Coping with Anxiety at Disney Parks
Large crowds, loud noises, and tight spaces can send someone with anxiety into a panic attack. These are all things that you can expect to find at the Disney parks. Even the planning can be stressful. You just feel like you are constantly spinning on the teacups at the Mad Tea Party ride instead of enjoying the magic. It doesn’t have to be that way though. I’m going to give you some tips for coping with anxiety at Disney parks. Take a deep breath and know that you can still have a magical time with minimal anxious feelings.
Let’s start with planning your vacation. It takes a lot of planning to make sure you get the most out of your trip. There are fastpasses, dining reservations, and making sure you get the best deal. It can be overwhelming and stressful trying to get exactly what you want. That is where a travel agent comes in handy. It is no extra cost to use a travel agent. Use one that is knowledgeable with the parks. Find out if they will book fastpasses and dining reservations for you. This takes so much stress off your shoulders. Let them know exactly what you are hoping for. They will also let you know the best options. And then your travel agent will be up early booking all this for you on the first day you are able. Don’t worry if they don’t get everything you hoped for. A good travel agent won’t give up and will keep trying while you sit back and relax.
Now that your travel agent has booked your fastpasses and dining reservations, try not to lock in anything else on your agenda. You don’t want to be stressing about not achieving what you planned. Be flexible. Enjoy the moment. Have a general list of what you would like to accomplish instead of a schedule. Just plan to be in the general area around your fastpass time so you aren’t running all over the park. You won’t be able to do it all and that’s okay.
There will be crowds. There will be noise. When it gets overwhelming, find a quiet corner. There are tons of nooks and crannies. This is a great time to grab a snack and chill. Try Tom Sawyer island at Magic Kingdom, the picnic area at Japan in Epcot or one of the many corners in Morocco, Discovery Island Trails at Animal Kingdom, or the seating behind Starbucks on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios. North of the World has some great suggestions for quiet spots.
Have someone in your group that knows exactly what you are going through and knows the signs when you are getting overwhelmed. For me, this is Jacob. Don’t be afraid to speak up. You are not ruining the fun by needing a moment. Have a key word or phrase so they will know it’s time to relax for a bit. Let that person lead the way and focus only on them. Sometimes even just a hug or holding hands will help. It’s just nice to know you don’t have to go through this alone.
The cast members are there to help. They are more than happy to provide any kind of assistance. Just be polite and not demanding. Most of them know all the best quiet spots, and there may be other options they can suggest to help you out. The cast members’ job is to make sure that you are having the best time you can. Don’t be shy.
Relax and Enjoy
I know, easier said than done. But I hope you can use some or all of these tips for coping with anxiety at Disney Parks to help you have the most magical time. It will definitely be worth it.