How to Deal with Emergencies at Disney World
Of course the plan is to have a care free trip. However if you should have an emergency situation while on Disney World property, here’s what you need to know:
Reedy Creek is Disney’s on-site 911 emergency medical service, and they work with the Orange County and Osceola County area hospitals. They’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the service is free of charge. If a person is transported from Disney property in an ambulance, it’s also free of charge.
For all emergencies on Disney property, you can either alert a cast member and/or call 911 from your cell phone or a park phone.
What type of phone should you call 911 from?
A Reedy Creek 911 Communicator explained the phone routing process to me. Here’s how it works.
Land Lines: If you call 911 from a land line anywhere on Disney property, your call will immediately be routed directly to the Reedy Creek emergency service line. Just alert a cast member and they can call on a land line.
Cell Phones: If you call from a cell phone, it may take longer to reach Reedy Creek 911. The Communicator explained that if you call from a cell phone, your call should hit a Florida tower and will be routed to either the Orange County 911 communication center or the Osceola County 911 center.
You’ll need to tell the operator that you’re on Disney property. They will then forward the call to Disney’s Reedy Creek emergency responders who are already on property.
So what should you do?
If you have an emergency and want the most direct route to the Reedy Creek emergency line, alert a cast member who can call 911 from a Disney property land line. If you prefer to speak directly with the 911 Communicator yourself, you can choose to use your cell phone.
We recently had a need to call 911 on our cell phone while we were on the border of our home town, because of a car incident. The 911 operator was having trouble determining which town she should notify. She finally picked one and it was the wrong one. No one showed up for nearly an hour. We finally found a local phone and called the police from there. They said they had never been notified. Although it may not be this drastic inside Disney World, we experienced having to discuss our location with the operator in the middle of an emergency, and that in itself caused a delay. It might be best to call from a Disney based land line, but if there isn’t one easily available, use your cell.
If you’re in a Disney park, another advantage to alerting a cast member is that managers and coordinators throughout the park will be alerted by radio. Some of them will rush over to help. One contributor to our Disney guide book is a Disney cast member who told of an incident where someone fell at the Indiana Jones attraction in Hollywood Studios. Quickly, 4 managers and 3 coordinators showed up to help.
Reedy creek only deals with medical emergencies, and Disney also has its own fire department. They don’t have their own police force. If police are needed, 911 calls will be routed to either Orange County or Osceola County.
Disney World’s procedures for medical emergencies
Emergencies on Disney property are handled as discreetly as possible. Cast members will actually form a human wall facing outward, to give the person in trouble some privacy. Never worry about being embarrassed at Disney by a medical or other emergency, and never hesitate to call for help if needed.
The advantages of Medic Alert Jewelry
Some people should carry medical identification such as Medic Alert jewelry which identifies them as having particular conditions. Although you can buy jewelry in many pharmacies or on websites with your medical condition engraved on, the MedicAlert organization has an 800 number where emergency caregivers can call and get information 24 hours a day that will help them to care for you. This includes information you have submitted, such as your physician contact information, a list of your medical conditions, a list of medications and contact information for your emergency contacts. Visit www.medicalert.org.
Your Emergency Contacts, and other Medical Information
Keep a list of your medications and dosages with you, as well as any emergency contacts. Place it somewhere that it can be found easily. Emergency personnel recommend putting the letters ICE (“in case of emergency”) in front of your preferred emergency contact’s name and phone number in your cell phone directory. They’re trained to look for this contact ID.
Do you have more tips or thoughts on this topic?
Please feel free to post them in a comment below. We’d love your input.
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