What happens when you are sick at Disney World? Crying. Crying happens, even if you are a mom in your 40s who should know better! Maybe that’s just me? There are options for you to get care when you are sick in the House of Mouse that include Urgent Care and in-room doctor visits.
A few years back I spent a wonderful week at Walt Disney World as a guest of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.
Reading these posts it looks like it was all fun and games, but, man, it didn’t start off well.
Here’s a little story of the time a 41-year-old mom of four got pink eye for the first time.
I boarded a plane super stupid early on Wednesday in Phoenix.
How stupid early? I had to be awake at 2:45 am in order to make my plane.
Yes, I will give up sleep if a castle and drinks at Trader Sam’s are involved.
Trust me- it was so worth it!
After settling into my bulkhead seats, I decided to close my eyes and nap for the first leg.
Upon waking, I noticed one of my eyes was really bothering me. I chalked it up to a possible torn contact or maybe just dry eyes from lack of sleep.
As the day went on, it hurt more and more. I basically wanted to scratch my own eye out of my head.
After consulting Dr. Google, I knew I had pink eye. Gross.
I took out the contact in the offending eye but had to keep the other one in.
Because… I didn’t bring my glasses. And I’m super blind.
Sick at Disney World
I called the front desk at the Yacht Club to ask what my options were for visiting an urgent care.
Guys: ONE question could have made this entire post (and miserable day) MUCH shorter.
Let’s see if anyone else catches the ONE very important detail I assumed I knew the answer.
Call goes like this:
Me: Hiiiiiii… I’m in pain, so much pain, nothing major contagious or life-threatening though I want to rip my eye out.
Oh wait, I think it is contagious but not like confined to my ROOM contagious. But there’s pain.
Front Desk: Um… hello? Do you need 911?
Me: Noooo, no, nothing like that. I’m just a bad patient.
I tend to exaggerate.
Um, yeah… can you tell where the nearest urgent care facility is located?
Front Desk: Oh good, I’m glad you aren’t dying (said without sarcasm… I think).
We can send a doctor to your room as we have one on call!
Or I can request the Centra Care van to pick you up and take you to the urgent care facility.
Me: Oh, send the van (because I’m SURE that in-house doctor would be WAY too expensive for me! AHEM.)
Urgent Care at Disney World
The van arrived within 15 minutes and I just knew I’d be on my way to healthy eyes within the hour.
Oh, how wrong I was.
A little tip from you brought about by hindsight: ALL Walt Disney World Resort Guests are given these same options when they are sick and call the front desk.
Think about that.
ALL of them.
I walked into the Urgent Care and was met with an entirely full waiting room of sick travelers.
People were shivering from fever, hacking up lungs, sneezing, scratching, and even puking all over the place.
It was a war zone and the germs were winning.
And I was FREAKING the EFF OUT.
I don’t do well with sick people, and I had a conference to attend, and I was AT WALT DISNEY WORLD!
I needed to get out of there and fast.
I called in the cavalry.
CVS Minute Clinics Near Disney World
This is Jane, and she is awesome.
She’s an Orlando local & running buddy and I LOVE her.
She took me down the road to a CVS Minute Clinic.
Also: Jane asked me not to give out her number for rides (whatever, Jane!) so another option is taking Uber or Lyft from your Orlando hotel room.
It might cost you about $15 but it’s better than the free van that was fullll of sick peeps, IMO.
Where this happened:
Oh, Lawdy- praise JESUS- my eye was going to get fixed.
CVS Minute Clinic (and smarty Jane) to the rescue.
I wish I could say that I was in and out in a matter of minutes, but that’s not exactly what happened.
My frustration level peaked when I discovered that I left my ID and insurance card at the other clinic.
So we drove back to the first clinic for it.
And then the pharmacist went to lunch right after my appointment.
This meant those eye drops I desperately needed would take an hour to cross the counter to me. Tech had them in his hand, but couldn’t give them to me.
Y’all. I can’t even with this day.
It did end well: while waiting for my ride back to Disney I discovered this across the street.
When life gives you pink eye, you get donuts.
And a reality check.
I really didn’t have anything to complain about.
Yes, the eye thing and the loss of time sucked, but let’s be honest: #FirstWorldProblems.
The pink eye was treatable, I was good to go within a few hours, and didn’t have any issues the rest of the trip. Huzzah!
Did you figure out what question I should have asked?
Let’s flashback to that discussion I had with the front desk.
I wish it had gone like this:
Me: Oh? An in-house doctor? How much does that cost?
Front Desk: $125, and you can wait in the comfort of your germ-free deluxe room watching TV, working, or taking a nap until she arrives!
Whaaaa??? My bill at the urgent care was $80 and took 8 hours of my time to accomplish.
Plus there was a lot of tears, frustration, and puke along the route.
And I probably needed an eye patch.
So right there is the moral of the story.
ASK, don’t assume when you are given options.
Have you ever gotten sick while on vacation? Do you have a travel urgent care story you want to share?
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)