Preparedness & Safety While Vacationing in Disney

Since I’m new here, I’d like to introduce myself. I’ll be writing a few articles from time to time. I’ve been to Disney 9 times; my 10th trip is this December. I got hooked on Disney back in 2007 when my “adopted family” brought me with them on vacation. I fell in love. As with most of you, I’m sure, it turned into an obsession.

I have a background in Public Safety as a 911 Dispatcher in Upstate NY, and have been a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, and volunteer Peace Officer with a combined total of 30 years’ experience between the agencies. The reason I’m sharing is this brings me to my first article, Preparedness and Safety.

Over the last few weeks there have been several problems around the Walt Disney World Resort. The first was when monorail yellow stopped working and the occupants were rescued by the Reedy Creek Fire Department. All turned out to be okay; however, the passengers were stuck on monorail yellow for almost three hours.

The next occurrence was a motor vehicle accident involving a Disney Magical Express bus and a passenger car. A passenger in the car died, and a teenager and child were transported from the Magical Express bus as a precaution.

The most recent incident happened the other night all over the World. Strong thunderstorms knocked out power at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and parts of Hollywood Studio’s. All of the rides at Magic Kingdom shut down due to the lightning strikes and the power outages. Lightning struck the monorail beam causing power outages and stranded a monorail on the EPCOT line. Thankfully it took only a half hour to get both the monorail and passengers to safety.

A Walt Disney World vacation is supposed to be a magical experience where nothing bad happens. Most times this is how a vacation plays out, however, there are always chances something could happen! Would you know what to do in any of these situations?

The first thing to do for any situation is be prepared. What happens if your bus is involved in an accident on the way to your resort and you are delayed? What would you do if you were caught in a downpour? Hopefully this article will help you think about the what if’s and be ready for the worst, but expect the best.

Be ready to roll with the punches. Things inevitably happen causing delays. A broken down bus or monorail, a sick family member, any of these things is possibly. Consider using a trip management program on your phone, which lists your reservations, reservation numbers, as well as phone numbers to the hotel and/or restaurant. I’ve run into a few situations where I’m late and have lost a reservation (even though I thought I’d left with more than enough time to get where I was headed). In such cases try giving the restaurant a call and let them know the problem and see if they can help. It is Disney after all. They are there to try and help whenever possible. Have a spare battery for your cell phone, or a portable battery charger. There are some small, non-bulky ones that can be carried with you at all times, just in case!

Do you have enough medication to last you the rest of the day? All the parks have first aid stations, and if worse comes to worse, Emergency Medical Services, but they will not have prescription medication. Make sure you bring enough with you to last throughout the day, even if you are planning a pit stop during the day. With that in mind, when traveling, keep your prescription medications in your carry on in case your flight is delayed.

Prepare for the weather. Florida has wonderfully unpredictable weather. The other night parts of Magic Kingdom were flooded ankle-deep due to heavy downpours. With that came lightning. Now I’m as hardcore as they come when it comes to rain. I’ve been known to wait out rain storms to be first in line to a good attraction. However, when lightning is involved, the best bet is to get inside and stay there until it stops! There is a good reason why they shut down the outside rides when it’s lightning.

So that brings me to the conclusion of my first article. Think ahead of things that can go wrong and be ready for them! It’s all common sense, but when it comes to Disney, we want to believe it’s all pixie dust and fairy tales. With a little preparation even a broken down monorail or a mini-flood cannot spoil the magic.

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