Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Post 6: -5 Days (Goodbyes and Lasts)

So we're down to 5 days till I leave!! Freaking out now, just a little bit. I have most of my things packed up in boxes and suitcases...which is only slightly problematic when you need socks and forgot to leave them out. Going to finish packing tonight.

(All of the socks I own.)

Today is also my last day at work...doing a 10 hour shift, which be great on my check in a few weeks. My Co-workers have thrown me an absolutely lovely goodbye party, and decorated the whole back room. It looks amazing...I'm really going to miss everyone, even though I've only been here for like, 6 months. Gosh it's been 6 months already....it was about that long ago that I applied to Disney! GEEZE. Louise.

On Saturday, all the rest of my friends threw me a goodbye party....it was morphed with like, 5 of my friend's mixed birthday party. It was at my house, and half the guests were already there and they still managed to surprise me...refishulousness. My cousin and her boyfriend had gone to get the cake for everyone, and they were "taking forever to get back"....code for, two of my close friends were running late and they needed to be there for the surprise so my cousin was waiting out in the car till they got there. It was definitely a surprise!

I'm trying to get some last minute seeing people in this week...planning on spending Thursday afternoon with my family, Friday is both my best friend's and my roommate's dad's birthdays. Wednesday evening I'm going to go back to where I used to do some theater and see all my friends there, and watch their dress rehearsal for Cinderella. (how appropriate!)

...Then Saturday, it's Leavin' on a Jet Plane time. Whew.

I guess that's it for now......oi. Can't believe this is really happening!!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Post 5: -8 Days (The Art of Boxing)

Last night I packed my first box. I started with my stuffed animals....I didn't realize until I had to pack them how much of a biased I have towards dogs and teddy bears! Interesting things you find out about yourself when you have to consolidate your life into boxes. I'm also going to be getting rid of a lot of my things....that's going to be interesting. It's finally starting to sink in that I'm leaving in a day over a week. It's getting pretty intense...I'm seeing on some of the groups that people are already down there and they're posting updates, someone will throw up a post and say "Hey I'm off work today, who wants to go to Hollywood Studios?" My reaction: UGH YOU LUCKY BUG! I'm so excited....I'm imagining having a day off, no plans, and just casually being able to say "Meh, lets go to Disney World today, I'm bored." ReFISHulous!! This, of course, will be after homework and studying for classes. I'm taking one Disney Class, and I'll be signing up for one online class with my College this weekend after I get paid, hopefully and American History class.

As I stated previously, I'm flying, so I'll have to figure out what I want with me that I'll really need, and leave the rest in PA to be shipped as I have money for it. If you are going to be flying, make sure you check with the airline to see what their regulations are as to baggage; I am flying AirTran, and I am limited to a suitcase that must be under 50lbs, a carry-on, and a laptop/camera case. 
If you also happen to be flying AirTran, here is the link to the website with the regulations...read very carefully. There's alot of picky details. 


This weekend I plan on getting my shopping done, I'm going to a local salvation army (super cheap second hand store) and I'm going to be getting all my business clothes and maybe see if they have any cheap decent shorts. If you are curious as to what exactly will be required of you as far as hairstyle, glasses, and Disney's definition of 'Professional attire,' this is the link to the page about the "Disney Look." 


That's about it for today. My glasses look like they should be arriving sometime today (yay!). If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them, and I'll do my best to get an answer to you as soon as possible!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Post 4: -16 Days (One Does Not Simply "Walk into Disney!")

Okey dokey, it's been a few days since I've posted, I've been busy with working. Which brings up a very good lead in to my topic today; the costs of getting to Disney.
I want to say this right now; if you plan on applying to the Disney College program, then you should save up to around $1000 dollars, and this is why.
  1. Housing payment. When you get accepeted, you will have 10 days to pay a $300 fee to secure your spot. 
  2. Classes. If you want to take any Disney Education classes, some of them require a spot-securing fee (mine was $30), and you may have to get a textbook. (I got mine on amazon.com for $16 including shipping).
  3. Travel. If you're flying, you're giong to want around $100 for a plane ticket (this is flying from PA). Also, some people who are flying are arriving a few days early and staying somewhere, so that they can get used to the area, and make sure you'll be there on time. Check in time will be between 9am-12pm. If you're driving, you're going to have to pay for gas, food stops along the way, and possibly overnight accomidations somewhere depeding on how far away you are. 
  4. Baggage. You have to get your stuff there somehow, and you dont get a mailing address til the day you arrive. I went shopping at discount stores, and the cheapest large sized baggage I found was around $50/piece....if you go to somwhere like Kohls or Marshalls, it was a few hundred dollars for one piece. Yikes!! I'll also be looking into duffle bags, hopefully they're a bit cheaper. 
  5. Savings. Disney says that you should have enough money set aside to feed yourself/gas your car ect. for about three paycheckless weeks....this is because you'll have a week's gap before you get your first check, which will only cover a few hours of classes on your first week, and then your next check may have your first 2 weeks of rent taken out of it. So...just keep that in mind. 
    1. Also, depending on how you travel, you might have to buy things like bedding, pillows, toiletries, ect. when you get down there. Make sure you save accordingly.
  6. Clothes. Your closet should have the following items; some buisness casual clothes, for orientations, classes, you'll want shorts/tshirts because, yeah, it is Florida, but you'll also want some jeans/sweatshirts. It does get a little chilly down there in the winter, you cant just prance around in a bathing suit all year. Speaking of bathing suit, each apartment complex has it's own pool and gym, you might want appropriate attire to take advantage of that.
    1. ALSO, For those of you who wear glasses, you'll want to make sure that they are plain, buisness professional glasses. If you google zenni optical, you can get cheap glasses online, and they'll ship to your house. Also, you can not have transitions lenses. 
So, moral of this story, if you want to get accepted, start saving now. Even if you dont get in, at least you'll have a $1000 in savings, and that's always nice.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Post 3: Day -21 (Why I want to Work For Disney)

Hey everyone! So, I have 21 days till I board my plane. That's exactly three weeks. Yikes, getting close! I can't wait for the warm weather...today I went out to get in the car to go to work, and the car doors were covered with a thin sheet of ice...pretty much from the wind chill. In fact, at 9:30am, it is 30 degrees in Pennsylvania, and 54 degrees in Orlando. Though, in Fairbanks, AK, it's -17 degrees and snowing...I guess I ought to stop complaining. (Love you Aunt Kristen...if you're not frozen solid!)

Last night I downloaded a countdown timer on my iPhone, as have many other DCPers. We're all posting screenshots on the Facebook group pages. About these groups...they're very very nice to have. I am on two of them, one for kids in the Spring/Spring Advantage 2012 Programs, and one just for kids who's check-in date is February 6th. They are both unofficial (started by program students, not by Disney), but they are very helpful. I've met dozens of other people in the Program already, and we're getting to know each other on Facebook, which is great seeing as most of us are from out of Florida and don't know anyone else going into the Program. And honestly, even though it's literally a childhood dream come true, moving to a new state 1,000 miles away from home not really knowing anyone there is a little bit scary, and it's nice having the ability to interact with so many other people going through this same process. I've been able to post questions and they've been answered within the day. I think that Disney should make their own official Facebook groups that they monitor, so that we can have some kind of representative that can answer the tougher questions and make sure everything is kosher, and they should include the link with one of their millions of emails they send out. But maybe that's just me.

So one big question that many people have asked me is why I'm so psyched to work for Disney. I've wanted this since I was young, this is literally a dream come true for me. (For realz, I've had literal night-time dreams about getting accepted to work for Disney for years. Most of them resulted in tears of joy.)
My first great experience with the magic of Disney was when I was about about 10 or 11, when my mom and dad took us and my Grandmother down, who had breast cancer (and has since passed). During that trip we managed to get into the Princess breakfast at Cinderella Castle, which, if you haven't tried to schedule that before, its something you start trying to reserve way in advance, because it fills up that quickly (keynote to anyone planning an upcoming trip). My parents had been calling pretty much every day since we decided we were going. It wasn't until we got down there that we got a spot; because a party our size had called and cancelled just moments before with the same person that my dad got on the phone. Going to that breakfast was great, we saw all the Princesses and the Fairy Godmother, who mentioned that she liked my glasses. The coolest part of that day? Later when we saw the Magic Kingdom parade, I was standing on the sidewalk up by the gates at the front with my grandmother, and the Cinderella float came around with Fairy Godmother up top. When she passed by, she looked down at us, smiled, then pointed to her glasses and then to me. Being 10, the fact that she remembered me from that morning and saw me in the crowd was just one of the coolest things ever. The next coolest thing was later that week when we went back to Magic Kingdom and was watching the Parade from the castle and Peter Pan waved at me from his float, which was a-MAZING since he's one of my top two favorite characters. There's a recording of me freaking  out at that parade...I think my voice jumped like 23678621octaves. 

I think the biggest reason I want to work for Disney is because every time I have been down there, it's been so...Magical...amazing, something just happens that you can't get anywhere else, and memories are made that stay with you forever, things that are just so indescribably awesome and affect you for the rest of your life, and when that happens in Disney, those memories can be created with the help of someone that's even just a street sweep. I think that's amazing, that someone that cleans garbage bins has the ability to make someone's day the best in their whole life, and they will remember that day forever. I want to be able to make people happy, to have that kind of affect on people, and I feel like working at Disney gives me the largest collections of tools to use than any other place in the whole world.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Post 2: -22 Days (My first trip to Disney World)

22 days till my fligh day!! I'm so excited....today I got an email that gave me my login information for the website for my classes. Disney offers several different educational courses you can take, some colleges accept them for credit. I'm taking a class called Marketing You, which will be Thrusdays at 8:30 in the morning (that will be fun). I got online, read my syllabus, and found out what book I'm going to need...you can also set up contact info and 'friend request' other people in the program.

I also am trying to work out some packing stuff...I am flying down, which means I'm taking one suitcase worth of stuff....the rest I plan on leaving boxed and ready to ship with my parents, and have them send things down as I need it. As of right now though, I'm just stockpiling boxes from work.

My first trip to Disney World was when I was 4, my father took me. My favorite Disney characters are Peter Pan, and Woody from Toy Story, which was my favorite movie as a child; to this day, you can put in the VHS tape and I still have the commercials memorized from as many times as I watched it. As the story goes...my father and I waited in line to see Woody...I was really excited...and then when we got up there, I was too nervous to talk to him! Afterwards I was apparently really dissapointed that I couldn't tell him that he was my favorite, so I did the only thing that seemed logical...I asked Mickey Mouse to pass the message for me when we saw him later. Makes perfect sense, right? I mean, he is the big cheese. ;) 

I'm going to do some FAQ...because I have a FAQ list, and it's very, very "F" that I get these "AQ's."
1. How did I find out about the Disney College Program?
Well, as I'm planning on covering in a futer blog post, I found out by talking to a lovely gentelman in the program when I was about 12, who had his college listed on his nametag instead of his hometown. He was working at a Quick Service resteraunt outside of Tower of Terror in (then) MGM Studios. I had already decided that I wanted to work for the Disney Company, and at the time I decided that DCP was probably a good place to start.
2. How did I apply?
http://cp.disneycareers.com/en/default/. Click the green 'Apply Now' button. They only accept applications during certain time periods, sign up for the email alerts and they'll let you know when you can send one in. You have to be 18 by the time you get down there and enrolled in a college.
3. Where am I going to live?
DCP has housing for the interns. Technically speaking it's off Disney property...but...it sounds cooler to say that I'm living in Disney World, and technically it's Disney-Owned Territory...as I'm not down there yet I dont know all the logistics in relation to location, but I'm told that its about 10 minutes from the World. They are apartment-style living spaces. I will share my bedroom with one person, who I got to 'meet' via the roommate matching system. I can have between 1-4 bedrooms in my apartment (for a total of 2-8 people in my apartment). It is not co-ed, so I'll be with all girls. (8 girls in one space...yikes!) The apartment comes with beds, a dresser, and a fully stocked kitchen, MINUS a toaster, coffee maker, and crock pot. Also, there is 'Wellness' and 'Non-Wellness' housing. Wellness is for under 21 year olds, or people that dont want alcohol in their apartment. Rent (this term) is between $80-$100/week, and it comes straight out of our paycheck. This includes all utitlities, everything.
4. Yes, my beloved car Charlie is dead, in fact I'm finally scrapping him for some money to take down. So how am I supposed to get around down there?
Disney provides bus transportation for all the interns, to and from the housing complexes and various shopping places in the area, including a Wal-mart that is supposedly really close by. According to a friend formerly of the program, they run mostly 24 hours....I'll get back to you guys on that when I'm down there.
5. What am I going to be doing down there?
My role is a 'Photopass Photographer.' I will be making $8.75/hour. My assumtion, based on what little I know, is that I will be the adorable person taking pictures of your 32423x more adorable munchkins meeting Mickey Mouse. Yeah. I'm shooting happy kids all day, in Disney World. Best job EVER.

That's about it for today. If you have any more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll answer them to the best of my ability. TTFN!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Post 1: -23 Days till take-off.

As you probably know, I am one of the few magically inclined individuals who has been accepted into the Disney College Program, for the Spring Advantage 2012 semester. (Spring Advantage means that I'm there in the beginning of the year, for 6 monts instead of 3. Winning!) My check-in date is February 6th, (which happens to be my Grandma's birthday), and my check-out date is August 10th. As it stands right now, I'm going to be trying for at least another semester before trying to move in down in Florida. I'm so excited to be able to do this!!

I am going to be making this blog to document my time down in the Program...my goal is to use it to keep all of my friends and family in PA updated, and also keep some documentation for myself for 9283477246 years from now when I want to look back. I hope to post daily.

Thanks much to all of you who will be following me! If you are interested in the Disney College program, feel free to ask me any questions you have and I will do my best to get them answered for you or direct you in the right place. Feel free to 'like' the facebook page of the Disney College Program, found at http://www.facebook.com/#!/DisneyCollegeProgram.