As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Walt Disney World has a lot of visitors there at any given time. Hundreds of thousands of tourists swarm to ride rides, eat delicious treats, and meet Mickey and his pals every week.
If there are that many people, what else is there a lot of? Germs.
Anywhere there are people, there is the potential to pick up some bugs, and a place like Disney World is no exception. And guess what else? People have spent thousands of dollars on their trips, so even if they get sick, chances are they’re still going on that trip.
Now, I’m not here to be the germ police, but if that was a job, I’d be head of the department! However, as a germaphobe, here are my best tips to avoid picking up an unwanted souvenir on your family vacation.
Wash your hands!
Yeah, that would be common sense. But you’d be surprised. And think about everything you’ve touched – and even worse, how many others have touched it before you. When we ride a ride with a lot of touching (particularly something like a shooting-style game), we use hand sanitizer as soon as we get off. Before eating anything, try to wash with soap and water. Some germs (like many stomach viruses) are resistant to hand sanitizer, so soap up!
You’ll either say, “Right on!” or think I’m crazy for this one. But when you get to your hotel, take a disinfectant wipe to major touchpoints (light switches, handles, TV remote, toilet, etc.). Disney housekeeping does excellent work, but there’s only so much deep cleaning they can do when quickly trying to turn over a room. And you never know the health (or hygiene) of the people who stayed there before you!
Similarly, sanitize your phone! Again, think of everything you touch in a day at the parks. Then, think about how often you handle your phone. We quickly wipe our phones every evening when we return to the hotel for a little peace of mind.
Leave your shoes at the door.
You’re going to be visiting a lot of public restrooms at the parks, and while I’d like to believe people get everything where it’s supposed to end up, let’s be realistic: they don’t always. Who knows what you’ve stepped in during the day. Don’t track those germs in your hotel room. Just leave them right inside the door!
Please don’t overdo it!
I have to preach this to myself. I would go from rope drop to park closing every day. But we all know that Disney tiredness is a whole other level of tiredness that can wear on your immune system. Try to build in a rest day, or let yourself sleep in or end the day a little early occasionally. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break!
Watch what you eat.
Now, I won’t pretend I don’t go crazy on the treats while I’m at Disney. There are so many good things to try! Just be careful not to make sugar your only food group. Throw in a side salad or a veggie now and then. Then, reward yourself with a treat. 😉
Disney World can get SO HOT. It’s essential to ensure you’re drinking enough (I don’t mean around the World Showcase). Make sure you’re drinking water on your trip. It’s so easy to get dehydrated, making you feel terrible. Hydrate up!
If you don’t feel well, don’t go out!
Again, this would be common sense, but people spend a lot of money on their trips, so it will take a lot for them not to go! I’ll never forget sitting at brunch in a nice restaurant on the property and watching a child a couple tables overspend their meal throwing up in a bag. Few things kill the appetite more, let me tell you. Now, I know that sometimes symptoms occur without having to do with an actual sickness, but still, try to be considerate of the people around you.
Try not to stress about it.
This is another one I have to preach to myself. Sometimes, I get so worried about being sick that I miss out on what’s happening around me. Consider these tips: wash your hands, keep things clean, eat healthy (ish), and try to relax when possible! There’s no magic formula to guaranteeing you’ll stay healthy, but doing your best to care for yourself will help you have a magical trip.
Author: Ashley Hunt
Ashley co-founded The Midwest Mouse, a Disney Instagram account and blog she started with her husband, Braden. Ashley lives in Indiana with her husband and their two daughters. They are Walt Disney World annual pass holders and visit Disney parks as often as possible. They look forward to crossing more things off their Disney bucket list while continuing to share their adventures on their Instagram (@the_midwest_mouse) and website.
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