It's been about 5 days since I submitted my app for review on the app store. While I hope in the back of my mind that it gets reviewed instantaneously, I know the process takes longer but apparently much longer...
Due to my inability to be patient, I've been reading a lot about peoples personal experiences with the app store review process. Most are negative and I'm starting to see why. From what I gathered, it can take any where from a few days to a few months to get your app pushed to the app store or get rejected.
So if you are a first time app maker and aren't backed by millions of dollars to convince apple you should go tot he front of the line, be prepared to wait. What this does though is hurt your projected launch times. I had originally posted in multiple places that my game would be available late May. While this was a stretch goal I did manage to get my game built and pushed to apple before the end of May. However, because of the ominous review process, I have no idea when my app is really going to ship.
In some one's case like mine; it's really not a big deal other than my personal issues with when I finally get to see months of my hard work opened to the public. However, if you are someone trying to promise dates and keep them, make sure you factor in a month or so time for the review process. Your journey isn't over yet after submitting. The waiting is probably the hardest part.
What actually happens after I finish my game and build
Like many, I figured that I finish building my game and through Xcode, send it to apple and then POOF! my game is available on the app store. Be prepared for some changes to your app to get everything set up.
I found this very helpful step by step process explaining how to prepare your app. It is for an older version of Xcode but it still explains it well.
You will need to make sure specific things are set up in your build and that you are code signed with a distribution key among other things.
You actually submit your app zipped through a program called the app loader. It is part of the dev tools you get with your dev kit that includes Xcode. Some of apple's instructions are out of date on itunes connect that may say you download it off the a certain link under manage applications but it is actually located within the folder structure that Xtools is in.
It will automatically check for a few issues and deny you upload if something is off but it does tell you want you need to do to fix it most times and that's helpful.
So basically, getting your app ready to go after completion takes a few extra steps that you can follow in the link I provided and the app loader is actually already located among the other tools that come with your dev kit from apple. Also, be ready to wait and factor that into any release date information you may want to give people. Good luck! More when my app actually enters review.