"I'm a Nervous Rex!" These four words are written across a Rex-themed t-shirt sold at the Contemporary Resort, and they are my life in a nutshell. Since I was young, I have been an overly cautious and timid person prone to anxiety over anything loud, dangerous, or able to pop my personal bubble. Needless to say, I am not a Tower of Terror fan.
Over the course of my recent trips to Disney, I learned some tricks to ease my fear. Before I lay them out for you, let me just say that if you're headed to Disney World, you're already ahead of the game. Walt Disney World is the best theme park for nervous types. No matter who you are, there will likely be a ride or experience that you can enjoy. Secondly, these four tips might not work for you, and that's okay. Experiment and see what works for you.
Now, without further ado, here are four tips for alleviating anxiety at Disney World.
Tip No.1 Don't push yourself too hard (especially on your first trip). I went to Walt Disney World for the first time when I was 15 years old, and I made the mistake of riding Tower of Terror as my second ride. Don't do this to yourself! When your loving mom tells you to try something calmer, listen to her. Rides like Aladdin's Flying Carpets in Magic Kingdom can be a great start. If that's not your cup of tea, Jungle Cruise, Spaceship Earth, Living With the Land, and Na'vi River Journey are slow, relaxing, and beautiful.
Tip No.2 Use FastPass+, Early Morning Magic, and After Hours Events. I don't know about you guys, but I have a fear of crowds. It's hard enough challenging myself to try an adventurous ride without hordes of people pushing and shoving me. When I decided to ride Expedition Everest, my mom snatched up a FastPass, and it was the best thing she could have done. Minimal wait times keep my fear from quadrupling, and not as many people means less personal bubble popping. Early Morning Magic is great because not only do you get breakfast (and a few calm rides), but you can get on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train before the park opens.
Tip No.3 Utilize the "Chicken Exit". If you get in line for a ride, and those warning plaques just sound too scary, ask a cast member where the exit is. There is always a way to escape before it's too late. The cast members are sweethearts and will most likely be glad to help you leave the queue.
Tip No. 4 Never Ride an Attraction with Low Blood Sugar! When my blood sugar drops, and I'm hangry enough to be on a Snickers commercial, riding attractions is not fun. My anxiety goes through the roof and every person in line who dares move the wrong way invites my wrath. To keep anger and fear low, pack some snacks in your backpack. Raisins, almonds, and beef jerky are my favorites. Trust me, a small snack can do wonders for your nerves and make the ride experience so much better.
Walt Disney World is the best theme park for people like us. I can guarantee that there will be something there for you to enjoy. These tips are just here to make the ride a little smoother and to allow the magic to really sink in. Try them out and see if they help. They definitely make a difference in my trips.
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