Thursday, October 1, 2009

WDWCP Basics: Living

Participating in the Walt Disney World College Program (WDWCP or CP) provides you with the most amazing opportunity to work for the number one entertainment and hospitality company in the world. You will meet incredible people from all over the globe, learn valuable skills and lessons, make life long friends, and be a part of the wonderful show that brings magic to the world every day. The WDWCP is a semester (or semester + summer) long internship at the Walt Disney World Resort designed for college students to give them the opportunity for an experience of a lifetime. Once accepted into the program, you'll trade your dorm room for a provided apartment in sunny Florida (LIVING); you'll have the chance to take classes at Disney University to receive credit from your school or to just learn more about the Disney company (LEARNING); you'll replace your coffee shop weekend job with a career starter in The Most Magical Place on Earth (EARNING).

Disney simplifies the program components into three sections, so I will too. The first?

After being accepted into the CP, you will leave your school, state, and possibly country,  for an entire semester, and move to Lake Buena Vista, Florida where the Walt Disney World Resort lives. During your time at Disney on the CP, you will be provided with housing in apartment complexes on Disney property. These apartments are only occupied with other students on the College Program or International Program.

A set amount is taken out of your paycheck automatically every week before you receive it. This amount covers apartment expenses such as rent, utilities, cable, internet, and bus transportation (to work, Wal-mart, the mall, and other area shopping destinations, should you not bring your car).This amount will depend on the complex and size of apartment that you live in while on the program. It ranges generally from $75-100 per week. While that may originally sound like a lot, especially if you have a lot of roommates, it truly evens out once you consider all that it covers (above).

You will be assigned to an apartment complex during Check-In when you arrive for your program. You can request a certain complex, apartment size, or floor and Disney will try to accommodate you, but nothing is guaranteed and its pretty much first-come, first-served.

You can also request to live with certain friends you have made during your application process. Again, Disney will try to make it happen but nothing is guaranteed. In both cases concerning requests, it is best if you get to Check-In as early as you can. If you're trying to get certain roommates, you must all be in line for Check-In together.

Requirements for living with roommates:
  1. You must all be the same gender
  2. You must all have the same arrival/departure dates
  3. You must all be either Wellness or Non-wellness
    - Wellness is a term used to describe an alcohol free environment. If you are under 21, you must live in a Wellness apartment. If alcohol is found in your Wellness apartment, you (and possibly your roommates) will be terminated from the program. No questions asked. Please be mindful of this because this is the number one reason people are asked to leave the program. If you are 21, you may choose to live in a Wellness apartment but despite your age, if there is alcohol in the apartment, you will be terminated.
     - Non-wellness is an apartment where you are allowed to have alcohol. You must be 21 to live in a Non-wellness apartment.
Roommate Notification: You can choose one roommate before you arrive that are you guaranteed to live with. They have to have the same basic information as you (above) and you have to know their application number. If this is something you want to do, you fill out the Roommate Notification form when you accept your offer to work in the CP. You can also fill out the Roommate Notification form to be randomly matched with a roommate before you arrive so you can talk online/over the phone and get to know each other. If you don't fill out this form, you'll be randomly assigned roommates at Check-In, although most of the time it's people you are in line with, if they have the same basic information as you, so don't be shy in line!

No matter how many rooms your apartment has, there will always be two (2) students per bedroom. So, here's a list for ya.

One bedroom = you + 1 other person
Two bedroom = you + 3 other people
Three bedroom = you + 5 other people
Four bedroom = you + 7 other people

(SEVEN PEOPLE?!?! I know, its crazy. But its also a chance to meet more people who could end up being your life long friends!)

Also, a thing to note: Working at Disney World in any role could come with crazy hours. Chances are, you will rarely be in your apartment with every one of your roommates after the first few days on the program, except at night to sleep.

Great ways to find potential roommates before you start your program?
- YouTube Vlogs. Search WDWCP or Spring 2010 (whatever your program season is).
- There is always a Facebook group. Find yours and tell a few things about yourself on the discussion board!
- Speaking of discussion board, my favorite place to go for anything Disney: The DISboards
- AIM chatrooms (what? people still use AIM? Yes Sir'ee Bob!! Tons of CPers (college program-ers, haha) use the AIM chatrooms and its the best place to really see peoples' personalities and interests. The chatroom for Spring 2010 is, well, wdwcpspring2010. Easy enough! You can usually find the chatroom name somewhere in the Facebook group.

Up next: Learning

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