Thursday, September 13, 2012

Check In Day aka Dehydration Station!

This was me after Check In day was complete

Okay, so I know a lot of people like to know what's coming when it comes doing the Disney College Program. I know I did. I wanted to read/watch absolutely ANYTHING that gave me any idea of what I could expect when it came my turn to be the BMOC (which of course means: Big Mouse On CP). So here's a breakdown of my Check In day, which was September 5th.

Check In When it comes to Check In, well, that day was seriously a blur. An exhausting, dehydrating blur. So here's the highlights:

The Morning I met up with a future roommate who I'd met on the Facebook group. We got breakfast at All Star Movies, and my mom dropped us off at Vista Way. There was already a line formed along the walkway, which stopped right at the security gate. We got in line about 7:15am, by 7:30am we started talking to the girls we decided to be roommates with, and a little before 8am the line started moving inside.

The Queues They lead the line all the way inside the Vista Way complex to the back where the "Welcome Center" is and where check in is housed. It's a very Disney process. Lots of winding queues leading you on a patio and then outside and then back inside again. First station they checked my ID and had me double check some of my info. Next I got a sticker name tag. Then more waiting until we were grouped up with about 7 other girls to sign a housing rules contract/get lectured on alcohol/drugs. After we turned those in, we received our CP handbooks which have all the contact info you could ever know, basic rule guidelines, as well as a nice day planner section. The girl who "lectured" us had us put our names in those and we had to hand them in at every station to get more information.

So after we finished there we were back in another queue. I forget the order now, but basically we did housing next, then our pictures were taken for our Vista Way IDs and picked them up, then if you had a car you could get a decal for your car, then one more girl kinda debriefed us and let us know when to be back for a bus to Casting. That's right, we still had more lines in front of us.

We had to be back for the bus at 10:00am, it was already 9:00am so we just had time to find our apartment, get an inventory for our kitchen, and decide who would get the room with a bathroom in it. We literally picked names, so that no one could really get mad at the outcome.

Casting So after that we walked back to where check in had been to find the bus stop, which took us to Casting. Now the trip through the Casting building is like the most elaborate, Jedi-mind-tricky experience I have ever had, mostly because I kept thinking every part would be the end, and I was always wrong. It ended up taking us 3.5 hours I think, and I was the last one to escape that labyrinth (seriously that's what it felt like-at least it was a very well marked labyrinth). If you have any specific questions about Casting let me know, but otherwise just expect it to be long and be sure to have a folder or backpack to put away all the paper work you will get.

I forgot to mention that you will get your work location/Traditions group at Casting. I forgot because lifeguards do not get their assignments until after the swim test, in case you don't pass.

Whew, fun check in day right? But at least at this point I got to relax right?

Haha. Good one.

Once check in was through, casting casted us out, and we returned to our sweet-home-vista-way I had about 2 hours or so to unpack, so my parents met up with me, and we went through that ordeal. It actually was pretty simple, and I was basically through with moving in in that amount of time. Which is good because next up was:

Drug Test Okay funny story. If you're not careful, you will get incredibly dehydrated during your check in day. They hand out 100 calorie snack packs randomly, even some fruit, but you'll notice they never hand out water bottles. Why? Well, my only guess was so that we didn't need the bathroom during our journey through Casting, but it may just be coincidental or a separate, arterial motive. Regardless I fell victim to dehydration, plus I was on a decongestant for my cold which further dehydrated me.

Okay, I know some of you know were I'm going with this, but for those who are still lost, let me explain.

One of my roommates was also a lifeguard and also asked to complete a drug test around the same time as mine, so we just went together to get it over with. Of course, this is just your typical drug test. A young, handsome medical professional hands me a cup, draws a line which becomes my new goal in life, and lets me go do my glamorous job. Well, it's this point in the day where I start piecing a few things together. "I really haven't eaten much today, nor have I had hardly anything to drink. Uh oh. What if I don't have this (excuse me for this) "in" me?" So I have to admit defeat, go back to the waiting area to drink up, only to find my roommate in the exact same situation with a big cup of water.

Long story short, our second try was an incredible success!

Lifeguard Swim Test (at 6pm at Mickeys retreat) Now I had one more obstacle before actual relaxing could commence. I had a my swim test at Mickey's Retreat (walking distance to Chatham/Patterson). The swim test was very straightforward and (a little too) easy. There were only about 15 of us and out of those 15 only 4 were selected to be "Deep Water" guards. The Deep Water group started first. They had to complete the swim test which is outlined on the website and my previous post. Everyone else only had to swim a 50 and retrieve a 10 pound brick from 5 foot water. I kid you not, that is ALL I had to do.

They do randomly select Deep and Shallow, which is incredibly frustrating for someone like me who's pride was insulted at being asked to swim a 50. One Deep guard could not finish the 200 (he had to put his feet down), so they subbed a shallow water guard in. At the time I was sad that it wasn't me. Again my pride was hurt, but if I had stepped in I may not have gotten the work deployment I got.

After we finished (everyone passed), the lifeguard/recreation coordinators congratulated us and handed out our work assignments, which also included our first 2 days of work. I had already snooped during Casting and saw S-CTR by my name, which I figured meant the Contemporary....And I was RIGHT! I would also be guarding Bay Lake Tower, but I typically just assume the two are one resort anyway.

I'm super pumped about my work location! I start on location on Friday (today's my day off).  I'm working right next door to the castle. Can't get much more magical, right?

In pixie dust,
Your new Disney Contemporary Lifeguard, Julie :)


  1. This was extremely helpful! I'll be starting in January, and I love your style of writing. Keep it up!

    1. Thank you! And I'm so excited for you! Let me know if I can answer any of your questions :)

  2. Hi! Loving your blog - making me so excited to start! I go to Disney on June 3rd as an ICP lifeguard. I was just wondering if you could help me with my questions about the vision test. I wear glasses for long distance but my vision could no way be described as bad (I don't need to wear them for driving and can still read the board in classes etc) but I'm worried I will not pass the test without my glasses. How hard is the vision test and would you recommend I wear prescription sunglasses/ glasses or wear contacts? Cheers :)

  3. Hi Rachel! Thanks for reading :)

    The vision test was very simple. I would've forgotten all about it if you hadn't mentioned it. The first day of Ellis class, they had us retake the swim test and right after that we did the vision test. They had a sight chart, and they just had us read one line off of it. I wear contacts, and I had them in for the vision test. No one had a problem with the vision test. It was that simple! So just make sure you have either contacts or glasses (whatever you plan on wearing on stand) for the first day of your lifeguard class.

    You should do great! Congrats on your acceptance

  4. This has been SUPER helpful and has me even more excited to get to Disney! I'll be arriving for the 2013 fall advantage program on May 13th as a DCP lifeguard. I do have a couple of questions though (I'm definitely one of those people who has to know EVERYTHING I can about the whole process). So literally, even though they post that you'll be swimming a 200, unless you're a deep water guard ALL you have to do is the 50? Even when you retake it the next day for Ellis? Sorry, my mind is a little bit boggled by that! And is the treading water only for the deep water guards as well? And (last question, I promise!) if you're selected as a deep water guard, can you decline and ask to be shallow water? I ask because even though I'm currently certified as a lifeguard and can swim a 200 if I need to, I've never been a competitive swimmer or a fast swimmer. needless to say, I'm pretty slow at my 200. I would just prefer to only do the 50 if I had the option (I know, it's sad!). I'm great with all of the first aid elements and rescue techniques, I just hate (and suck at) laps ha! Sorry to bombard you with so many questions!

    Thanks for posting this! It's great!:)

    1. Hi Sara!

      If you are picked for Deep, you will do the test listed on the website. If you are picked for Shallow, you will: swim 50 yards and then retrieve a brick from 5ft--and that's all. The next day for the Ellis class, you will do the exact same test you did for the first day.

      The 200 yard swim is NOT timed. You can take as long as you like, as long as your feet don't touch the ground; however, if you really don't feel comfortable, I'm sure you can let them know and they will let you be Shallow Water instead.

      My roommate was chosen for Deep water, and she is really not a swimmer. She finished the test the first day. The second day at Ellis class, she was also able to finish the test, but it took a lot out of her and she had to throw up after. TMI I know! But the point I'm trying to make is that she passed for Deep Water, and then was totally fine when it came to work (at Yacht and Beach Club). But you should definitely decide on what you feel the most comfortable with.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Hey Julie - did you have to do the vision test again at the Ellis training?