Well everyone, you are looking at the newest Walt Disney Merchantainment Cast Member at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! Let’s just say I was a little more than thrilled to find out my work location. I was nervous to find out where I would be working. Considering I have never had a job in merchandise before, I was nervous to be thrown into one of Disney’s largest stores on property, either World of Disney or The Emporium. Anyways, I will be wearing a cute Hawaiian dress at one of the two merchandise stores at the resort, BouTiki or Moana Mercantile, and I cannot wait to share my adventure with you!
For starters, check-in day for the Disney College Program was SO much easier than I expected. A few days before your arrival, you will be given a check-in time through DORMS. Your assigned check-in time, from what I have noticed, depends on your role, and whether you need to be drug tested or not. My check-in time was 10:45-11:45, which was absolutely perfect. I arrived at Vista Way, which is where all check-in happens, around 10:20, and was able to easily find a parking spot. Then, everyone gets in line for check-in, and they split you in two lines, all depending on your last name. You are then given a name tag, and a program guide, while you wait not so patiently to find out where you will be living, and your work location. I am living in my first choice apartment at Vista Way in a 4 person 2 bedroom.
After you find all of that information out and you receive your housing key, you get your picture taken for your housing identification card. You then get split up into groups and a cast member will come and talk to you individually about the next few days, and the Disney Look. After you are finished with that, you get a spiel on the Disney Education and Professional Internship program. Once you are done with that, you are done for the day if you do not have a housing meeting or Casting. I did not have Casting until the following afternoon, so I lucked out and was able to move my stuff in right after check-in. For me, check-in took less than an hour, and was quick and efficient.
Next is Casting. This is where Disney will give you your schedule for your first few days, take your fingerprints, confirm your paperwork, and do a background check. The building is absolutely beautiful, and is adorned with gold statues of various characters in the main lobby. This process for me too was rather fast, and it was an extremely cool experience to be in that building.
After that is a housing meeting. This is where they just go over the basic do’s and don’ts of the housing complexes, and basic rules. This took over an hour, but the cool music and video montage in the beginning made it all worth it.
Now after all that is done is when you will attend Traditions at Disney University to become an OFFICIAL Walt Disney World Cast Member. For me, I have that tomorrow and I am STOKED. From what I have heard, this is when I will receive my name tag, Mickey ears, and a tour of the Magic Kingdom. I’ve also been told there is a special Beauty and the Beast hallway, so I am sure a few tears will be shed.
All in all, this first week has been a piece of cake, and Disney gives you PLENTY of time to settle in before you start working and training, which I am very happy about. This gives you time to go and explore the resorts and Disney Springs before you have access to the parks. I’ve gone to Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian for a Mai Tai, watched Wishes from the Polynesian beach, rode the Monorail and explored the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and the Polynesian, AND have gone to the Rainforest Cafe at Disney Springs. This is only the beginning of my adventure in the great wide somewhere, and I’m loving every minute of it.
Thank you, Walt.