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.

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!

 

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.

 

London baby! September 30, 2010

So Today I head off to London. My interview is tomorrow, but I have to be there rather early, so I’m staying in a hotel tonight. I double checked all my documents last night, so I’m pretty sure I’ve got everything. I’m off to the hairdressers soon, so my hair will look lovely! I’m so nervous, but I think I’ve done as much prep work as I can. I’ve got my Disney institute book to read on the train over, and all my paperwork is in a lovely folder ready to go.

For now, I guess it’s just fingers crossed!

Wish me luck 😛

Vikki.

 

Application form/OMG Where’s My Passport?!?!?! September 17, 2010

Hey guys!

Excitement mounting further and further. I got around to filling in Disney’s online application form last night. 😀

I tried filling it in the other day, got as far as the penultimate page, then found out I needed my passport number. So begun the hunt for my passport. Having moved house a couple of months ago, there’s still quite a few unsorted boxes, and things have been moved around a few times while trying to find homes for everything. I knew I’d seen my passport since we’d moved in, so I wasn’t worried about having left it behind, but a couple of hours later, and I still couldn’t find it!!

Eventually, we (my man and I) gave up hunting, and went to bed. I was really rather worried, as I knew I’d need to bring my passport to the interview in london, and I also know that I have 5 years left on it! I really didn’t want to have to pay £70 odd and loose out on those 5 years.

Either way, the good news is that my wonderful man found my passport the next morning. It just so happened to be in the one box I didn’t even *think* of (assumed it was full of candles). And so I filled in the wonderful online form! Starting again from the beginning, as the website won’t save mid-progress. :(

So I guess you want to know a little more about this form? It’s a very basic, job application form. Asks for personal details, info off your passport, emergency contact, basic education info (it doesn’t even go as far to ask about GCSEs and A Levels!), oh – and employment history. The only annoyance is that you have to talk about each position (work or voluntary position) in 200 characters or less!!! Thankfully, my CV is mostly in bullet points, so it wasn’t too hard for me.

So, all I need to do now is photocopy my passport and get a bank/credit card statement (one of which will be turning up in the post in a few days time!) and then I’ll have everything I need to take to the interview!

Now, before this post gets any longer, I shall bid you adieu!

Keep on dreaming!
Vikki

 

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s off to London I go! September 12, 2010

I got it! I got the Face to face interview!

Found out on Friday, with this lovely little e-mail:

Dear Victoria,

Many thanks for taking time in the pre-screen interview for the Disney’s Cultural Representative Program. We were impressed by your performance and are delighted to invite you to the final interview stage.

More blurb tells me where and when it is. So, I’ve booked trains and hotel, and arranged to meet all the other interviewees (from both days) for a meal.

I have so much prep to do, finding out everything I can about Disney and Epcot, and reading up on the Disney work ethos etc. That, all while I’m trying to do stuff for my NVQ. I have 3 weeks to prep, as my interview is on the 1st Oct, at Disney HQ no less!

I’ll let you know how the whole weekend goes afterwards. I’ll try and keep in touch with the prep work too! Especially this random online form I have to fill in.

Keep dreaming! If I can do it, you can too!
Vikki.