In Disney housing you will always share a room with at least one other person, which means that being a good roommate is essential and finding good DCP roommates is even more essential! You will share an apartment unit with 2-8 people, and each room will have 2-3 people (yes bunk beds are a thing).
DORMS and DCP Roommate Surveys
If you are adventurous when you receive your email from DORMS after you are offered a position you can choose to have Disney place you wherever, this is a great way to meet people from different countries, meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten to meet, and to have a little mystery when you arrive!
If you are someone like me and prefer to feel a little more secure before you get there, in the housing email Disney will send they will state the number of people you are able to link up with. This changes every year depending on housing availability and ranges from 2-6 people. Summer 2016 we were able to link up with 2 other people (groups of three).
Some people go into the program having applied with their friends so they have their link-ups all sorted out. I applied all on my own and so I relied heavily on the Canada ICP Facebook page to find DCP roommates.
In the Facebook group we had a separate page for DCP roommate surveys. In the roommate surveys everyone posted their general information like age, school year and major and minor. Disney housing info like preferred housing complex and wellness or non-wellness. Wellness is everyone under 21 and non-wellness is for individuals over 21. Individuals over 21 can choose to live in wellness but they must sign a contract saying they will not have alcohol on property etc. If you are under 21 you do not have an option. In the surveys we also listed things like if we like our rooms hot or cold, if we are messy or tidy, morning or night people, if we like sharing clothes, favourite Disney movies and characters, favourite Disney parks and rides, and other random fun facts just to get to know each other. Think of this like online dating but for roommates! Everyone read through the surveys and started messaging people to get to know them better.
Having flown to Vancouver for the interview, I met a lot of lovely people there. One girl named Ellen messaged me on Facebook after I posted my roommate survey and we started chatting and decided to link up. I was also chatting with some other individuals, one of which was Dana. Dana mentioned she was also chatting with a few other girls and it just happened to be a coincidence that she was also talking with Ellen! We ended up forming a group of six people and we got chatting and pumped each other up for the coming summer adventures! When we got the email that we could only link up with 2 other people we split our group of 6 into 2 groups of 3 and me, Ellen, and Dana all linked up together!
(Once we linked up together through Disney’s online housing website called DORMs we were also able to rank our preferences for what apartment complex we wanted.)
Disney won’t tell you who your DCP roommates are until you actually arrive at your apartment complex. So although you are able to link up with people it is not a guarantee that you will be rooming with them! Me, Dana, and Ellen ended up all being together in an 8 person 4 bedroom apartment. We moved in with 5 Americans who were at the end of their college program. Being in an apartment with that many people can have its challenges. The kitchen gets messy fast if people don’t keep up with their dishes, the garbage has to be taken out daily because it fills up, and…you won’t always be best friends with everyone you live with.
Living with DCP Roommates
Living with roommates can be difficult at times especially when they are complete strangers to you. It is easy to forget to be responsible and kind after a 12 hour shift in the Florida heat but you must always use good communication. Even though the kitchen may be so messy you can’t even stand it, remember to talk with your roommates and start off on the right foot. Establishing a schedule for taking the garbage out, having the expectation of unloading the dishwasher and washing pots and pans after you use them will ensure your common area spaces are always in good shape.
Remember that you won’t always get along perfectly with everyone, but it is important to stay positive and keep an open mind. Disney housing does have options to switch rooms as a last resort but this will be a huge pain and take up a lot of time that you could be using for playing in the parks!
Most of the time your DCP roommates will turn into your best friends just like mine did and you will go on adventures that you will remember forever with them! Spend the time getting to know people at the interviews and on the Facebook group, don’t just message but Skype and talk face to face to ensure you all really do get along! You won’t regret the little bit of time you take to do this to make sure you have a wonderful time on your program! Don’t forget that even if your roommates are not the people you dreamed you would live with, their are thousands of other people to meet on the program and you will find your best friends in the most unexpected places!