Steps to Disney: Check-In Day DO’s, DON’T’s & More!
Where do I stay?
The night before check-in can sometimes be more stressful than the actual check-in day itself. Many people find a hard time with a hotel to stay in before having to wake up super early to get in line to meet up with their possible roommates. I recommend staying in the Sunspree resort across from Vista Way. A lot of people who are checking into the program stay there. Many CPs like to meet in the lobby or by the pool the night before to get to know everyone.
How early should I get in line?
As early as humanly possibly! I got in line an hour before check-in and was surprised that I got the apartment I wanted. There were a lot people in front of me and my roommate and I heard a lot of them wanted Chatham. We were hoping for a 4 bedroom apartment in Chatham. If you care at all where you want to stay, and want to have a high chance of getting a room on the bottom floor; I say get there at least an hour to an hour and a half early. If you already know who you want to room with and have in your apartment, you will need to stay in line with them to be sure the pairing goes through without any problems.
What do I need to bring with me for check-in? Should I wear formal attire for it, or save my formal attire for Traditions?
You need to bring your on-boarding paper work and a form of ID. Read over your information again before you leave home because I think you need one more thing. I wouldn’t wear formal attire. I mean, you can dress business casual, but I would save your formal attire for Traditions. All you will be doing the first day is standing in line in front of Vista Way and walk through the Casting Building. DO NOT WEAR HEELS on your first day because you WILL regret it
The first part of check-in a typical routine where you stand in line and are given your program guides. Here’s a picture so you can get a general idea of what they will like:
The guides are different for every program, so don’t be shocked when you get a different one. The program guide has a list of rules that MUST be followed otherwise you will face termination. Follow the rules, stay with the company. Ignore the rules, you will get terminated. Simple. The program guides offers maps and phone numbers for Vista Way, The Commons, Chatham Square & Patterson Court, along with a list of apartments and extensions for the rooms.
You will walk into the clubhouse in Vista where you will go table to table and speak to a program supervisor/Cast Member.
The first table is will be where you request your apartment and number of rooms. You can give the person helping you your request and they will try to accommodate you. If you have roommates in line with you they must stay in line with you. Tell the person at each table that the person you are with is going to be your roommate, or your apartment mate. The CM will then give you the key to your apartment before continuing on to the next table.
The next table will ask you for your car information for those of you who will be driving. If you have no transportation, just stay with your roommate until both of you are ready to proceed to the next and final station.
The final station is where your apartment ID will be shot. You will get your apartment ID shortly after and then you can meet your family in the waiting area.Your shoulders have to be covered for the picture.
Congratulations! You finished the first step of the check-in process! :)
You will then be given about two hours to start moving in. I would do this as soon as you can that way you get get groceries and not have to worry about doing it all later. I would have your bed made, clothes put away, and all your bathroom stuff put away before meeting the bus to Casting. If you have enough time you can definitely unpack more.
The busses that you will then take will drive to Casting for your criminal background check. You will also talk to a CM about your look to get Disney Look Approved. If the CM sees any fault about your hair, etc, you will be asked to get your hair colored before you start training, among other things.
You will then be asked a series of background checks before proceeding to the next room. The final room is where you will be assigned where you will be working and you will be given a packet about the Disney guidelines.
The Casting Center takes about an hour to two hours to walk through, so be sure you tell whoever is going to help you move in that you may be awhile. You will also be given a chart of what your costume will look like and how many of them you need to get.
My recommendation before starting the program is that you purchase two pairs of shoes. When I was accepted as PhotoPass Photographer in 2010 I asked around what color shoes I needed to purchase. White. I bought two pairs and broke them in before my arrival. Why do I suggest two? That way when the one pair gets destroyed you won’t have to purchase another.
Second Step: Done
Thirdly, you will have about two more hours to get some grocery shopping done. Walmart is minutes away from the complexes and offers a lot of deals on foods. Publix is much closer, but is more expensive. Buy what you need, not what you want to snack on. One of my helpful hints to those of you reading this is to stock on shower and frozen food items, etc. You will be surprised how a large bottle of shampoo will last you. Mark your name on everything when you get back to your apartment and put your food in the cabinets as soon as possible.
Third Step: Done
Orientation is the last step that you will do on check-in day. Orientation is held in the Commons Clubhouse. The CMs there will remind you of the rules, events, and helpful tips and insight throughout the orientation. You will have the chance to ask specific questions yourself. Orientation is about a two hour presentation that will cover what I said previously and more. You will then have the rest of your day to spend in Downtown Disney or to finish unpacking.