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If you have ever experienced an emergency at Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando, you know how frightening it can be to have something bad happen while you are far from home in an unfamiliar setting. Yet you probably also noticed how quickly and effortlessly cast members sprang into action to make things right. The reality is that things happen when large groups of people are confined in a small area in the middle of a sensory overload. Add heat, rain, and big, moving pieces of machinery to the mix, and cast members see all sorts of emergencies every day. Here’s how we deal with 5 of the most common and 1 that is extremely rare.

1. Protein spill

Ice cream can contribute to protein spills

Heat plus junk food plus thrill rides often equals a bit of a mess. A “protein spill” is any bodily fluid that is emitted in an inappropriate place—usually but not always vomit. The official name for a revisited lunch is apparently now “Code V,” but to those in the know it will always be a protein spill.

Anyway, whatever the fluid in question and whatever you want to call it, the first step is to isolate the offending substance. Cast members might do that by removing a chair from a dining room, closing a ride seat, or blocking off a part of a pathway. Then the substance is covered in a layer of absorbent, disinfectant granules. When it dries, it can simply be swept away.

Of course, cast members can’t clean spills that they don’t know about. If you suffer a protein spill at the parks, or notice a spill nearby, please let someone know immediately.

2. Guest illness/injury

From heat exhaustion to stubbed toes, someone is always experiencing a minor illness or injury at the theme parks. Whenever possible, cast members try to form a human wall around the person to shield him from curious onlookers. So if you see cast members in a huddle, please be respectful and keep moving.

Exactly what happens next depends on the nature of the injury or illness. Cast members are taught to ask three times if the person wants to visit first aid. Often, someone is embarrassed and reluctant at first, but over the course of the conversation she comes to realize that it would be a good idea. If so, a wheelchair is usually offered for transport.

If the guest refuses first aid, cast members try to do what they can, but options are limited. If the person seems overheated, we might find him a cool place to rest and a glass of water. If she mentions low blood sugar, we can bring a small snack.

In general, though, front line cast members are trained to refer all illnesses and injuries to first aid for everyone’s protection. If you feel ill or experience an injury, please take us up on the offer to help you get to first aid. You will be in the best possible hands, and services are provided free of charge.

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