What to do Before Traditions

Well, seems I’ve been away for a bit, but the exciting news that I have for y’all is that I’m finally in Disney! I moved in on Monday and have spent a few days having oh so much fun. Although, this is definitely an interesting time because we’re here but haven’t gotten our IDs yet so we can’t go to the parks. I’m here if, like me, you were figuring out some things to do and needed a bit of inspiration πŸ™‚

  1. Take a loop around the parks/resorts on the monorail – Unlike Disneyland and DCA in California, you do not need a park ticket to get on or off the monorail. This is a super fun and relaxing thing to do, especially if you go resort hopping all day and want to sit for a while.
  2. Resort hopping – Let’s be real, after you can get into the parks, what’s the chances you’re going to want to spend a whole day at the resorts? Probably not a lot. But now is a great time to do so because the DCP buses go to all of the resorts and you can walk around them all you want, no check-in needed.
  3. Pin-trading – I might be slightly biased, but this has been one of my favorite things to do. Pairing it with resort hopping works out super well, because every gift shop and front desk at the resorts is bound to have trading pins, all you have to do is ask.
  4. Visit Disney Springs – The recently remodeled Disney Springs is a great place to spend a few hours meandering around. It’s super huge, so if you want to get to all of it you’ll need at least three or four hours.
  5. Ride the ferry – I haven’t gotten on the one at the Seven Seas Lake yet, but there’s also a boat ride that runs between the Port Orleans resorts and Disney Springs. Super fun, a nice relaxing way to spend some time not walking if your feet are getting tired.
  6. Go to housing events – There will undoubtedly be a welcome event at some point during the week you arrive. Today there’s an event at our complex called Jambo, and I’m super interested to see what it’s about. I know there will definitely be food and characters and fun, so I’m excited to go.
  7. Visit Universal – I know, I know, it’s the forbidden word (not really haha). But, just in case you’re wondering you can get a super sweet deal on a pass to Universal with the Florida resident discount. The most basic pass is about $280, which would pay for itself if you park hopped on two different days, because park hopper tickets are $155 apiece.

And there you have it, a couple of things to get you started and keep you entertained while you wait for traditions and your magical ID. As always, if you have any questions, drop them down below in the comments section and I’ll be happy to help you out. Have a lovely day, and I’ll see ya real soon πŸ™‚

WDW College Program Housing Options

Today I’d love to introduce y’all to the housing options that Disney provides their CPs. Small disclaimer before I begin, I only really know about WDW because that is where I am stationed at. If anyone has been a Disneyland CP, feel free to comment and let me know how housing is there.

When you decide to live on Disney property, you have four different options for apartments: Vista Way, Patterson, Chatham, and the Commons. There are several pros and cons to each, so you wanna take that into account when you’re thinking of where you wanna stay and how many roommates you’ll have.

Vista Way
Built in 1987, these are the oldest apartments
This is the bus hub, so every single bus will stop here somewhere along it’s route
These apartments do have the ‘party central’ reputation, although I am sure you could find parties at the other complexes as well

Chatham
A lot of the housing events are located in this complex
This one is a fairly “middle of the road” selection, as it is nicer than Vista but you don’t pay the premium of Commons or Patterson
Every bus stops here as well so transportation is very easy.

Patterson
Being the newest, these apartments are slightly nicer than the others
However, Patterson does not have a bus stop as it is literally across the street from Chatham. It takes about five to ten minutes to walk to the Chatham bus stop.

The Commons
These used to, and still are in some respect, used for international students
All of the apartments have washers and dryers inside them
Not all of the buses end up stopping here, so if you are not bringing a car, that could be a problem. You can walk to Chatham as it is just around the corner, but that can be annoying a 2 am in the morning.

Fall 2016 Pricing
Please keep in mind that this pricing could potentially change at any time. However, what I can give you is the prices that my roommates and I are looking at for our stay with Disney this year.

 

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Pin Trading: Tips & Tricks

I can’t believe that I have 35 days until I get to Disney! AHHHH!

Well, after my little freak out of excitement there, I’d love to hop in to my blog post for today which is all about the super entertaining world of pin trading! I’ve been pin trading since December when my fiancΓ©’s family introduced it to me, but they’ve been trading for so darn long now haha.

To give you a little explanation of pin trading, Disney creates official Disney pins that are in several collections with a multitude of characters and designs. The name of the game is to collect whichever pins tickle your fancy. I love classic (red) Minnie Mouse as well as Minnie and Mickey pins. I’m also a sucker for collections, so if I see one that I particularly like, I’ll start building that collection.

You can obtain pins one of two ways, through purchase at a Disney park or purchase online. Obviously, Disney is the more reputable of the two, but their pins come at quite the premium. I’m talking $6-$10 per pin, which can rack up to quite the amount of money. You can also purchase official Disney pins from sellers on Amazon, Ebay, and the like, but be sure to do your research beforehand. There are knockoff pins that are not eligible for trade at a Disney park, so read up on a sellers reviews and products before you buy anything.

In order to pin trade, you’ll need a collection of ‘throwaway’ or ‘tradable’ pins, pins that are great on their own but you personally don’t want. Once you get to a Disney park or the Downtown Disney/Disney Springs areas, you’ll see cast members with lanyards that are also full of pins. All you have to do is walk up and ask to take a look at their pins. You made trade one pin per cast member, and all you have to do is give them one of your pins in return. Many of the merchandise stores also have pin boards that you can trade from, just ask for it from the cast member at the register. The Disney Vacation Club people also have boards, pretty much every single one we saw while walking around DTD had a pin board that we could check out, so keep an eye peeled for their carts and stores πŸ™‚

One thing that I would mention before I finish up however, is that if there are any limited edition pins on sale in the pin/merchandise shops, I’d snap those up because they’re pretty hard to find from cast members. Some cast members will do a ‘mystery pin’ where they put a pin upside down on their lanyard and you have to pick it without knowing what it is, and those can be special pins but they’re few and far between. My sister-in-law got one that way pin trading in December, but I didn’t see another one in all four days we spent time there.

If you have any other questions about pin trading or Disney in general, feel free to drop me a line in the comments. Otherwise, have a magical day and I’ll see y’all real soon. πŸ™‚

College Program Packing List

So this is the fun part where I let y’all know what’s on my list to fit into two suitcases and a carry-on for the flight to Orlando. I figured I’d post this so that if you’re needing a little help with what to bring to the DCP, you can take a look and get some inspiration. Granted, I might add or take away a few things in the two months that I have until then, but we’ll see where it goes πŸ™‚

To Bring

  • Pillows – I might have to grab a new one while in Disney because I have two fluffy pillows that really aren’t very good to sleep on, they’re more decoration, and then one sad little pillow that’s become so smooshed.
  • Sheets – preferably black or red ones, because when in Disney, one must go all out πŸ™‚
  • Blankets – I have several fuzzy blankets (I don’t have an addiction, I don’t know what you’re talking about) so those will definitely be joining me on this trip.
  • Tupperware – Leftovers for the win!
  • T-shirts – Including and with special emphasis on Disney items πŸ™‚
  • Jeans – For the days that get cold (which, I’m told, won’t be for a while. Score!)
  • Shorts – No one wants to overheat when visiting Disney!
  • Sweater – Specifically for Traditions, a nice cardigan perhaps
  • Jacket –Β I have a Minnie Mouse hoodie I absolutely adore, so that’s definitely coming, along with a a grey trench coat I wear all the time.
  • Nice flats – Another Traditions staple.
  • Slacks – Besides Traditions, I probably won’t be wearing these.
  • Nice shirt – Three guesses and the first two don’t count. What’s this for? πŸ™‚
  • Sunglasses – I am notoriously bad at breaking/losing/generally maiming these, so $5 cheapos for me!
  • Bathing suit – I really need a good Disney themed one, but navy with polka dots will work for now. Also, this includes a rashguard and boardshorts. Less exposed skin = less sunscreen. #Gingerprobs
  • Beach towel – Specifically, a little mermaid one because what better princess than Ariel to keep me company at the waterparks?
  • Bath towels – Just got some red and black ones, the perfect colors for a Disney lover
  • Chacos – These shoes I got when I worked at summer camp, and they actually are super nice to walk around in all day.
  • Converse – These are my dedicated park shoes. Wore them all three days last trip.
  • Flip flops – You can’t go to the waterparks without ’em.
  • Toothpaste – Kinda a given.
  • Toothbrush – Ditto.
  • Makeup – Thankfully I’m not a super heavy makeup person, so I won’t have to pack much.
  • Bras – No explanation needed.
  • Bath mat – I really want a Mickey one, but I have a black one so that’ll do for now.
  • Hairspray – Gotta keep those hairstyles in place.
  • Lotion – Not sure If I’m going to need this as much as I do in Phoenix.
  • Hangers – There’s no way I’m fitting everything in my dresser.
  • Laundry bag – The chances of us being in Commons is pretty small, so I’ll need this to carry everything.
  • Passport card – Another document for the new job process.
  • Laptop & charger – What good blogger/vlogger/student can survive without one?
  • Camera & equipment (battery, charger, tripod, lenses) – I must appease my inner film student πŸ™‚
  • Phone & charger (2 chargers, one for room, one for park) – With as much as I record on my phone, it’s going to perpetually die. I might have to grab an extra battery or mobile charger…
  • Earbuds – Life is a music video only you can hear πŸ™‚
  • Backpack – Gonna need something to carry all my park essentials with! Keep an eye out for the “What’s in my park bag?” post that will inevitably come.
  • Power strip – There’s probably not going to be enough outlets in our apartment.
  • Ethernet cord – That internet life.
  • Command hooks/strips – For hanging decorations. No one likes blank walls!
  • Decor – Disney themed, of course πŸ˜‰
  • Sunscreen – Again, #Gingerprobs
  • Hairbrush – Another given.
  • Nail polish/remover – I’ve recently become attached to red nails. It must be the Minnie lover in me.
  • Ariel/Mulan outfits – Disneybounding for life.

To Buy/Ship There

  • Raincoat – Rain is unpredictable, and since I don’t actually own one of these, I’m gonna need it.
  • Rain boots – Again, I live in Phoenix. Totally don’t have these.
  • Gloves – I do have a pair of knit gloves, but they catch on my ring, so I’m thinking a different pair is in order.
  • Mattress pad – No one likes sleeping on the standard issue mattresses. Might as well make them nicer.
  • Shampoo/conditioner/soap – I really don’t feel like dealing with these at the airport, or them exploding in my suitcase.

Hopefully this post has been helpful with all of your DCP packing questions. If I didn’t add something you think should be on there or just have anything to ask in general, feel free to drop me a line in the comments πŸ™‚

 

Application Stage Three: DCP Phone Interview

You’ve finally gotten to the dreaded phone interview. Some people highly dislike this part of the process while others don’t mind it at all. I fell into the latter category, but that’s because I had time to prepare and knew what to expect.

Tips & tricks for the phone interview

  1. Your phone interview time slots will be listed in Eastern Time unless you change it. Make sure you select the proper timezone before picking out your time. You might accidentally go for 8:45 am but realize later that it actually means 6:45 am because of the time difference. Fear not, however, if you mess up you can go back a reregister for a different time.
  2. Pick a time where you don’t have any pressing things going on. Set asideΒ at least an hour block of time for this interview. Disney reserves the right to call you anytime between 15 minutes before the scheduled time to 15 minutes after they said they’d call. The call also usually takes 20-30 minutes, so you don’t want to be watching the clock because you have a class in fifteen minutes when you’re supposed to be focused on the interview.
  3. Don’t go in blind, that’s setting yourself up for failure. Yeah, maybe you think you can wing it, but do you really wanna risk this opportunity on your improv skills?
  4. Smile. The interviewers can hear your tone of voice, and they’re looking for those upbeat people who will represent Disney well. Just a simple smile can make a world of difference.
  5. Dress like an actual interview. I know the interviewer can’t seeΒ you, but that doesn’t mean that you should not take this as seriously. If you dress like you’re going to an actual interview, then it puts you in the right state of mind.
  6. Remember your interviewer’s name. This one is a bit tricky, I know for me I was so focused on preparing myself that I forgot to remember my interviewer’s name. If you do manage to catch it, use it at the end to thank them for their time and you even have the chance to send a little thank you email. I kinda kicked myself for not doing that, but I did still get in, so it’s not a make or break thing.
  7. Don’t watch the Youtube videos with complete interviews. They change from interview to interview, so it will not necessarily help you. Plus if you watch older ones, the questions and roles have probably been adapted and changed.

Alright, well, hopefully this has been a little bit helpful for you on your trek to apply for the college program. Before I go, here’s a link to the document I used to prepare myself for the interview. It has many of the general questions that they may ask as well as questions specifically for PhotoPass, Character Attendant, Merchandise, Attractions, and Character performer, which were all roles that I had wanted. It also has the answers that I prepared ahead of time listed there.

One note about prepping answers beforehand: don’t just read off your paper. Typing up your answers beforehand is a great way to get your brain in order, but they can tell if you’re just reading off an answer as opposed to creating it on the spot.
DCP Phone Interview

Feel free to drop me a question in the comments if anything is unclear or if you would like to know something πŸ™‚
You can also check out the video version of this over on YouTube.

Application Stages One & Two: Application & WBI

Why hello there lovelies! I believe it’s high time that I walk y’all through the lovely process of applying to the Disney College Program and what you can do to better your chances. This first post will be focused on the first two stages of the application because I did not have enough material to warrant two different posts to be completely honest.

Stage One: The Initial Application
This part is the easiest of the entire process. It’s the standard application where you enter your personal information, education information, and work experience. In all honesty, it’s super straight-forward as Disney prompts you to give them everything they need. One thing you do need to keep in mind is whether or not you are eligible for this program to begin with. Let me give you the requirements you must meet to become a college programmer:

  • You have to be enrolled in college, taking credits at a college, or be within six months of graduation.
  • You have to meet any requirements that your school had for your participation (a certain GPA, number of credits, etc.)
  • Be 18 years or older by the time your program starts
  • Have unrestricted work authorization (i.e. you’re eligible for employment in the U.S.)

All in all, not much to say about this part of the application, so i’m going to head and hop on over to the next section.

Stage Two: The Web-Based Interview
Now, this stage is the next step you must go through to become a college programmer. Some people (myself included) are offered this portion as soon as they complete the application. Some are offered it in a few days, a few weeks, and some never get it. Those that have submitted an application but have not received the WBI are termed as “in submission”. Sidenote: being put into submission is not the end of the world. There was a “Submission Ohana” page during the application stage of my DCP and I’ve heard of those who were in submission for the longest time, finally got the WBI, and then went on to be cast members.
Back to the actual interview, I would honestly say this part is more of a super huge and long personality survey than anything else. This is the tool that Disney uses to decipher which role you would fit best into. A few tips for this section of the application:

  • Set aside at least 45 minutes to an hour to complete this. This section is incredibly long with tons of questions.
  • At the same time though, you can’t take forever to answer the questions. You’re timed and given I believe 45 seconds to answer each question, but have no fear, they’re all multiple choice or giving a rating type of questions.
  • Don’t be lukewarm. And by that I mean don’t always go for the ‘neutral’ answer. Disney wants someone who will be able to be decisive and put themselves out there. You can put a few neutrals, I know I did, but don’t let that be all of your answers.
  • Don’t stress. I know applying for the Disney college program can be intense, but don’t overthink things. They’re not going to blacklist you if you put the wrong answer to this test, only if all of your answers mark you as a candidate unfit for the position.

Well, that being said, that’s all the tips I have for you for this section of the application process blog posts. Advice on the phone interview will be a lot longer because it is so much more complex (talking to real humans, the horror! πŸ˜‰ ).
Check back in soon to see the second half of this post. I have a YouTube video on this topic as well. Also, as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below πŸ˜€

The Stages of the DCP Application Proccess

  1. Realizing there is such a thing as the Disney college program. For me, this stage came my freshman year of high school, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did manage to forget about it for my first semester at college because so much life change was going on, but I quickly jumped back on the bandwagon.
  2. Becoming eligible for the program. AKA, as soon as you complete your first semester. At this point, you have a sudden realization: I CAN WORK FOR DISNEY NOW.
  3. Actually applying. This is the fun part where you enter information and try to convince Disney you’d be a great fit for the program. This one has three stages:
    1. The basic application that opens up the interview stages.
    2. The web-based interview
    3. The (dreaded) phone interview
  4. Waiting. Or, if you’d prefer a more dramatic title, the utter horror of silence and uncertainty stemming from the Walt Disney Corporation taking their sweet time to accept or deny you. This is the point where you refresh your email every day (sometimes every hour) to see if you got that confirmation email. You beg and plead to any deity you believe in that they’ll accept you, and go over your phone interview with a fine-toothed comb to see if there was anything you screwed up. Which makes you convinced you bombed the interview and they’ll never hire you. During this time, you will also immerse yourself in everything DCP you can possibly find. You’ll watch endless amounts of vlogs (that all end up blending together at some point), consider starting one yourself, join every single Facebook group for your program, and read every blog post you can possibly find.
  5. The Moment. You know which moment I’m talking about. The one where you find an email sent from the magical mouse that holds your fate in question. Your heart drops. You can’t believe your eyes, checking it once, twice, three times to make sure. YOU’VE BEEN ACCEPTED! CONGRATULATIONS!

If you’d like, my lovely sister-in-law and I have illustrated these stages in one of the videos on my Youtube channel. You can check it out here. Also, as a perk of reading my blog, you get access to the rest of the lip-syncing that she and I did that got cut from the video. View that footage here.