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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Disney College Program: Off-Site Housing

Housing is available on-site through Disney. It’s easy to find information online about the different housing complexes, roommates, housing, etc. However, I chose to live off-site. I had trouble finding information about how to go about doing that, so I’m going to write up my experience here.
First, some potential reasons to live off-site:
  1. Permanent Relocation. I am planning on living in Orlando much longer than the 7 months of the program, so I wanted to find a more permanent option.
  2. Rules. Disney housing has many restrictive rules and strict enforcement of those rules: no overnight guests, no alcohol in wellness (under 21) apartments, etc.
  3. Price. In my opinion, Disney housing is not a good value. The least expensive option for housing is $78/week, or $312 per month. There are no singles available; you will have to share a room with one or two people.
  4. Pets. Pets are not allowed in Disney Housing, so if you plan on bringing a pet of any kind, you’ll need to live off-site.
      So I decided I wanted to live off-site, but wasn’t really sure how to go about it. I would recommend using Facebook, and that is pretty much exclusively where I looked. There is a Facebook group called Disney World Cast Member Apartment/Roommate Finder. Cast members post open rooms in apartments, subleasing, and searching for apartments. The only issue is, many people in the group are not members of the College Program; some people are even adults with children. If you interested in finding roommates from the College Program, I would recommend joining a Facebook group for your arrival date (usually titled “Disney College Program [Month Day] Arrival”) or your job (usually titled “Disney College Program [Season Year] [Job Title]”. The groups usually have a roommate form to fill out, where you list information about you to help you find roommates you would get along with.

      Off-site housing is usually less than $600/month if you’re willing to live with a roommate. The most popular apartment complexes I’ve seen are Abaco Key, Alexandria Park, and Sabal Palm. I’ll be living in a 3br/2ba at the Carrington at Four Corners, where I’ll be paying about $285/month before electric, cable, etc. The benefits for me were the ability to have guests stay overnight, in-unit laundry, my own bedroom, and lower pricing. One of my roommates is also participating in the College Program and is staying off-site because she has a pet and is planning on permanently relocating.

      When you receive the DORMS registration email from Disney, you’ll need to use the system to opt out of housing. It’s really simple: just click the option to opt out of Disney housing. You’ll still have free parking on property and for classes, so you’ll be able to input your car information.

      My one concern is that it may be harder to make friends if I’m not living with everyone else. However, I’ll be living with two other cast members and will be taking a class, so hopefully I’ll still be able to make friends that way.

      13 comments:

      1. I plan on living off site for my college program. I've done it twice before and I loved cp housing. But this time I plan on staying in Florida because I've graduated with my degree and I want to stay with Disney. Some of my friends are moving to a 3 bedroom and wanted to know if I wanted to live in the third bedroom. Did you find that it was harder to make friends?

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        1. Hi Melissa,

          It turned out great! My roommate and I are great friends and I hung out with other people in my program a lot. As long as you're willing to make an effort, it's easy to make friends. Hope you have a great program!

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      2. Hey :)
        I'm so glad I found this post. I'm still waiting to hear back from the program to see if I got accepted for Spring 2016 but I was under the impression that if I lived off-site I wouldn't be able to afford the rent on dcp pay. So you're able to afford your apartment pretty comfortably with your dcp paychecks then?

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        1. Yes, my apartment actually cost less than the DCP housing. You just have to actually remember to pay your rent and bills since it's not taken out automatically. Good luck with your application process!

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        2. Oh wow, didn't expect that and of course! I've been paying rent for 3 years now so that's not a problem lol. Thank you

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        3. Yeah I just know for some people, their DCP is their first time living on their own. Like anywhere, prices depend on location and amenities. But if you have your own transportation, I think off-site housing is a better value.

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      3. I am in the process of accepting and am looking at the fees I have to pay to accept and the $200 housing deposit is included. Can I still opt out after I pay this and receive a refund?

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        1. I'm not sure if you did the Fall Program or not, I am now registered for the Spring 2017 Program and was confused about the off-site living option. I e-mailed Disney Housing and this is the response I got: "Approximately twenty days prior to your scheduled arrival you will receive an e-mail directing you to log in and register for DORMS (the College Program Housing system). At that time you will be able to "opt out" of housing by entering your off-site address information. You will still be required to check-in on your arrival date in order to obtain your "Own Housing" ID card and turn in your off-site housing codes of conduct form. Please note that the $200 Housing and Administration portion of you Program Assessment Fee will be refunded after you have successfully completed the first 30 days of work. This amount will be reimbursed to the credit card which was used to submit the Program Assessment Fee payment. If you have any additional questions or concerns please let us know - we are happy to assist. We look forward to meeting you soon." I hope this can help others out as much as it did me!

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        2. Yes, that was my experience as well. It was easy on DORMS to opt out of the housing and the fee was refunded back to my card.

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      5. Hi! So I was wondering since they make you pay both the $598 housing and administration fee as well as the $200 security deposit upfront at the time of accepting the offer, will both fees be refunded after you choose to opt-out?

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        1. Yes, once I opted out on DORMS, the fees were refunded back to my card. This was a few years ago so I'm not sure if they still do it the same way.

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      6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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