Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing what to do when you encounter a problem on your Disney vacation.
I have nearly done it all when it comes to Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, while I mean parks and attractions, I also mean some not so fun parts of a vacation. Between my family and me, I’ve visited first aid stations in the parks, gone to urgent cares and pharmacies, had doctors visit my resort room, had a dental emergency, and even taken a not-so-magical ambulance ride to a nearby hospital. While I hope your vacation never takes a turn like ours, know that if it does, you are in good hands with plenty of options.
For something really minor that you can treat yourself, help may be closer than you think. Many of the stores in the parks carry OTC medications even if you don’t see them on a shelf. On a recent trip, my son needed some Tums. I figured we had to go to first aid to get anything, but a Cast Member let me know that even though we may not see medication in the stores, ask. Since we were near it, we went into the Bonjour Village Gift Shop in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom and asked if they had Tums. The Cast Member retrieved a storage box full of OTC medications and we were able to get the Tums we needed. There was also acetaminophen, ibuprofen, DayQuil, Pepto Bismol, and a few others. The shops in the resorts usually carry a selection of OTC medications as well.
If that doesn’t work out and you’re in any of the four theme parks or one of the two water parks, Disney has first aid stations available. These are staffed by nurses who can perform first aid or provide my most common reason for visiting, Band-Aids for blistered feet. They can also store medication or provide a quiet place of respite from overstimulation for someone with cognitive disabilities. You can find them at:
- The first aid station in Magic Kingdom theme park is located next to The Crystal Palace restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A.
- The first aid station in Epcot theme park is at the Odyssey Center; enter from the World Showcase side.
- The first aid station in Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park is located near Guest Services on Hollywood Boulevard.
- The first aid station in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park is located behind Creature Comforts in Discovery Island.
- The first aid station in Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is located near Leaning Palms restaurant near the park entrance.
- The first aid station in Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is between Lottawatta Lodge and Beach Haus.
If, however, you can’t make it to a first aid station, simply flag down any Cast Member. On a recent visit, a guest had a seizure and our tour guide halted the tour, explaining to us that ALL Cast Members must respond to a medical issue. After a short time, a golf cart with first aid personnel arrived to assist the guest and her family.
In addition to the first aid stations and Cast Member assistance for minor issues, if the unthinkable happens, Disney World also has hundreds of automated external defibrillators around the parks, many of them strategically placed near thrill rides and fitness centers. Plus, the ones I saw had phones next to them so that someone can call for help immediately.
Unfortunately, it seems that most of my family’s illnesses were something for which a doctor was necessary. For convenience, nothing can beat Doctors on Call Service or DOCS for short. For our most recent issue, I called them at 407-399-3627 to make an appointment. They have appointments 24/7 so if it’s something serious at 2am, you can give them a call or if it’s something less serious that you want to schedule around your dining reservations, you can do that, too. A doctor came to our room at the designated time, made the diagnosis, gave us the first dose of medication, and called a prescription in to Turner Drugs who delivered it to our resort front desk the next morning. Very convenient! The only drawback with DOCS that I saw was that they don’t accept any insurance, although they do provide the appropriate receipts to submit to most insurance plans, so we had to pay for the visit upfront and then get reimbursed from our insurance company.
For those who would prefer an urgent care, I have been to Florida Hospital Centra Care at 12500 South Apopka Vineland Rd several times. Their hours are long – from 8am to Midnight weekdays and 8am to 8pm on weekends. Reservations can be made from their website to shorten the wait. With a rental car, it is easy to find, just up Hotel Plaza Blvd. past Disney Springs. Complimentary transportation is also available from most resorts. Their staff was very nice and treated me well. Plus, they took my insurance so I only had to pay my regular copay. Walgreens is a short drive to get a prescription filled or just like DOCS, they will send the prescription to Turner Drugs to have it delivered to a Disney resort.
Another option for situations requiring a doctor or a dentist is The Medical Concierge. It was just my luck to wake up one day during a Disney vacation to discover a swollen cheek due to an abscessed tooth! The Medical Concierge has an urgent care but can also refer Orlando visitors to emergency dentists and doctors who will make resort visits. Their phone line is staffed 24/7 with nurses who can help determine the right plan of action for your specific issue.
If something more serious happens, an ambulance and EMTs are just a phone call away. They will come assess the situation and let you know your options. The closest emergency room can be found at Florida Hospital Celebration Health. When I had the unfortunate necessity to travel to an emergency room by ambulance from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this is where they took me. Of course, one can also travel there by car or by cab. Current wait times are available through the Florida Hospital smartphone app. Just go into your phone’s “store,” and search for Florida Hospital ER.
I hope your Walt Disney World vacation doesn’t include a need for any of these services, but if it does, know you have lots of options for excellent care.
For more ways to deal with problems at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Dealing with Problems at Disney Loop:
- 1st Stop – My Pixie Dust Diary | Tips for Avoiding (& Dealing with) Disney Meltdowns
- 2nd Stop – Magical Memories with the Mouse | When the Unthinkable Happens – What to Do if You’re Sick or Injured at Walt Disney World
- 3rd Stop – Home is Where the Mouse Is | How NOT to Lose Your Kids, Your Stuff, or Your Mind at Disney
- 4th Stop – Magical Mickey Tips | Walt Disney World’s Magical Express – No Luggage Tags, No Problem