What is this ubiquitous, yet often-ignored theme park staple?
It's the first aid station.
The first time I ever visited a theme park first aid station was as a cast member at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. And I wasn't escorting a sick guest. Nope, I was the patient. Being young, foolish and short on time, I'd skipped eating before my shift in Tomorrowland merchandise one afternoon. I hadn't had enough water that day, either, and eventually the Florida heat got to me. On my way off the sales floor, I passed out on my way to the break room. My leads drove me through the tunnel to first aid, where the nurse there gave me both a huge bottle of water and a needed lecture on taking care of my Yankee self in Florida during the summer.
With two children now, I've been back to various first aid stations over the years more times than I care to admit. Yet I can't say that I've ever had a bad experience in a theme park first aid station. I've found the staff members there consistently kind, attentive and effective in addressing whatever ailment brings us in. In fact, I've had better luck in theme park first aid stations than with doctors at home. And no insurance or billing hassles! At times I wonder if I could use a theme park first aid station for an annual check-up. :^)
My best experience was my most recent. Somehow, my youngest ended up doing a bellyflop on our way into Disney's Animal Kingdom last summer. I walked him over to the park's first aid station to get his bloodied knee bandaged. The nurse there (who's name I wrote down but cannot find now, to my frustration because she deserved a guest compliment), smiled and joked with Brian, looked at his wound, then swabbed out every last speck of dirt more swiftly than I'd ever seen. She dabbed on antibiotic gel, then sent us away with fresh spare bandages and instructions to change them at the end of the day.
I think Brian liked that nurse more than any other character he met in the park.
What's your experience with theme park first aid? Please tell us your most memorable stories, in the comments.
Well last year I was at Islands of adventure and was about to board the Cat in the Hat. Then bam I walked right into the side of the ride vehicle. My knew swelled up and was a little red. Then nurse there was also very nice
Once at BGW/E I thought I was getting dehydrated so I increased my water intake. Wasn't helping. Felt really woozy after coming off Alpengeist. Went to the first aid station. Given some standard pills. Woke up the next day and couldn't make it downstairs. Went to Patient First and learned that I had mono, only to be told a week later that it was a false positive. My body returned to normal 2 days after the Patient First visit and to this day no idea what truly happened.
On more general occasions, I will use the first aid station to get some tylenol, advil, etc etc instead of buying it at the gift shops to relieve minor aches or pains.
I never got a chance to thank them properly, so if anyone from TL first aid is reading - Thank-you!
This instance is kind of worrying as I am in the application process to work at Disneyworld next summer on the IP. Don't want to experience this again - particularly in a cast member position!
But I guess that's a discussion for another day.
Actually, when I saw the line "ALMOST every park has one," I figured I was off base.
This made me laugh for all the wrong reasons. I didn't know parks provided that service. Upcharge? Wish I had known when I was at Hershey in September...:)
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