The CONS of the Disney College Program

So the waiting period continues! I should be getting a response from Disney about my application for the ICP 2017 sometime this week or the next week. “Mid to the end of February” was what I got from my interviewer. Since then I’ve been occupying myself with a bunch of DCP vlogs since the spring advantage just started and since binge watching these vlogs, I’ve realized that rarely anyone talks about the down side of the college program.

I know during my research period for my first ICP, I was so excited. I expected to get five amazing roommates, living in a three bedroom, Chatham square apartment(our top pick at the time). I expected pixie dust, roommate bonding time and lasting friendships. I expected to work in a park. And…I pretty much got none of that, other than a Chatham Square apartment and one lasting friendship.

But don’t get me wrong! I still loved my program and that’s why I applied again! Here are just some of the unexpected to expect:

1. Housing conflicts

Sometimes your arrival date doesn’t work out with the amount of available empty apartments. In my case, I was on the second Canadian date, which meant most of the housing was filled up by the first batch of Canadians. When it came to linking up with my five other roommates, we found out that DORMs only allowed us to link up with 2-3 other people, which split the group of six we had planned out.

DORMs does not guarantee your top pick. It doesn’t guarantee you top 3-6 picks. It might even give you your last pick. Instead of a 3 bedroom, 6 person Chatham apartment, I got a 2 bedroom, 6 person Chatham apartment. Honestly, I kind of like having two other roommates. But then again I got the single bed.

2. Roommates

Typically, you meet your roommate through the facebook groups. Once we get accepted, the hunt for roommates begin. We post our roommate surveys and get to know each other on the group and eventually link up as roommates. Unfortunately, sometimes the surveys can be inaccurate…to put it nicely. In my case, it wasn’t too bad, but looking back at my roommates’ surveys, there was some inconsistency.

3. Work Location

When you tell your friends and family that you’ll be working at Walt Disney World, their assumptions will automatically go to Cinderella’s castle. But Walt Disney World property stretches beyond the four parks. The parks are a small portion of the property. The other parts of the property includes the resorts, the mini golf, the nearby highways and roads. Pretty much the minute you cross a Disney World arch, everything beyond that is Disney Property. Yes. All those trees and lakes are Disney’s. Don’t expect to work in your dream park because there’s four parks and more than 25 resorts that you could be placed at. From what I learned, it’s not the location that makes your job amazing, it’s the people. I eventually learned to love the view of Caribbean Beach. I learned to enjoy the bike rides to each of the pools and taking routine walks around Caribbean Cay.

4. Free time

All those instagram pictures and vlogs show you the days off. The WDW challenges and bucket list items you could do on your program. You think, oh three months, easy, I can finish all my bucket list items! But what you see on vlogs and instagram pictures, is one day out of the seven. The other six days, you’re in your costume at work, making magical moments for other families. Time goes by fast. Get started on some of those bucket list items before you even get your blue ID. (Resort hopping, explore Florida, Universal etc.)

Those were just some of my expectations that fell through. Everyone’s programs are different. As long as you keep a positive outlook, your experience at the Disney College Program will be just as valuable and enjoyable.

Stay tuned for a blogpost on housing! I like to write blogposts to inform other applicants as well as sort out my own thoughts and plans for my program and I’m having a lot of conflicts on which housing to choose this time around.

Disney ICP 2017 – Packing List

Currently in the waiting period, but I can’t help myself but to hype myself up. I’ve done the program in 2015 and I suppose this list will be coming from experience and revised from the one here.

CLOTHES

*items are luxury items and specific to me

  • White Nike Roshe (or whatever sneaker I get before then)
  • Flats
  • Flip-Flops/Sandals
  • Slippers (for the apartment)
  • Socks (5 Black & 5 White)
  • Pencil Skirt
  • Blouse
  • Blazer
  • Summer dress (but also Disney appropriate)
  • 2-3 pairs of shorts
  • 2 chiffon tank tops*
  • 2-3 tops
  • Sweater
  • Plaid flannel (1)
  • Jeggings (1)
  • Yoga pants (1)
  • Work out shorts (2)
  • 3-4 oversized T-shirts (pjs)
  • 3-4 pj shorts
  • Windbreaker / Rain coat

LIFESTYLE

  • Pictures of friends and family
  • Backpack (for work)
  • F21 small backpack (for parks)
  • Sketchbook *
  • Pens, pencils, markers, watercolour*
  • Pillowcase
  • Fitted sheet
  • Laundry Bag

KITCHEN (& FOOD)

  • Chopsticks (3)
  • Water bottle
  • Magic Bullet
  • Lay’s Ketchup chips
  • Ruffles all-dressed

HYGIENE

  • Toothbrush + Toothpaste
  • Shampoo (LUSH’s Big Shampoo)
  • Conditioner
  • Sunscreen
  • Shower Gel ( LUSH’s Whoosh)
  • Facial cleanser/make up remover
  • Lotion (LUSH’s Sleepy)
  • Beach towel
  • Face cloth
  • Hair ties/clips
  • Loofah
  • Hairbrush
  • Razor
  • Tweezer
  • Nail clippers

ELECTRONICS

  • Laptop/tablet + charger
  • Phone + Charger
  • Camera + Charger
  • Memory cards
  • Hard drive
  • Headphones (2)
  • Mouse

This is a list of things I will be bringing on my Disney ICP 2017 trip. I’ve taken a bit out from the 2015 list because I’d rather buy some of the things when i get there.

Buying list: coming soon!

 

Head in the clouds

 

Being in a media and technology major and surrounded by the culture of internet, it’s interesting how even after three years and one month into New Media, I still cannot define what the Cloud is. To be honest, I don’t even think anyone really covered the basics of the cloud until my EID100 lecture.

Whenever the term, cloud came up in conversation, my initial thoughts immediately go to Apple products and their iCloud system. From my prior understanding, the Cloud is a digital space where you can store and upload your digitalized data (pictures, documents, scans etc). But digging into the background of where the cloud came from and what exactly is the cloud, I found that my understanding was very limited.

The Cloud didn’t begin with Apple products and it doesn’t only store your information. The Cloud is a network of servers that use the internet to store, manage and process information. These servers allow you to upload and download information.

As university students, we use cloud services everyday. Here are some examples of cloud services that I typically use.

Let’s start with some more serious and important cloud services.

Google Drive

Google Drive have become an essential tool in university. Anything larger 25MB in GMail cannot be sent through the email platform. This has cause a huge problem in the past especially for those of us who may have to send presentations, graphics, video or massive files of codes. Google Drive allows us to upload our files onto their cloud service and enables us to download these files when we have access to the internet. Google Drive also has an option to enable others to have access to the information. So instead of giving a USB to your prof at the end of the term and having the prof keep your $20 USB, you can give them access to your Google Drive instead.

Evernote

This has been a lifesaver for me. There are off days for everyone. Maybe you weren’t feeling well and you skipped class. Maybe the classroom (ahem, ENG106) was really stuffy causing you to lose focus. Your nice fellow classmates can take notes on Evernote and send or post the link so others can access the class notes. This has been a game changer in my program for those who don’t actively take notes. Fellow classmates often post a combination of notes at the end of the semester onto our FaceBook page for everyone’s reference and benefit.

Adobe Creative Cloud

A few  years ago, Adobe products were sold in electronic stores in boxes along side Microsoft Office and eFile softwares. Now Adobe offers their products on the cloud where users pay a monthly or annual fee to access their products. On Apple products, Adobe programs can be accessed on the little cloud icon at the right hand corner of the screen. I never really understood the significance until the lecture so it was a huge ‘Ohhh’ moment for me. Basically, when you click on the cloud icon, you can download and update the programs you paid for and all of the program data is stored in their cloud. Much more convenient than going out and physically purchasing the program because who would want to go out when you’re a few clicks and a credit card payment away from your product.

Some not so serious cloud services…

Snapchat

Snapchat is a service where you can upload your images and send to others for a maximum of 10 seconds or uploaded onto your story for 24 hours. When Snapchat came out, their marketing strategy was the fact that the photos sent will be gone in 10 seconds. But let’s be real, nothing you upload through the internet is ever really gone.  These pictures sent through the service is saved on to the snapchat servers for god knows what, but they’re not really deleted. Snapchat also came up with a new service that allows your to save your photos in a memories tab. So Snapchat has essentially became a image storing app as well. Snapchat is a good alternative to communicating to others as you can send short videos and images with ease compared to text messaging or email.

Instagram

Instagram is an image-sharing platform that allows you to upload your image for others to see. Instagram is interesting because over the time you upload your pictures, it creates a timeline of your experiences. This allows you to look back on your memories as well as stalk other people’s lives. Although the act of downloading Instagram pictures is not an option in the app, it can easily be done by screenshotting and saving it into your phone. I prefer Instagram over other image-sharing platforms because of the application layout and the timeline effect it creates unlike other services like Flickr or Facebook where images are often mass uploaded and doesn’t really have a time sensitive aspect to it.

The Cloud is always around us whenever we need it. When we need to upload information, we upload it into the sky of possibilities and when we need it back, we reach up and grab it. The Cloud has become essential in our personal lives as well as our professional lives.

http://mashable.com/2013/08/26/what-is-the-cloud/#5PLePibfokqk

 

How to make your website accessible to everyone

 

The use of computers and the internet has been incorporated into our daily lives. In the way we communicate to the way we pay our bills and other adult things that I like to avoid doing (like my g1 and health card renewal). The use of technology is to allow us to do tasks conveniently within the comfort of our homes. These changes seem to have been implemented gradually however, for those with disabilities, these changes can become more of an inconvenience rather than being helpful.

In 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act came into play to help enforce standards for accessibility to remove the barriers for people with disabilities. These standards allowed people with disabilities to use and participate on the internet with the rest of society.

Here’s a quick and short guide that covers the basics of creating an accessible website for everyone:

  1. Websites are created by html and css. In css, you can use alt texts to  caption your visuals for those who uses a screen reader. If there is no alt texts, the screen reader will simply ignore the image, which will defeat your purpose of taking the time to include those images. screenreader
  2. Similar to number one, use html and css to your advantage by using headers to organize your content in order to allow the screenreader to express your content clearly.  The use < h1 > header one is typically for the title, use < h2 >, < h3>, etc for subsections of your content. (Avoid using headers for aesthetic purposes as it may confuse your audience and how the content is laid out.)
  3. Use colours to your advantage. When using colours on your website, make sure the colours have enough contrast to be read clearly. Avoid colours such as red and green for those who are colourblind.
  4. Use simple fonts that people can easily read. Preferably, sans-serif fonts such as Arial and Veranda to cater to those with dyslexia.

    helloworld
    Cute font but not everyone may be able to read this.
  5. For video, use closed captions to display the text from the audio of the video. This allows those who have hearing impairment as well as those who cannot access the audio to have access to the content of the video.
  6. For audio posts, include a transcript to allow those with hearing impairment to read the content of the audio.
  7. Internet has become crucial in today’s methods of communications. To cater to the older generations or anyone who may have limited motor control, consider keyboard input and speech input to replace the use of the mouse.

I learned a lot by researching for this blogpost. Prior to researching, my websites only used alt texts for accessibility and I was definitely guilty in using headers for aesthetic purposes rather than accessibility purposes. I hope this guide will help others realize the important and how easy it is to make your website more accessible for your audience.

 

 

Etiquette of the Web

The etiquette of the web, also known as netiquette pretty much means:

Basic netiquette is similar to the basic etiquette of life. Be polite and be aware.

The internet has basically become an alternate universe which we live in virtually. We essentially become people behind screens that create and type your own story and personality (or be truthful, there are those people too!). Be polite by being clear and concise in your posts and conversations and don’t spam as that is annoying and most likely ignored and deleted. Be culturally and socially aware as in today’s culture, both online and ‘IRL’ (in real life), people can be extremely sensitive to topics such as race, sexuality and equality.

Here are some quick pointers to good netiquette:

  • Have something to promote? Don’t spam. Whenever I see any signs of spam, I automatically glance past the multiple posts and continue onto the next one. No one will read your promotion even if it’s good. Tip: Use other methods to draw attention. Perhaps, caps your TITLE or bold important information.
  • Have a general understanding of your audience/receiver so you can use the proper language. For example, when sending an email to a friend, using short-form or slang can be acceptable however, when sending an email to an employer, you might want to refrain from using slang and modern abbreviations.
  • Do not steal. Yes, yes you can steal on the internet. People who publish their own blogposts, photos, artwork etc. That is copyrighted information. If you want to use someone else’s pictures or quote a sentence, remember to always give credit and source them.
  • You have internet and so does your employers. Everything is a click away to finding who you really are. Everything you post online, stays online and everywhere else. Don’t be rude and/or abusive.

That’s all for this week! See ya later!

 

Disney International Program – My location!

Source: Orlando Magia

So this is my location: Disney’s Caribbean Resort! In my last blog post, I mentioned that I initially wanted to work in the water parks. Working in the water parks gives you the benefit of accessing the water parks during the block out period. For cast members this summer, it is June 6th to most of my program.

However, after my tour of the resort and my first on the job training, I absolutely love it here. We began my training touring the pool area and getting to know the different zones. Then we took out bikes from the marinas and took a bike ride around the resort to cast services. What kind job training allows you to ride a bike around the resort? After lunch we did some in the pool training and VAT testings. VAT testings are so much easier when you’re the only one scanning. The VAT training in Ellis is great but it’s also kind of unrealistic to have 4-5 VATS and 21 lifeguards all diving in. Overall, pool scanning isn’t as boring or hard as I thought it would be since I’m constantly moving my head and position. It’s like a very long game of iSpy.

IMG_3812

We ended the day testing out the slides and that concludes my first day at my location! I really enjoyed my first day at Caribbean Beach. I mean, where else would I get to ride bikes, test slides, splash around and play a very long game of iSpy?

Disney International College Program – Lifeguard Testings

OK. So it’s a lot harder to keep a consistent blog about my adventures than I thought. I’m keeping two blogs, this blog to update with more information and details of my program and jodiedoesdisney for pictures, quick notes and summary of my day.

Source: Disney Wikia

Today was my first day of on the job training at my location: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort! But before I get into my location, first things first, lifeguard testings! Yay! On the Disney website, they listed the vision test, swimming test and the Ellis Associates lifeguard exam.

Vision Test

Straightforward, it’s basically the same as an eye exam. We were required to read line 8 on the eye chart with or without glasses or contacts. So if you’re blind as a bat like me (L -3.50, R -4.00), you will still do fine as long as you have glasses or contacts. In fact, I started reading line 9 because I was super nervous and I’ve been told on multiple occasions that I had great eyesight.

Swimming Test 

There are two different tests: shallow water and deep water.

  • Shallow Water guards: 50m front crawl or breast stroke, pick up brick at deepest area in shallow water (5ft)
  • Deep Water guards: 200m front crawl or breast stroke, pick up brick at deepest area of the pool (8ft+) and 2 minute tread with head and hands above the water.

From what I noticed, shallow water guards are mostly placed in resorts and deep water guards are mostly in water parks. Initially I wanted to work in a water park but I am absolutely content with my location! I’ll make another post about my location later!

 Ellis Associates Lifeguard Exam

The exam has three parts and you must pass all three to get certified. The certification will only apply to working at Disney and will last up to a year before you have to renew it.

  • Written Exam: Consists of 50 multiple choice questions. Minimum 80% to pass.
  • Individual CPR practical: Scenarios of adult, child and infant. Must pass all three and allowed one retake on the day of.
  • Team pool practical: Given a scenario and tested on your ability to save the victim(s). Pass or fail / Did you save or kill your guest?

My tips for the written exam is to do the review package, circle the ones that you’re unsure of and briefly read over the textbooks. Look at the images provided by the textbook. For the individual CPR practical, stay calm, take it slowly and list all the steps as you’re doing it. You are highly encouraged to be vocal during class however, during testing I made sure I noted every detail.

Example:

Examiner: Adult has no pulse.

Me: Starting CPR. Compressions. 1,2…30. Two breathes. 1 breathe, 2 breathe. Compressions.

The team practical is probably the hardest as you need teamwork to pass. I was paired with three guys. This was a good and bad thing. The good thing is that they could do the more physical part of the job such as backboarding and lifting the victim out. But because guys will be guys, two of them were the typical, “I’m right, you’re wrong”type of guys. Needless to say, there were a lot of holes that I saw and spoke up about but I was ignored so… we failed the first time. We didn’t completely fail because in the end, the victim would have lived; our examiner wanted to see us do a cleaner job and we passed the second time!

I got an Ellis Associates pin for getting perfect on both my written and individual practical exam! 
I got an Ellis Associates pin for getting perfect on both my written and individual practical exam!