The day you arrive to check in for your Disney Program is a day you’ll never forget. You’re meeting your roommates face-to-face for the first time, moving into your new apartment, and creating the beginning chapters of your Disney journey. Over the following months, you’ll create even more incredible memories, but they all begin on this very first day.
If you’re embarking on a Disney Program soon, get excited! We often hear from past participants that their arrivals experience was one of the most special parts of their Disney Program. While your arrival day may come and go swiftly, there are lots of moving parts behind-the-scenes that you may not know about! I touched base with the different Disney Programs teams who contribute to arrivals day to get the inside scoop on that first-day magic.
While you’re packing your bags and dreaming of your time at Disney, the arrivals process is already underway. About three weeks before participants arrive, the Disney Programs Placement team sends out a pre-registration email in order for participants to make their housing preferences. From there, they begin the process of placing participants’ requested apartment information into DORMS – Disney Programs’ internal housing system. The Placement team also works closely with Casting to ensure that each participant has the correct arrival time listed on their itinerary, as well as the correct training schedule and Disney Traditions class time. A few days before the big day, the placement team will also pull a Program Guide for each participant and attach a special label with their name and apartment information to it. On arrival day, the Placement team helps check participants in to DORMS. Be sure to say ‘hi!’ to them when you approach their table! Britteny, a leader on the Placement team, says arrivals is truly one of the best parts of her role. “There’s nothing better than arrivals day,” she says. “It’s so exciting and it’s so great to have that first interaction with participants. I look forward to it every season!”
Another critical part of the arrivals process is the Disney Service Center team. They work with Placement to pull apartment keys for each participant, and for many participants their first interaction with the Disney Service Center is on their arrival day. “Many participants will come by the Disney Service Center on their first day with questions about their program. Some even come by to introduce themselves, and we love that!” says Darin, a Disney Service Center leader. “Since the arrivals process has become so streamlined and quick, for many participants, the Disney Service Center is their first impression of the program, and that’s something we are very proud of!”
Speaking of streamlined, did you know the Disney Programs arrivals process takes about 5 to 10 minutes to go through, on average? Less than ten years ago, it would sometimes take participants over an hour to check-in. Wow! Through participant feedback, the Disney Programs team has worked to make the entire process easy, quick and stress-free. In 2018 alone, we checked-in over 18,000 participants from all 50 states and over 70 countries, and we can’t wait to welcome our newest participants in 2019.
If your Disney Programs arrival day is coming up, congrats! Our team is working diligently behind-the-scenes to welcome you to the magic. Be sure to snap a photo at your arrival using #DisneyPrograms so we can follow along with your first day!