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Monday, November 4, 2019

my spring advantage 2020 DCP bucket list

As I gear up to embark on my latest adventure with Disney Programs & Internships, I get to redo my favorite pre-program memory from 2016: building and revealing my Disney College Program bucket list!

There comes a time before the start of every Disney College Program where every program participant must pull together their official DCP Bucket List.  The time-honored tradition of Bucket List-ing has been around since the first DCP Vloggers and Bloggers started creating content during their pre-program months.  With so much to do, and only a semester to do it all in, these lists help Program participants organize their thoughts and prioritize certain experiences before they move to Orlando.  They're so much fun to make and I couldn't wait to share mine with you!

The experiences on this list were selected from the following criteria:

  • What's new at Walt Disney World since August 2019 (you'd be surprised!)
  • What I can only experience during the Spring season
  • What I can only see and do as a Cast Member/Program participant
  • What brings me the most joy

Here it is: my non-exhaustive, incomplete final draft of my Spring Advantage 2020 Bucket List.

1. Build a droid on Batuu.  We planned our last vacation around the hopes that we would miss those crazy Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opening day crowds.  But now I have the worst FOMO on earth and it can only be remedied with a $100 trip to the Batuu Droid Depot.  And probably a Blue Bantha from Oga's Cantina.  In all seriousness: I have never been a Star Wars fan, but I can't wait to experience Galaxy's Edge!  I couldn't be more obsessed with the immersive theming and care that went into building the world of Batuu and I predict many, many intergalactic trips during this next DCP.

2. Try the Frushi at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  Every Spring, Epcot presents the International Flower & Garden Festival.  This year, the festival runs from March-June, celebrating agriculture and sustainability at Epcot with stunning flower displays, a concert series, and a host of booths with special food offerings!  For years, the star of the booths has been the Frushi from the Hanami booth!  This gorgeous dish is made from coconut rice, pineapple, strawberry, and melon, and trying it is a rite-of-passage for every Disney blogger!

3. Sign up for a backstage tour.  Periodically, your work location or the HUB (the Cast Member intranet) will allow you to sign up for a backstage tour of a ride, store, show, or other cool thing.  One time, my location was given a lights-on tour of Space Mountain and I kicked myself for not taking advantage of it!  I really want to take advantage of these cool CM offerings this year, so I'm going to try to sign up for any backstage tour that gets offered during my program.

4. Zoom along on the Disney Skyliner Gondolas.  I am 100% ready to become a full stan for the newly-christened Disney Skyliner Gondola system!  The new system, which transports guests between Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and several Disney Resort Hotels, has been the subject of glowing reviews since it opened last month!  Everyone has been talking about how efficient and fun these Gondolas are, so I have to see them for myself!

5. VoluntEAR at Give Kids the World Village.  This is another opportunity I regret not taking advantage of during my first Disney College Program.  Disney's VoluntEARS Program is an extension of the Walt Disney Company that allows Cast Members to give back to local communities through helping charitable organizations, engaging in service projects, and more.  VoluntEARing is a great way to show your appreciation for the Walt Disney Company by giving back to those who need it the most.  During my Disney College Program, I would love to take advantage of Disney's VoluntEAR programming in support of Give Kids the World Village, the nonprofit Orlando resort that provides cost-free vacations to critically ill children and their families.  As a Cast Member, GKTWV becomes so near and dear to your heart as you make magic for these families every single day-- I would love to volunteer at the Village one day so I can focus my efforts directly towards making their vacations as magical as possible!

6. Lose my voice at Jellyrolls.  I was still underage during my first DCP, so I've never had the chance to visit this 21+ dueling piano bar at Disney's Boardwalk Resort!  On Sunday evenings, Cast Members with a valid company ID can get into the bar with no cover charge, making this a perfectly fun evening for legal drinking age CPs looking to sing their hearts out on a night off.

7. Paint a square on the Epcot International Festival of the Arts Mural.  The International Festival of the Arts is the baby of the Epcot festival fam.  Since its debut in 2017, it has included a lot of great, interactive exhibits for guests-- one of them being the Paint by Numbers Mural!  The Paint by Numbers Mural allows guests to help create a piece of Festival artwork together and become a part of the Epcot legacy.  The Festival runs from January 17-February 24, so this will be a great way to kick off my program!

8. Do the Cha-Cha Slide at my Housing Welcome Event.  Disney Housing welcomes each arrival date by throwing a party at Chatham with food, rare characters, and of course, dancing!  I worked through all of the housing welcome events during my first program, so my goal this year is to make it to at least one Welcome Event.

9. Head to CityWalk for some Voodoo Doughnut.  What would you do for Voodoo?  If you don't mind venturing 15 minutes off property, Florida's first Voodoo Doughnut location opened at Universal Orlando Resort in 2018.  The doughnut chain was made famous for its kitschy theming and crazy raised-yeast donuts, which often take on clever shapes and unique flavors.  I am the QUEEN of donuts, so I have to visit and take a picture on my donut throne!

10. Buy myself a birthday gift at Uptown Jewelers.  I'll be blowing out my candles for the 23rd time during this program!  I'm a late May baby, so I'll be celebrating a birthday and my college graduation around the same time, which gives me double the reason to make an investment on Main St. USA!  Uptown Jewelers is the Magic Kingdom spot for luxury souvenirs-- such as fine jewelry, park-inspired dresses, designer ears, and Dooney and Bourke bags.  The goal is to ring in Y23 and my new degree with my first ever Dooney & Bourkey, purchased at my favorite place on earth!  

11. Swim under the stars at Starlit Splash.  The Spring and Fall DCP seasons always include a service celebration!  The Spring service celebration, "Starlit Splash," takes place in May.  On this special evening, the Disney Programs team rents out Typhoon Lagoon for an unforgettable night of swimming, character meet and greets, and free food for DCP Participants!  I loved the Winter Formal, which was the Fall DCP Celebration, and I can't wait to see Starlit Splash!

12. Share some beignets at Port Orleans - French Quarter.  Port Orleans - French Quarter is home to one of the most exclusive snacks on property!  Beignets are puffy, fried doughnuts that are traditionally covered in powdered sugar.  Their history is based in New Orleans, so they've always been a staple at Disneyland Park, where one of the lands is themed around the French Quarter.  Here at Walt Disney World, they can only be found at this Moderate Resort.  It's one of the only things I still haven't done yet, so I can't wait to try some beignets and explore this resort!

13. Paint With a View at Disney's Contemporary Resort.  As a Disney Vacation Club member, I have access to exclusive classes and events.  One class that the DVC offers twice a week is Painting with a View, an instructor-led workshop at Bay Lake Tower.  For $50 per person, you can enjoy breakfast and an alcoholic beverage while a Disney artist teaches you how to bring the Disney magic to a 9" by 12" canvas.  I love crafting, but I rarely got a chance to indulge in my personal hobbies while I was on my first DCP!  This class seems like a serene way to relax on a Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon and I would love to take advantage of it the first time I need to unwind and decompress.

Another magical six months on my program means another chance to explore all that Disney has to offer and make memories that will last a lifetime.  I can't wait to start my next adventure with the Walt Disney Company on my next Disney College Program!

Now I have a question for my friends on the #DCPSpring2020Squad: What's on your bucket list?  Let me know in the comments below what you're most excited about!  I can't wait to head out on this amazing experience with you all!


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