What To Do If You Suffer From Motion Sickness At Disney World

For motion sickness sufferers, Walt Disney World is one of the best amusement parks to go to because there are a lot of attractions we can enjoy. Obviously, there are a lot of rides at the parks that can cause motion sickness in varying degrees, but there is still a lot to enjoy that shouldn't spur sickness issues. Even so, if you want to brave some of the more intense rides like Rock 'n Roller Coaster or the Mad Tea Party tea cups, there are some steps you can take to avoid or stop motion sickness in its tracks.

Some of the rides that are safest for motion sickness sufferers are the rides that make Disney such a magical place. Story rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion or Spaceship Earth are some of the iconic rides that make Disney World so special, so don't worry about feeling left out if you can't ride the big attractions or coasters, even if it's your first time at the parks.

Keep in mind that if you're feeling really sick, you can always find help at Disney World. If you need medical attention, ask a cast member. Or, if you can, head to First Aid. Each park has its own First Aid area with staff members that can help you get the care you need. If you struggle with motion sickness at all, consider some of these tips before your Walt Disney World adventure to make the most of the magic.

Dramamine is your friend

Dramamine or ginger pills can help keep motion sickness and its side effects at bay if taken before doing activities that may trigger it. Bringing some Dramamine with you to the parks is significantly cheaper than purchasing it at Disney and can be a real lifesaver while spending the day in the park. If you forget to bring it, you can get a few tablets to take at any of the first aid stations in the parks.

You don't necessarily have to take motion sickness medicine first thing in the morning for it to be effective. It needs about 30 minutes to kick in, so you can take it before riding an attraction that might trigger your issues. Dramamine lasts around four to eight hours in your body, but don't assume it'll be at its best strength several hours in.

Most of all, be absolutely sure that the Dramamine you purchase is non-drowsy. If you don't specifically buy the non-drowsy formula you might find yourself feeling more like Sleepy than Happy at the parks –- no one wants that!

Sit near the middle

This note is primarily for rides like Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom or Soarin' in EPCOT. For rides where you are facing a giant screen or need 3D glasses, sitting near the middle of the screen can help stop motion sickness from the warping images. If you start to feel queasy, close your eyes. Sometimes not seeing the images moving can help your brain catch up, which is one of the reasons folks get motion sickness in the first place.

Because the rides that use screens are primarily motion simulators, the warping images can really mess with your perception of what's happening. Especially for a ride like Flight of Passage when you're experiencing the images as well as motion from the ride seat, scents, and even water spray, warping images can be disorienting.

You can let a cast member know you need to sit in the middle of the ride row to prevent motion sickness. They'll do their best to accommodate you and your group however they can. It's possible that you'll have to wait a little longer for the next ride seating, but it's way better than getting sick or woozy partway through a ride.

Avoid the first or last cars

Roller coaster fanatics know that the first or last cars on a coaster offer riders a more intense experience. The middle seats, on the other hand, promise you at least a slightly more tame ride, which is preferable for folks who suffer from motion sickness. You'll still get the same thrills as everyone else, just with a little less jostling around.

Riding in the last car on Seven Dwarves Mine Train, for example, makes the roller coaster significantly more intense than elsewhere on the ride. Corners are much sharper and your body gets tossed around in the seat much more than if you sit in the middle or even the front of the ride.

That said, if you are a motion sickness sufferer, try to avoid riding in the first or last cars. You can ask a cast member to place you elsewhere in the ride vehicle ahead of them assigning you. You may have to wait for a better seat to open up, though you rarely have to wait more than a few minutes for the next set of ride cars.

Stay hydrated

At a place like Walt Disney World, regardless of the time of year, you need to stay hydrated. Florida heat is no joke! So even if you don't get motion sickness, staying hydrated will improve your Disney World vacation. Still, if you do suffer from motion sickness, staying hydrated can help you avoid it or other unpleasantries. If you take a nausea medication that can give you a dry mouth, drinking plenty of fluids will make the side effect more bearable.

Reusable water bottles are welcome to be brought into the parks, as are bottled non-alcoholic beverages. Water bottle filling stations can be found all over the parks, though the water fountains work in a pinch as well. Plus, quick-service restaurants and many of the food stalls around the parks offer free, iced water cups for guests.

Another easy way to avoid motion sickness is to make use of a cooling towel. They may look silly, but a cold, wet towel on your forehead can make all the difference when you're feeling nauseous. These towels can be purchased at the parks or online ahead of time. If you need to cool down fast to help with nausea or dizziness, try wrapping ice in the towel and putting it around your neck or forehead.

Wear comfortable clothes

Being comfortable in what you wear at Disney World can make a world of difference -– especially if you feel sick. When you wear tight clothes, it can put undue pressure on your stomach, which can just make matters worse. Plus, if you are wearing tight clothes and you do have to run to the toilet because of motion sickness, you could have a hard time being in a comfortable position.

Think of it like wearing tight pants and eating too much food. Even if you aren't nauseous, the tightness can make your stomach feel confined and make you feel ill anyway. The same applies when your stomach is upset from motion sickness. Tightness is not your friend.

Comfortable, flowy clothes can help keep you cooler during those hot Florida days. Though the clothes can't stop you from getting dehydrated from sweating, they can help with air circulation and generally make you feel more comfortable. Comfort is paramount when you're feeling sick.

Try acupressure

A must-have for seasickness, acupressure bands are an incredible tool for preventing motion sickness. They put pressure on the bottom side of your wrist to help deter nausea that can occur. Acupressure wristlets are essentially sweatbands with a bead to press into your wrist. In hot weather they can be a little uncomfortable, so try just wearing them when you are concerned about motion sickness.

Some acupressure wristbands are thinner than others or made of a material that can make you feel itchy once your wrist starts sweating. Try wearing them around the house before your Disney trip to make sure you can deal with them for a while. Doing this will also help stretch the material to fit your wrist better, which will keep you comfortable in them longer.

If you don't bring wrist acupressure products, you can also just do acupressure on your own by pressing your thumb into the underside of your wrist for a few seconds at a time. This area of the wrist sends relief signals to the brain to avoid being sick.

Ask for your doctor's help

If motion sickness is a big problem for you, your doctor may be able to prescribe something to stop it in its tracks. A medication like Scopolamine, a dermal patch, can keep motion sickness at bay even on the most triggering rides for some users. Scopolamine does require a prescription, so if you plan on asking about it do so with enough advance notice that you can actually get the medicine before your trip. You may also want to wear it once while you're home to see how it affects you.

A Scopolamine patch is placed behind the wearer's ear. You can wear one for up to three days, though they can become unstuck after sweating or exposure to water. Even just washing your hair in the shower can drastically decrease the wearability of the patch. If the patch comes off before three days, you can replace it right away if you want or need to.

The patch can also cause other side effects and even have a nasty withdrawal period after you stop using them. The most common side effects include dry mouth, disorientation, and drowsiness. So be careful when using prescriptions for motion sickness, be sure you're informed of any issues you may have by asking your doctor about it.

Try to sit up

One of the natural ways to avoid getting dizzy or nauseous on a ride is to keep your back straight and sit up. By keeping yourself in good posture with your head against the seat back (if possible), you can avoid moving around more, which can increase bad effects from the ride. Don't make your body stiff though, as that can cause tension headaches or pain.

By slouching or not holding yourself up, the force of a ride could jostle your body back and forth, making motion sickness worse. Plus, you can hit your head on the ride car or on the person beside you, which can obviously cause a headache or worse if you aren't careful. Sitting up also helps remind you to look forward, which can reduce motion sickness caused by visual stimulation.

Sitting up a little on a ride like Avatar Flight of Passage or Tron Lightcycle, which puts your body in a hunched, bike-riding position, can reduce dizziness from the movement around you. Keep in mind that you can't sit up all the way vertically on rides like these because of how the seats are shaped.

Put the phone away

Attractions are not the only cause of motion sickness at Disney World. One of the other less talked about causes is transportation on and around the resort property. Busses to and from the parks, the monorail, boats, and even the Skyliner can cause guests to have motion sickness issues before even getting to the parks.

Especially when you're commuting to a park or hotel further away, you may be on the bus for 20 minutes or more depending on traffic. If you are worried about feeling sick, try sitting closer to the front and letting the bus driver know. Like all Disney cast members, they want to make sure you're okay. If that means lending you the bus' garbage can for the duration of the ride, that's alright!

One way to avoid feeling sick on park transportation is to keep your phone away and not look at it. That can be an easy task, especially on packed, post-park close busses when you can hardly move or have to hold onto a handrail, let alone keep your phone out.

Keep your eyes forward

While it can be tempting to look around on a ride, the moving objects around you could easily cause motion sickness. On roller coasters or fast-moving rides especially, try to keep your eyes forward to avoid feeling sick. If you start to feel sick during the ride, keep your eyes on fixed objects like the ride car or the tracks in front of the car. Watching fixed objects in front of you can help deter motion sickness because what you're seeing is also what your body is experiencing, so it is easier for your body to keep up.

It can be so hard not to look around, especially on a ride like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which has some of the best views of Magic Kingdom. Still, if you want to look around, try doing so on the slow-moving parts of the ride. For Big Thunder, for example, look around during the car's ascent. It's a slow part of the ride when the cars are moving straight forward — that way, you can enjoy the views without being worried about getting suddenly sick.

You can also close your eyes if you start to feel sick. Like on a simulation ride, closing your eyes on a roller coaster or fast-moving ride can give your mind a rest. You'll still be feeling the intensity of the attraction, just without the visual stimulation that can cause dizziness or nausea.

Do (or eat) whatever will make you feel better

Some folks will tell you not to eat anything or eat certain things to prevent motion sickness, to avoid carbonated drinks, or any other variety of things. The bottom line is you need to know your body and how you react to motion sickness. For some, motion sickness means throwing up and for others, it results in a wicked headache. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of motion sickness and nastiness, it's important for you to know how your body will react, so you can prevent and treat it as needed.

If motion sickness for you means dizziness, try avoiding rides that spin a lot or create visual distortion. Rides like Mad Tea Party or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind are probably going to give you a hard time. These rides spin a lot and will exacerbate issues with dizziness.

Meanwhile, if fast, rapid movements make you nauseous, you'll probably want to avoid some of Disney World's more intense rides. Attractions like Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, and Rock 'n Roller Coaster may be hard on your body. Especially if dark, enclosed spaces make it worse, Space Mountain and Rock 'n Roller Coaster should be absolutely avoided.

Pack with motion sickness in mind

Aside from bringing motion sickness aids like Dramamine or acupressure bands, try to have some items with you in case you need to treat motion sickness. Pain relievers, calming essential oils, crackers, or hydration packets can help treat motion sickness when it happens. Everyone also has certain things they rely on when they aren't feeling good too, so don't forget to pack anything that will bring you comfort if you need it.

Headaches can often benefit from caffeine, for example. It doesn't work for everyone, but migraine sufferers will tell you that caffeine is one of their go-to treatments. That's why medications like Excedrin include caffeine in them, which makes them more powerful than regular Ibuprofen or another pain reliever.

Don't forget the things your childhood sick days introduced to you either. Sprite or any other lemon-lime soda can make an upset stomach feel better. Powerade is your friend and starchy foods like toast can give your stomach some protection from any medication you take. If worse comes to worst, talk to a cast member or head to the first aid station. Your My Disney Experience app can even give you directions to the closest location from wherever you are in the parks.