get way too freaked out.

Yet, I have attended Universal Studios® Halloween Horror Nights® for the past four years in a row.

Why do I enjoy torturing myself?

It’s simple. I like spending time with my family and deep, deep down…being scared is thrilling. But I’ll never admit that when tears are streaming down my face as I’m getting the life scared out of me.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida and the #HHN25 team brought their A game.

With nine haunted houses, five scare zones and two shows, this year’s event had something that appealed to everyone and has already proven to be a success.

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Here is my ranking of the houses by scare factor:

  1. 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem (Anniversary House)
  2. Insidious
  3. The Purge
  4. Freddy Vs. Jason
  5. The Walking Dead
  6. Body Collectors
  7. Asylum in Wonderland
  8. An American Werewolf in London
  9. RUN: Blood, Sweat and Fears

This list is solely based on scare factor according to me and my party of five other people. Everyone is scared by different things, so definitely walk through each house yourself and come up with your own rankings.

This is my reasoning behind my rankings:

  1. Anniversary House- I came out of this house shaking and in tears. Maybe it’s because it was the first house of the night we did and we walked right in so I had no time to prepare. Maybe it was because it had a lot of unfamiliar characters that I wasn’t expecting. Or maybe it was because this house was so well done that I was screaming, really screaming, at every twist and turn. Universal hit the nail on the head with this anniversary house. Kudos.
  2. Insidious- A lot of people have said that this is one of the scariest houses HHN has ever done. While I don’t 100% agree, I don’t 100% disagree, either. For me, never having seen Insidous, it was scary because I didn’t know what I was walking into. The scenes drew me in and made me forget to check for scare actors, which I always do, so I got a lot of unexpected scares. But I think this house was more based on a creepiness factor than a scare factor. A+ on the outside of the house, though. (Although, I liked it better as the Halloween house last year.)
  3. The Purge- This whole concept scares the living day lights out of me because THIS. COULD. HAPPEN. Well, maybe not, but it’s more realistic than some of the other concepts, which adds to its scare factor. The outside set up was well done (that yellow bus has been used for everything) and I was honestly scared from start to finish. Also, any house that uses strobe lights will get me shaking and running for the exit, which is exactly what happened.
  4. Freddy vs Jason- While I went in knowing the back story of both horror icons, I have never seen either movie. As someone who had no frame of reference, I believe the house was extremely well done. Houses like these where the same character (or two) pop up multiple times are tough because you have to make sure each actor looks EXACTLY the same. Whoever worked on this house did an AMAZING job of this. Every Freddy and every Jason looked the same to me, and terrified me each time. This house also had the exciting factor of there being a battle, which took away some of my fear, thankfully.
  5. The Walking Dead- This house was not super boring or super scary to me, sadly. It was kind of in the middle. Last year’s Walking Dead house was the best that they’ve done since partnering with AMC, so it doesn’t surprise me that they didn’t top it. Zombies are pretty cool to me and since I’m such a huge fan of the show I enjoyed the house regardless, but it might be time to find a new idea to work with. Or maybe not, since Season 6 has been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G so far.
  6. Body Collectors- This house was decent, but the issue I had with it, like The Walking Dead, is that people killing people and insane asylums have been done before…a lot. I know this was a take on two concepts Universal did in the past, so people who are familiar with it will enjoy it. I was scared, but not as scared as I thought I was going to be.
  7. Asylum in Wonderland- This wasn’t too terrible. The 3D effect was interesting, but really…how scared am I supposed to be of Alice in Wonderland? It was trippy, which made it appear scarier, but it wasn’t super scary to me.
  8. An American Werewolf in London- This house was done two years ago, and while it was revamped a bit for this year…I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now. Of course I jumped and got scared because everything scares me, but I hope they put this house to rest for good.
  9. RUN: Blood, Sweat and Fears- This. House. Was. Awful. This is the only one that I was confused throughout the entire thing. I left thinking, “what did I just walk through?” I found myself not scared as I walked through because I was just trying to figure out the point of this house. I honestly couldn’t tell you one thing I remember because it was that forgettable. If you have to skip one house, let it be this one.

You still have a few chances to experience #HHN25 for yourself, and Jack and his maniacs are waiting.

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MNSSHP vs. MVMCP

The holidays at Walt Disney World® are my absolute favorite.

We may not get fall or winter here in Florida, but Disney lets us pretend that we do.

Every September through November, Disney hosts ‘Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and every November through December they host ‘Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.’ Both are separate ticketed events that go from 7PM-12AM on select nights at the Magic Kingdom.

Since these events require a separate ticket, sometimes it’s hard to find the time (and money) to do both. That leaves us with one question: if you must choose one, which party do you attend?

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My personal choice is MNSSHP, even though the holiday season, particularly Christmas, is my favorite. Here’s why:

  1. Everything you see at MVMCP, you can see when the parties are officially over. Yes, you head right. ALL. OF. IT. The parade (Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade) replaces Festival of Fantasy until the beginning of January and the castle lighting show is performed every night along with Holiday Wishes. The only things you really miss out on are the complimentary hot cocoa and cookies they give out during the party. So if you plan to be in Disney anywhere from December 19 to January 1-2, you don’t need to attend MVMCP unless you really want the free treats. 10609464_10152573424103443_1942372641236890082_n
  2. You can dress up AND trick-or-treat during MNSSHP! That’s right: kids AND adults can dress up as their favorite Disney characters (or anything, of course) and get as much candy as they want throughout the night. Nothing beats free candy. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. 10620512_10152370588388443_8788840194749923718_n
  3. Mickey and the gang are dressed in the CUTEST Halloween costumes, as well as some other characters that you can meet throughout the night. It’s pretty much the best thing ever and you NEED to see it in person.995642_1487484921502179_8024286134343283800_n
  4. HalloWishes. The SOUNDTRACK for this fireworks display, more specifically, is probably my favorite soundtrack aside from Festival of Fantasy. It’s creepy. It’s suspenseful. It goes perfectly with the fireworks. Everything about it has me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. (But don’t get me wrong, Holiday Wishes is a sight to see, too.)               10411251_10152370594388443_373046456239834431_n
  5. The decorations. Oh, the decorations. Christmas is my favorite holiday but the way the Magic Kingdom looks during the fall months is simply breathtaking. I think what makes it especially nice is that the Magic Kingdom is the only park decorated during this time.

10351011_10153155773903443_3355229087472799382_nUltimately, the choice is yours. However, in my opinion, you get more bang for your buck with MNSSHP. But if you can manage to do both this year, you’re the real MVP.

Tickets are still available for MNSSHP through November 1, with Halloween already sold out. And tickets are available for MVMCP which starts November 8. You can find more information here.

Will you be attending one of the parties this year? Which holiday is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!