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5th Dec 2014

Sending money home at the end of your Disney program

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It’s the end of your program, you’ve had an amazing time and hopefully you have managed to save at least a little money. You most likely have your savings in a US bank account. This gives you a few choices to get the money home.

Take Out Cash

Depending how much you have this might be an option. The law says you can’t bring more than €10,000 back in to the UK in cash. You would also then need to convert this cash to pounds where you probably won’t get a great rate. If you don’t have much to bring back this might be an option but if you’ve saved anything reasonable, from the bar for example this is unlikely to be the most efficient way.

Cheque from your US Bank

You could take the whole lot out as a US dollar cheque and bring it back to pay in a UK account. There is no limit on how much this can be but between the fees from the US bank and the UK bank plus probably not a great exchange rate you will lose quite a bit of your hard earned cash.

Wire Transfer from your US Bank

This is a direct transfer from your US Bank to your UK Bank account. To do this you will need to know your IBAN number, which is basically your international bank account number. This saves on UK bank fees but your US bank may charge a fair amount to set this up for you plus you tend to not get the best rate since they make money on that too.

Use a money transfer service

There are plenty of different independent services that will do the transfer for you, it is worth shopping around and doing your homework to make sure they are legitimate and are giving you a good rate. My personal favourite is TransferWise, they take pretty small fees as little as £1 per transfer and give the market rate. They also seem to get the money there faster than other services, I have had transfers come through in as little as 3 days. You should certainly take a look at other services when you come to do the transfer though as rates and charges vary all the time and it is very dependent on how much you are transferring.

However you bring your money back make sure you are getting a good deal. You probably worked (very) hard to earn it and it might take a while to find something that pays as well for a while when you get back so it makes sense to bring as much back as possible.

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22nd Apr 2013

Booking Time Off on the Disney CRP

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Booking time off seems to be very confusing for people so I am going to break down the basics and explain how it all works.

What are the different types of time off?

There are 3 different types of time off – Vacation, Floating Holiday and Sick Pay. You earn each of these as the program goes on.

Vacation is earned based on the hours you have worked – you can get up to 40 hours (5 days) per calendar year. You get 8 hours of vacation for each 360 hours worked.

You get 3 days of Floating Holiday per calendar year – these are given to you on March 1st, June 1st and September 1st.

Sick Pay is earned similar to vacation – you get 8 hours for every 300 hours worked up to a total of 48 hours (6 days) per year.

If your program takes you in to a new calendar year (January) you Vacation and Sick Pay roll over but your Floating Holiday does not. Any Vacation and Sick Pay left at the end of your program will be paid to you – Floating Holiday will not. Because of this it is almost always better to use your Floating Holiday first before vacation or sick pay.

You sick pay will be used up if you call in sick but it can also be used to pick up time off. You can always check how much you have left of all 3 types on the Hub.

What about ADOs?

Authorised Days Off (ADOs) are a day off without pay. They are in addition to your vacation and sick pay. You can only take 1 in a week in addition to your RDOs (Regular Days Off). These are at the discretion of management.

When can you book time off?

Technically you cannot book vacation until you have been on the program 9 months. In reality this means you cannot get paid vacation until you have been there 9 months – you may be able to book unpaid vacation. If you put a request in as a vacation before 9 months it will be assumed to be unpaid vacation time.

Every year in November/December there is a vacation bid. At this time you can put any vacation requests in for the next year and they are considered in order of seniority (starting with the people who have been at the location the longest to the newest). This is the best time to put vacation requests in.

For each day of the year there is a vacation allowance – for example 3 people can have each day off. Once those are taken everyone else who asks will be waitlisted – unless one of those people cancels their request you are unlikely to have the time approved. In the vacation bid nobody can already have asked for the day so assuming you have fairly high seniority you have a good chance of having the time approved – you can always cancel the request later if you change your mind.

Also bear in mind all time off requests must be in the hub 2 weeks in advance, before the schedule comes out. Anything after that time will be ignored.

What about switching shifts?

You can always switch shifts to get time off but there are a few rules to stick by. You must still be being paid 30 hours of work per week (Sunday – Saturday) – this includes Floating Holiday and Vacation Pay (8 hours each).

Also any switch cannot result in a higher cost to Disney. So for example if your shift gave the other person a 6th day instead of your 5th day it would be overtime instead of straight time and cost Disney more, this request would be denied. Also anything that goes from a straight time shift (less than 8 hours) to an overtime shift (over 8 hours) would also be denied. The same if it went from someone being under 40 hours (straight time) to being over 40 hours (Overtime).

Anyone in a tipped position (Server, Bartender, Food Runner) can sign a waiver which means they do not get paid overtime and can therefore pick up shifts that would otherwise result in overtime. In a non-tipped position it is necessary to find someone who would not go in to overtime.

All of these restrictions can be overridden by management but it is not guaranteed. For urgent requests speaking to management may help.

I just want to do something on my regular days off

Your regular days off are not guaranteed. At busy times of year you may lose one and end up working 6 days a week. If you are planning something on an RDO put a request in for that week which just has your RDOs and you working every other day. If it is approved as a request on the Hub it is then guaranteed. A lot of people were caught out by this around Christmas – put the request in and get it guaranteed.

As with all my advice, please bear in mind that things do change and while this was correct for my program policies and procedures change all the time. Always speak to management before acting on any of this information.

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