So... now that I'm hitting the two-month mark, I'm in the middle of some major Disney withdrawals. It seems to be hitting a lot of my fellow Fall 2011 CPs, so there must be something about this amount of time away from "home." Anyways, I decided to post on some of the things that I should have done differently, and that I plan on doing differently if I do a second program. Hopefully this will help any new Disney College Program participants!
1. Prepare for humidity. I moved to Florida at the beginning of September, and even then, the humidity was dreadful. If you're like me and from the West Coast(especially the Northwest), you do not understand humidity. Ladies, plan ahead and bring makeup that won't melt. Bring along your liquid foundation and cream eyeshadow if you want, but know that it will all slide off for at least the first few weeks. It's a rough adjustment, and it's better if you just accept that you won't look pretty during it. And bring shorts. And loose shirts.Sure, you can wear skirts, but if your inner thighs touch AT ALL when you walk, you're gonna have some problems. So just bring shorts. Or do what I did and wear jeans on your first trip to a park. And then buy several pairs of shorts at Wal-Mart the next day.
2. Prepare for rain. It rains all the time in Florida. ALL THE TIME. I've been living in a desert since I was fifteen. When I was younger and lived in a rainier place, rain was no big deal. I could just spend time inside. But on your college program, you'll be spending lots of time outside. You'll want an umbrella. You'll want a poncho.
3. Prepare for cold. What I said about shorts? Bring long pants, too. And layers. Get gloves and a hat. When your trainer tells you to check out a coat from costuming as early as possible, LISTEN TO HER. I would have had trouble no matter what because my area had multiple costumes and coats, but the odds are that you'll only have one costume to worry about, and one coat to check out. So check the coat out as soon as you can. If you're arriving in January, your coat selection should still be okay, because of all the Fall CPs who just returned theirs. And if the closest fit you can find is still not a great fit, check it out anyways. You can always trade it out later.
4. Honestly, just be prepared to be outside a lot. So bring clothing for all sorts of weather, bring fantastic walking shoes(not just for work), bring sunscreen, bring bug spray.
5. Bring a camera. I so wish that I had brought my camera. My phone has a pretty decent camera, so I figured I would just use that... yeah, no. You'll want something else to take pictures with.
6. Get a pass for another theme park. Yes, you have free access to everything Disney. And of course that's enough to fill your entire program with fun activities. But sometimes, it's just so NICE to go somewhere else for a day. And Universal and Sea World have some pretty cool stuff, too. You're living in Central Florida, maybe for the only time in your whole life. Take advantage of that. Also, you can get the cheapest passes possible without feeling like you're missing out, because even though there will be blockout dates, those dates usually match up with busy times for Disney, so you'll probably be working anyways.
So those are my six major things that I didn't do ahead of time... that I would do next time. Hopefully this will help someone out!