I’m here! March 20th began early (and not so bright) with a 5.30 wake-up for a drive to Gatwick. My sickness bug decided to try to rear its ugly head again which made the goodbye scenario a little more painful than it needed be. Checking in was simple and security was really fast and just as I went through I got a text from the girls (Lesley, Sarah, Sian and Emily) telling me where they were waiting and I found them pretty much as soon as I walked into departures. After a quick breakfast stop we were off to the gate and soon on the plane. The flight was long and fairly uneventful although I did get to watch the Muppets which I have waited to see for ages.
We had agreed with Craig and Rosie (the other 2 UKs on our date) that we would text them when we arrived and try to meet up for the Mears shuttle. As luck would have it I got a message from Craig saying he was waiting at Mears as we were about to board our shuttle – unfortunately it turned out to be a different Mears desk so we missed each other by a few minutes. We arrived at Vista Way and were met by the ever-lovely Programs Staff who showed us a quick video and gave us some information and free food and drink in the from of water, fruit and cookies. Then it was off to our apartments, we were all in the Commons.
I had Block 28 (the furthest possible block to walk to) which I sort of gulped at when I got it but it turned out to be a nice 2 bed apartment with some really nice roommates so I am pretty pleased. I am sharing with a Mexican, an Italian and a French guy who is my actual roommate. After 30 minutes to meet and greet the roommates we were off to WalMart on the bus (specially extended for new arrivals) – we just grabbed the bare essentials, bedding and breakfast with a plan to go back later to get proper food and stuff. While we were waiting for the bus we bumped into Rosie and a canadian girl, Candice, who she had met on her Mears shuttle.
After I got home I just unpacked and crashed. The 24 hour day had finally caught up with me.
Today started with an 8.20 meeting at the Commons clubhouse with the completion of some employment paperwork followed by a talk from Immigration compliance on the rules and regulations of our visas. We then had a talk from Price Management, the housing management company on the rules and regulations of housing and finally a talk on all the program rules from the International Programs team including all the multitude of reasons you can get terminated.
We then had 25 minutes for lunch where Rosie, Candice and I dashed over to the Premium Outlets to grab some Subway – the first ‘proper’ food I have had since I arrived. We then had to catch a bus to the Vista Way pavilion to check in to housing and get our proper housing ID cards. This works on a series of stations which you work around, completing one piece of paperwork at each station. My tip for the whole process is sit and the front of the bus and get off quick, you will be out and through faster.
When I got checked in the girl said “Oh, you have been here before” and presented me with a button (badge for you brits) with Disney Internships and Programs Alumni which she told me to wear. Embarrassing or what? This resulted in a conversation withevery other station about where I had worked and when.
Once we were done at Vista Way we took another bus to the Casting building near Downtown Disney. Here we went through another series of stations dealing with paperwork and finally a Disney Look check. It was a fairly painless experience, just a lot of waiting in lines.
Then it was back to The Commons and I think the plan at the moment is for a proper WalMart trip at about 5 and then who knows!