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.

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 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.



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