Saturday, August 4, 2012


My last post was nearly a full year ago, but we'll call it seven months.  It has been a wonderful year that I would not trade for anything because all of the wonderful things have happened that I desperately wanted.  And looking back on so many empty potential pages is a little sad for me so I'm likely going to start fresh and new.  In a couple days I'll be either branching off to a new blog or erasing stories from this one and treating it more like the diary I expected it to be.  Things are learned more easily straight forward and honest.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Free iPad post.

Aka: "Who doesn't have netflix".

First of all thanks for actually visiting. And hopefully I can answer some of the questions you have about how this thing works and can get the rewards. I posted most of how it works on, but I'm going to simplify it here.

1. To start visit the think here:

2. Select the item you want to win through the site.

3. Chose (from what I recommend) between 3 of the choice offerings. Netflix, ColumbiahouseDVDs, and FreeCreditReport. Signing up for any one of the three and completing the offer as they describe it. With Netflix its going to be signing up for the freemembership followed by one month subscription which can be cancelled anytime. ColumbiahouseDVD is tricky because you have to order their introductory DVDs which is 3 for $3.00. Chose whatever random ones you want to chose from on columbia's site and wait for them to send through the mail. When the box arrives simply ship it back. Trust me. If you ship it back the agreement is done and you can move on with all your money back. They refund the $3.00 when they get their package back. (P.S. this is the one I went with because I already had netflix.) The third option is free where you sign up on and get a print out of your credit score sent to your house free for the first time. After you get your credit score in the mail, that's it. You completed the offer and can start signing others up.

4. When the offer is complete, sign up the necessary number of people to get the free prize. Since I'm going for cash only, I need 10. But the ipads are going to be 12-15 people signing up under you. After you get the right number of people you will have completed everything and will recieve the free gift. That's it.

5. I will close this down once I have 9 people. I'm not greedy, but you can do what you like. And I want to maintain this blog as it was originally intended as a Disney College Program blog. "This all started while I was away in Florida working for Disney". Read on for further details. :D Thanks for visiting hope you succeed too.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"On the open Road." Chapter 14.

So from months to weeks to a mere couple days, Disney is drawing ever close and I feel very prepared as I hope all of you do too. There are many things to consider when embarking on this journey especially if you're driving yourself like I am planning to. How often should I stop? What's the most efficient way to pack? Can I get away with one full suitcase? How much money should I bring? These questions were tumbling in my mind like a dryer (lots of stuff packed in there but lint flying all over the place).

Stopping should be frequent as needed. I'm sure most of you (any of you) readers would agree having done this before while I have not. To be safe I'm opting for a room at Motel 6 instead of the Walmart parking lot, but if it comes to the latter of course my car doors will be locked and I will certainly become a light sleeper.

Packing can be pretty easy if you're just bringing clothes. Roll your t-shirts/shorts/pants/underwear to save on space and You might find an extra 20% of your capacity has increased. So what if it wrinkles, you toss them in the dryer once you've found time for yourself settling into the apartment. Laundry money is easy enough to get. There are dispensers for these laundromat cards at each laundry location at each complex that can hold as much as 20 bucks at a time. Get a card swipe the card, insert the money then use the card on your washing and drying machines. For some reason personal drying racks cannot be used outside the apartment on the balcony (I remember hearing that load of B.S. from housing on more than one occasion.) So if you must have one keep it indoors above/below an air vent if possible. With your clothes, try to pack some of the items listed in my previous posting "Chapter 9".

Suitcases can be bulky and take up space in your closet. I would suggest duffel bags that can double as a sleeping bag if you plan to sleep in your car. If bringing a heavy duty large suitcase is necessary, that's completely fine. There are quite a few closets in the apartment already. Me and my roommates shared the biggest closet in the kitchen where we put all our suitcases along with the extra desk. There are a few things that you can pack besides clothes in an extra suitcase if you really have room to spare. A small suitcase can carry your books, DVDs (in a single disc sleeve case preferably), a couple notebooks, some office supplies, etc. In case you're driving, I would suggest filling a small box with some nonperishable foods to stock your pantry.
Money is fine if you have some. You don't always need to bring cash, but Disney recommends bringing $350 or $400 along (how they came up with that number I can't be sure). When it comes to paying the first weeks rent on your new place, Disney will pay you in advance and give you a "Partners" bank account. Partners is the banking system that cast members often use. You will get a pay card on your first day of the program at the casting building. All of your earnings will go into the account they set up for you unless you provide the information at casting for automatic deposit. For some it's easier that way. Replacing a Partners card is a bit difficult requiring you to visit Celebration to sign for a new one. As for the advanced pay and wondering about what hours you'll be working Disney has your schedule worked out well enough to make sure you are able to pay the rent each week with enough to get by and save up.
Disney has 30 years of experience with CPs and they have primed their workers like well oiled machines for each new arrival and departure just like they do with the millions of guests coming to and fro. The thinking is done for you. It will not be boring I promise you so be prepared for the busy days ahead and remember that all of this (good times and bad) is all temporary so make it worth while.
See you real soon.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Seasons Change And So Do We." Chapter 13.

Around this time I remember very well the feelings that engulfed me every morning for breakfast. Sometimes it was lunch because I too skipped breakfast just to make sure I got to work on time. There is something special about waking up to a humid Florida morning and seeing the sun glaze the white buildings outside my Patterson appartment window knowing that in just a few hours I will once again be a part of the magic. My costume would always be on just minutes after waking up, rolling out of that tiny bed from an army surplus store. I slept on the covers because I hated leaving a messy looking bed behind and didn't want to risk leaving something like that on my way out. A quick walk across my living room past a little less than tidy kitchen I stolled casually out the door with my earbuds in and had that music blaring to the bus stop. Along the walk there were palm trees, tropic looking shrubs on my left, random critters crossing my path (such as lizards that do pushups), and some really pretty pink flowered trees over head behind a tall black fence of a neighboring complex. Busses where coming and going with some gaps between them seemingly longer and longer than the last. That's the nature of Disney busses that has plagued every CP since bussing began and even now (according to sources) is still prominent.

I waited there 'standing' in my way-past-comfortable-work-shoes toying with the ipod and the gold doubloon buttons on my vest knowing by that point I was well on time. It's moments like that where I realize how far I've come in this program. This is life as a cast member that most would find incredibly interesting despite its mundane overtone. I was just looking for (Bus A) to chug on down and ship me to the parkinglot of Magic Kingdom. After 600 times it doesn't feel so galmorous, but it's always fun to say after years of childhood waiting to go now nearly dreading it.

*Yep, (walking past the smoking area behind Fantasyland) there's Cinderella smoking a cigarette in a grey tshirt and black sweat pants, just another normal day I'd think to myself.*

We love to think of cast members as anything but human. You are human and you may crack. This is no excuse to pick up and leave because we all heal. I never thought I was tough enough for this and I certainly knew I wasn't after week 3, but I somehow survived and made a vow to look at my Disney struggles as a bridge to cross. "Once you cross that bridge my friends the ghost is through his power ends." I hope you realize how amazing you will feel when this is over.

Friday, December 24, 2010

"A Christmas Miracle?" Chapter 12.

So today is officially Christmas Eve close to the bussiest shopping day of the year. I was thinking of so many ways I could save money and just recently was given a most interesting opportunity to save.

Disney sent me an email informing me that they are way overbooked on CP arrivals in the month of January and they would like me to arrive Febuary 21st which also means I'd be leaving a bit later than expected. Been weighing the pros and cons, but I still can't decide. On one hand I could stay where I am and have a better chance of working at the work location I'm really hoping for. On the other hand if I arrive when Disney will be ready for me, they are willing to offer two free 1 day park hopper passes. This delay in arrival will give me another month of work at my current job and help me to earn more money, also allowing me to visit my friends in New York City to see 'The Addams Family Musical' on Broadway. It's a tough choice, but it's probably worth considering. I have 'til December 31st to decide.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"All Ears." Chapter 11.

There are ears for each of us. It seems like there are new designs cropping up to be sold at the parks every few months. I knew during my last program that I had to find a fitting souvenir for each of my cousins and there was no better way than to pick a pair of Mickey ears. A pair of "Disney Princess" ears, "Buccan-ears", and ones with 'Cars' graphics for the youngest. We had the names stitched to the back to complete them while me and my family visited the park. There are many places to get it done while you stay at the resort. There is a place in Down Town Disney that can do it without an admission ticket required. (A place right across the way at the Christmas store embroiders stockings). My head may be to freakishly large to wear these things, but it's fun to adorn my living space with. And when they have a 'piraty' flair to them, then my house guests can see what I'm about.
On our final day, we will each recieve a free pair of ears with a little gold tassle attached and you can have your name stitched on for free too :) I was only able to get it done for free at the Magic Kingdom, but everywere else is $3. Eitherway it's totally worth it. Most have skipped on the graduation ceremony, which includes no more than standing in line to pickup your deploma, your grad poster, and your ears. There is a free lunch and trivia games to win some prizes. Plus, it's a great way of mingling with your fellow CP's to reflect on the exciting year you've had. Overall, what's wrong with free Disney swag???
You'll have the opportunity to purchase several discounted Disney items during your stay, but I strongly advise you to use caution. Dollars tend to get stretched on Disney pay after your rent is deducted from each check. Not only will you have less money, but you'll find that there is less space to put things in your limited appartment. At the least you should expect to ship your items home little at a time in the short weeks prior to leaving the complex. Another great idea if you have limited space in your suitcase or vehicle is to have some of your personal things shipped to your new place once you have your official address.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"The Casting Game." Chapter 10.

In Disney casting (as in life) we can be certain of it's predictable unpredictability. You're first choice might be "Character Performer". You did quite well in auditions and you're just the right height to be *Goofy's best friend*. This is cast member speak for wearing Goofy's costume and playing him in parades, meet & greets, and shows. It keeps the magic in tact for youngsters who maybe listening. One day you read an email that says you were chosen for a role in Entertainment... but as a Character Attendant. For those of you out there who've been offered this job, it means you will be the one escorting Disney characters such as Woody, Stich, Cinderella, or even Mickey himself. Your job will be to speak for those who can't and keep the lines moving at these meet & greets. Where ever there's a Disney character, you'll be right there along side them.

Was it the role you wanted? No. But it's a valuable service to our guests that every one appreciates. I've known many people who've complained about their role as a character performer day in day out. It's a tough job. But it goes to show that nothing is ideal, there's always a catch. Once the role has been cast you can accept or decline their offer, but really there's not much to be done about it. I've spoken with casting directors, both on the phone and in person and all of them tell me the same thing. It's really not up to them. It depends on where the company needs you most. And the process by which the company selects you to fill a certain role is almost completely uncertain. So far, everyone has told me that a computer files our names into a list based on the time of our application and will randomly place us instead of having someone at a computer doing the work. Part of the experience when you first arrive will be to visit the casting office with a bus load of other students. It's a very decorative building adjacent to Downtown Disney with murals, and a room with pillars and gold statues inside of your favorite scenes involving your favorite cartoons and films. Accross the street is "Team Disney" where the CEO's and big time executives of the whole company meet at their Florida base. Once you enter the casting office, there will be a person at a computer to hand you an assignment sheet. This person can also tell you what specific area you'll be working in but maybe not a specific ride, restaraunt, or entertainment location. As an attractions cast member, all they could tell me was Magic Kingdom, Adventureland/Liberty Square which could mean 8 different rides. Quite a nail biter for the next day or two with a sleepless night in between. While at casting, you'll be approved for everything from payment methods to housing contracts. They'll also be the ones to tell you if something about you doesn't quite match with Disney Look guidelines. You'll need to pass this Disney Look inspection or you wont be approved for employment. They may send you to your apartment and have you come back the next day. Although you should probably be well aware of what the standards would be.
So make it your own and keep up the good work until your final day. When all is said and done, Disney will give you a rehire status to reward your successful completion. I myself was hired recently because "The Walt Disney Company" really stuck out on my resume. My intention is not to ruin the magic for my dear readers, it's merely to enlighten your Disney soaked brains. Let's face it, by taking on your new role as a cast member, you'll be fully exposed to what goes on *behind the scenes*/behind the magic. I was there too. No matter what I've seen (and I've seen a LOT), the magic was never completely gone.