I’ve been to Walt Disney World so many times I don’t even count them anymore. We took our biggest Disney Vacation to date this past June in celebration of my son’s high school graduation. Two weeks in the Florida sun! We had been dreaming about it for over a year.
I had every detail planned, without being too over scheduled. Where we would have dinners, what time we would go to another park, what days were resort time. I even had a surprise Star Wars tour and a Typhoon Lagoon Cabana reserved! Everything was packed. From itineraries, confirmations, to toiletries and clothes pins to hang wet bathing suits. I’m an expert so I’ve got lists for my lists! I know what I’m doing. I got this!
Yeah- not so much. I didn’t plan for anyone to get sick. I always pack some medicine when we travel - our prescriptions and typical medications like Advil, Rolaids, Pepto-Bismol, MiraLax, Benadryl, moleskin, Band-Aids and Neosporin. I take these every trip. I find it overwhelming to plan for everything. I know the resorts have little essential shops so if I need anything else I can stop there. That was my plan.
So when I woke up the second day of vacation feeling like I had swallowed glass, I stopped in the gift shop and bought whatever said 'sore throat' on the label. If I can go to work feeling a bit under the weather, I can certainly spend the day riding rides. I’ll just drink lots of water. Over the next couple of days my symptoms got a bit worse and I just powered through with over-the-counter medicine from the gift shop (yay Nyquil) and lots of water. I was not missing out on any of this vacation.
Then my youngest woke up on day 4 saying she must have been snoring all night because her throat was really sore. My "mom bells" went off. So, I watched her. She then got a stuffy head then stared coughing. Like her mom, she was determined to power through. Unlike her mom, she’s 12 and it doesn’t always work the same way. Add to that she’s my one kid that always gets sicker than the others. This was no different.
After 3 days, she couldn’t stop coughing. Not a little cough, but a big, barky kind of cough. Her throat only hurt in the morning and her head was super stuffy. It was the morning she woke up with half of her face looking puffy and a bloodshot eye, that I knew I needed to get her medical help; there was no way she was going to push through this.
I’ve never done this.... I’ve never needed to do this.... I don’t even know where to start. So, where do you go when you have a question at a Disney Resort? The Resort Concierge! I picked up the phone and he gave me the number for Doctors On Call Service. This company makes house (well, resort) calls. You can relax in the comfort of your room instead of waiting in a walk-in clinic or emergency room. When I researched them a little more, I found out they are available 24 hours a day to rooms at Orlando area resorts, and vacation homes. They have over 15-years in business and have a long list on testimonials on their webpage. Their goal is to get you back to your vacation.
So with a place to start, I sent the rest of the family to the park and called Doctors On Call. I was very impressed with the service. First, I was informed how they worked. The start with a phone intake. As I went to get my insurance and credit card, I was pleasantly surprised when I was transferred to a doctor who questioned me on my daughter’s symptoms, not for my payment information. The Doctor asked very thorough questions. From first symptom onset, to escalation to specific descriptions about her cough and look of her eye. He put me on hold to consult with another Doctor and was back with me in less time than it took me to pour a cup of coffee.
Now, this is where they really impressed me. They told me they couldn’t help me. What? Turns out they have a small number of diagnostics in their vehicles but felt that my daughters puffy face and eye issue required additional attention and possibly diagnostics that they would not have with them. I was told it would be a waste of my time and money to have them come out to only need to go to a facility. Wait, you don’t want to waste my time? WOW!
Then they did something remarkable…they continued to help this poor mom traveler out. The Doctor told me what to do next! I was told I would need to take her to an Urgent Care location or the ER. For Urgent Care, he gave me the number for Lake Buena Vista Centra Care. They will pick you up at your resort and take you back when you’re done, so if you don’t have a car you don’t have to worry. He then told me that WDW has its own ambulance service, that would transport my daughter to the Emergency Room. All I would have to do is call the resort Concierge and he would have them come to our door. The concierge would also be able to make arrangements to get me back to the resort once we were discharged.
We did end up at Centra Care. They accepted our medical insurance so I just had a standard co-pay. My daughter was seen quickly and diagnosed with bronchitis and a severe sinus infection. Her eye was a result of coughing so hard, she popped a blood vessel. Well-breathing treatment in-house and prescriptions for cough medicine and antibiotic were needed.
Prescriptions? Great! How do you get those without a car? Disney and their affliiates have you covered…again. Turner Drugs delivers to Walt Disney World. They deliver to the front desk so you don’t have to be there. It typically takes 2-2.5 hours to get your medicine. All I could think of was, “I’ve never even thought about prescription medicine. This is great in case we ever forget ours too”.
We started our day at 8am with the phone call to Doctors On Call and made it into Hollywood Studios for our 10:15-11:15am FastPass. We didn’t make it the entire day as planned, but we were able to get medicine into her before she went to bed. Our daughter felt so much better the next day and she was able to start recovering.
So here is some contact information for your next Walt Disney World Vacation—
Doctors On Call 407-399-DOCS (3627) https://www.doctorsoncallservice.com
Centra Care 407-934-2273 https://centracare.org/florida/locations/lake-buena-vista-centra-care
Turner Drugs 407-828-8125 http://www.turnerdrug.com
First Aid Stations: these are located inside each Theme Park. If you are in the park and feeling poorly, go here first. They often have samples of pain relievers, band-aids and antibiotic cream. They also have Thermometer strips to check for a fever, Epi-Pens, and eyewash stations. They are also air conditioned and have water and Powerade in case you are dehydrated. Some items are free and others are for purchase.
First Aid Stations in WDW can be found in the following General areas:
· Magic Kingdom, located between The Crystal Palace and Casey’s Corner, near the restrooms heading towards Adventureland.
· Epcot, located in the Odyssey Center between Future World and the World Showcase (in between Test Track and the Mexico Pavilion.)
· Hollywood Studios, located in the Guest Relations building on Hollywood Boulevard (at the front entrance).
· Animal Kingdom, located at Discovery Island, next to Creature Comforts/Starbucks and across from Terra Treats (just before crossing the bridge into Africa.)
· Typhoon Lagoon, located just behind Leaning Palms.
· Blizzard Beach, located beside Lottawatta Lodge
These facilities will also store medicine that needs to be refrigerated and hold onto a nebulizer if you need to give your child treatments.
We certainly hope that you never need to use this information, but we hope this helps in case you do!