Questions: Part 2

3 Oct

I looked through the Facebook group’s discussion board to find the most frequently asked questions and picked 3 that I felt were most relevant right now. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

1. I plan on flying into Orlando International Airport. Is there any transportation provided to the Disney apartments?

For those who are planning on flying to Florida, Orlando International (MCO) is your best option because it is closest to Disney. There is no official Disney transportation from MCO to the apartments, so you are responsible for finding your own way there (whether that be taxi or the Mears shuttle bus). If you stay at a Disney resort the night before your arrival, you can take the Disney Magical Express to your resort, but you will still have to find your own transportation to Vista Way for check-in. 

It seems like most people arrive in Florida at least one day before their schedule arrival because you want to make sure you can make it to the check-in between 9:00am & noon the next day. On the college program website, it says that if you’re plane doesn’t land before 10:30am on the day of your arrival, you will not make it to check-in. Your best option is to arrive in Orlando the night before your arrival date.

If you’re going for a cheaper option, stay in one of Disney’s value resorts which include are the All Star Resorts and Pop Century Resort. As mentioned above, the Disney Magical Express will take you from the Orlando airport directly to your hotel. You DO have to find your own transportation to Vista Way the morning of check-in, but there are several options for you to choose from. You can call a regular taxi, schedule a town car to pick you up (more expensive), or carpool with another CP that is staying overnight.

Here’s the link to the Mears site which will help you plan your ride from the airport to the apartments:

http://www.mearstransportation.com/

2. What is the Web Based Interview like? Will I be quizzed on my Disney knowledge?

You will NOT be quizzed on anything related to Disney, as this is more of a personality evaluation.

Have you ever taken a personality quiz before? The kind where you have to choose “On a scale of 1 to 5, rate how much you agree with this statement: I get along with others.” If you’ve done something like this before, than you’re fine. If not, don’t worry because there is no right or wrong answer. The purpose of the WBI is to get an idea of the applicant’s personality and see how they would fit in the Disney Company. As long as you answer honestly, you’re going to do fine.

The entire WBI lasts about 30 minutes and consists of multiple choice questions and questions like the one above that have you rate how much you agree with a statement. Sometimes the answers are simply on a 1-5 scale, and some of the answers are set up as strongly disagree through strongly agree. At one point you only have 50 seconds to answer each questions and another point you only have 20-30 seconds. This is not to scare you away, but rather to make sure you put your gut answer. I personally like those questions the best because I don’t have time to sit and think about my answer and I do put the first answer that comes to mind, which usually reflects how you honestly feel.

Overall, the WBI is not hard and the majority of people pass it. The key is to give as many strong answers as possible. Be honest, but limit how many times you choose a neutral answer. Every once in a while is fine, but if you choose 3 or “neither disagree or agree” a lot, you will seem as if you haven’t put much reflection on your answers. I found a really great personality quiz that has similar questions to the WBI. Keep in mind that this is just a way to see the types of questions that may be asked and in no way reflects Disney’s system of evaluation, but the results are interesting if you choose to read them. Here is the link:

http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/

3. I found my roommate and apartment mates. How can I make sure we all live together?

As stated on the Disney College Program official website, you are allowed to request ONE roommate before you get there and that will be the person you share a bedroom with. Once you are accepted and log in to the password area of the site, you will see similar links to those on the regular CP site, but with more in-depth detail. In the housing link, there is information provided about how to request a roommate.

The Roommate Matching/Notification system will not let you do anything until 30 days before your arrival date. You can log in earlier, but it will tell you that your arrival group is not eligible so don’t be alarmed if you read that. Once it is 30 days before your arrival, you will have one of two options. If you know who you want to room with, only ONE person has to enter the other’s information. (If you both do it, the system will not match you.) The second person will receive a roommate request notification and upon accepting it, you will both be matched together. If you do not know who you want to room with, you can elect to be randomly matched to someone. You will be notified who your randomly assigned roommate is so that you can coordinate things to bring. If you choose to do nothing at all, you won’t find out who you’re living with until you get to Florida.

If you and your roommate have found another pair that you want to live with, make sure that you all have the same arrival date, otherwise you will not be able to live together. You also have to be in the same age category, either wellness or non-wellness. (If you are 21+ and want to live in a wellness apartment, you have to sign something that states there will be NO alcohol in the apartment, regardless of that fact that you are over 21.) If you do all have the same arrival and are in the same age category, the best way to get placed in the same apartment is to get to check-in early and stand in line together. If you tell the check-in staff that you all want to live in the same apartment, they are usually very accommodating and will place you together.

I hope this information helps! Have a magical day 🙂

ACCEPTED…now what?

2 Oct

Sorry for the huge delay in posting here. Between school and waiting for my acceptance, the beginning of September was very busy for me. I’ll try to quickly fill you in on what my life has been like lately and my next steps in this CP adventure.

I last posted on August, 17. At the time, everyone on Facebook was still wondering when applications would go out. I woke up on August 18 to see a very special post on the group’s page: “APPS APPS APPS!!!!” from Kayla. I didn’t believe it at first, but as soon as I went on the official CP site, I was able to view the e-presentation and apply. I had my interview on August 20 and then the waiting began. Now for anyone still applying, don’t let the wait scare you. IT WILL BE LONG. The first batch of acceptances went out about 2 weeks after we all applied, but I didn’t receive mine until exactly 4 weeks after my interview date. So on August 17, I finally received my purple folder!!! Let me just say, it was the best day of my life and after I finally had it, the wait was in the back of my mind and I didn’t care that it took 4 weeks. The beginning of my letter reads:

 “Congratulations! You have been selected to participate as an Attractions Cast Member on the Disney College Program, for the Spring 2011 Season. This is a valuable résumé-enhancing experience for all students, and we are proud to offer this opportunity to you! This program will allow you to gain academically-oriented work experience – the kind that provides participants in any major with the tools they need to compete effectively in today’s job market.”
 

The rest of the letter states that my hourly pay rate will be $7.25 and talks about basic job responsibilities for attractions. When you get your acceptance letter in the purple folder or by email notification (some may not receive an email, but everyone gets a  purple folder), you are provided with a user name and a unique password. You are also given a deadline to accept which is about 2 weeks after your letter was addressed. This does not mean that you have 2 weeks if you receive initial notification by regular mail. My letter was addressed on September 7, but wasn’t postmarked until the 15th and I received it 2 days after that. My deadline to accept my invitation was September 22. For me this wasn’t an issue because I have a credit card and paid the fee right away.  But it’s definitely something to be aware of, that you may only have a few days to accept. When you pay the fee (which was $104.50), you choose your arrival date at the same time. I chose January 10, 2011 because it was the earliest and I can’t wait to get there. But there are a few dates to choose from so that people can choose what works best for their schedule.

Once you get done accepting your invitation, there is a whole new world to explore on the CP site. You can use your username and password to access the log-in area of the site, which gives you all the information you need to start planning your move to the happiest place on Earth. The most important thing to look at is the College Program Countdown, which gives you a detailed list  of everything you need to accomplish before you arrive in Florida. This area of the site also provides you with a list of basic things you should bring, arrival information, and more details about the living, learning, earning aspects of the college program. All the information you could ever need is on the CP site, but I will be writing a few more questions blogs to answer some detailed questions that have been asked on the Facebook group.

So now that you’ve been accepted, picked your arrival date, and looked at all the information on the CP site over and over, there’s only one thing left to do…..start getting excited for January/February because YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!

Questions: Part 1

17 Aug

So a lot of people on the Facebook group have been asking questions about things like apartments, schedules, and such. I figured some of you who aren’t on the Facebook group might be having some similar questions. (And if you’re not on the Facebook group, you really should be because everyone is so helpful!)

Here are a list of questions I have found and following that, my answers which correspond accordingly to the question numbers.

 Questions 

 

  1. How much is the deposit for the apartments before I get there, and would I be able to get it back should something come up? 

 

 

 2. How are hours scheduled regularly? Do you have some sort of say so on when you work (like emphasizing weekends and nights), or do they bounce you around so much where you’re not really guaranteed specific hours? 

 3. What exactly is the difference (both in living style and cost) of the three main buildings? 

Answers  

 1. I’m not sure if there’s an apartment deposit, but there is an acceptance fee (about $100) that you pay after you get your letter. You have about 3 weeks to accept your offer and that is further explained in that lovely purple folder. 

 2. During the program, you work 35-45 hours during regular season and 50+ hours during peak season (holidays, etc.) I am also fairly sure that the schedules change by week. I don’t think you can ask to work certain days, but I’m not all too sure. It’s best to ask someone who has already been in the program what a typical work week looks like. Here is the example work schedule that’s posted on the official College Program website: 

  

 And here is a real schedule from a member of the Facebook group:   

 3. There are a few differences in cost/style of the 3 apartments (Vista Way, Chatham Square, and Patterson Court), but they’re aren’t major. I actually got to tour Vista Way when I was there in May, so I can mostly speak on its behalf. What I liked right away is how close Vista is to Disney World. It’s about a 5 minute drive from the entrance closest to Downtown Disney. There’s a Walgreens right at the corner where you turn into the complex so that is really convenient. A few restaurants and shops are within walking distance of the front of the complex as well. My first impression driving up to it was that it looked just like any other apartment complex in Florida from the outside. You can definitely tell it’s the older complex. The security was great though. My friend from school had to notify the check-in security that we were coming and only 3 people can be signed in at a time and everyone must be over 18. We had to show our IDs at check-in and they took our plate number too. So it seems like a really safe environment right from the entrance. Every apartment building is labeled with a number which made it super easy to find where I was going. I don’t think you can get lost around there. 

When I walked into the apartment it seemed very spacious, but the thing that turned me off was how empty it felt. I know we can’t bring a ton of stuff and even if you drive you can’t bring everything, but everything was pretty much blank. The girls were also still unpacking so maybe they hadn’t brought out decorations yet. Everything was very dated, but it was clean so that was good. My mom noted that the carpet looked dirty, but I think that’s just because it’s old. There was no tv, but they all said that in their first program session, they hardly used a tv anyway. One thing I noticed is that there was only 1 desk for the entire apartment. That’s not necessarily a problem, but it is right where the internet jack is. And there is only one of those in the entire apartment. So unless you want to keeping plugging your computer in all the time, I suggest getting a wireless router. I plan on bringing my own so I can just use my computer in my room. On the topic of rooms, they were pretty decent in size for an apartment. Better than a dorm room for sure. The layout of the beds/dresser really depends on the size/shape of the room. The rooms are pretty much the same size, but they might have different corners that make the layout a little different. The dresser looks just like it does in pictures: very spacious with plenty of space. And the closet is huge!! I was really impressed by that. It’s a walk-in so there’s lots of room for storage on the floor. The apartment I visited was a 3-bedroom. Vista only has 2 and 3 bedrooms. I think they said they were paying about $80 a week which is pretty reasonable. The only thing that I didn’t like about this specific 3-bedroom was that there was only 2 bathrooms. One was in the first bedroom so those girls got to share it. But the other one was by the other 2 bedrooms and 4 girls had to share it. I had thought that there would be 1 bathroom per room. But the 4 girls who share that one said it works out just fine. I would still prefer to only share with one other person, but that’s just me. 

 
I also got a chance to drive over to Patterson Court and Chatham Square. Now these complexes were BEAUTIFUL! Can I say that again? B-E-A-UTIFUL!!!  You can really tell that they are the newer apartments. The outside décor is really pretty and there’s tons of big trees lining the road up to the complexes. The only problem is they seem a little bit out of the way compared to Vista. It seemed like it took a while just to get to the entrance of these complexes. There is a shopping complex nearby with a Publix, but it is definitely not within walking distance. And from what I hear, not many people walk there. Cost of living at Chatham/Patterson is about $20 more than Vista, but they’re newer and bigger. On the subject of apartment size, I found a nifty comparison on Chris Saribay’s blog (http://chrissaribay.com/disney-blog/) which shows a nice detailed view of Chatham Square versus Vista Way.  
 
  

 

 
 One other thing to know about apartments is that every building is designated wellness or non-wellness. (If your apartment is a wellness, then every other apartment in the building is also wellness.) Wellness apartments are completely dry (no alcohol allowed whatsoever). If ANY alcohol is found in  a wellness apartment, everyone living there gets terminated from the program, or so I’ve heard. If you are 21, you will automatically be placed into a non-wellness apartment, unless you specify that you’d like to be in a wellness. Honestly though, I would stick with the non-wellness if you’re over 21. Even if you don’t drink, you want to be in a situation where other friends your age could bring alcohol in your apartment. However, if you still wanted to request to be in a wellness, I think you would do so on your arrival day when you pick your housing.  

I hope this answers some questions you may have been wondering about. I’ll definitely do another questions blog soon, but I want to know what YOU want to know. Email me at kristinawdwcp@gmail and ask me anything about the Disney College Program, and I’ll post my answers here.

 Have a magical night! 

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” -Walt Disney

 

Why do I love Disney??

12 Aug

Where do I even begin? I have ALWAYS loved Disney. Always. As a little girl I pretended I was Belle and would dance around with my dad to the Disney Sing Along tapes during “Beauty & the Beast”. (He was the Beast). I was Belle, Jasmine, & Cinderella for Halloween, just to name a few. Whenever we went to a relative’s house, I’d put on a show, singing my favorite Disney songs and marching around like I was in a parade. We owned what seemed like every Disney VHS out there and I never got sick of watching every one over and over again. I had every Disney Princess Barbie doll and would re-enact their stories with my little brother. (He didn’t mind so much back then!) I had these books called “Disney Girls” about this group of friends who had magic powers. They believed they were Disney Princesses and at certain moments, could become that princess. I was one of them, or so I wanted to believe. I didn’t care that the rest of the kids in school thought Disney was lame. Every year since kindergarten, I have done some sort of school assignment related to Disney, at least once a year. In 6th grade, I did our big end-of-the-year project on Disney World and I still have that poster. Even in college, my huge 12-page in-depth research paper was about Disney and it’s idea of the American Dream, how everything it does is perfect and fits this wonderful family value of imagination and fun. I got an A on that & couldn’t have been more proud.

When I first visited Disney World in 1997, I was just 7 years old, but I knew something was magical before I went. It was all I could talk about for days before our trip. I remember telling my mom it was like a dream. And when I first walked into the Magic Kingdom, it WAS a dream. It was the most perfect dream I’ve ever experienced and to this day, I can’t help but feel like a little kid again when I see the Castle. My mom always says it feels like a time capsule when you’re there, that everything else in the world stops because you’re in this wonderful magical place where anything is possible. And I truly believe that. As soon as I’m within the borders of the World, I instantly feel this sense of comfort and familiarity. I become over whelmed with emotion and just can’t believe that I am there. I literally tear up just driving around and knowing that I’m home. I really do call Disney my second home because it’s somewhere I feel safe and where I have a huge “family” all around me. When I go back to Michigan, I say I’m just going on an extended vacation and that I’ll be home soon. Disney isn’t just a place to have fun, it has touched me in a way I can’t begin to describe. Its magic has such an extremely powerful effect on me and my only wish is to share that magic with everyone I come in contact with. I have turned Disney non-believers into some of the biggest Disney fans. I can turn any conversation into something about Disney, everything I see in life reminds me of Disney. I live, breathe, eat, sleep, and dream Disney. The blood running through my veins is probably full of pixie dust. (I do actually tend to shed glitter on people sometimes).

Everyone here knows me as the Disney girl, and I’m perfectly ok with that. I’m not afraid to hide my love for something which I truly believe in. When I get asked if I ever get sick of it, I just laugh. What is there to get sick of. I can ride the same attraction a million times over, yet it will be a completely new experience every time. I can meet my favorite characters over and over and still have a different conversation. It will never get boring to me and I think my love for Disney will just keep growing stronger. When I tell people I want to run Disney some day, I’m not joking. I’ll go back to school and get whatever degree I need to have the skills to do that, because that’s how passionate I am about this company. I want everyone in the world to be able to experience Disney’s magic and if I can help in any way, then I’ll be happy. I want to help create magic. For me, doing the Disney College Program is only going to be the first step of my ultimate dream. I can only hope I get accepted because this is the moment I’ve been waiting for all my life.

Disney isn’t just a place, it isn’t just an idea….it’s my life. And that is why I love it more than anything. Because when I wish upon a star, my dreams DO come true.

Why do YOU love Disney? Leave me a comment and share your story 🙂