Coping With Illness at Disney World

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What to do when you or someone in your group becomes ill on your Disney Vacation? Unfortunately for us, that is exactly what happened. We had big plans to be at Hollywood Studios for rope drop at 9 AM. That changed in the middle of the night when my son, Trent, 13, got sick.

It didn’t even cross my mind when packing to bring Imodium or other medications. As a result, I purchased some for $5.50 in the gift shop. While I hate paying the over inflated prices, I am thankful to have it. The Disney gift shops have an assortment of medications for many minor maladies. The food courts have PowerAde, Sprite, bananas, toast, applesauce and other bland foods that people eat when they are ill. Housekeeping was also willing to accommodate our request for a later cleaning so that Trent could sleep in.

If you find yourself in similar circumstances, know that you have options. Disney really is supplied with what you need to handle minor illness.

Thank Goodness that Trent felt better after he ate and took the medicine and his illness didn’t require a trip to the hospital. So while our original plans have changed, we will take this opportunity to rest and enjoy the surroundings of our hotel. If you end up being ill away from home, Disney has the supplies to get you back to your “Touring Plan”. Stay well.

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Posted on April 15, 2009

14 Responses to “Coping With Illness at Disney World”

  • There are also a set of clinics around WDW run by CentraCare that will even provide a free van pickup at your resort, take you to their clinic, then take you to the pharmacy, and then back to your resort or to a park entrance.

    Disney can call them from the front desk or give you the number.

  • I think there’s an Urgent Care next to the Orlando Vista by the Crossroads Shopping Center too – very close by, and Mike Newell said they’re great. Hope Trent feels better, Caroline!

    • Hi Len,
      Thank you for the Urgent Care info. I think Trent has turned the corner. He seems like himself today.
      I really think it was something he ate.

  • by Rita Russell on April 15, 2009, at 9:08 pm EST

    Sadly my family of 5 and our travelling companions all got sick too on our last trip in early March. We found Mousekeeping at All Star Music to be VERY accomodating and helpful and the staff in the gift shops (called around until they found me a gift shop with electrolite solution for our baby). When we were feeling better we went to MK with our friends little girl, who felt ill about an hour into our day. Hotel staff sent her dad over in the van to retrieve her so no one had to park, take the monorail etc. I hope we are never sick at Disney ever again, but we managed to survive this one with help from the castmembers!

    I’d be very curious to know about the statistics of illness at Disneyworld…since we returned home, lots of people have mentioned similar experiences…there must be clusters as we are fairly certain we contracted the virus while there.

    • Hi Rita,
      So sorry to hear you all got sick. What a bummer.
      In our case, I think Trent got some bad food.
      Stay Well,
      Caroline

  • The first time we were in DisneyWorld — waaaaaay back in 1970-something, my little brother had strep throat on the first day in Florida. Thankfully, things are much more accessible than they were back then. We lost two full days of the trip, running around Orlando. AND we were in a pop-up camper with no a/c – in some God-forsaken orange grove campground — mid summer. Ugh. (But I still have delightful memories of MK!!!!!!)

    Will all the resorts know about this urgent care facility? Is this anywhere near the Caribbean Beach Resort? We begin our vacation on May 23rd and I have already packed myself a portable pharmacy!!!!!!

  • My family of 5 was there 01/09 at Pop Century and each went thru “Norwalk virus” type symptoms. We know that people cruise b4 & after Disney. I dont think WDW is cleaning up properly & disinfecting. We had been there many times before without incident. Someone should look into this!!!

  • A few years back, I got very ill one night/all night and the next day my two daughters got ill all day. Only my wife did not. Guess what? That day we ate at the Sci-Fi DriveIn, 3 of us had burgers, one had chicken. You can guess who had the burgers. My daughters were so sick we had to stay 1 extra day and move our flights out 1 day. We were staying at Caribbean Beach and to this day our kids won’t stay there…remembering what they went through. In our 20+ other visits, we’ve never had an issue. We now have a family rule, no red meat and no “soft” ice cream.

  • I had a horrible headache (probably a mild migrane) during one of my visits. It was so bad that I couldn’t make it down to the gift shop, and I couldn’t send my daughter (who was 7 at the time and the only other person on the trip) by herself to go get it for me. So, I called the front desk. They were happy to go to the gift shop, charge the purchase to my room, and bring it to me. It was a great guest service moment and one that I am forever thankful!

  • by DisneyDad59 on April 17, 2009, at 7:42 am EST

    It’s normal behavior to feel the universe has aligned itself against us when we somehow get ill while we’re on vacation. It just seems so unfair, doesn’t it? We spent all this money and have looked forward to this vacation for so long!
    It may also be normal–if uninformed–behavior to look back and cherry-pick events to ‘blame’ for the fact that we do occasionally get sick, even when we’re on vacation.
    We fail to take into account huge changes in routine and diet, the fact that we’re suddenly in close quarters with tens of thousands of people, that we probably forgot to pack some basic OTC medicines, and forgetting that even at the “happiest place on earth” the germs are also enjoying themselves. :-(
    Never mind the fact that most of us push very hard on vacation, choosing to skip fruit for treats and sleep for maximizing our time in the parks. I think it’s a wonder more people don’t get sick.
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s nice to read so many stories of Disney Cast Members doing their best to salvage what’s left of our vacations when we suffer from the occasional bug or malady.

  • I’m a physician and a frequent Disney vacationer. I contracted a severe case of either food poisoning or influenza while staying at the Wilderness Lodge in 2003. The late night manager was excellent in responding to my needs, even sending an ambulance crew (at my request) to bring me to a hospital in Celebration. There were several follow up calls from management after the fact and a call from the chef at the Disney restaurant in question. I’m not happy I got ill, but I have always found Disney management people to be above and beyond with helping sick/injured guests. Of note, be sure to understand what your insurance plan covers with respect to out of state care–medical care and the like can be much more expensive than a suite at the Grand! Better to know ahead of time, or at least buy trip insurance with medical care than to get socked with a several thousand dollar bill.

    • by Caroline Baggerly on April 23, 2009, at 6:57 pm EST

      Karen,
      Thank you for the great information. I will check my health insurance regarding out of state coverage.
      The Disney people were great. Here is to never being sick on vacation again!!:).

  • My 5 yr old son and I both got a stomach bug last December when we were at DWD. I unfortunately had to take what seemed like the longest ride from Epcot to Port Orleans Riverside. I felt so bad for my fellow bus riders but thank GOD I had a plastic bag that was keeping my electronics dry. The one thing that discouraged me was that the bus driver didn’t ask me if I was in need of any assistance since I was sitting right behind him. My son got sick on the monorail the next day, I stayed behind with him while my wife and his twin brother and sister went out for the day. I got my fill of Toon Disney that day that’s for sure :)