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! 
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