by Ashleigh Schneider
The days leading up to your Disney College Program are some of the most anxious, exciting, nerve-wracking you will ever experience! You are imagining all of the wonderful adventures you will go on, and wondering where your location will be and whether you will enjoy it or not. You are curious about what your roommates will be like, and where you will be living, and have so many other magical thoughts running through your head.
One not-quite-so-magical thought? The idea of organizing and packing up your life and taking it from your home to Orlando. Packing is definitely a stressful time, but hopefully this post will make the process a little bit easier! These are things that you might not necessarily think of or realize that you need, but these tips will come in handy as you prepare for the big move!
DO NOT Over Pack Clothes. This is perhaps one of the more obvious tips in here. Many CP alumni will tell you that you do not need to pack a ton of extra clothing, and they are right. Because you are primarily with Disney to work, the majority of your time will be spent in your costume, and even if you bring a bunch of different items, you will most likely end up in the same four or five outfits on your days off. It’s always good to have a few essentials, like your business attire for Traditions, training, and classes, and some warmer articles for when it actually cools down, but for the most part, save the packing space for more important things and only bring what you absolutely think you will wear!
DO Bring Medications. This is important for a couple of reasons. Along with the fact that you may be moving to a completely different climate than what your body is used to, you will also suddenly find yourself surrounded by people from all walks of life carrying a wide variety of germs. Plenty of CPs find that they get sick at some point during their program, with illnesses ranging from the common cold to a nasty bout of bronchitis. You may also be moving differently than you’re used to and exercising previously unused muscles, which can leave you feeling sore and achy. All of these possibilities essentially mean that you should arm yourself with as many different pain relievers, killers, and vitamins as you can.
DO Bring Extra Cups. This may seem like a random thing to pack, but hear me out. Apartments provided by Disney Housing do come equipped with dishware, pots, pans, and utensils, but one thing there never seems to be enough of are drinking vessels. Even if your cupboards are stocked with cups, you will be drinking a lot of fluids to keep yourself hydrated in the Florida heat. Whether you have three people in your apartment or eight, you will go through glasses quite quickly and it’s nice to not have to run the dishwasher every single night.
DO Bring Clothes Hangers. In terms of storage, the majority of the rooms in Disney Housing apartments come equipped with an end table with a few drawers per person, one dresser that you will share with your roommate(s), and a nice, big closet with lots of hanging space. This is where you will most likely want to store your costumes, as well as any business or formal wear that you may be bringing for classes, events, etc. Although your costumes will probably come to you on a hanger, the apartments do not contain hangers, so it is important that you bring (or buy) your own to hold all of your things. With that much closet space, you might as well use it for the bulk of your clothes and save your dresser drawers for other things!
DO Bring a Lock or Two. The apartments usually come with a locker for each person, which is great if you have expensive items or important documents that you want to keep safe. The lockers do not, however, come with locks attached to them, so it is up to you to provide your own. This is a nice thing to have because you never know who your roommates may be bringing into the apartment, and you don’t want your electronics or nice things sitting out in the open for anyone to see or take. As well, you will want a lock if you’re going to be using a locker at work. Some locations provide lockers that only people in your role can get to, but the majority of places share locker space between anyone and everyone who works there. Unless you trust every person who may be coming through that area, do yourself a favor and pick up a lock or two!
DO NOT Pack Shared Items. Whether you choose to go random in the roommate department or you find people on social media that you would like to live with, it’s a good idea to avoid packing items that may be shared by the whole apartment. If you know who you’d like your roommates to be ahead of time, chatting with one another about who’s bringing what is a great way to ensure you don’t end up with several of the same item, but even if you decide to wait and find out who you’ll be living with when you arrive, it’s still smart to wait on purchasing items like cleaning supplies or kitchen items that may be shared by everyone. Otherwise, you may end up with eight boxes of plastic baggies or cans of bathroom cleaner. While that could be handy in some cases, bringing those items along will most likely just take up valuable packing space!
DO Pack Similar Things Together. This may be easier if you’re bringing a car and have a decent amount of room, but even if you are flying and are stuck with a couple of suitcases and a weight limit to adhere to, it’s wise to pack things that go together, together. In the end, it makes unpacking a lot easier if things that belong in the same area of your house (like toiletries, kitchen supplies, etc.) are packed next to one another. You will be able to put multiple things away at once, so you’re not running around the apartment from one room to the next trying to find homes for random items that somehow ended up next to each other in your suitcase, and it will make getting settled into your new home much less stressful!