With so many things you need to remember when going on a trip to Disney World, it’s understandable if you leave something at home. If you forget your toothbrush, toothpaste or comb, you can get those items at your hotel. However if you’ve forgotten to bring your high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid or any other prescription medication with you, it could ruin your once in a lifetime trip.
Luckily for you, it isn’t the first time this has happened to someone and pharmacies around the Disney World area are there to help you. Here’s a guide to help you get your medications and get back to enjoying your vacation.
(Please note, the instructions below are only if you normally get your medications filled in the United States. If you’ve from outside the United States and have forgotten your medication while at WDW, you’ll need to see a medical provider licensed to practice in Florida in order to get new prescriptions for your medications.)
There are three things you need to know:
- You need to have a prescription that can be filled at the pharmacy
- You need to know if your insurance will pay for the medication and which pharmacies are in your plan’s network (unless you’re willing to pay out of pocket)
- You need to call a pharmacy that meets the requirements of step 2 to have them transfer your medication or have your doctor send a prescription to the pharmacy
Step Number 1 – You need to have a prescription
Just because you take a medication doesn’t mean you have a refill that can be easily transferred to a pharmacy in Orlando. While everything is easier if you have a refill for your blood pressure medication at your home pharmacy and it’s a weekday during business hours, you’ll have a more difficult time getting medication if you usually deal with a mail order pharmacy, have no refills available and/or it’s a weekend, holiday or after business hours. A pharmacy needs to have a current order from a doctor, nurse or other authorized prescriber on file to give you medication. Don’t expect to walk into a pharmacy and say you need medication and have the pharmacist hand you some tablets.
It’s also important to know that all states have different rules about prescriptions. Some states don’t allow transfers of certain types of medications like sleeping pills, anxiety tablets or pain medications. Even if you have a written prescription from your doctor, a pharmacy in Florida has to do some work in order to fill these types of medications so don’t expect to drop it off and wait for 15 minutes like you do at home.
If you forget medications at home, I suggest calling your home pharmacy FIRST and see if you have a refill that can be transferred. It’s a straightforward process to have a pharmacy in Orlando call your pharmacy at home if you have a refill available. If your hometown pharmacy tells you that you have no refills, once you find a pharmacy using the steps below, you should then call your doctor and describe your situation. They’ll need to send a prescription to a pharmacy in Orlando for you. Most doctor offices are understanding in situations like these (after all, they wish they were also at Disney, so they usually go out of their way to help you) and will be able to call a pharmacy in Orlando to fill your prescription.
Step Number 2 – Will your insurance pay for the medication and where can you go?
Just because you have insurance for your prescriptions doesn’t mean your insurance company will automatically approve payment for a refill because you left it on the dining room table. The insurance computer systems are designed to reject claims for refills that are requested too soon. This isn’t a problem if you were almost out of a medication, but if you just picked it up a week ago from your home pharmacy, you’re likely to run into a problem at the pharmacy in Orlando.
I’d suggest you’d contact your insurance plan by calling the customer service number on the card and explain your situation. See if there are any overrides they can provide that will allow you to get an emergency supply of medication for your trip. Plans differ in if they allow these overrides and the copay they will charge. Understand you may need to pay more or get a smaller amount that usual; these are special situations and while they may be willing to work with you, it might cost you a little more.
Also ask your insurance company what pharmacies can you go to in the area. The two zip codes they can search are 34747 and 32836. Hopefully they will have a list of pharmacies that are in network. Most commercial plans are nationwide but some state sponsored assistance programs (i.e. Medicaid) are restricted to the home state. In these cases, you may be required to pay for the medication yourself. Better to find this out before heading to the pharmacy. With this information, you should be able to select where you want to get your medication filled.
Step Number 3 – Contact the Pharmacy
Now that you know if you have refills at your pharmacy at home and you know if you will be able to use your insurance, contact a pharmacy that meets your needs.
If you don’t have transportation, this can be harder than you think. There are no pharmacy locations on Walt Disney World property available to guests and if you don’t have a car, you have limited options that deliver to the Disney resorts. If you call the Disney front desk, it’s more than likely that they’ll refer you to:
Turner Drugs has been delivering medications to the Disney resorts for over 25 years. They have a system set up with the Disney where you can have your medications filled, delivered to the hotel and have the charge put onto your bill at the hotel. If you have a original prescription with you, the Disney front desk can even fax the order to Turner for you. The driver will pick up the original prescription when they deliver your medication to the resort. The delivery charge for their service depends on where you are staying and they deliver 7 days a week. There is only one major drawback when dealing with Turner Drugs – they do not accept any third party prescription insurance. If you only need 10 days of your generic blood pressure medication, that’s not a problem but it you forgot your insulin pens you might be in for a $500+ bill. Turner will give you an itemized bill to submit for reimbursement from your insurance but it will still be up to you to fight with your insurance to get your money back. If you have questions, you can call Turner Drugs at (407) 828-8125 and their hours are Mon-Fri 8AM-10PM, Sat-Sun 8AM-8PM
If you have a car, you can drive to many other pharmacies in the area. It may be easier to deal with the same pharmacy chain you use at home instead of going to a different chain. However, you can get prescriptions transferred from any pharmacy to any other pharmacy (in compliance with local, state and federal laws). These are the closest locations to Walt Disney World but there are others in the area. Note: Don’t always trust Google Maps to find a pharmacy nearby.
6085 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Kissimmee, FL 34747
3200 Rolling Oaks Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34747
3250 Vineland Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34746
29 Blake Blvd Celebration, FL 34747
12100 S Apopka Vineland Rd Orlando Fl 32836
6230 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy Kissimmee, Fl 34747
Even if you don’t have a car, it may be less expensive to take an Uber or Lyft from your Disney resort to a local pharmacy instead of paying a delivery fee. You’ll also be able to buy other things you need (water, sunscreen, snacks) for less than what Disney charges on property.
The pharmacies will be able to take you though the final steps from here. There are some things that you should know. If you need to pay for your medication yourself, it isn’t necessary to get a whole prescription. Pharmacies in the area are accustomed to people asking for 2 week, 1 week or even 1 day worth of medication. Ask if there are any discounts or if they can prorate the price for a vacation supply. You can also see if they accept discounts from programs like GoodRx or AAA. You can get a code on your phone that could save you a bunch of money you can spend on Mickey Mouse plush toys.
Forgetting your medication is stressful but the pharmacies in the area deal with situations like this every day. Doing a little bit of the work yourself will help you avoid many of the problems people face when trying to get medications.
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