Monday, December 27, 2010


As I mentioned in my last post, I extended my program in an Attractions role. Well, I will be working in Africa on the Kilimanjaro Safaris! I am beyond excited!

It's definitely bittersweet though because I love my apartment and the girls I live with now, but I am the only one extending. So on January 4 I will be moving across the street to Chatham... and I have no idea who I'll be living with!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Oh. Heyyy. I have a blog, don't I?

So it has officially been like a month and a half since I have updated this thing. We've gotten an influx of new CPs at Hollywood and Vine, and thankfully they're all pretty cool. It kind of makes up for the loss of some of our awesome Spring Advantage people, like Michelle and April.

Work is... work. Some days are better than others. I now know food and beverage is not my calling. Unless, of course, by food and beverage you mean coffee shops. Then it's completely my calling.

I've learned a lot about myself on this program and I'm only about halfway through. And there are a couple of things I'd do differently "next time around," whenever that may be...
  • Live in Chatham or Patterson in a one or two bedroom. Vista is old, and six girls in one apartment is too many for me.
  • Only check off roles that I am truly excited about, not just ones I think I could handle for the sake of getting into the program.
  • Bring a car. Granted, one must have a car in order to bring it with... whatever.
Speaking of next time around, I'm basically back to square one and I have absolutely no friggin' idea what's happening with my life after January 3. I'm definitely going to apply to extend, but three things can happen there:
  1. I am granted an extension in Entertainment. Easy decision: I stay!
  2. I am not granted an extension. Easy decision: I go seasonal and go home!
  3. I am granted an extension in Character Attendant or Attractions. Decision more difficult!
So yeah. I'm applying to five (count 'em, five) schools to transfer to, but not until Fall 2011. So if my extension is denied there are a whole bunch of things I could do with those seven-ish months between the end of my program and whenever I start school.

Also, budgeting is still hard.

So, um, I guess that's kind of it for now. Anything you guys are itching to hear about?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Oh me, oh my.

I will update again very soon, I promise!

I've got posts written up, and quite a lot to talk about, but it's such a whirlwind down here...

I know, I know. I'm terrible at blogging.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Part I : The Journey

( written on the flight to Orlando, Saturday night )

I am writing this 30,000 feet in the air or however high planes go these days. It’s 10:36pm central time (we were supposed to depart at 8:15, thanks weather) and I am surrounded by Disney already. There’s an article about it in the in-flight magazine, for crying out loud. The guy behind me casually mentioned to the guy next to him that he used to work at Epcot. There are so many families, clearly Disney-bound, and it’s all getting me so excited. I want to compliment every little kid on their Disney paraphernalia (and ask the parents if they will be dining with the stars at Hollywood and Vine during their vacation).

Basically I just want to get up and shout to the whole plane, “I’M WORKING IN DISNEY WORLD! HAVE A MAGICAL FLIGHT!”

It’s surreal, to say the least. Despite all this it still hasn’t hit me. It kind of just feels like I’m going on vacation with my dad, like I’ll be back in a few days.

But I won’t. More like a few months. 

Speaking of my dad, he is like a Gold Star Frequent Flyer (I’m sure United has a more professional term for it), so he got upgraded to first class while I ... did not. Granted, I was already sitting in Economy Plus/an exit row, which is really no big deal. But my dad, being the awesome and generous dad he is, switched seats with me. So right now he’s about 11 rows behind me in an exit row, and I am in first class feeling guilty for not eating the meal they served us and passing up the warm chocolate chip cookie. Who knew they still fed you on airlines? It’s swanky. And awesome. But my stomach is all in knots because there’s some hardcore turbulence happening right now so all I can really handle is ginger ale.

I wanted to film take-off, but there’s that rule about all personal electronics being off until 10 minutes after take off blah blah blah and I wasn’t really sure if I could. I also thought about taking a picture of my freaking in flight meal (this is a big deal, okay?) but kind of only realized it once everything was half consumed. Not very appetizing.

This probably won’t get posted for a few days, actually. Thanks to the thunderstorms in both Chicago and Orlando, we’re not going to land until about 2am Eastern Time. And I am still planning on dragging my dad out of bed to get to Islands of Adventure when it opens in order to scope out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We’ll see how that goes...

Then pre-check in dinner with the roomies, then I’m checking in!

I just don’t even know. So surreal.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dream Locations Redux!

Hey there, hi there, ho there... I feel like I haven't properly blogged in a good long time. Eek! The check-in date for May 19th people is right around the corner, too, which means it's getting closer to June 14 as well!

I'm not super sure what to blog about between now and then - is there anything you'd particularly like to see before I pack up and head down there? I don't know how much time I'll have to blog during the week leading up to my check in - my last final is June 7, I'm driving home from Michigan to Illinois that night, and then flying from ORD to MCO with my dad June 12. Not much time at all! But I am getting a Flip sometime before 7/12, so I will record my adventures both in writing and video.

Anyway, a lot of my friend's roles have been mysteriously disappearing on the log-in site, which from what I understand means they're being put in the Hub! For whatever reason my role is still there, which means I'm not in yet. So I thought that I would reiterate my top dream locations one more time, just in case any CP recruiting people are reading this and still deciding where to place me... ;)

My absolute number one top choice remains Cinderella's Royal Table...

I know I would have a fabulous time at what is easily the most magical restaurant on property. Between the amazing theming and the high volume of guests who come through there, I would love coming to work every day.

The rest of my list has gotten a bit shuffled around, however. California Grill remains a top choice, as does Citricos. I think the upscale nature of those two restaurants would be another great work experience. And, of course, there are the wonderfully themed restaurants of Disney's Hollywood Studios - 50s Prime Time Cafe, The Hollywood Brown Derby, and Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre.

However, there are some new additions to my list - namely the other (non-buffet) restaurants of the Magic Kingdom. I think Tony's Town Square Restaurant or Liberty Tree Tavern would be a lot of fun too! I wish the characters still hung out at LTT, but alas.

So we'll see where I end up come June... here's hoping it's one of the restaurants I just listed!

ps. if you, like me, saw Iron Man 2 this past weekend, you should totally check out my most recent vlog.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Info Post #12: Disney Look

vintage Disney Look Book cover

So since I decided to do this info post, a whole host of Disney-Look-related blog entries have been popping up. I'm just going to go over some of the key points with a special focus on non-costumed women, since that seems to be what most everyone's worried about. (Sorry to my 5 male subscribers, haha.) Oh, and another thing - the guidelines are super-dry to read through, and there really isn't a way to make the actual guidelines themselves more exciting. However, I'll be spicing the post up with pictures and examples and fun things!

Guidelines for All Cast Members
  • Nametags should be worn in an upright, readable position on your outermost layer of clothing and placed on the left shoulder area.
  • Costumed cast must have their Walt Disney Company Photo ID with them at all times, but may not wear it onstage. Non-costumed cast must wear the ID when backstage. 
  • The only appropriate method for concealing tattoos is opaque make-up (no band-aids). 
  • The use of deodorant or anti-perspraint is required. (This one just kind of cracks me up, not gonna lie.)
Guidelines for All Female Cast Members
  • Extreme hairstyles are not permitted. If hair is below shoulder-length, it should be confined while working. 
  • Hair color should be well-maintained, natural, and appropriate to your skin-tone. (Basically, if you dye your hair you need to look like you could have been born with that color.)
  • If eyeliner and eye shadow are worn, they should be neutral colors that are close in value to your skin tone. Eye shadow and eyeliner should create a natural, blended look and should not extend beyond the natural eye area or the corners of the eye. Mascara may be applied lightly in shades of brown or black.
Guidelines for Costumed Women
  • Fingernails should not exceed 1/4 of an inch beyond the fingertip. If polish is used, it should be complementary to your skin tone. (N.B: Polish is not permitted in any food service role. This includes quick service, full service, and some merchandise locations.)
  • Hair accessories are for the express purpose of holding the hair away from the face and may not be worn as a decorative addition to the costume.
  • Rings, earrings and a classic business-style wristwatch are permitted. Necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets are not permitted. (Again, in food service roles rings and wristwatches are not permitted.)
  • The entire footwear section is basically, "It depends on your role."
Guidelines for Non-Costumed Women
  • Professional options for women include dress pants with a classic style blouse or sweater, skirted or pants suit, dress with or without a jacket, and business-style walking shorts with a blouse and  jacket or vest. Cotton twill pants (i.e., Dockers, khakis) are permitted only if they are neatly pressed, creased and appear to be professionally laundered.
  • Clothing not permitted includes polo or golf style shirts (except for Sports & Recreation Cast), cargo-style pants, t-shirts, sundresses, sleeveless tops or dresses (without a jacket), capri pants, leggings, casual shorts, wrap-around shorts, one-piece rompers and garments made of denim fabrics.
  • Dress and skirt lengths may range from three inches (7.6 cm) above the top of the kneecap bone to the bottom of the ankle. The length of shorts should be from the top of the kneecap bone to three inches (7.6 cm) above the top of the kneecap bone.
  • Fabrics should be those traditionally acceptable for business such as tweed, wool, cotton, polyester, silk, linen, rayon or blends of these fibers. Unacceptable fabrics include spandex, gauze, metallic fabrics, sheer fabrics, clinging knits, denim and chambray.
  • Rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, lapel pins and a business-style wristwatch are permitted. A pin, brooch or scarf clip in good business taste is also acceptable. Two necklaces and two bracelets in good business taste that blend with the outfit and each other are permitted. Earrings may not exceed the size of a quarter.
  • Dress shoes or boots in good business taste are required. Classic dress shoes are permitted to have an open toe, open heel or a slingback (strap around the heel). An important note about footwear: Someone on the facebook group mentioned that heels could not exceed 2" in height. Nowhere in the Disney look book does it specifically give a heel height limit. As long as the shoes are in good business taste you should be fine. 5" is probably pushing it, though... ;)
All of  these looks are acceptable within the Disney Look guidelines, with the small exception of the bracelets on the two outer looks. They're actually one bracelet set, but it appears as though more than two are worn, which would be a red flag.

I'm at school, so I don't have a lot of my business-casual attire with me, but I definitely want to post what I've purchased as far as Disney-Look-wear goes at some point!

I guess I should say some things about the guys, too, huh?

Guidelines for Costumed Men
  • Rings, a small tie tack and a classic, business-style wristwatch are permitted.  Necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets are not permitted.
Guidelines for Non-Costumed Men
  • Dress trousers and a short or long-sleeved professional style shirt are required. Shirts must be tucked in, with the exception of sweaters specifically tailored otherwise.
  • Cotton twill trousers (i.e., Dockers, khakis) are permitted only if they are neatly pressed, creased and appear to be professionally laundered.
  • Clothing not permitted includes polo or golf style shirts (except for Sports & Recreation Cast), cargo-style trousers, t-shirts and garments made of denim fabrics.
  • Lapel pins, tie bars or clips, collar bars, cufflinks, rings, a bracelet and a business-style watch are permitted.
  • One bracelet, in good business taste, in gold, silver or a color that blends with your clothing is permitted.
  • Dress shoes and socks in good business taste are required.
So that's the Disney Look in a nutshell! For the complete guidelines (which you will need to be familiar with by the time your program starts), please check out the College Program website's section on the Disney Look or go ahead and download the Disney Look .pdf.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Info Teaser: Disney Look

super-vintage "Disney Look" illustration

I found a .pdf of "The Disney Look Book" (clicking will download the .pdf) while browsing the Professional Interns website, so I'm posting it here for those of you who are curious and want to read through the whole thing before we get down there. I think it's basically what's on the college program site, but it's worth checking out.

I'm going to read through it myself and do an info post of the important points soon, so be on the look out for that! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

List: Disney Smells

I thought I'd start doing Top Five/Top Ten lists here, but I wanted to do some that were a little bit out of the ordinary. So what better way to kick it off than with The Top Five Smells of Walt Disney World?

five. fresh-baked cookies on main street, usa.

a hallmark of disney's almost fanatical attention to detail - they actually pump the smell of freshly baked cookies into the air as you walk down main street! mmm.

four. the orange groves on soarin'.

soarin' is easily epcot's most popular attraction. personally, i'd be fine if i could just bottle up the smells as you fly over california's orange groves...

three. the monorail.

yeah, it smells kind of like pee, but i freaking love the monorail. it's so quintessentially wdw to me.

[oookay. someone seems to have taken offense at my trying to pinpoint the monorail smell by comparing it to pee. that was clearly a bad descriptor. i'm sorry. but it's a funky, kind of stale smell that i love nonetheless because it means i'm in disney.]

two. rome burning on spaceship earth.

one. the water on pirates of the caribbean (or splash, or almost any other water ride, really) 

this smell just is disney to me. whenever i watch videos of potc or splash or something on youtube, it's almost as if i can smell the water. who knew water could have a smell - and such a tantilizing one at that? (& thanks to my future roomie jenn for reminding me of the awesomeness of this smell!)

What do you think? Are there any smells you associate with WDW? Or maybe one I left off that you think deserves to be on this list? (Anyone who suggests Stitch's Great Escape is positively crazy.)

images courtesy of the disboards, flickr, and edited by me in picnik.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Info Post #11: Alumni Advice!

one. Florida weather is beautiful, but it can also get chilly and rainy, so be prepared for that! Pack some sweatshirts, a light jacket, and an umbrella and rain gear. It will pour, so be ready for that. Rainy days are also a prime time to play in the parks, so take advantage of them. Of course, if you get caught in a sudden burst of rain when you're already at a park you could always rock a Mickey Poncho...

two. Make sure you understand the whole Disney Look thing before you get down there, as it will make things like check-in and Traditions much smoother for you and everyone else.

Now, to be clear about this: you do not have to be dressed in Disney Look at check-in, but they will check you there for things like natural hair color and make sure you don't have any visible tattoos or non-standard piercings, etc etc etc. I think you can wear piercings to check-in as long as they can be taken out when you need to be in Disney look, but I'm not sure.
At Traditions, however, your attire needs to match Disney Look completely or they won't let you do it that day. For the full guidelines, check out this section of the College Program website. Everything you need to review before your program is there!

three. Take advantage of all the CP has to offer! In addition to taking full advantage of the parks (like going for a few hours just because you can), go to the events held for CP participants (pool parties, Grocery Bingo, etc) and special Cast Member tours (like behind the scenes tours of attractions and more) while you're down there. The special tours tend to fill up really quickly so check the Hub often. It's a great way to meet new people and just chill. In fact, check the Hub daily so you don't miss out on any of the great opportunities down there.

four. If, like me, you won't have a car down there, pay attention to the bus schedule because it changes sometimes. And always take an earlier bus! Even if it gets you to work an hour early, you can bring your costume with you and chill in the parks as a guest for a little bit. Better to be an hour early than get half a point for clocking in late!

five. If you are also like me in that you freaking love shopping and will be there for the fall program, try to hold off on buying souvenirs until the holiday discounts kick in - they go up to 50% off! There's also a merchandise liquidation sale called SALSA (Spend a Little, Save a Lot) that happens in the Epcot parking lot - get to it as soon as possible because there's always a line to get into the tent but it's definitely worth it, as it includes merchandise from all around the resorts and parks and it's not all just Disney stuff, either.

six. Network! This could mean going to an event specifically for networking (either a CP one or one at Disney University) or just establishing and maintaining good relationships with your managers. It will make your job easier while you're there and help you out in the long run if you ever want to come back for another program, a PI, or start a career with Disney.

seven. Be open and put yourself out there - don't just hang out in your apartment if you're shy. Developing relationships with your fellow Cast Members not only gives you a social life, it makes working that much more enjoyable. Almost everyone down there is in the same situation as you: new environment, new experiences, new people. Make the most of it!

eight. Go to the special events that happen during your program! For Fall and Fall Advantage, this means Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, and all the Christmas events around WDW like Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. It's worth it to splurge on international treats (and wine, if you're over 21) at the Food and Wine Festival and pay for a discounted CM ticket to MNSSHP. In fact, since my birthday is in October I want to celebrate it by going to Food and Wine during the day then hopping to MK for MNSSHP that night!

nine. Be financially wise. A lot of people break even because they'll just spend their money paycheck to paycheck, but it is entirely possible to budget, watch what you spend, and walk away with money saved. Take advantage of CM discounts at Disney restaurants, but try and cook for yourself when you have the chance, or bring your lunch to work instead of buying it at the Mouseketeria. Even cooking your own meals and saving leftovers is cheaper than buying frozen ones all the time. Just be mindful of the fire alarms when you're busting out your inner chef.

ten. If you're under 21, don't even risk it with alcohol. It's the number one reason for CP termination. One guy extended into spring and was terminated a few weeks after extending for this. It's just not worth it.

eleven. Price Management/security in the apartments can be pretty hardcore - don't hang a towel out to dry over your balcony, put a pair of shoes outside to dry, or leave your door cracked open if you're running out for a second if you want to avoid warnings from them.

twelve. You don't have to be absolute besties with your roommates. Sure, it'd be nice and make things a lot easier, but it's possible to get along with/live with someone without being best friends.

thirteen. You're working in the most magical place on earth, but it's still a job. It will have its pros and its cons, so be ready for that. Guests are sometimes grumpy and unreasonable, CPers often get long shifts, and you're on your feet all day. But on the flip side of that.... you're working in the most magical place on earth and you get to give guests the experience of a lifetime! Just be sure you go in with realistic expectations.

fourteen. Going along the lines of tip thirteen, you're working in the most magical place on earth, so have fun with your job! Talk to the guests and ask them how their trips have been going - even a simple "hi, how are you?" can put a smile on people's faces. Especially if you're working a shop at a ride exit, talk to the guests waiting for their family members to come off.

fifteen. If you will be lucky enough to have a car down there, bring a GPS!

sixteen. If you have things you want to accomplish/do on the program, like for example seeing the Hoop Dee Doo or seeing every resort, make a list before you go! You'll get so busy once you're down there that it will be very easy to lose track of these kinds of things.

seventeen. TRY A DOLE WHIP!

eighteen. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy what is sure to become an unforgettable time in your life!!

nineteen. Try a Dole Whip float (only after accomplishing seventeen.)

twenty. Go ahead and get a second pineapple-y treat. You know you want to... classic Dole Whip or Dole Whip float, though? These are the questions that haunt CPers...

Thanks to flickr for the pictures and the lovely people on the DisBoards for advice, specifically everyone who responded to my questions. :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

more formspring questions!

I feel like I should have some kind of witty April Fool's post... ah well. I'll leave that to Google.

Formspring's been wonky lately - sorry it took me awhile to get back to some of these. :P (I'm also editing a questions vlog, so look for that soon!)

Curious-what do you do as a Full Service Food and Beverage Cast Member? Is this the position you wanted. If not, what would be your dream position? 
From the job description in my purple folder: "Your responsibilities may include: greeting and seating Guests in restaurants; managing a seating chart and resolving Guest situations; utilizing a computerized reservation/seating system; cash handling - both manual and using computerized registers; rolling silverware, folding napkins, and keeping area stocked; light cleaning; multi-tasking; standing for extended periods; and working outdoors." I didn't check off anything I didn't want to do, so I'm definitely excited about this role! It wasn't my first choice though - that was attractions or character performer.

What was your phone interview like? What kind of questions did they ask? 
I had a really nice interviewer, so it was super chill, despite my nerves and excitement. I wrote a blog post about the kind of things they'll ask here: 

When does your program start?
June 14, 2010! And it can't come soon enough. :P

I'm also working on a Tips from Alumni post and... other posts. Yeeeah. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

80+ Followers!

You crazy kids rock my socks.


And coming up soon...ish...
  • Top Ten Tips (& More!) from alumni! (Thanks DisBoards!)
  • Audition!
  • Freaking out about making packing lists and trying to pass it off as an informational blog post. :P

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Check it out!

Hey guys! I just added a GIANT list of blog links to the sidebar - let me know if you'd like to be added!

I have a couple posts planned, so look for those once I'm done with the ridiculousness that is the end of the quarter/finals week.

Until then...
have a magical day!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Not a question, but I saw an addition to the Character Look-alikes section and thought of you!Female Character Look-alikes between 4'10" and 5'8" tall for roles including: Cinderella, Aurora, ARIEL, The Disney Fairies.They'll be looking for you!
This totally made me smile! Thank you! :D

im so excited to apply for the program,i go to the school meeting next week, how long is the process after that?
After the campus presentation you get to apply online, which includes a web-based interview. If you pass the web-based interview, you'll be instructed to schedule a phone interview. You have like 48 hours or something to schedule it, and then the interview itself will generally happen within the next week or so. After that comes the hard part - waiting! Disney says 4-6 weeks... people have heard sooner but some have had to wait that full 6 weeks. But it shouldn't take longer than six weeks to get your decision!

You're really cute. :)
Haha, thank you.

What does FGIT stand for?
Fairy Godmother in Training - it's what they call the Cast Members who work in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! :)

Is there a vlog in the making?
Eh kind of. I am SUPER swamped with schoolwork right now. Gross. But as soon as the quarter ends I'm going to start vlogging again! :) Earliest would be like the week after next....

I've been reading (stalking) some spring people on FB, and sometimes they get to Disney and really dislike their roommates. Are you worried about that at all?
A little bit, which is why I'm trying to find a whole apartment before I head down there lol. I get along super well with the 3 girls I have found (hi Jenn, Sara, and Tracie!), but we're still looking for two more...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Info Post #10: Ten Things! (with added bonus!)

So I realized I totally had this idea because someone already did it.

That someone being John Henselmeier. And Magical Matt.

Kristin also gave me the following tip:
If you decide to live with people you don't know (or even some you have met before), you may start as friends, but it is okay to not be best friends with your roommates. It's a nice plus, but being able to adjust to many living styles is hard and you don't HAVE to be friends, you can still be compatible roommates.

And last but not least, a formspring question!

Ah, I just got accepted! Your blog has been great to read and comfort me while I've been waiting. Now onto the CP audition!
Oooh yay! Congrats and break a leg!! What role were you accepted for?

p.s. don't forget about the poll if you haven't voted yet!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Abby, I don't know if anybody else has asked you this...but at least I know I haven't. :PWhat's your favorite WDW memory?

Ooh this is actually easy Lyanne! It's the exact moment I fell in love with Disney World - we were walking out of the Magic Kingdom our last day there (to go on a cruise, but not the point). It was after Wishes, and I turned around and saw the "Kiss Goodnight" before walking under the train station. And it just grabbed me and didn't let go! I knew I had to come back because I loved the place.
...keep in mind I was 10 at the time.

Not a question, but an answer. I didnt have a car my last program. If you don't have a car, offar to give your friends gas money if they drive you around alot. My friends really appreciated it. It was just another expense I planned for every week.

Yeah I definitely plan on doing that - thanks for the tip! :)

What is the e-mail address for the recruiting office, if I want to request a work location? Thanks!

What is the difference between the Disney College Program and the Career Start Program?

The CP is for students currently enrolled in College, whereas you don't have to be in school to apply for CS. I'll talk about it more in depth in a questions vlog. :)

ask me stuff!

Top 5 Dream Locations!

I stole this idea from fellow Fall 2010-er Logan. Go read her blog for more top 5 lists and general fabulousness!
Given the huge number of amazing full-service restaurants at WDW, it's kind of hard for me to narrow this down. I have an absolute favorite number one, but after that everything is kind of tied. Disney kind of helped me narrow it down - I won't be working in any non-Disney-operated restaurants (like Rainforest Cafe and many DTD ones), any restaurants in the World Showcase, or Victoria and Albert's.

But anyway! Without further ado...

Honorable Mention... Sci-Fi Dine In

Cast members here get to rollerskate - how awesome is that? I requested upscale and really intensely themed restaurants when I emailed CP recruiting - Sci-Fi definitely falls into the themed category. Diners actually get to eat in cars and watch retro 50s B-movie clips while enjoying their meals. Disney puts in so many little touches that make this restaurant super-fun - I think I still have the glow in the dark frisbee that my kid's meal was served on when I ate there way back in like 2000.

5. 50s Prime Time Cafe

Another awesomely themed restaurant in DHS - dining here is like being plopped into a 50s Sitcom, and as a seater here I'd get to play a part in that sitcom every time I worked! Servers play the parts of "mom" and "dad" and rib the guests about finishing their vegetables - or no dessert for you! And trust me, you want dessert here - delicious options like PB&J milkshakes and smores are presented on a viewfinder. Yummy and retro-cool.

4. Hollywood Brown Derby 

I feel like the Hollywood Brown Derby is the classy older sibling of all the other DHS restaurants. Modeled after the original Hollywood landmark, Disney's Brown Derby harkens back to the golden age of Hollywood and serves up delicious fare such as the Cobb salad (made famous by the original) and grapefruit cake. As a bonus, this is the restaurant where lunch with an Imagineer takes place - networking anyone?

3. Citricos 

I've never actually eaten here but this restaurant has always appealed to me. I love the Grand Floridian and this is just a gorgeous restaurant - the food sounds amazing, too. I think that working here or at California Grill (see below) would also give me good experience for a concierge role. And something about Citricos just makes me think, "Wow! I'd love to work there!"

2. California Grill

This is far and away my favorite restaurant on Disney property - the delicious food and sweeping vistas of the Magic Kingdom are a winning combination. My friend Kristin actually worked here on her CP and has nothing but good things to say about her experience there and her managers. California Grill is on top of the Contemporary Resort, which means that guests get to take a special express elevator up to the restaurant - I don't know if that counts as seating but it might be kind of fun! (Plus I think it's a popular proposal spot - I'd love to help out a "magical moment" like that!)

1. Cinderella's Royal Table

Oh my goodness, dream restaurant. I don't even care that it's constantly busy - I prefer being busy to being slow! CRT is probably one of the most difficult reservations to get in all of Disney World, which means that I'd be dealing with an incredibly high volume of guests, which is actually exciting to me. It would certainly make those longer shifts go by more quickly! And then, of course, there's the restaurant itself - set inside Cinderella Castle and overlooking Fantasyland, Disney Princesses are now on hand at every meal. And as an added bonus - the costumes here are actually cute!

p.s. - don't forget to vote in my poll! thanks!

all images thanks to google image search and edited by me in picnik

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Info Post #9: Learning

There are lots of different types of learning opportunities on the Disney College Program, and "the World" is your campus! Okay, okay, excuse the corny joke. But WDW is definitely filled with opportunities for you to enhance both your academic and professional careers. These courses are also a fantastic way to network with Disney professionals.

There are a couple of different types of learning experiences offered through the Disney College Program:
  • Collegiate Courses. All these courses have been recommended for credit by the American Council on Education, which might be helpful if you're trying to get school credit!
  • Professional Development Studies. These are major-specific courses that allow students to gain more insight into certain professional fields within the Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Disney Exploration Series. This unique opportunity allows students to explore how Disney operates in certain key areas. The sessions are highly interactive and offer great networking opportunities - and best of all, these classes don't have any textbooks or homework!
Collegiate Courses
These classes focus on an area of "Walt Disney World expertise" and are all recommended for credit. As such, they do have textbooks and homework. You can download syllabi for specific courses here. Classes include Creativity and Innovation: Gaining the Edge, Experiential Learning, Marketing You, and many more!

Professional Development Studies
These major-specific courses allow students to study specific lines of business in depth. These classes are only available during the Spring and Fall seasons - so if you were Fall Advantage, you would take the class September-December. Registration is restricted to students majoring in related fields and are offered in the following areas:
  • Engineering
  • Entertainment Show Production
  • Finance
  • Security
Disney Exploration Series
These classes are highly interactive and more "experientially based," as opposed to the formal classroom experience offered by the collegiate courses. They don't have any textbooks or formal assignments and provide a great way to gain insight into the workings of WDW and network with area leaders. You can "explore" areas like communication, marketing, guest service, and more!

Other Opportunities
College Program participants can take advantage of other learning opportunities throughout WDW, like the Disney Learning Centers. Learning Centers are located at Vista Way, each park, and many of the resorts, and offer library services, computer-assisted learning, learning activities, and career resources. I believe this is also where exam proctoring takes place if you need it.

There are also an abundance of networking opportunities and speaker series, as well as courses offered through Disney University. Speaker series include the Disney College Program Alumni Speaker Series, where former CP participants discuss their current full-time roles at WDW. And at Disney University, you can take advantage of resources like My Disney Career Series, which consists of five targeted career-development classes.

Oh, I almost forgot! If you plan on taking courses down there, bring more than one "professional" outfit, since Disney requires business clothes during class time.

So while the learning component of the program isn't required, it's a great way to really take advantage and make the most of your time in Florida. I know I'd like to take at least one class so I can really start networking and making those connections in Disney World that will hopefully lead to my dream career! What about you? Will you be taking classes while on the program, either because they are required by your school or because you want to? What are your thoughts on the learning component of the CP? And is there anything else you'd like to know or any questions you have about the classes offered?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What one Disney job would you not want to have?
Like CP-available role? Probably Mousekeeping. I don't do well with other people's messes and it's a low guest-interaction role.

While you are working as a cast member you can get into the parks for free. Can CM that no longer work at Disney get in for free?
Nope - only active cast members are able to use that particular perk. :) Though if you're a CP turned Campus Rep, you can earn points toward free tickets? Or something. Really not sure how that all works, tbh.

To help you with your vlogs I’m going to ask you fun questions on here. You can answer them with “This question will be featured in a vlog” Sound good?
Yay! I look forward to it.

Who are your room mates?

What do you want to be if you get accepted as a performer?
Well, I'd absolutely die of happiness if I got to be friends with any one of the following: Anastasia Tremaine, Ariel, or Rosetta (see a pattern?). But I'm just hoping I pass the audition PERIOD and get to spend a lot of time with a certain pair of chipmunks and Jessie the Cowgirl!

Why will our apartment be so awesome?
Because we are made of awesome ourselves. Obvs.

Cool, cause you have got me hooked on polyvore lol and I love the blog :) What sort of info would you like? -Jessica!
Your email! So I can invite you to contribute officially. :)




i oughta come up with a witty title for formspring posts.

Your young, why do the cp during all of the construction?
...well this is an odd question. For one thing, it was always my intent to do the CP my sophomore year of college. And for another, somethings is ALWAYS being refurbed in WDW. This just happens to be a particularly big thing.

can only cp's be apart of fantasy land fashion?
Nope! It's open to anyone interested in style and the college program. :) Email me your info at

what is your favorite cp blog?
Favorite? Geez. Wow. Um... I feel like I'm insulting all the fabulous blogs I follow by picking just one. I follow like 30 CP blogs right now and I'm sure the number will only increase. But if forced to choose one, I really like The Purple Folder by John W. He hasn't updated since 1/27, but he has great themes and it's a very interactive blog, with lots of polls and commenting, which is great! I highly highly recommend checking it out - well written, entertaining, and informative.

When I accepted, there was a lot about not being able to room with friends on different programs. Have you checked into if you're able to room with FA CPs, if you'll have a different departure date? Just a thought.
Yep! Most of my roommates were actually able to select their arrival date before me, and it was the same one. :) But we definitely freaked out about this before, haha.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I'm going to do an info post on the learning portion of the CP soon, so be on the look out for that!

But for now I want to discuss, well, me. I am seriously considering taking a class or two while down there. I don't have to, since I'll be withdrawn from school, but since I want a future with Disney this seems like a great opportunity. There are four that really pique my interest:
  1. The Entertainment Show Production Professional Development Study! "The Entertainment Show Production Professional Development Study offers students majoring in performing arts, theater or show production an opportunity to explore how Walt Disney World Resort develops, implements and maintains their productions. Specific topics include Business Planning & Creative Investigation, Concept Development, Show Development, Production & Opening, and Operations. This program consists of eight sessions lasting two to three hours in length." Except this course is major-specific, and I don't know if a Media Studies concentration counts. Which is too bad, because this class sounds incredibly interesting to me and I would absolutely love the chance to network with the brains behind Disney's incredible Entertainment department.
  2. Marketing You! "Through participation in this course, students learn how to market their skills of communication, customer service, problem solving, conflict resolution, decision-making, self-management and creative thinking. Key elements include the development of a career focus and a personal marketing plan that encompasses the creation of a cover letter, résumé and networking strategy. The students will also learn interviewing and negotiation techniques." This course sounds both super-useful and really fun. What? I'm a nerd! I was reading the course syllabus and the projects sounded like something I would enjoy!
  3. Exploring Communication Processes at the Walt Disney World Resort! "Examine how we incorporate our Quality Standards of Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency in providing a vast communication network that can respond rapidly to anything, from weather emergencies to disgruntled Guests."
  4. Exploring Marketing at the Walt Disney World Resort! "Gain a deeper understanding of how we maintain customer loyalty by both staying true to our brand and marketing our new Guest experiences."
Those last two are part of the Disney Exploration Series - which means they don't have homework! Definitely a pro. If I can't get into the Entertainment Show Production Class, I'm definitely considering taking at least one other class: probably Marketing You. And I may decide to take Exploring Marketing as well.

What do you guys think? Will you be taking a class down there? Do you have to? Do you want to? Let me know!

And, as always, feel free to formspring me any other questions!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Audition Dates and Fantasyland Expansion.

Audition dates were posted earlier today!

March 22: Madison WI
March 24: Ann Arbor MI, Boston MA
March 26: Chicago IL, Pittsburgh PA, Salt Lake City UT
March 28: Atlanta GA, Austin TX, San Francisco CA
March 30: Nashville TN, Rochester NY
March 31: Orlando FL

In other news, Bill Burke (author of Mousejunkies) got the chance to chat with someone at WDW and get further details about the massive Fantasyland expansion. You can read the full post here - definitely an interesting read!

BUT. There is one eensey-weeny little bullet point that I dislike.
The Pooh-themed play area, opposite The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Ariel’s Grotto will be closed.
Does this mean they're closing the grotto for good? They can't! Especially if they are giving Cinderella, Aurora, and Belle special meet and greets. You can't just leave out Ariel. I hope she still gets a meet and greet by her snazzy new ride. Ah. We'll see. But if Ariel's grotto goes for good I will be super sad.

edit: Okay, so the Grotto in its current form will be gone, but I was looking at some blueprints and it quite clearly says "Ariel Meet N Greet" near her attraction. I can breathe easy!


I know the image is small, but I think clicking on it will make it bigger? If not, you can also view it full-size here.

Info Post #8: Gaining School Support for Your CP

I have yet to officially accept my invitation to participate in the Disney College Program, because I want to make sure everything is a-ok with my college before giving Disney $100. If you have been following this blog or read through previous posts, you know I had quite a time figuring out if I'd be able to do the program.

If you go to a school that supports the CP (Montclair and Central Michigan come to mind), then you probably don't need to pay attention to this post. And of course I don't know everyone's situation, so I'm just kind of going to go through my needlessly complicated process and then provide some general tips and advice if you would like to do the College Program but are having difficulties communicating with your college.

First I emailed someone in the Center for Career and Professional Development, since they handle internships and whatnot. Seemed like the logical thing to do, right? The woman who contacted me in response was super-nice about it, but said that the registrar actually handles CP stuff. It seemed weird to me, but I e-mailed the registrar anyway. Here's what I got back:
I'm sorry, but we have no information on the Disney Program.  You might have to contact Disney.
Career Development may have some info.
Useful, right? So I replied and tried to clarify what I was asking:
I've researched the program itself quite a bit, actually, but I'm unsure of how it works here since it takes place during the school year. When I talked to Heather at the Career Center about it, she said people who have done it before have gone through the registrar to work out classes/enrollment/etc, since it goes through the fall quarter... that's more along the lines of what I'm looking for. Do you have any information about that? And if not, do you know who I might discuss it with?
Then they proceeded to not reply for over two weeks. I tried to get in contact with some other students who had just come back from the Fall 2009 program, and it was mostly dead ends. One was actually rather negative about her experience with getting the school to agree, which worried me greatly. Luckily, when the registrar finally e-mailed me back they steered me in the right direction. Finally! I was talking to the wrong people all along.

I arranged a meeting with our Associate Dean of Students to talk about withdrawing for the Fall Quarter in order to do the program. I was actually incredibly nervous going into this meeting - what if she were super against the program and forbade me from doing it? That's how one past participant certainly made it sound.

But that wasn't the case at all! She was super excited and kept saying what a great opportunity this is going to be for me. (She was also thrilled that I wanted to withdraw and come back, and not just leave the college for good.) I won't be getting any credit for the program, but she wants to make this process as smooth as possible, which is such a relief. Not getting credit isn't actually an issue for me - yay AP credits! The only thing I have left to do before I can officially accept my offer is talk to Financial Aid about my scholarships and whatnot.

So here's what my dean is doing for me - a withdrawal with planned reinstatement for winter quarter, which will allow me to still keep an active email and keep in touch on campus. That way I can register for classes and apply for study abroad (probably) and all that good stuff. I guess it's kind of like a leave of absence. She also gave me the names of the three people who did it last quarter and told me to definitely get in touch with them. (Interestingly, the girl I talked to about this whole thing was not one of them.)

So, if you're having trouble figuring out who you need to talk to before you can start packing for Florida, what are some steps you can take?
  • I would start with your Center for Career Development (or whatever that happens to be called on your campus) to see if getting credit for the program is possible.
  • Hunt down any past participants who have done the program and try and find out how they worked everything out.
  • If you end up having to withdraw, find out if your college has an option where you withdraw with a planned reinstatement at the end of the semester. It's so much nicer to know they'll welcome you back and you don't have to worry about applying for reinstatement or anything.
  • If you would like to get credit for the program but your school won't offer it, sometimes you can transfer it in from schools like Central Michigan University or Purdue University. More information about this can be found here. This is a good option if you need to be a full-time student for insurance reasons, too.
  • Make sure you talk to your financial aid office about your particular aid package before skipping off to Disney World - you don't want to come back and find that you have to start paying loans or that some of your scholarships have disappeared! 
That's all I can think of right now, but I would love to hear other people's tips, advice, and stories about this topic!

Friday, February 5, 2010

What are you going to do next?

Not much happened today. Did some homework, chatted with some people, got accepted to the FAQ program. You know, no big deal.





I actually got TWO purple emails. The first came with the subject line "Thank You For Interviewing." I opened it, no big deal, looking for the link to take the survey again because I wanted to write more about the E-Pres and how it needs to be updated. So I just scroll right past the "Congratulations" and am thinking, "Huh. There's no survey link! This isn't the right... OH MY GOD WAIT THIS IS AN ACCEPTANCE!!!!"

And then I got another one that actually said "You're Invited!" in the subject line, so I knew it wasn't a fluke. Only 11 days after interviewing, too! Super-quick turnaround.

I was accepted into FSFB, which wasn't in my top 3, but that's okay because I'm super excited anyway! I've only heard good things about it, and with an abundance of awesome restaurants in the parks and resorts I'm sure I'll enjoy my role.

And of course, there are the auditions in March!  

CONGRATS to all who were accepted today, and good luck to those still waiting!
Have a magical day!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Info Post #7: The Waiting Game.


I watched the e-presentation, applied as soon as the application was up, prepped for the interview, and then interviewed as best I could. And now... it's all out of my control. 

This is the hard part. The Waiting Game. Luckily, there are a multitude of distractions available to keep you occupied until you find out whether or not you'll be heading down to Florida soon!

  2. YouTube. I LOVE YouTube. A lot. The sheer number of hours I have wasted away on that site.... I don't think I even want to know. Between vlogs, attraction ridethroughs, parades, fireworks, and meet & greet videos, there's virtually no end to the time you can waste.
  3. Watch the E-Presentation. Multiple Times. Tara gets less annoying with each view, somehow.
  4. Facebook! Join the facebook group for your program (like Fall 2010 for me) or creep on past groups.
  5. Chat! There are currently two meebo chatrooms for the Fall 2010 CP. Comment with your email if you want the info.
  6. Podcasts - there are a bunch of these out there if you're into that sort of thing. I'm not a huge podcast person myself, but I know a lot of people who enjoy Inside the Magic.
  7. Download Google Earth and browse the 3D rendering of Disney World.
  8. Order the Vacation Planning DVD from
  9. Read! David Koening (Mouse Tails 1 & 2, Realityland) and Mousejunkies by Bill Burke are two of my favorites.
  10. Another good thing to read... blogs! Which you are currently doing. Two more to follow if you haven't checked them out already: PF Wait Watchers and Fantasyland Fashion.
Any other suggestions about surviving The Wait? Leave a comment! 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

more questions!

What is your favorite park music??
Favorite? I love love love Illuminations. A lot. My most played songs in my Park Music playlist are the Fantasmic! Finale, Main Street's Welcome Medley, the Epcot Entrance Medley, Grim Grinning Ghosts, the Parade of Dreams, and the Splash Mountain Medley.

I believe your phone interview is going on right now- Good Luck!!!! And tell us how it goes!
Thank you! :) I think it went pretty well... and fully intend to write a detailed blog post... eventually...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My application process.

I submitted my application on January 20  (nerd much?) and called the next day around 11:30 to schedule my interview. I had to re-dial a few times due to a busy signal, but finally got through. I was on hold for maybe ten minutes or so, but that was okay because the hold music was epic - all park stuff. Basically I want to stream the Disney College Program Interview Line hold music, because I am a dork. My interview is at 7:45 tomorrow evening... woohoo! 24 hours from now I'll probably be staring at my phone and freaking out, not going to lie.

I checked off the following roles:
  1. Character Performer
  2. Concierge
  3. Attractions (Jungle please please please please please?)
  4. FSFB
  5. Hospitality
  6. PhotoPass
Performer, Concierge, and Attractions are definitely my top 3, though. I've talked quite a bit in this blog about why I want to do both performer and concierge, but haven't focused quite as much on attractions. I know it's a bit foolhardy to pin your hopes and dreams on one attraction, but I REALLY want to be a Jungle Cruise Skipper. My interest in creating characters and improv lends itself to that, I think. I know I would be so energized working there - I'm sure I'd have off days and everything, but what a great role, you know?

So I have been compiling a list of interview questions by role, and thinking about how I might answer them. If anyone would like the list, I can definitely e-mail it to you! It includes roles other than just what I checked off, but sadly it's not comprehensive and some roles are left off. Just comment with your e-mail address and I'll send it along.

I'll most likely blog again tomorrow, after my interview. In the meantime, if you have any questions for me please feel free to ask on my formspring!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The e-presentation, presentation schedule, and application are UP!

I'm watching it now, so that's all for now.


Info Post #6: Living (The Apartments)

So I thought it was about time I write another info post, seeing as the last "official" info post I wrote was October 27. About that...

I think I covered the various steps of the application process pretty well. I wish I had enough knowledge to write info posts about what to pack/how to prepare to travel down to Orlando and check-in day, but... well, I don't. There are a lot of packing lists floating around the Disboards College Board, and Marina wrote an absolutely fantastic and detailed post about her check-in process.

So what else is there to think about before your program besides the application process? Where you want to live, of course! There are four housing complexes for the College Program, but one (The Commons) is only open to international students. So that leaves you with three choices: Vista Way, Chatham Square, and Patterson Court. (At least I think it's called Chatham square - I'm so used to calling them Vista, Chatham, and Patterson that I'm not sure of Chatham's full title!)

Vista is the oldest of the complexes, with smaller rooms and cheaper rent. It also has the reputation of being the "party" complex and very social. However, since it's the oldest, it's a bit run down compared to the others. And I think the crazy-party reputation is, like many rumors and reputations, at least a bit exaggerated. Vista features 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.

Chatham has the biggest rooms and 2nd most expensive rent of the 3. Generally, whereas Vista has this kind of crazy "Disney Gone Wild" reputation, Chatham is quieter. There are parties, but they aren't as, shall we say, rambunctious. It's a good middle ground between Vista and Patterson, socially. However, it IS more expensive than Vista and has this weird green carpet, if that's an issue for you. You can keep the price down by trying to get a 3 or 4 bedroom - the 4 bedroom apartments in Chatham even have 2 fridges! Chatham features a full range of apartment sizes, from 1-4 bedrooms.

weird green carpet

Finally, Patterson is the newest of the complexes and therefore considered to be the nicest by many. Its rooms are a bit smaller than Chatham's, but the rent is higher because, well, it's newer. It's known for being very, very quiet. It's also important to know that, unlike Vista and Chatham, Patterson does not have its own bus stop. If you have a car, that's fine. If you don't, it's a potential issue.

Here's a diagram I found to illustrate the difference in size between Vista and Chatham (I haven't found anything for Patterson, sadly.)

For the official word on the "Living" experience of the CP, check out the Housing section of the CP website. (And try not to cry when you remember that the application page is still all sad and down.) HOWEVER. Those lovely decorated bedrooms they show you in the 360º tour? Yeah, not allowed. You're allowed one bulletin board per participant or something like that, and many of the inspectors are very, very strict about this rule - you can fail housing inspections for having a single extra thing up (even something like a calendar), from what I've heard. There are still ways to make your apartment cute and livable, even with one measly bulletin board for decoration.

Personally, I'd love to live in Chatham for my program, in either a 3 or 4 bedroom - thank goodness they put two fridges in the four bedrooms!
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