Disney International College Program – First week!

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WELCOME DAY 1

On the first day, we were required to go to a housing meeting that basically told us the DOS and DON’TS of housing which is also outlined in the program guides. Operations and lifeguards have to do a urine drug and alcohol test in the morning and I highly suggest you not to drink two bottles of water and a glass of milk in the morning because they will have water provided as you wait in line to do the test. Character performers also had appointments on day one.

WELCOME DAY 2

On day two, we had our Immigration Compliance presentation, which was basically telling us not to get arrested.

“If you wouldn’t do at home, don’t do it here. If you would do it at home, don’t do it here.”

Later in the day, we had to do our paperwork session, we filled out forms and then we got our Traditions schedule as well as your work location. However, if you’re a lifeguard, you won’t get your work location until you pass your swim test. For me it was later this evening.

We started with the vision test. It was a standard eye chart and we were asked to read line 8. I was super nervous because my eyesight is -3.50 and -4.00. But luckily, my prescription did not go lower and my contacts were still the right prescription. The swim test was super easy for shallow end. It was a 50 m swim and picking up a brick at 5ft whereas the deep end test was a 200 m swim, treading water for two minutes with hands above the water and picking up a brick at 8ft.

I passed my test and I will be working at the Caribbean Resort!

Disney Cultural Exchange Program – Check In Day!

For check in day, Disney will send you a specific time if you arrive early. I was assigned to come in at 9:30 AM whereas my roommates that arrived that day was assigned 1-2 hours after their flight landed.

Things you will need for check in:

  • Passport
  • DORMS boarding pass
  • DS2019

I had forgotten my DORMS boarding pass but the staff was very accommodating and searched for my roommate ID. I went through the line to get my papers checked and my program guide, then I got to a station where they gave me my key and told me where I will be living. The next station was to get my housing ID and then finally they took my DS2019 and my passport to get the paperwork done. The passport was returned to me at the immigration meeting on Thursday.

After check in, we were told to collect our bags from the waiting area and get on the bus to go to housing. My roommates and I got our third choice which was Chatham Square 2 bedroom, 6 roommates. I was the first to arrive so I got to choose my bed first.

My mom met up with me at the apartment with a taxi because the Disney bus will not take family and friends with them. If you’re parents are coming with you, I highly suggest you go to Wal-mart with them especially if they offer to buy your things for the first week. I made this mistake because I thought it’d be fun to go shopping with the roommates together which was fun but I also forgot a lot of things and the Wal-mart trip was more than I expected. A week later and I still have things that I had forgotten and I will need to make another trip.

Disney Cultural Exchange Program – DORMS

Today my roommates and I received a DORMS e-mail notifying us that we have approximately three days to complete our paperwork and link with each other. The DORMS e-mail is said to be sent out 10 days prior to your arrival but it may arrive earlier like mine.

In this email, it gives you your roommate ID which is an eight digit number that allows you to link with your roommates, the amount of people you are able to link up with and instructions on how to link up with your roommates. For my arrival date, we were only able to link up to three other participants which meant my roommates and I had to split up. I decided to stay with a girl that had been with me since the start of the roommate search and found another girl pretty quickly so now we’re a group of three!

Whether or not you are the leader for DORMS, it’s a good idea to discuss rooming situations with your roommates.

  • Double occupancy or Triple occupancy (two or three people in a room)
  • How many roommates?
  • Vista Way, Chatham Square, Patternson Court or The Commons

We made this small mistake because we wanted to get it done as soon as possible and because the last minute changes and addition of a new roommate, we forgot to discuss the housing situation with her. We ended up doing double occupancy because we didn’t want bunk beds, Chatham Square for six roommates. (I’ll explain the six roommates option further down.)

housing

I ended up being the leader for my group and as a leader, you are the only one that logs in when you first register for DORMS. You log into DORMS and review your personal information and add in details such as married housing or any special needs (religious or disability purposes etc) for housing. The next page brings you to the housing forms and regulations that will be printed out at the end along with your boarding pass. After you have read and ‘signed’ the papers, you need to gather your roommates’ IDs and enter them into the system. Your roommates will get an e-mail asking them to confirm their links and fill out their information. The next step is to rank your housing preferences. Initially, we thought we could just rank them like Chatham, Patternson and Vista. However, DORMS provide you with a list of options like Chatham 3 – Bedrooms 6 Person which is confusing because DORMS will still provide you with the various options even though the e-mail had said only up to three other participants. This is probably due to housing availability so perhaps we will end up with six roommates when we check in. Keep in mind it is a good idea to have all your roommates online to give feedback and make decisions.

Overall, DORMS was pretty straightforward and easy to go through. The hardest part was discussing how to split up our original group of six. Always discuss a back up plan with roommates so if things don’t work out, it’ll be easier to sort everything out.

Walt Disney Cultural Exchange Program – Packing list

This list is for my own reference and will not include the things my roommates and I will buy and share. I’ll write one up for future applicant reference after I’m done a good amount of my program so I can give actual advice on what to pack.

Clothes
  • Running shoes
  • Converse
  • Keds
  • Flats
  • Slippers
  • Socks (Black & White)
  • Pencil skirts (2)
  • Blouse (2)
  • Dresses for orientation
  • Blazer
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Dresses
  • Jeggings (1)
  • Disney hairbows
Lifestyle
  • Indigo soft fluffy blanket
  • Pictures of friends and family
  • Backpack
  • Small purse
  • Sketchbook (classic & travel size)
  • Pens & pencils
  • Pillowcase (2)
  • Blanket*
  • Fitted sheets (2)
  • Laundry bag*
  • Hangers*
Kitchen
  • Favorite blue Mickey mug
  • Chopsticks (3)
  • Tupperware container*
  • Water bottle
Hygiene
  • Toothbrush + Toothpaste
  • Shampoo (LUSH Seanik + Big Shampoo)
  • Conditioner
  • Sunscreen
  • Shower gel (LUSH Whoosh)
  • Facial cleanser
  • Facial moisturizer + Lotion (LUSH Formulae as Known)
  • Face Mask (LUSH Love Lettuce)
  • Bath/beach towel (2)
  • Face cloth (2)
  • Hand towel
  • Hair ties/bobby pins
  • Loofah
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Razor/Tweezer/Nail clippers
  • Perfume/Body spray
Electronics
  • Laptop + charger
  • Phone + charger
  • Camera + charger
  • Memory cards
  • USB + Hard drive
  • Headphones (2)
  • Mouse

***Will be updating constantly***

Walt Disney Cultural Exchange Program – Update

I have a little less than a month till I move out and start working at Disney World. I recently found some roommates via Facebook and everyone seems really friendly! The roommate situation consists of six girls including myself – three Canadians and three Mexicans. We’re hoping we get into Chatham Square with two bedrooms.

Honestly, I am having mixed feelings about this whole thing. I’m extremely grateful that I got into the program and by no means do I not want to go but I’m kind of scared/worried/homesick. I haven’t been in a situation where I won’t be home for a long period of time. My last trip on a United Kingdom cruise, I got homesick after two weeks and I was with my mom. This situation could go either way – I could be extremely happy and outgoing or I could be moping after two weeks, yearning for home and my queen sized bed. I’m also someone who is very selfish in the way where I want to have the best of both worlds. In this case, I want to be doing fun activities with my friends at home but I also want to leave and do something different with my summer.

I’ve also been worrying about the swim test that I have to pass in order to become a lifeguard for the company. The swimming portion isn’t hard and I’m not that worried about the lifeguard crash course either. It was the vision test that was freaking me out. During my interview in January, my recruiter and I had a little misunderstanding where I told her my vision situation (which is -3.50 and -4.00) and she assumed it was 20/20 vision. I don’t really understand the 20/20 vision scale nor do I know how to convert the measurements so I was a little bit confused. I was hoping she would put me in recreation but she put me in lifeguarding instead. I had been freaking out for the past weeks because I did not want to be moved to another role. Long story short, I am pretty sure I’m allowed to wear contacts or glasses during the vision test. I also found out that I will be a shallow end lifeguard which apparently I only have to do a small portion of the swim test. From my understanding, being a shallow end lifeguard means I will not be working at the water parks but in the resorts, which I don’t mind as long as it’s not a lame standard swimming pool in a hotel.

With less than thirty days remaining, I need to hang out with my friends, clean up my house and start packing! I need to sew a few pencil skirts because finding pencil skirts in my size is a pain and all the affordable pencil skirts are too short for the Disney look. I should write up a list of things I need to pack and buy soon. Four weeks will fly by and I know I’ll be forgetting something the night before.

Walt Disney Cultural Exchange Program – Aftermath

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts but I applied to this program without telling a single soul. I just went on the website one day, saw the posting and applied. I didn’t tell friends, cast members, not even my parents. Which resulted in some…minor problems, like my parents not wanting to let me go…

Their main concern was whether or not it was a scam and whether I’d be kidnapped to Mexico and become a part of the human trafficking world. In the end, I wrote up all the information, similar to my previous blog post and I got a thumbs up!

Because it was such a last minute thumbs up, I had to rush to pay for the fees and submit my forms. I was told that I would get a little bit more time to submit my proof of student status since it was reading week but it was not given to me immediately. I had to call Disney to reopen my DOC and submit my form the day after. So if anyone was worrying, Disney is quite lenient as long as you have a good reason.

That basically sums up my application process. I still need to book flights, get a criminal background check and pay for medical insurance. I’ll update closer to the date but I’ll be posting Disney World pictures soon! Until then, have a magical day!