A question I commonly see on the Facebook groups is "what bank should I switch to?" as well as questions about direct deposit, what banks are nearby, and more. In this post I will address which banks are nearby, alternatives to using physical ATMs and bank branches, and what you'll need to do to get direct deposit.
What banks are nearby?
If you're limited to the bus route, there aren't a lof of options for banks, only two actually. Chase bank has a partnership with Disney so there are many of them in the area, and it's probably the best solution for you. Also, Disney has it's own credit union called Partners, and they have branches in backstage areas, so that makes them very easy to use. If you happen to have a car, there is also a Bank of America nearby. I don't think you need to have one of these banks, though, there are other alternatives to having a physical branch location, or even ATM nearby.
During my Disney College Program last spring I lived in a 6 person 2 bedroom apartment in Chatham for the first 3 months and a 3 person 1 bedroom in Chatham for the last month. Both those apartments are triple occupancy, which means there are 3 people in one or more bedroom. Other triple occupancy apartments include commons 3 person 1 bedroom, commons 5 person 2 bedroom, patterson 3 person 1 bedroom, and patterson 5 person 2 bedroom. Vista Way has no triple occupancy apartments. The thing most poeple dislike about triple occupancy apartments is that they have a bunk bed, each room with 3 people in it has one single bed and one bunk bed (five person apartments have one triple occupancy room and a regular double occupancy room with two single beds). I loved my triple occupancy apartments, and I wanted to share some reasons why so that you can consider them too!
1. The Price Is Right
Different size apartmetns in different complexes are all different prices, and triple occupancy apartments are the cheaptest! That was my main reason for wanting a triple occupancy apartment last year. The 6 person, 2 bedroom apartment in Chatham is the only apartment still under $100/week!
I flew to my first DCP last spring, and it's looking like I'll be flying again this year. Last year, I did a lot of research, and figured a lot of things out. I learned more about the best way to do that while I worked at Disney, and since then I've moved across the country by plane twice, learning from my mistakes each time. I have a few tips with you to help you plan to fly to Disney for this magical experience!
Tip 1: Research the best times to book and fly
I highly encourage you to do some research on your own, Google and Pinterest have helped me a lot in searching for useful information about this. There are thousands of travel blogs that want to help you book the cheapest flight! If you're not going to do any of your own research, here are the two points I've found in my research: 1. Book your flight on a Tuesday 6-8 weeks before your flight, this is when they're at their cheapest. 2. Compare different times of day and days of week (if you can). Flights late at night, early in the morning, and in the middle of the week are usually the cheapest, Saturday flights are also cheaper than Friday, Sunday, or Monday flights.
Now that you've been accepted you're probably thinking about all the fun you'll be having, and the most inexpensive way to have all that fun! In addition to the complimentary tickets you'll receive (you can learn more about those here), there are lots more discounts to take advantage of as a cast member.
You can find discounts on food if you know where to look. You receive cast member discounts from many local restaurants, always ask when you go out to eat. My favorite outside vendor discounts are 20% off at Ghirardeli, $2 Wetzel's Pretzels, and $4.99 buffet at Cici's pizza. Most dining locations in Disney springs offer cast member discounts. You can also find discounts at some Disney operated dining locations:
40% off at:
ESPN Club at The Boardwalk Resort (lunch only, Monday - Friday)
Grand Floridian Cafe at the Grand Floridian (lunch only)
Olivia's Cafe at The Old Key West Resort (Breakfast and Lunch)
Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas (Lunch)
Captain's Grille at The Yacht Club (lunch only)
Trail's End Restaurant at Fort Wilderness Resort (breakfast and lunch, this is my favorite!)
Trattoria al Forno at the Boardwalk (breakfast only)
The Wave at the Contemporary Resort (Breakfast and lunch)
Wispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge (Lunch only)
As you know from previous posts, I didn't have a car during my college program which limited my grocery store options to Walmart or Publix. At the beginning of my program I usually went to Walmart, but later I learned to shop at Publix. I recommend only going to Walmart for your initial trip and about once a month after that. Walmart has a few good deals and most of their prices are lower but Publix has weekly deals and specials that will save you more money if you shop correctly! Here are my tips for grocery shopping.
First Trip to Walmart
Walmart is helpful for buying non-grocery items as well as stocking up on things you'll use the entire time like spices (Walmart has 99 cent spices). Mostly use this trip to get things like a coffee pot, brownie pan, and things like that.
Looking back on my experience last spring and thinking about doing it again, there are a lot of things I would do next time, things I would not do next time, and things I would keep the same. I wanted to share those things with you so you can learn from my experience.
Keep: Things I did that I would do again