2016 Winter Formal Ball for Disney CPs

ball

December 5th:  Free food, good music, dancing, and photo ops with special characters!

The 2016 Winter Formal Ball for CPs will be held at  Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort on December 5, 2016.

This year’s theme is: Celebrating 45 Years of Magic

formal

Fall 2016 Winter Formal invite

food

What’s on the menu.

Disney Housing is expecting over 3,000 CPs to attend the Winter Formal Ball.  It’s crowded, but so much fun!!!

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

There will be Disney princes and princesses at the character meet and greets, with everyone celebrating 45 years of magic.

The 2016 end-of-semester capstone event will take you once upon a time to a glamorous event featuring a quality buffet and character meet-and-greets, with a night of dancing and not-to-be-missed surprises. Whether you want to be dancing among the crowd or just chatting with friends in a quieter area, a memorable evening is guaranteed!

coranado

Be sure to dress up for the Ball!

December 5, 2016, 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – Veracruz Exhibit Hall

Parking is limited, so please take advantage of Disney Housing transportation or carpool (see below). Housing IDs are required for entry. Participants with dietary restrictions or food allergies should email wdw.disney.housing.events.team.@disney.com by Nov. 28, so an alternative menu offering can be planned.

Transportation for the event will depart from the Chatham Square bus stop and Vista Way pavilion starting at 7:30 p.m. and will continue throughout the evening. In addition, from 7:30-11:30 p.m., transportation to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will be offered from Magic Kingdom Westclock, and from 7:30-11 p.m., transportation to the event will be offered from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot; just look for the motor coach labeled “Winter Formal.” Self-parking is extremely limited, so please make every effort to take Disney Housing Transportation.

Be advised that bag checks will be performed. Alcohol, open containers and any other items in violation of the Community Codes will be discarded immediately. In addition, limit your personal belongings to necessary items only. (A coat check will not be available at the event.) Unattended items, such as coats and purses will be placed in lost-and-found, so pack light.

Last, but not least, be sure to bring both your Disney and Housing IDs along. No non-CP guests are allowed. Formal attire is encouraged, but not required.  Come and enjoy the celebration!

2014 Winter Formal Ball

2016 Winter Formal Ball

Winter Formal Ball at Contemporary Resort

Throwback photo:  At our program’s Winter Formal.  So much fun!  Better than prom!!!

winterformal

CP Moment:  Going to the Winter Formal Ball at Disney!  🙂

castle

The huge Cinderella Castle celebrating 45 years of magic.  (Photo credit:  Disney College Program)

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two-disney-sistersTwo Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

2016 Disney DCP Housing Rates

rent (2)

Weekly apartment rents for 2016.

Disney Housing has announced housing fee increases for January 2016 participants (Spring 2016).

January 2016 Update:  Minimum pay rate for CPs is now $9.50/hr., increasing to $10/hr. on July 31, 2016!**

**Some DCP roles, like lifeguarding, attractions, and some positions at MK, get a wage premium! For 2016, DCP participant’s wage will vary between $10.00 – $12.31 per hour, based upon the role that he/she is selected to perform. Participants may also be eligible for premium pay in select roles and will learn their exact rate of pay upon receiving an invitation.

The housing costs depend on the size of the apartment and which apartment complex a participant is assigned to live in during his or her DCP program. Apartments have two to four bedrooms (with two or three participants in each bedroom).

Vista Way apartments generally are the cheapest with the smallest apartments size and only a choice of 2 or 3 bedrooms apartments.

Housing costs ($93 – $124/week) are automatically deducted weekly from cast members’ paychecks, so they don’t have to worry about turning in a check at the beginning of the month. This cost includes all utilities such as electricity, cable hookup, waste disposal, recycling, and local phone service; as well as the various resort-style amenities, such as pools, gyms, etc. featured at each complex.

If you don’t work enough hours in a certain week due to illness or vacation, Housing will call you and you can either pay by check at the office or pay by credit/debit card over the phone.

The four housing complexes at Disney World.

The four DCP housing complexes at Disney World.

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

The DCP Housing Internet

Bring a good router and an ethernet cord.

Previous advice:  Bring a good router and an Ethernet cable with you to Florida.

September 24, 2016 Update! Read this!!!

internet

Disney Housing is installing internet at all the housing complexes….SLOWLY!

This means that in the very near future, you will no longer need to bring a router with you to the program!  But, you still need to bring an ethernet cable and TV!

Every change has a positive and a negative side.

Positives:  Don’t need a router, faster internet service, faster streaming, able to take online classes from your university in your apartment and not have to go to Vista Way office.

Negatives:  Housing can control – and block – access to websites that it doesn’t like – sort of like high schools do.  We’re hearing that not all TVs work with the cable now and you need a smart TV.

We think that the faster internet service far outweighs any negatives for the vast majorities of CPs!  (Who exactly had all that time to be watching porn in their apartment???)

**The Tech Blog**

By now, probably everyone has heard that the internet connectivity and speed at DCP Housing is terrible.  There is no good internet connectivity in any of the apartments.

The nearest Starbucks has OK wifi, as does Panera.  If you need a quiet place with wifi, some CPs recommend trying the Vista Way Clubhouse, especially during the morning.

This is important if you like to stream movies, plan on taking an online class during your program, like to Skype with family and friends, maybe do a job interview or two….

We recommend that you bring a good router and an ethernet cord to the program.  Housing provides the apartment modem.

Let’s start with what internet speed you’re used to.

If you have Comcast, you can test it at: http://speedtest.comcast.net/

For other providers, just search “Checking Internet Speed for —“ for the link.

This is my speed for my home computer:

High Speed internet.

High Speed internet.  Perfect for downloading movies, gaming, etc.

Now, this is the speed at my apartment:

Literally 1/100th of the internet speed at home.  Terrible for uploading/downloading.

Literally 1/100th of the internet speed at home. Terrible for uploading/downloading.

You can buy a 3 month upgrade to 3mbps speed for $75.  So, for the five months of the Fall 2015 program, that’s $150.  Split between 4-8 people it’s not that bad…only about $1.00/day.

The flyer is outdated, the current upgrade speed is 3mbps.

The flyer is outdated, the current upgrade speed is 3mbps.

Call (407) 828-6400 for more info.

Router brand tip: WD My Net N900 HD DualBand Router for $59.99 from Staples.

tv

TV Listing Guide for the DCP apartments.

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:   Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Mickey’s Retreat!

Mickey’s Retreat

Mickey’s Retreat is right across from The Commons apartments.

BREAKING NEWS!

Mickey’s Retreat will be closing this weekend because of Hurricane Irma.

MNSSHP2

*****

One of the major items on My Summer DCP Bucket List  was to finally go to Mickey’s Retreat!

I knew that it was really nice, but never made the time for it.  Since I haven’t been to Traditions yet (so can’t get into the parks), I decided today was the day to finally go!

100_6777

Mickey’s Retreat is located directly across from the Chatham Square complex.  It has several large sports fields, a couple volley ball areas, two swimming pools, areas for grilling, and you can rent boats to go out onto the water!

Admission is FREE for CMs, CPs, and their families.
100_6761

And it was beautiful!!!

Two big AND empty pools! My favorite!  The lifeguards were so happy to see us! haha
100_6760I went with one of my new roommates, Sam, and a girl I met on one of the DCP summer arrival Facebook groups, Nicole.

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Here is the view of the volleyball areas.

The new CPs were actually there too to take a written lifeguarding and swimming test!
100_6765 100_6766

The main reason people come to Mickey’s Retreat is to go suntanning on the beach!  There were SO many chairs and no one was here!100_6767

You can rent the boats Saturday and Sunday 1-4pm.  All boats have to be back in by 5pm and you have to pay in cash.  Still $2 is super cheap for a 3 hour boat rental!

All the sports equipment (volleyballs, etc.) is free to rent.

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It got really humid – so sorry for the blurry photos!  Here is a view of the different boats you can rent.  Long canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats!
100_6768The lake is SO beautiful! We even saw some cranes and shore birds walking around.100_6771There is also a huge green, park-like area filled with benches and grilles for parties!
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And this tetherball which reminded me of elementary school! haha!100_6775

And this building which I think you can rent out.  It reminded me of girl scout camp!100_6776Overall – I DEFINITELY recommend putting this on your bucket list and coming if you haven’t already.

The pool was super clean and empty and the lifeguards were very nice.  Next time, I want to bring my lunch and have a picnic! 🙂

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Located between Chatham Square and The Commons, Mickey’s Retreat is a free 19-acre recreation facility on Little Lake Bryan open exclusively to Disney Cast Members and their families.
Come out and play, but don’t forget your Disney ID!

Address: 8151 Lake Forest Dr. Orlando, Florida 32821
Phone: (407) 828-3620
Summer Hours: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm (Mon – Sun)
Cost: Free admission for Disney cast members with ID
Facebook page: Mickeys Retreat Facebook Page

Image_Mickey_Chair (2)
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Caroline costume

Working merchandise at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

DCP Starlit Splash Party at Typhoon Lagoon

Mickey & Minnie were there!!

Mickey & Minnie were there!!

The final housing event for the Spring 2015 CPs was the Starlit Splash Typhoon Lagoon Takeover.

Disney Housing twitting about the event.

Disney Housing twitting about the event.

For this event, Disney closed Typhoon Lagoon early and invited all the CPs to come swim and dance from 8pm-12am.

No towels. :(

No towels.   BYOT.  😦

They had lots of free food and sodas. And your choice of unlimited Mickey Premium Bars and Mickey ice cream sandwiches.  🙂

Note the E Bus on fire in the background! ;)

Note the E Bus on fire in the background! 😉

Read more about it:  Celebration assumed a new name on May 7:  Starlit Splash. As the sun set on Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, nearly 5,000 Disney Internships and Programs participants gathered together to dance, eat, swim and play.

For four hours, the water park was open exclusively for programs participants, with attractions like the Storm Slides, Shark Reef and wave pool offering unlimited access and ultimate enjoyment. Snacks and refreshments were scattered throughout the park, and frozen treat stands featuring novelties like Mickey Premium bars provided sweet sustenance all night long.

The 2015 Starlit Splash

The 2015 Starlit Splash at Typhoon Lagoon.

The 2015 CP invitation to the Starlit Splash Party:

Come make some memories at the 2015 Starlit Splash

Spread the word: Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is open for CPs only!  No guests allowed.

Come to a programs-exclusive beach bash under the stars! But, bring your Housing IDs!!

Free food and sweet treats, water park fun, great music, and dancing in the moonlight and free t-shirt giveaways are all in store for what promises to be an unforgettable evening!

See you there!!!

DSCN1095

Free Mickey bars at the party!  Yum!

Character Meet & Greet with Lilo & Stitch

Special Character Meet & Greet with Lilo & Stitch

We went to the Typhoon Lagoon Takeover last year:  2014 Starlit Splash  

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two disney sisters

Two Disney Sisters

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Welcome to Orlando International Airport

6:30am: At the airport this morning with my three bags of luggage, my backpack, and my carry-on.

6:30am: At the airport this morning with my three bags of luggage, my backpack, and my carry-on.

My day started with me getting up at 5am since my flight was so early! (8:15am).

It feels like I've been packing for a month now!

It feels like I’ve been packing for a month now!

I literally spent the entire day before packing – and it was the worst.  I tried packing several times this month, but it wasn’t until mom and dad came down to the basement where my suitcases were laying on the bed and helped me that I was able to get it all together.

Thank god mom helped me because I forgot to pack some important things, like sunscreen!

The only thing I had left to pack this morning was toiletries and my makeup.  I ended up needing three large suitcases, one carry-on bag, and my backpack for all the stuff I’ll need for the next three months.

The Disney apartment is furnished, meaning that it has furniture and basic kitchen supplies like pots and pans.  But, Disney doesn’t provide bedding (sheets, comforters), pillows, towels, bathmats, kitchen towels, etc., etc.  All the things take up a huge amount of suitcase space!

I’m bringing my mini-Keurig, a month of coffee k-cups, some basic kitchen stuff like salt/pepper/sugar, etc., and bathroom/laundry supplies.

You never know what exactly will be in the apartments when you get there.  Since I don’t even know how many roommates I’ll have, I have to plan on providing everything myself.

I’m bringing a router and modem, but no a TV.  If my roommate doesn’t have one, I’ll buy one off the DCP Trading Post.

I’m a little nervous about the living situation.  I literally have no idea what kind of situation I’m showing up to.  I could be moving with seven Spring Advantage people or I could be living with one Summer CP.  I really hope that it’s summer DCP people since they’ll be alumni too, and hopefully be a little older.  [I only selected a non-wellness, alcohol allowed apartment choice.]

I was trying to think when the last time I travel all by myself.  I seriously can’t remember.  It’ll be interesting being on my own and all independent for the summer, but at the same time, I really miss my partner in crime (Elly!)

I think it makes a big difference knowing that I have such a good system of friends at Disney, ones who I know that I can rely on.  I’m just so excited to see all of them!!
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http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.
Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

 

Filling Out DCP DORMS Form for Housing

Tomorrow!!!

Tomorrow!!!

I finally got my email to fill out Dorms!

As you know, I have been using Facebook to find a good roommate match.  You can read about that here.

soon

This is a new updated process.  You usually receive this email 10 days before your arrival and it is where you link with your roommates and select your housing references.

When I did my first program, they were just rolling this out.  Before Fall 2013, you had to be in line with who you wanted to live with and it was first come, first serve for housing preferences.  So you literally had people lining up in the middle of the night!  I can’t imagine how frustrating it must have been trying to meet up with everyone you wanted to live with!  With my first program, you were able to link with 1-7 other people since the maximum is 8 in one unit.

Once I got my DORMS email, you have to read and confirm two different articles about housing rules.  Then it brings you to a page where you link with your roommates.  Your special ID number is in your email.  And – if you didn’t know, this will actually be your Cast Member ID number!

One person in your group needs all of your groups ID numbers to link everyone.  Once that happens, you’re good to go!  It was VERY surprising when I logged onto Dorms and saw they were only allowing people to link with two other people!  Everyone on the Facebook groups were freaking out – especially if they were hoping to get a larger apartment!

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.39.53 AM

You have two options: choosing to be “adventurous” and be randomly put in with people.  Or if you have a person you want to live with, you link with them here.

I, unfortunately, spent a lot of time connecting with people who I wanted to live with and had similar interests as me.  However, I tried to link with them and it wouldn’t let me because we were doing different programs!  I had no idea that summer program and Fall Advantage program people couldn’t live together!! 😦

I felt SO horrible for the girl I was going to live with – we both had to be “adventurous” with our roommates since we didn’t find anyone in the right programs to link to.  I know we will meet up and be friends, but I really wish it had worked out better!

Here is the updated DCP Rent Prices:

2017-rent

The page below is also new to me!  In Fall 2013, we were able to select just 3 options for complexes and 3 options for occupancy. Just because you put “1 bedroom, Commons” doesn’t mean you’d necessarily get both of those.  Elly and I put: 1, 2, 3 bedroom and Commons, Chatham, and Patterson in our preference order and ended up getting a 3 bedroom in Chatham.

This new DORMS has every available living situation and you had to pick and drag it in the order you most preferred!  I really liked how specific it was!  You also have the option of being “adventurous” in this choice too!Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.36.47 AMI really, REALLY want to live in The Commons in a 1 bedroom again!  I loved the laundry availability and I really want to check out the new store there (The Grid).

These are my final preferences:
Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.37.39 AMWish me luck!

05/26/2015 UPDATE:

I literally got my #16 – last!!! – choice.  😦

Choice #16:  4 bedroom, 8 girl apartment at Chatham Square, $100/week.

Choice #16: 4 bedroom, 8 girl apartment at Chatham Square, $100/week.

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dak costume (2)

Wearing my DAK straw hat (with my best friend/coworker, Ricky).

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***