DCP Prep: Packing

15:00 Sarah Burton 0 Comments

So you've been accepted, you've printed your documents, chosen your roommates, booked your flights. The final step in the Pre-DCP process is packing. Or, if you're like me, packing comes somewhere in between the interviews and being accepted - as a disfigured lion once said, "Be Prepared", right?
I curated my own packing list after reading/watching blogs and vlogs...and I honestly think I did a pretty decent job with what I took! Packing for 3 months is hard especially if you're flying into Orlando. It is super important to not only pack light, but to pack efficiently. If you are driving, you have a little more room and it is a little easier to pack more. 

How to Pack

Before my program I was determined to only fly down with one suitcase. That way, I could buy a cheap duffle bag for the return trip and not have to shell out a billion dollars in overweight charges! 

I ended up packing a little over 50lbs in my suitcase (had to take out a couple pairs of shoes and wear a jean jacket at the airport), a carry on, a back pack, and a purse. Taking one suitcase made it easier to navigate through the airport and check in, and gave me piece of mind when I was buying tons of discounted merchandise at Cast Connection ;) I did not pack a whole lot of clothes, but if you are planning on packing a lot, most people swear by vacuum seal bags! You can get them at the dollar store. Beware though - you may not have access to a vaccum that will reseal them on the way back. These are a great way to pack you bedding and pillows as well!

What to Pack

I'm going to post my original packing list, with a commentary on if i needed it or would recommend not bringing it.

Here's how I got my packing list: 

  • First, I did some research. I watched Disney housing room tours, read Disney "must have" packing tips and DCP packing blogs. I took their tips and tricks, and used them to figure out what would work best for me.
  • During this whole process, I kept a small journal dedicated to packing. This list got re-vamped, added to, taken away from, for probably 3 months. I actually used a small journal that I basically kept on my person at all times - because, face it, you're going to be thinking about Disney 100% of the time, so you might as well be productive about it. 
  • So, once you have your master list, it's time to get organized. I split my list into 6 categories - "Common space" (ie. kitchen, living room etc), clothing, toiletries, decoration, electronics, and essential documents. I put an asterisk (*) next to the items that I wouldn't be buying until I got in florida. 
  • Now comes the fun (?) part. I typed up everything on my computer and finalized my "Packing Master List". 
  • After I had picked what luggage I was going to bring, I organized the items in my Master List into where I was going to pack it. 
    • Purse: My passport, toiletries bag (easy access for security at the airport), wallet, journal, pens, kindle, headphones, cell phone, charger, etc. Basically anything I would want the easiest access to at the airport and on the plane. 
    • Backpack: here I packed my computer, iPad, my folder with all of my Disney documents, a travel pillow, books, my camera and lenses. Basically any electronics or other bigger things that wouldn't fit in my purse but I still wanted with me on the plane. I put my computer in this one because some planes are smaller that wont fit a standard carry on in the overhead bin or are overbooked and you may have to check one carry on! (This HAS happened to me multiple times, and i've had to quickly repack my carry ons because HECK I am not putting my computer in the bottom of a plane!)
    • Carry On suitcase: I packed my non-liquid toiletries and clothes for my overnight hotel stay before check in and clothes for check in day. I did not want to have to open my big suitcase in the hotel because I knew it would be crowded (there were 6 of us in a room). This made it easier and I didn't have to root through my suitcase. I packed shorts, sandals, some lightweight t-shirts, a bathing suit. 
      • I also packed my "buisness" wear for traditions and a couple more outfits *just* in case anything happened with my luggage. (Yes, i AM that paranoid!) I have always and will always pack extra clothing in my carry on. 
      • Heads up: you MUST be in Disney look from the shoulders up for check in because you will be taking your photo ID for housing - so no visible tattoos, piercings, or tanktops! You also want to be super comfy because you'll be a) sweating and b) running around trying to move in
    • Suitcase: everything else! 
Master Packing List

Here's my master packing list, with a commentary on if I needed it, and some added stuff I with that I had had. 
1. Common Space
a. Fun Stuff/Living Room
• WiFi router* -
We bought this through the DCP trading post facebook group and split the cost between our roommates.  much cheaper than buying new, and if you move into an occupied apartment they may have one already!

• Phase 10/Skip Bo/Disney Scene it - I only ended up bringing phase 10 and never played it. We spent the majority of our time in the parks/sleeping!
• DVDs - again, I don't think i brought any after due to space. Netflix sufficed for me for 3 months (american netflix has SO MANY DISNEY MOVIES!) and you can rent movies from vista!

b. Kitchen 
• Monsters U Mug
- Instead of this mug i brought an old resort mug that had a lid and was insulated. Your apartment will have standard mugs (and you can buy disney ones!). I used mine around the pool for hot or cold drinks and because it was plastic i wasn't worried about breaking it!

• Lunch box - Again, space is an issue. I wish i had brought one with me (or even bought one when i was down there!) for work!
• Tupperware* - I bought mine down there and split a big pack with a roommate.
• Water bottle - SO IMPORTANT! I got one with a filter in it because florida water is gross. You'll get one for work as well, but the filter was nice for at-home days
• Coffee Maker/Keurig (?) - Another thing you can find on the trading post. I bought a cheap french press and all of my roommates used it. 
• Magic Bullet (?) - I wanted to bring mine (i LOVE smoothies) but didn't. My roommate did bring one though!
• Dish Rack* - Bought when we got down there
• Dish Detergent* ^
• Dish Cloths* ^
• Toaster  - We got by without one by toasting things in the oven

c. Bathroom
• Shower curtain -
We used the one provided, but it all depends on what kind of shape it is in

• Shower caddy - Not useful. If you're only sharing with your other roommate, you have lots of space for shower things
• Bath math* - Definitely buy when you get there
• Towels - If you have space, BRING. One body towel, one hair towel. You'll survive with one of each
• Face cloths - bring a couple! You can always buy a cheap one at Walmart.
• Beach Towel - Not entirely necessary, but a good idea to have for the pool so you don't use your bath towel!

1. Bedroom
• Hangers* 

• Closet organizer - I would highly recommend! I brought one i had from home and used it for tshirts, bathing suits, PJs, and shoes!
• Calendar - For keeping track of your schedule!
• Lamp/night light - This is especially helpful when you and your roommate work opposite schedules! we plugged ours in by the sink (it was princessed themed and from the dollar store!) and was great for late nights/early mornings!
• Pillows* 
• Sheet set* - I got mine on the DCP facebook group for super cheap and it was in excellent condition
• Mattress topper - not entirely necessary, but a nice thing to have
• Mattress protector
• Over the door hook
• Bed risers (?) - Some say this is essential, but i found there was a lot of storage already in the apartment!
• Extension cord(s) - Always come in handy!
• Laundry basket - I got a princess one at the dollar store!
• Quilt - I didn't bring mine, but wished i had room!
2. Clothing
• Rain Jacket
- a NECESSITY for florida!

• Shirts
• Tank Tops
• Shorts/Capris
• Jeans (1 Pair) - I wore these on my fly days!
• Underwear
• Bras
• Sports Bras - I intended to work out while down there...it didn't happen. BUT they're nice to wear under your costume for comfort!
• Panty Hose - for traditions/training
• Socks - you won't know what kind of socks you will need for work until your training. I brough a couple pairs of black and white, and then bought a bulk pack of what i needed for work when i found it out!
• Workout Leggings - again, i didn't do any type of real excercise....
• Workout Tops - Perfect for park days because they wick sweat!
• Bathing Suits
• Cover Ups
• Cardigans - If you take the buses, you're going to be cold! also good for post-work iHop days where you dont want to wear your costume.
• Chambray Shirt 
• Jean Jacket
• Dresses - i packed a variety...some business/sundresses/formal for service celebration
• Skirts (circle skirt and pencil skirt - traditions
• Shoes
i. Sneakers 
ii. Sandals
iii. Flip flops
iv. Birkenstock sandals
v. Flats - make sure they are COMFY! You're going to walk during traditions and orientation.
vi. Slippers 
• Purses
i. Backpack - i brought a small, lightweight backpack for the parks/work and it was a lifesaver!
ii. Black purse
iii. Steve madden purse/camera bag
iv. Small purse
v. wallet - i brought my regular wallet and a small ID wallet for my housing and CM IDs which was a help!
^^ I could have taken out my camera purse, and the small purse.
3. Toiletries - Bring enough for at least a month and you don't have to worry about buying more!
• Shampoo/conditioner
• Body wash
• Face wash
• Razors
• Nail clippers
• Tweezers
• Moisturizer/coconut oil
• Bobby Pins
• Hair elastics
• Hair accessories (Bows + Headbands)
• Make up - you'll be sweating so much you won't want to wear too much makeup! Bring the essentials.
viii. Contacts/Case/Solution
• Jewellery - Again, bring the essentials!
i. Earrings
ii. Necklaces
iii. Sunglasses

• Medication/First Aid

i. Allergy meds
ii. Ibuprophen
iii. Band aids
iv. Polysporin
v. After bite
. How did i leave SUNSCREEN off of this list??? I bought when i got to florida but it is one of the most important things to have!
4. Decorations/Misc
• Pictures
- for decorating your cork board!

• Stuffed animals - a necessity in my opinion!
• Pens - i was one of the only roomamtes to bring school supplies like highlighters, sticky notes, pens, etc. They all come in handy!
• Journals - for detailing your program!
• Autograph Book - extra points if you come up with a creative handmade book
• Sharpies - for the autograph book! 
5. Electronics (for the photo nerd!)
• DSLR + lenses + batteries + charger
• Point and Shoot camera + charger (for videos)
• SD Cards
• Kindle + charger
• iPad + Charger
• iPhone + Charger
• MacBook + charger
• SD to iPad converter

6. Must Haves/Documents - You've probably already heard this, but have all of your documents in a designated folder and keep it IN YOUR CARRY ON and easily accessible. You'll need it at customs and at check in!

• Sevis Fee Receipt
• Candidate Letter
• Passport 
• DS 2019 Document
• Insurance information
• Payment confirmations
• Onboarding document