Check In

It is finally here! The day one checks in to Disney and official starts the journey to making magic or something like that. Rather than explain everything that is involved, I will just do a walkthrough, it will be that much easier.

I was very excited! I pulled up to the casting center ready to get moving.

Disney Casting Center . . . yup

Before I went, I had all of my onboard paper work complete (that comes to you in an email with more details about your sign-in date, do not worry, you will get it). That was very helpful because I got through casting in about 20 minutes! I thought it would be a lot like when I was a CP. When I went to casting as a CP we all showed up in a group and we went straight to the background check and that was it. This time they sent me all through out the casting building to several different offices.

When I arrived I was pleasantly greeted by a nice cast member who pointed to a line I was to follow. The entire main entrance was roped off to allow all the professional interns to know exactly where they needed to go. I went up the long ramp past all these fun images of Disney related movies and characters and I followed the ropes in to a large room. In that room I went between two tables, the first one I got my red envelope that told me when I would have traditions, it contained a letter from my manager, and some information on my maingate pass (more about that in a future post). The next able had a Human Resources repersentative who took several of my paper work, checked to make sure it was all correct, and confirmed my hiring details like my wage and the dates I was told I would be working. Everyone was so nice and super excited to have me there! I was surprised by them because they actually took the time to look at my folder and realize where I was from and that I had previously worked for Disney.

The next part was fun, I got to walk almost the entire length of the casting center. From that room they sent me on a journey to the next area. The casting center is like a labyrinth with lots of hallways and stairwells, luckily they had professional internship signs all over the place directing people like me to know where I was supposed to go! I passed offices, went down a stair well and passed many offices. Finally I arrived at my next destination where we quickly turned in my I-9 and I went in to a small room with two other people from human resources who asked a few general questions.

From there I went to the background check where they took my finger prints and asked me important questions about my past. Finally I went to the last room where they asked me if I was willing to comply with the Disney Look (they are big on that)! It turns out my hair was a little long for their tastes so I had to get a haircut before traditions starts (which for me is tomorrow). Also something I was surprised about, I am currently wearing braces and I have a power band elastic on my bottom teeth, it is colored because that makes life fun, you are not supposed to have that on your braces, it is against the Disney look, so I had to find an orthodontist to trade out my colored ones and get a clear power band, luckily I quickly found an orthodontist who does that! So remember folks, if you have braces and you are coming out to Disney, just get clear or white ones and save yourself the hassle.

After that it was all over and I had all the information I needed. The next step is that I start Traditions, Disney’s heritage orientation that all employees go through on their first day of work. Traditions is for me tomorrow at 7:45AM and if I remember right from my CPship, it is really fun!

And there is the Walt Disney World Professional Internship checkin, its really quick, actually kind of boring, but exciting at the same time, you have made it!

Tips:

  • Make sure you have your IDs ready to go that they describe in the pamphlet. If you do not have them with you, then you are going to delay everything about your internship because they have to reschedule your traditions training, your first day of training, and everything else. Plus it is just a hassle to have to go back to casting later, make sure you have everything they list on your check in stuff.
  • Have your check in paper work you get in the email completely filled out, it will save you so much time!
  • Dress decently for the check in, you do not have to be in business professional but do not show up at casting like you would be going to the park, you have no clue if your manager will happen to be at casting that day and you want to show them you are serious at your time working at Disney.
  • Do exactly what the Disney look people tell you to correct. You do not want to show up at Traditions and be told “You are not in the Disney look, we will reschedule your Traditions training.” It can take several days to get a new open slot for you, just get rid of those piercings, change your eye wear, get your haircut, or hide those tattoos as they suggest or it is just going to throw everything off.
  • Talk to the other people checking in with you, they will most likely also be a PI and it is a great way to make some new friends.

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Jelly Rolls

Place: Jelly Rolls
Location: 2101 North Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Hours: 7:00pm – 2:00am, every day
Cost:$10 cover (free for Cast Members)

Must be at least 21 years old

This place is so fun! It is called Jelly Rolls. Jelly Rolls features a dueling piano bar. Although it sounds like it involves crazy barbarian type men picking up pianos and chucking them at each other, it actually involves two highly skilled pianists playing any song at request.

I went here with one very exciting friend the other night. There is nothing quite like entering a fun atmosphere such as this. The two pianists sit across from each other and they allow anyone to write a request on a piece of paper and put it on their piano, you are basically allowed to go on to stage and put your request in front of them. If you happen to tip the musicians you are more likely to get your request through much more quickly, although it is not required. These guys are good! They can play almost anything on request, they are such musical geniuses that they literally play from ear, when I was there they did not decline one request. When one pianist plays the other happens to hit the piano or play the tambourine for rhythm. They also use their feet to control the light show that happens as they play. This is one happening and fun place! I recommend this place to anyone who happens to be passing through Disney.

It is located at Disney’s Boardwalk (2101 North Epcot Resorts Boulevard Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830). It is easy to park there considering it is free, just go to the main gate, show them your driver’s license or other form of ID and they will direct you where to park. If you enter from the Boardwalk main entrance, Jelly Rolls is to the left.

There is a $10 cover charge (free if you are a cast member!) and drinks cost extra. Sorry guys, if you are under 21 you are going to have to miss out on this considering it is a bar.

Request whatever song you want! My friend and I managed to get them to play “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, with Jasmine’s part in tenor form and all. It is such a fun place and you will love hitting this place up just for the thrill of it! It is open from 7pm to 2am every day.

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Find housing

I have been spending quite a bit of time trying to figure out my housing situation. Since my internship is a little strange when it comes to when it starts and end (May 19th to August 13th), it was not easy deciding what to do for housing – most of the other internships start in June. With the others starting in June I have seen so many PIs setting up housing and roommate situations on Facebook and it has worked out great for them.

I arrived here in Orlando, FL alone and I am the only one of few that is starting on the 19th, setting up roommates through the facebook group was not an option. But lucky for me, a lot of people post on Craiglist.org looking for roommates or offering housing of some sort.

I researched and researched and decided what was a good price for me, where I wanted to live, and what were my best options.

I ended up staying at a friend’s place for a few days sleeping on a futon while I looked around for housing, it worked out great! No bumming in a car for me.

If you want a furnished place, there are quite a few places that already offer that on Craig’s list, you should not have a problem finding someone with a furnished room.

You are going to want to look at a few certain neighborhoods because they are closer to Disney than others like Davenport, Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista, Dr Phillips, and Hunters Creek. They tend to all be within 20 minutes of the parks. On Craiglist.org just search for “Disney” and a ton of locations pop up.

Disney also offers Cumberland Park through its services if you just want to make it easy on yourself, but mind you, it is more expensive than other options and you do have to share a room.

I ended up paying under $450 per month, with utilities included in a furnished private room and bath. I like it!

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Road trip

I have arrived in sunny Florida!

Nice

It was one heck of a ride. From Utah, it took about 34 hours, 8 gas pumps, two over night stays, and 2, 297 miles.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Provo,+UT&daddr=35.19265,-101.71228+to:Orlando,+FL&hl=en&geocode=FXTrZQId2jlY-Sm_8QuTcZJNhzHvVrUAJvGQHQ%3BFUr_GAIdaP7v-SlRXx95IkgBhzGAz3_qPFuM1A%3BFeB1swEdXEAm-yl3vM3-2HPniDGev6U8BrLDCg&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=5&via=1&sll=35.16147,-96.516805&sspn=19.666995,39.506836&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=35.16147,-96.516805&spn=19.666995,39.506836&output=embed
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Some people hate road trips, but I really enjoy them! There is something about driving across the United States and seeing what all the other parts look like that really make it enjoyable and make me proud of such a beautiful country!

Of course, after driving for so long, you do tend to do some weird things to keep yourself entertained:

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By the way, country roads do not have 3G networks, I figured that out when I could not listen to Pandora outside of the cities. Crazy I know!

So if you are road tripping it to Disney, or anywhere else for that matter, I recommend:

  1. Packing the night before and putting everything in to your car, it will make leaving less stressful, just leave out your essentials that you need until the morning you leave.
  2. Leave early in the morning, you’ll get so much more distance put behind you!
  3. Pack up a lot of treats in your vehicle. I packed granola bars, dried fruit, and trail mix. Whenever I was hungry, I had something pretty good to snack on and it allowed me to only have to stop once for food.
  4. Fill up way before you think you need too, the last thing you want is to be stranded out in the middle of no where with no gas.
  5. Pack lightly, honestly, unless you are going to Orlando to live, forever, you just need a few essentials, do not bring every single dinky thing you own, it is just going to take up space.
  6. Have a lot of good music or audio books ready to go . . . the road can get boring sometimes.
  7. Stop and rest when you need to, do not keep pushing. You will regret it.
  8. Use the time to focus on how awesome Disney is going to be!
If you are flying, then congrats . . . we all hate you.
*Note, I arrived in Orlando May 5, 2011.
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On the road

This morning I packed up all my stuff and I hit the road to Florida! According to Google, it takes about 34 hours from Utah to Florida . . . yeah, that’s a long time.

I drove for 14 hours today and I have stopped at some town in Texas to spend the night. Being the poor college student I am, I am renting the cheapest room I could find! Bad idea, the shower is leaking, the bed is as hard as a rock, and I prefer to wear my shoes in the bathroom when I need to do something in there, but hey, it beats sleeping in my crowded car.

I’ll post more soon about the road trip, but for now, I’m going to sleep, I have a long day tomorrow, I’m probably going to stop in Mobile, Alabama to sleep.

This place is disgusting!

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Walmart – full of Disney stuff

I recently was on a date when we went to Walmart. The point of the date was to take a camera to Walmart and take the most random pictures we could find and then later make a story from everything that we had found.

It turns out Walmart has a ton of Disney stuff!

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Rejection

I have been watching the Disney Professional Internship  – Fall 2011 Facebook group for quite some time now. Recently a lot of people have been getting rejections.

Rejections suck because they pretty much suck the life out of you and make you feel like a man who has been kept up all night by a baaing sheep. It just does not feel good and it can bring on so many feelings from sadness to anger.

I just wanted to say, I feel for you guys. I have met so many of you and you guys are amazing! Don’t let the rejection get you down. It happens to the best of us and it is nothing personal to any of you. Disney is a super competitive place to try and get an internship at. Learn something from this experience, you have probably learned a lot of what to do and what not to do, you have probably learned a lot better what Disney is actually looking for in a candidate. Apply again next time and you’ll be ahead of the crowd because you know even better what to do!

My suggestions for future applicants who might happen to get rejected:

  1. If you really have to work for Disney, apply to the College Program. That is a good back up! You might not work in anything related to your field of study, but you’re still working for the mouse!
  2. Apply to other companies to do an internship. Sometimes you just need to have other options so if one lets you down, then you can always have another place to go learn and grow. Although I am excited for my internship, Disney was not my first choice as a location to work this summer. I was rejected by dozens of other places for internships, luckily I got accepted for the Disney internship and you get to read my blog . . . yeah, this is probably the only internship I would actually make a blog for 😛
  3. Apply again in the future – learn from this rejection and get ready for the next round of interviews, they are only a few months away (Disney internship recruiting season is usually January to March for the Fall, and August to October for the Spring).
Rejection happens, what is important is that we learn from it and become awesome from our experiences of rejection.

This will cheer you up, a little pug with Mickey ears . . . oh!

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