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.

Back in January I shared with you several of my favorite online Disney-related stores. Since I’ve been in Disney World the past few months I’ve found even more Disney related shops that I had to share with you. Just remember, these shops are in no way affiliated with Disney, they are simply fellow Disney lovers and Disney nerds hoping to spread their own bit of magic. I hope you enjoy this follow up post and check out all of these lovely shop owners.

Ears By Lauren

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I am in love with homemade mouse ears. I simply can’t get enough of them. And when I came across Lauren’s ears I was way too excited for words. I think that Lauren definitely puts her own spin on what is considered a “classic” look for mouse ears because hers just seem so peppy and full of life. I can never get over her gorgeous designs and basically am constantly checking her Instagram page for the latest updates on her store. Her shop isn’t always open, so you have to be sure that you check out her Etsy page to know when the next opening will be. I may or may not track her openings in my planner and set a phone notification, but that’s just me.

Fett and Co

I love having fun Disney clothes to wear in the parks and Fett and Co offers just that. I love their ‘Take Me to Disney and Tell Me I’m Pretty’ t-shirt and I can’t get over their ‘Books, Beauty, Adventure, and a Rose’ t-shirt to name a few. I also love their Instagram feed. Not only do they show their appreciation for customers who wear their gear, but they also share the love for other shops too. And who can’t appreciate that with a business?

Walt’s Wardrobe

From ‘Citizen of Netherland’ t-shirts and sweatshirts to ‘Dapper Dans’ tees, this shop has all kinds of fun and unique merchandise. I love that their shirts don’t completely scream Disney with a ton of mouse ears everywhere, but any Disney fan would know you are spreading the love for the most magical place on earth. And if you want to throw in some subtle Mickey Ears, check out their ‘Disney Vibes Only’ t-shirt. It’s one of my personal favorites along with their Paradise Falls tee and ‘Red Hot Churro Sticks’ shirt.

Anthology Candles

Before leaving for the college program I had no idea that there were Disney themed candles. As someone who always seems to relate scents to different times of my life, I definitely hope to order several of these candles to be waiting on my door step when I arrive home in Missouri. Personally I’ve been eyeing ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’, ‘Churros’, ‘Main Street Bakery’, ‘Pineapple Whip’, and the ‘Confectionary’. Personally, I absolutely love their Instagram because they take the candles to the parks and take pictures of the candles in front of a backdrop that makes sense with the candle scent. Definitely be sure to check it out.

The Bucket List Narratives

This shop is where I got my ‘Forget this, I’m Moving to Disney World’ v-neck that I wore before heading out for my program. This shop offers all kinds of unique tees to sport in the parks. I love their ‘I Heart Mickey Icrecream’ sweatshirt, their ‘The World’ sweatshirt, and the ‘It’s Kinda Fun to Do the Impossible’ crew neck. If you check out the shop, also be sure to check out their awesome blog. They have tips for the best cheap eats, the best tips for first time trips to WDW, and even the top five attractions at WDW. Have I said you absolutely have to check them out yet?

She Makes Glamour

When I found She Makes Glamour, I couldn’t get over her attention to detail and all of the things she incorporates in what seems to be a tiny bow. Personally I love her rag doll, ultimate wizard boy, and every bow in the monsters and fish bows set. And how in the world did I forget the snow booger bow. Literally, if I could only buy one bow from her it would be the snow booger one, it’s just too cute. You have to check her out! I promise it’s worth it.

Have you ever shopped from any of these shops? What are some of your favorites of theirs? Are there any shops you would add to this list of favorite Disney related shops? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Whether you are driving or flying to get to Disney for your program, you have a lot of stuff to fit into a small space. I’ve only ever moved three hours away from home for college, never across the country. To say the least, it was a bit intimidating to narrow my stud down for what I needed to have. So once I got settled in I started writing this list. I included what I packed, what I wish I had packed, and what I wish the other blogs would have included. Remember, this list is what it personalized to me. Feel free to print this off and make your own edits to it as needed.

Clothing

-Tank tops (typically people learn more towards sleeveless top rather than spaghetti straps, but it’s up to you)

-T-shirts

-Shorts

-Jeans

-Athletic shorts

-Bras

-Underwear

-Undershirts

-Socks

-Dress for graduation

-Sun dresses for nice dinners

-PJs

-Comfy clothes (sweatpants, sweatshirts, etc.)

-Rain jacket

-Rain boots

-Professional, business casual outfits for Traditions and Casting (think dress pants, blazer, blouse, button-up, nice shoes, and accessories)

-Swimsuit

-Cover up

-Flip flops

-Athletic shoes

-Sandals

Bedroom

-Alarm clock (this is first on the list because I almost forgot mine and I don’t wake up with a phone alarm)

-Mattress protector

-Sheet set

-Pillow

-Pillow case

-Comforter/duvet/quilt

-Extra blankets (if you are like me and always cold this is a must!)

-Stuffed animals/pillow pet/lovie

-Laundry hamper

-Fan (a must if you need white noise to sleep)

-Hanging closet organizers

-Plastic 3 drawer organizers

-Under the bed storage containers

-Decorations for walls/bulletin board

-3M Command Hooks (currently what is allowed to hang things in housing)

Personal Items

-Razor and shaving cream

-Extra razor heads

-Shampoo and conditioner

-Body wash

-Face wash

-Body lotion

-Moisturizer/eye cream/toner/make-up remover

-Tooth brush/toothpaste/floss/mouth wash

-Hair brush/hair ties/headbands/bobby pins

-Make-up bag

-Band-Aids

-Ibuprofen/cold medicine/cough drops

-Any prescribed medicine/inhalers/etc.

Bathroom

-Hand towels/washcloths/ bath towels/beach towels

-Hand soap

-Shower caddy

-Plunger

-Toilet brush

-Bathroom cleaners

Living Room

-Extra blankets (yes, this has been on this list twice, but it’s important)

-Throw pillows

-HDMI Cable

-Comcast

-Cable and Wi-Fi hook-ups

-Cleaning supplies (disinfecting wipes, Windex, Pledge, cleaning cloths, etc.)

-DVD player with DVD’s

Kitchen

-Dishwashing detergent

-Laundry detergent and stain remover

-Coffee maker/coffee mugs/travel mugs

-Water bottles

-Pizza cutter

-Ice cream scoop

-Can opener

-Toaster

-Blender

-Blender bottle

-Baking sheet/baking pans/muffin tray

-Mixing spoons

-Basic knife set

Other

-Phone charger

-Backpack

-Headphones

-Computer with charger

-iPad with charger

-Point-and-shoot camera/DSLR camera with chargers and memory cards

What do you think are essentials for the college program? Did I miss any essentials for the list? I’d love to hear your comments below!