When Illness Interferes with Your Vacation
A Walt Disney World Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 06-06-2013
What if you get sick on your vacation?
We all dream of the perfect vacation whenever we go to Disney, but sometimes life gets in the way, and perfection gives way to the one thing we don't want to encounter when we're in the Disney bubble -- real life.
Animal Kingdom Lodge - view on to the savannah
Wow - what a view! Being stuck in a room seems worthwhile when this is going on beneath you...
That's something that happened to us a couple of times during our most recent vacation, when we visited Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and cruised on the Disney Fantasy.
Perhaps the one thing that you really can't ever fully guard against is someone getting sick while you're away. My husband was unlucky enough to suffer that fate twice during our time in America. Fortunately both times he fell ill we were staying on Disney property, which made a huge difference. On both occasions, he suffered from sinusitis, and aside from taking tablets, and resting up, there isn't much he can do about it.
The first time he got sick, we were unlucky enough to be transferring resorts from Bay Lake Tower to Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas. I did contemplate asking them for a later check-out, which I was quite happy to do, but my husband was adamant that he would be okay to make the move, and would rather get it out of the way sooner in the day, rather than later.
Fortunately, he was well enough to drive, and that's where I learned my first lesson about things going wrong. I really wasn't sure what the deal was with our rental car, and whether or not I could drive it. He had been the one who'd picked it up, and had handed over his driving licence, while I hadn't. I was sure that we'd paid for more than one person to drive, but when I checked the documents, I couldn't find any reference to that. We decided not to risk it, but as soon as we got to California, and rented another car, we made sure that we were both named on it, and for no extra charge. It's a mistake we won't be making again, as we discovered all we need to do to both be covered to drive is for both of us to present our driving licences.
When we got to Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas, I was ready to beg, plead, and do anything that was required to get a room that was ready straightaway, but fortunately I was saved that indignity, as the Cast Member had one that was available for us. I don't think I've ever been so happy to hear those words, and considering it was late morning, we were very lucky.
My husband spent much of the day in bed, and I spent some of the day in the room. Doing that, I learned that sometimes when things go wrong, there can be a silver lining. Sitting in our savannah-view room, I saw some amazing animal interaction, and dragging myself away to do anything else from the balcony was really tough. If you can afford to take things easier during a stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you will be rewarded by seeing some superb activity outside your window. It wasn’t the way I would’ve planned it, but what a bonus I got!
Mean as it sounds, sometimes there’s nothing you can do when someone’s not well, and that was the case for me, so I ended up heading out to the parks on my own. As someone who’s not used to solo touring, it was both daunting, but thrilling, as I was able to do what I wanted when I wanted, and it’s something I ended up doing again, as sadly my husband also fell ill during our stay at Disneyland. I have to be honest, if we’d have been staying off-property at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, I don’t think I’d have been quite so keen to disappear out on my own, but within the Disney bubble, it didn’t bother me at all.
Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas - studio
Sometimes the best place to spend time if you're ill is a bed on Disney property...
There were some unfortunate consequences of my husband being ill, but I think here, the important thing to remember is that, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," i.e. make the best of any situation that you find yourself in. We ended up missing a couple of meals as a result, but we managed to still use our various dining credits, even if we didn’t make the best possible use of them. Instead of table service meals, they ended up being spent on counter service, but it’s better to use them than lose them. The same goes for snacks, as you can always grab something for the next leg of your journey. For us, it was to board the Disney Fantasy, and we took various things to eat and drink, although of course we didn’t need much additional to eat during our cruise!
The day after my husband fell ill, we had been planning to head out to visit Busch Gardens Tampa. With the confusion over who could drive the rental car, a 90-minute journey each way wasn’t an option. We’d paid for tickets for Busch Gardens, SeaWorld, and Aquatica, and we didn’t want them to go to waste, so instead we headed out to the other two theme parks, which made for a relatively easy day, and meant that we still got some value out of them, even if it was not entirely what we’d intended.
I guess the main thing I learned from this whole experience is that you can plan your days out as much as you can, but occasionally there are things that won't go as planned. When that happens, just remember you're in the most magical place on earth, and while it’s never fun to be ill, it's always worth trying to make the best of things, and enjoy your vacation as best you can.
Updated 06-06-2013 - Article #949
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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