Hi. I’m Danielle. And I suffer from motion sickness. Now, I never used to deal with this. Ever. However, once I got pregnant with my daughter it has been something that has plagued me ever since (SIX YEARS LATER! Not happy.)
Where in the past I was able to go on and enjoy rides such as Expedition Everest (a Animal Kingdom) or Soaring Over the World (DCA and Epcot), they now cause extreme nausea. I didn’t expect it, especially for something as gentle as Soarin’, but here we are. On top of this, my body does not do well in heat… which when we were going to be in Florida…. in July… well let’s just say I wasn’t excited for this aspect.
However, here are some tips and tricks I learned, as well as some things to be aware of to know and prepare before you go! And while I don’t personally suffer from motion sickness, I have had a lot of guests tell me what rides are a trigger and what has helped them. We hope the following information can help you at your next trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World!
Motion-Sickness trigger rides
As the only one of the four of us that experiences motion sickness, I essentially became the guinea pig for Erica to know what rides were no bueno for someone who experiences this for her own clientele! Too true! As Danielle mentioned, it was really helpful to be with her at Disneyland in March (when it’s not hot) and Walt Disney World in July (when it’s surface of the sun hot) to get an idea of what was the worst rides to trigger things for her. And while not everyone is the same, I do think the following info can make or break a trip for you!
Spinning Rides (shocking right!)
Rides such as the Teacups, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Guardians Cosmic Rewind, and even Dumbo and the Silly Symphony Swings are all rides that I found triggered my motion sickness due to the nature of the rides themselves. I had thought since Dumbo for instance is a slower, gentler ride that it would be fine. I was wrong. Oh so wrong. I’m right there with you for the spinning rides. Even watching the teacups makes me want to hurl. Occasionally I will give them a whirl (literally) and regret every minute. The difference between Danielle and I is that I can tolerate motion sickness somewhat and shake it off. Sadly for Danielle it can really spoil her whole day.
Incredicoaster (DCA) and Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom) both made me so so sick. This was the saddest one for me because I LOVE both of those rides. But these ones were unfortunately the ones that brought me to my knees. Literally. After getting off of Everest, I was in tears holding back nausea and stopping myself from being sick, head between my knees. This. Sucked. Having to hold off on going on the new Guardian’s Coaster, and knowing I’ll probably never be able to go on.. and Tron… I HATE this. But you gotta know before you go so you don’t ruin the rest of your day (like I did.)
Soarin’, Flight of Passage, and hybrid rides such as Ratatouille (note – this one not only has screens, but is also in 3D) and Minnie and Mickey’s Runaway Railway caused more problems for me than I expected. Specifically, if I wasn’t seating in a very central location, the screen curves causing distortion was something I found triggered my motion sickness, or if there were a lot of quick movements (think: your grandpa’s home movies with a shaky, fast-moving camera). These rides also bothered me. Danielle and I were seated on the furthest right side for Flight of Passage. I could hardly enjoy the ride because I could feel myself getting dizzy and nauseous. The only thing that helped was fixating on one image or closing my eyes which definitely had a negative impact on the experience.
One thing Danielle mentioned was sitting “middle/middle” helps with Soarin’, and also Flight of Passage. You can speak with a cast member about the best row for that (the sides and distortion, and high and low seating, seems to make it worse). You might end up waiting an extra 10 min… but at least it may be the difference of riding or not riding! I wish we had thought to ask right after our turn. Since it really was not what I know it could have been I would have loved to experience it properly. Cast members are generally so helpful and if they will help if they can!
This one surprised me, because again Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters, and Ratatouille all feature this heavily in their design, and while they are AWESOME, the lack of knowing how I was about to be moved and the types of motion set me off.
I would say for Ratatouille and Runaway Railway for me it was a combination of the 3D and the way the ride moved back and forth and side to side. Thoroughly unenjoyable for me and for that reason I didn’t love either ride. I thought the imagery and ideas of both were adorable and absolutely worth going on once. But I did not have the urge to ride on these again.
So what can I do about it?
This past trip to WDW was the first time I ever tried Dramamine, and it was a GAME. CHANGER. Being Canadian, we do not have access to this medication (though you can pick it up over the counter anywhere once you are in the States). I liked how it was non-drowsy and worked for 24 hours. I set an alarm and every morning I took one preemptively. Even though I still did have motion sickness (RIP Everest), it was NOWHERE as bad as I have had it in the past. I was able to almost go on everything (minus Cosmic Rewind. I’d heard enough to know that if I did it, I would most certainly have ruined the rest of my day… the FOMO is real though).
The other one I know that has worked for people is Bonine. There is a kids version, and a regular one. Our thoughts are to talk to your doctor about what the best option is for you. Some of my guests have also said that behind the ear patches works for them, especially on the Cruise ships.
Ginger gravel is a really great option that is drug free, and you slowly let it dissolve to allow for it to slowly help with the nausea… but it’s definitely more of a supplement to other stronger options if things get bad for you. Additionally my kids felt seabands or reliefbands did help on Disney Cruise Line as well.
Get ahead of the heat
For me, as I said earlier, heat can majorly affect my body and cause sickness, so I picked up a nifty neck fan that is small enough to fit in a Loungefly backpack, yet makes a big difference. (Sadly, I broke one side of mine in my luggage by overpacking and squishing it.) Erica picked up some cooling towels that she lent me once to help cool down the back of my neck further (a really effective cooling spot). Between these, as well as trying to stay in shade as MUCH as possible, and the fact that the bathrooms and stores are all air-conditioned, we were able to keep our body temperatures down much better than I was expecting. (Again. WDW in July…..)
Having an insulated water bottle is another great tip, as it keeps your water cool (I know, I know, some people will say having room temp water is actually better for you, but I like cold water better, and being hydrated is most important!).
Know your stuff
The most important thing to know is to research the rides if you do suffer from motion sickness, because some that would not have previously been on my radar ended up really triggering me and if I had been more aware I would have been able to possibly keep myself from having such bad bouts.
What to do instead
- walk around the vicinity
- be in line and do the easy exit
Motion Sickness Emotional Support Person
Not to brag or anything, but when it comes to motion sickness, I’m pretty much bullet proof. I can read in the car, turn around backwards, and be flung this way and that on any roller coaster. So, personally, it’s hard to understand the struggle that is motion sickness.
That being said, I’ve traveled quite a bit with people who get severely motion sick. We often like to go with the “try it once” rule. We encourage the kids to get on the ride at least once each time we go, and then if they don’t like it, they don’t have to do it again.
I’ve learned that with motion sickness, they are the exception to the rule. I’ve seen my friend “take one for the team” so to speak, and hop on a spin-y kids ride with his kids. And then I’ve seen him not enjoy the rest of the day, because he feels so sick.
No one wants to feel sick while they’re in Disney. So if you get motion sick, I understand. Please, don’t go on the ride that will probably ruin your day. But, do you mind holding my bag while I ride Guardians one last time? One of our family culture pieces is that we try to stay together as much as possible. We appreciate that Danielle is willing to do so with a smile on her face! And we hope that this is something she can grow out of and be able to experience again with us one day!
We hope that these tips help you when you head to the Disney Parks next time, and that you still have an amazing time, despite things being a struggle as far as motion sickness goes.
Do you get motion sick? We’d love to hear what works for you!
Have a Magical Day!
Erica, Heidi, Elisia and Danielle
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