One of the perks of the Spring DCP is that you have Christmas right before your program. One of the hard things about that is that you end up with more stuff to try to pack. The idea of gifting experiences rather than material things is not new, but in this post, I'm going to share some ideas that are CP specific.
While CPs get into Disney parks for free, Orlando has many more theme parks to offer, and many College Programmers like to visit them on their days off. Most of these parks offer annual passes for fairly affordable prices (compare to Disney). The most popular ones are Universal Orlando and SeaWorld.
I recommend gift cards to Disney, Walmart, and Publix. If you don't like giving gift cards, like my family, there are ways to make it more personal. If you've been to central Florida, give a gift card to your favorite local restaurant, store, etc. Or, you could include a little note to ensure the recipient of your gift card is used for fun, write things like "buy something to decorate your apartment" or "use this gift card to enjoy a character breakfast" or something else like that. Another great idea is to get a $30 Disney gift card and a note saying it should be used on The Kitchen Sink Sundae at Beaches and Cream (this is something many CPs want to do).
The key to a good housing experience has very little to do with which apartment you get, and almost completely to do with your roommates. Even the best roommates can have issues, but the best way to avoid that is clear communication and boundaries. The best way to do that is to start your semester with a roommate meeting. The first week, before Traditions, is a great time to do that, you'll have plenty of free time to do that! This post will walk you through a roommate meeting plan that is sure to start you off on the right foot with your roommates!
Start your roommate meeting on the right foot, by loving one another with roommate gifts! Plan ahead of time, to do roommate gifts, so you can make or buy them ahead of time (have a plan of what to do if you have extra roommates too). Need some ideas?
Last week, we looked at what it looks like to be a quick service food and beverage cast member, today we're looking at merchandise. While not one of the "high need roles" listed on the application, they are a high volume role, which means that many CPs are cast in this role. Robert, Breanna, and Jared have helped me provide more info about this role, all three were friends of mine at Disney World in spring 2016.
"As a merchandise host I had a variety of tasks that ranged from operating the registers, stocking the merchandise around the store, and greeting guests that come into the store and assisting them with their shopping experience. In merchandise you have a unique opportunity to interact with guests not just behind the counter but also throughout the store, which is something Disney calls "Merchantaining" (merchant + entertaining). Often you will be rotated around to different positions within the same shift, including moving from one store in your zone to another. Depending on where you are located, other responsibilities may involve food handling and/or PhotoPass assistance." (Robert)
"Run the cash register, restock the floor, greet guests entering the resort, sort merchandise, occasionally participate in dance parties" (Breanna)
" I worked at Hollywood Studios at various merchandise shops. You could see me playing with BB8 from star wars which was called merchantainment, you could also see me ringing register." (Jared)
Quick Service Food and Beverage is probably the most common role among College Program participants. The application lists custodial, housekeeping, lifeguards, and quick service as high need roles. Out of these, Disney in general hires more quick service hosts than the other roles, so they hire the most CPs in this position. That's a huge perk for this job as well, you'll likely be working with other CPs and it makes it a lot easier to pick up, trade, and give away shifts. As a Quick Service host you could be placed in Outdoor Vending (food carts and stands), a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), or in a resort food court; however you can pick up shifts in any of them even if that's not the place you usually work. Four alumni have partnered with me to be able to provide you more info on the role.
Who They Are:
Lyndsie: ODV, Epcot World Showcase, Spring Advantage 2015
Kaitlin: QSR, Pinocchio Village Haus, Spring 2015
Sami: QSR, Sunset Ranch Market, Spring 2016
Taylor: Resorts, Saratoga Springs, Spring 2015
"Every day that I worked I was either on the register, filling orders by filling drinks, making ice cream, croissant doughnuts, hot dogs, or chicken nuggets & fries, or I was cooking. At the end of the day we had to clean everything as well." (ODV, Lyndsie)
"I was trained in seven different quick service locations in Hollywood Studios, serving anything from barbecue to pizza to ice cream. It was split up into two different locations on my schedule, Sunset Market and Sunset Boulevard - if you were scheduled for Market, you'd go back and forth between two locations (or just stay at one location), and if you were scheduled for Boulevard, there were five quick service locations I could have been at, though it wasn't likely I'd be at all five throughout a shift, more like one to three a day. Though some quick service locations only allow you at the front or the back, I did everything from cooking hamburgers in the oven to being at the register to bussing tables to doing the drink orders to giving out the trays of food to guests." (QSR, Sami)
Once you've been accepted for this highly selective program, you need to make sure the whole world knows! One way to do that is to add an acceptance banner as your Facebook cover photo.
You could go with the classic cover photo, shown above, or make your own in 5 minutes with your own photos and Microsoft Word! Start by finding a photo you'd like to use, either from your own photos or by searching google for a photo you like.
A couple days after check in, usually Friday or Saturday, you'll have Traditions. Traditions is your welcome to the company orientation. After traditions you'll have welcome to operations, location orientation, and one or two role training classes. All these classes require business casual or business professional attire. What does that mean?
Layering for a Perfect Look
Layering helps by minimizing the number of pieces you need to buy while maximizing your outfits. It also helps with whether and cold classrooms. I used ten pieces to make five outfits with bottoms, tops, and a coat, that can also be mixed and matched with accessories for infinitely more outfits, which is helpful if you're taking a class since classes also require business casual dress.
Yesterday marked 100 days until my second college program, so I decided to make a list of 100 things I'm excited for.
1. Caileigh: My dear friend from my last program, and future roommate!
2. Brenna: Our other roommate, and a sweet woman I can't wait to live with!
3. Family Dinners
4. Roommate Gifts
5. Seeing Wishes again
6. Getting Leis at the Polynesian
7. Dole Whip
8. Flower and Garden Festival
9. Ghirardeli ice cream
10. Cru at WDW
11. Mosaic Church
12. Rockin Roller Coaster
13. Apartment Decorations
15. Visits from the #alehouseafter cru
16. Finally visiting Universal Studios
17. Dining Reservations at Be Our Guest (meeting the beast)
18. Holiday Discount (40% off!)
19. Cast Connection and Character Warehouse
"Can I have guests over?" "Can I have a bookshelf?" "Can I hang things with thumbtacks?" In this post, you'll learn the answers to these questions and more, as well as more housing rules you never even thought of. I pulled out my program guide from my last program, to get the rules right from the source. You can also learn more from the onboarding site. (see here) This article will also explain housing inspections.
Attached below is the official list (also available on the onboarding website) of community codes. Included here is a shortened and condensed list of housing rules.
After you accept your offer for the Disney College Program, you'll need to talk to your school. There are three main topics to bring up with your academic adviser: Internship Credit, School Requirements, and Financial Aid. This post will walk you through questions to ask in each of these topics.
Internship & Class Credit
Will I be able to get internship credit for the program?
How do I get this to count for internship credit?
What extra work will I have to do to get internship credit? (ex. logging hours, blogging, review from employer, etc.)
Does my major require internship credit? How much?
Will I be able to get credit for any classes offered through the program?
Will these classes count toward my degree?
If I decide to do a professional internship later, can I get credit for that?
Do I need to pay for internship credit hours?
Things to Mention:
DCP website for educators (disneyeducationconnection.com)
ACE accreditation (learn what this means so you can tell your advisor)
School's internship requirements (look them up and familiarize yourself with them before your meeting.)
When I was accepted for my first program, I immediately began to think about what I would pack. After being accepted for my second program, I starting thinking about it again, especially since I made so many packing mistakes during my last program. Last year, I left all my packing to the last moment (like literally the day I flew out), and my bags were too heavy and I had to set aside things to be shipped, which never got shipped. It was all a nightmare. This time I'm planning and preparing better. Before you look at this list, I want to give you two pieces of advice: 1. Don't just look at my list, look for more (Pinterest is a good place) because I might have a very different personality from you and need different things from you, and 2. Think about how you're travelling, if you're flying it makes more sense to pack as little as possible and buy things in Florida, but if you're driving, it might more sense to pack your things so you don't have to spend money buying things you already own.
The list will be organized by room. Items in italics are suggestions of things that might be helpful, but aren't a necessity. Many may be easier to purchase in Florida, bring it if you have it and have room, but if you don't already own it, it's better to buy it in Florida. I recommend taking this list and making two lists: First, make a list from all the things on this list that you already own and use that as your packing list. Second, take the rest of the items on the list, and use that as a shopping list once you get to Florida. You might also consider asking for some of the things on the list. Don't forget to add thing you think you need and take off things you don't think will be useful to you.