You do not have to have any previous lifeguarding experience to be a lifeguard at Disney World, you just have to be able to swim! Disney will provide the necessary training. Lifeguarding is a ‘High Need’ role with a lot of openings!
All lifeguards must pass the basic swim test the first week at their program. The swim tests are usually held at the pool over at Mickey’s Retreat.
Lifeguarding is a Safety Critical Role, which means you’ll be both fingerprinted and have a drug test (urine sample) immediately after Traditions class. You may also be drug tested at any time during your program.
Note: Lifeguards can’t have any visible tattoos! You must disclose where any tattoos you have are located and if they would be visible wearing a normal lifeguarding swimsuit, including any on your ankles or feet.
Lifeguards get three days of lifeguard training during their first week at DCP with the Lifeguard Skills Test given on the 3rd day.
All lifeguards must take CPR training and pass the test.
The Basic Swim Test for resort lifeguards consists of:
- Swimming 50 yards (2 laps), no time limit
- Treading water for two minutes
- Fetching a ten pound brick from five feet of water (shallow end of pool)
For Deep Water Lifeguards working at Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon:
- Swimming 200 yards (8 laps), no time limit
- Treading water for two minutes without using hands
- Fetching a ten pound brick from eight feet of water (deep end of pool), feet first leap into pool
- Deep Water Lifeguards get a $1 extra per hour premium pay. (Fall 2018 DCP Program notes: “A Disney College Program participant’s wage will vary between $10.00 – $12.31 per hour, based upon the role that he/she is selected to perform.”)
Other things to know about the Disney lifeguarding role:
All lifeguards work outside which means they must be able to tolerate the Florida sun and heat. (Generally, lifeguards get a lot of work hours, especially during peak holiday periods and during the summer months.)
At end-of-shift, all lifeguards help with general tidying up activities around the pool areas like picking up towels, simple pool cleaning, stacking chairs, etc.
There’s an in-service lifeguard training program: regular two hour training sessions are held before or after work to review CPR/Lifeguarding Skills (paid).
Lifeguards can’t wear a trading pin lanyard.
Wondering what kind of watch to buy? Read this: The Disney Look for Watches and FitBits.
Interested in the lifeguarding costume that’s provided?
* Ball cap and sunglasses until dusk.
Disney Cast Member Highlight:
With a trauma and first-aid bag at his side and a radio in hand, Adam “AJ” Wood lets two long blasts from his whistle sing through the air to signal the splashing start to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort’s pool hours.
AJ has spent his Disney career as a shallow-water lifeguard at the resort, keeping a watchful eye over all Guests in his care. With a background in paramedicine, he has combined his passion for helping others with a love of being around water in his role at Walt Disney World Resort.
“Whether it’s filled with the adrenaline of saving a life or simply the excitement of being able to help people, I love being outside and being around the water,” AJ said.
AJ’s role consists primarily of vigilant observations and extensive medical training to identify critical situations and keep Guests safe throughout their visit.
AJ gives credit to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and his team for being a critical part of the life he lives today.
“We all act like a family when it comes to helping each other out and working with each other,” he said. “Between the interactions with people, the training and the opportunities, I enjoy this role and all it has provided for me.”
Other roles to check out: Fun Roles for CPs.
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.
Book link on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale