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Old 06-30-2012, 02:03 PM   #1
Leasha_Loves_Disney
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Red face A Very BIG Move for One Little Girl: A Disney College Program Planning Diary New 8/14

A Very BIG Move for One Little Girl: A Disney College Program Planning Diary.

Hello Hello Hello!!! Everyone and Welcome to my planning extravaganza

Let’s start out with a few introductions.

For those of you who haven’t met me yet my name it Alicia. I have been dreaming of doing the Disney College Program since I was in high school and it’s finally happening for me!!! I move to Disney in August and this is the story about how I am getting there. If you care to know a little bit about me I will let you know everything you could need to know and more!!!



I am a recent college graduate with my BFA in Theatre Performance and in my mind I am THE BIGGEST Disney fan in the world, really there is no contest. As I so often say I was born and raised a Disney baby. My mother took my father to Disney just after she graduated high school and it’s been like a drug for my family ever since. I have 3 other Disney loving siblings who are completely jealous that I get to do this. I also have a loving Fiancé who I am unfortunately going to have to be apart from while I am there. I have been to Disney more than I can count and I have been lucky enough the experience some pretty amazing things with the ones I love time and time again which I think it why my love for Disney is so strong.

Let’s start with this little story: Going into college I knew that at one point or another I would be participating in the DCP for me sooner rather than later was favorable. So naturally as soon as I stepped foot on campus I found out when the presentation at my school was freshman year and I skipped class to attend the (then mandatory) presentation. This was before they had the rule no freshman are allowed to participate. So I went and attended the presentation and signed up for my interview which back then they allowed you to do on campus (now you have no choice but to do it over the phone). I did my interview and I felt like it went perfectly.

In the time between my interview and hearing back from Disney I talked to a bunch of the teachers at my school to see what they thought about me leaving. Let me tell you they were anything but excited. They thought that it was a terrible idea and tried talking me out of it right away saying it was pointless and stupid. It didn’t really matter either way because I never heard back from Disney anyways. I waited and waited and my letter never came

That is until one day, I got a phone call from Disney saying that they needed me to either accept or deny my position on the letter that was sent to me. The only problem was I never got a letter so I wasn’t able to accept or deny because I had no I idea they had even wanted me!!! Eventually my silly freshman self let my department talk me out of going, at the time it was devastating but now I see it as a blessing. I promised myself that I would be patient and wait until the semester after I graduated. Not only would that allow me to get the experience but it would delay being thrown into the real world a little longer.

Over the years I watched a few of my friends peruse their Disney dreams totally ruling out what their advisors had told them, they just picked up and left. It hurt me to see all these younger kids doing the thing that I didn’t have the courage to do.

I stayed in school and am SO grateful for making that decision. Senior year rolled around and I was more than blessed with the opportunities I was given and the strides I was able to make with myself confidence. This brings up to Disney stuff!!! In the fall I had seen the posters hanging around campus advertising the DCP presentation.



I called my sister and told her that she HAD TO COME WITH ME. So she said she would make the trip up to visit me and we would sit through the presentation together.

The big day rolled around and I dragged my partner in crime Ryan (also a theatre major) with me.



I had met Ryan the year before he was a transfer student from one of the best costuming programs in the country. I bonded with him immediately and we became basically inseparable. He had no interest in doing the program because he was a sophomore at the time and he knew the department would tell him no.

Let me just tell you, we got there and he fell in love from then on out he just kept asking me Alicia, when do we go to Disney?!

I officially had him hooked all that was left to do was wait out the semester and then apply which is exactly what we did. The day applications dropped was the longest day of my life. I had classes from 9am until 7pm and that was also the night of our huge town hall meeting at school. I anxiously waited through it in excruciating pain knowing that as I sat there for a few hours people were applying and making it onto the next step. I busted out of that meeting so fast and made it to the computer lab.

Ryan and I went through the entire process together sitting side by side filling out the many steps the interview entails. When it came to the night of our phone interviews I went first and then called Ryan to fill him in. I remember telling him I felt like it went so well, I had looked up questions online and had prepped my butt off for it. The interview is said to take about 15 minutes mine took 45, I just kept telling myself that has to be a good sign. Right? Then all there was left to do was wait…

This was the worst part of it all, forget the timed multiple choice section forget talking on the phone (whish usually I HATE doing). Waiting was the worst because if I didn’t get in this year that was it. I graduated and the opportunity was gone, slipped between my fingers. It killed me to wait but I did.

The day people started getting their acceptance emails was the worst. I couldn’t focus in any of my classes because people just kept posting to the facebook page I GOT IN!!! I sat through my women’s studies class with a lump in my throat as the acceptances slowed down for the day. I made my way to work and talked with one of my bosses and best friends Robin about how bummed I was. I worked in the department’s costume shop and we were in crunch mode so there was no time to be sad there was only time to work. I decided to refresh my email one more time before starting a project and I almost had a heart attack. I felt my face turn red and my heart start to beat a million times a minute because there in my inbox was an email from Disney saying

“You’ve been accepted!!!”

I can remember falling on the floor in tears just completely grateful for the opportunity. I couldn’t believe it, I was in and this was the start of a very big move for one little girl.



I need a place to collect my thoughts and plans and this is it. So if you are along for the whirlwind ride welcome!!! Not only is this a place for me to plan but it’s a place for anyone out there to share stories of Disney/DCP and their experiences. Questions are more than welcome from those you looking to do the program in the future and advice is greatly appreciated from those of you who have already participated. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can’t wait to take hold of it!!!

Last edited by Leasha_Loves_Disney; 08-14-2012 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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Last edited by Leasha_Loves_Disney; 08-14-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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Subbing in! I got behind about halfway through your first TR and now I have lots and lots of TR (and PTR ) to catch up on! Yay!!

Congrats on your CP! Do you to try extending/staying with Disney after your CP?
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:27 PM   #4
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Congratulations on getting accepted! You wrote such a compelling intro to your acceptance that I had a little whimper of joy for you at the moment I read that you saw that all important email!! How exciting for you!!! I'm in!
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Merida View Post
Subbing in! I got behind about halfway through your first TR and now I have lots and lots of TR (and PTR ) to catch up on! Yay!!

Congrats on your CP! Do you to try extending/staying with Disney after your CP?
Thank you!!! I am so excited.

That has always been my plan, to get there and stay there but my mind has kind of been swaying a little. I miss doing shows so I might leave and try out for some tours of shows and move back to Florida when Andy graduates in a few years. I am on the fence right now, I guess it depends on how I like my job down there and what opportunities open up.


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Congratulations on getting accepted! You wrote such a compelling intro to your acceptance that I had a little whimper of joy for you at the moment I read that you saw that all important email!! How exciting for you!!! I'm in!
Thank you!!! I cried everywhere when I was accepted Thanks for joining in I really appreciate it!!!
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:50 PM   #6
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A few days back I was in total panic mode. I looked at my countdown and it said 47 days!!! I felt like I was going to be sick, I had 47 days to try to plan everything and flight prices just kept rising. I was freaking out everywhere. I almost started to cry. WHY DID I PUT THIS OFF???

Here were my major issues:
1.) I wouldn’t have a car to get from place to place aka how do I get from the airport to the hotel and the hotel to the apartment complex?

2.) Do I use my southwest points to book the flight? WHY ARE THESE PRICES SO HIGH?! Should we just take the train?

3.) Where the heck do I stay?

4.) How am I going to get’s 6 months worth of belongings to Florida in 2 suitcases?!

Those were the basics of my dilemma’s. So one day I had the afternoon off from work and it was time to get down to business. So I text Ryan to let him know that today was the day, it was all going to get figured out if it killed me. He was at work so I told him I would book everything but his flight and he could just pay me back.

First up how we are getting there. I had looked at EVERY airline ever. My mom had a voucher for AirTran so I looked there, I had loved JetBlue when we flew that in May, but I had points for southwest. I even looked into taking the train because their baggage allowance was SO much more (you can have like 4 suitcases and 3 carry ons)

They each had their downsides of course. The train would take two days and was over $200 so that was a no go. Airtran had the cheapest flight but they charged for the first bag and outrageous amounts after the first if I wanted to take more than one. JetBlue was only a few dollars cheaper than southwest and with Southwest I would get two bags for free rather than one so I was all about that.

Next dilemma was to use my points or not? It ended up that EVERY flight was out of my points range so I would have had to buy $200 worth of points to have enough. So I decided that I would book the flight without the points and maybe I would have enough for a free plane ride home (or for next September when w go down for my sister’s honeymoon). So I found a relatively cheap flight but the only downside to it was it was leaving at 6am. I really would have preferred to have one full day with my family rather than getting to Florida at 11 or 12 and sitting in a hotel by myself but you win some you lose some I guess. So plane was booked for August 14th. CHECK!

Next up was booking the hotel. I have already found my roommates (we met online through a DCP facebook page). The way Disney gives you roommates is, you get in line the morning of check in the people who are around you are the ones you are going to live with. So I found mine ahead of time and we have been talking and getting to know each other since we were accepted in February. So in talking to them we all decided that we would stay at the same hotel the night before so we could have some bonding time. The best part? The hotel is directly across the street from the apartment complex one less transportation mode I have to worry about!!! I had heard that EVERYONE moving into the DCP stays there so I was worried that booking so late in the game everything would be booked already. Thank goodness that wasn’t the case. I asked my roommate for the name of the hotel and I checked it out. Seems pretty legit, not a Disney hotel but I am only there for one night so I’ll survive. It’s the Holiday Inn in Lake Buena Vista.







Hattie, my roommate said that she checked it out and there are a ton of things in the area within walking distance I was excited about that because it will give Ryan and I something to do the day we get in. I checked out a few places and southwest travel had the best deal on the room SCORE (even more points). So I booked the flight and the hotel together. Added Bouns: Booking through Southwest they have a shuttle that will take us from the airport to the hotel for less than $20. AWESOME!!! All y fears had just melted away.

I texted Ryan to let him know the flight number and price of the room. He was so grateful that I had figured it all out for use and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I like to think that I have become quite the little travel agent this is the third trip I have planned completely on my own, all of them have been Disney trips haha we see where my priorities are.

So in about an hour and a half I was almost completely care free. The only thing I have left to worry about is how I am going to get all my stuff there in 2 suitcases. I have discussed it with my mother and came up with a few options. First being space bags I found them pretty cheap so next time I get paid I think I am going to try buying a few of those and seeing how they work. Hopefully that can compress the things I will need within my first few days. The second thing we talked about was boxing up anything I can live without for the first couple of days/weeks and having my mother ship it to me that way I don’t have to pay the outrageous bag fees on the plane. That of course depends on if Disney give me a PO box or place to ship things to. So I have to see about that.

Those are the plans for now!!! I am so grateful that everything just worked itself out. Phew. Thanks for reading along.

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Old 07-01-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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Congratulations on being accepted to the college program Alicia!

I love your writing, I feel as though I'm getting ready to go along with you, full of nervous excitement.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:18 PM   #8
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Hi!

I thought I should post and let you know that I will be trying to follow along. I read through one of your TR's (the one where you and your DF got engaged) but never posted. However, I wanted to post now to thank you for introducing me to Vinalmation trading! Because of your experience in that TR, I am going to let my kiddos each have their own little figure for trading in the park when we are there.

CONGRATS on making it to the CP and I hope that you have a MAGICAL time.

Sunshine
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:06 PM   #9
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CONGRATS! I'll be trying to follow along... This looks and sounds so exciting! I'm so jealous! Haha
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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Tagging along from the YOLO Trip Report. And since I am looking into the CP it would be fun to see how it all works even though I have a friend who went through it.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:12 PM   #11
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Congratulations on getting in! I want to do the CP SOOOOOO bad! I'm only 13 now, but it's one thing I know for sure I want to do! It will seriously just about make my life! It must be the experience of a lifetime! I'm excited to hear all about it! It must be so exciting now that it's getting so much closer!
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:16 PM   #12
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I'm in
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:23 AM   #13
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I'm so in! Congrats for getting into the CP! I can't wait to read about your experience. After reading all of your trip reports, I'm so happy for you that you get to spend time in Disney backstage and being a part of the magic!
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:23 AM   #14
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Jumping in. Love your trip reports. You and Andy are so cute together. Can't wait to hear about your cast member adventures. Congrats and good luck!
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partyof2 View Post
Congratulations on being accepted to the college program Alicia!

I love your writing, I feel as though I'm getting ready to go along with you, full of nervous excitement.

Thank you!!! I can't believe that it's actually happening!!! I started my countdown at just under 200 days and I can't believe I am already down to about 40, I am freaking out in both good ways and nervous ways.



Quote:
Originally Posted by smile5sunshine View Post
Hi!

I thought I should post and let you know that I will be trying to follow along. I read through one of your TR's (the one where you and your DF got engaged) but never posted. However, I wanted to post now to thank you for introducing me to Vinalmation trading! Because of your experience in that TR, I am going to let my kiddos each have their own little figure for trading in the park when we are there.

CONGRATS on making it to the CP and I hope that you have a MAGICAL time.

Sunshine
Hello there

Thanks for reading along with everything!!! i really appreciate it. I lvoe to know that there are people out there who are interested in little ole' me

Oh how cool!!! I hope they like the vinly trading. Let me know how it goes.

Thank you, I'm sure it will be an experience I'll NEVER forget.



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Originally Posted by wdwtwins View Post
CONGRATS! I'll be trying to follow along... This looks and sounds so exciting! I'm so jealous! Haha

Yay!!! Thanks for following. This is going to be a side of Disney that I'm sure none of us are use to, I can't wait to learn even more than I already know so I can come back and report on the little Disney touches and extra special magic.


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Originally Posted by KidGoofy View Post
Tagging along from the YOLO Trip Report. And since I am looking into the CP it would be fun to see how it all works even though I have a friend who went through it.

Welcome aboard, glad to have you along!!! Your cruise is very quickly approaching I can't wait to hear all about it. I've always wanted to do a Disney Cruise!!!


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Originally Posted by Reberella View Post
Congratulations on getting in! I want to do the CP SOOOOOO bad! I'm only 13 now, but it's one thing I know for sure I want to do! It will seriously just about make my life! It must be the experience of a lifetime! I'm excited to hear all about it! It must be so exciting now that it's getting so much closer!

Thanks!!! I am SO excited. Much like you I have been looking forward to this for longer than I can even remember. Disney get's ya young haha. I can't believe that it's coming up so quickly. It's CRAZY.



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I'm in

Yippie!!! Thanks for reading along


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Originally Posted by SummerInDisney View Post
I'm so in! Congrats for getting into the CP! I can't wait to read about your experience. After reading all of your trip reports, I'm so happy for you that you get to spend time in Disney backstage and being a part of the magic!

Thanks for joining in!!! Thank you thank you thank you. I will be sure to keep you guys up to date on EVERYTHING. I really appreciate that you follow along with my TRs and now you're here. Thanks so much!!! I can't wait to share all the magical memories.


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Originally Posted by pirateprincess1976 View Post
Jumping in. Love your trip reports. You and Andy are so cute together. Can't wait to hear about your cast member adventures. Congrats and good luck!

Thank you times a MILLION!!! I love when people take an intrest in my TR it makes me feel so special. AHHHHHH I'm sure there will be hundreds of stories for me to share, this little girl is going to get into lots of mischive in the parks for 5-6 months
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