What to do Before Traditions

Well, seems I’ve been away for a bit, but the exciting news that I have for y’all is that I’m finally in Disney! I moved in on Monday and have spent a few days having oh so much fun. Although, this is definitely an interesting time because we’re here but haven’t gotten our IDs yet so we can’t go to the parks. I’m here if, like me, you were figuring out some things to do and needed a bit of inspiration 🙂

  1. Take a loop around the parks/resorts on the monorail – Unlike Disneyland and DCA in California, you do not need a park ticket to get on or off the monorail. This is a super fun and relaxing thing to do, especially if you go resort hopping all day and want to sit for a while.
  2. Resort hopping – Let’s be real, after you can get into the parks, what’s the chances you’re going to want to spend a whole day at the resorts? Probably not a lot. But now is a great time to do so because the DCP buses go to all of the resorts and you can walk around them all you want, no check-in needed.
  3. Pin-trading – I might be slightly biased, but this has been one of my favorite things to do. Pairing it with resort hopping works out super well, because every gift shop and front desk at the resorts is bound to have trading pins, all you have to do is ask.
  4. Visit Disney Springs – The recently remodeled Disney Springs is a great place to spend a few hours meandering around. It’s super huge, so if you want to get to all of it you’ll need at least three or four hours.
  5. Ride the ferry – I haven’t gotten on the one at the Seven Seas Lake yet, but there’s also a boat ride that runs between the Port Orleans resorts and Disney Springs. Super fun, a nice relaxing way to spend some time not walking if your feet are getting tired.
  6. Go to housing events – There will undoubtedly be a welcome event at some point during the week you arrive. Today there’s an event at our complex called Jambo, and I’m super interested to see what it’s about. I know there will definitely be food and characters and fun, so I’m excited to go.
  7. Visit Universal – I know, I know, it’s the forbidden word (not really haha). But, just in case you’re wondering you can get a super sweet deal on a pass to Universal with the Florida resident discount. The most basic pass is about $280, which would pay for itself if you park hopped on two different days, because park hopper tickets are $155 apiece.

And there you have it, a couple of things to get you started and keep you entertained while you wait for traditions and your magical ID. As always, if you have any questions, drop them down below in the comments section and I’ll be happy to help you out. Have a lovely day, and I’ll see ya real soon 🙂

WDW College Program Housing Options

Today I’d love to introduce y’all to the housing options that Disney provides their CPs. Small disclaimer before I begin, I only really know about WDW because that is where I am stationed at. If anyone has been a Disneyland CP, feel free to comment and let me know how housing is there.

When you decide to live on Disney property, you have four different options for apartments: Vista Way, Patterson, Chatham, and the Commons. There are several pros and cons to each, so you wanna take that into account when you’re thinking of where you wanna stay and how many roommates you’ll have.

Vista Way
Built in 1987, these are the oldest apartments
This is the bus hub, so every single bus will stop here somewhere along it’s route
These apartments do have the ‘party central’ reputation, although I am sure you could find parties at the other complexes as well

Chatham
A lot of the housing events are located in this complex
This one is a fairly “middle of the road” selection, as it is nicer than Vista but you don’t pay the premium of Commons or Patterson
Every bus stops here as well so transportation is very easy.

Patterson
Being the newest, these apartments are slightly nicer than the others
However, Patterson does not have a bus stop as it is literally across the street from Chatham. It takes about five to ten minutes to walk to the Chatham bus stop.

The Commons
These used to, and still are in some respect, used for international students
All of the apartments have washers and dryers inside them
Not all of the buses end up stopping here, so if you are not bringing a car, that could be a problem. You can walk to Chatham as it is just around the corner, but that can be annoying a 2 am in the morning.

Fall 2016 Pricing
Please keep in mind that this pricing could potentially change at any time. However, what I can give you is the prices that my roommates and I are looking at for our stay with Disney this year.

 

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Pin Trading: Tips & Tricks

I can’t believe that I have 35 days until I get to Disney! AHHHH!

Well, after my little freak out of excitement there, I’d love to hop in to my blog post for today which is all about the super entertaining world of pin trading! I’ve been pin trading since December when my fiancé’s family introduced it to me, but they’ve been trading for so darn long now haha.

To give you a little explanation of pin trading, Disney creates official Disney pins that are in several collections with a multitude of characters and designs. The name of the game is to collect whichever pins tickle your fancy. I love classic (red) Minnie Mouse as well as Minnie and Mickey pins. I’m also a sucker for collections, so if I see one that I particularly like, I’ll start building that collection.

You can obtain pins one of two ways, through purchase at a Disney park or purchase online. Obviously, Disney is the more reputable of the two, but their pins come at quite the premium. I’m talking $6-$10 per pin, which can rack up to quite the amount of money. You can also purchase official Disney pins from sellers on Amazon, Ebay, and the like, but be sure to do your research beforehand. There are knockoff pins that are not eligible for trade at a Disney park, so read up on a sellers reviews and products before you buy anything.

In order to pin trade, you’ll need a collection of ‘throwaway’ or ‘tradable’ pins, pins that are great on their own but you personally don’t want. Once you get to a Disney park or the Downtown Disney/Disney Springs areas, you’ll see cast members with lanyards that are also full of pins. All you have to do is walk up and ask to take a look at their pins. You made trade one pin per cast member, and all you have to do is give them one of your pins in return. Many of the merchandise stores also have pin boards that you can trade from, just ask for it from the cast member at the register. The Disney Vacation Club people also have boards, pretty much every single one we saw while walking around DTD had a pin board that we could check out, so keep an eye peeled for their carts and stores 🙂

One thing that I would mention before I finish up however, is that if there are any limited edition pins on sale in the pin/merchandise shops, I’d snap those up because they’re pretty hard to find from cast members. Some cast members will do a ‘mystery pin’ where they put a pin upside down on their lanyard and you have to pick it without knowing what it is, and those can be special pins but they’re few and far between. My sister-in-law got one that way pin trading in December, but I didn’t see another one in all four days we spent time there.

If you have any other questions about pin trading or Disney in general, feel free to drop me a line in the comments. Otherwise, have a magical day and I’ll see y’all real soon. 🙂

Application Stage Three: DCP Phone Interview

You’ve finally gotten to the dreaded phone interview. Some people highly dislike this part of the process while others don’t mind it at all. I fell into the latter category, but that’s because I had time to prepare and knew what to expect.

Tips & tricks for the phone interview

  1. Your phone interview time slots will be listed in Eastern Time unless you change it. Make sure you select the proper timezone before picking out your time. You might accidentally go for 8:45 am but realize later that it actually means 6:45 am because of the time difference. Fear not, however, if you mess up you can go back a reregister for a different time.
  2. Pick a time where you don’t have any pressing things going on. Set aside at least an hour block of time for this interview. Disney reserves the right to call you anytime between 15 minutes before the scheduled time to 15 minutes after they said they’d call. The call also usually takes 20-30 minutes, so you don’t want to be watching the clock because you have a class in fifteen minutes when you’re supposed to be focused on the interview.
  3. Don’t go in blind, that’s setting yourself up for failure. Yeah, maybe you think you can wing it, but do you really wanna risk this opportunity on your improv skills?
  4. Smile. The interviewers can hear your tone of voice, and they’re looking for those upbeat people who will represent Disney well. Just a simple smile can make a world of difference.
  5. Dress like an actual interview. I know the interviewer can’t see you, but that doesn’t mean that you should not take this as seriously. If you dress like you’re going to an actual interview, then it puts you in the right state of mind.
  6. Remember your interviewer’s name. This one is a bit tricky, I know for me I was so focused on preparing myself that I forgot to remember my interviewer’s name. If you do manage to catch it, use it at the end to thank them for their time and you even have the chance to send a little thank you email. I kinda kicked myself for not doing that, but I did still get in, so it’s not a make or break thing.
  7. Don’t watch the Youtube videos with complete interviews. They change from interview to interview, so it will not necessarily help you. Plus if you watch older ones, the questions and roles have probably been adapted and changed.

Alright, well, hopefully this has been a little bit helpful for you on your trek to apply for the college program. Before I go, here’s a link to the document I used to prepare myself for the interview. It has many of the general questions that they may ask as well as questions specifically for PhotoPass, Character Attendant, Merchandise, Attractions, and Character performer, which were all roles that I had wanted. It also has the answers that I prepared ahead of time listed there.

One note about prepping answers beforehand: don’t just read off your paper. Typing up your answers beforehand is a great way to get your brain in order, but they can tell if you’re just reading off an answer as opposed to creating it on the spot.
DCP Phone Interview

Feel free to drop me a question in the comments if anything is unclear or if you would like to know something 🙂
You can also check out the video version of this over on YouTube.

Disney Bucket List!

In light of my recent plans to go work and live near Disney World for the next few months, I’ve decided to update my bucket list of things to do at Disney. Of course, some are simple and easy to accomplish while others are downright difficult (#collegebudgetproblems). Anywho, onto my lovely list…

  1. Watch Fantasmic! – I nearly watched this last time I was in Disneyland, but unfortunately I got sidetracked by a parade coming down Main Street. Whoops. (Completed 6.19.16)
  2. Watch the fireworks show – Another near miss last trip to Disney. We had planned on watching them the last night we were there, but they got cancelled due to high winds. Sad face. (Completed 5.28.16)
  3. Eat my way around the world at Epcot – Sampling food from across the cultures all in one place? Count me in. Bonus points for finishing the Food & Wine festival passport. List of countries to check off: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, The American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada.
  4. Dress up for Dapper Day – Dapper Day is an unofficial Disney dress-up day where you came to the parks looking spiffy and more fancy than usual. Bonus points if I can Disneybound at the same time. (Completed 11.12.16. See my favorite photo from the day over on my Instagram.)
  5. Complete an Epcot World Showcase Passport – Pretty sure I did one of these when I was a kid, but I also don’t remember it all that well, so it’s going back on my bucket list. (Completed 6.19.16)
  6. Collect every Disney pressed penny – This one might be a toughie, as I’ll have to hunt down every single machine throughout the parks, and there’s certainly acres and acres of park to search. Not to mention getting the coins for them since I don’t really do cash… (Update: I gave up. There’s way too many of these haha.)
  7. Finish the Kitchen Sink – This particular item is a sundae created in a mini sink with enough ice cream for more than four fully-grown adults. Anyone up to help me with the challenge? 🙂
  8. Get an autograph from every princess – Especially Mulan, because she is nigh impossible to find at Disneyland and she was one of my favorite princesses growing up. (Completed 7.15.16)
    List: ArielAnnaAuroraBelleCinderellaElsaMeridaMulanJasminePocahontasRapunzelTiana, Snow White
  9. Stay for the Kiss Goodnight at Magic Kingdom – After park closing, the castle changes in a rainbow of colors as “When You Wish Upon a Star” plays. At least, so I’m told. (Completed 7.8.16)
  10. Stay in a deluxe Disney World resort – Easy, you say, except for the fact that I’m a broke college student working for Disney at minimum wage 😉
  11. Check out Cast Connections and Mickey’s Treasures – This is the cast member-only store that offers discounted merchandise as well as cast-member only pins. Music to my pin-loving ears! (Completed 6.1.16)
  12. Take a backstage tour – I’ve heard so many good things about these, I’d love to see behind the magic and find out how things at Disney work 🙂
  13. Collect maps from all Walt Disney World parks – I have Disneyland and California Adventure, so it follows that I need to collect the maps from the other parks as well. (Completed 5.26.16)
  14. Get a Disney medley storybook and have the characters sign their pages – I still haven’t found my favorite book yet, so once I do I’ll certainly be bringing it along to the parks for all the characters.
  15. Visit all the resorts – Especially the Grand Floridian, because who doesn’t want to see the amazing fanciness that is the Floridian?
    List to check off: The Grand Floridian, Port Orleans – Riverside, Port Orleans – French Quarter, Animal Kingdom Lodge, All-Star Music, All-Star Movies, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Old Key West, Wilderness Lodge, Fort WildernessBeach Club Resort, Contemporary Resort, Yacht Club Resort, Boardwalk Inn, Dolphin Hotel, Swan Hotel. (Completed 7.15.16)
  16. Ride every ride (Completed 6.26.16!)
    • Magic Kingdom – Complete as of 6.19.16!
      • Astro Orbiter (6.11.16)
      • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (5.28.16)
      • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (5.28.16)
      • Dumbo the Flying Elephant (6.18.16)
      • Enchanted Tales with Belle (5.28.16)
      • Haunted Mansion (5.28.16)
      • “It’s a Small World” (5.28.16)
      • Jungle Cruise (6.6.16)
      • Liberty Square Riverboat (6.12.16)
      • Mickey’s PhilharMagic (6.18.16)
      • Monster’s, Inc. Laugh Floor (6.11.16)
      • Peter Pan’s Flight (6.12.16)
      • Pirates of the Carribbean (5.28.16)
      • Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel (6.11.16)
      • Space Mountain (6.9.16)
      • Splash Mountain (6.12.16)
      • Stitch’s Great Escape (6.8.16)
      • Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train (5.29.16)
      • The Barnstormer (6.18.16)
      • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (6.18.16)
      • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (6.18.16)
      • Tommorowland Speedway (6.9.16)
      • Tommorowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (6.9.16)
      • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid (6.11.16)
      • Walt Disney World Railroad (5.29.16)
      • Mad Tea Party (6.18.16)
    • EPCOT – Complete as of 6.25.16!
      • Journey Into Imagination With Figment (6.16.16)
      • Living with the land (6.16.16)
      • Soarin’ Over California (6.16.16)
      • Soarin’ Around the World (6.25.16)
      • Mission: SPACE (5.29.16)
      • Spaceship Earth (5.29.16)
      • Test Track (6.8.16)
      • Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros (6.9.16)
    • Hollywood Studios – Complete as of 6.18.16!
      • Muppet*Vision 3D (6.18.16)
      • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (5.29.16)
      • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (6.6.16)
      • The Great Movie Ride (5.29.16)
      • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (5.29.16)
      • Toy Story Midway Mania! (5.29.16)
      • Fantasmic! (6.19.16)
    • Animal Kingdom – Complete as of 6.26.16!
      • Dinosaur (6.10.16)
      • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain (6.4.16)
      • It’s Tough to be a Bug! (6.26.16)
      • Kilimanjaro Safaris (6.4.16)
      • Primeval Whirl (6.26.16)
      • TriceraTop Spin (6.26.16)
      • Wildlife Express Train (6.15.16)
      • Kali River Rapids (6.4.16)
  17. Have my family come visit – maybe I can convince them with some free or discounted park tickets… 🙂

Well, that’s all I have for now folks. At the end of my time at Disney, I will certainly be coming back to see this list again and see how many I can say I’ve crossed off. If you’d like this in video form, check it out on YouTube here.

My Latest Disney Trip: Day 3

Our third and final day at the parks was far more laid back and relaxing. By this point, we’d done most of what we had wanted to accomplish and the crowds had lessened, so it was much more enjoyable.

We headed over to Disneyland first so that we could meet more characters and go a couple rides again (ahem, Pirates, which is one of the best rides ever haha). On our way down main street, we actually came across Christmas Mickey, so naturally we stopped to take a picture with him.

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I also dressed in as much Minnie Mouse clothing as I had, which included a red Minnie shirt you can’t see under my jacket, my Minnie ears, a charm bracelet with Mickey, Minnie, and the 60th anniversary castle on it, and a Minnie Mouse watch 🙂

Next we headed over to Toontown because I hadn’t been there yet. My mother-in-law convinced me that I needed to go on Rodger Rabbit, and I haven’t actually seen the movie but the ride was super fun. Right outside the exit for the ride there’s a door that says “don’t open”, which, in Disney, naturally means you should open it. My mother-in-law decided to do so and screamed when the sound and lights meant to simulate an explosion appeared haha.

I took a few pictures around the fountain and by Goofy’s house because Isaac’s favorite character is Mickey, so of course I had to. Speaking of the boys, they were still in the hotel at this time slowly getting up and ready for the day. There was no way I was sleeping in when I could go to Disneyland!

After I took pictures by Goofy’s house, Malane and I headed over to meet both Mickey and Minnie. Mickey was in his Fantasmic outfit and Minnie was in her classic polka dot dress 🙂

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Pluto was also hanging around, and he’s Malane’s favorite character so there’s no way we were leaving without getting another picture with him.

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Overall, our entire trip to Disney was the most magical thing I’ve experienced in a very long time. The fact that I got engaged there just added to the experience, and it’s not going to be forgotten for a very long time.

My Latest Disney Trip: Day 2

Onto day two of my latest Disney adventure 🙂

This day was actually the shortest one out of all the days. I slept in that morning because I was tired from all of the excitement that last night. Well, let me rephrase that, I slept in until maybe nine in the morning and then sat up and looked through all of the photos and videos that had been taken from the day before.

Cass and my in-laws-to-be all got up earlier to head out to the parks that morning, leaving us to relax a bit. Once Isaac and his best friend Calen who was also hanging with us in the hotel room woke, we slowly got ourselves ready for the day and headed out to the parks. John and Malane (my lovely in-laws) had gotten four fast passes to Splash Mountain, which is how I persuaded to boys to get ready and even come to the parks instead of lounging around more.

Once we arrived in Critter Country, we had about five minutes to use the fast passes and we thankfully got on the ride. I actually didn’t know this, but Isaac hadn’t ever been on the ride yet and neither had Calen, so they were a small bit apprehensive. Cass and Isaac both had sweatshirts on too, so Calen and I convinced them to sit in the front so that they’d take on the brunt of the water 🙂

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Following that ride, we decided to eat at the French Market Restaurant. I had this awesome corn chowder dish and we all split some beignets. Then, since we were in New Orleans Square anyways, we hopped on over to the Pirates of the Carribean ride. One thing that I will say, Isaac’s grandparents who also came along with us couldn’t walk all day long, so they had the electric scooters, and it was kind of a nice perk to go on a ride or two with them because we got to hop on through the exit. Pirates was one such ride.

I found out during lunch that the rest of the group had also procured two fast passes for Indiana Jones, and since neither Calen nor I had gone on it, we were chosen as the lucky pair. Calen is actually not a big fan of rollercoasters or thrill rides (as I had discerned from the Splash Mountain escapades), he was extremely hesitant to get on Indy. in line the ride broke down for a bit and it was not helping his resolve to go on said ride. But, I did manage to get him on it, and though he quite nearly flipped out as we were taking off, he made it through and the ride is now one of his favorites. The same thing happened with Big Thunder Mountain.

 

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Someone looks pleased about riding Big Thunder Mountain 😛

Once we’d conquered the coaster, we headed back over to California Adventure because there were a few rides that I wanted to go on there. John as well as Isaac’s grandparents headed back to the hotel because it had been a fairly long day for them. Tower of Terror is one of my favorite rides, so I was super happy to head over there again.

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Can you find me? 😀

Isaac still had an essay to write, so the two of us headed back while Cassy, Calen, and Isaac’s mom Malane still played in the park. It actually ended up raining a bit as we were headed back, so the three of them enjoyed the park with little to no wait times because no one wanted to hang around in the cold, December weather while it was raining. I actually ended up falling asleep for the night ironically enough, so there ended my nice and relaxed day two of Disney 😛