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Experiencing sickness on the rides at Disney World

by Christina Ravnholt
(Howell, NJ)

Hey Dad,

It’s Christina R. again, and as you know, my husband, my mom, my step-dad and I are all going to Disney this upcoming September and I have been non-stop making plans since we booked with you. (Best travel agent, ever!)

As I’m picking out the rides that I think we’d all enjoy, I have to take into consideration the fact that my step-dad has vertigo. It comes on very randomly, it can be days or months between “attacks.” The feeling can pass within minutes or it can take days for him to get better. It’s fairly unpredictable altogether.

My step-dad is a great Dad. He reminds me a lot of you, very straight forward, not trying to oversell people, a bit proud perhaps but knows his limits. He knows to not go on the Orange line for Mission: SPACE. He probably won’t be attending the tea cup ride, either. He does ride motorcycles, though, so it’s not that he can’t handle speed or excitement. But I have two questions:

1. How do Disney cast members react if someone is suddenly sick or feeling sick mid-ride? Since we have the package insurance, does he get any special treatment (or whatever) if he can’t spend the day in the park?

2. Are there any rides you definitely would recommend a guy in his, ahem, older ages should just avoid? I saw your article about rides that you avoid for motion sickness purposes, but just wondering if you (or perhaps any other Disney guests who also have vertigo or something similar) had any more suggestions.

Thanks as always!

Dad’s I’m getting that sickly feeling Answer

Hi Christina. Good to hear from you again. Yes, I’m finally getting to this question. (She sent it in on Wednesday and this is Saturday. I’m a little behind.)

This is one question that makes me sick. Yep, Dad’s a wimp. Not only can I not ride the TeaCups and the Carousel, I can’t even watch them. So your step-Dad is in good company.

You referenced my previous answer about motion sickness at Disney World. I’ve always meant to write a whole page, but I keep getting sick every time I think about the subject.

Dad’s Motion Sickness Answer page

So on to your questions – 1. How do Disney cast members react if someone is suddenly sick or feeling sick mid-ride? If someone gets sick on a ride, Disney is real good about helping them. If it’s bad enough, they’ll take the guest to the infirmary and care for them. If they have to leave the park, no, you won’t get reimbursed, however, your travel insurance will pay if you end up having to go home, or having to go to a clinic.

Disney does have some real convenient places to gather yourself if you experience discomfort. For example, after Dad rode Mission Space (Dad’s Mission Space experience) he needed a nice quiet, dark, cool place to sit for a few minutes. What do you know, there is a bathroom just outside of Mission Space where the temperature is kept at a very soothing 65 degrees (or so it seemed that day). It was a great place to go and recover.

2. Are there any rides you definitely would recommend a guy in his, ahem, older ages should just avoid? I could say something about your “older” comment, but I won’t. In addition to the rides I mentioned in the other answer, I’d probably add a couple of obvious ones, Primeaval Whirl and Triceratops Spin in Animal Kingdom are spinning rides that cause problems. Some of the movies in EPCOT can cause discomfort. If so, just have him close his eyes, but don’t tilt back his head.

Dad’s Bottom Line

Motion Sickness effects old and young alike. It’s serious. It can cause discomfort for days and turn a special vacation into misery. I’m not sure there’s any good remedy except rest and avoidance. Maybe someone else has some other experiences or ways to deal with motion sickness.

Return to Question.

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