WDW ICP - December 2012 Update

It's been a little while since my last blog post about my upcoming trip to Florida to work at Walt Disney World, so I thought I'd give you an update.

It's now coming up to Christmas time and the process has moved on a fair bit. After completing the interviews, we received an email offering us a place. I will be working on Operations - rides or ticketing, which is exactly what I wanted! We won't know where exactly we'll be working until we get there. I, of course, replied accepting the offer immediately.

I then received an email confirming my acceptance saying that an information pack would be emailed to me. This information pack is Yummy Job's step by step guide on 'what to do and when' to make sure you get to Orlando.

The first thing you must do is pay for, and complete, your criminal background check. This was due by 14th November 2012 and cost £60 in total payable to YJ, that's almost twice what the government charges to do it but we have no option here. The result then gets sent to Disney with a simple Yes or No answer. This takes 12 weeks to come back so we should know the results by the beginning or middle of February. As long as you haven't committed any crimes, or been arrested you'll be fine. 

The next step was booking flights - personally I wanted to travel to Orlando then after my program travel to New York, and then back to London. I got my Lon > Orlando and NYC > Lon flights for £580. I also paid a £120 supplement to upgrade to Premium Economy on the way back for the added comfort (hopefully I'll get to snooze a bit) and because it allows me two bags on the last leg which is very nice in case I get a bit carried away with all the shopping available in New York (I can easily see this happening!). I also booked an internal flight coinciding with one my parents are taking, this was with United and cost about £90. These are all booked and I'm looking at staying at the Chelsea International Hostel in NYC as it looks like a great price for what I need - a basic room. 

In addition to all this we were emailed the "highlights" of the program as a PDF which is essentially all the important info on one sheet. I also had to email my flight details to Disney and received my first Disney ICP email from Disney themselves after the interview confirming they'd received these and saying that I'd be responsible for getting to chec-kin on the day and not to pack too much! 

They also said to make sure the Immigration officer stamps my white I-94 card as well as my DS-2109 when going through customs. (I don't know what either of these are. Or why we have to do this but it was in bold underlined letters so it seems pretty important! 

The YJ information pack also said we'd get our official Disney welcome pack in February - I'm very excited for this! They also have notes on travel insurance, medical insurance, and the visa. All of these are in good detail and are very helpful. There is an additional Visa only sheet available to download on their website once you've been approved for the program which goes into more detail. 

The Visa will be done approximately 4-6 weeks before departure and 1 month before we must also pay our $100 program assessment fee which Disney uses to fund the cast parties!

Medical insurance has been arranged by Disney and costs $70 a month. This must be paid before leaving for the US and is compulsory. 

Lastly, we were emailed a sheet telling us how much the whole process would cost us...$505 for insurance, visa costs etc and £74 in CRB checks and courier fees. The cost of calling the embassy is £1.23 per min from a BT landline. Plus the airfare (let's say £580 base fare!) the total of all this.. £980ish before we even arrive. Then you've got to buy work shoes when you arrive in Florida, so around £1000 total.

So if we earn about $7.80 and work 9 weeks at 35 hours each that's just $2457 or £1637. Considering you have to pay for accommodation, food, shopping etc this isn't a program you will make any money from - in fact I am expecting to lose money but it'll be a great name on a CV, a fantastic summer and a nice change of pace from the UK.

Well that's it, till next time!

Next update? Booking flights!

NEW: Want the inside scoop on working for Disney? Download my book about my 16 months spent living and working at Disneyland Paris now on Amazon.

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