A few months ago, I wrote an article about our experience with an in-room emergency on property at WDW. Thankfully, our emergency was managed on property and we didn’t have to leave. But what happens when an emergency needs to be handled by a hospital? Well, now I have the answer!
During your stay, if your child needs transport to an emergency room, you will be taken to Celebration Hospital, which is the closest hospital to WDW. If your emergency requires being admitted, surgery, or special pediatric care, you would then be transferred to the Walt Disney Pavilion at the Florida Hospital for Children. My son recently had outpatient surgery at this facility, and I can say without a doubt, that God-forbid you end up here during your trip, you are in GREAT hands.
Our day started with free valet, and we were then directed inside to the Disney Pavilion, where we were greeted by a personal guide for the day. He actually picked us out of the crowd, we never walked up to a check-in desk, which was a wonderful, personal, “Disney” touch. He gave my kids a few minutes to explore their surroundings and all that the Disney Pavilion had to offer, including a fun, interactive area.
After registration, our guide walked us into the per-operative waiting area, where Doc McStuffins was playing on TV for the kids and games, coloring pages, and stickers galore awaited them. When we were taken back into the pre-op room to meet with doctors and nurses, the kids were able to choose from a huge selection of Disney movies to watch on a TV mounted to the ceiling while my husband and I were given ample time to have personal meetings with the doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists who would be with our son that day. The anesthetic nurses came in for about 15 minutes prior to taking him back for surgery just to play with our son, make him more comfortable with them, and probably to calm mom and dad’s nerves (it worked!). When it came time for him to be taken back to surgery, rather than wheeling him away, he was carried by the nurses, who had him very excited to go visit a “big boy” room (operating room) that included bubbles and toys for distraction after we were separated.
This is always the hardest part, in my opinion, for parents. Nurses immediately saw that my husband and I were having a hard time with the separation, and “came to the rescue” to play games, color, and interact with our four year old while we processed all that had just happened.
We received a phone call about ten minutes later by the nurses themselves to let us know that our son had fallen asleep easily, and at this point we decided to walk to the cafeteria – our only negative experience. I’m almost positive that we arrived right as the cafeteria was opening for the day, and coupled with our nerves, the hustle and bustle was just TOO MUCH to stay and eat, so we headed back to the waiting room. Our son’s surgery was actually running about an hour ahead of schedule, as their scheduling system is extremely organized and efficient and allows for extra time between patients. The minute he was out of surgery, we were taken to a private conference room, informed of the details of his surgery, and then taken to his bedside (where they had all of his toys and stuffed animals arranged by him) so that we would be the first faces that he saw upon being woken up. After he woke up, we were escorted back to the room we were in during pre-op and the kids watched another movie until he was discharged. Afterwards, the kids went BACK to the interactive area to play some more while we waited for our car.
I knew going into the day of surgery that our experience would be slightly better than general hospitals that we have visited in the past, just because this one bears the “Disney” name, which brought me extra comfort. However, I did not realize the attention to detail and support we would feel by every member of staff we would meet. This review is 100% honest, if the floors were slightly dirty, or we experienced a rude staff member, I would report it here in this review. On top of our experience, we were informed that children who are actually admitted to the hospital get a special character visit at their bedside.
I hope that this review is never necessary to your Walt Disney World vacation, but in the event that you encounter a vacation emergency, don’t doubt for a minute whether or not Disney can make their magic happen under ANY circumstance!