Okay, sooo much has happened in the last day. haha.
Firstly - Check-In:
My roommates and I met up at Vista Way at 7:20 am. There were about 20 kids already there and we had to stand under the awning of the security tent at the apartment gate until 8:00. Between 7:20 and 8:00, I would say 20 or 30 more people showed up, so I wouldn't get there as early as 7:20. I would say 7:50. At 8:00, they walked us into the complex. The line forms at the Check-In building, so as long as you are in the group they walk in, and you walk quickly, you can be first in line without being first to show up at the crack of dawn. The website says Check-In starts at 9:00 but it definitely starts at 8:00.
When we got to the Check-In building, they wrote our names on a nametag and gave us a purple booklet and some forms to fill out. You curl around the outside of the que until you get to some tables where you can fill it all out. After you fill it out, you go inside the building where you get your apartment assignment, your apartment keys, and take your apartment ID picture/get your card.
Our 6th roommate had to cancel her CP last minute so we had 5 girls (We'll miss you Damaris!!). Assuming we would be placed with a random 6th roommate, we went ahead through the check-in process until we were stopped. The guy directing people to each assignment station told us that a randomly placed 6th girl would feel too awkward since we already "know each other" and therefor we would either have to find a 6th girl on our own or split up before he would let us get our apartment assignments. SO, we went outside and literally asked every single girl who walked through the door if she a) had a roommate and b) was over 21. There was ONE. An hour and a half later. It was the WORST! But her name is Tonisha and she's super chill and I think we really lucked out in finding her. This same exact thing happened to some friends of mine a bit later and they decided to split up. So, from what I remember I've always read that if you get to check-in early and you're all in line together that you'll be pretty much placed together no problem. That is no longer the case. I would still show up early and stand in line together and hope for the best, but I think people were lucky if they ended up with suitemates they wanted in addition to their roommate.
Also another note, if you have a car you'll need your license, your insurance with YOUR name on the paper, and your registration. A bunch of people didn't have their registration so don't forget it.
The final little station at Check-In is to get stickers and directions for the next two days. You have a trip to casting and a housing meeting set up at specific times and you have to take a specific bus all together that leave from the Chatham and Vista Way bus stops at your designated time.
The trip to casting is where you find out your work location, turn in your on-boarding paper work, sign forms for your background check, get fingerprinted, receive a TON of papers, and get your training schedule. This whole process is a giant maze through the building and it takes from an hour to two hours. I would bet on two hours just in case.
The housing event was split into two groups. Some people went yesterday in the afternoon and some people are going this morning. The housing meeting was held at the Commons which is down the street from Patterson and Chatham. Its walking distance but plan a good 10 or 15 minutes to get there. The meeting is really a presentation/slideshow and it takes an hour and a half or so.
After the housing meeting, we had a roommate meeting between the girls that I live with to decide what groceries are communal, who cleans what when, etc. I got a flat tire so I missed the meeting, haha, but I was filled in.
After that, I went to Robert and Ryan's apartment for a few minutes and then they took me out to Epcot and bought me dinner. It was so very sweet and I had such a great time. I saw Illuminations, the nighttime fireworks/water/laser/fire show, and it was SO impressive. Ryan cried 3 times while we were there, haha. I said "ooh look!" about 30 times and each time they were like "we know, Marina, we've seen it.... but isn't it AWESOME?!". hahah. We met up with Stefi to watch Illuminations and she was very nice <3. After we left Epcot, we went back to their apartment and talked and chilled and it was the best ending to such a stressful day.
Take home point: Check-In day is BUSY, especially if your casting trip and housing meeting are in the same day. It will be stressful, just keep breathing and remember how excited you are, not how stressed you are. Its all in what you make it.
Both of my things were yesterday so aside from taking my family to the airport in hour, I have a free day today! Lauren, Robert, Ryan, Stefi, and myself are going to drive around Celebration for a while. I think we're going to stop in a pub/grill thing and watch part of the Texas - Bama game, then go to MK to watch Wishes, which I've also never seen before. <3 <3 <3
SO excited. Everything is beautiful here and so much fun. I can't wait for the rest of you to get here. To those at home - I miss you so terribly and I hope you visit soon!