Alrighty, so Monday morning – June 11th! The day we’ve all been waiting for. My family and I all woke up and got ready, left Pop around 6:15, and arrived to Vista Way at 6:30. One of my roommates was already in line, so I was able to join her; she was our lifesaver! Apparently the first people in line arrived at 4 am – way too early for me! So, my advice for check-in: get there early; the earlier the better because the line will get incredibly long really quickly. Once I was in line, my family left to go explore some resorts and ride the monorail (we didn’t buy any park tickets, so this was there entertainment, haha). Check-in is a long process, so if your parents are coming I would suggest that they go do something else, and then you can meet up with them later.
Now we were told that check-in would start at 9 am. Thankfully, they began to let us in the gates around 7:30. From there, we all went to the back of Vista Way, where you could drop off your luggage (if you brought any). As we walked through the line we were given a cute little name sticker before being checked off in their computer system. After discussing some protocol and signing some documents, we got to choose our housing. They send one person from your group to sign up all of you. Five of us were in line together, but our other roommate was going to arrive a little later because her flight wouldn’t land in Orlando until 8ish. Thankfully the cast member was able to put us all together even though one of our roommates wasn’t with us. We were all placed in a four bedroom apartment in Chatham! (I’ll do a separate entry about our apartment, so be on the lookout for that.)
Once we had the housing nonsense settled, we were given our keys and had to sign (you guessed it) more forms. Then we had our picture taken for our housing ID; none of the pictures look good by the way – they take your picture and then expand it on the card, so you look like you’ve exploded haha. From there you get to go to Casting, which is definitely the most exciting part of the day!
By this point it was only a little after 9:00. We were all put on the 10:00 bus to go to Casting, so we had about an hour to chill. Everything ran like clockwork; they definitely have this process down to a science.
Okay, so onto Casting! Once arriving at the building you get in yet another line. It is here that you learn where you’ll be working. So… I bet you all are anxious to finally learn my location… wait for it, wait for it…
FRONTIERLAND in the MAGIC KINGDOM
What?! How awesome is that?? I’m so excited to work in the Magic Kingdom, since it is my favorite park. Plus, Frontierland is home to some of my favorite attractions, namely Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. Needless to say, I was (and still am) incredibly pumped to work here!!
Also, the Casting building is incredibly beautiful. Take time to savor where you are standing and take in your surroundings. If you’ve ever seen the building from the outside, you’ll notice its diamond pattern. You’ll never guess where it came from – Walt Disney’s socks! Pretty cool, huh?
Back to the check-in process! From there you are sent into another room where a cast member will talk to you about the Disney look. Then you sign some more paperwork and get fingerprinted. And then you are all done! I had my housing meeting the next day, so I was completely free for the rest of the afternoon. I took a bus back to Vista Way, where my parents picked me up so we could go check out my new apartment. Since there were four of us we made fairly quick work of unpacking the car and decided to go have lunch at Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. I think it was around 1:30 by that point, so the entire check-in process doesn’t last too long.
Soon after lunch, I got a call from Casting (begin slight panic mode). Thankfully I only had to go in to fix my address on my I-9 Form. My family recently moved, so it got switched on all the other forms except that one. Then we headed back to my apartment to unpack and have my brother fix our router and internet nonsense (thanks again!).
I spent the remainder of the day and next morning hanging out with my family since they were only going to be here until Wednesday. On Tuesday morning we got up fairly early again and went shopping for groceries and cleaning supplies. Dang, it takes a lot of stuff to get situated. My family then dropped me off, along with all my stuff, at the apartment. I unpacked and got situated, then went to the housing meeting at 3:00 in The Commons, which is the housing for international students. It was about a 10-15 minute walk over there, so be sure to leave early. This meeting was pretty boring for the most part, although they did their best to make it fun and enjoyable (aka strobe lights, music, games, skits). All in all it was just more information about our apartments, security, how to check visitors in, safety, roommate disagreements, and where to go for certain resources. That finished a little bit before 5:00, so after walking back to our apartment my family came to pick me up again. Or at least that was their plan until a huge thunderstorm began. Luckily it didn’t last too long, so they arrived a little after 6. We had our last dinner together for a while, bopped around Downtown Disney, and had some ice cream. Since my family was leaving really early the next morning I was going to spend my first night at the apartment. At around 10:00 my family dropped me off and we said our goodbyes :( Thanks for everything – you guys are the best! Hopefully they are going to come visit me this fall (yay for cast member discounts!). Two of my roommates were home, so we sat outside and chatted for a while and they had our first experience killing a very nasty, large bug. It was quite the sight!
So, that brings us to today, Wednesday June 13th. I have Traditions at 2:00, but the bus comes at 12:45. I even ironed my clothes and everything (mother would be so proud!). Today is the day that I officially become a Cast Member!!! I’m going to wrap up this post for now, but will keep you updated. Have a Magical day!