What to do with a Sick Child at Walt Disney World Florida
Two years in a row I’ve had a child get sick at Walt Disney World. Yes, it happens. A lot more than you think.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. My only trip to Disney as a kid I came down with the flu half way through our weeklong visit. It was miserable, but I powered through because at age 13 this was my first and only trip as a kid to Walt Disney World. I had no idea I’d be back twice with my own young kids (who even thinks about having their own kids at 13?!)
The problem is, as a parent, you plan for months, sometimes years, for your trip to Disney World. You invest a significant amount of money into the experience. There is no way you are canceling your trip because of a fever or a cough, even if you are the one who has it. So you pack up the family and you head down.
Good news! You aren’t alone. Many parents are packing up their sick kids. Nice for you; not so great for the healthy families. You don’t have to be the lame parent with the sick kid at Disney World though. We have a few tips to keep you moving.
Here is how you handle a sick kid at Walt Disney World.
But first… read about our worst Walt Disney World trip!
Bring your medical arsenal. I mean it.
*This is just a sample of what we pack. Please consult your child’s physician before starting any new medications.
Bring healthy snacks and hydrate.
- Water Bottles: Water is key to flushing out those bad germs. We LOVE this one for keeping beverages cold all day.
- Fruits and Veggies: get some healthy vitamins in your kid whenever possible. Just tell them they are packed with good ninjas who are fighting the bad germ ninjas so your kid can play more.
What if you aren’t prepared for a sick kid?
Have no fear, Disney is prepared for you! All parks offer a spot to grab medicine or see a nurse if necessary. At your Disney resort and resorts off property you can find medicine too.
- In the parks: Head to the First Aid building in the parks
- On Property resorts: All on property shops have a small medicine section. It will be more than you would spend at a pharmacy off property, but prices aren’t too inflated.
- Off property: head to the local pharmacy or super market, all of which have a children’s medicine section.
- Hospitals and Pediatricians: There is an overwhelming number of pediatricians in Orlando, Florida. There are also hospitals and urgent care centers, just like any other city across the country. If you think your child needs medical attention, ask your hotel concierge first. They will most likely have a list of options for you and the best way to get there.
- Emergencies: Always dial 911 in the case of a true emergency and locate park staff for immediate assistance.
Prioritize your mornings
Kids are more awake and perky in the morning, even sick kids. Schedule your FastPasses in the morning whenever possible. Get out to the parks as soon as you can, having a nice breakfast to fuel the family before you go out the door. Do NOT load up on sugary cereals and donuts. Get your kids some protein and fruit.
I know you have paid for this amazing Walt Disney World vacation, but you need to give your kids (and yourself) downtime, especially if you have a sick kid. Spend your mornings in the park, but head back to your hotel for lunch. Take a nap, let the kids play in the pool, and watch a little TV. This is a vacation after all. REST! If you run your kids ragged they will not make it through your entire trip. You might get one day out of them if you are lucky.
What happens when you push to hard
Our first trip with my kids my youngest got the flu. He had a 104 fever and we had no idea until the end of the day (Bad mama! Bad!). We thought we had to do it all, and we pushed him way too much. He was miserable for our entire five-day trip. Only when I gave him strawberry popsicles at the parks was he happy.
Mornings were fine, but our evening adventures to see fireworks and light shows in the parks were a lost cause. Either he fell asleep or lost it when the loud fireworks started to pop. If we had just taken a break and given him some downtime, which I did on our second trip when he got the flu again, we would have been much better off.
Yes, you will show up at Disney World with kids and they may get sick. It’s OK. Your kids may also be sick when you have to leave. That’s OK too. If you have travel insurance, see if you are covered and can reschedule your trip if your time permits. It might not.
Don’t stress. Kids bounce back fast. Slow down your schedule in the parks and enjoy them at a leisurely pace. Whether you have kids or not you should do this. After all, if you are more stressed and tired after your vacation, it’s really not a vacation.
Where to Stay in Walt Disney World with Kids
We have a few favorites, but depending on your budget, I’d suggest the Disney Beach Club Resort (Deluxe property) or Port Orleans-Riverside (Moderate property). Both have a more relaxed vibe, great pools and decent food options. My favorite perk- the Disney Beach Club Resort is an easy walk to Epcot, so I can get my progressive dinner going every night!