When you plan a Disney World Vacation, the last thing on your mind is a Medical Health Professional treating some kind of ailment. However, accidents and unforeseen circumstances occur, and that’s why Disney World has a fully staffed first aid and emergency response team on site.
One time while I was visiting the Magic Kingdom, I saw an elderly man being taken away on a stretcher. His family, including a couple young children, was nearby as the paramedics treated him (presumably for something like a heart attack, stroke, or heat exhaustion), and the medical team took good care of him and his family. Also nearby was a Cast Member with a Mickey hand. He waved at us and engaged us in conversation. It was obvious that he was trying to distract us from what was going on. I think this is great planning on Disney’s part. Not only are they treating the patient, but they’re also keeping “overly curious” guests from getting into a very personal issue.
Let’s take a look at Disney’s Emergency Response System.
Most health concerns including sunburns and blisters, which are the most common ailments in Disney World, can be easily prevented by taking certain precautions.
Stay hydrated and nourished: Even in the coolest months of the year, Florida can be very warm. If your body isn’t used to this heat and humidity, it can be quite dangerous. Be sure to eat and drink enough to keep your body going. Do not skip meals, and carry water bottle with you at all times.
Wear proper footwear: Do not go out and buy new shoes for your Disney vacation. The best shoes are comfortable walking shoes that have already been broken in.
Wear appropriate clothing: Florida weather can change quickly. The best thing to do is to wear layers. Mornings and evenings can be chilly, while afternoons can be downright hot.
Use sunscreen: Even on cloudy days, the Florida sun can burn your skin. Apply sunscreen before you leave your hotel room in the morning, and reapply regularly especially after riding water rides. If you’re wearing sandals, be sure to lather up your feet as well.
If taking these precautions aren’t enough, don’t be afraid to ask a Cast Member where you can get medical assistance. They will be happy to direct you to a First Aid Station where trained medical professionals can treat any ailment.
First Aid Stations
Every park has a First Aid Station and a Baby Care Center, which are usually in the same place. There isn’t always good signage making these areas obvious, so pick up a park map or ask a Cast Member if you need help finding where to go. When you arrive at the First Aid Station, a Cast Member behind the front desk, who is also a registered nurse will greet you. They will treat anything they can at the First Aid Station at no cost to the guest. If higher-level assistance is required, they will call the necessary personnel. There is no physician on site, but there is one near-by off-site should you need a physician.
Although there is no First Aid Station in Disney Springs, this shopping district does have a Medical Response Cart (MARC Unit) managed by Reedy Creek Emergency Services. In addition, every park has at least one of these MARC Units, and Magic Kingdom and Epcot each have two units. These units are staffed with trained paramedics who have access to everything they need to treat any emergency up to and including advanced life support. If the MARC Units can’t handle the emergency, they will call ALS ambulance services who will transport the patient to one of the three local hospitals.
Response time for MARC Units is about five minutes, which is significantly less than the national average of eight to ten minutes.