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Don’t Let Motion Sickness Ruin Your Disney Day – Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea

Don't Let Motion Sickness Ruin Your Disney Day! - Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea

Simulators, long drops, upside-down loops, spinning, bobbing on water, 3-D, bumps and jiggles. Does all that twirl make you…well, hurl? Any one of these motions (or all of the above) might make you dizzy or sick to your stomach. If you’re prone to motion sickness just the smallest movements might result in vertigo, migraine headache or vomiting. Certainly not what you want to experience on your magical day at Disneyland!

As a longtime motion sickness sufferer I’ve come up with my list of top tips for avoiding motion sickness on your Disneyland day!


 

Don't Let Motion Sickness Ruin Your Disney Day! - Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea

Feeling a little woozy after California Screamin’

 

KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT 

Have issues with the following movements? Consider these rides & attractions:

Spinning you dizzy in a circle – Astro Orbitor, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Flik’s Flyers, Francis’ Ladybug Boogie, Golden Zephyr, King Arthur Carrousel, King Triton’s Carousel, Mad Tea Party, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Silly Symphony Swings, Grizzly River Run

Hurky-jerky stops  – Autopia, Indiana Jones Adventure, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Tuck & Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies

3-D glasses required – Star Tours, Toy Story Midway Mania, It’s Tough to Be a Bug!

Up and down, up and down – Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Soarin’ Over California

Tummy tickling drops & dips -Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, California Screamin’, Gadget’s Go Coaster, Goofy’s Sky School, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Don't Let Motion Sickness Ruin Your Disney Day! - Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea

Three heavy hitters for nausea: California Screamin’, Silly Symphony Swings and the Golden Zephyr


COMPENSATE

Do not ride backwards if you can prevent it. Find a seat that faces forward on the Monorail and Mark Twain River Boat. Even the buses and trams coming to and from the parking lot have backwards and sideways facing seats, so always choose the option that faces forward.

Keep fresh air on your face. Though the Finding Nemo Subs have tiny fans in front of the windows, the still air, close-quarters and water-motion in this ride might make you lightheaded. Consider bringing in your own battery-operated fan to keep the cool air on your face.

Don't Let Motion Sickness Ruin Your Disney Day! - Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea

Inside the tiny confines of the Finding Nemo Submarines

Put down the map or guide book! Reading while riding is a sure bet to bring on nausea. Keep your head up and look outwards.

Adjust your gaze and focus on the horizon. I find that if I’m looking at something inside the ride (like focusing on my son’s face on the carrousel, for example) then the blur of anything outside of the ride catches in my peripheral vision, making me dizzy. If I look outward when I’m riding on Dumbo, for instance, and focus on the Matterhorn in the distance then I’m less likely to feel nauseous.

Don't Let Motion Sickness Ruin Your Disney Day! - Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea

Pure dizziness on the Silly Symphony Swings


MEDICATE

I absolutely love scopolamine (Transderm-Scop) which is a patch worn behind the ear. It slowly delivers medication over the course of three days. I’ve found it’s the only motion sickness medication that doesn’t make me drowsy and that fully works for my symptoms. The last time I used the patch was on my trip to Europe. I was able to travel by plane, bus, van and bicycle without any nausea and fully enjoyed my vacation!

Always “test” out medications before your trip to see how the dosage affects you. Keep caution that some medications can cause extreme drowsiness. The last time I took Dramamine was on a fishing trip. I was so sleepy that while my family was fishing, I was asleep on the bottom of the row boat!

Don't Let Motion Sickness Ruin Your Disney Day! - Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea

The Transderm-Scop patch lets me ride the coasters without nausea…yes!


PRESSURE POINTS

According to a study in Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, those who performed acupressure on their wrists reported reduced motion sickness. Use your thumb to press your inner arm three finger widths (about two inches) down from your wrist crease. Hold for a few minutes, until symptoms subside. Some swear by SeaBands, which are wrist bands with small buttons that rest on pressure points on the wrist. I haven’t tried them to know for sure but it’s worth a try!


WATCH WHAT YOU EAT

Foods with strong odors, heavy, spicy, or fatty foods may worsen symptoms in some people. Unfortunately that is a large part of Park food so choose lighter fare when you can and considering bringing in your own snacks. If you’re an adult, you should also avoid alcohol.

Don't Let Motion Sickness Ruin Your Disney Day! - Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea

Might want to avoid the giant cupcake if you’re prone to nausea.


TALK YOURSELF OUT OF IT

Positive self-talk has been shown to aid in preventing motion sickness symptoms. Repeat to yourself, “I will not get sick” or “I will feel fine on this ride”. Breathe deeply (without hyperventilating) and aim to relax. Take breaks as needed before or after high-movement rides to self-affirm.

Don't Let Motion Sickness Ruin Your Disney Day! - Top Tips for Avoiding Nausea

I have yet to convince myself I can get on the Tower of Terror!


VISIT FIRST AID

Okay, so you tried it all and you still feel sick to your stomach? Visit First Aid inside the Parks and the nurses here can help.


Here’s to a happy and healthy visit! What are your feel-good tips for avoiding nausea? Share below in the comments.

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Vivid Editions Disney-inspired Art and Posters – GIVEAWAY!

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED…SEE BELOW FOR WINNER

Walking through the gates of Disneyland and into the tunnels, goosebumps cover my arms each time. Passing under this plaque, guests walk past posters that promote the Parks most popular attractions.

As shown in the movie Saving Mr. Banks, the posters used to line the fence in front of the floral Mickey (see this post from the Disney Parks Blog). And for as long as I can remember the posters have been there inside the tunnel as you “Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy”.

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I have always admired the posters and wanted some of my own, so I was delighted to find these gorgeous, high-quality prints on Etsy by Vivid Editions. Now I can hang them in my own home and add a bit of Disney charm!

  

Alex at Vivid Editions was kind enough to send me four prints. Two of them I framed for my #DisneySide @HomeCelebration party decor. The other two I gifted to my party guests as prizes. My brother has a slight obsession with the Disneyland Railroad so he might get that poster as a gift very soon!

 

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In addition to the vintage-looking Disneyland posters, Vivid Editions also has these gorgeous digital watercolor images in their Etsy shop. They are so sophisticated yet whimsical. I love the spirited movement implied on each colorful print!

   

Stop over at the Vivid Editions shop and find out how you can buy two & get one free, plus receive free standard USPS shipping! If you’re like me, you’re going to have a challenging time narrowing down the choices!


 

Would you like to win your own poster from Vivid Editions

They are offering my readers the chance to win their choice of one poster, any size, from their Etsy shop!

**ENTER THE GIVEAWAY**  GIVEWAY IS CLOSED – Congratulations to our winner, Leigh Ann B!

Open to USA & Canada only; prize will be shipped directly from Vivid Editions.


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Essential Disneyland – What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

For anyone visiting Disneyland for the very first time, this is what I’d call the definitive list of “must-do” items inside Disneyland Park. After these things, everything else is just gravy!

As a first time Disneyland visitor, you’ll want to get the best feel of what makes the Park “tick” and where its heartbeat lies. These attractions are classic Disney and will completely immerse you in the magic! It’s not everything of course because you’d need a lifetime to experience it all but these are the essentials that are do-able for a visitor’s first Disneyland day!


Main Street Vehicles – No thrill rides here, just a good ol’ fashioned ride down Main Street U.S.A. to get you in the mood of the Park . Hop aboard a horse-drawn car, jitney, fire engine or omnibus. Our travels have always included a chat with the drivers, who are knowledgeable about Disneyland facts.

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

The Mad Hatter – It’s the place to find a hat for every occasion! What better way to show your #DisneySide than with a pair of Mouse Ears that reflects your personality? We bought my son’s Pluto hat here which he’s continued to wear on nearly ever Disneyland trip for the past 6 years.

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

Silhouette Studio – Get into the vintage Victorian vibe by having the artists hand cut your silhouette out of paper for the perfect souvenir. I have my silhouette from when I was about four years old, curly ponytail and all!

River Belle Terrace – Skip the Starbucks and head straight here for the best breakfast in the Park. The adorable Mickey Mouse pancake will start your day off right. This restaurant is a 1955 original and has one of the prettiest views of the Rivers of America.

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

He’s eyeing that cherry nose and you can believe it was in his mouth before I set my camera down!

Disneyland Monorail – Get the aerial lay-of-the-Land and take the 2.5 mile Monorail route. Jump on in Tomorrowland, pass through Disney’s California Adventure and hop off and on at Downtown Disney, if you wish (you’ll need a valid ticket to get back inside the Park!)

Autopia – Though you’re only driving about 7 miles per hour, you’ll feel the freedom of the open road! This attraction dates back to opening day in 1955, before there was a center guide rail keeping your car on the road. I love the little bridges, lush landscaping and “off road” section. Being tall enough to drive your own Autopia vehicle is a rite of passage!

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – When this first opened, my parents literally dragged my brother and I to get on the ride! We were scared of what looked like a runaway train. Of course, we’ve come to love the “Wildest Ride in the Wilderness” and new additions to the attraction make it better than ever. It’s my favorite Disneyland Mountain!

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

Carnation Cafe – Serving up classic American comfort food, this is where Walt used to eat. In fact they still serve his favorite chili. We sat outside on the patio and ate dinner here one evening and it was relaxing and sweet under the striped umbrellas.

Disneyland Railroad – Hop aboard on Main Street U.S.A. and take the grand circle tour around the Park, a total of 1.2 miles. Not to be missed is Primeval World, a large diorama that takes you back to the prehistoric times and features dinosaurs and volcanoes! (images from Vivid Editions on Etsy)

  

The Enchanted Tiki Room – Let’s all sing like the birdies sing! 200+ Audio-animatronics perform before your eyes in this tropical paradise. The show is lively, the music is charming and you may find yourself singing along (go ahead, everyone else will be singing too!). And you can have Dole Whips inside from the Tiki Juice Bar…enough said!

Dumbo – If an elephant can fly, then what can YOU do? Music played on an authentic fairground organ built in 1915 accompanies your flight! Little ones direct the flight with a knob that makes Dumbo rise and dip in the air.

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!  Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

French Market Restaurant – The New Orleans Square feeling is alive here! After choosing your meal in the buffet line, take a seat outside to enjoy the Dixieland Band. The meatloaf and mashed potatoes are divine and my son can’t miss the corn chowder in a bread bowl. It’s my favorite dining spot. Treat yourself to Mickey Mouse shaped beignets and a mint julep from the Mint Julep Bar for dessert!

“it’s a small world” –  If pressured to choose a favorite attraction, I’d have to say that this one is it. It’s happy and colorful and carries a message that simply uplifts your heart. Curmudgeons give this one a bad rap because, well the song by the Sherman brothers is slightly catchy. I love the addition of classic Disney characters throughout the attraction, they are fun to spot throughout.

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

Don’t miss the dancing parade of dolls that emerge from the clock.

Golden Horseshoe – Pull up a sundae with the works and enjoy a silly show in what is one of the original buildings from 1955. I still miss Billy Hill & the Hillbillies, who headlined here for years but the Laughing Stock Co. gang will give you a giggle. It’s a nice place to take an ice cream break and imagine when Walt Disney himself was sitting in the upper right reserved box.

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

Haunted Mansion – I was in my 20s before I actually rode through this attraction with my eyes open!! Appropriately spooky, the Haunted Mansion has just the right amount of fright and fun (but you’ll only catch the humor if you have your eyes open!)

Storybook Land Canal Boats – At times overlooked because of the gentle, slow pace this tour of fairy tale lands has always been one of my favorites. Your guided boat with glide past the Seven Dwarves cottage, the royal city of Agrabah from Aladdin, King Triton’s underwater oasis from The Little Mermaid and newly added, the land of Arendelle from Frozen.

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!  Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough – The story behind the iconic castle comes to life with three-dimensional displays. The attraction is beautiful done but it’s awesome enough on its own just to be inside the actual castle!

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

This lovely statue is just outside the entrance to the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough

Jungle Cruise – Another 1955 original, this one evolved over the years from a serious African jungle tour into a slightly silly romp through the rain forest, complete with jokes from the skippers. Each skipper puts their own spin on the tour along with incorporating classic gags from year’s past.

Mad Tea Party – Go ahead, spin it if you dare! Though motion sickness prevents me from ever stepping foot in a teacup again, this is still one my favorite areas in the entire Park. From the festive lanterns hanging over head to the bright colors and patterns of the twirling teacups, this is one bright spot in Disneyland that can’t be missed!

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!  Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

Peter Pan’s Flight – Arguably the best Disneyland dark ride, this one is getting a facelift in anticipation of Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration. Hope that the beautiful details remain, like flying over a miniature London and tiny Neverland with twinkling lights above and below.

Mark Twain Riverboat – The tour will take you around the Rivers of America, past Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island where you can spot frontier fun along the way. The ride features a narration by an actor reading as the author Mark Twain, whom this paddlewheel steam engine riverboat is named after.

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!

Pirates of the Caribbean – Truly one of the best amusement park rides, the detail and special effects are incredible. New additions based on the movies have been added to enhance the story line. Floating through the foggy battle scene, you will feel completely transported…it gives me goosebumps every time!

Plaza Inn -Walk by and it will be hard to resist the urge to go in and order yourself a big plate of fried chicken! Perfectly crispy, this is a large dish that we share. The ornate Victorian designs inside, especially the beautiful stained-glass ceiling are best appreciated in the daytime. Breakfast is also served here, as the fun buffet, Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park.

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Fireworks – Okay, so you’ve seen fireworks before. But if you haven’t seen them at Disneyland before, this is not to be missed! Over the years we’ve watched the show in the sky from where ever we were in the Park. I’ve even sat outside the Park on the esplanade to watch. But absolutely nothing beats watching them from the center of Main Street. I cried, seriously, it’s the perfect way to close out a Disney day!

Essential Disneyland - What You HAVE to See, Do and Eat on Your First Trip!


Oh, it’s so hard to narrow it down to just a few when there are so many spectacular attractions at Disneyland!

Did I miss including your favorites? Tell me in the comments what rides and attractions are “can’t miss” in your book!

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