How many of y'all are worried about what to pack? Yeah. It’s my second time around and I still wasn’t exactly sure how much stuff to bring. Not that I was worried I wouldn’t pack enough stuff. Quite to opposite my friends. I am an overpacker to the extreme. During my first program I brought all kinds of stuff. 4 bins full, a plastic drawer set full of clothes, a corkboad…Mickey Mouse, you name it, I probably had it. I like to use the excuse that It’s because I like to feel prepared, but who knows why I felt the need to bring so much! This time…I’m still bringing a lot of stuff but its about ½ of what I brought back in 2013!
Highlights/Things you might not think to bring:
Cleaning Products/Laundry Soap
Small appliances; Toaster/Blender/Waffle Iron?Coffee Machine (Microwaves are provided!)
Ethernet cable/wireless router (Required to access internet)
STORY TIME! Okay, so a couple nights ago, I was at Gate C at work. I wasn’t feeling well, we’d been force extended, and I was exhausted. Keep in mind, we weren’t busy at all, so the force extension seemed pointless. As I was running the cabin, this family kept coming through with these kids who, first off, are adorable. Every time they’d come through, at least one of them would come up to me and saw “Hey… (whispering) Star Tours is my favorite ride,” and we’d talk for a little bit about the Rebel Spy and droids and such. They started talking to my friend Alyssia as they were exiting, and I was like “this family is adorable, right?” and she was like “YES THEY ARE.” So, the third time they were on my flight, I told Alyssia as I was starting the ride so she could be ready for them when they exited. When they came off the ride, she told them that there was a Secret Mission waiting for them. She brought them back around to me, and we explained that for their Secret Mission, they’d get the whole cabin to themselves. Alyssia and I both got them pumped for their Private Flight, and the kids were freaking out and the parents were eating it up and they all just loved it. Everyone was all smiles and it was magical to say the least! When they got off the right, Alyssia presented them with a note from Yoda and special cards that declared that they were First-Class Rebel Spies! The kids were so excited, and the parents were so thankful! “You are making their vacation!” the mom said over and over.
SO TONIGHT (yes, the story’s not over), I was at Gate D. Once again, we weren’t very busy. I see this family come up to Boarding, and I see the boy say “There he is!! Hi!!!”, and I freaked out! “OH MY GOSH, YOU’RE BACK!” I immediately had Stephen, the Boarding Agent, send them over to my Gate. I chatted with them for awhile! They were so excited to see me, and I was freaking out about seeing them as much as they were about seeing me! Haha. I gave them another Private Flight, and basically turned to all of my coworkers smiling and being like “THE FAMILY THAT I LOVE IS HERE”. :P I called Alyssia, and she immediately booked it to the exit hallway. She brought them back around, and we all talked while they waited for another Private Flight. The kids were just so excited about everything and the parents were so nice and lovely and wonderful, and making magic for them was just so worth every second. This Instagram photo is my proudest momento of my College Program. I have done all four parks in one day, I’ve worked 15-hour shifts, and gotten more Four Keys cards than I can count, but making this family’s vacation is what I’m taking away with me in 17 days.
The mom told me tonight that they’re gonna be at Disney for a few more days, and they’ll definitely be back at Star Tours. Who knows? Alyssia and I may have a little more pixie dust up our sleeves. :)
I made a little video for my last couple of months I spent down in Disney World. I’m so incredibly thankful for everyone I met while I was there & miss them all so so so much. I wish I could just go back already. So enjoy my shenanigans! (Most of this is Magic Kingdom stuff because I spent a lot of time there, but Spaceship Earth - I worked there - and Fantasmic & Frozen Sing Along make an appearance too!)
Fall 2015 apps just came out, which means this is the last application season I have to sit idly through before I can apply for my next program - Spring 2016. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m going to do differently on my second program, so I thought I’d share my ~*CP Knowledge*~ with those of you doing the program for the first time. I hope these help you on your Disney journey, but if you have any other questions feel free to ask!
1. Do your research. Before you apply, research all the roles and get a good understanding of each - don’t just judge based on your assumptions! Check what people are saying on tumlblr and YouTube and rank your roles based on what you think you will enjoy and be good at. Also, make sure you have good reasons for picking your top roles to show your interviewer that these are the best fits for you!
2. Pick the right roommates. It’s hard to find a perfect group of people to live with for 4-6 months on Facebook, so if you’re doing this make sure you want to live with these people! Get to know them by talking a lot, filling out and sharing roommate surveys, and make sure you’re all on the same page about where you want to live. My roommates became some of my best friends and I met them through Facebook, I promise it is possible to find amazing people!
3. Pack smart. Fun fact: it does get cold in Florida (just kidding, that’s not fun at all). And even if you are coming from 25 degree weather like me, you will quickly adjust and 60 degrees will feel freezing to you. Pack a good amount of warm and cool weather clothes. I only brought one pair of jeans with me on my program and I think I wore shorts less than 15 times the entire time I was there. Also, make sure you have good shoes that you can walk a lot in, my only warm weather shoes I brought hurt my feet so badly. Don’t make this mistake! And if you have a limited amount of packing space, don’t pack too many clothes, you’ll be working five days per week anyways.
4. Buy stuff when you get there. This goes along with the last one, but, again, if you have limited packing space, consider buying new things once you get to Orlando. Towels, bedding, toiletries, food, and cookware all take up a lot of space and can be bought fairly cheap at Walmart or Target. However…
5. Spend your money wisely. You will be tempted by the overpriced food and merchandise at the parks and resorts constantly, but don’t forget to be wary of buying things in the “real world” like food and clothes. For a lot of people, this will be the first time they are paying their own rent and buying their own groceries, so try to keep to a budget. It will really suck when all your roommates are planning to go out to dinner and you can’t go because you only have $10 in your bank account. The best way to do this is to buy cheaper food (or food that costs the same but will keep you fuller longer.. oatmeal > poptarts, multi grain bread > white bread, etc.) and bring your own lunch to work, or snacks to the park. It’s okay to go to an expensive dinner every now and again (I spent $80 at California Grill once, so worth it) and splurging on something at the parks, but don’t make it a habit.
6. Take advantage of cast member benefits. Speaking of saving money, as a cast member you get amazing discounts. 20% off most merch and dining, plus full service resort restaurants are 40% off for lunch (and some for breakfast). If your family or friends are coming to visit you can get discounted resort rooms and dining plans (I got my family one week at AKL for $1000 (regular would be ~$3000) and dining plans for $35/day.. regular $55). Also, be sure to routinely check out Cast Connections and Property Control (cast member only stores) where you can get insanely discounted merchandise. I have bought mickey ears for $1, a charm bracelet for $0.80, t-shirts for $5, and so much more. There are a lot of other random benefits for cast members, too. One night we got to ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster with the lights on and then watch Frozen at the Sci-Fi dine-in! Keep your eyes and ears open for these typed of opportunities!
7. Try new things. There are tons of things to do at WDW, try them all! Before I did my DCP I hated fireworks, but Wishes quickly became one of my favorite things to do. Even if you don’t think you’ll like it, try it because you’ll never know until you do!
8. Learn to love your role and location. I guarantee you there will be days when you HATE your job no matter where you work. So, I challenge you to find the best in what you do. I was custodial, and !surprisingly! I disliked taking out the trash and cleaning toilets, BUT all I had to do was remind myself I am working at the happiest place on earth and that I am making magic for thousands of guests and I started enjoying myself. Do your best and be grateful for your job. Just remember, every job has it’s ups and downs, it’s all about your attitude!
9. Don’t be afraid to call out. Keep your sanity and give yourself a day off from work once every now and again if you need it. I called out three times during my program, and I think it was necessary. Take the day off and relax, go to Universal or the beach - just don’t go to any Disney parks! (But remember: one call out = one point, three points in 30 days, six in 60, or nine in 90 = one reprimand. Three reprimands means you get termed)
10. Make a definitive bucket list and get it done! Whether it’s character meet and greets, foods you’re dying to try, or maxing out on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (it’s possible!) you have time to do it all. The best way to accomplish the things you want to do is to write them down and start working on them immediately! If you wait, you will find yourself at the end of your program with way too much to do.
Good luck on applications, and don’t forget to have fun! FT&PD :)
I’m notorious for procrastinating and leaving packing until the last minute. The car we’re taking is small, so I’m trying to plot out what I need to bring. This rambling list probably won’t be helpful for anyone, but if I get what I need in writing, I’m hoping it’ll be easier to not forget anything. :D
We’re going shopping in Orlando the day before check in, so I’ll make a small list at the end of the things I’ll wait to buy until we get there.
Also, some of this are things you need to figure out with your roommates, obviously, because no one needs 6 toasters! Haha
I-9 Documents. (I’m probably just going to bring my driver’s license and my SS card.)
A valid photo ID (once again, if I use my driver’s license for my I-9, I’m set.)
A blank check, so I can set up my direct deposit
Car insurance (the insurance doesn’t have to be under your name, but it should show you on the insurance. Like, the car is my mom’s, but the insurance will cover me.)
Clothing (vague, because I have no idea what to bring for sure)
Business Casual things (for classes, training, Traditions)
Short sleeve shirts
A handful of cooler-weather clothes (because Florida can, apparently, be pretty bipolar through February)
Outerwear (I don’t really own any hoodies. I have some sweatshirts and cardigans)
Light jacket (do I have any? I don’t know…)
A coat? (Probably not needed for Florida, but we’re driving, and it’s cold where I live, so I’ll probably end up inadvertently bringing one anyway)
A few pairs of jeans
Sandals (like, all of them)
Black flats/small heels (business casual)
Boots (despite what people say about it being too hot, I love me some boots.)
Watches (Frozen, BatB)
Rings (ring from grandma, flower ring, arrow ring, bow ring)
Necklaces (snowflake, necklaces from grandmas, skeleton key, LM pocket watch)
It’s only been a few days and everything is becoming so real! All I can think about is Disney. I have exams to study for, papers to write and assignments to work on, but I have trouble getting anything done because all I think about is the DCP. Part of accepting the job offer was choosing my arrival date, so I will be checking in on Monday August 17th! I have already found a roommate too! Her name is Paige and we’re going to get along splendidly. She’s so sweet. We’ll be looking for 4 other girls to room with us in either Patterson or the Commons.
I also found out there is a Holiday Inn across from Vista Way, where check-in is, and I told my mom about it and suggested it’d be a good place for me to stay the night before check-in, so I don’t have to worry about being late or having troubles the morning of check-in. Much to my surprise, my mom called me last night and she has already booked a room for us. Yes, I said US. She then informed me that she’ll be accompanying me for my trip down to Florida! I am so happy! I would have gotten down there myself and been fine, but I was definitely scared. I’ve never flown alone before and would have had to get to the check-in location (Vista Way) from a hotel on my own as well. Not to mention I would have very little luggage to pack clothing in. But she’s going to be with me during the flight and my move-in, before flying back to Wisconsin. I’m so excited! In 5 months, I’ll be a Disney CAST MEMBER!
So I know a lot of you have just sent in your applications for Fall DCP! And I just want you to know how proud I am of all of you! This is a big step, and it takes a lot of courage even to do this part, so pat yourselves on the back!
Now I’m sure a lot of you have already done the web interview as well, depending on when you applied, sometimes it comes directly after you apply and others it comes a few hours later.
If you haven’t done the web interview yet don’t worry the link will come soon. This part’s a breeze, just don’t overthink any of the questions, and don’t let yourself get distracted because you have to do it in one sitting.
Ok so now for the big event: the phone interview.
Ok first what I want you to do is take a deep, deep breath, and now exhale.
It’s alright to be nervous about this, it’s a big deal! So I want you to make sure you schedule it for a time when you know there will be NO interruptions, and make sure everyone who might want you during that time knows you can’t talk, because of your interview. I repeat NO INTERRUPTIONS!!!!! Clear? Ok…
Next: before your interview, get dressed. I know this sounds weird, but it honestly helps. Some people say you should dress up, but I don’t think that’s necessary. But, getting up and getting dressed, eating, and basically just taking care of yourself in the morning before your interview will wake you up and give you energy. Even if your interview is at night make sure take care of any responsibilities before hand and setting yourself up a quiet comfortable place to sit for a while. Making yourself presentable for some reason just does something to your energy and your voice and it makes you seem more put together. I don’t know why but it works, ok?
Next: SMILE. You are literally applying for a job that pays for you to do just this, and trust me they can hear you smiling. Your voice changes, even if you aren’t particularly in a smiling mood, if you smile you will sound so much happier to them. Another thing, be happy, so many people don’t even get this far! Laugh at yourself, laugh at their jokes, and they will have jokes. Just show them you are a friendly happy person, because in the end that’s what they are really looking for, someone who is going to always have a smile on, even when it’s hard.
Finally don’t worry too much about the questions, none of them are hard. They are all questions about something I hope you are an expert on…yourself! Just tell the truth, and be honest even if you aren’t sure it’s what they want to hear. Don’t just tell them what you think they want to hear, be yourself! The interviewers are all lovely people and are always willing to repeat questions of elaborate if you need them to so don’t be afraid to ask! The best thing you can do is make friends with your interviewer. Still be professional, but don’t be above just having a chat with them. For my last interview I did the lady saw that I go to school in Savannah, and got all excited because she really wanted to go there on vacation. So for about 5-8 minutes of my interview I told her about Savannah and all of the things there are to do here, and about my school. We were going off on a tangent but she loved it, and it actually helped calm my nerves to be able to talk about something I knew a lot about. In the end she had to end the interview because she had more work to do and we had been talking for almost an hour. I ended up getting accepted and I got my first choice role, so this really works, guys. The interviewers are lovely people and they want to see you succeed, so have fun with this!
I’m so proud of you all and I’m sure you will do amazing, don’t worry about anything. I’m always here if you need anything. Here have a puppy!
So I did a thing;
I had been thinking about getting a new tattoo for quite sometime now, and I knew that when I got accepted into the Disney College Program that I wanted to do something big that I could always have to cherish and remind me of how incredible this experience that has been given to me really is. But what I didn’t know when I got here, is that I’d meet and become friends with some of the most wonderful people on this planet. Honestly, I don’t know what I ever did to have them gracefully placed into my life, but I can’t ever thank them enough for everything that they do for me. I haven’t known them for very long, but they already mean more to me than I could have ever thought possible. I feel like I’ve known them my entire life. They make this program so much more fun and exciting. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have them. They make the bad days better, and the good days extraordinary. The only thing that stinks is that they all live across the country, so seeing them after this program will be next to impossible. In order to commemorate them, I got this tattoo. The charms on the bottom represent each of their favorite Disney movies: the seashell for the Little Mermaid, the paw print for the Lion King, the Greek god medallion for Hercules, a Baymax for Big Hero 6, and a jellyfish for Finding Nemo. I wanted this because even though they live across the country from me, I can officially take them with me wherever I go.
Here’s to the memories that have already been started and more to come!