What They Don’t Tell You About The Disney College Program

You can read every description of the Disney College Program, but there are some things you won’t know until you experience it for yourself. Continue reading

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Find Your #DisneySide at #StarWarsWeekends

The month of May brings us a variety of things. Flowers (courtesy of April showers), the end of school (for those of us in college), graduation (congratulations class of 2015!) and beautiful weather (for the most part).

But…what May brings us at the Walt Disney World resort is an immersive experience that you cannot get anywhere else.

Star. Wars. Weekends.

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Whether you are a super fan or someone who is just getting into the famous saga, Disney does not disappoint, and this year is bound to break past records for attendance and sales.

Sunday concluded weekend 3 out of 5, with two more weekends of Star Wars fun to be had by all. And if you haven’t been yet…well…I’m going to tell you why going at least once will be worth your while.

1) Characters

Everyone loves characters; Little kids, big kids and even bigger kids (aka adults) love to get a picture and get some one on one time with their favorite characters, and Star Wars Weekends is chock full of them. You have Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Chip and Dale dressed as some of your favorite SW characters (which goes over really well with little kids who may not be as into the movies as their parents!) and then, of course, you have your classic SW characters. There are character meet and greets set up throughout the park where you can meet them, and some of them walk around the Coke bottle area near the former Studio Backlot Tour (still bitter about this) entrance. There are also two character dining experiences you can choose from: Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast at the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater where you will meet classic Star Wars characters, and Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood & Vine where you will meet Mickey and his pals.

If neither of those appeal to you, wait in the hot sun to meet your favorites, you must.

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2) Merchandise

What would a special event be without LIMITED EDITION MERCHANDISE?! To answer that question, the event would be lame. Super lame. But thankfully, Disney goes above and beyond in the merchandise department for SWW, and this year may be the best yet. Darth’s Mall has been a staple at SWW for many years and is normally housed in the sound stage building directly next to Toy Story Midway Mania. However, with the Backlot Tour space being vacant (and again, still bitter) and the former home of Darth’s Mall being occupied, Disney decided to put Darth’s Mall in the backlot area, and it’s bigger and better than ever. Darth’s Mall is made up of two locations: Watto’s Grotto and X-Wing Collectibles. Prop Shop (directly next to the Mike and Sulley meet and greet area) is also considered part of the shop complex, but you’ll find more of your normal Star Wars merchandise in this store. Watto’s Grotto (which I got to work in!) houses your soft line merchandise (clothing, including Her Universe merchandise by Ashley Eckstein), toys, build your own droid and build your own light saber stations, a create your own name tag area, pins, magicbands and autographed photographs.  X-Wing Collectibles, as the name suggests, houses all of your limited edition merchandise and more pricey merchandise, such as artwork, figurines, and Dooney and Bourke. In addition, there is a new stein and popcorn bucket available this year–Boba Fett in stein form and Han Solo in Carbonite in popcorn bucket form.  There is a little something for everyone, no matter what your level of love is for Star Wars.

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3) Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience

Starting at 4pm, a rather large portion of The Backlot Express is transformed into the Rebel Hangar, which is new to SWW this year. Indulge in delectable small plates, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcholic) and desserts while in a nicely themed atmosphere. You may even receive a visit from some characters, so keep your eyes peeled! The addition of this dining experience begs the question: Will Disney add a permanent Star Wars dining experience if they add a Star Wars area to the park? It would certainly be popular whether it was quick or table service, and I’m sure it’s something they’ve already thought about. Nevertheless, if you are able to snag a reservation (because I don’t think they take walk ins), the Rebel Hangar is a unique experience and one worth having. Oh, and don’t forget to try the blue milk 😉

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4) A Parade in DHS

One reason why I love SWW is because Disney’s Hollywood Studios gets a parade! Well, they call it a motorcade, but still, anything is better than nothing! Starting at 11pm, the celebrity guests make their way down Hollywood Boulevard with the help of Mickey and his friends and classic Star Wars characters. They all gather onstage for a few photo opportunities as James Arnold Taylor goes through a run down of all of the events taking place throughout the day. If you didn’t wait since the night before to get a ticket to meet your favorite celebrity, this is the best chance you have to get a good picture of them.

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5) FIREWORKS

Fantasmic! is great and all, but I have always been and will always be a fireworks display loving girl; that’s why Wishes is my favorite nighttime show at Disney. However, yet again, DHS has me in love with their Star Wars themed fireworks. Symphony In The Stars is six minutes of pure bliss, and my only complaint is that I wish it were longer! The music and fireworks fit perfectly together and keep the guests engaged from start to finish, making it one of the best fireworks displays Disney World has to offer. Be sure to get a good spot well in advance though–at least an hour/an hour and a half before it starts. My suggestion is in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard right past where the ice cream cart is. You can see the screen/stage pretty well and you’re in the perfect spot for pictures/video.

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Whether you’re part of the rebellion or the dark side, Star Wars Weekends has a little something for everyone.

Besides, you get to play around with a light saber and battle people. What more could you possibly ask for?

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Having Adventures in the Great Wide, Somewhere…

Two posts in two days?! I am spoiling you guys 😉

But I did promise to share some of my fun adventures that I’ve had so far on my program, and I always keep my promises.

So, without further ado, it’s time for DCP Adventures with The Theme Park Princess ❤

1) My coworkers are some of the most amazing women I have ever met, and I LOVE spending time with them. About a month ago, six of us (plus a few other people) went to breakfast at Trails End, located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge and Campground. Trails End is a country themed restaurant that offers an all you can eat breakfast buffet (so delicious and SO worth it!). This breakfast was the first time we all really got to know each other, and we bonded over good food, funny stories and our ever present awkwardness. To say we’ve been inseparable ever since would be an understatement; not only do I see them all the time at work, but we also have a ton of ‘WOD Squad’ dates and sleepovers. I can’t get enough of these girls! That was the day I realized I had made friends for life, and I will be so sad to see the majority of them leave in May 😦

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2) You would think that because I am beyond obsessed with Disney, an annual pass holder AND a cast member that I would have gone to every Disney park in Orlando. Oddly enough…you would be wrong! Up until a few weeks ago, I had NEVER been to a Disney water park! Luckily, my roommate and I changed that and we went to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon! I’ve only ever been to one other water park, and it’s a very small one right by my house in Naples, Fla., so it really doesn’t compare. But I loved every minute of being at Typhoon! I loved the wave pool (even though I got knocked down every time), I loved all of the water coasters and the lazy river was SO relaxing! The great thing about the water park is that you can get a lot done in a short amount of time and still have the rest of the day to do other things, like visit Downtown Disney 😉 If you’ve never visited a Disney water park, I highly suggest making that part of your next trip! Now I just have to conquer Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach!

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3) Aside from my obvious love for theme parks, I also love baseball! I grew up going to Yankees games and when I moved down here to Florida, I obviously stopped going as frequently. Last week, I went to my first baseball game in about two years, and seeing my team play in the most magical place on earth was a wonderful experience! The next day I went to yet another baseball game, this time it was the Braves against the Marlins, and while I’m not a fan of either team, I just love watching the sport and being with my friends. We also went to Hollywood Studios that night (after a much needed nap), and I got to experience my friend riding all the major attractions for the first time. I love watching someone’s face the first time you drop on Tower of Terror, or when you get launched on Rockin’ Roller Coaster. Baseball and Disney are two of my favorite things, so the fact that I got to combine both over the course of two days was truly magical. (Plus, I got to see my roommate hard at work since she works at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex!)

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These are just a few of my favorite adventures so far, so I promise to have another post in the near future! But none of these amazing experiences would’ve been possible without the wonderful group of people featured in this post, so a huge thank you to Katherine, Katie, Erin, Denning, Abby, Deanna, Tyler, Ryan and Jake for making my program as fun as it has been. You guys are the best.

Here’s to many more memories to be made at the most magical place on earth! ❤

Adventure Is Out There

I’d like to start by apologizing for being so MIA since I moved to Orlando to participate in the Disney College Program, but I am about to make up for it right now!

I did begin my program on the 19th of January, and it has been a challenging, but highly rewarding, experience thus far. I am living in Chatham Square with four lovely roommates and I am working merchandise at the World of Disney at Downtown Disney, which is the largest Disney store in the world.

*pauses for dramatic effect*

My work location has been the most challenging part so far, mainly because the store is composed of 11 rooms. This means that I have had A LOT to learn, and you only get about a week of training (or, really, four-five days). I will be the first to admit that I had a hard time the weeks following my first initial week (where you go through Casting, Traditions, and get a feel for everything before you start on the job training) trying to find my place and I wondered if I had made the right decision in coming here. I felt overwhelmed from all of the training plus trying to keep up with my classes, and I felt excluded because my hours at work differed from all of my roommate’s hours, so I barely saw them.

But then something happened:

I remembered I am at Walt Disney World completing an internship that thousands of college students around the world would give up anything to do.

I started to find the positives at work, whether it be interacting with more guests or reaching out to and getting to know more coworkers. In fact, some of the best times I’ve had here so far have been with my coworkers.  Even on days when it’s not that great, I know that there are four magnificent parks waiting for me on the days that I’m off, and that alone makes the experience worth it.

This adventure I am on is one I was meant to take, and I am sure of that. The lessons that I am learning and the experiences I am having are going to shape who I am and help me become the best version of myself.

Is it scary? Absolutely.

Is it tiring? Of course.

Can it be frustrating at times? Yes.

But the friendships I am making, the magical moments I am having and am able to create…they make it all worth it. I mean, where else in the world can I go casually visit Magic Kingdom before work or have breakfast with the Fab Five?

Adventure is out there, you just have to go for it and don’t look back ❤

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*I will do a post about some of the fun things I’ve done since I’ve gotten here soon, and if anyone has any questions about the DCP I can do a question/answer post too, just let me know!*

Disney Update!

Walt Disney World has certainly been the center of attention lately, hasn’t it?

It’s easy to miss something when it feels like an announcement is coming every few days!

So here is your Disney Update Cheat Sheet!

1) Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has begun at the Magic Kingdom!

On select nights from now through Dec. 19, Magic Kingdom will transform into a winter wonderland from 7:00 PM to midnight for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Guests will be able to meet their favorite Disney characters dressed in their wintery best (including, for the first time, Sandy Claws!), watch Elsa, along with Anna, Kristoff and Olaf, cast an icy glow on Cinderella Castle during A Frozen Holiday Wish, wave to Disney friends as they pass by in Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, see the sky explode into glorious colors during Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, and enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and cookies while they walk down a snowy Main Street! This is my favorite time of the year and my favorite hard ticket event at Disney, so make sure to check it out! I’ll be going on Monday, so be on the lookout for a post and if you see me, say hi!

2) The Sorcerer’s Hat in Disney’s Hollywood Studios Will Be Removed in Early 2015

No, this is not a rumor. Disney has announced that the Sorcerer’s Hat, placed in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2001, will be removed in early 2015. I can’t tell you how many people didn’t know this was happening or thought it was a rumor, but it isn’t. Personally, I’ll be sad to see it go since I’ve only ever known DHS with the iconic hat, but I’m sure whatever Disney has planned will blow us away!

3) Maelstrom, Studio Backlot Tour, and The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow Have All Closed

Maelstrom and Studio Backlot Tour both closed a few weeks ago, but you’d be surprised how many people are still unaware of that! The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, in Disney’s Hollywood Studio, closed Thursday. It’s unknown on what will replace this, but seeing as it is right next to Pixar Place, one could speculate that Disney is gearing up to expand the area that houses Toy Story Midway Mania. At least, that’s what this girl is hoping for!

4) Toy Story 4 Is Coming To A Theatre Near You in 2017

Toy Story fans, get ready to continue the adventure with your favorite toys because they’re coming back! John Lasseter, the director of Toy Story 1 and 2, will be directing the 4th installment, which is slated to be released in June of 2017, seven years after Toy Story 3 was released. Now, I admit I was a little upset when I first heard that a fourth movie was being made because I thought, like many other people did, that Toy Story 3 ended the trilogy PERFECTLY. However, after reading several interviews with John Lasseter in various articles, it’s clear to me that these movies meant just as much to him as they did to the fans. I have faith that this movie will wow us. (But Toy Story 3 was still the perfect ending.)

5) Big Hero 6 Is Now In Theatres!

Big Hero 6, the newest movie from the brilliant minds at Walt Disney Animation Studios, is finally out in theatres! I’ve heard EXCELLENT reviews, some claiming that this is the best animated movie Disney has ever put out! This is actually the first Disney animated film to feature Marvel characters, so Marvel fans will be pleased! I can’t wait to go see the movie. If you’ve seen it, did you like it?! Let me know in the comments below!

6) The Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade Is Getting A Little…Frozen

The coast-to-coast Christmas Day Parade, hosted by the Disneyland Resort in California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, is getting a new name: Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration!

If you’re a fan of the popular film, this is exciting news! If you’re absolutely over the hype, this is upsetting to you. All I can say is this–Frozen is popular and is a film that transcends age, which is not something every film can accomplish. At the end of the day, Disney is still a business, and they have to capitalize on what brings in the most money, the most views, the most people. When was the last time a movie made THIS big of a splash? While I know it’s upsetting to see Frozen taking over a lot of things, I don’t think they’re sacrificing the magic of Disney in any way. People LOVE meeting Anna and Elsa in Princess Fairytale Hall; they love to sing along to movies from the film in ‘For The First Time in Forever: A Frozen Celebration’; they still get excited to see the sisters during Festival of Fantasy. In fact, Frozen merchandise is STILL selling like hotcakes. It’s more popular now then when it was first released, and if people didn’t love it as much as they do, Disney wouldn’t continue to build on the excitement.

I personally love the film. I loved Frozen Summer Fun, I still go to the sing along, I still wait in line to meet the princesses, and I’m BEYOND excited to see them during MVMCP lighting the castle! I don’t agree with taking out Maelstrom to replace it with a Frozen inspired ride, but otherwise, I’m excited to see what else they come up with. Let the storm rage on, right?

If you know of any other huge Disney updates, tell me in the comments so I can add to this list!

Are you excited about the changes?

Which change is the most exciting/most upsetting to you?

30 Day Challenge in 3 minutes

Do you ever see those 30 day challenges and think to yourself, “I am so going to do that next month!”?

I do. And then I never make it past the first week or two.

So, instead, I’m going to do a 30 day challenge in about three minutes. It’ll be a fun, quirky post and a good way for you all to get to know my #disneyside ❤

Let me know if we share any favorites!

*Side Note: I am REALLY bad at picking favorites….so honestly…I may have anywhere from 1-5 favorites. Bear with me. It’s hard.*

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1. Favorite Character- Buzz Lightyear (but I also love Elsa–but she’s a queen, so she gets her own category. Oh, I also love Marie from The Arisocats.)

2. Favorite Princess Aurora (although I think Anna may be become my new favorite–we are SO similar. Oh wait, also love Rapunzel)

3. Favorite Heroine Anna, hands down

4. Favorite Prince- Philip

5. Favorite Hero- Hercules

6. Favorite Animal- Pegasus

7. Favorite Sidekick- Olaf ❤

8. Favorite Villain- Maleficent

9. Favorite Original Character- Mickey Mouse

10. Favorite SongOkay. I have a few. “You’ve Got A Friend In Me,” “Let It Go,” “When Will My Life Begin” and “Go The Distance.”

11. Favorite Love Song“I Won’t Say I’m In Love” and “See The Light”

12. Favorite Villain Song- “Poor Unfortunate Soul”

13. Least Favorite Song- Honestly, anything Snow White sings. I can’t stand her voice. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.

14. Favorite Kiss- Belle and the Beast after his transformation

15. First Movie You Saw- I THINK it was The Lion King? I know I was obsessed with it when I was younger!

16. Favorite Classic- This is WAY too hard. I love Sleeping Beauty (as a classic princess movie), but I also love Toy Story, which I totally consider a classic.

17. Least Favorite Classic- Pinocchio. I dislike this movie so much.

18. Favorite Pixar Film- Toy Story, but also Monster’s Inc. LOVE THEM.

19. Least Favorite Pixar Film- Probably Cars

20. Favorite SequelThe entire Toy Story trilogy. So well done. Love it.

21. Overrated Movie- Cars, and Tarzan.

22. Underrated Movie- The Aristocats. Can we give some love to this movie, please?

23. Movie That Makes You Laugh- Monsters University

24. Movie That Makes You Cry- Oh. My. God. Toy Story 3. If you didn’t cry…are you even human…?

25. Favorite Scene From Your Favorite Movie- I have a lot of favorite movies, but…my favorite scene is the lantern scene from Tangled. It makes my heart so incredibly happy.

26. Saddest Death- Oh gosh. There’s so many…but probably Mufasa.

27. Favorite Quote“They say if you dream a thing more than once it’s sure to come true.” ❤

28. Favorite Theme Park- Magic Kingdom

29. Favorite Theme Park Attraction- Yeah…and here we come to a problem. I have a lot. Space Mountain, Test Track, Expedition Everest, Tower of Terror and Toy Story Midway Mania. (I know, I have two for Hollywood Studios. But I love them both SO much.)

30. Favorite Theme Park ShowIf it’s a nighttime show, Wishes. If it’s just an entertainment show, probably Finding Nemo the Musical at DAK, or Festival of The Lion King.

Are you going to take the challenge? What are your favorites?

l Am On My Way; I Can Go The Distance

“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way–implicitly and unquestionable.” – Walt Disney.

To piggyback off of Walt, I would like to begin by saying that believing in yourself, first and foremost, is one of the most important things you will ever do in life. Believing in yourself opens up so many doors that will lead you down new and exciting paths, and those paths will help shape who you become.

Truthfully, I have always struggled with my self esteem. Some days I feel on top of the world, and other days I feel like there’s the ground, 50 feet of dirt, and then me.

However, and this may sound silly, finding my dream has helped me feel better about myself. Having a dream gives me a sense of purpose, and having a sense of purpose makes me feel…important.

I’ve mentioned my dream briefly a few times, but to refresh your memory, I would ultimately love to work in social media/communications department for Walt Disney World. I very much enjoy interacting with people on social media platforms and figuring out how to use the platforms to my advantage.

With this in mind, I decided to apply to the Disney College Program. Yes, I am aware that I won’t gain experience in social media this way, but I am also aware of the fact that many cast members started their career with Disney by doing the program.

And, honestly, the magic starts in the parks. So why wouldn’t I want to begin my journey there?

After a web-based interview, a phone interview, and a month and three days of waiting, I finally got the email I had been waiting and wishing for:

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On Sept 29, I was accepted into the Disney College Program for the Spring 2015 semester. My role is Merchandise, and I am so beyond excited!

I, of course, accepted my offer, and will be participating in the program from Jan. 19 until May 15. I am ready to earn my ears, network, make new friends and learn about the history of my favorite place on this earth.

I will probably post on here periodically to document my journey, so I hope you will all follow along!

*If anyone would like a separate post on the application process from applying to accepted/not accepted, please let me know and I can do that!*

I am FINALLY on my way, and I am going the distance! I can’t wait for this new chapter in my life to begin!

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Having a Moment

Do you ever wake up and realize you’re three days away from turning 21?!

No? Okay, maybe it’s just me.

I’m currently having a moment. Growing up is scary–really scary. But that’s why I’m spending my 21st birthday in Walt Disney World, because not only is it my happy place, but it has no age limit.

Since I leave Thursday for my magical weekend, I decided to share one of my favorite Disney moments with all of you. Who doesn’t love to hear about magical moments?!

Here goes:

I am a Disney Princess. I may not be an official one, but I’m totally an honorary one. However, as much as I love princess interactions, I was so excited to meet Mickey Mouse, for the first time, during my last trip to Disney. Everyone remembers the first time they met the mouse that started it all, and I made it a priority to meet him.

My family, boyfriend and I were walking through Epcot and were passing the Epcot Character Spot. The wait time said five minutes, so we decided to head inside because really, who can resist such a small wait time? We had NO idea what character(s) we were going to meet, which only increased the anticipation. I didn’t have an autograph book, but I had a fanny pack my boyfriend had bought for me with a Mickey Mouse stitched on it by my mom. I whipped out my sharpie as we rounded the corner, and I gasped as I saw who we were in line to meet: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy.

I completely freaked out. I was about to meet the big cheese, the boss man himself. When it was our turn, Mickey hugged each of us, joked around with my boyfriend and dad, and took a picture with us. When we got back in line to continue meeting the rest of the characters, I realized I hadn’t gotten him to sign my fanny pack. My mom flagged him over, and he LEFT his meeting spot and came to us in line. He happily took my fanny pack and the sharpie, signed the entire front of my fanny pack, handed it back to me and hugged me. I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t crying right now thinking back to that moment.

You can say that it’s childish and silly, but to me it’s a memory I will cherish forever. One day I hope to be a Cast Member, and I can’t wait for the day that I can call him my new ‘boss.’

Okay. NOW I’m excited for my birthday. Let the magical festivities begin!

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Do you remember the first time you met Mickey Mouse?

What has been your favorite character interaction?