June 6, 2016

Well, I finally made it!  Today was check-in day for the Disney College Program.   Unlike previous programs, this year they decided to let you check-in at the complex that you are living in, so I headed to Patterson Court after waiting in the Panera Bread parking lot for 45 minutes because I overestimated the time it would take to drive there.  I arrived at check-in at 9:25pm (luckily they let me in 5 minutes early) and went to the Patterson clubhouse where I received an envelope with some information and my apartment keys.  I then went into a small room and got my picture taken for my housing ID and they confirmed my email address, phone number, etc.  The whole process took under 10 minutes which was wonderful as it used to take around 2 hours!  I then went to my apartment which is on the third floor and was happily surprised that we got a three bedroom apartment for six people which was our top choice (as opposed to two rooms with bunk-beds).  The apartment is very nice and spacious and we even got a good sized balcony.  I also got to meet all five of my roommates. I started to move my stuff into the apartment but the weather was so humid that I was overheating quick-especially with moving up three flights of stairs.  Unfortunately, this means I still have to unpack most of my trunk tomorrow.

At 12pm I headed off to catch the bus to what Disney calls “casting”.  Casting is a large beautiful building that employs all of the people who work with hiring.  A lady named Jen played trivia with us on the bus for prizes (EOS chapstick), but unfortunately the topic was High School Musical which I know little about.  The nice part was that a girl who won a chapstick didn’t want hers and gave it to me!  Yay for prizes!  Jen also passed around nametags-so now I’m kind of official! We arrived at casting around 12:15pm and got to go in the famous Alice in Wonderland doors.  The room that we entered was circular and had many golden figurines of Disney characters-it was beautiful.  We then all stood in a circle and an executive with Disney welcomed us.  A few workers had sheets of stickers which they stuck to our printed itinerary.  We had to face our itinerary towards them so we could not see the sticker.  When we were allowed to look, the sticker showed where we would be working.  I got custodial at the Polynesian Resort which I am very excited about.

After getting our sticker, we were emailed our training schedules and a man named Jeff (who also coincidentally had a daughter named Kaitlyn) brought us in to a room and gave us a sheet of paper to be used for our I9 documents.  We then waited in line to go into an office and meet with a Disney employee.  The office I went in to belonged to a culinary director of some sort and there were pictures of food all over the walls.  A nice employee helped me fill out some paperwork and got the information from my passport.  I then went to see a tall, big, and intimidating man that looked me over to ensure that I was considered “Disney look”.  Good news- I passed!

We were then brought into a room and a lady talked to us about our schedules and how the next few days were going to go for the program.  Most of the information she gave us I had already known.  Our last stop was to be fingerprinted.  When working at Disney you consent to a background check so a lady scanned each of my fingers (multiple times) to do so.  After I was finished with casting, I waited out front for the bus to come.  Fortunately, it was pouring rain but it lightened up just as the bus arrived.  I walked back to Patterson from the bus stop which was slightly embarrassing because I realized I forgot to bring my housing ID with me.  The security guard wasn’t super friendly about it-so I’m probably already on her “list”.

After I got back to Patterson I started unpacking more things until I heard from my dad and went to dinner.  We went to Carrabba’s Italian Grill which had fantastic food!  We got bruschette siciliani for the table and I ordered a combination plate of  lobster ravioli, parmesan crusted chicken arugula, and fettucini alfredo which also came with a caesar salad. I also had a glass of red wine. It was so good-I will definitely be back.

After dinner, I brought my dad to show him around the apartment.  He seemed to like it!  Then all six of us roommates decided to go to Walmart in order to get some community groceries.  A few hours later we were back at home unloading everything and I was so tired it didn’t take me long until I fell asleep!