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Monday, June 9, 2014

Disney College Program: Check-In Day

A few days before my check-in date, I got an email from the DORMS system reminding me to print out my on-boarding documents and to bring my I9 form documentation (passport, driver's license, birth certificate, etc). It may also list an arrival time. My email specified to arrive 9am-10am. I decided to arrive at 9:30am, figuring most people will have cleared out by then since I couldn't get there when it first opened. I was asked for my arrival time when I drove onto property, so you may be turned away if you arrive too early.

Front of the Program Guide
Upon arrival, you'll be handed a program guide, which is a combination day planner and guidebook to housing, working, etc. Keep it out through the whole process. The first stop after receiving our program guide was to get a little sticker on the back page which lists your job and location. The attractions people had their location listed as the land where they'll be working. For example, my line-mate was attractions in Hollywood Studios on Sunset Boulevard. So while she knows the general area of where she'll be working, she doesn't know if she'll be at Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Beauty and the Beast, or Fantasmic. The dining people also seemed to get a general location instead of a specific restaurant. Luckily for me, there's only one location in each park for vacation planners. Even more luckily, I will be located at Magic Kingdom!

The beginning of many lines
The next stop was a station where I was asked to hand over my driver's license. I'm not sure what they actually did at that station, but I was told to bypass the line for housing assignments since I would be living off-property. I was directed to a photo booth to take my picture and an ID card was printed out a few minutes later.

At the next station, I was handed a College Program Arrival Itinerary. It listed the time I needed to arrive at casting, the time of my drug test (I didn't need to take one), the time of my housing welcome session (also not needed), and the time for my language testing (didn't need that either).

It also included an info sheet about my Summer 2 course registration. I'm currently enrolled in Advanced Studies in Hospitality Management, but I may drop the class after the first session. I'll wait and see if I like it.

The next station went through the aforementioned itinerary and briefly explained each item and allowed time for questions. I asked if I was required to attend the housing info session and was told no, but other CPs heard differently.

The next station had a speaker from the Disney Education program to talk about classes and another station had info about safety. Not much notable there.

By 11:15, I was done the whole process--much less time than the 4 hours I've heard from others. Not sure how much was my timing and how much was the increased efficiency of having more forms online. Regardless, I had almost 3 hours to kill before my 2:00pm appointment at casting. This time would have been useful if I was unpacking and moving into a new apartment, but since I wasn't moving in, I found another buddy who would be staying off-site and we decided to drive over to Downtown Disney and grab lunch. But first, we stopped by to do her drug test.

The drug testing was located in an apartment in Vista Way. Drug testing is required for roles that deal with guest safety, so lifeguards, attractions, and anyone who would be driving a vehicle needed to get a drug test. I was allowed to accompany her to the test and wait in the common room area. My friend was instructed to fill out a short form and wait to be called. Water was available in the waiting area to hydrate before the test. The whole process took less than 20 minutes, then we were off to lunch.

We decided to park at the Casting building and walk across the street to Downtown Disney until closer to our 2:00pm appointment. In hindsight, we probably could have checked if we were allowed to go through the casting process once we arrived, but we just headed to Earl of Sandwich and browsed the shops until 1:30. We arrived at Casting at 1:40pm and they did not seem perturbed by our early arrival.

Casting was a giant blur of forms and lines. You'll need your program guide, your IDs, and your I9 form. You'll have your I9 form verified, your fingerprints taken, and hand your ID to a lot of people. The most exciting thing that happened was meeting with a coordinator for your department of work, which in my case was operations. They will go over your schedule for traditions, orientation, and training. I was scheduled for Traditions on Thursday, Magic Kingdom Orientation (Once Upon A Time Begins...Now!) for 9 hours on Friday, and Vacation Planner Core Classes for 8 and a half hours on each day Monday-Friday.

I'm anxiously waiting for Traditions, when we'll get our complete training schedule, our cast member IDs, and our name tags! But next up: class on Wednesday.

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