Your family plans for months to go to Walt Disney World…all days and nights are laid out to perfection..then inevitably a trip can take a turn. This happened to us on our most recent visit. How to deal with a sick child or another unexpected turn is really a function of personalities, so we can only advise in our situation but perhaps it can be of help to others.
Our middle child, the biggest WDW fan amongst the kids, took ill after our third day in the park. Luckily we were staying in the villas at the Wilderness Lodge, allowing us to travel by ferry boat from the Magic Kingdom. After quickly removing him from the boat and walking him via jogger to our room, my wife was able to settle him comfortably. However, this Holiday week vacation had us in a studio, as opposed to the two-bedroom villa we have grown accustomed to as our vactation home base. With two other kids in tow, we were able to easily remove ourselves to allow him to rest…..while allowing them to enjoy the pool and kids splash play area. The amenities at a Walt Disney World resort cannot be undervalued in a situation like this one. We did not want to have to pack up and leave for a long journey and did not have to because this resort (which I will give a full review another day) was full of areas to explore..yet comfortably walk back to our room when necessary.
The evening provided our first dilemma. We had secured an ADR at the California Grill six months before, looking forward to enjoying the view as a family from the very top of the Contemporary Resort. (The restaurant holds a special memory for us as it was the dinner after I proposed to my wife on the dock outside of the Magic Kingdom almost 11 years before.) While holding out hope that an afternoon of rest would result in our trip getting back on track as planned ..this unfortunately was not the case….resulting in my wife and middle child missing the opportunity. The rest of our party did our best to stick to the plans …with our intent to capture as many photos and memories to share as we could (…not to mention a pricey Filet Mignon for my wife to enjoy in the room). We enjoyed the meal..but definitely felt something missing from our experience…heading out to see if we could find a way to both give all the kids some happy Disney memories. We were luckily able to find ice cream for the others and a unique Walt Disney World ballon that I believe will be with us for months to come.
The next morning, our final full day of this trip, would serve up our next challenge. Unfortunately our child was not feeling any better, with plans to hit a headliner in Epcot in jeopardy. Again my wife stayed back the room to take care of the situation….with myself and the other two on a bus to Epcot. Original plans had the five of us heading on to a standby line for Soarin..an attraction that our entire family enjoys immensely..but also one that we have had good luck securing a fastpass to ride on many recent trips. Knowing our missing family members would be missing out on an attraction they enjoy…the rest of the group decided to switch our headline attraction to ride Test Track, a ride that only the three of us are very fond of riding. With two similar headliners in Epcot’s Future World, our trip benefitted from this flexibility of choices that could be had during extra magic hours. After this successfully started our day we continue on with the plan to use our three Fastpass plus reservation in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With only the three of us in tow, the two kids hopped in the jogger for a walk down to the next park.
We started out with two attractions as planned there..then were given another surprise….our middle child and my wife had made it to the park! We joined them inside Walt Disney’s one mans dream…an attraction that may not inspire most children…but one our child was very much looking forward to ..and one that brought the happy smile back to his face. After this we hit two more attractions inside that park the back to the hotel for a more relaxing afternoon as a family.
In the end, we were able to overcome the unexpected turn of an ill child ..thanks to a lot of TLC from my wife..and to the comfort of the resort and multiple opportunities around us in Walt Disney World.