My Disney Journey

This blog was a journey of my application to Walt Disney World's Cultural Representative Program, from sorting out my CV through all the interviews to a year of having a mouse for a boss! Now, watch as I try to get back to my second home.

All Packed Up October 31, 2010

I have too much stuff. And my case(s) aren’t big enough.

Having tried to get everything into one case… and failing monumentally… I’ve decided that I’ll be taking both my suitcases to Florida with me. This does mean that my hand luggage will be a smaller bag, which is quite nice too.

In other news, the UK clocks went back last night, so for this week only, the UK is only 4 hours ahead of Florida!!! And I’ll get another extra hour next weekend! Oooh, aren’t I greedy. 😛

I also found out yesterday (much to my dismay), that my phone won’t work in America. Silly dual-band phone. So for anyone who wants to at least know that my plane has landed, and not crashed… I’m flying with Virgin, on VS0015.

I’ve no idea if I’m ready, or if I have everything. Final checks will happen on Monday… I just hope I’m good to go!

Only 50 hours until my plane takes off! Eeeek.

 

Visa Interview – Back to London! October 25, 2010

I have officially decided I hate public transport.
The only way for me to get to London, and have time to sort myself out, before 9am (oh, and not pay about £100) was to catch a bus at 4am!!! This meant leaving home at about 3:15am. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep very much.

Anyways, my visa interview was actually pretty easy. It went quicker than I was expecting, and the Embassy is an amazing building, even if they do have armed guards and massive gates and loads of security.

So, I went in for 9am, went through the security building (pretty much like at an airport) and walked round to the visa entrance. There I had to wait for the receptionist to fix her printer! (It turned out she had to turn it off and on again, and that it’d been doing that for a couple of days – oh the joy of technology) So she checked me in and gave me a number, rather like when you go to a big post office. I waited a little while, then got called to a window in the main room, where I handed over all my paperwork and my passport, and they took my finger prints. Then I had to wait a little while longer, until I eventually got called to a window around the corner. There I had my visa interview. The questions were kinda silly really, more like a chat than anything else.

So you’re going to work for Disney?
What will you be doing over there?
What experience do you have for this?
And you’re the real deal, right? Born and bred British?

Very simple, but I guess the Q1 visa is an easy one to get. It’s basically to prove why I can do that job over an American… simple answer: Because I’m English!

After that, I went back out to the main hall, paid the courier people some money and was on my way out again. The Embassy had my passport, and I was due to get it back (with visa) in 3-5 days! I was all done by just after 10am. Considering I was expecting it to take up to 3 hours, I was very happy with a 1 hour wait.

So after that, I went wandering around London, eventually making my way to Hamleys (just because it’s awesome!) and waiting for my dad to arrive on his Harley 😀 We rode back to my parents place, where I spent an awesome couple of days before heading back to Bristol Friday evening.

All in all, a very simple process!

 

Congratulations! October 15, 2010

A quick post (now that I can talk to the world again!) to just say a HUGE congratulations to everyone who was at the interviews on Nov 1st and 2nd. I haven’t heard of any rejections yet, so you’re all amazing! And I will see you all in Walt Disney World!!! 😀

 

Change is for the good! October 13, 2010

This post is coming to you from the past… I’m writing it before I can post it for various reasons. The first and foremost being that I’m not allowed to tell anyone the following:

So, having had my interview on the 1st, I came home and got on with things. So, whilst enjoying life (knowing that I wouldn’t get any news for a few weeks), I suddenly got a phone call Thursday evening. A phone call is a phone call, you’re thinking… but no! This wasn’t just any phone call, it was a call from Nick. Nick of yummy jobs! Nick, asking me if I wanted to fly out to Florida on November 2nd!!!!

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

My heart was beating so fast, and my friend (who was visiting) had to remind me to breathe! Nick said that I couldn’t tell anyone though (meaning the other applicants), hence why I can’t publish this post yet.

So anyway, it’s now the following Wednesday, and I’ve calmed down a LOT and processed everything a lot more. I’ve already booked my flight and sorted out my 4 months of Medical insurance. I’ve paid for my CRB check and sent that back to Yummy. I just hope I’ve filled it in correctly so that it can sorted sooner rather than later. They usually take 12 weeks to process, and I only have 3 after all!

I still need to book my visa appointment, which I can’t do yet as I don’t have my petition number. I also need to pay the program house assessment fee, which again I can’t do as I don’t have my applicant number! I’ve done everything I can do so far, and now I’m just waiting on other things before I can do anything else!

So, mainly, I’m just waiting on the other applicants to hear if they have places, so I can tell them my good news! Annoying thing is, Yummy have all been out of the office, in Switzerland, until today or tomorrow. So results won’t be out until tomorrow or Friday at the latest! I just want to tell them, and publish this post, and shout on my facebook. But I can’t :(

So for now, I bid you adieu, from the past. And fingers crossed I can publish this post sooner rather than later!

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust for the rest of the applicants!
Vikki
x

 

And so the wait begins October 2, 2010

Well, I’ve been back from London a few days, and I’m rather tired from the whole thing (and from a busy week!), but it was well worth it.

My boyfriend and I caught a train Thursday evening, arrived in London, checked into our hotel and proceeded to relax. I was rather nervous, which was to be expected, but I somehow got to sleep. Woke up, Friday morning, at 7:30am, went off to have breakfast, then came back to get ready.

I’d bought a lovely new skirt and jacket set for the interview, which along with a white blouse, black court shoes, skin-coloured tights and the barest hint of make up, made me look very professional. I plaited my hair to keep it out the way, not that it helped much – London was very windy on Friday, so I still went uber-frizzy!!! Anyway, once I was all smartened up, we headed down to the Costa to meet up with some other guys from the WDWIP forums. I’m so glad that I did, it would’ve been *Really* nerve-wracking to have had to go into the Disney HQ on my own.

The rest of the morning was pretty simple. Once inside Disney HQ, all interviewees had to sign in and get a vistors badge, then head upstairs to sign in with Hannah from yummy jobs (who is lovely, if rather excitable!). Then we waited around for a while, chatting a bit, generally sat just being nervous. Eventually, we were lead into a mini-cinema. Probably had around about 80 or so seats in there. There were only 60 applicants though, we didn’t fill the place. Then the presentation started. There was a video with a whole load of interviews about various aspects of all the different programs that Disney run, with a load of cast members all saying how amazing it is, sometimes for reasons that won’t apply to the CRP at all! Then Jill (the recruiter from Florida) appeared and started telling us a load of stuff (most of which I already knew), interspersed by the lovely Valerie showing us round Epcot in another video. Valerie is WAY too excited for words, she’s just a typical crazy over-the-top american.

During the presentation I felt so tiny though. Jill asked who had been to WDW, and almost everyone put their hand up. I’ve never actually been to anywhere in America, so every time bits of the Valerie video were shown, Jill was like “This is all memories to you guys” and “You know what the costumes are like, you’ve seen them all”. I was just sat there thinking “not me, I’ve never seen this, I don’t have those memories yet” and it made me feel oh so tiny, and oh so nervous. I’m glad I had the other girls from WDWIP to chat with after the presentation. I’m not quite sure how I would’ve coped if I hadn’t. They helped me realise that it makes no difference how I felt during the presentation, and that I still want to be doing this.

So anyway, after the presentation a few of us went back to Costa to sit and feel nervous. We all had our interview times (mine was 3:40), and people slowly peeled off as their time came past. Amy had hers at 5:40 though – last of the day, so I knew I’d have someone to wait with. Jon (my boyfriend) came and met up with us for lunch, and then afterwards it was time to head back to Disney HQ! I sat downstairs in the foyer with some other applicants, got chatting to a few of them. They were really nice, and I so hope they get positions too, they seem to really deserve it.

Eventually we were taken upstairs, asked what times we were scheduled for, then lead into the offices of WDW HQ!!! The offices are just amazing, pictures and figurines of Disney characters all over the place. Even the pillars had paintings of things, like Cinderella’s castle, and stuff! So we were taken into what was basically a conference room, where people were already waiting to be called in for their interviews. Jason (from Yummy Jobs) went through all our paperwork, checked we had everything, and asked about availability. Pretty much all of us said ASAP and Jason joked about that being two weeks. The guys next to me said “I’ll go tomorrow if I could” and I piped in with “As long as it takes to get the Visa, really!”. We all giggled a little bit, and Jason carried on.

People came back from interviews, and other people went in, in pairs. Alternating between Jill and Hollis. Due to the order in which Jason had piled our paperwork, I worked out I’d be interviewed by Hollis, and by a girl called Laura. Laura works at the Disney Store in Liverpool (I felt like pretty much everyone in the waiting room worked at a Disney Store at some location or other!!). Anyway, the girls who were with Hollis eventually came back, and Hollis came into the room and asked for next pair. Jason introduced me and Laura, and we went around the corner to a little office for the interview.

Hollis was so nice, and very American (in a good way, I might add). She asked us what we thought of the building, she said that she really liked it too, shame about the bad weather etc etc. Pretty much all stuff to get us to relax, I guess. Then it went to the questions. Laura answered first, I was feeling polite (and nervous!) and it felt like she wanted to leap straight in anyway. There were four basic questions, although each one was embellished so that Hollis could get details from us and stuff.

*Why do you want to work for Disney/take this program?
*Tell me about where you’re from.
*Tell me about your job, what do you do, what roles do you have?
*How would you cope living in close proximity with people from all over the world?

I think I answered quite well. They weren’t the questions I was prepared for (I expected them to be a LOT harder) so I think I actually managed to answer a lot more naturally and honestly than if I’d prepared more. I still came out shaking though… the drop from all the nervous adrenaline, I guess.

So, having done the hard part, Jon came to meet me again, and we went back to hotel so I could flop for a little bit and get changed before heading to Pizza Express to meet a load of people off WDWIP.com. A couple of the girls weren’t sure where it was, so we met them outside Disney HQ, and headed off. We were a little early, and then everyone who was coming from the Southbank (all the people with interviews on the 2nd) were *really* late!!! The Pizza Express manager was rather grumpy and got annoyed with me because he was having to turn away customers! It’s not my fault it was a small restaurant, and I did let him have a few of our tables back when it turned out we weren’t going to fill them! (I had overbooked, just in case).

Pizza Express was great fun though, a really good chance to wind down after a stressful day, and meet all the other applicants in a better setting. The guys with their interviews on the 2nd were just as lovely as everyone I’d met on the first, and I think they were grateful to know how nice the recruiters were.

So yea, that was pretty much my weekend. In short: It was scary, fun, not as tricky as I thought, and well worth it. Especially meeting so many other lovely people. Now I just have to wait until the results come out! They said three weeks, although yummyjobs have a habit of giving longer deadlines and getting results out early. So we shall see!!!

Fingers crossed for everyone.
Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust.

Vikki.