Posted January 15th, 2016 By Yummy Jobs
Sophie's Disney Hilton Head Adventures!
Hi, I’m Sophie and last year I spent my summer working for Disney at one of their Vacation Clubs on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. I had originally applied for the J-1 Cultural Exchange Program at Walt Disney World Resort, but in January 2015, I was instead offered a place on the Cultural Exchange Program at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort.
There were 3 other girls from the UK who had been offered the program and 2 girls from Canada. As this program experience only offers a handful of places every year, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect but I can honestly say, without sounding too cliché, it was the best summer of my life! The program is slightly longer than the J-1 Cultural Exchange Program at The Walt Disney World Resort, as it ran from the start of June until mid-September. We flew out together at the end of May and spent a few days in New York City first (which was amazing!). We then flew from NYC to Savannah, Georgia and were picked up by Disney representatives who took us to Hilton Head Island.
Our roles were in Food & Beverage, working across two different restaurant locations within the resort. The pay was around $10 an hour I believe, and our weekly rent was around $90 a week. Our working hours varied, but the earliest start time was 7am and the latest finish was 6pm, apart from BBQ day at the resort when you would generally finish around 9pm. Our accommodation was amazing!
We got to live in a huge 3-bedroom condo, looking on to a beautiful golf course. We had an on-site swimming pool, which was a stone’s throw from our condo. There was also a grocery store on-site which stocked all your essentials and about a 15-minute bike ride away there was a Kroger supermarket, which stocked everything you could possibly need. We were also given bikes to get around the Island and get to work.
The Island itself is beautiful, it really is like something off a postcard! We always found something to do in our spare time and were involved in lots of cultural activities, such as baseball games, outlet shopping (so many bargains!), ghost tours in nearby Savannah, boat tours of the Island and so much more. We also had the opportunity to take a few days out from work in small groups and travel down to Walt Disney World Resort, as we still got the same perks at those cast members on the program there (free entry to parks, huge discounts off hotels, and discounted merchandise!).
Overall, I would highly recommend this program to anyone who gets offered it. Personally, I had the summer of my life on the beautiful island and genuinely have South Carolina blues every day!