Questions about the ICP?

Discussion in 'ICP Applicants Discussion' started by Hippymeow, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Hippymeow

    Hippymeow Member

    Hey guys!
    Im Jane and have just returned home from the most amazing summer in walt disney world! Some of you may have seen some of my vlogs (im still trucking on with uploading!), but anyway! Im looking to do an FAQ video in the next few weeks as well as a few information/roundup videos! If anyone has any questions or things they would like to know feel free to post them here or on my tumblr ( Just thought i would put a blast on here while im putting it together :)
    My role was quick service outdoor foods in magic kingdom - vending and parade vending! I also am good friends with people who did merch, costuming, full service and attractions so if you have any questions about those roles feel free to ask and i will pitch it to them =]
    Good luck with all your applications!
  2. tjnewell

    tjnewell New Member

    Hello There,

    Just a quick question about roles ,if thats ok? What role would you say is the best? Did you have any friends doing a certain job which everyone was jealous of? Which do you think gives you the best experience in terms of guest interaction, variety of work etc.?

  3. Shiftia

    Shiftia New Member

    Everyone prefers different roles.

    I would say the roles I heard the most complaints from were Quick Service Food and Beverage, and Housekeeping.

    I was a character performer and loved every minute of it, but it was also sweaty, hard work.

    when it all boils down, it's WORK so it's going to be hard but it's also disney so it's still great :)
  4. Hippymeow

    Hippymeow Member

    We were all most definitly jealous of my roommate who did costuming! She got to work with the face and fur characters and also on the ELP. Thats a role which is really underrated as there isnt much information on it! Though, that has no guest interaction.
    With stuff like QSFB you are way too busy to stop and chat with guests alot of the time, but there are occasions! I wouldnt say there is a better role, but i persaonlly would have loved to be a character attended more than anything. Unfortunatly with the icp luck plays a big part in getting the role you want.
  5. vickiw001

    vickiw001 Member

    I was in merchandise and loved every minute of it! Huge amounts of guest interaction and a super fun and relaxed environment! Like everyone else has said it completely depends on what you want to get from your role. I think if I were to do the program again I would want to be a character performer but I would miss being able to chat to guests (fur characters don't speak).

    I would recommend reading a few blogs about different roles that ICPs and CPs have done to find out more about what you do in each role. Of course if you have any questions about particular roles I would be happy to help! This video by a girl who did the program a few years ago gives a good broad overview:
  6. booshas

    booshas Guest

    Hey guys!!

    For people who have already been on the program, could you answer a few questions???
    - How many hours a week do you work and what kind of pay check do you get?
    - What phone company did you use?
    - Do you get much time to go to the parks when you're not working?
  7. vickiw001

    vickiw001 Member

    Hi there! Your hours a week vary quite dramatically depending on what role you get, you can always give away or pick up shifts but I was generally working about 40 hours a week. This was split into 5 8hour days although there were a few weeks where I worked 6 days. There was still plenty on time off to play in the parks though! Your pay check is all set up by Disney, so they will give you a prepaid card that they will put your pay onto each week (every Thursday). Pay varies but is normally around $7-8 per hour. Character performers and lifeguards are two of the highest paid roles (I believe). Also your rent for accommodation and tax are automatically taken out of your pay check (we claim tax back in the winter after our program, yummy jobs will apparently send emails about sorting that out). Accommodation is roughly $100 per week which is very cheap and that includes all of you bills so its pretty good. My pay checks were easily enough to live on however I used more money that I had saved from home as I wanted to go out to eat a lot and buy souveniers etc.

    I got my phone from walmart on an at&t plan. I wouldn't suggest going pay as you go as you have to pay to receive and send texts so it gets quite expensive. My phone plan is $20 per month and gives me unlimited texts and 100 minutes which is more than enough! Some people wanted phones with internet in which case there is a phone store across the road from vista where you can get decent phone plans.

    I spent A LOT of time in the parks whilst I was in Fl! I bought an annual pass to universal and did three full days over there as well as doing practically everything at Disney. How much time you spend in the parks is really up to you. I was quite proactive and so if my shift started at 2PM I would get up and spend a few hours in the park before work, or conversely if my shift finished at 9 I would get changed and then go and watch the fireworks before going home. I have friends who, although they spent a lot of time in the parks, didn't spend as much time there as I did because they wanted to chill a bit more and spend more time in the apartment and by the pool whereas I wanted to make the most of my time at Disney. I think the only days I was there when I didn't go to a park at all was my first full day plus one day when I called in and went to Florida Mall but on both of those days I also went to downtown Disney. So yes, there are plenty of opportunities to go to the parks!

    Hope this helps a little bit! If you have any more questions do ask! I love talking about my summer in WDW and this is a great distraction from uni work!
  8. booshas

    booshas Guest

    Hey vickiw001,

    Thanks for answering those questions!!

    I have a LOOOOOOT of questions haha. My friend is currently working at Disney and I always whatsapp her to try and get info out of her but she seems to be always busy and out and about!

    - Which roles did you do when you were there and did you enjoy them?
    - Did you go anywhere else like Miami while you were there? And is it easy to get there?
    - Are the gyms at the complexes good?
    - Do you have internet in your apartments?
    - What sort of things did you eat when you were there? Did you cook at your apartment or get takeout or microwave meals?
    - How much money did you spend all together approx?
    - Is it hard to meet people?
    - Is it hard to get around or are the buses good?
  9. tjnewell

    tjnewell New Member

    Thank you very much, very useful information!
  10. Imagineer2802

    Imagineer2802 New Member

    Is character attendant still a role choice? Some people say it is, and some say it isn't! :(
  11. Shiftia

    Shiftia New Member

    It was this summer.
  12. vickiw001

    vickiw001 Member

    No problem! Feel free to ask me anything! I know when you're out there it can be crazy busy and you don't get much time to stop and speak to people back home particularly not if you want to give good answers to questions!

    My role was in merchandise in Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom and I LOVED it! I had so much fun every day whilst at work, so much so that a lot of the time it didn't seem like work at all. Some of the cool things I got to do were whilst working were; greet all the princes and princesses, give out pixie dust, sing along to Disney music in the stores, see Gaston and beast on my way into work at New Fantasyland, see Fantasyland completely empty when the park was closed, have closing meetings inside the castle in Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and occasionally got to watch Wishes! Getting paid to watch the fireworks is the best! I had some great guest interactions which were probably my favourite parts of working. For example, I had one girl who came up to me whilst I was in my New Fantasyland costume and tell me she was thrilled to meet a real princess which was so adorable. I spent ages talking to her and her family! I also had an adorable guest who was afraid of the fireworks so I sat on the floor of Fantasy Faire with her and her mother for the whole fireworks show talking about what she had done and where she was staying and how her vacation was going (she had some great dining recommendations). And there are countless other moments that I don't have enough space to write about in here! I would recommend merchandise to anyone who is thinking about it, it's a great role!

    Also, I managed to pick up a Parade Audience Control (PAC) shift in Animal Kingdom one day which meant I was working on the parade route helping keep guests safe whilst watching the parade. That was great fun because it meant I got to try working in a different park and got to watch the parade! If you get the opportunity to take a PAC shift then I would advise you do so, they are great fun!

    Three of my flatmates were character performers and loved that! They had some amazing stories about guests they had met and they said the costumes weren't as hot as you think. Yeah it's going to be hot but Disney do a lot to keep you as cool as possible (20 sets, positions in the shade, lots of water when you get offstage etc) so it is manageable. I also had a flatmate who was a character attendant. The role was definitely offered last year so unless it is changed it will be offered again this year, she loved it! There was a lot of standing in the heat and cutting off the lines was apparently not fun because some people get angry or sad that they can't see a character but she met some great guests and had some of the best guest interactions of all of us! My other roommates were merchandise like me, operations working at Indie speedway (which again, great fun, no complaints. Stood in the heat, can't pin trade due to safety but guest interaction, get to see how the ride works, see the fireworks etc) and Custodial at Saratoga Springs/Old Key West (she loves her role, apparently its better to do custodial in the resorts as it is a lot more relaxed and you don't have to deal with as much icky stuff! But she probably has the most time to talk to guests and she has a far more relaxed work location in the sense that she is given an area and can focus on what she wants to do, it is less structured than say my role was.)

    I did not go to Miami whilst I was there no, I did consider going over to Tampa to Busch Gardens but honestly I had so much that I wanted to do in Orlando that I wouldn't have had time. My flatmate went to Miami, she really enjoyed it! I'm not sure how I feel about the party bus which is a system that a lot of people use to go to Miami and other locations. I have heard bad stories about the condition of the bus and the people who use it but I have to say that everyone who used it whilst I was there was fine and had a great time. I guess that is something to make up your own mind about when you get there.

    Again, I didn't use the gym at the complex but my roommate did. She said the gym was relatively small but very nice and never too busy. I saw the pool whilst I was there and that was nice so I assume the gym will be of a similar standard. I never heard any complaints of the gym not having something or not being able to use something so can only assume good things about it!

    You do have internet in your apartment but it is through a cable. Me and my roommates just bought a wireless router when we got there (about $15 each I think) but I had other friends who moved into apartments where they already had a router so it was all good for them! Also there are certain areas of the complexes where you can pick up wireless such as the clubhouse and pool areas.

    Food wise I spent a lot of money eating out at various restaurants (mainly Disney ones). I did cook pasta and took sandwiches into work quite a few times but it was mainly easier and quicker to eat out. If you do like cooking there is a Walgreens right next to Vista Way and a Publix just up the road from the other three which are pretty big supermarkets (I would advise avoiding WalMart for general food shopping as the buses only run in an afternoon every 30 mins at its most frequent and it takes ages to get there and back!)

    I honestly have no idea how much I spent altogether on this summer, prior to arrival in Florida I spent around £1200 on transport to interviews, CRB check, medical insurance and all the other fees required for visas etc. I took around $700 for my first few weeks plus all my shopping that I wanted to do and then basically lived on my pay check. I think I did put some more money on my card towards the end of July again for shopping and eating out. You can live solely off your pay check but I wanted to be able to experience everything and not be restricted by my budget. It's not cheap to do the program and in no way will you come out of it with loads of money but you will gain invaluable experience and have the best summer of your life. I think I speak for everyone who has done the program when I say it is totally worth the cost!

    It is not at all hard to meet people! I actually skyped a few people before heading out and then met other people when I was over there so had loads of friends. I became really close with my roommates and the people I met on the plane (funny story, the first girl I saw in the airport wearing a Disney hoodie turned out to be one of my closest friends and was also the last person I saw when leaving Fl airport!) But even if you don't get along with your roommates all that well or something goes wrong and you lose contact with people on the plane (make sure to take down names for facebook as you probably wont have a US phone at this point!) Disney have loads of social events, there are so many meetings in the first week for check in and visa requirements etc that you are bound to meet people. Plus you will always have your friends at work as well. I think the best way to sum it up is that it is like the first week of freshers, everyone is in the same position in that they don't know anyone (or hardly anyone) and they all want to make friends. Plus you all have something in common; you love and want to work for Disney! So there is always something to talk about!

    I found it relatively easy to get around. There are pretty frequent cast member buses to all the Disney locations, although they are not always (very rarely) on time so make sure you leave plenty of time to get anywhere and arrive at the bus stop early. Once you are on Disney property you can use the guest buses which are very frequent and far more reliable. For travelling outside of Disney property, I have already mentioned the WalMart bus isn't great. The Florida mall bus is fine, it isn't particularly regular and only runs one day a week but never had any problems with it. I just made sure I planned my shopping trip around the buses. The only other transport I used was to get to universal; this was the tricky one! There is public transport to universal studios and it is relatively cheap ($2.50 on the Lynx shuttle) but it does involve a bus transfer down international drive. This was fine for getting to universal in the morning, it would take us about an hour to get there, but getting back late at night we didn't fancy being sat at a little bus stop in a place we didn't know waiting for a bus which could take up to an hour and so we always just got a taxi back. The taxi from universal cost around $20-30 so not too bad. Oh and also I had some very lovely friends who had cars and occasionally gave me lifts which was nice. The buses for work will run at all hours and if there isn't a bus running when you need to get into work either because you are in to early or stay to late then you just ring the bus company and they will set up a bus for you so that you can get to work at that time.

    I hope that answers everything. If you have any more questions about any specific roles then please ask! I had friends in most roles in most work locations so will try to answer any questions you have. Or if you have any questions about anything else related to the program or application then let me know! I'm happy to help! (sorry this is so long by the way!)
  13. booshas

    booshas Guest

    Wow, thank you so much for your response!!!!! Don't worry about it being long! It's perfect!

    I do have some other questions lol...

    - When you arrive in Orlando, how do you get from the airport to Vista Way?
    - How long can you stay in America before and after your program? (I guess this depends on your visa)
    - Do many people get termed? I've heard a lot about it in Vlogs etc
    - How much, on average, would a lunch meal be if you bought it at the park?
    - Do you think doing the program was good in terms of helping with future career prospects?
    - Do people party all night long at the housing complexes and is it hard to get a good sleep?
    - Do you get really tired?
    - Did you do any of the classes they offer and if so, were they good and worthwhile?
    - Did you have any problems with your flatmates/roommates?
    - Do they have vacuums and cleaning stuff or do you need to buy that?

    Lol, sorry so pedantic but I'm just so curious!!!
  14. Hippymeow

    Hippymeow Member

    If you follow signs for the mears shuttles they will take you straight to vista way for 17dollars (which a voucher disney give you)
    You can stay in america for a month after your program ends to travel and whatnot.
    To be honest, i dont personally know of anyone who has gotten termed. They tell you at the meetings what will get you termed on the spot and for most other things you do get warnings.
    Buying food in the parks is expensive! A quick service meal would cost you around 10 dollars plus however much a drink is. I used to order kids meals with double fries, it sated the hunger and for half the cost.
    In terms of future career prospects, i want to work for the walt disney company in the future so for me yes.
    You can call security if anyone is being annoyingly loud. I didnt experience any loud noise at night, but music booming from near mickeys retreat at 7am was a pain. I never did find out where exactly that was coming from.
    I didnt get tired really. I woke up every morning between 8-9am without fail naturally, not matter what time i went to sleep. You just kinda push through it for three months.
    No i didnt do classes. Im not sure if icps can? There just isnt enough time for them!
    I loved my roommates so much. Since dorms caqme out this year i got to room with girls i has been speaking too and met months in advance. They are now my best friends.
    There are vaccumes at reception but you will need to buy your own cleaning stuff!

    Im gonna put a video up in the next 2 weeks about most aspects of the program xD
  15. booshas

    booshas Guest

    Thanks so much for the reply!!!!

    Can't wait to watch your video! make sure you post a link on here :)
  16. AllyBallyBee

    AllyBallyBee New Member

    Hey, thanks for answering all the questions guys and glad to hear you both had a really good summer :) I just had a quick few questions too:

    1) Do you feel you learnt a lot from the experience that you can bring away into other employment? Being a tourism student, I predominantly mean did you feel it really benefited your customer service skills/what others skills did it develop?
    2) I am not much of a drinker and even though I know how strict Disney are regarding drinking, was there a lot of underage drinking going on in apartments? (feel free not to answer that one in case of incriminating others ;))
    3) What did you feel was the hardest element of the experience?
    4) Did you feel like you got a lot of support from managers and other cast members?

    Sorry for all the kind of more serious questions, I have applied for the academic exchange for my placement year at uni and even though I have been waiting and waiting to apply since I was 12 and it is my dream, I just really want to see how well it would benefit me in the long-term regarding employment.

    Thanks for any help you can provide :)
  17. cathyb93

    cathyb93 New Member

    Quick note - ICPs there for 6 or 12 months can do classes, so Alice you'd be able to since Aussies go for either 6 or 12. :)
  18. Hippymeow

    Hippymeow Member

    1) I do feel i learnt alot yes! I've never had a full time job before so this really put into perspective working life and gave me better time management skills i think. Disney really are at the very top of customer service, you learn to go that extra mile for a guest and that a smile means everything. It made me more confident with speaking to people, from asking how someones day has been to asking if they need any help. Go into a "normal" shop you get a hello and a goodbye. Go into a disney shop/food place (cheese alert) you get a Hello, a big smile, a conversation and a see ya soon. You get an experience.
    2) I have heared of underage drinking yes. Though america is alot more strict when it comes to it. If people want to drink under 21 there, thats their choice, they will get instantly termed if caught. Just do not take alcohol into an underage flat, the whole flat can get termed for it, no matter who it was. I heared of someone carrying vodka jelly shots, he wasnt drinking them just carrying them, and he got termed for it. I wouldnt risk it to be honest, just stay away from alcohol and alcohol weilding people!
    3) I think the first 2 weeks was the hardest. Working long hours for the first time in my life, missing my boyfriend, being exhausted. I got used to it though, and when I did nothing seemed tough. Everything there was amazing and i never wanted to leave!
    4) It depends really. Some managers were amazing, some I didnt really see. There was certain co-ordinators and managers who really looked after me though, cast members as well! You will be able to tell the amazing cast members from the average ones in an instant.
  19. megannn

    megannn Member

    1] I learnt a hell of a lot. Disney really pushes you to talk to the Guests and it'll not only give you the chance to gain a lot of confidence, but you'll be able to hold conversations with anyone, as in any age of guest, and quite often a guest who doesn't speak English as their first language. You'll also know how to tell a bloody good story by the time you leave. When you work at Disney, you realise how amazing their guest service is. You'll go to Wendy's for dinner one night and realise that what you thought was good service, isn't. So that's something you'll really take away from the program. Other than that, there's a whole load of other skills you can improve on. Working with difficult guests, using your own initiative, communication skills. You name it, you'll improve on it.

    2] I was in a under 21 apartment and there was never drinking there. I did hear of a few people getting termed for drinking or even if they were holding someones drink but that's about it. I'd assume, being college students and everything, that it goes on a lot more than expected but people are good at keeping secrets.

    3] Quite a few things were difficult. Working outside in Orlando weather. Not just the heat, the strong sun and the sudden thunderstorms. I was at the bridge cart one night when a huge thunder storm hit and the lightning was so close to us that we ran to the nearest cast member area for safety. Dealing with guests that don't speak English is a biiiiig part of the job. But with training and experience, it becomes second nature.

    4] There was always a coordinator or manager circling for us if we needed help, and we could always call them for anything. Other cast members were really helpful if I was ever unsure of something. Depending on your role, you'll always have someone around. I know the likes of character attendants are quite independent but I noticed they sometimes carry phones to contact coordinators.

    In the long term, it'll be an amazing experience. When any future employer sees you've got the Walt Disney Company on your CV they're gonna ask you about it because Disney strive for great cast members for their guests. Also, if you're wanting to work for Disney in the future, the CP is a great place to start. If you ever want to apply for a professional internship, Disney often look for previous CP cast members.

    The hours are long, hot, stressful and sometimes, a right pain in the butt. At the end of the day though, it's a really competitive program and for some, a once in a lifetime opportunity. Totally worth the hard work. :)
  20. AllyBallyBee

    AllyBallyBee New Member

    Thank you so much guys for your response; you've been really helpful :)

    Totally forgot to ask this earlier though, did you guys have to set up a bank account out there to get paid into? Or do you have access to UK accounts? Sorry, banking things go way over my head and I was just curious!

    Thanks again though

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