Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Check-In Day: Madness, Mayhem and Magic!

Yesterday was Monday, August 23: Disney College Program CHECK-IN DAY! As I was warned by my friend Hilary, I should arrive at Vista Way quite early, even though check-in wasn't scheduled to start until 9:00 am. So I woke up at 5:30, had a quick breakfast and pulled in to the Vista Way parking lot at 6:45. There were already 30 or so people lined up at the gate!

At around 7:00 or so, my roommate Wayne showed up, which was the first time we met each other in person. We waited in line for another hour or so, and then they finally opened the gate and walked us back to the check-in pavilion. At the check-in center, we were handed our 2010 Program Guide, which is like an encyclopedia for our entire program. Full of phone numbers, maps, Q&A's, and so much more, this guide soon became labeled with stickers unique to each CP member.

During the Vista Way check-in process, we were explained community codes, given our car decal for parking (if we brought a car,) and we had our picture taken for our housing ID. We also were placed into our apartment complex, where we had the chance to request which complex and size apartment we preferred. My roommate and I requested Chatham Square, and were given the option of a two-bedroom or four-bedroom apartment. We chose the two-bedroom.

Once we were done signing all the paperwork at Vista Way, we were taken on a bus over to the Disney Casting building near Downtown Disney. We were taken down hallway after hallway, table to table, room to room, signing forms and answering questions. One of the first (and most exciting) stops at the Casting building was when we were told where we will be working! I will be working at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café in the Magic Kingdom!

Also at Casting we were fingerprinted, we filled out even more paperwork, and were visually inspected to make sure we adhered to the Disney Look guidelines. At the end of our check-in extravaganza, we had our picture taken by a Disney PhotoPass photographer in front of a WDW backdrop.

Back at Vista Way, we had the opportunity to sign up for classes in the education building. There were also advisors to help students decide which classes would best suit their needs and career goals. I signed up for two classes; the Entertainment Show Production Professional Development Study, and the Marketing Exploration Series.

Then it was finally time to move in to my new apartment! My mom and I drove over to Chatham Square and found my building, which is pretty close to the entrance. Despite the rain, we started moving my stuff into my apartment. I was definitely surprised to see how nice and roomy the apartment is! My roommate and I share a bedroom with a quite large bathroom and equally large walk-in closet. The apartment also features a couch, sofa chair, kitchen table with four chairs, fridge, dish washer, microwave and cups, plates, utensils, pots, and pans.

Once I was all moved in, I had a little time to relax before it was off to our housing welcome session at the Commons apartment complex. During this two-hour presentation, we were introduced to Price Management, which is the company contracted by Disney to manage the apartment complexes for Disney's Internship Program participants. Disney Housing Operations also presented information about their role in our living experience. The presentation was filled with information on the many number of ways we can get terminated, plus standard safety info and other resources to help make our experience the best it can be.

Finally, the rest of the day was mine! After the housing meeting, I went back to my mom's hotel to enjoy one last night in a big, comfy bed. I read through the Program Guide and organized all of the paperwork I was given throughout the hectic day.

This morning, I drove my mom to the airport and said goodbye until the family comes down to visit. It still hasn't fully set in that I'm LIVING AT DISNEY WORLD! I'm sure once I start work training, it will become much more real.


Megan said...

Hey Zach, how did you get the big version of the Walt Disney World picture? I took a screencap of the one from the photopass website.

Zach said...

I also took a screen capture on my computer. What I did was click the "share" tab at the top of the photopass website, and then clicked "preview slideshow." You still can't right-click the pictures, but they seemed a little bigger. And on my computer, you can zoom-in on the screen, so that's what I did to make it even a bit bigger. But I would definitely use the "slideshow" to take the screencap. They seem bigger.

Hope this helps!

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