Stuart S. (NDD#47) (44 Posts)

Stuart is the DDL resident Geek Dad and claims New York as his birthplace. Currently, though, he resides in New Jersey and is a husband and father of two as well as a huge Disney World, Springsteen, Yankee, and NY Ranger fan. He wakes up and goes to sleep thinking about Disney World. He listens to Disney podcasts to and from work and at night before sleep. He drives his family nuts talking about Disney and is always planning their next Disney World trip. In addition, he is known to always volunteer to help extended family and friends plan their next trip. Stuart's personal blog is He can also be found on twitter by following @disneygeekdad.

You’re going to Disney World and you’ve gone to great lengths to plan out your vacation including your transportation, resort, what to pack, dining, and the parks. So, you think you have all bases covered, but do you? The one thing I have found Disney guests will often overlook in the trip planning process are ways to minimize getting sick.

Sure, guests bring along all sorts of medicine in case they get sick such as cold and allergy medication, pain relievers, and fever reducers like Tylenol, Advil, cough syrup, nasal spray, and antacids. Other common items guests frequently bring are bandages, blister treatments, and hand sanitizer. It’s great to have all these items just in case, but it’s even better if you don’t have to use them.

If commando style is your idea of touring the parks (that is to get there at rope drop and continue going non-stop until a cast member kicks you out at closing), then you may very well make good use of the medicine you’ve brought with you. I don’t care how young or old you are.  Continuous touring of the parks with few if any breaks will eventually take its toll. Yes, Disney World is absolutely the most magical place on earth, but it can be both physically and mentally exhausting.

Something else to keep in mind is everyone moves at their own speed (some faster than others), so it’s important to allow time for everyone to adjust to a pace you are all going to be comfortable with. If you’re vacationing with young children, plan on making several bathroom stops. Also, no matter how you decide to tour the parks, it is very important that everyone stay hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids.

The average family vacation is usually a week–give or take a few days–which makes managing your time essential. One way to make the most of your Disney vacation is to carefully research and prioritize what’s important for you and your family to accomplish during your stay while knowing it is virtually impossible to see and do everything in one trip.

I know there are people who don’t go to Disney very often who will try to conquer the World, but there is a very apropos saying . . . “less is more.” There is so much detail and story throughout the parks that is missed by hurrying from attraction to attraction. The people who rush around in a frenzy have also burdened themselves with undue stress and are more likely to wind up getting sick, thus missing some of the very attractions they couldn’t wait to see.

Most people will recognize when they are not physically well, judging by their body’s aches and pains. Yet, many don’t see the signs when they are mentally exhausted. The next time you go to Disney World try observing the behavior of others. Generally, you’ll find relatively normal parent and child behavior in the morning hours, but by the evening you’ll see some kids and even more parents having tantrums. There is an easy solution. If you don’t want to be “that parent” or your child “that kid.” Give yourselves a break from the parks in the afternoon. A great place to unwind is your resort, either in your room or by the pool. It’s an excellent way to rejuvenate yourself and a way to minimize your chances of getting sick on the vacation.

A benefit of staying on property is Extra Magic Hours which rewards Disney resort guests with added time in the parks. The additional park time creates an opportunity for on-property guests to escape the heat and crowds during the heart of the day as well as a chance to rest and relax before returning for a nighttime of fun and excitement.

If you have a Disney World vacation planned, it might be a good idea to build up your stamina before hand. My wife and I have started taking long walks to prepare ourselves. However, nothing can prepare you for the heat in Animal Kingdom which may just be the hottest place on the face of the earth.

Traveling to Disney World with young children usually means character meet and greets, ice cream, and playgrounds. It also means exposure to other young children who sometimes come fully equipped with colds and coughs ready to spread to your child. When our kids were young we would bring lots of wet wipes to Disney constantly using them to clean their hands and face. They were especially useful for my daughter who had her hands on anything within reach.

Whenever your next trip happens to be, please promise to pay attention to how you feel both physically and mentally but more importantly pay attention and listen very carefully to how other members of your family feel, especially your children.

Hoping your next trip to Disney World is your best vacation ever!

Contributed by: Stuart S. (NDD #47). Stuart is our resident Disney geek and creator of Disney Geek Dad.

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