Monday, December 6, 2010

Wow, am I glad you're here!

Believe it or not, in my family's nearly forty years of visiting Walt Disney World, none of us had ever stepped foot into a first aid station. We broke that streak on our recent trip. Tink woke from a nap in her stroller at Epcot and was not her usually perky self. She clung to my mom and then to me and didn't want to lift her little head from our shoulders. Tink felt hot so we headed for the first aid station, which at Epcot is located between Future World and World Showcase at the Odyssey Center.

The first thing that greeted us as we entered first aid was very cool air conditioning, a welcome reception on this unseasonably hot October day. The nurses behind the desk promptly asked how they could help. I asked for a thermometer and was given a small plastic strip to put under Tink's arm. (They do have under the tongue styles for older kids and adults.) After three minutes, one of the nurses came over to the area of the waiting room where we had camped out and read the strip. Tink's temperature was over 103. I was given a small cup with some children's tylenol and a disposable dropper. It was up to me to know how much to give her. (For those of you who haven't given a small child medicine recently, the packages all say "ask a doctor" for children under age 2.)

One of the nurses offered me a rocking chair while we waited for the medicine to kick in. She went into the back and moved it into a dark corner and dampened a couple of wash cloths for us. Tink and I were escorted to an area with cubicles, each equipped with a bed, chair and table (think the medical versions of each.) We rocked and I sang but Tink was really uncomfortable so I called in the big guns. Mom brought back Tink's plush Mickey and my iPhone so we could watch "My Friends Tigger and Pooh." After a half hour or so, Tink started to feel better and we rejoined the rest of the family in the waiting room. My dad and the remaining nurse were talking about DVC, so the time had passed quickly for them.

Before we left, the nurse gave me several more of the thermometer strips so I could keep an eye on Tink's temperature. We didn't need anything special, but we were provided a sheet with some local resources, including a pharmacy that delivers to WDW.

It was about dinner time and we headed for The Land to get Tink some fruit to help get some fluids in her since she wasn't interested in anything we'd offered. (Thanks to Uncle Chris for tracking down lemonade.) I had brought a new bottle of tylenol on the trip but after a call to my pediatrician, Chris and I made a run that night to Walgreens for motrin and other supplies. I suggest traveling with your own medical basics, but if you forget something and don't have a car available, many stores around property offer medicines for common ailments.

The first aid stations are staffed by RNs, who are Cast Members, and the service is provided by the Florida Hospital System. While we were there, we saw lots of people come in for band-aids (sensible footwear is vital!!!) A man also came in for his medicine that they were storing for him as it needed to be refrigerated. An older child came in with a low grade fever and a headache. The nurse thought that case was dehydration and gave them some PowerAid and advice to keep everyone well hydrated in the heat.

I was very thankful that the first aid center was available. Not that we couldn't have treated Tink back at the room, but how wonderful that we could begin to make her feel better right there in the park. And it was one of those random fevers that little kids get. She needed medication for about 36 hours and nothing else ever came of it. Other than being a little cranky when the medicine wore off, she seemed fairly normal.

I hope that you also go many years without a need for first aid at Walt Disney World, but isn't it nice to know it's available?

Locations of First Aid at Walt Disney World:

Magic Kingdom® Park:

First Aid is located next to The Crystal Palace restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A.

First Aid is at the Odyssey Center.

Disney's Hollywood Studios™:
First Aid is located near Guest Services on Hollywood Boulevard.

Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park:
First Aid is located behind Creature Comforts in Discovery Island™.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park:
First Aid is located behind Leaning Palms.

Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park:
First Aid is between Lottawatta Lodge and Beach Haus.

Downtown Disney® area:
There is no First Aid station at Downtown Disney.


  1. Great piece! We've had a couple of excellent stops into the Disney First Aid Stations, and have always been met with cheerful, professional staff. Poor Tink, it's rotten to be sick on vacation.

  2. fantastic article! like your family before this trip, I've never been into the first aid station. it's great to hear what they do and what it's like there!

  3. Great info! Banks actually was fascinated with the first aid station for some reason while I was in the baby center with Henley. Mike took him inside and a nurse very kindly went out of her way and gave him a personal tour. He was so excited! lol Glad it was there when you needed it and so glad Tink felt better! Being sick on vacation should not be allowed! ;)

  4. I must say the nurses in the First Aid station were great. We talked a lot about DVC as one of the RNs is a DVC member. While Amy was occupied with Tink we saw several guests visit First Aid. Most were looking for band-aids for blisters on their feet. One guest had stored refrigerated meds with them. There was even one cast member cane in and they were sent around the building to a back stage area where employee health is located.
    Guess we have been blessed over the years in never needing to visit this "attraction" but it is nice to know it is there if needed and that even these cast members have been sprinkled with a little "pixie dust" to make even a First Aid visit special.

  5. We've had an emergency within the Disney Diva household and the on-property medical staff were BEYOND amazing! Isn't it awesome that we can all enjoy ourselves knowing that Disney's got it under control! Great article. :) Here's our story from my blog

  6. Luckily, we have not had to use the First Aid stations with the kids, but my sister in law had to go to the emergency room one night and the cast members at our resort were amazing. She had a miscarriage while we were in Disney and it was just devastating for all of us (I'd had several before having kids, so this was not an unfamiliar situation for our family). Cast member made sure she was well taken care of on her return from the hospital. One year my dad had a very high temp. When my mom called guest services for something, they arrived with not only what my mom needed for my dad, but also some chicken noodle soup. It is nice to know that they have plans and things in place to help any of us with unexpected illnesses or injuries!

  7. Thanks for sharing! It is good to have them there!

  8. So glad they were able to help out! I would expect nothing less of such a magical place! We've luckily never had to visit a first aid station, but I'm happy to know that they will be pretty well-equipped should we need to.


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