Today is 6 months until I leave for Orlando. When I was first offered my place Yummy Jobs sent a checklist of all of the things that needed to be done before departure. I thought I would give a quick update of what I have done and what is still to be done.
Disney Information Pack – ASAP | STILL WAITING…
I was initially told that this would come 5 weeks after I got my offer but that was a long way before I left so I never really expected it that soon. Hopefully it will come before christmas and should have all the offer paperwork as well as the visa application documentation.
Criminal Background Check – ASAP | COMPLETE
Got this done very quickly and I have the paperwork back to prove that I am not a criminal. A really simple process.
Missing Documents – ASAP | COMPLETE
Although I brought all the documents requested to my interview I have since had a couple of emails from Kristen at Yummy Jobs asking for scans of documents and visas from my first programs as they are needed to complete my visa petition. She sent the email last week and I sent all of the scans back within 40 minutes. Kristen thanked me for my super-fast response! I am guessing there may be some more documents needed in the future but for now I am considering this complete.
Flight – ASAP | COMPLETE
Booked and ready to go. Thanks to the wonder of Facebook I have also arranged to be on the same flight as 3 girls on the program and this week we all managed to book our seats on the plane so that we are all sitting together. One night this week we all logged on to the virgin atlantic website and found a bunch of seats with lots of free space around them in case any more people with our date appear. For anybody who booked through STA (not Yummy Travel) and can’t manage to log in to the Virgin website you need to use the Airline Reference from your STA itinerary and include any middle names you have in the ‘first name’ box – it took us a while to work that out! There still seem to be lots of empty seats on our flight but I am sure that will change as we get closer to March, although a half-empty plane could be nice and quiet.
I have also emailed all of the flight details to Disney and Yummy as they requested and today I got a reply from Karen at the Disney Service Center Office thanking me for the information and included the Vista Way address along with some important next steps:
Please make sure you do the following:
- Bring bed linens for a single bed( or twin size as referred to in the U.S.)
- Print out and fill out your on boarding paperwork and bring it with you on the day of your arrival
- Pay your assessment fee online prior to your arrival
- If you need to contact us on the day of your arrival, please call us at ***-***-**** or toll free within the U.S., at 1-888-***-****.
PLEASE DO NOT OVERPACK. YOU MAY BE LIVING ON A SECOND OR THIRD FLOOR OF AN APARTMENT COMPLEX AND THERE ARE NO ELEVATORS.
I particularly enjoy that last line and can think of a few people who could have done with that advice on my first two programs. I will be putting together a new packing list post (you can see the ICP 2009 one here) at some point before I leave to help people avoid packing all the stuff you will never use but will have to pull up the stairs!
Medical and Travel Insurance – Required | IN PROGRESS
As I said a few weeks ago, this has taken a lot of thought and I while I think I have decided which insurance I am going with I have not yet bought it as there is no benefit in buying it now and I may as well hold on to the money until nearer when I leave. At the moment it looks like I will be getting medical insurance through either Yummy Jobs’ Seven Corners policy or IMG’s Patriot Exchange – I am going to make a final decision in the new year. For travel insurance I am still covered for the flight and any lost luggage by an annual travel insurance policy so I am just sticking with that.
Visa – 4 to 6 weeks before departure | TOO EARLY
Since I have not yet got my Disney pack it is too early to make a start on my Visa but the email from Kristen about sending documents to enable Disney to make my visa petition had a deadline of the 15th September so I am hopeful that I will hear more about this in the coming weeks and months although I can’t say the prospect of hours sitting in the US embassy is something I am looking forward to at the moment. That being said, those that have been so far seem to have had relatively easy experiences so it might be less stressful than the last times.
Program Assessment Fee – 30 days before departure | WAY TOO EARLY
I just included this for completeness! It is far too early for this yet and I have a sneaky suspicion it might go up for 2012 as it did in 2009 but we shall see.
So that’s where I am… quite a bit done but quite a bit more to do.