Cast Member Spotlight - Charlotte Jameson-McAuley (Blizzard Beach Lifeguard)

Cast Member Spotlight - Charlotte Jameson-McAuley (Blizzard Beach Lifeguard)

Name: Charlotte Jameson-McAuley
Home Town: Huddersfield
Hire Status: Ex-CM / ICP
Role: Deep Water Lifeguard
Work Location: Blizzard Beach water park

What did your training consisting of? 
Traditions and 'recreational training', then a Lifeguard test including a swimming test and eye test, then 3 days of lifeguard training, then physical and theory exam. Then finally it was location training for 3 days at Blizzard Beach.

What did your day to day job consist of? 
Guarding deep and shallow water at Blizzard Beach. Rescues were quite regular. Maintaining a 10/20 (meaning that you would constantly scan the water so that you would spot a guest in danger within 10 seconds, and rescue them in 20.)

What did you enjoy most about your job? 
 The adrenaline of performing rescues. No day was the same!

What was the worst thing about your job?
 VATS (visual awareness training) - co-ordinators/ Jeff Ellis (the people we qualify with) may come and drop a shadow in the shape of a person at the bottom of the pool, at any time of the day during your shift. OR they could come as a 'guest' and begin to drown/injure themselves in the water etc whilst you are on stand. This is an examination where you would have to maintain your 10/20 and rescue appropriately. This could happen at ANY time. VAT could also mean that you were filmed through a bush or something alike and then evaluated. I dreaded getting 'VATed'

What magical moments did you perform and what was your favourite? 
It was difficult to perform lots of magic moments as a guard, because you were constantly maintaining your 10/20, but when I did perform a rescue, I felt that I was creating magic moments for the guests. Blizzard beach also picked a 'ski captain' at the beginning of the day, where a family would be chosen to 'test ride' summit plummet, and then they would be given a cabin for the rest of the day and get special treatment. It was always really nice to be involved in that!

What is your best memory as a guest in Walt Disney World?
My best guest memory is meeting the princesses in Magic Kingdom. At 21 years old I was always starstruck meeting them, so I can't imagine what it was like for children!

What is your best memory overall? 
One of my best memories in Orlando was being given the opportunity to volunteer with terminally ill children who were on the 'make a wish' programme and other programmes alike. I would say that that was probably a life changing evening for me. I am studying to be a teacher so have a lot of experience of working with less fortunate children, but I have never had the chance to do anything like that. It was amazing.

Also being given the opportunity to watch the 4th July fireworks all over Walt Disney World and a lot of Orlando from the top of summit plummet!

What have you learnt whilst working on the program / at Walt Disney World?
To never give up! Not everything went right for me to begin with, but I didn't give up, and ended up turning everything around and having an amazing summer!

What was the hardest thing about the program?
Personally, I found the hardest thing was the pressure of being a lifeguard. I would become nervous every time I went on stand. But it was a good nervous!

What was the best thing about the program?
Meeting people from all around the world. I am still very close to a lot of cast members and still meet up with the English ICPs regularly.

Any funny guest stories?
A girl came up to me one day and started talking to me. I asked her where she was from and she said 'England', I asked her whereabouts and she said 'Yorkshire'. I asked her whereabouts in Yorkshire. She looked at my name tag and saw 'Huddersfield'. She started screaming and shouting,"MUM, DAD! SHE'S FROM HUDDERSFIELD!!" She couldn't believe that I was from there. The look on her face was priceless!

Is there anything you wish you knew beforehand?
I wish I had looked more into the accommodation. I loved my accommodation, but I chose it because I was told that it was the most social accommodation, which it wasn't!

Would you do the program again?
If I had the money, definitely!


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