So this is my location: Disney’s Caribbean Resort! In my last blog post, I mentioned that I initially wanted to work in the water parks. Working in the water parks gives you the benefit of accessing the water parks during the block out period. For cast members this summer, it is June 6th to most of my program.
However, after my tour of the resort and my first on the job training, I absolutely love it here. We began my training touring the pool area and getting to know the different zones. Then we took out bikes from the marinas and took a bike ride around the resort to cast services. What kind job training allows you to ride a bike around the resort? After lunch we did some in the pool training and VAT testings. VAT testings are so much easier when you’re the only one scanning. The VAT training in Ellis is great but it’s also kind of unrealistic to have 4-5 VATS and 21 lifeguards all diving in. Overall, pool scanning isn’t as boring or hard as I thought it would be since I’m constantly moving my head and position. It’s like a very long game of iSpy.
We ended the day testing out the slides and that concludes my first day at my location! I really enjoyed my first day at Caribbean Beach. I mean, where else would I get to ride bikes, test slides, splash around and play a very long game of iSpy?
OK. So it’s a lot harder to keep a consistent blog about my adventures than I thought. I’m keeping two blogs, this blog to update with more information and details of my program and jodiedoesdisney for pictures, quick notes and summary of my day.
Today was my first day of on the job training at my location: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort! But before I get into my location, first things first, lifeguard testings! Yay! On the Disney website, they listed the vision test, swimming test and the Ellis Associates lifeguard exam.
Straightforward, it’s basically the same as an eye exam. We were required to read line 8 on the eye chart with or without glasses or contacts. So if you’re blind as a bat like me (L -3.50, R -4.00), you will still do fine as long as you have glasses or contacts. In fact, I started reading line 9 because I was super nervous and I’ve been told on multiple occasions that I had great eyesight.
There are two different tests: shallow water and deep water.
Shallow Water guards: 50m front crawl or breast stroke, pick up brick at deepest area in shallow water (5ft)
Deep Water guards: 200m front crawl or breast stroke, pick up brick at deepest area of the pool (8ft+) and 2 minute tread with head and hands above the water.
From what I noticed, shallow water guards are mostly placed in resorts and deep water guards are mostly in water parks. Initially I wanted to work in a water park but I am absolutely content with my location! I’ll make another post about my location later!
Ellis Associates Lifeguard Exam
The exam has three parts and you must pass all three to get certified. The certification will only apply to working at Disney and will last up to a year before you have to renew it.
Written Exam: Consists of 50 multiple choice questions. Minimum 80% to pass.
Individual CPR practical: Scenarios of adult, child and infant. Must pass all three and allowed one retake on the day of.
Team pool practical: Given a scenario and tested on your ability to save the victim(s). Pass or fail / Did you save or kill your guest?
My tips for the written exam is to do the review package, circle the ones that you’re unsure of and briefly read over the textbooks. Look at the images provided by the textbook. For the individual CPR practical, stay calm, take it slowly and list all the steps as you’re doing it. You are highly encouraged to be vocal during class however, during testing I made sure I noted every detail.
The team practical is probably the hardest as you need teamwork to pass. I was paired with three guys. This was a good and bad thing. The good thing is that they could do the more physical part of the job such as backboarding and lifting the victim out. But because guys will be guys, two of them were the typical, “I’m right, you’re wrong”type of guys. Needless to say, there were a lot of holes that I saw and spoke up about but I was ignored so… we failed the first time. We didn’t completely fail because in the end, the victim would have lived; our examiner wanted to see us do a cleaner job and we passed the second time!
On the first day, we were required to go to a housing meeting that basically told us the DOS and DON’TS of housing which is also outlined in the program guides. Operations and lifeguards have to do a urine drug and alcohol test in the morning and I highly suggest you not to drink two bottles of water and a glass of milk in the morning because they will have water provided as you wait in line to do the test. Character performers also had appointments on day one.
WELCOME DAY 2
On day two, we had our Immigration Compliance presentation, which was basically telling us not to get arrested.
“If you wouldn’t do at home, don’t do it here. If you would do it at home, don’t do it here.”
Later in the day, we had to do our paperwork session, we filled out forms and then we got our Traditions schedule as well as your work location. However, if you’re a lifeguard, you won’t get your work location until you pass your swim test. For me it was later this evening.
We started with the vision test. It was a standard eye chart and we were asked to read line 8. I was super nervous because my eyesight is -3.50 and -4.00. But luckily, my prescription did not go lower and my contacts were still the right prescription. The swim test was super easy for shallow end. It was a 50 m swim and picking up a brick at 5ft whereas the deep end test was a 200 m swim, treading water for two minutes with hands above the water and picking up a brick at 8ft.
I passed my test and I will be working at the Caribbean Resort!
For check in day, Disney will send you a specific time if you arrive early. I was assigned to come in at 9:30 AM whereas my roommates that arrived that day was assigned 1-2 hours after their flight landed.
Things you will need for check in:
DORMS boarding pass
I had forgotten my DORMS boarding pass but the staff was very accommodating and searched for my roommate ID. I went through the line to get my papers checked and my program guide, then I got to a station where they gave me my key and told me where I will be living. The next station was to get my housing ID and then finally they took my DS2019 and my passport to get the paperwork done. The passport was returned to me at the immigration meeting on Thursday.
After check in, we were told to collect our bags from the waiting area and get on the bus to go to housing. My roommates and I got our third choice which was Chatham Square 2 bedroom, 6 roommates. I was the first to arrive so I got to choose my bed first.
My mom met up with me at the apartment with a taxi because the Disney bus will not take family and friends with them. If you’re parents are coming with you, I highly suggest you go to Wal-mart with them especially if they offer to buy your things for the first week. I made this mistake because I thought it’d be fun to go shopping with the roommates together which was fun but I also forgot a lot of things and the Wal-mart trip was more than I expected. A week later and I still have things that I had forgotten and I will need to make another trip.
Today my roommates and I received a DORMS e-mail notifying us that we have approximately three days to complete our paperwork and link with each other. The DORMS e-mail is said to be sent out 10 days prior to your arrival but it may arrive earlier like mine.
In this email, it gives you your roommate ID which is an eight digit number that allows you to link with your roommates, the amount of people you are able to link up with and instructions on how to link up with your roommates. For my arrival date, we were only able to link up to three other participants which meant my roommates and I had to split up. I decided to stay with a girl that had been with me since the start of the roommate search and found another girl pretty quickly so now we’re a group of three!
Whether or not you are the leader for DORMS, it’s a good idea to discuss rooming situations with your roommates.
Double occupancy or Triple occupancy (two or three people in a room)
How many roommates?
Vista Way, Chatham Square, Patternson Court or The Commons
We made this small mistake because we wanted to get it done as soon as possible and because the last minute changes and addition of a new roommate, we forgot to discuss the housing situation with her. We ended up doing double occupancy because we didn’t want bunk beds, Chatham Square for six roommates. (I’ll explain the six roommates option further down.)
I ended up being the leader for my group and as a leader, you are the only one that logs in when you first register for DORMS. You log into DORMS and review your personal information and add in details such as married housing or any special needs (religious or disability purposes etc) for housing. The next page brings you to the housing forms and regulations that will be printed out at the end along with your boarding pass. After you have read and ‘signed’ the papers, you need to gather your roommates’ IDs and enter them into the system. Your roommates will get an e-mail asking them to confirm their links and fill out their information. The next step is to rank your housing preferences. Initially, we thought we could just rank them like Chatham, Patternson and Vista. However, DORMS provide you with a list of options like Chatham 3 – Bedrooms 6 Person which is confusing because DORMS will still provide you with the various options even though the e-mail had said only up to three other participants. This is probably due to housing availability so perhaps we will end up with six roommates when we check in. Keep in mind it is a good idea to have all your roommates online to give feedback and make decisions.
Overall, DORMS was pretty straightforward and easy to go through. The hardest part was discussing how to split up our original group of six. Always discuss a back up plan with roommates so if things don’t work out, it’ll be easier to sort everything out.