My Disney College Program Experience

It's been almost a month since I've been home from California and my experience with the Disney College Program in Disneyland as a PhotoPass Photographer! After being in California for almost eight months, it was an incredibly bittersweet moment to be leaving my fun lifestyle in California surrounded by friends (and of course Disneyland) and to come back here to family, friends and school. 
My experience with the Disney College Program was amazing. I made friends, worked at Disneyland in the entertainment department, experienced behind-the-scenes opportunities, explored California and really just got to explore myself as a person, which was the best part.
With applications being open for the Spring 2016 Disney College Program (apply here) I figured it'd be a great time to write a bit of an overview of my experience there and answer any questions anyone may have! So, if you're a future DCP hopeful, please don't be shy and comment with a question down in the comments so that I can tailor my posts to you!
In future posts, I'll be touching on the living, learning and earning aspects of the College Program as well as sharing my personal experiences.
It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I am so thankful to have had. If you are even considering doing the Disney College Program in either Disneyland or Walt Disney World, I highly suggest looking into it.

A Moment with Mustard

I must be craving fall right now because I cannot get over the color mustard. I mean, with just the mention of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, my heart flutters a little... I just love fall! The weather in Arizona goes from hell-like to beautiful, I can actually walk around outside... It's kind of like Arizona's spring but instead of waiting for the ice and snow to melt, we're waiting for ourselves to stop melting.
look #1 featuring mustard sweater

I really love this look. It features a tote I'm totally lusting over (The Transport tote from Madewell) and a nice, cozy sweater... You know, things that are completely impractical at the moment, but totally love worthy.
look #2 featuring mustard pumps

I may need this dress. I feel like it's the perfect non-black little black dress, if you get what I mean. Plus, how can you not love the Gryffindor-eque color combo that's going on?
look #3 featuring mustard scarf
This is a more casual take on mustard. Plus, pizza. Nough' said.

Five Things You Need To Know For D23 Expo 2017

With 2015's D23 Expo behind us, it's already time to start planning for D23 Expo 2017! Crazy, right?
Here are my top five tips for D23 Expo to make sure you're prepared to have a great weekend!
One: Have outfits planned for each day that are comfy and cute!
Not only is it just so fun to dress up and Disneybound or Cosplay, but there are so many photo ops available at D23 Expo that I like to make sure I look my best. This year, I only planned out two of my outfits, which was an ultimate regret. I pulled something together the third day, but I wish I had gone into it a little more prepared. Next Expo, I think I'm going to work on three creative outfits and have a cute dress as a back-up in case something happens. Do keep in mind, however, that this is an Expo and lots of sitting, standing and walking occurs so try and put comfort into the equation too! I ended up wearing my Birkenstocks for two days because I got a blister the first day. Just be prepared! On that note, also bring a sweater or jacket because it gets SO cold downstairs waiting, especially when you're sitting still for long periods of time.

Two: Plan on getting up early.
Almost every day, if you didn't get inside by seven, you were going to be waiting outside. That means waiting til 9am (when the line starts moving) for Gold/Silver D23 Members and til 10am for normal members. That's a pretty long time to be waiting outside, especially in the heat! I think it's worth it to go in a bit earlier to be comfortable. Just bring a blanket that can be folded up (either bring a backpack or rely on the bags they always give out) and something to keep you busy! I'd suggest card games or something that is easy to pack up and carry.

Three: Don't forget your phone charger and an external battery!
With all the waiting, it's almost guaranteed you're going to end up being on your phone for a bit. Whether browsing social media, playing games or even reading a book, your battery is going to be drained! I always make sure I'm prepared by bringing my external battery and my charger. That way, if I get separated from my group (when I'm stuck on the four mile long bathroom line), I can always get a hold of them! This year D23 also offered WiFi so that really helped pass the time without taking a hit to my data plan. I definitely worked on my Tsum Tsum skills.

Four: Always bring snacks and come prepared with caffeine.
You think you're going to have time to eat and then you don't and then you're cranky and that's just not fun. Do not underestimate the lines for food. Despite the introductions of food trucks, it feels like there's still not enough places to get food from at D23 Expo. So, I like to make sure I have some snack foods and some protein bars too! I also put a couple water bottles in my bag because there's nothing worse than being dehydrated. On the topic of caffeine, we went to Starbucks before the convention (on Euclid and Chapman to avoid the lines of the one nearest to the Convention Center) and I don't think I could have gotten through my day without it. You could also always bring coffee for your room and a reusable mug to take it to the Convention Center!

Five: Don't go to Disneyland after your day at the expo!
I know this sounds crazy, being so close to Disneyland, but seriously, trying to go to the parks after the expo is ridiculously draining. I compared my experience from the year when we tried to go to the parks to this year, and this year was relatively tantrum free in comparison! By the time you get home from the expo and grab a bite to eat, it honestly may be eight o'clock and if you're waking up at 5, you should probably be in bed by 9 or 10 at the latest. Going to the park just exerts so much energy; it's crazy to do both at once! Plus, unless you have an annual pass, I see it as a waste of a ticketed day. Just save your energy for the expo and focus on the parks the days before or after it's all over.

That's it for my tips! Do you have any of your own? Share them below!
In case you missed it, I did a recap of day one, two and three of D23 Expo! Be sure to check them out.

D23 Expo 2015 Recap: Day three

Day three was the day we used to hit the show floor! Since we'd been in panels pretty much the last two days, we decided that day three needed to be a show floor day. We got a little bit of a later start; we arrived and got in line around 6:30, but we luckily made it in the line inside.

We started out the day in line for the Disney Store... It was a rather crazy move, but we eventually got in and I got the small Mickey and Minnie Steamboat Willie Tsum Tsums! After that, I got the cutest outfit from Her Universe over at her booth in the Emporium. I am absolutely in love with it. I also tried on this Thor dress... How cute is it?!
 Plus, I got to meet the founder of Her Universe: Ashley Eckstein aka: Ahsoka in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels! It was so great to meet her. If you ever get the chance, go and chat with her! She's the sweetest and is just so darn cool.
Then we met the Muppets again!

We also got a chance to check out Disneyland: The Exhibit which was really awesome. I just loved looking around at all the pieces of history. The wall of sponsored restaurant menus was really cool. It's so fun to take a look back at Yesterland.
We even caught up with some friends we made at Destination D back in November! It's funny to see how small the world really is! A big shout out to Jeff and Ashley!
I even got to see my friend (and former roommate) Sarah!
We had to get our Galaxy Identifications. Of course. My dad is the greatest Sith Lord ever, though. Like, that face.
We ended our day in line for Mickey of Glendale's which resulted in a two hour wait for not a whole lot of swag, but I did get to hang out with my friends Austin and Marisa, so that was definitely worth it.
And with that, D23 was all done! It was a truly great weekend that I enjoyed immensely. I seriously can't wait til' the next expo; the countdown to 2017 begins!

D23 Expo 2015 Recap: Day two

Day two of D23 Expo was definitely the craziest. I think it's absolutely nuts that D23 decided to put the Live Action and Parks and Resorts presentations on the same day. Especially when there's an expected Star Wars Land announcement... Chaos definitely ensued.
We arrived at 6:00am and the Live Action presentation was already full. They closed it off to newcomers and we ended up just waiting in the overflow/standby queue. Yes, we waited four and a half hours for a presentation when we didn't even know if we'd get in. I'm only slightly crazy.
However, we did get in and the presentation was ridiculously amazing. There were so many great surprises and sneak peaks from seeing Josh Gad sing as Lefou to seeing Chris Pine and Chris Evans (!!!) to the announcement of the Star Wars themed lands coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Oh, and Johnny Depp threw grapes at us while dressed as Jack Sparrow so that was pretty fantastic as well.
After the presentation, it was already time to line up for the Parks and Resorts presentation: aka the presentation I pretty much live for. It was a pretty good mix of surprises, information and Stan Lee. Yup. Stan Lee showed up... So did Iron Man himself! It was just a really great time.
After the two presentations, I got to catch up a bit with my friends and even went through the looking glass as a few popular Alice in Wonderland characters!
The biggest highlight of course? My dad fought Ultron. 'Nough said.

D23 Expo 2015 Recap: Day one

{top via City Chic}
{skirt via Pinup Girl Clothing}
{shoes via Crocs}
{belt via Betsey Johnson}
{glasses via BonLook}

Day one of D23 Expo 2015 was certainly a crazy one! We started bright and early and were in line for the show floor by 6:15am. It was absolutely nuts. Luckily they moved the queue inside this year underneath Hall E. I'm definitely not complaining about waiting indoors. We got into the show floor around 9:30am and hit the dream store so I could get my Harvey's bag and the cutest phone case ever:
 How could you not love this? Harvey's bags are my favorite. They're durable and cute which really helps balance out the price and value.
Then, I got to check out a preview of the new Muppets show coming to ABC this fall and even got a chance to jump in a photo booth with Animal!
We ended up wandering around the show floor for a bit and decided around 11am that it was time to line up for the Animation presentation. After the very long wait this morning (what ended up being a little over 3 hours, little did we know, this would be a short wait compared to most things the rest of the weekend), we figured the interest in the Animation presentation would make lining up 4 hours before the presentation necessary. We were right.  It was pretty busy by the time we got down there. But, we waited and then it was time for the presentation!
{photo via Inside the Magic}
It was a seriously amazing start to the weekend. Not only was there an appearance by Dwayne Johnson (yes, The Rock), but we got to see some footage of a couple upcoming movies like Zootopia and Moana. I can't imagine a better start for the expo! I am very excited for Zootopia, after all, Ginnifer Goodwin is in it! It's so funny to see how obsessed with Disney she is; it's adorable. I don't know how I feel about Gigantic. I've never cared for the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but I'm very interested to see Disney's twist on it. Another movie they talked about was the Good Dinosaur, which I'm definitely looking forward to seeing in November. It has truly developed since I last heard about it and I really love what it's turned into. We also saw a scene of Finding Dory and Ellen made an appearance. It was just a great couple of hours.
The presentation was amazing, but ended up going an hour over the expected time, leaving us only a little bit of time to explore the show floor that night. Luckily we still had two days left!
We did, however, get to explore the model of Pandora: The World of Avatar and I can tell you, it's gonna be an amazing addition to Animal Kingdom.
 We also explored a little bit of the Shanghai Disneyland pavilion and that led me to the conclusion that I will definitely be making a trip to China soon. The new Pirates of the Caribbean ride looks fantastic and who can resist a Tron roller coaster? Certainly not me.
And of course, I had to close out the day by saying hello to Gruff from Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast!
... And that was day one! The expo always feels like a lot of waiting, and not a whole lot of doing, but the quality and caliber of information and experiences you get makes it oh-so worth it!

D23 Expo 2015

This weekend Disney will be at the Anaheim Convention Center for the D23 Expo; will you be there too? I am so excited that I get to go back to California for this special event that I've actually attended since 2009! Yep, I was at the very first D23 Expo and let me tell you, it just keeps getting better and better. My personal favorites of the past include the Disney Songbook in Concert presentation where I got to see Alan Menken perform, the night I got to see Dick Van Dkye perform and the various Parks presentations and Legends ceremonies! There is just so much to see at D23 Expo between panels and the show floor; it really is the most wonderful time of the year (yes, better than Christmas).
This year, I know there are lots of whispers and excitement of what's to come and I couldn't be more pumped about what we're going to learn all about. I think I'm most excited for:

Charles Phoenix: Big Retro Disneyland Slide Show!
I follow Charles Phoenix's adventures online and I just love his passion and personality. I think it's really going to be a fun look back at Disneyland of the past.

60 Years of Disney Parks Merchandise
Call me a sucker, but I love Disney merchandise. I think this presentation is going to offer a great look at what makes Disney Parks Merchandise so special to guests and how it affects them. Plus, they've promised to offer a sneak peak at future products, which is always so fun!

Disney on Broadway: "The Originals"
If you couldn't tell by now, I'm really into the musical presentations that D23 offers. This concert promises a great time with music from Mary Poppins, Tarzan and Aladdin (three of my favorite shows of all time) so I simply cannot miss it. The best part about this presentation is that there is actually a reprise performance a little bit later in the day, so with two times to choose from, I don't anticipate it being a very long wait!

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
I think this may take the cake as the presentation I am most excited for. With so many changes going on with Hollywood Studios, land purchases and attraction closures, I'm really itching to know what lies ahead for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts! Plus, with Shanghai and Avatar being the most recent projects, I'm sure we'll hear a lot about them as well.

Once Upon a Time: An Evening with Snow White & the Evil Queen
So I have been absolutely obsessed with Once from the very beginning. This panel definitely catches my eye as its special guests are Adam Horowitz (Creator and Executive Producer), Edward Kitsis (Creator and Executive Producer), Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) and Lana Parrilla (the Evil Queen, Regina). Plus Jeffrey Epstein (one of my favorites) is the moderator, so it should make for a fun presentation!

... And that is really just skimming the surface of what's available at D23! I am so excited. 

D23 Expo is held at the Anaheim Convention Center August 14-16 2015. You can find more information and purchase tickets here. As of 8/11 Saturday tickets and three day tickets are already sold out, so get on it if you're planning on attending! 

If you're already attending the D23 Expo, check out the awesome app they've created this year! Not only does it offer the schedule of events at your fingertips, but it's how you access the Aurasma augmented reality experiences!
It's available now on the App Store and Google Play Store.