I have been sick as a DOG at Disney World two times. I’m not going to lie, it was beyond miserable. I never go to Disney World without any medicines, which is why I wrote my article “Trust me, you need drugs” that lists all the medicines I recommend you have.
We were discussing on the Tips from the Disney Facebook Page about times when we, or our family members were sick at WDW and what advice we would give to people when this happens.
I think we basically settled on “plan ahead and plan for the worst”. What does that consist of?
1) Take preventative measures – Remember, people have spent thousands of dollars on this trip, they are NOT going to cancel it even if they or their their kids have strept throat, or just general colds and viruses. They’re going to go on the vacation and they’re going to go into the park, and how does this effect you? Well, they touch things. They hit the same elevator buttons, open the same bathroom doors, hold on to same queue poles, pull down the same restraining bars, hold on to the same guns for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. It’s just a fact. I’m not a germ-a-phobe, I’m really not, but I’ve been miserably sick at WDW and I don’t want you to be. So what can you do?
a) Bring Clorox wipes/ lysol and spray down/ wipe down your room. Yes, I know that Disney does a good job of cleaning, but I’m not leaving anything to chance when it comes to my health on vacation.
b) Take vitamin C & Zinc based supplements to beef up your immune system. A comprehensive analysis of clinical-trial data on zinc and colds has concluded that zinc really does appear to be beneficial.
c) Be a fanatic about washing hands and using anti-bacterial gel. Don’t worry about everybody else thinking you’re being obsessive about it. You do NOT want to get sick here. Seriously.
d) Bring a Neti Pot – Many people get crazy allergies and have a hard time adjusting to the climate change in Florida. Sinus issues are the majority of the issues at WDW if I had to guess. Neti Pot’s are AMAZING at cleaning out just the general gunk that gets in your sinuses and can really help with the pressure and stuff like that. Taking something like a Claritin D every day, regardless of you think you need it or not, would help also.
e) Talk to your Family about touching things. Make sure they understand how many people are there and how many of those people could be sick. You want them to have fun, so you’re going to bug them to keep their hands off of things, wash their hands,
f) GET SOME REST! You’re walking all day in an over-stimulating environment. You need to rest! You ALWAYS need to have that mid-day rest, but beyond that, pay attention to your family. If they’re getting all run down you need to schedule an “evening off”. We always do this on our Animal Kingdom day. We stay at Animal Kingdom until just after the parade and then go home and rest the rest of the evening. When you’re going all the time your immune system will run down. Making it easier to get sick.
2) Bring Medicines with you – You NEED to bring medicines with you even when you think you don’t need them. I NEVER go to WDW without Children’s Motrin (for fevers or pain), Tussin (for coughs), prescription ear drops in case of an ear infection, and prescription eye drops for PINK EYE, and Pepto/ GasX ! I also take saline nose drops & Claritin D to help with sinuses. You can find my entire list of medicines HERE. Yes, it does add weight if you’re flying, but these things cost a FORTUNE at the gift shops on property. So plan ahead and bring them!
3) In case of an Emergency find a Cast Member!. We have seen, and been a part of, a medical emergency on Disney Property (you can read about Diva Daughters experience HERE) . Every time cast members rush to help and they do all the radioing for help, but if you can’t find anyone immediately you can call 911 and they will contact the paramedics on Disney Property asap. Cast Members have been trained like CRAZY on how to handle medical emergencies, and the paramedics are quick, kind, and efficient.
4) If you need a doctor: One of the times I was so sick I remember sitting in my resort room crying because my throat was hurting so badly and there was no doctor at the resort. I remember reading the little welcome packet from Pop Century and seeing that a bus would take me to a clinic during certain hours and just sobbing because it was the middle of the night.
What do I do if I’m ON property? Since then I have learned that you can contact the front desk and they will help you make arrangements to get to a “doc in a box” (aka emergency clinic”). I still don’t think they will do anything in the middle of the night. There are some companies though that will provide a “house call” to WDW resorts, surrounding hotels, and area. For example CentraCare Physician Room Service who you can call for a free pick-up or can come to your room. It says “scheduled at your convenience”,but that doesn’t mean they would come at night. They accept “most insurances”, but that also doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be expensive. However, as miserable I was that I would have paid anything since I didn’t have a car.
Another “house call” company to consider that IS available 24 hours a day is DOCS (Doctors on Call Service). You can call around and check to see what insurances they accept, etc.
Either way, I’d have a few numbers in your suitcase you can call if someone needs a prescription and you need a doctor.
What do I do if I’m OFF property? Buena Vista Medical Care Service is on World Center Drive which is very close to Disney property. They’re open M-F 8am-7pm and Sat/ Sun from 8am-3pm. If you’re near S. Apopka Vineland Road (where there are many MANY resorts) there is a Walgreens that has a “Take Care Clinic” that could be of some help to you as well. CentraCare has a walk-in clinic as well and is close to Downtown Disney
You could also go to the emergency room (if it late at night) to Florida Hospital Celebration.
I hope you don’t get sick, I REALLY REALLY hope you don’t but if you do you should have a plan!