Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Once Upon a Time...

We all have dreams.

They never turn out the way you expect though.

My name is Kimmie, currently aged 19 and am from New Zealand (NZ). At the present time I go to University, however, this will change mid way through next year(2010), for a year. My story starts below....

~ ~ ~

One day I was walking down a hallway at Victoria University. It wasn't a particulary interesting day, pretty normal in fact.That was until I passed this poster.There are lots of posters around uni, but this one caught my eye. I was just going to walk right past it, but it had the word 'Disney' on it. I'm a bit of a Disney fan (one of my nicknames being Ariel, as I'm a red-head) so I was curious.

Work and live in the USA it said.

You only have to be 18, and have done a year at uni.

Well that caught my attention.

As well as being a Disney fan, I love travel, and I have wonderful friends in the USA who I have had the good fortune to have met before in person. Therefore, I am a fan of the USA. There are things about the USA which don't impress me though - like their plastic cheese. However, the USA is like a giant playground to me. So much to see and do! Orginating from NZ - the USA is very, very large.

So USA + Disney.

It sounded so perfect for me.

A week later I went to the presentation (which, I had seen about 80% online already -the silly people who where scribbling down notes haha). The presentation made everything look wonderful. But I have brain. Of course they make it look wonderful. Whether it actually is or not, is another story. That is one thing I will be exploring.On the same day they had the interviews, luckily I knew about this in advance because I had contacted the Australian (also NZ) rep. The poster didn't say anything about interviews on the day of the presentation so I'm sure a lot of people were caught out. Hence why I seemed to be the only one with everything already filled out and with accompanying documents like a CV and cover letter.The interview was actually fun. I enjoyed it. I was less nervous because I had found out a lot of information about the process beforehand from this site:

Very useful for both asking questions and getting answers. Use the search tool, makes things much easier.About a week later I found out that I was accepted. I was very excitable, as you could imagine. I've definately mellowed out about it, despite my list things I want to do (which I keep adding to..). I knew that a job with Disney would be hard work - long hours, in the sun (this phenomenon we don't see enough of in NZ... ..and because of that I almost melted when I was in Aussie last summer), some rude guests etc.

Why am I writing this blog?

Not only do I want to remember my experience by being able to read over my writings, but I really want to share my experiences with you. Is Disney a scary monster that exploits its workers unfairly? Who knows, but I am determined to find out! I will record both the negative and positive parts of the programme and hopefully give a balanced record. I have read many an account of such a programme, and I think the conclusion, really, is that you get out what you put in and what you make of it. Some people have bad experiences, and usually they are the ones you read about online - same as in the newspapers, only the bad things are really documented.Maybe some future Disney 'cast members' will also get some insight from what I record...

As I am taking part in the ICP (International College Programme), not the CRP (Cultural Representative Programme - Epcot), this might change my experience a little. However, I'm sure most employees are treated similarly.I have also had 2 jobs before (in F&B and Merch), so I'm not one of those teeny boppers who don't know what to expect. Hopefully this will also balance my writings a bit more. Employers want profit, and they'll do what they can to peserve their image at the least cost to them.

The process so far has been good. Very fast and I'm being kept pretty well informed (when I ask, that is). The documentation they gave us really only was for the Jan 2010 people - but they didn't mention that so I was freaking out with no response for a while. Tip - email your rep (even if she may be an Auzzie, lol), they are very helpful.

I have a lot of documentation to fill out (and I hear it gets worse so I'm bracing myself..) and a lot of things to do (good thing I have around 8 months to sort it out) such as get my visa, renew my passport, save up for a camera of my own, get criminal backgroud check, throw an awesomely Disney themed going away party *wink*....Yay for the holidays coming up. :)

I got my official acceptance letter yesterday to work for Walt Disney World, Florida - I start July 17 2010, finish July 8 2011. However I have 30 days either side of these dates to explore the USA! :D

Note - when I type fast I do make typos. I'm human. :)

Check back in June/July 2010 when I'll be starting my adventure!



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