Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Dutchman in Orlando - Part 2

By Sam Vlas

Hello Disney Avenue-pedestrians and welcome to Part 2 of A Dutchman in Orlando, where I recollect memories from my time in Walt Disney World. If you haven't had a chance yet, please make sure to read Part 1. In this segment, I will tell you all about packing for the trip. I’m glad you tuned in and I hope you’ll have a fun and informative read. And now… ONWARD...

A Dutchman in Orlando – My Adventures as an International Cast Member in Walt Disney World

• Prelude
• PART 1: The Beginnings (The Application Process, Interviews and Acceptance)

• PART 2: Packing for the Trip (+ Packing list)
• PART 3: First days in the Sunshine State (Traditions, Magic Kingdom)
• PART 4: Role #1: Outdoor Foods at Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s
• PART 5: EPCOT Food & Wine Festival
• PART 6: Role #2: Left Block Merchandise at DHS
• PART 7: Shenanigans
• PART 8: The “other” parks
• PART 9: Reflections of Orlando
• Epilogue


April 4th… that’s when I received that fateful email that told me my Disney adventure was about to begin. A little bit more than three months were left, a time that may seem long, but passes so quickly. Of course, a good chunk of that is dedicated to filling out paperwork that makes filing tax returns seem like Building-Your-Own-Pizza.

[BTW, this is the last part of the series that is spent at my house. For those of you waiting to go to Florida, just a little bit more patience haha.]

Once the month of July came closer, it occurred to me that I hadn’t even started packing yet. That’s an important part of preparing for a long trip. And of course, being the silly Dutch guy I am, I had NO CLUE what to pack and what not to pack. I decided to grab the bull by the horns and consult many Disney sites I regularly visit. The “Disney Tourist Blog” had a nice packing list, but that was more designed for shorter theme park trips, instead of the half-year program I was going for. Thank goodness, there were DCP Alumni blogs that had some good advice on what to pack for this trip (one was by a person who became my roommate…).

Then the actual packing could finally begin. The hardest choices are made in this part of your Experience.  I have a limited wardrobe, but I can imagine if you’re a woman, you’re gonna have a hard time here. Also, airlines are very peculiar about what you can take or not, so be very careful when packing liquids (even tooth paste: the deadliest weapon in the world).

For this article I put together a small and, I hope, comprehensive list of stuff that’s handy to pack when you go to Florida:

• Paperwork (put in a folder in your hand luggage, you’ll NEED this at the airport! Just ask Roz…)
• Summer clothes (duh!)
• Winter clothes (not much, but be prepared: it WILL get cold in Florida)
• Business clothes (for the Disney Classes and Housing formal(s))
• Laptop (best friend!)
• Anything to keep yourself busy on the way
• Camera (of course)
• Chargers

It’s really not a whole lot, because many things you will be able to buy cheaply in Orlando. Disney Housing offers bus transportation to the local Publix, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. Everything you’ll need, you can find there.


• Pack food (you WILL get trouble at Border Control)

Just putting it out there ;)

With everything I needed in place, my journey could finally begin. FOR REAL, THIS TIME!!!!

I hope you enjoyed Part 2! Tune in next week, when I arrive in Orlando and make my way around the first few days in Walt’s world!

Sam Vlas comes to us from the Netherlands. In everyday life Sam is a Communication major, studying International Event, Music and Entertainment Studies at the Fontys Academy for Creative Industries in Tilburg. He is following the Theme Park course, since he is an aspiring Imagineer. Sam has been a life-long theme park and Disney fan since he was a kid. He has been going to Efteling, which is a world class theme park in the Netherlands. When he was a teenager, Sam became more interested in the technical side of things. It was around that time that he found out that Walt Disney was an actual person, not just some company name. Since then he has been pursuing a creative career in the theme park industry. Sam has participated in the Academic Exchange Program in Walt Disney World from July 2014 to January 2015. You’ll be hearing much more of that in the near future! Besides Disney and theme parks, Sam has a broad interest in everything fantasy, sci-fi and horror. He writes short stories and is currently working on his own website “Dreamventurer”, which he hopes will be released very soon! Sam will write about many different aspects of the company, from the very well known places and movies to very obscure corners of the Company. Since he worked in Orlando, he'll be able to share some Cast Member stories too. Everything Disney grabs Sam's attention, so if he finds something exciting, he will be sure to share it!

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