Let The Memories Begin!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I AM HERE!!! What a crazy week, too. The day before check in I met up with all of my roommates in downtown disney and we decided to go to check in at 5AM to secure the apartment we wanted. I was first to get to the apartment, a 2 bedroom at chatham, and was pleasantly surprised at the size. I was expecting it to be MUCH smaller, but our bathroom is a decent size and our closet seems to be enough space. However, the kitchen supplies they provide are...not the best. We ended up having more pots, pans, and dishes either through somebody bringing them or buying them, but was we were given was extremely limited and/or poor quality.
Check In

We had my Mom drop us off at vista way at the security gate so we didn't have to waste time parking across the street. The only other people there were a group of 3 girls, so we were basically second, which was perfect. Security had us wait where they are stationed until it was time to go back to the welcome pavillion. Once their security tent filled up they began lining people up outside of the security gate, so we got there at an ideal time. Around 8AM they let us go in and we still were second in line. Everything went so smoothly! We got the apartment we wanted, no problems with the paperwork, we were done before noon. Essentially check in consists of signing contracts, agreements, etc., getting your apartment and housing ID, parking decal if you brought a car, your work location (liberty square at MK REPRESENT), setting up a paycard or direct deposit, 1-9 form, turning in your on boarding paperwork, and background check. I think it definitely helps to get there early, I heard chatham and patterson filled up very quickly. After check in you could go to your apartment and most people had a housing meeting later in the day (or the next day if you were in the back of the line)

I don't know if traditions is supposed to be a really fun thing, but I think I was a bit mislead. We learned a bit about the history of disney and some key disney ideals they want the cast members to embrace in their time with the company. I won't sugar-coat the fact that having early morning traditions and being sleep deprived due to excitement doesn't make long presentations like these very thrilling. Not to mention they don't feed you so you walk out starved (or maybe that was just me...) We did do a walking tour which was kind of exciting, especially where we saw parts of the fantasyland that they are reimagining and it looks amazing! Oh, did I forget to mention we got that little ID that let's us get into the parks for free? YES WE DID. Totally hit up Magic kingdom afterwards, although it started pouring rain so it was kind of a fail.

Today was my Magic Kingdom orientation, aka "Once Upon A Time...Is Now". This was a hundred times more exciting than traditions. Granted, it was FREEZING cold and I had to get up super early, but going into Magic Kingdom before the park is open is kind of awesome, right? Our guides told us some inside information, and little known facts about the parks which was really interesting. We even got to go on rides!! After the tour we were divided up by roles and sent to costuming to get our costumes. Unfortunately, they didn't have my size so they have to make some alterations to a dress that I will have to pick up tomorrow before work (really looking forward to that...).

My week is full of training and stuff so hopefully I will be able to squeeze in another post somewhere!

Less than 2 weeks!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It seems so unreal that in just 11 days I'll be leaving for disney. My Mom and I are making the near 20 hour drive down from Michigan, breaking it up into 2 days so it's bearable. I started packing about a week or so ago and it's been really tough to determine what to bring and what should stay home. My car is tiny so I don't have a ton of space, but it's still better than flying. The best advice I can give to anyone flying is bring the absolute essentials! You don't need to bring your entire wardrobe, or your whole DVD collection. If you can afford to leave your bedding at home and buy some there it will definitely help! Also consider how bringing toiletries/beauty products can really add up. I started packing up lotions, hair products, etc. and these little things really added up in space. You can always pack things up in boxes to have a family membership to you once you are in your apartment. Space saver bags will be your new best friend when it comes to packing.

For those of you that are driving though, I have uploaded a more generalized version of my packing list if you are interested here (excel speadsheet). I added a few things to it I will probably buy once I get down there, but it might help somebody else in their packing process.

I've gotten a few tips from CP alumni about things you may want to consider getting for the apartment. For example, the mugs they provide are those really dinky so you may want to bring/invest in some larger mugs if you are like me and drink a lot. Also, i've heard the can opener is not the greatest one in the world, and they provide you with just a few pots and pans so if you are really into cooking, that's something to consider. Some people ended up buying more trashcans, because the one they provide is small or they want one in their bedroom.

I hope this helps some people out with their packing!

An Update? Unheard of!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So far I have really failed at regularly updating! I promise i'll try to post more often. Anyways, a lot has happened since my last post. I had found a roommate around September and we had already begun planning things out, when she decided it was best for her not to do the program at this time. I guess that is a risk when you start your roommate search so early, though. Everything worked out because I quickly found a fabulous girl to room with and eventually four other girls to form our apartment. I realize you can only officially pick one roommate ahead of time, but from everything I have been told as long as you and your hopeful roomies wait in line together, they will try to put you together. So we are hoping for a 3 bedroom at Chatham (wellness).
What made me choose Chatham? There are 3 different complexes for us to choose from, and 1 complex reserved for the international students. Each has developed their own reputation over the years. Vista Way, is the oldest of the complexes, and the smallest. In it's defense, it recently had some renovations done and looks a little nicer. For the frugal CP'er, it is the most inexpensive choice. What steered me away from Vista was it's reputation as the "party complex". I've been told it's the loudest, and with nicknames like "vista lay" I decided to pass. Patterson, on the other hand, is the newest complex but also the most expensive. I've seen it described as the "retirement complex" because it is apparently the quietest. While both of the other apartment complexes have bus stops in front of them, Patterson does not, which is something to consider for anyone not bringing a car. Granted, it is literally across the street from Chatham so their bus stop is walking distance, I've been told if your apartment is situated towards the back of the complex, the walk can be pretty miserable in extreme weather conditions. Chatham Square seems to be a happy medium between these complexes. It's not as new as Patterson, but not as old as Vista. It's closer in size to Patterson, but the bedrooms are just a little bit bigger. It has more social activity than Patterson, but perhaps not as social as Vista. So those are the apartment complexes in a nutshell. Unfortunately I do not know a whole lot about The Commons, other than it's reserved for international students and in the same sub as Chatham and Patterson.
I'll probably dedicate my next post to packing! I've been slowly beginning gathering things I want to bring with me, and have a packing list I will share with everyone. Also, i'll talk about what the apartments already come with and suggestions of what you may want to bring. I leave in just under 3 weeks and it seems so unreal right now! It hasn't really sunk in that I am moving away from home for the first time, but i'm sure the nerves will kick in soon.

more purple!

Friday, September 24, 2010

My purple folder finally arrived today! I was beginning to get worried as it's been about 2 weeks since I got my email and others started getting them last week. For those of you still waiting or intending on applying in the future, some people never received an acceptance email and only got the folder! I'm saying this because there were a handful of people that had been waiting for weeks and had not heard a peep from disney, which as you can imagine may lead somebody to doubt themselves. So if you haven't received an email or any sort of notification- just stay patient and keep your hopes high! Anyways, I've been going out to my mailbox like 5 times each day before the mail would actually arrive in anticipation for my folder! What's in it, you ask? Your acceptance letter, of course! Also included is a brief overview of the program itself, earning, learning, living. This is the same information that is on the WDW college program website and already available to you. They provide you with a participation checklist of things that you should accomplish now that you have been invited to do the program as well as an overview of their costuming policies and size availability. You are also delighted with some pretty awesome 3-D glasses to play a disney game online!

I'll be posting a tentative packing list soon for anyone interested!

DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I was online talking on skype periodically looking out the window for the mailman, when all the sudden I hear "Welcome To Disney", which is the sound I set as an alert if disney recruiting emailed me. I literally jumped out of my skin when I saw "Your Invitation" as the subject! I have officially accepted my role as a Merchandise cast member for the Spring Advantage 2011 program!! It wasn't one of my top 3 roles, but it was the next in line and I am ecstatic! BBB was my second choice but I kind of figured that was out of the running because I am auditioning, but honestly just to be part of this...TO FINALLY KNOW is so overwhelmingly thrilling. The email came at 11:42AM and it was the perfect time because my sister wanted to be the first person I told and today just happened to be a day she is tied up all day but she had an hour in between school and work at that time so I called her immediately! After we freaked out for a moment I ran and told my parents and they were just as excited as me, my mom even went as far as to pick me up, lol.

As soon as I could even contain myself enough to get on the computer I logged in, accepted the role, payed the $100 assessment fee and chose my arrival and departure date. I will be there from January 19-August 5! I'm so excited to start planning everything out and find a roommate and whatnot!

I still plan on auditioning next month so my role may change, but if I end up staying with merchandise I have zero problem with that. Now i'll undoubtably become obsessed with researching all the merch areas and see if I can put a request in with my recruiter.

To those of you who have been accepted or get accepted I can't wait to get down there and meet all of you and to those still waiting I've still got my fingers crossed for you! I will wish upon every star and every 11:11 that you all get in :) I'm sure I will have more updates soon and i'll very likely record my first ever vlog! So be prepared for some possibly entertaining awkwardness, haha!

First Acceptances are out!

So, Tuesday (9/7) the first batch of acceptance emails went out! I happen to be online at the moment to witness the initial pandemonium, and was really excited for everyone but I'm not going to hide the fact that I was silently disappointed my inbox remained empty of a purple email. Since Then, i've been a little (and when I say a little I mean extremely) paranoid because I interviewed on the very first day possible, and haven't heard a thing from disney. People who interviewed after me have already been accepted. I'm hoping this doesn't mean anything bad; I don't know what disney's method is for picking and releasing acceptances and thinking about it probably isn't helping my nerves. The week isn't over yet, though and I'm trying to remain optimistic that I will be accepted by the end of the week.
For those that have been accepted already, they've had the opportunity to log in and do the paperwork and select and arrival/departure date. To anyone curious, the earliest spring arrival date looks to be January 10-May 13 (boo, the spring people are leaving on my birthday!), and the earliest spring advantage arrival date is January 19-August 5. I'm actually kind of surprised because these dates seemed later than previous programs, but I guess disney has a method to their madness! I'd like to get their on the earliest spring advantage date if I get accepted.

Hopefully a happy update in the days to come :)

no news is better than bad news

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Today is day 17 since my phone interview and I'm still playing the waiting game! I have become best friends with the 'refresh' button on my email waiting for that glorious purple email to arrive. Earlier this week people started receiving pending letters via both email and snail mail. A note to those who plan on applying in the future- everyone makes the pending letters out to be a horrible thing. Some have said it's like a delayed rejection, but the truth of the matter is it's better than getting flat out rejected, yes? I've talked to some alumni of the program who received pending letters and were eventually accepted. Yes, it sucks you have to wait a little longer to hear your disney fate, but I wouldn't give up hope.
While the pending letters were testing on my nerves, yesterday I logged on to the facebook group to see people have begun getting rejection letters now! To make matters worse it's a holiday weekend so I doubt anybody will hear anything on Monday. I don't quite understand why they are sending out pendings and rejections first but I really hope we start seeing acceptance letters this week. The spring 2011 hopefuls group could use some good news- the rejections have made most of us a little anxious and unnerved. I've been trying to stay confident and think 'disney thoughts' to keep me from going insane.

Hopefully another update later this week with good news, fingers crossed! GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE WHO HAS APPLIED!