In my last post, you read about what I did the days before I checked in. After check in I had four more days before traditions and free park admission, four more days to fill with things besides the parks! What did I do?
I think I went to Disney Springs every single day that week! Even after I had my Self Admission Pass to get into the parks I still went to Disney Springs 1-2 times a week. Disney Springs is one of my favorite places in Disney, if you were to compare it to the parks, it'd probably be my third favorite! I like to go into the Ghirardeli store and get free chocolate (they hand it out at the door) and then go into the Ice Cream Shoppe section and order a cup of black cherry ice cream with hot fudge on top. (They also have very good discounts for cast members once you get your blue ID at traditions, sometimes they'll give you the discount with only your housing ID too, this goes for most 3rd party sellers at Disney Springs.) I liked to wander around the World of Disney store and plan what I would buy once I had my blue ID and could get the discount. My other favorite locations in Disney Springs are the Lego store, Wetzel's Pretzels ($2 pretzels for CMs), and Earl of Sandwich. Toward the end of my program they added a whole new section, the Town Center, with cool places like Sprinkles Cupcakes and Vera Bradley. Don't forget to check out the local entertainment when you're there too, my favorite is the dance competition or lip sync battle at the stage in front of WOD.
As I begin to think about potentially returning to Disney, I've thought of a few things I want to try to improve my roommate situation. During my last program I had a lot of struggles with roommates. A lot of the issue was that I didn't have time to pick my roommates but mostly that I avoided confrontation. Looking ahead I want to avoid that this time. First of all I want to pick roommates, carefully. After that, I have some creative ideas to help foster a more encouraging and kind environment. Many of these ideas come from a little over a year ago when I participated in the Navigators' Summer Training Program (STP) in Colorado. I had the chance to live with my bible study leader and the two other girls in my bible study. It was the best roommate situation I've ever been in, and there were four of us in one room!
As I was preparing for my program a year ago, one of the questions I needed answered was "how will I grow in my faith at Disney?" As a Christian this is I question I try (though sometimes fail) to ask about every new situation I walk into. Here are some of the things I found helpful while I was at Disney.
Cru at WDW
Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) is a Christian ministry commonly found on college campuses. Cru headquarters is located in Orlando so they have a special group just for the DCP! I met my best friends through Cru. These are the friends that have done the best of continuing to stay in touch after we went our different ways. While I was there they offered many different events and activities to participate in. The main even is pizza night (with homemade pizza!) every Wednesday night. One of my favorite things was the bible studies which were held at a few different times during the week. I'd really love to lead a bible study during my next program. On Tuesdays we had Prayer & Pastries which was a fun event to pray and learn how to pray for the people around us. Another fun event was GO Day, we would go out and try to share the gospel and the love of Christ. Sometimes there were special women's and men's events too. Throughout the semester there were cool events like an epic Easter party and a beach trip! Most of all, the best part was all #crumunity. We would spontaneously go to the parks after prayer and pastries, watch movies until the wee hours of the morning after bible study, or go to Alehouse after church. To learn more about Cru at WDW like the Facebook page or join the Facebook group.
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.
During my college program, Spring 2016 at Walt Disney World, I didn't have a car, I didn't even have a driver's license (but that's another story for another day). When current applicants hear this they usually ask me "how do you do it?" First of all, it's not as hard as you think it is. Second of all, if you're going to do it, Disney World (as opposed to Disneyland) is the place to do it. In this blog I'm going to let you know how I got around to everything and give you some tips for managing Transtar.
What is Transtar? You've probably heard or read about Transtar on the Facebook groups or other blogs. You never hear anything good about Transtar, as you can tell by this photo. I have a few complaints about Transtar myself but it was a huge blessing and lifesaver while I was at Disney. Despite all the complaints, some people really appreciate Transtar, all my first roommates had their own cars but some chose to take Transtar to work sometimes just so they could sleep, no one wants to drive at 5am!
So you've been accepted and now you're thinking about where you'll live? Or maybe you're just really excited and thinking ahead. The first thing I want you to know is that roommates matter far more than which complex you end up in. That being said, first I will share a general overview of the complexes and then I'll compare them by price, transportation, and the people you commonly find in them.
So, you passed your WBI and were offered a phone interview, woohoo!! Now ensures the panic! Everyone seems to spiral into a frenzy over the phone interview. Today I'm going to give you some tips to help you avoid this seeming inevitable panic.
1. Stop Panicking, it's not going to help you to panic and only going to make you more nervous which doesn't help you on your interview.
2. Set up a Mock Interview, You can do this with a friend or family member, I'm even willing to help you if you want, just contact me here or on Facebook and I'd love to help you. Here's a list of potential questions to help you out. Practice the general questions as well as questions related to your top choice roles and questions related to the high need roles (custodial, housekeeping, lifeguard, and quick service for the spring 2017 recruiting season).
3. Make ONE Page of Notes, more than one page of notes will be overwhelming, confusing, and ultimately not helpful because you'll spend just as much time searching for the answer as you would thinking of the answer. As you go through your mock interview mark the questions you can't answer quickly and make notes for those. For me those are the example questions such as "Describe a situation where you have had to work with a difficult person, boss, or teacher." Also include your list of your top 5 roles in order (just so you're prepared for if they ask for any number of top roles) and a space to write down your interviewer's name.
4. Repeat Step One, stop panicking, take five deep breaths, get a good night sleep, listen to some Disney music to prepare yourself. Do whatever will calm you down.
5. Prepare for your Interview, Set out your notes and a pencil or pen, find a quiet place where you get good phone signal, review your answers, smile, and be ready for the call. Be ready 15 minutes before your interview. Be prepared that your interviewer may call you 15 minutes early or late.
Before I finish, I want to again extend the offer to contact me for help preparing for your PI. I want to remind you again to check out the potential interview questions. Finally, if you have any questions I can answer please submit them below or comment on this post.
As you fill out your Disney application you might be thinking about brushing up on your Spanish, ASL, or German skills. (For a full list of language pin options check out the Official Disney College Program Blog.) Thinking about all these other languages you might be interested in practicing you might have forgotten that working at Disney practically requires learning a whole new language! Disney loves to abbreviate, and in addition to that there are a lot of words that are just general "Disney-ese." In this post I will walk you through some of these Disney words and abbreviations and when you might hear them. If you come across any more words let me know in the comments at the bottom and I'll try to help!
The Application Process
Apps dropped: Disney has released the applications and you can now apply!
Dashboard: Your dashboard is the home page where you can find all the information about the status of your application.
WBI: Web Based Interview, Disney liked your application and they want to know more about you to see if you are a good fit for the internship. It's basically an online survey where you pick the answer that most describes you.
PI: Phone Interview, you passed the WBI and now you get to have an interview with an actual person over the phone.
In Progress: A general status term you'll see on your dashboard, usually this means you're going somewhere but who knows what this actually means.
In Submission: Another general status term you'll see on your dashboard, usually one thought of to be more negative, I think of it like a waiting list for college.
NLIC: No longer in consideration, this means you are not being considered for an internship with Disney this recruiting season but you are free to apply next season.
Action Required: You have another thing you need to do to continue in the application process, this could be taking the WBI, scheduling your PI, or accepting your offer.
WDW: Walt Disney World
DLR/DL: Disneyland Resort
I was accepted to the program my second time applying which is sooner than it takes for most people. How did that happen? I really don't know what particularly made that happen but I have two things that I think helped a lot. Remember, though, this is entirely my speculation. Here are my two things, try them and tell me if they work for you!
1. Related Experience
The summer before I applied and was accepted I worked at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA of the Rockies, a YMCA resort. This experience helped me in two ways. First, I had experience working at a resort, in hospitality, and at a tourist destination. Second of all, my experience at the YMCA was very similar to the DCP because it had the three aspects of the program: living, learning, and earning. I worked full time, and lived in a dorm at the Y, and I was in a Christian leadership program so I was learning things related to that. I explained both these things in my interview.
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