Dealing with fibromyalgia on a daily basis is hard but dealing with fibromyalgia at Walt Disney World can seem like an impossible task. Walt Disney World is so big, there is so much walking, standing in line…the list goes on. I understand the struggle because I am a fibromyalgia warrior who also loves to travel.
I don’t often share my journey but in 2015, I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Being someone who is always on-the-go and who loves to explore the world we live in, this was a death sentence. The thought of not being able to move and have the energy that I have always had was devastating.
There was a moment when I figured I would never be able to enjoy the things I do again. Especially the love that I have for traveling to Walt Disney World. The task just felt too hard.
Let me be the first to say that having fibromyalgia at Walt Disney World is not impossible. It is a little harder on the body and you will probably have to take things a little slower but it can be done!
Don’t let this cripple you from experiencing some of the best moments of your life. Friend, I am with you in that feeling of laying in bed and the struggle that the pain will never go away. I am here to extend my hand and help lift you out of bed to experience all of the things you love to do. It is isn’t easy but let’s do some of these things together to take care of ourselves and still live every moment of our lives with joy!
I know every journey is different and every single one of us suffers from different pain on a day by day basis but hang in there with me. Always use your best discretion of what works for YOU. Just know that I am always here as your cheerleader.
Dealing with Fibromyalgia at Walt Disney World
Stay On Disney Property
This sounds like a given for most Walt Disney World-goers but it is going to help immensely. Stress gets my fibromyalgia fired up the most. However, when planning a Walt Disney World vacation, I know that if I stay on property that most of my stress is relieved with how well I am taken care of.
I don’t have to worry about lugging my luggage to and from the airport and my resort. Disney’s Magical Express will deliver my bags to my room approximately 3-hours after my arrival. Also, I can take advantage of airline check-in, if available through my airline, at my resort when I return home.
The other advantage of staying on property is the ability to let transportation take you to where you are going. When it is late at night and time to head back to your resort after a long day of walking, having someone else drive you is a blessing.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water while at Walt Disney World is already a very important thing to do but when you have fibromyalgia, it is a must. Keeping hydrated means fewer aches and pains. I know when I am dehydrated, my joints seem to really let me know.
Take Medications On Time
Think about time changes. I know that when I have been on medications for my fibromyalgia, changing the time I take them can affect how well they work. If you can, adjust the time you take them to fit the normal time you would back at home.
Take Plenty of Rests
It is okay to stop and rest while wondering the Disney Parks. There is nothing wrong with letting your party know that you need to stop for a bit. Grab a snack, find some shade, and give yourself a few minutes off of your feet.
I also know that sometimes noise and other things can become overwhelming for fibromyalgia warriors. Walt Disney World has some great locations to “take a break” that are a quieter option.
Here are some locations to rest while dealing with fibromyalgia at Walt Disney World:
Main Street, U.S.A.: First Aid; Side Street by Crystal Arts
Adventureland: Swiss Family Treehouse; Corridor to the left of Pirates
of the Caribbean
Liberty Square: Behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
Frontierland: Tom Sawyer Island (NOTE: You must take a raft ride to/from
the island and some waiting may be required); Splash Mountain garden area
Fantasyland: Pathway leading from Cinderella Castle to Fairytale Garden;
Pete’s Silly Sideshow area; Pathway behind The Barnstormer
Tomorrowland: Near Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Boulevard: First Aid
Echo Lake: Walkway surrounding Echo Lake
Animation Courtyard: Near the restrooms to the left of The Magic of
Disney Animation attraction
Sunset Boulevard: Courtyard outside The Twilight
Discovery Island®: First Aid (next to Creature Comforts);
Discovery Island Trails
Africa: Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
Asia: Maharajah Tiger Trek
Future World West: Courtyard and restroom area outside Imagination
pavilion; Area between Seas entrance and Coral Reef Restaurant
Future World East: First Aid (part of Odyssey Center building next to
Test Track); Common area near Misson: Space and Test Track
World Showcase: Mexico-Outside area to the right of the pavilion near
the backstage gate; Germany-Garden area next to Glaskunst; Japan-Garden
area; Morocco-Village Corridors; France-To the right of the buildings along
the water’s edge; International Gateway; United Kingdom-Garden area at
back of pavilion (when shows not running at gazebo)
Be sure to ask a Cast Member if you need direction to some of these locations. It is especially good to know where the First Aid centers are in case of overheating or feeling ill.
Sleep In or Take Naps
I love getting up early and getting to the parks but sometimes that just isn’t easy. Fibromyalgia at Walt Disney World means taking it at a slower pace. There is nothing wrong with getting to the parks at 10 am and missing rope drop.
Now, if you just have to see the rope drop, that is okay too! I suggest heading back to your resort in the middle of the day and taking a short nap. There is no shame in napping at Disney. Turn on some Resort TV and snooze for a bit.
That reminds me of another reason to stay at a Walt Disney World resort. Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours for Walt Disney World resort guests (and other participating hotels) on select days for early or late entry to a specific park. Make some plans around these so that you can take it easier in the morning or late-afternoons and never feel like you are missing out on time at the parks.
Swimming is great for working out tight muscles and joints. I found that taking a swim in the evenings helped worked out any soreness from the day. Plus, it helps to relax the mind after a busy day before bed.
Minnie Van Service
This service is great for when transportation lines are very long. Especially after park closing. The Minnie Van service is accessible via the Lyft app, where you can request, track and pay for personal rides all from your mobile device. Dealing with fibromyalgia at Walt Disney World can be a little easier when you don’t have to wait long to get back to your resort or where you need to go on the property.
Use Mobile Food Ordering
When available, I suggest using the mobile food ordering option on My Disney Experience app. We used this quite a bit on our vacation by finding a seat and then ordering for everyone. When you are already tired and hungry, finding a seat and getting everyone situated for dining can be stressful. Mobile food ordering is a huge stress reliever.
Make Sure You Are Comfortable for Sleep
Finding sleep when you have fibromyalgia is already tough. Make sure that you are prepared to try and get the best sleep possible when away. Pack things that you might need like earplugs or a sleep mask. If there is a specific pillow that helps you sleep, be sure to pack that.
I personally think that the beds at Walt Disney World aren’t terribly uncomfortable for fibromyalgia warriors. However, I will say that Value Resorts tend to be the lower end of the beds. They aren’t bad but if I can get a Moderate or Deluxe Resort, I prefer those.
Also, do not be afraid to request a room that is in a quiet location. Call ahead (407-939-1936) and place the request on your reservation.
Walt Disney World Resort guests can book out their FastPass+ selections 60-days in advance to their vacation. FastPass+ can be a lifesaver in shorter wait times for attractions. FastPass+ can be booked via My Disney Experience online or the on the app.
One of the biggest hurdles having fibromyalgia at Walt Disney World is having to stop and wait in long lines for attractions. When I can keep moving, I don’t feel it as much but once I stop…it can hurt. FastPass+ creates shorter waiting times.
Watch my video below for more FastPass+ tips and how to better book your selections.
Another option you can choose to ask for at any Guest Relations is Disney Accessibility Services or “DAS” for short. This option allows you and your party to receive a return time from a Cast Member at the front of an attraction and works basically just like FastPass+.
At Guest Relations, the member of your party needing assistance will be photographed and the service will be added to your reservation. Any party member may approach a Cast Member at the front of an attraction and request a “DAS Pass”. Their Magic Band will be scanned for everyone in the party and a return time will be given. You can see this return time on the My Disney Experience app.
Once it is time to return, the person that needs the “DAS Pass” will be the first to scan their Magic Band at the FastPass+ entrance, followed by everyone else in the party. Simple as that!
Do not be afraid to ask for this if standing in line is getting harder throughout the day. If it means for a less stressful vacation and fewer flare-ups, there is nothing wrong with asking for this service.
Assisted Seating At Shows
Some shows at Walt Disney World offer assisted seating areas. Be sure to ask a Cast Member for help in finding these. They are more than happy to help.
For example, Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has an assisted seating area near the top of the amphitheater. There are a lot of stares and having this access to easily enter and exit is helpful. Enjoy the show without worry of if you will be able to climb back up to exit.
Again, something to not be afraid of asking for with fibromyalgia at Walt Disney World is the need for mobility aids. There are wheelchairs and scooters that you can rent at the front of each park. There are even complimentary wheelchairs that can be found near the bus stops to assist you to the front of the park to rent a mobility aid.
Do not let judgment get under your skin and if it is a bad day, ask for help. It is perfectly fine to enjoy Walt Disney World from a needed wheelchair and it is much better than missing out back at the room.
Fibromyalgia at Walt Disney World does affect you but it doesn’t have to affect your vacation. The world itself becomes a lot bigger when you have fibromyalgia but you should never let that fear stop you from enjoying the things you do most.
Don’t let fibromyalgia at Walt Disney World make you feel any less of a guest and don’t let it keep you from having the time of your life. Take it easier, take a slower pace, and be good to yourself. I have been to Disneyland and Walt Disney World after my diagnosis and while yes, my time there is different from what it used to be, I still love every moment. You will too!