Hurt or sick at a theme park? Here's what to do

November 3, 2016, 11:11 AM · If you get hurt or sick, where can you go for free health care? A theme park!

No, we don't recommend relying on theme park first aid centers for your primary care, life-threatening emergencies or anything else that happens outside of a park. But if you are visiting Disney World, Universal, or some other theme park and start feeling ill, or find yourself hurting in the middle of the day, don't hesitate to seek out the park's first aid center, or just ask a park employee for help.

In this week's episode of Theme Park Insider, Natalie and I share some of our stories about using theme park first aid.

We've got stories about the guy trying to rent a wheelchair at Disney World while his grandmother was passing out from the heat and the time a certain someone enjoyed at lunch at Disneyland Paris' fanciest restaurant while flying on what seemed like the park's entire supply of muscle relaxants. Good times all around.

And even though free first aid is a nice perk in a country with the world's most expensive health care, any time spent in first aid is time not riding rides or enjoying the rest of the park. So we wrap the episode with some advice on how you can avoid having to use the parks' free health care so that you can enjoy the attractions that parks are actually known for, instead.

Finally, allow us a moment to throw our cap on the ground and ask for your help. We make our weekly video episode available a day early each week to readers who pledge two bucks a month to support the website. We also give them (no-guilt) ad-free viewing of the website and an "Insider" badge under all their posts, just like our front-page writers have. Plus, they get access to our real-time Top 10 reader rankings in more than a dozen categories, for top rides, shows and restaurants at theme parks around the world. (If you are an "Insider" you will see that ranking page when you click the link, and not the pledge sign-up.)

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And seriously, drink lots of water on your way to and when you are in the park. It helps.

Replies (9)

November 3, 2016 at 11:59 AM · Don't expect much help from Universal Orlando if you get cut requiring a band aid. Last year during Halloween Horror Nights on a guided tour I was scratched up ad cut by a scare actor and my arm was bleeding out . We stopped the tour while I was taken to First Aid. They weren't much help - just placed a band aid and ointment on the counter and I did everything. Didn't offer to assist. It was like they didn't know what to do. There was no nurse or anyone else with first aid experience there to help apply ointment or put the band aid on (it was a big cut). The tour guide was great (they wanted to know the scare actor who did it), the first aid tent was useless. If it happened at Disney I'm sure it would've been a much better experience.
November 3, 2016 at 12:42 PM · We had an outstanding experience with the first aid center at Sea World, when our son got sick.
November 3, 2016 at 1:05 PM · First aid tent? That sounds like a temporary thing for HHN. The times when we've used the FA at UOR, it was in a permanent office next to the guest relations office. And there was a nurse on duty.
November 3, 2016 at 1:19 PM · I used the term First Aid Tent to describe the office building it was in. This was near the old Earthquake attraction.
November 3, 2016 at 3:07 PM · I don't trust theme park doctors or nurses. You're better off leaving the park. Ask the park for whatever supplies you need and transportation if its serious. Leave immediately and go to an urgent care center if less serious or an emergency room if very serious. Get a taxi or uber. You might need an ambulance for a serious illness or accident. No one should go to a theme park when not feeling good. It's just not worth the trip.
November 4, 2016 at 11:28 AM · Only had to use it once, two years ago at Disneyland, and I was way impressed by the experience. I kind of felt that Mary Poppins herself was taking care of us. Granted it was a minor thing but still.
November 4, 2016 at 6:12 PM · I hated the Disney first aid at Epcot becauseI had to sign a waiver just to get a regular sized band aid. It was more law office then first aid. I understand that they need to protect themselves but It was pretty extreme
November 6, 2016 at 2:59 AM · My wife once got a bad cut to her hand at DLP. The onsite medics came came quickly but said she needed to have stitches. They just told us where the nearest hospital was and left us to make our own way there!
November 7, 2016 at 12:42 PM · When I was injured on the Coney Island Cyclone about 5 years ago, the ride ops themselves called for a doctor. The doc examined me and an incident report was written. There wasn't much they could do about the injury - which took a month to heal - other than what they did, which was to give me an icepack and complimentary Luna Park tickets, and make certain that nothing was broken. (Fortunately, the Cyclone got new padded seats several years ago and as a result I've since ridden it a number of times without incident.) When Harley Quinn's Crazy Train (f/k/a Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train) took some skin off one arm, I was given an icepack and bandage. Not much but better than nothing.

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