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Dealing with Motion Sickness on Your Disney World Vacation

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Motion sickness is frequently thought of as an issue when sailing on an ocean cruise, and some Disney Cruise Line guests do indeed contend with this problem. A smaller, but not insignificant, subset of Walt Disney World guests also suffer from motion-related illness. This might be from travel on swaying transportation like the Skyliner or a bus with soft tires, from a spinning ride like the Magic Kingdom teacups or EPCOT’s Mission Space, from a roller coaster like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, or from a motion simulator attraction such as Star Tours.

Just thinking about the spinning teacup attraction makes some guests queasy.

My personal worst motion sickness experience was at a completely stationary attraction, the latest version of the film in EPCOT’s Canada pavilion. The simulated soaring over Canadian vistas had me sweating, hiding my head, and eventually running out the exit to escape the waves of nausea.

Any tendency toward motion sickness might be exacerbated by the Florida heat, an indulgence in rich or unfamiliar foods, and exhaustion from travel.

If you, or your children, are prone to motion sickness in situations like riding in the backseat of a car, riding on a train, or while experiencing stimuli such as IMAX movies, then chances are you may experience it at Walt Disney World as well.

Typical Motion Sickness Culprits at Walt Disney World

For the severely motion-sensitive, nearly anything that moves can bring on symptoms, but there are select attractions at Walt Disney World that are more common triggers. These fall into four categories: motion simulators (or other rides that have frequent, jerky motion), spinning rides, falling rides, and immersive or 3D screens, which can be either films or rides that use 3D screen effects.

If you know that you’re affected by these types of rides, you might want to do more research before riding based on the lists below. Rides below may be listed more than once if they fall into multiple categories, and the ones that are most likely to cause problems for guests with that particular motion-sensitivity are in bold.

Motion Simulators / Rides with Repeated Jerky Motion

These rides are most associated with repeated rough, jerky motions that may leave guests feeling bounced around. If you get sick riding a car on a rough road, or on a swaying bus, expect that you may have problems with these attractions.

  • DINOSAUR – Animal Kingdom
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris – Animal Kingdom
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (simulator video paired with real motion) – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Mission Space (orange is worse than green) – Epcot
  • Star Tours (3D simulator video paired with real motion) – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Disney’s Hollywood Studios (more detail: A Ride Wimp’s Review of Rise of the Resistance)
  • Test Track – Epcot
Spinning Rides

These rides are the ones likely to give you that classic head-spinning dizzy feeling or vertigo.

  • Alien Swirling Saucers – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Astro Orbiter – Magic Kingdom
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Magic Kingdom
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Epcot (more detail: A Ride Chicken Review of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind)
  • Mad Tea Party – Magic Kingdom
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin – Magic Kingdom
  • Mission Space (orange is worse than green) – Epcot
  • Prince Charming Regal Carousel – Magic Kingdom
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (blends 3D and motion simulation with real motion) – Epcot
  • Toy Story Midway Mania (blends mild spinning with 3D elements) – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • TriceraTop Spin – Animal Kingdom
Falling Rides or Dipping Rides

These rides are the ones that give you a second or two of  the “stomach drop” feeling that many associate with roller coasters. Not every ride below has a reputation for making your stomach drop, feeling like your feet leave the floor, or other typical coaster sensations – we’ve included anything that has at least one large drop or swooping as part of the experience. (Note: rides that only give the impression of falling or swooping through use of 3D or screens are in the next category.)

  • Avatar Fight of Passage (includes 3D elements) – Animal Kingdom (more detail: A Ride Wimp’s Review of Avatar Flight of Passage)
  • The Barnstormer – Magic Kingdom
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Magic Kingdom
  • Expedition Everest – Animal Kingdom
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (this spins and falls) – Epcot (more detail: A Ride Chicken Review of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind)
  • Kali River Rapids – Animal Kingdom
  • Rock ‘n Roller Coaster – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Magic Kingdom
  • Slinky Dog Dash – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Space Mountain – Magic Kingdom
  • Splash Mountain – Magic Kingdom
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Disney’s Hollywood Studios (more detail: A Ride Wimp’s Review of Rise of the Resistance)
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Immersive or 3D Screens

Many of these attractions are stationary (films) and even for the ones that move, motion sickness is usually the result of “seeing” motion that the rest of your senses aren’t registering. The good news is that means that closing your eyes is often helpful if you find yourself beginning to feel a bit ill on these attractions.

  • Canada Far and Wide – Epcot
  • Impressions de France – Epcot
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug (3D) – Animal Kingdom
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic – Magic Kingdom
  • MuppetVision 3D – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Reflections of China – Epcot
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (blends 3D and motion simulation with real motion) – Epcot
  • Soarin’ – Epcot (more detail: A Ride Wimp’s Review of Soarin’)

While there is no firm data on which of these attractions are the most prone to cause motion sickness, anecdotal evidence points to the leading culprits as Mad Tea Party, Expedition Everest, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Mission Space Orange, and the new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. These are must-avoid experiences if you’re highly susceptible to queasiness.

How to Remediate Motion Sickness

The good news is that there are many different ways to manage motion sickness so that you can enjoy your vacation to its fullest. To have the best chance of success, practice with various methods at home, prior to your vacation, so that you know what works ahead of time.

Please note that I am not a doctor. Consult with a medical professional if your case is severe or if you have any concerns about combining motion sickness solutions with other medical issues. And of course, be particularly aware that early pregnancy can add layers of nuance to motion sickness and requires extra care with finding a solution.

Practical Tips for Managing Motion Sickness

On any attraction, you’re less likely to feel motion sickness effects if you focus your eyes on a fixed spot, keep your head and neck as still as possible, and choose a seat near the middle of the vehicle. Speak to a cast member at the ride loading point to ask for assistance in seat placement.

Even people with strong stomachs can experience situational motion sickness if they have an ear infection, headache, or are taking medication such as blood pressure or hormone therapies that include dizziness as a known side effect. If you’re having an off day anyway, then spinning rides can exacerbate your symptoms.

Here are some motion sickness solutions that are things you can take or use to prepare:

  • Antacids. Tums and Zantac are popular brands
  • Ginger supplements. Many brands. Widely available at drugstores and online.
  • Queasy Pops or Queasy Drops. Available at drugstores and online to soothe a queasy tummy.
  • Peppermint or spearmint essential oils. Many brands. Available at drugstores and online.
  • Seabands. Accupressure wrist band. Available at drugstores and online.
  • Motion Sickness eyeglasses. Available from Boarding Glasses and other online sources.
  • Electrical stimulation bands. Available from Reliefbands.
  • Meclizine Hydrochloride. A common brand name is Bonine. Widely available at drugstores and online.
  • Dimenhydrinate. A common brand name is Dramamine. Widely available at drugstores and online.
  • Scopalamine. A patch, worn behind the ear. Must be prescribed by a doctor. Known to have an array of often troubling side effects; speak with your prescriber about this.

In addition to finding solutions, there are a number of things you can do to help derail motion sickness before it starts. These include:

  • Eat lightly. If eating lightly isn’t an option during your entire vacation because, well, vacation, try to arrange for your high-motion activities to take place early in the day, prior to any big meals.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks.
  • Wear loose clothing that does not compress your abdomen.
  • Wash your hands often. Intestinal upset can start with germ-based problems that become exacerbated with motion.
What to Do if You’re Feeling Motion Sick

If you do become woozy with motion sickness, take some time to sit in a cool spot; many people also find the sensation of air blowing across their face to be helpful. Rehydrate with plain water or with an electrolyte beverage such as PowerAde (readily available at Disney World) and try a bland, non-greasy snack such as saltines or toast.

Guests who know they are prone to vomiting with motion sickness will want to keep a disposable plastic bag with them at all times. If symptoms are particularly severe, there is a first aid center at each of the Disney theme parks. The aid centers are staffed with nurses who can provide basic medical care and can refer guests to outside resources.

Beyond the Parks

Beyond the rides in the parks, some guests have issues with the transportation between the parks such as the monorail, buses, or Skyliner. To keep motion sickness to a minimum here, plans to ride facing forward, keep your eyes on the horizon, and avoid reading your phone or park map during transit.

What are your favorite motion sickness remedies? Which Disney experiences do you find most problematic? Let us know!


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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

3 thoughts on “Dealing with Motion Sickness on Your Disney World Vacation

  • Along with Remmy is Mickey and Minnie’s runaway railway.

  • Hmm . . . you skipped Soarin. I haven’t found anything that helps if I’m having a bad day, which seems to come and go.

    • Yep, we did. It’s been added now under the 3D Screens section.


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