Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Disneyland No More!

Time for a ridiculously late update to my blog. The last time I posted I was pending for the Walt Disney World College Program without much hope of getting in (or accepting even if I did). Well about a month later I heard back and found out I got accepted! Since they were offering me Hospitality, it was kind of hard to pass up. It's one of the few roles that relates directly to the field I hope to go into once I graduate. So I talked to the college recruiting office at Disney and was able to get an entire refund of my Disneyland fee as well as transfer over to the Disney World program! Of course I was accepted for Fall Advantage, which means I'll be missing an entire semester of school (and more since it includes summer) as well as graduating a semester later. However, I'm totally okay with this since I feel as though it's an amazing opportunity which will open up many more job opportunities when I get back home (it's impossible to get a front desk position without front desk experience!).

Of course the biggest downfall of this switch is being unable to see all of the awesome friends I made in California. I will miss them dearly, but they were also all very supportive and understood why I made this decision. For those curious, I actually did find out my role. If I would have stayed with Disneyland this summer I would have been a Food Service Worker. Now I'm not entirely sure what it is (and the description doesn't really help), but I will say that I don't have much desire to work in a restaurant setting so Hospitality is a much better fit!

My arrival date for Florida is June 6th which is obviously fast approaching. I'm leaving on May 30th to drive down with my cousin (Mackenzie). We're going to spend some time in Disney World since I still have all of my Campus Rep perks (which I had an awesome time doing by the way). Hopefully I do a better job updating my blog this program than I did my last. Either way, I'll still try and post a few times even if it's just general updates.

This blog will hence forth be known as Andrew in Walt Disney World!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Disneyland Summer Alumni Program

I have some good news... I've been accepted into the Disneyland Summer Alumni Program! The Summer Alumni Program is a special program that is only open to people who have done the College Program before. The only real difference is that it takes place during the summer (May 18th-August 10th), rather than a whole semester. I haven't been assigned a role yet (and apparently I may not find out until I get down there), but I don't mind. I said I'd be willing to do anything, so I'm sure they're just waiting to see where they need me. I'm super excited to be moving back to California for the summer and getting the chance to see a lot of my friends that are still living out there.

I realize that I kind of neglected this blog during my last program, but I plan on trying to do better this time. I should be able to manage my time a little better, now that I know exactly what to expect.

In other news, I applied for Fall Advantage at the Walt Disney World College Program and am currently pending. I get the feeling that they really don't want me down there ;) Oh well, I consider California my home now anyways!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Campus Representative!

My program is quickly coming to an end and I have very mixed feelings. On one hand I'm happy to go home to my family and friends (although I could do without Michigan). On the other hand I'll be sad to have to leave Disneyland, California, and all of the amazing friends I've made since I got here.

One thing that will make the departure a little easier is the fact that I was accepted as a Campus Representative! That means I will be able to keep my status with the company (including the perks) as well as be able to inject a little Disney into my boring life back in Michigan. I'm excited to share my experiences with other students, especially since I know there's a serious lack of DisneyLAND College Programers in Michigan.

Other than the awesome Campus Rep news, I also got to do a few cool things since my last post. First of all I got to tour the Disneyland Dream Suite. It was mainly used in the Year of a Million Dreams as a giveaway and it was pretty awesome. It started out as a second apartment for Walt (as I said, the first one is pretty small), but was never finished before he passed away. Eventually after housing a few other things, it was turned into a suite for a few lucky families to stay in during the Year of a Million Dreams. It had some very cool rooms that are too hard to do justice to via text. There's some pictures and videos of it on the internet, so I strongly suggest you look them up if you're interested (sadly I forgot my camera, but please enjoy the random photo Rachel took of a mirror/television).

Also (something not Disney related) I got to go to Small Gift LA! Small Gift LA was a sort of Sanrio festival celebrating their 50th anniversary. It included things like mini-golf, carnival games, and a store filled with exclusive merchandise. The one awesome thing about living so close to LA is that everything seems to happen there. I would never have opportunities like this in Michigan!

I'm doing a tour of Walt Disney Studios on Wednesday (only Disney Cast Members are allowed to do tours there), so I'll be sure to update after that (and I'll try not to forget my camera). That's all for now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Very General Update

It's been way too long since my last post to try and go through the daily events that have happened to me, so instead I'll just hit the major ones.

I've gotten to do a few fun events since the last time I posted, including riding Space Mountain with the lights on, a backstage tour of Tower of Terror, and a tour of Walt's apartment.
Space Mountain isn't nearly as fun with the lights on, but I suppose it was pretty cool to see what the track looked like.
The Tower of Terror tour was pretty interesting, but really short. I get the feeling it wasn't planned very well, since our tour guides didn't really know what to talk about. I did get to walk on both of the floors that the elevator stops at though, which was pretty cool (they even played the scene out with us standing there). I also got to ride it with the lights on and realized it's much scarier that way, since you have no clue when you're going to drop.
Last but not least, Walt's apartment was another fairly cool tour. Although, I expected it to be bigger than it actually was.

As for my job, I currently have 3 locations I'm trained in within the Vacation Planning role.
The main location is the Ticket Booths, which are any of the eight booths located at the entrance to the parks. This is definitely my least favorite location as the booths are really cramped and not fun to sit in all day.
The other location I'm normally in a few times a week is Toy Story parking lot. This is definitely my favorite location, since the tickets we sell here are much simpler. We roll out carts in the morning with computers on them and try and save people from waiting in the ticket booth lines (which can get long) by selling them there tickets in the parking lot. The only difference is we only take debit/credit and don't sell any annual passes, which makes my job MUCH easier. There's also more guest interaction in this location since we also get sent out to "ambassador" by informing guests that they can purchase their tickets before they arrive at the parks.
The most recent location I've been trained in is the AP centers. There's one located in both of the parks, and essentially we take pictures for annual passes. Other than that, it's pretty much the same as the booths (although we only handle annual pass related concerns) except it's inside the parks and isn't nearly as cramped.

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting to update on, but that's for another day since I have to get going!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Lot To Cover!

Forgive me for not updating my blog in a while. Obviously I've been much more busy since I started working and today has been one of the few days that I haven't had anything to do. I'm going to be covering the last few weeks here, so I may gloss over a few things since they aren't really fresh in my mind.


This was my first day of training, called "Traditions". Essentially it was an 8-hour presentation designed to get you excited about working for Disney. They talked about the past, present, and future of the company. A lot of people complained about it being boring, but I don't think those people are truly "Disney people". I enjoyed it very much and so did everyone I came with. It didn't really discuss any job specifics, since everyone in the auditorium had different roles. It was more designed to show that every role is equally important and everyone has the opportunity to create magic for the guests. This was also they day that I received my cast member ID, which meant free admission into the parks!


On my second day of training, everyone was split up into smaller groups related to their roles. I had Park Operations, which included Vacation Planners, Attractions, Custodial and a few other areas related to the operation of both parks. This day was a little less exciting that Traditions, since it got into the more boring yet necessary aspects of our jobs such as safety. Luckily, we also got to go on a tour of Disneyland towards the end of the day. Park Operations was the only group that got to ride an attraction (Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blaster) since we had the Attraction cast members in our group. It was a pretty interesting tour and I definitely learned a few things I didn't know before.

Sadly I have to leave for work now, but I promise I'll fill in the rest of the days soon. I've started posting all of my pictures from the program in a single album (able to be seen by anyone) so that they're easier to find. You can check it out here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Check-In and Orientation

Today appears to be my only day off for a while, so I figured I'd give a quick update as to what I've been doing since I arrived in Anaheim.

Wednesday was check-in. I got there around 7:15am for my 8am check-in and there was already a decently long line. After checking-in at the front of the apartments, we moved up to a patio section on the second story to complete the move-in process. There we figured out how we were going to pay for the program (I paid in advance so I didn't have to worry about this). Then we filled out forms confirming we were eligible to work and got our parking passes as well as free bus passes. After that we were free to move into our apartments. The entire time I was going through the check-in process I had people telling me how great my room was. Apparently it's one of the biggest apartments in the complex and after visiting other people's apartments I definitely believe them. Overall it's a really nice place, even if the area surrounding it isn't all that nice. I also got the second closest parking structure, which isn't all that far compared to the third. Later on I met my roommates who are all great (one already lived here and was sleeping when I arrived) and attended a housing meeting (they discussed a few things about the apartments and the program in general). The only thing I did after that was go grocery shopping and take my dad back to his hotel.

Thursday was Orientation. It was a 3-hour presentation about what to expect from the program. We also got to sign up for our classes, as well as choose our preferred days off (we get two a week). After Orientation there was an info fair. Most of it was spent waiting in line (I didn't even get to all the stations), but I did receive some free stuff so I guess in the end it was worth it. After that I was able to meet up with some people I knew from facebook and pretty much spent the entire night hanging out.

Today is the Welcome Party in front of the building and tomorrow I have my first paid day of training called Traditions (I'll write more about that tomorrow). Overall the program is going great and I'm definitely looking forward to starting my job as a Vacation Planner (aka Ticket Seller)!

Here's some links to pictures I took of various things:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Roommate Notification

With my arrival date fast approaching, I figured I'd give you guys an update on what's been happening the past few weeks.

First of all, I finished my spring classes. That means that I won't be going back to school until January 2011. It's weird to think about.

I've also gotten multiple e-mails from Disney pertaining to the college program. Most of these are about what I need to do before I arrive in California. So far I've gotten e-mails about the "The Disney Look", parking (we have to park in lots separate from our apartments), housing payments, and renter's insurance. I also received an e-mail a few days ago with the name of one of my roommates. Surprisingly enough, he is actually part of the "Disneyland College Program Fall 2010" facebook group and we had talked a few days before. We haven't really talked much since, but it seems like we shouldn't have too much trouble getting along.

Only 44 days left until I move to California!