What To Do If You're Injured At A Disney Park

Unfortunately, boo-boos happen— even at the most magical places on Earth. While we shudder to think that an accident will strike during a visit to the Big Cheese himself, there are some key tips you'll want to know just in case. This writer can attest to wishing advice was more readily (and transparently) available before a major ankle sprain happened on day one of a Walt Disney World vacation. Even magic can't prevent accidents.

All kinds of injuries happen every day at Disney World. Oftentimes, they're as simple as tripping over the tracks on Main Street and scraping your leg. That being said, sometimes, they're worse than that — and a trip to the urgent care or emergency room will interrupt your otherwise magical vacation. With this in mind, it's in your best interest to know what to do if/when that happens so you aren't floundering online for a solution in the moment.

Get to first aid

The first place you should stop right away is one of the first aid stations. Each Disney Park has at least one first aid station; the locations are usually close to the front of the parks, and their locations can be found in the Disney park app. Once you're there, the staff at first aid can help administer care or pain meds as needed and offer advice as medical professionals. First aid can administer primary care, like providing pain relief, ice packs, cool towels, etc. — think school nurse kind of situation.

That being said, this isn't a very helpful piece of advice if you are too injured to get yourself to first aid. If that happens, tell a nearby cast member and they will assist you. While they may not be able to physically take you to first aid via a wheelchair, they can contact the Alpha Unit or Team Alpha. At WDW, that's the Reedy Creek Fire Rescue paramedics.

Be aware of Reedy Creek Fire Rescue (at WDW)

Although they have first aid folks on staff, Disney Parks doesn't have paramedics. They'll instead call out to the local paramedics. In the case of Walt Disney World, that's Reedy Creek Fire Rescue, which oversees Disney's home in Reedy Creek. Be forewarned that there are conflicting reports of whether you're responsible for out-of-pocket expenses if they transport you to the local hospital.

Explore has yet to hear back from Walt Disney World about this cost concern. However, there are sources online that note ambulance service from any WDW property is free of charge for the rider. An urgent care staff member noted to Explore that ambulance costs, even from Disney properties, can cost upwards of $2,000. That being said, remember, Reedy Creek Fire Rescue is not a branch of Disney.

Also, as always, push back if the paramedics question the legitimacy of your injury. Telling a person that they just need to walk off a foot injury, despite that person not being able to move their foot without wailing in pain, isn't helpful.

Head to urgent care

Before calling an ambulance (unless it is an emergency situation), see if urgent care is an option. At Walt Disney World, for example, AdventHealth Care Center has an agreement with Disney to offer complimentary transportation to and from hotels for hotel guests. Sure, you may have to wait a while for the transport to come, but at least you won't have to pay.

That free transportation service is an incredible perk to staying on Disney World property. Plus, the transportation staff is kind, which is a bonus when you're hurting or sick.

Cast members can help you get in touch with AdventHealth, or you can call them directly at (407) 939-7480. The center is open from 7 a.m. EST to 11 p.m. EST daily. Note that urgent care fees themselves are the responsibility of the guest, not WDW. Be sure to bring your health insurance information with you.

Get a mobility device, but look around

Suppose your injury makes it difficult or painful to get around as you usually would; hop online and look into mobility devices. Some of these devices can get expensive, so be sure to look around at prices before settling. Disney Parks are just some of the places you can rent from. Many mobility vehicle renters will even deliver your device to your hotel for free.

Also, consider the hangups of each individual mobility device. For example, a knee scooter is a good choice for a foot or ankle injury. However, the uneven terrain, heat (sweaty knee/leg), worn down knee pad, and amount of movement may make using a knee scooter at a place like WDW challenging. Additionally, these devices are not conducive to Disney like a seated scooter or wheelchair might be. Knee scooters are tempting, though, as they are a cheaper option — particularly if you injure yourself at the start of your vacation.

Be mindful of braces and sleeves

When you're home or out of the humidity of many Disney Parks, a brace or compression sleeve may not aggravate your injury. In the brutal heat and humidity, however, they can create more pain, rashes, or even additional swelling. Consider wearing a breathable sock or Ace bandage mesh under these items to avoid that pain — or even avoid getting something like a neoprene sleeve stuck.

Pack extra socks, or ace wraps with you in a day bag for park days, especially if you're visiting in the summer or early fall. You may need to change them if they get soaked from sweat or even from rain, and you'll be glad not to purchase socks at the gift shop.

Don't hesitate to stop by first aid if your brace or sleeve bothers you. They can provide cool towels, ice packs, and pain medications if needed. You can just take a break in the air conditioning and air out your braced or sleeved appendage, too.

Getting pain medications

If you're injured and need non-prescription pain medications for the duration of your trip, you may have to get a little creative. Hotels sell pain meds often by dose, so you'll need to order more from places like Amazon (with Disney's $6 package handling fee), Instacart, or UberEats if you don't have access to a car. When you need access to prescription medication, ask a cast member for the recommended pharmacy.

At WDW, that recommendation is Turner Drug. Turner Drug does same-day pharmacy deliveries to Disney World properties. These deliveries won't be free, but you will be saving time and money not having to go to the store via rideshare if you don't have a car with you.

At Disneyland, it's actually a bit easier to access pharmacy locations since there are walkable shops from the resort. One Walgreens location, for example, is less than a mile away from the resort, while a CVS location is the same distance away.

Know your rights

Depending on the severity of your injury and the accident that occurred, you may have a personal injury case. In that situation, you're going to want to be aware of what your rights are at all times. Keep track of everything, write down and keep all transactional documentation, and know that Disney is doing the same. It's a good idea to have a member of your party with you at all times when interacting with cast members after an injury.

If a Disney cast member tries to get you to file a formal statement on the circumstances of your injury, hold off. It's better to have an attorney present if a formal statement is going to be made so they can help you. When it comes to potential litigation, the defending party is always going to use anything you say against you when they can. Even an innocuous comment could harm you in the long run.