You have spent months saving and planning for your magical Disney World vacation. The day arrives and you enter the gates of Walt Disney World. You and your family can’t wait to experience all the fun at the parks. Suddenly your child becomes sick at Disney World. Now what?!
We have unfortunately dealt with this exact scenario three times on our Disney World vacations. Once with my daughter, Elizabeth, when she was 4 years old, a different time when my mom and I both got sick during our trip, and our most recent visit where a cold took out two of our group.
Here’s what you should do:
1. Don’t Panic
If you are currently in the parks head to a first aid station.
Nurses are available at the first aid stations during park hours. These nurses can provide bandages or over-the-counter medications for a minor illness. If the illness is more serious, they can manage immediate care until an ambulance arrives.
We visited with the nurses at Magic Kingdom to learn more. That facility has two treatment rooms and several bays for ill patients. The nurses were well versed in patient care and extremely nice, too.
If you are at your Disney World Resort call down to the Front Desk.
The front desk is your friend. They can walk you through available options. This can include area urgent care centers, hospitals or physicians that can make a “house call” to your room during certain hours.
2. Plan Ahead For Being Sick at Disney World
I know that sounds a little crazy, but trust me. You would rather plan ahead and not need it than find yourself in a panic at 2am with a feverish child and no medications.
I always make sure I have any prescription medications we need daily or even those that are “as needed” (in the case of a rescue inhaler or Epi-Pen) packed in our carry on luggage.
I also pack acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) in adult and children doses. If you have children that still take liquid acetaminophen or ibuprofen I recommend that you pack these medications in your checked luggage (in two ziptop bags). Although you can bring liquid medications larger than 3.4 ounces in your carry-on they will require extra security screening. Find out more specifics about this Transportation Security Administration policy here.
Mucinex Mini Melt Packets (order on Amazon) are also always in my carry-on luggage. This ensures I have a cough and cold medication for anyone in our family 4 years old or older. As with all over-the-counter medications make sure you read the instructions carefully before using for yourself or others. Always consult with a physician or pharmacist if unsure about any information on the label of the medication.
If you didn’t pack any medications the gift shop has some basics like Tylenol or Advil for both children and adults. They sometimes also carry one cough or cold medication and something like Claritin.
3. Make sure to take good care of your health prior to your trip
Get your rest and make sure you take care of your health before you leave. Being well fed and rested can help you be more able to fight off an illness. And you don’t want to be tired when you arrive for your trip anyway!
Many illnesses at Disney World can be minor inconveniences if handled properly. Although I hope you never have this experience when visiting Disney World at least now you know available options and items to pack just in case.
Having a sick family member at Disney World can certainly be disappointing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! In usual Disney fashion the staff will do all they can to assist you in finding the care you need.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider for managing food allergies and other medical conditions.