When we think of Disney, we think of nothing but happy thoughts. After all, Disney is the happiest place on earth, right? There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your safety at the parks and around the resorts. Following the rules is the best way to stay safe, but there are other things to keep in mind when visiting. Here are 10 safety tips for visiting the Walt Disney World Resort.
10. Putting Your Child on Your Shoulders
We all want our children to be able to see the nighttime shows, parades, and stage shows at the parks. Many guests feel that putting their children on their shoulders will allow them to see better. While this may be true in some instances, this can be a very dangerous move and it is actually a rule at the parks. Cast members will often approach guests and kindly ask that they have their children watch the shows by being carried or stand on the ground. This frequently upsets guests, but the truth is, if a child falls from a high altitude, there can be some serious safety concerns. This has happened multiple times already, even sending children to the hospital. This is something to take seriously. If it is important for you to have your child watch the show or parade, make sure you grab a good spot to avoid doing this.
9. Keeping Valuables Out of Sight
Unfortunately, the happiest place on earth can have robberies. Making sure you take all valuables out of your car is a must if you’re driving. There have been stolen items from cars in parking lots at several parks and resorts. You’ll also want to make sure you store valuables inside the safe in your resort room. There have been several reports of guests coming back to their rooms only to find that some of their valuables are gone. While this may sound like common sense, it is important to make sure your doors are locked too. Many guests come from cities where leaving doors wide open or unlocked is no big deal. Not at Disney! Remember that you’re in a large area with a lot of people, and unfortunately, it isn’t as safe as you may think. Better safe than sorry!
8. Stroller Storage
Many of the shows and rides at the parks require strollers to be left in a particular area. This means your stroller will have to join a sea of strollers that will be unattended and often looked around. Just like tip number 9, it is important not to leave your valuables in the strollers. There have been several reports of stolen items from strollers as well, mostly involving wallets and cameras. Make sure you take these items with you to avoid this from happening. It can be quite the damper on your vacation!
This is another one of those common sense rules, but it is surprising how many people actually run around the parks and resorts and get hurt. This is especially evident in the pool areas. Not only can you fall and hurt yourself, but you can hurt others by running into them or making them fall too. It’s better to get to your destination by walking then not being able to get there at all due to an injury. If you’re late for a fastpass or dining reservation, there is no need to run. Cast members are more than accommodating when it comes to circumstances that may cause you to be late (especially if it has to do with transportation or rides).
6. Follow the Rules
While many guests may not like them, there are rules for a reason. If you follow the rules, you will most likely not have any problems with injuries. For example, not standing on a ride, keeping your hands and arms inside a vehicle, taking pictures without flash (when appropriate), and following the pathways and guidance of cast members during parades and shows are implemented to avoid any injuries. Another rule that is often broken by guests is trying to get their children to board rides that they aren’t tall enough for. This is a huge no-no since kids can be seriously injured if they are too short. Overall, following rules is the best way to stay safe.
5. Talk to Your Children
Speaking of children being too short for some rides, it is important to talk to your kids prior to your trip about expectations and safety routines. Researching what rides they will not be able to ride ahead of time is a great way to sneak by a ride you know they can’t ride without them being disappointed. You can also just explain that they won’t be able to ride it before even getting there so that they have that expectation. Talking to your kids about rules and ways to stay safe is a great way to prep them for steering through crowds too. Many families have a designated meeting spot in case someone gets lost or parents will tell little ones to lok for a cast member (not a regular park guest) to let them know they are lost. These conversations can help assist everyone in your party. If you head over to the front of the park, there are very cute safety cards for kids with pictures of Timon and Pumba explaining the rules of the parks. These are free and are a cute way for your kids to understand the rules.
4. Stay Hydrated
Florida heat is truly unlike any other that I have experienced. The humidity is out of control, so you’ll want to make sure you stay hydrated at all times to avoid a heat stroke or severe dehydration. The best advice I can give you is to make sure you’re constantly drinking water, even if you’re not thirsty. If you don’t have a water bottle handy, you can always stop at a quick service restaurant and they will provide you with ice water. Unfortunately, there have been multiple issues with guests that have had safety concerns due to dehydration.
3. Don’t Feed the Animals
Disney is home to thousands of animals, some of them even being endangered. They take great pride in aiding these precious creatures and taking care of them. While it may be tempting to feed them, it is important to remember that feeding the animals (whether they’re squirrels, ducks, or any other wildlife) is strictly prohibited. Many of the animals are on special diets and can have issues if they eat anything outside of their usual feed. If they are fed too much, they will become dependent on people too. The most common form of this seen by guests is feeding the ducks, squirrels, and birds. It is important to remember that these animals have strong teeth/beaks and can snap down pretty hard on fingers. A trip to the first-aid station (or hospital if it is really bad) would put a damper on your vacation, so just admire them with your eyes instead!
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2. Locate First Aid Stations
Being aware of where the first-aid stations are in each park is a good way to be prepared if an accident were to happen. What is great about the first-aid stations is that they offer small items that you may not have remembered to bring with you. For example, on one of my most recent visits, I had a terrible headache and forgot to bring ibuprofen with me. I just headed into the first-aid station where I was given some right away. On another visit, I had a terrible blister from my shoes. First-aid came to the rescue with some Band-Aids. Whether it is a medical emergency or something small, it is beneficial to know where they are so that you can get the help you need. All first-aid stations are on the park maps and on the My Disney Experience app.
1. Use Common Sense
Ultimately, using common sense is the best way to stay safe. If you have a doubt about anything, don’t do it. It’s that simple. Common sense also goes hand in hand with following the rules. It’s not worth risking your (or anyone else’s) safety over a bad choice, especially at the happiest place on earth.
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
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