Going to Disney World is often the magical experience that people dream of… but what happens when it’s not?
What no one talks about when preparing you for Disney are the huge crowds, sweltering heat and humidity, huge price tags, and so many sights and sounds that it can be overwhelming. If you’ve felt anxious at Disney, you’re not alone.
Having an anxiety disorder in a place like Disney World can be very frustrating, but the good news is that anxiety can almost always be managed! Using the tools and methods that you already use in your daily life as well as following some of these tips can help keep your Disney vacation as anxiety-free as possible.
These are some of our best tips for dealing with anxiety in Disney World — from other humans who’ve dealt with anxiety in Disney World!
Don’t Neglect Your Daily Coping Strategies
We get it, going on vacation is a chance to get away from real life and forget your usual responsibilities! However, you shouldn’t neglect the responsibility that is taking care of yourself and your mental health.
Take Your Usual Medications At The Normal Time
This sounds like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how easily medications can be forgotten or prolonged once you’re out of your normal routine. If you normally take your medications at your usual breakfast or bed time, we recommend setting an alarm so you take your medications at the same time as usual while you’re at Disney. Let’s face it, you’ll probably end up taking your meds at rope drop or fireworks!
Don’t Skip Your Therapy Appointment
Nothing says self care like having Zoom therapy in front of the castle. If your next therapy appointment happens to fall during your Disney trip, see if you can attend online. Talking to a professional (especially if you’re used to doing so on a regular basis) can help the anxious feelings tremendously!
We know how friends and family can be when you’ve been with them for three days straight and everyone is tired. No, your family/friend group isn’t dysfunctional, it’s normal to argue and feel grumpy with one another from time to time. However, it does nothing to help with anxiety. Know when it’s time to set a boundary and step away, whether that means getting a snack alone or heading back to the hotel early.
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Bring Headphones or Ear Plugs
Disney can be super LOUD. From shows, to loud rides, to screaming children, Disney’s got it ALL. Bringing headphones or ear plugs is a great way to eliminate some of this noise so that you can remain as relaxed as possible. Plus, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that so many other Disney guests are doing the same thing!
Simply sitting down and reducing some of that fatigue is a great way to feel less anxious.
Go To A Show
Shows are great ways to cool off, relax, and step away from the crowds for a bit! Plus, the distraction of the show can help with the anxiety you’re feeling. Many shows at Disney have very short waits, or none at all!
Have Some Food
Hunger can lead to extra anxiety, especially if you’ve had extra caffeine. Have some food from a quick service restaurant or grab a snack and a bench and just relax for a bit! Sitting down to refuel should help you feel better as well.
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Register For Disability Access Services (DAS)
Registering for a DAS pass is a great way to navigate Disney if you have a clinically diagnosed illness or disability. A DAS pass allows you to avoid waiting in crowded spaces, and instead allows you to do other things while you wait by booking an “appointment” to experience an attraction later in the day! It’s kind of like a Lightning Lane, but a free service for those living with disabilities.
To get a DAS pass, you’ll have to go to Guest Relations at Disney. We know it can be anxiety-inducing to even tell someone you have an anxiety disorder, but rest assured that the Cast Members will be understanding and judgment free. They just want to help make your experience more magical! They’ll need to know the extent of your illness or disability (just so they can best help you), but they won’t ask intrusive questions or ask for a full medical history.
Also, don’t feel guilty about needing to register for a DAS. Know that your experiences and emotions are valid! If booking a DAS helps you have the best and most stress-free experience possible, don’t sweat it!
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Get Plenty of Sleep
A Disney vacation typically entails early mornings and late nights. Maybe you’re used to running on no sleep while at Disney! Lack of sleep can cause extra anxiety, and it just isn’t worth it!
Sleep In And Skip Rope Drop
We know it can be super exciting to wake up extra early and be in the parks before anyone else so that you won’t have to wait in any lines. However, the people who do show up for rope drop are typically very excited, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to get in line for things before anyone else does. Not to mention, you’ll be so tired for the rest of the day! If you sleep in, you can stay in the parks later at night, and those wait times will be lower near park close.
Skip The Caffeine
We know a trip to Starbucks or Joffrey’s is enticing, but try not to have more caffeine than you would on a typical day at home! The caffeine can cause jitters similar to that of anxiety and it makes your day a lot less fun.
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Visit The First Aid Station!
There are First Aid stations in every park, and all services are free to you if you’ve purchased a park ticket! We know anxiety can cause headaches, nausea, dehydration, and more, so visiting First Aid can be a great idea. The nurses there can give you electrolytes or pain killers to ease your symptoms. Plus, we know the Nurse Minnie stickers they have there are highly sought after!
There ya have it! Those are our best tips for navigating anxiety in Disney World, and we hope they help make your trip more magical. We’re always posting ways to make your Disney days just a little better, so make sure to follow along for more!
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Do you have any other go-to anxiety tips? Share them in the comments!
The post Our Top Tips For Dealing With Anxiety in Disney World first appeared on the disney food blog.