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ITC goes behind the scenes at the new Disney housing complex!

Posted on 05/06/2024 by

Flamingo Crossings Village comes complete with pools, basketball courts, and so much more.

One of the many exciting possibilities for ITC graduates is heading overseas on an International Exchange Program. Of course, the Disney Exchange Program is one of the most popular!

This program is only available to preferred providers like ITC, so many of our students are driven enough to get positions in this world-famous tourism attraction.

One important aspect of heading to Disney to live and work is the actual housing complex our graduates stay in. And lucky for us, we’ve got someone behind the scenes who has recently been part of planning a new housing complex, and who has had the chance to check it out in person!

Meet Laura Orsbourn, Disney fanatic and ITC Schools Team member

Laura Orsbourn is an ITC graduate who completed the level 5 diploma and headed overseas to complete the Disney Exchange Program. In 2023, she began work with ITC as a Tourism Education Tutor and in a marketing support role for the Schools Team.

She calls herself “a real Disney fanatic”, and has recently been over to Florida for a Disney-filled birthday holiday!

The weather was stunning as we spent 8 full days spread across the four theme parks on Disney property. Prior to my trip I reached out to Disney to see if it was possible to view the newly opened housing complex where International College Program participants from New Zealand would stay while working at Disney World. I was excited to see the ‘upgrades’ and changes made post covid.”

Laura is a self-confessed Disney fanatic!

The new Disney housing complex

When Laura began her International College Program, it was sadly cut short due to the outbreak of the pandemic. Up until this time, the Disney program participants were spread over four separate housing complexes that were connected by bus.

Now, the four separate complexes have been replaced with the new and improved Flamingo Crossings Village.

“This complex opened in 2021 and is divided into East and West, with neighbourhoods named after Disney characters within the buildings. The complex is managed by American Campus Communities, and has an American college feel with the security of home.”

“The buildings were impressive in size, full of natural light and filled with ‘hidden mickeys’ at every turn. The complex has everything! Multiple resort-like pools, basketball courses, BBQ area, gigantic fitness centre, movie room, 24hr on-call staff, mail centre, volleyball courts, multiple relaxing/hang out spaces and complimentary transport to the shops (Walmart, YAY!).”

“They encourage everyone to come out of their rooms, enjoy the Florida weather and make new friends which is easy to do at the impressive list of the fun activities/workshops available.”

Basketball courts at the new Disney housing complex.

How did Disney make the improvements?

“Prior to opening Flamingo Crossings, they interviewed thousands of past College participants to see what changes they would have liked to see.”

“Disney took this feedback extremely seriously. While discussing the program, I told stories of my own program and the experiences I had had. And any little niggle that I had was now gone at Flamingo Crossings. The security around the complex and in the apartments are now top-notch, the facilities and equipment are brand new and there are many more opportunities to feel supported and engaged with by your fellow college participants and Disney Cast Members.”

“Disney is far away from New Zealand, and feeling home sick is natural. I was impressed to find out that Disney have introduced The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers a confidential counselling service to assist all participants with any workplace issues as well as personal worries.”

What can new Disney hopefuls expect from the program? 

“Although the Kiwi college participants are required to complete at least 1 year of tertiary study prior to applying for the program, the study doesn’t need to stop when you arrive at Disney World.”

“An impressive new part of the program is the opportunity to earn ‘Disney Programs Learning Certificates’ such as the Daisy Diploma and Mouseters Certificates. Topics can include Career Readiness, Professional Development, Budgeting, CV design and Disney Heritage. These classes are a great way to meet new friends, grow intellectually and make an interesting talking point on your CV.”

Laura’s advice for anyone considering applying for the Disney Program

“I encourage all my students to consider experiencing the Disney International College Program. Not only is Disney an amazing company to have on your CV, but the exposure of living overseas and gaining insights into other cultures will have you returning home a more confident version of yourself. It really is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed, now better than ever.”

Interested? We’re hosting a FREE International Exchange Event on July 9, where you can learn all about the qualifications you can earn with us that can help you to land a role at the Disney Exchange Program.

These free events will be at the Auckland City Campus from 10am to noon, and at our Botany Campus from noon to 2pm.  

Be sure to register to let us know you’ll be there, or get in touch here if you have any questions.

 

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