After a crazy weekend of new surroundings and meeting lots of new faces, Monday 8th October was our check-in day into Disney Housing. I was excited to be able to unpack and find out where I would be living for the year but also very nervous! Fortunately, everyone else felt the same too so we could worry together. The main concern was having bunk beds, as some of the apartments have 3 in a room, and obviously whether our flatmates would be nice! We wouldn’t know anything until we arrived at our apartment.
On Monday morning, Elin and I woke up at 7am, still a bit jet-lagged, got ready and repacked all of our luggage to leave Art of Animation. We were staying in the building furthest away from the main building (of course) so we hauled our 3 cases each all the way back to reception. I might as well have not bothered to get ready; I was dripping with sweat and my hair was probably a massive ball of frizz. Think Monica from ‘Friends’ in the Barbados episode…
We queued to check out (a long, pointless exercise we later realised) and dropped our luggage in the holding room to have breakfast with Aaron. He told us he got a Cast Member to collect his luggage from his room- we didn’t realise we could have done this!!!
We took an Uber to our new housing complex. Aaron, Elin and I knew we were all in Patterson Court so we travelled together and Aaron and I had the same check-in time. As I was struggling to pull my cases along, Zoe and Nicole, two girls doing the same program who have already been here a month, turned up to help us. I was once again dripping with sweat at the point so I was so grateful they had offered to help us and show us where to go.
I checked in and received my program guide, lanyard and apartment key. I had my photo taken for the housing ID and didn’t realise I was allowed to smile… so now I’m stuck with that lovely photo for the year! Aaron and I also found out we were in the same building, which (once again) turned out to be the one furthest away from the main building and when we got to our apartments found out we are in apartments opposite each other!
I let myself in, not knowing whether there would already be people there or if everyone was new and arriving on the same day. It was dark and empty but there were a few things around to suggest there were already people living there. I looked in a couple of the rooms; one already had someone’s things inside and bed made, etc, with a second empty bed, the other room was completely empty. I didn’t know where the other room was and whether people were in there so I took the completely empty one. Elin and I had requested to share a room so I pulled all my cases in, sat on the sofa and waited.
I was already feeling completely overwhelmed by this point and the wait to see if Elin showed up seemed to last a lot longer than it probably was. Finally, I heard someone open the door and it was her! I was so relieved. I video-called Matt to tell him I was in my new apartment and had a little cry. It wasn’t because I was sad but because everything had happened so fast and I just felt so overwhelmed and relieved to be in my new home with my friend.
After taking everything in (or trying to) we started to unpack what we could. I had a quick on-boarding meeting where I had to give in my passport (not sure what the point of this was… the walk there took longer than the actual appointment) and came back to unpack a bit more. Aaron’s flatmate Sam had a day off and offered to drive us to Walmart (he is American so has his car here) which was so kind of him. Lucky he did, because the journey back would have been ridiculously difficult! We had so many bags.
I was originally quite excited to do the first Walmart shop. Buying bedding and some basic home things is a nice concept. HOWEVER. America doesn’t really do bedding quite the same way, and I got confused looking for a duvet and separate cover with the right sheet and pillowcases. They just don’t have it and I was getting really stressed out! In the end I settled for a set with a flat sheet and got a blanket for an extra layer in case I get cold. So far so good. The rest of the shop was alright. We didn’t get a lot of food because we’d already spent about 3 hours in the home section by this point (this store was enormous) and didn’t want to keep Sam waiting any longer!
On the way home Sam stopped off and bought us all slushies (they were the size of my head and cost 70 cents). We then returned, dripped with sweat again (this is becoming a common theme…) while we took the shopping upstairs in trips (we live on the 3rd floor) and unpacked properly (now we had hangers).
None of us had properly eaten as it was such an intense day with lots going on so Elin, Aaron, Roma, Chloe and I drove to a mall to eat in the evening. When we got back, Elin and I did a bit of decorating to make our room more homely. It’s not finished yet but I’m liking how it’s looking so far!
At dinner we had all decided to go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party the following night. I AM SO EXCITED. I can’t believe I’m going to Magic Kingdom so soon and can’t wait to tell you all about it!