Working at Disneyland Paris 2014 - May Update (Housing, Sim Cards, The Contract and more)

Today is May 15th and it's 22 days until I leave for Disneyland Paris, arriving on June 6th 2014.

The Disneyland Paris work Contract:
I got my contract i the post in the last week of April (so about 2 weeks after my job offer) and then sent it back at the beginning of May. I haven't received a confirmation of its arrival yet but one can only assume it has. I emailed them about this yesterday. The thing with the contract is to remember to initial every page and to sign the last page, as well as writing "lu et approuvé" on the last page by the signature. Without this the contract isn't valid. There was also a sheet about the internal computer regulations which I didn't have to sign on my last contract in 2011.

Disneyland Paris Housing for CDD employees:
I had a meeting on the phone today with a lady from Residetapes who was very thorough at explaining everything about the housing and I do feel better informed. I definitely think that speaking on the phone is much harder than speaking to someone in person so I struggled a bit when all the numbers were being dished out at full-speed French but I'm sure it'll be fine. The meeting ended rather abruptly as I was asked to confirm my arrival time and call back. I've left an answer machine message and emailed them to confirm a few things. From what I understand now that I've had the meeting they need to find and allocate me a place for my flat. I'm a little bit worried about accommodation at the moment if I'm being honest as it would be nice to know that I've secured a place to live.

Other things: they need 1 month's notice to leave the residence, and you can stay for up to 2 years. The aim is that every 4 or 5 months you meet with the residence manager to see how everything is going and for help finding alternative accommodation.

On the day of arrival I've got to pay a deposit and in total it seems like its about 650 euros on the day which is a substantial sum, I'm not even sure if this includes my first month's rent. I think in total I'll need to have about 1000-1500 euros for that first month as I only get paid at the end of the month. This whole being paid monthly deal is going to be interesting.

With the housing aid (APL) it appears the process takes about 3 months to complete from when I arrive and they will back date that pay for July and August in September. More on this in the coming weeks as I find out what actually happens.

The hope is that as I read some of these details in print on my contract, etc it will all make more sense.


Best Sim Cards for short stays in France:
I've been looking into the best options for sim cards and this is what I've found.
There are numerous pay monthly options but I want to stick to a contract-free Sim. In France with most networks when you top up your phone your credit expires after a number of days. Eg. Top up 5 euros and you can use it until the money runs out OR for a week. This is not ideal and ends up being cumbersome and costly. Therefore there are two options I have found to consider:

1. Lycamobile - Here you top up and the credit doesn't expire after only a few days which is great. Calls are 9 cents per minute to landlines, free to Lycamobile numbers and 15 cents to other networks.  Texts are free to Lycamobile numbers and 10 cents to other networks and the internet costs 9 cents per megabyte. Overall, it's not a bargain but good enough for infrequent users and comparatively international calls aren't too expensive (1 cent per minute to landlines and 25 cents per minute to mobiles to the UK for example).

2. JoeMobile - This is not one of the big networks but it runs on the SFR network which is. The thing i like most about this option is how flexible it is: plans vary from 5euros to 20 euros per month and are paid monthly BUT you can stop or change your subscription online or via a web app at any point.

I like the fact I'll be able to track my usage in realtime via a web app and add and remove bits as necessary. I wish there were an option like this in the UK. The plan I'm thinking of getting includes 2h of calls per month (I don't think I'll really use these at all), unlimited texts and MMS and 1GB of data for 11 euros, or 2GB of data for 15euros per month. This data is HSDPA and it can be upgraded to 4GB for 4 euros extra per month.

I might even get the 20 euros a month plan which has unlimited calls and texts in France, 3GB of 4G data, and unlimited calls to 40 international landline destinations which includes the UK
(Update from Summer 2014 - JoeMobile has terrible signal at Disneyland Paris and Val d'Europe and its near on impossible to get signal, let alone 3G or 4G. Avoid. I am using Lycamobile.)
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That's my update, I'll let you know what's happening with the housing soon.

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About Giovanni Costa

Radio journalist, newspaper editor, travel writier, tour guide and Disney Cast Member. These are just some of the things Gio has done in the past few years. He loves visiting new destintions, trying new food and wants you to come along for the ride!
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