Full disclosure: I am not a doctor and I have no medical training (unless watching every episode of the TV show M.A.S.H. at least a dozen times counts, which it doesn't, I just really love that show so I wanted to slip in a reference out of respect).
But, what I do have is a lot of years worth of navigating Walt Disney World as a person that gets motion sick easily.
So, if you're in the "sensitive stomach club" and you're wondering "which rides at Disney World may make me motion sick", keep reading....
I can honestly say that over the years, there aren't many things outside of the Tiki Room at Disney World that hasn't at least once made me a little queasy (et tu, monorail?). But the good news is that I have found some things that have worked for me, and, my hope is that after reading this post, maybe you'll find that one of the tips below may work for you, too.
Everybody is different
Yes, there are some attractions that are on nearly every person's list of "things that may make you puke". But, not everybody gets ill on the same things.
For example, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster bothers me the least out of all the coasters at Disney World. But Big Thunder Mountain - a coaster with no inversions or steep hills - makes me feel horribly queasy every time I ride it.
For somebody else, those two coasters might be reversed on their personal "what makes me turn green at Disney World" list.
For me, I have learned that the sustained tight curves of Big Thunder Mountain are what do me in. For you it might be something different.
That means one of the best things you can do is pay attention to when you start feeling gross so that you can, whenever possible, avoid those things in the future.
Don't add to the misery
Dehydration, not eating well, and not getting enough sleep are 3 things that frequently happen when on vacation, and all 3 are things that can make anybody (even those that don't normally get motion sick) feel gross when riding attractions.
Yes - motion sickness is an inner ear thing, but when you are dealing with an upset stomach from eating a bunch of stuff you don't normally eat or if you have a headache from not drinking enough water, the effects of motion sickness can be amplified.
So, don't add to the misery. Try to eat well, stay hydrated, and make sure you're getting enough sleep. Those things may not stop you from getting motion sick, but they are important things to remember when trying to minimize the effects.
Talk to your doctor about medication
There are lots of medication options - some over-the-counter and some prescription - that can help people with mild to severe motion sickness. The best person to discuss those options with will be your doctor.
Keep in mind, however, that most medications come with side effects and depending on your reaction to the medication, you may have to decide if the side effects are worth the relief the medication provides.
I have tried just about every over-the-counter medicine and the popular prescription Transderm Scop (scopolamine, aka the "patch"). For me, I prefer the over-the-counter, less-drowsy stuff. However, I have 2 friends who prefer the patch.
There is no right or wrong choice. Go with whatever your doctor and you think is the best option for your situation.
Be prepared. Bring medications with you (so you aren't scrambling trying to buy some when you are there) and start taking it at least the day before your first planned theme park day.
If you know that every time you get in a car you get car sick, make sure you don't wait until you arrive at Disney World to realize that you should have packed your medicine.
And, I might also add, most medications for motion sickness work the best if taken BEFORE you are actually feeling rough. That means you'll need to start taking it before you set foot on your first attraction.
There are things like nonprescription wristbands (Sea Bands) that are popular choices for people trying to avoid motion sickness. I definitely fall into the "it can't hurt to try it" category.
Ginger-based products are another popular choice for people with sensitive stomachs. There are ginger candies and ginger pills and the ever-popular ginger ale, but, even though ginger is "natural", before you load up on it, you should still talk to your doctor.
Go with an empty stomach ... or not
This is another thing that is truly trial and error for most people. Some people swear by not eating before attractions that make them sick. Others say you should only do them with a full stomach. I say you have to figure out what works best for you.
If given the option, sit facing forward
There are instances where ride seats face either forward or backwards. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover and the monorail are just 2 examples of such configurations.
Whenever possible, opt for a seat that faces forwards to help keep from feeling sick on those attractions.
Think about avoiding the attractions that are ride simulators
Attractions that are simulators receive a huge number of complaints from people saying that they made them sick.
Disney doesn't have a ton of these types of rides - but if you have ever had problems feeling ill on a simulator-type attraction previously, that might be something you should avoid at Disney World.
Attractions that may make you motion sick at Disney World
Not everything on this list will make every person that gets motion sick queasy.
And, there could easily be things that didn't make this list that might make you feel a little "off".
This list is just some of the most frequent culprits and should be used as a general guide. This isn't a list of things we think you should avoid, but rather we want you to think of it as things you should be aware of before you ride them.
- Mad Tea Party (spinning)
- Prince Charming's Regal Carousel (spinning)
- Dumbo (spinning)
- Astro Orbitor (spinning)
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (coaster with tight turns)
- Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin (close your eyes in the short section where you travel through a simulated star tunnel, if it bothers you)
- Space Mountain (coaster with rough, tight turns)
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (spinning)
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (coaster with tight turns)
- Mission: Space (simulator)
- Soarin' (simulator)
- Test Track (rough, tight turns)
- Finding Nemo (close your eyes in the short section where you travel through a simulated bubble tunnel, if it bothers you)
- Star Tours (simulator)
- Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (coaster with inversions)
- Toy Story Mania (short bursts of spinning as you transition from one set of game screens to the next)
- Tower of Terror (numerous vertical drops)
- Alien Swirling Saucers (spinning)
- Slinky Dog Dash (coaster)
- Primeval Whirl (drops, tight turns, spinning)
- Triceratops Spin (spinning)
- Expedition Everest (coaster with tight turns and a section where you travel backwards)
- Flight of Passage (simulator)