Tips for Dealing with Anxiety at Disney World

Anxiety and theme parks…a recipe for disaster? No way! Getting away from the “real world” and visiting highly-themed imaginary lands for a while can be a fantastic choice for those who suffer from anxiety. Planning for how to navigate crowds, lines, and the other realities of a day in the parks will make your trip a success. Dealing with anxiety at Disney World is a lot easier than you might think!

  1. Seek out quiet spaces. As you walk through the parks, note areas that are less crowded; they tend to be away from ride entrances and in back corners of lands in the parks. When the person needs to get away from crowds, you’ll know just where they should go, even if it’s backtracking a bit. 
  2. Use headphones in lines. Listen to music, white noise, or nothing at all; the sound isolation allows a person with anxiety to escape some of the overstimulation that can trigger social anxiety. 
  3. Plan breaks. Whether it’s a short snack break in one of those quiet spaces you have found or leaving the park during the afternoon for a rest in the hotel, a break can make a huge difference.
  4. Knowledge is power. Watch videos, read descriptions, and look at pictures of attractions. A person with anxiety is comforted by the familiar, so knowing what to expect makes the anticipation more fun, not a “spoiler.”
  5. Pack distractions. A game on a phone or tablet, a fidget toy, Rubik’s cube, or a stress ball could come in handy when a person with anxiety is overwhelmed. Focusing on repetitive motions can be calming when the outside world is a little crazy!
  6. Ask a cast member for a cool-down space. If you get to the front of the line and need a moment to decompress before getting on the ride, just let the cast member know! Most attractions has a “cool down” area, away from people and with reduced noise, where you can catch your breath to be ready to ride.

Ready to plan your trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Universal? I can help you navigate your unique needs! Let’s chat!

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