Disney Lifeguard 101~ Part 1

So I’m starting a series called Disney Lifeguard 101, I will post a new edition every Sunday and will explain either a new aspect of Lifeguarding or a fun work story, an explanation of a certain type of test, really just all things lifeguarding at Disney!

This weeks edition is going to be all about the swim test! The Disney swim test for lifeguards is something that you MUST take before you begin your lifeguard training (Ellis). In this post I will take you step by step through everything that happened!

Know Before You Go~

Women must wear a one piece swimsuit. So if you don’t own one I would buy one before you get to Florida! Any one piece works but I would recommend something a little sporty like a speedo or nike suit. My roommate Sav had a swimsuit from her time on the swim team and I bought a few off Amazon.

You will have to be able to swim a few laps, if that is a problem you need to practice. There are two separate tests, a deep test and a shallow test. The deep test is 6 laps in the pool (down and back counts as 2 laps), treading water WITHOUT your hands for 2 minutes and jumping into 8 feet of water and getting a 10 pound brick. The shallow test is 2 laps (down and back one time) and jumping into 5 feet of water and getting a10 pound brick, no treading water.

If you cannot do this I would recommend practicing before hand.

Once You Arrive~

When you arrive at the pool (Mickey’s Retreat) you will be split up into multiple groups of 5 to 15 people per group. They are based on if you were assigned deep or shallow guard. They will start by making everyone attempt the deep test. If you are in one of the first groups they will probably make you try the deep test. If you fail the deep test, you will take the shallow test.

In between groups taking the swim test, you take an extremely short vision test. If you wear glasses or contacts that is totally fine you just have to wear them while you guard as well.

My group was one of the last ones and they had already filled all the deep guard positions so we all only took the shallow test. Sav passed the deep test but still got put in shallow water because they had already filled the deep positions. It really just depends on what Disney needs.

Here is a picture of the pool, it’s pretty average size for the laps.

After You Pass~

You fill out some paperwork and get your schedule for the week! Super easy, the test took around 3-4 hours from start to finish and was really simple. I am not an expert swimmer and I had no problems passing!

If You Fail~

If you fail at this point you will get recast, not termed!

Quick Facts~

  • Yes you can wear goggles
  • No you don’t need lifeguard shoes at this point
  • Yes all tattoos need to be covered


  1. Do we need to come to the test wearing a certain attire or is it okay to arrive to the test in a T-shirt, shorts, and flip flops/tennis shoes?

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