There’s nothing more discouraging than getting sick at the happiest place on earth, but with millions of visitors bringing germs from all over the world to the city of Anaheim, it happens.
Thankfully, Disneyland Resort employs nurses and other highly trained healthcare professionals whose services are available to you at no cost, should you need them for minor illnesses or injuries.
If you are visiting Southern California from outside the United States, you should be aware that America has NO national health care system. Your health care coverage does not apply here, so you should really look into buying short-term US health or travel insurance to cover you during your vacation, in case something unfortunate or major happens.
This article is geared toward the general public to help protect us all from bodily harm. Special emphasis is given to those who suffer from pre-existing conditions and vulnerable, weakened immune systems.
Let’s go over some basic, proactive tips to help you avoid getting sick…
I am not a medical doctor and therefore cannot make official recommendations that are health-related. I am not responsible for anyone’s experiences at Disneyland.
Please note that the information, tips, and suggestions in this post should not be considered professional medical advice.
If you have health issues, before going to Disneyland, please consult with your doctor or licensed healthcare professional to determine what is safe for you.
Do not make choices based on the authority of the material in this article. I am not a doctor and cannot prescribe for your condition.
Everyone is different. What has been safe for me and others mentioned in this article may not have the same effect on you. What feels acceptable to me may feel different to you.
Most Important Advice
If you happen to get sick before you arrive at Disneyland, I always recommend you reschedule your vacation, if possible.
I know this may seem like drastic advice, but it’s the most courteous and respectful thing you could do for yourself and others. To help stop the spread of germs and viruses, stay home.
Many travel agents and companies offer a cancellation policy within 48-72 hours of your scheduled travel date. There may be a slight fee for cancelling your vacation, but if you purchased travel insurance, it shouldn’t cost you anything.
If you get sick while you’re at the parks, I recommend visiting First Aid inside either Disneyland (on Main Street) or California Adventure Park (on Buena Vista Street). Disney nurses and staff are equipped to perform minimally invasive procedures such as take your blood pressure, temperature, oxygen levels, and administer over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Advil.
First Aid centers can also store medications which require refrigeration. They may also suggest whether or not you should go to the hospital to seek further treatment.
Finally, if you happen to get sick while you’re at Disneyland, go back to your hotel and try to get some rest.
All Disney Resort hotels and most off-site hotel stores carry basic medications for sale, including pain relievers. They’re often kept under the counter, so you might need to ask for them.
If you are staying on Disney property and feel sick after the shop has closed for the day, front desk Cast Members will almost always open the store to sell you the medication you need. Don’t hesitate to call the front desk and ask for the help.
If you’re just visiting the park for the day, I recommend still taking a trip to First Aid to be on the safe side. They may be able to provide you with a medical-grade mask to wear so you and others can be protected from germs.
Start with the Basics
(1.) Wash your hands consistently.
The BEST thing we can do prevent the spread of germs is to wash our hands with warm water and antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds. It’s important to do this after touching anything unclean: money, doorknobs, handrails, remote controls, phones, etc.
Germs live on everything! If you have trouble determining how long is long enough, here’s a handy tool to use by humming or singing a classic Disney tune while you wash your hands:
(2.) Use Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
For those times when we aren’t near a bathroom, hand sanitizers can come in handy. This shouldn’t be used if a bathroom is nearby as it doesn’t replace using good old fashion soap and water.
Many of the hand sanitizers available on the market have alcohol in them. If you are sensitive to alcohol, be sure to look for one that is alcohol-free. These cute Mickey & Minnie travel hand sanitizers are sure to compliment your Disney trip and help keep your hands clean!
Wet Wipes are also effective for disinfecting surfaces such as handlebars, electronic devices, or other items we touch on a regular basis that may be dirty.
For instance, I constantly wipe down my wheelchair joystick and cell phone. Wipes may also be more suitable for children so they can scrub their little hands or wipe their messy face.
(3.) Wear a Mask
Wearing a mask isn’t always the most comfortable or attractive option, but it can definitely help protect yourself against breathing in airborne germs and pollutants. It may be the small inconvenience that saves you from getting sick.
I recommend investing in a medical-grade mask that is capable of filtering out the most common toxins.
(4.) Stay Hydrated
It’s very important for you to drink lots of water. Flushing your system with water protects your body from bacteria forming in your throat or gut, and also gives the body fuel it needs to fight off germs.
Remember to take a sip of water every 10-15 minutes to keep your mouth/throat from getting dry. Our body can trick us into thinking we aren’t thirsty when we really are, often leading to dehydration, so drink, drink, drink!
(5.) Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is how our bodies heal and regenerate healthy cells. It’s crucial to take time out of the day to nap or at the very least find a quiet, non-crowded place to rest several times a day.
If sleeping isn’t an option, try to find non-strenuous activities to do such as watching an outdoor show or parade so you are still able to experience Disney magic.
First Aid centers in the park also offer a place to lay down, rest, and escape the crowds.
(6.) Brush Your Teeth and Tongue
Our mouth contains more germs and bacteria than a trash can or toilet bowl. Gross, right? That’s why it’s important to brush our teeth and tongue at least 2-3 times a day.
If you want to be real proactive, it’s also a good idea to gargle with salt water or mouthwash of some kind to help kill potential germs.
(7.) Cut Your Nails
This might seem like a strange idea, but for women who like to have long fingernails, it can actually be detrimental to your health.
All kinds of bacteria can fester under our nails and may get overlooked/trapped when washing our hands. So keep them short!
More Proactive Tips
Limit or avoid sweets. This may seem like an impossible choice when sweet treats pop up just about everywhere you turn at Disneyland. I know it sucks, but staying away from sugary foods can help you get over being sick or might very well keep you from getting sick in the first place.
Bacteria in our bodies feed on sugar. The next time you have craving for a churro or Mickey Mouse cookie, just remember if you eat it you’re giving fuel to the bad germs in your body.
Stay Away from Buffets. Restaurants that offer buffet style service can be a breeding ground for germs. You never know who may have touched, coughed, or breathed all over the food or silverware you decide to grab.
Eat a healthy breakfast. Perhaps you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It might seem like no big deal to skip it, but starting the day with a healthier, protein-heavy breakfast can make a huge difference.
It’s vital to pack your body with some nutritious energy so you won’t fade nearly as fast.
Listen to your body. The most important thing you can do if you get sick before or while you’re at Disneyland is listen to your body. If you need to slow down, slow down.
If your gut tells you to reschedule or cancel your trip, by all means, do it. Your health and the safety of others is what is most important.
No one wants to face the fact their magical Disneyland vacation may get interrupted by health problems. Realizing and accepting that these things happen is the key.
Try not to stress too much. Whatever your vacation holds, rest assured that you will receive plenty of support from Disney Resort staff if you should find yourself sick.