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.

FAQ December 23, 2010

This page will be a collection of real-life, personal answers to many of the questions that applicants have before applying, during interview processes, before getting here, and about the program itself. If you have a question that isn’t here… PLEASE comment somewhere on my site, or email me at vikki@mydisneyjourney.co.uk, and I’ll add it, I promise.


More Questions coming soon.


What is the CRP?
The CRP, or Cultural Representative Program, is Walt Disney World Resort’s way of staffing the various cultural pavilions throughout Epcot’s World Showcase. WDW hires people from each country that has a pavilion, so that each pavilion is as culturally accurate (at least in terms of cast members) as it can be.


How long is the CRP?
It’s a 12 month program. You start with a 12 month work visa, with either 4 or 6 weeks travel time on the end. There is sometimes an option to work during these last few weeks istead of travelling, dependant on your management and on Housing. On rare occasions, you can also extend your visa to a maximum of 15 months, which involves the acceptance of management, housing, *and* immigration.


Housing? Does this mean that accommodation is provided? aka. Where do I live?
You would live in Disney Accommodation for the duration of your program. There are 4 housing complexes: Vista Way, The Commons, Chatham Square and Patterson Court. When I was on my program, CRP participants were only allowed to live in The Commons and Patterson Court. I believe this has now changed and CRPs can live in all four complexes, however you still have to live with other CRP participants in your apartment.
Apartments have 1 to 4 bedrooms, with 2 people in each bedroom. All apartments are single gender (sorry – you can’t live with your boyfriend!), however they do like to mix cultures together.


Do I have to pay for the accomodation?
In short: Yes. Rent and bills are taken directly out of your pay cheque each week. This means that whatever is remaining is your to spend as you wish! Rent varies depending on which apartment complex you live in, and how big your apartment is. You do, however, get benefits for working for Disney, such as free entry to all the parks, and discounts at most shops and restaurants.


Where could I be working?
The jobs available depend on which country you’re from, and thus which pavilion you’d work in. All pavilions have Food & Beverage (F&B) roles and Merchandise (Merch) roles, and some also have roles in Attractions. F&B is either Quick Service or Full Service (eg, Chippy and The Rose & Crown Pub in the UK pavilion). Merchandise involves working in shops, selling goods from your country (eg, tea). Attractions involves working on rides, helping guests on and off, speaking to audiences, etc.
You will only work within one of these roles, however each role is varied with itself. In Merch you are not confined to one shop, but change around between all the shops and carts within the pavillion, along with working as a stocker and other similar positions. In F&B you are either tipped or non-tipped. When non-tipped you work in the Quick-Service locations, and often as a seater and greeter for the Full-Service locations. Tipped roles included food running, restaurant service, and bar service. My knowledge of Attractions roles is very slim as the UK does not have Attractions.


So, I have my arrival date… what does this mean?
Your arrival date is the day that you can move into the housing complex. You can fly out on this date, or before this date, but no later than this date. If you fly out beforehand, you must find your own accommodation as you can only move into the Disney housing from midday.


When will I get my Disney info pack, and what does it include?
Your Disney pack should arrive within plenty of time for you to prepare everything. I wouldn’t worry about it not turning up in time (it will!). I can’t really give personal info on this though, as I was given 3 weeks notice of my departure date. As for what’s in it… Your CRB forms, some housing information and some basic info on living with Disney. The most important of these is your CRB forms.


To be continued…

 

4 Responses to “FAQ”

  1. Emily Says:

    When you arrive at the airpot in Florida, are there people from the cultural representative program to pick you up when you arrive or do you have to make your own way to the housing?

    • vlbradly Says:

      No, you have to make your way to Vista yourself. There’s plenty of taxi and shuttle services available… most people use Meers shuttles. :-)

  2. Nina Says:

    Hi thank you for writing this blog, its so useful. I am about to submit my application and am currently looking for any help I can get. I feel like a bit of a stalker after reading loads about you but im sure youre used to it after writing such an extensive blog.
    Just a couple of questions I was wondering if you could help me with. Firstly what was it about the final time you applied that you think made your CV stand out enough. I have quite alot of experience but was just wondering with question about motivation if you had gone for a professional angle or a very “disney” angle.
    And did you find as you were one of the only girls at your interview that hadnt been to WDW that you were at all at a disadvantage? I havent been but never thought it would even come up.
    Lastly it sounds amazing that you ended up going at such short notice, do you know if that happens often or were you just an exception?
    Thanks for a great blog and would really appreciate any words of wisdom. Sounds like youre having an amazing time! x

    • vlbradly Says:

      Hi Nina,

      I’d like to apologise for the delay in replying to your comment, my website has been offline for a number of months, and I’ve only just got it up and running again. As such, I apologise if all of this information is no longer useful to you, and I hope that you are already out in Florida having an amazing time already. However, I’m going to reply anyway, with the hope of helping future applicants! And now… onwards with the reply I started typing before I noticed the date that you commented!

      First of all, I’d like to wish you a massive GOOD LUCK for your application, I’m sure you’ll do great!

      As for your questions, I can happily answer them with regards to my experience, however my initial application was over 3 years ago now, and I understand that yummy jobs have actually changed their processes now. For eg, I don’t think they do a phone interview any more, instead opting for a group pre-screen. They’ve also had a massive over-haul on their website, and require a fair bit more information than they used to.

      Now, on to your specific questions (which also reminds me, I NEED to get this FAQ up to scratch!)

      Why did my CV stand out on the third application? To be honest, I’m not sure. On my first application, I didn’t have a very strong CV at all, so it doesn’t surprise me that I didn’t get a phone interview then. For my 2nd application, I made my CV sparkle at lot more, but when it came to the third application I had a combination of both professional and Disney talk. I’d done a lot of research, and put a lot of time and effort into finding the exact right words to get across quite how badly I wanted to work at WDW. I would always advise a mix of both proffesional and “disney”, as they look for both!

      Was I at a disadvantage for never having been to WDW? During the interview day I certainly felt like I was in the minority, and a little left out at times. However, I never felt disadvantaged because of it. I’d done my research, into Disney and the job in question, and the area I lived in, so I felt confident enough that it wasn’t a problem.

      As for the short notice, I don’t actually know how common that is. Most people, even when they’re on borrowed visas like I was, are given about 6 weeks notice. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was an exception, but I certainly wouldn’t say that it’s normal either!

      I hope this helps you, or if it’s too late to help you, I really hope it helps future applicants!

      Good Luck to everyone applying, both now and in the future!

      Vikki


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


7 × 7 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>