Check-in is the first thing you do as a college program particiapnt. When you accepted your college program you chose an an arrival and departure date. Check-in is on your arrival date. You will receive your housing assignment, keys, housing ID, program guide, everything you need to get started. You'll be notified of your check-in time 5-10 days before your arrival date.
I don't arrive until January 30th (the second to last arrival date!) but I asked someone who arrived this week, January 10th for her experience with check in so everyone else has a point of reference. Thanks Jennifer!
What is the check-in process?
When I got to the first station at the clubhouse I had to show the cast member my boarding pass (paper with the barcode) and I received my program guide, which showed me my apartment number and how many roommates I had. At the second station I got my picture taken for my housing ID card. At the third station I had to show proof of identification and received the communicator (a cast member newsletter/calendar).
Today's role spotlight is a look into the life of an attractions host. Particiapants placed in attractions can be stationed at a ride area, as a park greeter (Read more about that here.), or as parade audience control. Attractions hosts work in all 4 parks as well as Disney Springs. Today's post features the experiences of 4 attractions hostesses: Megan worked Agent P's World Showcase Adventure, Sarah worked Peter Pan's Flight and It's a Small World, Molly worked Parade Audience Control on Main Street, and my sweet friend from my program, Amber-Lynn, worked Spaceship Earth.
Megan: Agent P's World Showcase Adventure (Epcot)
Program: Fall 2015
Other Locations: American Garden Theater
Role Description: I handed out phones to secret agents so they could save the world! I also park cleared at the end of the day to make sure there were no guests left in the park. At the American Garden Theater, I helped with making sure the food and wine performances went smoothly.
Training: I had a few days of on the job training and then an assessment
Hours: 30/week, 6 hour shifts with 2 15 minute breaks
Likes: I loved it! I really liked all of the guest interaction
Dislikes: Park clearing wasn't my favorite but I loved the role anyway!
Favorite Memory: My favorite stories all have to do with park clearing or New Years. I loved the crowd and doing crowd control, and many of my stories have to do with that. I have too many to pick just one!
This is my sixth post in my role overview series, to read the rest click here. Housekeeping is listed as a high need in the Spring 2017 application. High need roles mean you have a high chance of getting accepted for them because they need a lot of them, it also means you will work lots of other CPs. To read more about high need roles click here.
Today's Interview is with Victoria, a housekeeper at the Yacht and Beach Club resort for the Spring Advantage 2016 Program. She didn't share a picture, but in most locations, including the Yacht and Beach Club, resort custodians wear the same costumes as housekeepers, that's why you're seeing a picture of me in my costume.
How would you describe your role?
"I worked eight hour shifts that included me cleaning 16 rooms a day. I usually worked 40 hours a week. Working at Beach Club as a "Mousekeeper" was a love-hate, bitter-sweet experience. If you aren't aware, housekeeping is a very physical, highly active role. I think the advantages included how friendly my co-cast members and how helping they truly were. Especially, since they were so use to seeing us Disney College Programmers come and go. In a day, I would wake up between 5:30-6:00am, I would grab breakfast, meet up with my best friend then she would drop me off at my location. I'd go to costuming (which was located inside the break room) and change quickly so I could clock in at 7:45am. I'd go to "break-out" where all the Housekeepers would get there boards for the day. I'll be honest, it was the hardest job I've ever held but it was also the most rewarding, too! It couldn't be too bad because I just accepted this role to do it again! Also, I don't want to get you future "mousekeepers" too excited but there is something called ADO and it's your best friend!"
Lifeguard is one of the most common roles for CPs and on the newest version of the DCP application it's listed as a "high need" role. (Read more about high need roles here.) Two Spring 2016 alumni, both named Morgan, shared their experiences for you!
Morgan: Typhoon Lagoon and Caribbean Beach Resort
Where did you work?
Typhoon Lagoon and Caribbean Beach Resort
How would you describe your role?
Overall, it's a ton of walking and standing in the sun. Not a lot of guest interaction but there is some. There is also a lot of yelling at guests because they can't follow simple rules (I enjoyed this because I have little patience for stupidity lol probably shouldn't have worked at Disney because of that). Working in a resort and at park are two completely different worlds. At the resort I jumped in nearly once a day while at typhoon it varied from no jumps for days to multiple jumps a day.
What did your training look like?
3 days of Ellis training then 2 days of location training. Ellis training makes guarding seem a lot more dramatic than it is.
How many hours you were scheduled per week?
It varied because hours changed with the season and the location. At CBR my hours ranged from 8hr-12 and if there was in service it could be longer. At typhoon the hours were typically around 8 but if there was an event it could be up to 12 or as low as 4. One day though I would like 16 hours. Per week, at CBR it was always under 40. At typhoon it was understaffed so it was always between 40 - 60 hours. A lot of overtime was nice money wise but I had no free time.
How long were your shifts?
30 min - 15 min
What did you like about your role and locations?
The people were nice and the bus ride was short.
What did you dislike about your role and locations?
Parents don't watch their kids who can't swim so a lot of the times you jump in and the parents have no idea. Creepy guys ask for mouth to mouth all the time.
A year ago, I had declined my first Disney College Program. It was a long and hard decision to get there, but I'm thankful for the journey, and I'm thankful for the decision I ended up making. A lot of people ask me why I declined the program, so I wanted to share the full story with you, including my magical moment at the end.
I was accepted for my first Disney College Program the first week of October 2015, only a week after my phone interview. I found out while waiting for the bus home from Target, and called my sister right away! I quickly found the Facebook groups and started a countdown poster.
I want to start by saying, there are Zootopia spoilers in this post! If you've not seen it yet, go watch it now instead! (What are you doing with your life? It's been in Netflix for almost two months already!) Now that business is taken care of, I LOVE Zootopia! (I'm actually watching it right now, as I write this.) It came out during my first Disney College Program, Spring 2016. Everywhere I went, I heard Try Everything, saw previews, and heard all the hype about the characters in the parks. So, of course, the movie reminds me of my CP. I didn't get to see the movie until it was released on Netflix this fall, when I realized it was a perfect description of my life as a Disney College Program participant.
Thinking about my second Disney College Program, Park Greeter, which is a sub-part of attractions (you'll be accepted as attractions and placed as a park greeter once you arrive and check in). Here's what Kelsey has to say about her experience as park greeter!
When did you do your program?
What was your home location?
Did you work any other locations?
How would you explain your role?
Park greeters are stationed at the entrance of each park, guarding the touch points that the guests use to enter the park. Our job was to "be the gate" and only let in guests who had valid ticket admission. It was also our responsibility to verify resort reservations for entrance into extra magic hours, and to make sure that guests didn't leave the park with alcohol or our rented strollers/ecv's. When I was there, our roles also included doing "finales" at the end of the night, in which we would clear the park at the end of the night, but I've heard that park greeters at DHS no longer have that responsibility.
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)
This time last year I still didn't think I'd get the opportunity to interview for the Disney College Program, I wasn't extended the offer to schedule a phone interview until the end of September. Fast forward to the end of January when I finally make the step to venture out on my own. I didn't know anyone, I had a few friends I'd met on the Facebook group and was excited to meet, but unlike moving to college, I really didn't know anyone. I have a few uncles in Florida but both live a few hours from Orlando so I was really venturing out all on my own for the first time.
I flew back from Minnesota to New Mexico a week before I had to leave for Disney. I started packing up all my belongings and wrapping up loose ends. I had to say goodbye to lots of friends and return some of my work uniforms. This week flew by faster than I ever guessed it could! The hardest part was going to my last Nav night for the time being and saying goodbye to all my friends there.