As a blogger and vlogger myself it’s always been important to me to show appreciation to others in my community. At the moment I’m in Orlando participating in the Disney College Program, which introduced me to a completely new niche of bloggers and vloggers. Today I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my personal favorites. Please remember, these are in no particular order and I chose people no matter when their program was or if they’ve done the program. If they love Disney then they are eligible for this list. With that, let the favorites begin!

Cally Bloxam

Cally is one of the first people that I stumbled upon when I started looking into pursuing the Disney College Program. I knew that I wanted to do the program, but I wanted to hear about the program from someone who had done it. When I came across Cally I came across someone who has a true love and passion for Disney, which was something that I definitely needed to see. I watched her room tour, her DCP haul, her pin collection, her letter to her pre-DCP self, all of it. I fell in love with the idea of the program and doing the program because of Cally essentially. And I have to thank her forever for opening me up to one of the best decisions of my life. Plus, I copied her awesome autograph book idea, so there’s that.

Sarah Bellin

Sarah is one of my personal favorite DCP vloggers. I love her friendship with her former roommate Annie, I love her bubbly personality, and I love how she basically took the DCP opportunity by the horns and used every moment to her advantage. I found her channel through searching for DCP hauls and I’ve been in love with it ever since. I basically used her videos as hype videos before I left for my program. I seriously have my fingers crossed that I have the opportunity to meet Cally and Sarah during my program. As weird as it might sound, I have so much to thank them both for because they gave me the motivation to pursue the craziness that is the DCP.

Tales from the Tower

If you want informational videos about the ins and outs of the DCP, Jessica is your girl. Everything from move-in day tips to advice for surviving DCP housing, Tales from the Tower is the place to go. I found Jessica and her channel because I stumbled upon her DCP memory box video and cried my way through the whole thing. In fact, once I was accepted to the program I went back to her video and made notes on what I want to keep for my DCP memory box. I watched her videos all the way up until I left for my program and still watch them now on the program when I get the chance.

This DCP Girl

I stumbled upon the This DCP Girl through the DCP Spring 2017 Facebook page. Sarah shared the blog posts she had written from her experience during her previous program on the page for us newbies to share. Let’s just say, I was insanely grateful for her. She shared lots of tips on navigating Disney housing, the application process, and the craziness that is working for the Disney company. I’m insanely grateful to say that she’s become a dear blogging friend of mine through sharing potential blog post ideas with her and even being an admin alongside her on the DCP Bloggers Facebook page. I’m forever grateful and amazed by the amazing friendships that blogging has brought me.

Disney at Heart

Jared and Britt are two amazing Disney YouTubers that make me fall in love with Disney more every time I watch them. In fact, I kind of point my finger at Britt for getting me obsessed with Dole Whip, popcorn, and straw, strawberry, strawberry shortcake! I can’t help but have a smile on my face when I face them because they exude genuine happiness. I love their Disney hauls and Disney vlogs, but if I’m being honest they could review just about anything and I’d be watching because I have a slight obsession. In fact, I even told a few friends the other day that if I spot Jared and Britt in Disney I’m going to be way to excited to hopefully talk to them.

Oh Yeah Disney

Scott and Emily are another one of my favorite Disney couples. I love their vlogs that allow you to follow them through the parks and how they share their favorite camera equipment for their amazing photos and videos. I always look forward to their new videos and even seeing what stuffed animals Emily picks out for helping out with videos. If you check out their YouTube channel, you also need to check out their Instagram accounts as well. Their photos are always absolutely gorgeous.

Everything Disney Pins

As much shame as I feel in saying this, I used to laugh at pin trading. I thought it was silly and not worth the money. But those thoughts changed when I came across the Donoho sisters and that opinion completely changed. I saw their love of pins, collecting, and sharing the joy of pins with others and instantly I was hooked. In fact, because I them I hope to choose a series and attempt to trade to get each pin in the set. Along with their Everything Disney Pins channel they also have With the Donohos and Everything Disney Shopping. I honestly am subscribed to and watch each and every video. Nine times out of ten I probably fall asleep to their voices after a long day at work. And to spread the pin joy, check out their online pin store. It’s super organized and has some amazing pins.

Maias DCP

Maia’s DCP channel is another channel that I stumbled upon when researching the DCP. I loved that she shared so many steps of the process from finding roommates, pre-DCP haul, packing, and check in day. She even did Vlogmas while on the program, which is a huge task to complete during the DCP. Currently she posts videos that are Disney related, such as unboxing Disney Legos and sharing information about her online store. I personally own her “Once a Cast Member, always a cast member” t-shirt and I have my fingers crossed that she will add more designs as well.

Do you watch any of these YouTuber’s videos or read any of these blogs? If not, which ones would you recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

In typical fashion I’m back this semester with a day in my life post. It’s basically become a tradition for me to sit down and write these out mainly so that after graduation I can come back and see what a crazy day in my life was like. In case you didn’t know I’m currently taking a semester off of school to participate in the Disney College Program and it’s definitely one of the craziest, most stressful, and fun things I’ve ever done. And while in all honesty I don’t actually have a “typical” schedule, most days go something along the lines of what I wrote below. Let’s be honest through-my alarm is either going off at 4am or I’m going to bed at 4am after getting off of a 3:15am shift. So here’s a ‘typical’ day in my life. Enjoy!

5am: My alarm goes off and it’s time to get up and get my day started. As I stated above, there really is no in between for me. I’m either up at 4 or 5 am or going to bed at 4 or 5 am. Good bye to any kind of sleep schedule.

6am: Drive to work! Yes, I head out a full hour before my shift starts to make sure I get there on time. There are many instances where there is a car wreck right outside of the park and it adds quite a bit of time to my commute, so always thinking ahead so I don’t get that half point.

6:35am: If my drive to work goes smoothly I’m at work by now. During this time I put my stuff in my locker, grab a Tell-A-Cast, and head to clock in.

6:45am: We can clock in 15 minutes before our shift is scheduled to start, so I typically always am early to clock in. Normally several of my co-workers are there as well so we spend this time chatting about how we hope the day will go and if there are any upcoming events we need to be aware of.

7am: My shift begins! Typically the first few hours after park open are very slow so I spend a lot of time standing in the door way waving at guests. People that do come into the shops are typically just browsing to pass time before a reservation or FastPass.

3:45pm: After a long day of making magic, my day is over! I clock out, grab my stuff from my locker, and head to my car.

4:15pm: Home from work, grab a quick snack, change, and tell my roommates I’m headed to the store so we can pick up our groceries.

4:30pm: Head out to get groceries! I always stop at Trader Joe’s even if it is just to pick up peach salsa and then we head to Wal-Mart to get the rest of our necessities.

5:30pm: By this time we all decide that we are hungry and head to Chick-Fil-A because it’s our favorite and where else would we go?

6:30pm: This particular day we decided to go to Disney Springs to browse Sephora because of the VIB sale. Disney Springs is seriously so dangerous for my wallet!

8pm: Finally back at the apartment. Now I shower, eat a snack, and settle into bed with Netflix or YouTube before falling asleep. So exciting, I know.

How does your schedule currently look? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

 

Last week I mentioned that I would be doing a Q&A and was very excited by the number of questions you all e-mailed me! If you don’t see your question answered in this post, just know that it is because I decided to turn that question into its own post because I felt it was best to go more in-depth for my answer. Today I will be answering all of your questions (that I’m able to that is) relating to applying, interviewing, moving, and being a part of the program.

How many times did you apply to do the program?

I heard about the program right after applications for the Fall 2016 program had closed, so I definitely stumbled into it. I was very lucky and only applied once for the program.

How did you find your roommates?

The Facebook page! While I never posted a roommate survey of my own on the page, I did take the time to read through other surveys of those who were accepted and comment on them. I ended up meeting three girls that way, two of which ended up having different arrival dates, and one of which is currently one of my eight roommates now. I definitely suggest using the page to find roommates, it’s how I found all eight of mine.

Do you recommend saving money before the program starts?

Hands down, yes! I definitely recommend saving money before the program starts so you can cover program fees, the cost of purchasing things when you get down here, and buying souvenirs during the major cast discount. I definitely had saved a lot more money before my program than the majority of my fellow cast members did, but I was bound and determined to buy my stuff during the holiday discount.

As a merchandise cast member, how many hours do you work a week?

As a merchandise cast member I range between 35-50 hours a week. 35 hours is definitely at the lower point of the number of hours I work, I typically get 43-45 a week.

After rent has been taken out of your paycheck, do you still have enough money left over for fun?

Yes! After rent is taken out I definitely still have plenty of money left over to allow some fun. I definitely have to budget to make sure I can cover groceries, gas, and putting money back for the upcoming school year, but I always have at least $70 left over for some fun. Doesn’t sound like much, but it does cover pizza, ice cream, park food, and something from the gift shop if I’m careful with how I spend.

Would you recommend merchandise to others?

Hands down, yes! I would definitely recommend doing merchandise to others looking to do the program! Yes there are rough days, yes there are days that you want to yell at a guest that while this is the most magical place on earth there are still rules, it’s something that I would always recommend to others.

Will you be continuing your DCP posts after the program ends?

Yes! The posts will continue for a while after the program ends because there is a lot that I want to cover. I currently have DCP posts planned through December of this year, with definitely the possibility of adding more to the list.

Any questions that you want answered in a future blog post? Any DCP posts that you want to see in the future? I’d love your in put in the comments below!

As many of you know, I’ve taken a semester off of college and am currently participating in the Disney College Program. But I’ve gotten several tweets and e-mails asking for a bit of a life update and some more details on what exactly it is that I’m doing while I’m down here. So, I took that into consideration and am sharing this post with you all today and I also have a Q&A post coming up

Fantasyland Merchandise

In case you didn’t know, I work in Fantasyland Merchandise. I don’t think that my princess loving heart could have gotten a better role! Since I’m in Fantasyland it means that I do rotate between the shops within the land, so you can find me in Sir Mickey’s, Castle Couture, Hundred Acre Goods, Fantasy Faire, Bonjour, and Enchanted Grove. I get to wear a beautiful purple dress that Rapunzel herself designed and we get special pixie dust from Tinkerbell to give our guests magical moments.

I had never worked merchandise before getting cast in this role, so it was overwhelming for the first two weeks to say the least. It took me that time to realize that the majority of our guests that visit the land are there for the magical moments, so even if the transaction takes a little longer, as long as they walk away with a smile on their face, I feel accomplished. Plus, who can resist striking up a conversation about the new Beauty and the Beast movie when you are wrapping up a Chip mug.

Magical Moments

When I was on the phone the other day with a friend she made the comment that it sounded like I was getting more magic out of the moment than the guest. While I definitely put my all into making magical moments for the guests, I do have to admit that most of the time the moments are just as or even more magical for me. Watching a 4-year-old girl’s eyes light up when I tell her about my special pixie dust from Tinkerbell then excitedly close her eyes and make a wish melts my heart each and every time. I love when the elderly couples tell me their stories about how long Disney has been woven into their life stories, that they were there babies when the Disneyland grand opening was aired on TV, their families excitedly went to the grand opening of Disney World, that they brought their kids to Disney, and now they are passing the magic down to their children. I cry happy tears when a little girl excitedly runs up to me in awe because I look like Rapunzel and am in utter disbelief when guests ask for a picture together because I made a magical moment for them.

Playing in the Parks

What has truly made this program magical is the ability to get into the parks to play for free. I’ve learned that Expedition Everest is still one of my favorite rides nearly ten years later and that Splash Mountain will never get old. I’m more than willing to brave the line for the Frozen ride because it tugs at all of my heart strings and I still jump up and down when I get the privilege of meeting a princess or Mickey and the gang. I’ve done four parks in one day with my roommates and may or may not visit the Poly at least once a week for a Dole Whip twist.

I Never Want to Grow Up

Overall, this program has taught me that you really always are a child at heart. I never want to out grow the excitement of meeting a princess or wearing bows in your hair. I don’t ever want to see Disney Bounding as silly and see myself as too old or too sophisticated to do such a thing. I want to run down the streets of Main Street with the same joy I did when I was 8 and spotted Alice and the Mad Hatter. Whether I make the decision to pursue a professional career with Disney or not, I’ve made the decision that no matter where I work an element or two of Disney will be on my desk to remind to never grow up and to never take myself too seriously. It’s the little things.

Two More Magical Months

My program was originally supposed to end on May 25th, but I found out this week I was accepted into my extension and will now be here until July 27th! I’m so excited to see what the next four months hold and am honored that I was chosen to extend my program because I know it was very competitive. Plus, let’s be honest, now I get to be here for the opening of Pandora and get to see the new fireworks show in Magic Kingdom even more.

Want more magical updates? If you liked this post, please let me know! I’d love to keep updating you all on how my program is going!

The DCP has some fairly strict rules to follow while living on property. While it is manageable, there are some that are stricter than your average dorm that you should be aware of, including inspections. In this post I hope to answer all of your questions about how things work in on property housing. Everything from curfews to hanging things on the wall to even having guests over.

Housing Rules

These are the general rules of the housing complex. Please remember that you should always abide by the rules given to you by Disney. This post just serves to give you an idea of some of the rules.

-3M Hooks are (currently) the only things you should be using to hang things on your wall

-You cannot leave doors or windows open or propped open

-Alcohol is only permitted inside non-wellness apartments and not permitted in wellness apartments

-Quiet hours are from 2am-7am

-Participants can stay at other housing complexes until 2am

-Guests can visit (after being checked-in) until 1am

-No more than 16 people can be in one apartment at once

-No smoking inside apartment

-Illegal drugs and/or drug paraphernalia are prohibited in all apartments

-In the apartments you cannot store weapons, firearms, explosives, paintball guns, BB guns, pocket knives, Tasers, toy weapons, darts/dartboards, martial art equipment, grills, space heaters, candles, and incense. These cannot be stored in the apartments or in cars parked in the complex.

-Bicycles cannot be used or stored in the apartment or cars on property

-Unless you have a medical accommodation form, pets are not allowed on property

-You can store skateboards and rollerblades on property, but they cannot be used on property

Housing Inspections

On my current program, we have monthly inspections. Typically, you are given a one to two week window of time when people could come into your apartment for the inspection. It can happen at any time so always be ready during that time frame. And by any time, I mean I’ve been napping and they’ve come, so be prepared. Thankfully, the people who do inspections are very nice though!

-Beds are made

-Floors are mopped and vacuumed

-Tub, shower, sinks, and toilets are wiped down and clean

-Mirrors are cleaned and free of finger prints, water marks, make-up, etc.

-Countertops, dressers, and nightstands are neat and tidy

-Things such as clothes, books, personal possessions, etc. aren’t piled or covering the floors and instead are neat and orderly.

-Microwave/oven/countertops/stovetops/sink are clean and free of clutter

-Furniture and dining room table are not cluttering with food/trash/dishes etc.

-Apartment is organized, neat, and free of clutter

-Air conditioner vents are clean

The housing guide also specifically states things that typically bring up issues such as:

-Dirty laundry or items piled on the floor.

-Trash not taken out on a daily basis. They take off points for each full trashcan

-Expired perishables left in pantry or on countertops

-Dirty dishes out too long

-Mildew in the bathroom

-Food debris in the oven or on the stovetop

-Burns on the countertops

-Prohibited items such as candles out

If you’ve participated in the program, what would you add to this list? If you are new to the program, what tips on this list are new to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.