Monday, September 17, 2012

Guarding the World: Recreation & Lifeguard Training Day 1

This is what recreation looks like to me :) Credit
9/9 "Welcome to Recreation" where we find our heroine (and her friend/roomie) back at Disney University for a fun and exciting day of:

E-Presentations! Yay!

The day after my Traditions class, I was scheduled for a "Welcome to Recreation" class from 8:00am-4:30pm. The Recreation family includes lifeguards, the marinas, arcades, children's activities, campfires, archery, boating, and much, much more. My class was predominantly populated by lifeguards, but there was also a few guys working at the marinas, a girl working children's activities, and a few doing arcades I think. The girls presenting were pretty cute and made it a fun day. One was a lifeguard at Yacht and Beach Club and the other was in children's activities.

The day was low key and not stressful. We watching some videos and presentations. We did a lot of E-Learnings which are presentations that you watch by yourself with headphones. One of them was actually funny and clever, while the others were strictly long and informative. For our lunch break we had to take the bus over to Magic Kingdom and eat at their cafeteria because Disney University's was under construction. Just having lunch there was a cool experience in itself. They have a Subway, pizza, a hot food line (they had mexican lasagna), and a salad bar. I bought a piece of pizza (a big piece!), a banana, and a bottle of soda for under $4. At first I thought the cashier forgot to ring up my soda, but no! It actually was that cheap. So if you don't bring your lunch every day, you can still get a pretty good deal. Also we sat across from a few "characters" for lunch, which was entertainment in itself...

After lunch we continued with more of the same. The last thing we did was an E-Presentation on Blood borne Pathogens. Depending on where you've worked, you've probably had a presentation like this before. We watched the presentation, and then we each completed a short quiz. I only missed one, and I got like a 95, so it's very easy. Then they had us demonstrate that we could take off dirty gloves the right way, we signed a vaccination form, and we were free to go. Again pretty simple day.

9/10 Day 1 of Lifeguard Class

All of the lifeguard class takes place at Mickey's Retreat. You'll get to know that place pretty well by the end. And if you are super lucky, there will adorable kittens living on the grounds.
This is only like an eighth of all the kittens we saw!

We had a small class of only 12 CPs, who were all assigned to resort pools. It was most of the kids from the swim test, except for one or two guys that had problems with their background checks. So if for some reason they have to delay your background check, it's not the end of the world. You will still get trained and work, but you will have to wait for the next lifeguard class which could be a week away. So I hope that does not happen to any other lifeguards out there.

Our instructor was employed by Ellis, not Disney, but he had worked recreation for Disney for several years prior to becoming Disney's personal Ellis associate. So he oversees the audits/trainings/creation of new pools for Disney. Since Disney is so big, they are his only client. It sounds like a pretty good job.

The first half of the day was spent talking through what Ellis is about, what the responsibility of a lifeguard is, and demonstrating some of the difficulties we face when it comes to scanning our zone. We also watched the "Touched by a Drowning" video. If you've life guarded before, you've probably already seen some clips from this. If you haven't you might want to mentally prepare yourself for it. This is where they weed out people, who don't think they can handle the pressure of being a lifeguard, which sounds mean, but it's a serious job and they just want to be sure they have the right people for it. So if some reason you are doubting that, you can ask to be reassigned. But I definitely suggest sticking out the class first. You'll probably realize it's something you CAN handle because they prepare you pretty well for it.

We took our lunch break and returned in our swim suits. We had to complete the swim test again (the exact same one from Check In day), and then we learned some basic lifeguard rescue techniques. We spent maybe 2 hours in the pool and then finished the rest of the class inside, learning CPR.

After class my roommate and I came home and got ready to go out to Magic Kingdom! Even though I had my Disney ID for 2 days already, I still hadn't been able to use it, so I was determined to do at least some park. MK was open till 9pm, so it was the perfect opportunity. We did basically everything of interest with little to no wait, including Peter Pan, which kind of blew my mind. We wanted to do the Monster's Inc show too, but I think it had already closed by the time we made it to Tomorrowland. We ended the night with Wishes. We watched from one of the bridges to Tomorrowland and were right beneath Tinkerbell's flight from the castle. It was a great view!

Stayed tuned for Day 2 and 3 of lifeguard training! It's going to be a lot more fun.



  1. I just got accepted as a lifeguard for fall 2013. This is so extremely helpful!! :):)

  2. Congratulations, Deanna! I'm so excited for you. Let me know if you any questions. :)

  3. Hey Julie! I actually have a few questions for you! I know I have seen the uniform is the shorts, polo, and swimsuit underneath.. but do you always wear the shorts and shirt? Also on shoes I have been told black crocs or white tennis shoes but someone today made on a comment on the fb page about that you could wear all black sandles as well.. like black chacos?

  4. If you're a resort guard, you will always be wearing the shorts and shirt. If you work deep water at the water parks, there are some stands where you can just wear your swimsuit, like in shark reef and the wave pool at Typhoon.

    As for shoes you can wear all black sandals or white tennis shoes and socks. I found a pair of generic crocs for cheap, so that's what I wore, but yes the chacos would be fine as long as they're all black. A lot of guards like tevas as well