by John Magi - 12/18/07
Part of planning a truly magical vacation in Central Florida is making sure your family is safe and healthy during your trip. Taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with what to do in case you or someone you love needs medical assistance while on vacation can help to alleviate a potentially stressful situation and give you peace-of-mind to enjoy the rest of your vacation. You’ll rest easy knowing you have thought of everything to keep your family safe and sound during your vacation.
Before you leave
Make sure you bring all appropriate prescriptions and medications you will need for your Disney World trip. We suggest bringing more than what you would need for the length of your stay in case of any unforeseen delays. Make sure all prescriptions are in their original containers and are properly labeled with the name of the patient on them.
If you or someone you are traveling with is susceptible to allergies or colds you might want to consider packing some commonly used over-the-counter medication. Don’t go crazy and bring the entire medicine cabinet but a small bottle of cough medicine and some aspirin or other analgesic could make your life a whole lot easier if someone develops a cough or a bad headache in the middle of the night.
At your Disney World Hotel or Resort
Every Disney Resort, as well as every resort in the Disney area, has a gift shop that sells a small variety of over-the-counter medications. Items like cough medicine, band-aids, first-air cream and analgesics are available. While these items can be at an inflated price, the convenience of having them available and close by is worth the price you will pay.
If you need medical attention while staying in any hotel, whether it is a Disney owned and operated hotel or not, contact the front desk. They will be able to best advise you on how to address the issue. Depending on the severity and immediacy if the issue they may contact local paramedics to assist you or take you to a nearby facility.
While in a Disney Theme Park
All the major area theme parks have a first aid station. If you feel you need medical attention and can get to the first aid station do so, if you feel you are unable to make it to the first aid station contact the nearest Cast Member or employee for assistance. They should be able to get someone to you, or get you to the first aid station as quickly as possible.
It is always a good idea to get a guide map before entering any theme park and locating the first aid station. Your family could also use this as a place to meet if you get separated in the park.
There are several pharmacies in the Disney area including a Walgreens and a CVS, as well as in the Super Wal-Mart and Publix Supermarket. They offer a wide selection of over-the-counter medications as well as a full service Pharmacy. They will refill prescriptions and in many instances you can have your doctor call in a prescription and they will fill it for you.
Right off of Hotel Plaza Boulevard on Route 535 is a CentraCare Walk-in Clinic that offers 24 hour medical assistance. You will have to bring proof of insurance and you may have to pay the bill in full, but it is convenient and easy to get to. There is another walk-in clinic further up on Route 535 as well as one on Sand Lake Road.
Celebration Hospital is located right outside of Disney property on 192. Again, you should have proof of insurance available or have a way to pay for services rendered at that time.
There is a new Pediatrics Center in the Loop in Hunters Creek. While this is a drive from Disney property (about 15 minutes up Osceola Parkway) it is a good alternative to waiting at a walk-in clinic or hospital waiting room if it is not an emergency, but you do feel the need to see a doctor.
If you find yourself in a position where you need immediate emergency care but cannot get to assistance on your own, you should use the national emergency response system by dialing 911. It is very important that during the call you do your best to try to stay calm. Explain your emergency and location as clearly as possible. The local paramedics and emergency responders are familiar with the Disney area but providing detailed information about your location will help them get to you as quickly as possible.