It had been a fun day of enjoying activities at Walt Disney World. After the fireworks, we were at our hotel room and getting ready for one more late-night splash in the pool before calling it a day. It was then, at about 11 p.m., that my daughter informed all of us that she wasn’t feeling well.
Has a similar scenario ever played out for your family while on vacation?
My daughter’s condition wasn’t dire enough to warrant waiting hours in a hospital emergency room to be seen by a physician, but she was feeling sick enough that we wanted to get her some relief before morning. Our search for medical treatment turned up several options.
Our first thought was to find an urgent-care facility and, as it turned out, there was one located just around the corner from where we were staying. Centra Care, which operates many locations around Central Florida and is affiliated with Florida Hospital, has a site close to Downtown Disney. It’s located at 12500 South Apopka Vineland Road (State Road 535), Orlando, FL 32836. It’s open from 8 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. Call 407-934-2273.
My husband and I have been to our fair share of after-hours clinics with our children, and we found this one to be efficient. The clinic takes many types of insurance plans, and the corresponding information required for check-in was handled through an easy-to-use computer system. The waiting room offered snacks and drinks for purchase as well as two televisions to help pass the time. It was a standard medical facility and waiting room, for sure, but the Disney-themed artwork in the examination rooms gave the place a little bit of magic and probably, truth be told, put a few youngsters more at ease in a medical setting.
After my daughter was seen, we were even offered the option to purchase her medications at the clinic. Although Centra Care doesn’t have the ability to apply insurance coverage to medications, the flat rate for the basic prescriptions we needed was well worth not having to go to a pharmacy and wait longer, especially after midnight. Plus, Centra Care has a complimentary shuttle that picks up and returns guests who do not have their own transportation.
There is another urgent-care facility farther down State Road 535: Buena Vista Urgent Care at 8216 World Center Dr., Suite D, Orlando, FL 32821. It is not open as late, however. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.
For life-threatening and other emergency conditions, the closest hospital is Florida Hospital Celebration Health at 400 Celebration Place, Celebration, FL 34747.
If you should find yourself with a minor illness or ailment while touring Walt Disney World’s four theme parks or two water parks, know that each park has a First Aid center, usually located near the entrance or toward the front of the park. Nurses are available during normal park operating hours to offer over-the-counter medications, bandages and other quick remedies. First Aid centers can also store medications that require refrigeration and provide special containers for disposal of hypodermic needles. If you have a more serious illness, the nurses will direct you where to get such care.
We have stopped in the First Aid centers for Band-Aids, pain-relief medications and even a topical treatment for bug bites. There is no charge for these items. You simply sign the log, and the nurse will give you the appropriate dosage.
Their goal — and presumably that of each guest who stops in — is to feel better quickly so everyone can get back to enjoying a vacation at the Most Magical Place on Earth.