Lifeguard is one of the most common roles for CPs and on the newest version of the DCP application it's listed as a "high need" role. (Read more about high need roles here.) Two Spring 2016 alumni, both named Morgan, shared their experiences for you!
Morgan: Typhoon Lagoon and Caribbean Beach Resort
Where did you work?
Typhoon Lagoon and Caribbean Beach Resort
How would you describe your role?
Overall, it's a ton of walking and standing in the sun. Not a lot of guest interaction but there is some. There is also a lot of yelling at guests because they can't follow simple rules (I enjoyed this because I have little patience for stupidity lol probably shouldn't have worked at Disney because of that). Working in a resort and at park are two completely different worlds. At the resort I jumped in nearly once a day while at typhoon it varied from no jumps for days to multiple jumps a day.
What did your training look like?
3 days of Ellis training then 2 days of location training. Ellis training makes guarding seem a lot more dramatic than it is.
How many hours you were scheduled per week?
It varied because hours changed with the season and the location. At CBR my hours ranged from 8hr-12 and if there was in service it could be longer. At typhoon the hours were typically around 8 but if there was an event it could be up to 12 or as low as 4. One day though I would like 16 hours. Per week, at CBR it was always under 40. At typhoon it was understaffed so it was always between 40 - 60 hours. A lot of overtime was nice money wise but I had no free time.
How long were your shifts?
30 min - 15 min
What did you like about your role and locations?
The people were nice and the bus ride was short.
What did you dislike about your role and locations?
Parents don't watch their kids who can't swim so a lot of the times you jump in and the parents have no idea. Creepy guys ask for mouth to mouth all the time.
During my Disney College Program last spring I lived in a 6 person 2 bedroom apartment in Chatham for the first 3 months and a 3 person 1 bedroom in Chatham for the last month. Both those apartments are triple occupancy, which means there are 3 people in one or more bedroom. Other triple occupancy apartments include commons 3 person 1 bedroom, commons 5 person 2 bedroom, patterson 3 person 1 bedroom, and patterson 5 person 2 bedroom. Vista Way has no triple occupancy apartments. The thing most poeple dislike about triple occupancy apartments is that they have a bunk bed, each room with 3 people in it has one single bed and one bunk bed (five person apartments have one triple occupancy room and a regular double occupancy room with two single beds). I loved my triple occupancy apartments, and I wanted to share some reasons why so that you can consider them too!
1. The Price Is Right
Different size apartmetns in different complexes are all different prices, and triple occupancy apartments are the cheaptest! That was my main reason for wanting a triple occupancy apartment last year. The 6 person, 2 bedroom apartment in Chatham is the only apartment still under $100/week!
After seeing people print all the pages from the DCP website, I thought I'd create a handy guide that's easy to print and interactive. The guide provides info to help you with applications, what to do after you've been accepted, and even worksheets to help you through the first few weeks of the program.
How can I get this download?
You can get the download by joining my mailing list, you can do such at the top or bottom of any page of my site, including the end of this post. You can also visit my "Printable Guide" page for more info. As soon as you finish all the steps in subscribing to my email list (there's a confirmation email you need to open) you'll be directed to the page to download the guide and give feedback. If you ever lose it, all posts I send to my subscribers have a link to that page at the bottom.
Whether you're visiting the parks as a guest or just enjoying the parks on your day off as a cast member, dressing up for the parks is half the fun!
T-shirts are the easiest way to show off your Disney side. You can buy them anywhere, at the Disney Parks, online, Disney Stores, other stores, you can also buy unique and customized ones on Etsy, or even make your own! My favorite is my classic Mickey Mouse t-shirt, but I also love my star wars one and my many many DCP t-shirts.
I flew to my first DCP last spring, and it's looking like I'll be flying again this year. Last year, I did a lot of research, and figured a lot of things out. I learned more about the best way to do that while I worked at Disney, and since then I've moved across the country by plane twice, learning from my mistakes each time. I have a few tips with you to help you plan to fly to Disney for this magical experience!
Tip 1: Research the best times to book and fly
I highly encourage you to do some research on your own, Google and Pinterest have helped me a lot in searching for useful information about this. There are thousands of travel blogs that want to help you book the cheapest flight! If you're not going to do any of your own research, here are the two points I've found in my research: 1. Book your flight on a Tuesday 6-8 weeks before your flight, this is when they're at their cheapest. 2. Compare different times of day and days of week (if you can). Flights late at night, early in the morning, and in the middle of the week are usually the cheapest, Saturday flights are also cheaper than Friday, Sunday, or Monday flights.
A year ago, I had declined my first Disney College Program. It was a long and hard decision to get there, but I'm thankful for the journey, and I'm thankful for the decision I ended up making. A lot of people ask me why I declined the program, so I wanted to share the full story with you, including my magical moment at the end.
I was accepted for my first Disney College Program the first week of October 2015, only a week after my phone interview. I found out while waiting for the bus home from Target, and called my sister right away! I quickly found the Facebook groups and started a countdown poster.
I want to start by saying, there are Zootopia spoilers in this post! If you've not seen it yet, go watch it now instead! (What are you doing with your life? It's been in Netflix for almost two months already!) Now that business is taken care of, I LOVE Zootopia! (I'm actually watching it right now, as I write this.) It came out during my first Disney College Program, Spring 2016. Everywhere I went, I heard Try Everything, saw previews, and heard all the hype about the characters in the parks. So, of course, the movie reminds me of my CP. I didn't get to see the movie until it was released on Netflix this fall, when I realized it was a perfect description of my life as a Disney College Program participant.
Thinking about my second Disney College Program, Park Greeter, which is a sub-part of attractions (you'll be accepted as attractions and placed as a park greeter once you arrive and check in). Here's what Kelsey has to say about her experience as park greeter!
When did you do your program?
What was your home location?
Did you work any other locations?
How would you explain your role?
Park greeters are stationed at the entrance of each park, guarding the touch points that the guests use to enter the park. Our job was to "be the gate" and only let in guests who had valid ticket admission. It was also our responsibility to verify resort reservations for entrance into extra magic hours, and to make sure that guests didn't leave the park with alcohol or our rented strollers/ecv's. When I was there, our roles also included doing "finales" at the end of the night, in which we would clear the park at the end of the night, but I've heard that park greeters at DHS no longer have that responsibility.
One of the perks of the Spring DCP is that you have Christmas right before your program. One of the hard things about that is that you end up with more stuff to try to pack. The idea of gifting experiences rather than material things is not new, but in this post, I'm going to share some ideas that are CP specific.
While CPs get into Disney parks for free, Orlando has many more theme parks to offer, and many College Programmers like to visit them on their days off. Most of these parks offer annual passes for fairly affordable prices (compare to Disney). The most popular ones are Universal Orlando and SeaWorld.
I recommend gift cards to Disney, Walmart, and Publix. If you don't like giving gift cards, like my family, there are ways to make it more personal. If you've been to central Florida, give a gift card to your favorite local restaurant, store, etc. Or, you could include a little note to ensure the recipient of your gift card is used for fun, write things like "buy something to decorate your apartment" or "use this gift card to enjoy a character breakfast" or something else like that. Another great idea is to get a $30 Disney gift card and a note saying it should be used on The Kitchen Sink Sundae at Beaches and Cream (this is something many CPs want to do).