Sick Guests Are Ruining Trips to Walt Disney World

disgust, magic kingdom
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World in Florida, often hailed as “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” has long been one of the most crowded vacation destinations. Because of its appeal, many people find themselves interacting with all sorts of visitors with different backgrounds, opinions, and…illnesses.Recent incidents suggest that not all guests are committed to maintaining the atmosphere of courtesy and consideration that has made Disney a beloved destination for families worldwide. It appears that some visitors have failed to grasp the importance of taking precautions when sick, and in some cases, they might just not care.

donald duck in the 'Festival of Fantasy' parade

Credit: Disney

We’ve All Experienced Sick Guests at Disney World…

Picture this: you’re at Disney World, eagerly anticipating the start of a show at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, or even EPCOT. Excitement fills the air as everyone gathers in anticipation.

Suddenly, a family seated nearby begins chatting with you. You converse politely until, shockingly, one group member confesses, “I’ve been terribly sick during this trip.”

Just as you start to worry about your health, they cough directly in your face as if it were the most ordinary thing to do.

spaceship earth against the blue sky

Credit: Brian McGowan, Unsplash

And that’s not all. While waiting for another show, a different guest sitting behind you spends 30 minutes coughing and blowing their nose directly on the back of your head.

It’s a scene that defies basic courtesy and hygiene, leaving you wondering what has happened to common decency. But alas, this was the reality for one guest at Disney World.

Disney Guests

Credit: Amy Humphries via Unsplash

They shared their experience on the r/WaltDisneyWorld subreddit, completely baffled as to how people couldn’t even have the basic courtesy to keep their distance or cover their mouths, even after everything that has happened surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic:

This probably gets posted a lot. It’s also fresh on my mind from yesterday. What is with sick people and zero manners? Yesterday on separate occasions one family was next to us during a show and talking to us. Then one says oh yeah I’ve been terribly sick this trip. Then they proceed to cough directly in our faces.

Then while waiting for another show a different person proceeded to cough and blow their nose directly on the back of my head for about 30 minutes straight.

I hope my family doesn’t get sick. What is wrong with this people? No masks, zero cares of who they infect. I do understand a large family from another country is probably spending over $20k for the entire trip and they don’t want to be down sick. But have some courtesy.

animal kingdom disney cast members

Credit: Disney

A Former Cast Member’s Perspective on Sick Guests at Disney World

A former Disney Cast Member weighed in on their experiences with sick guests while working at the parks to get a deeper insight into this disturbing trend. They shared a troubling truth – that some guests were shockingly indifferent when it came to exposing others to their illnesses.

One memory that stood out was a guest approaching them at the night’s end, clutching a sick child and asking, “My kid has strep throat. Where’s first aid?” The cast member was taken aback. First aid isn’t for contagious illnesses, and the encounter concerned them about their well-being.

A person in a Mickey Mouse costume is standing against a colorful backdrop featuring abstract shapes and a monorail. Mickey is wearing his signature red shorts with large white buttons, white gloves, a white shirt, black jacket, and a yellow bow tie.

Credit: Disney

Another time, when the cast member had to deny a request for an extra cup due to inventory constraints, a guest leaned over the counter and announced, “Well, I have mono, so I need an extra cup.

This revelation was startling and inconsiderate, given that mono can be spread through respiratory droplets. The former Cast Member’s full account reads:

Former cm here. I was sick constantly my entire time working there because of the amount of people that would expose me to their illness.

I’ve had someone come up to me at the end of the night with their sick kid and say “my kid has strep throat. Where’s first aid?” And I’m just like lady that’s not what first aid is for first of all. Second, get away from me please.

Another time, I was pouring drinks. I was not allowed to give out extra cups due to inventory checks. People asked all the time, it was usually no big deal though. One day, this happened and I said “I can’t give out extra cups sorry” and she leans over the counter, gets in my face, and says “well I have mono so I need an extra cup.” Mono can indeed be spread through respiratory droplets so I did not appreciate this. I just gave her the cup and told my manager so she would go away.

It’s disgusting and disrespectful. The least they could do is wear a mask or something out of respect for CMs that really cannot afford to take time off and we’re on an attendance points system.

This is why travel insurance has become more popular in recent years. Ever since covid, I like to think most people try to be more considerate about staying home when they’re sick. It really does suck having an illness ruin your your plans, so I do feel for them, but don’t get everyone else sick for your own gain.

hollywood studios disney cast member

Credit: Disney

Visiting Walt Disney World In The Post-Pandemic Era

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink our behaviors and prioritize health and safety.

Disney, like many other places, implemented stringent measures to protect guests and staff. Yet, some guests seem to have forgotten these valuable lessons in empathy and respect as the world attempts to recover.

Furthermore, social distancing has become a thing of the past, and many sick people are perfectly fine getting close to others while ill.

disney face masks

Credit: Disney

And this issue isn’t only a problem at the Disney World Resort!

On the high seas, many passengers aboard Disney Cruise Line vessels have taken to social media to warn potential travelers that the ships have been filled with COVID-19 over the summer and in recent months.

While there is obviously always a risk, it is best to be aware of the situation and prepare accordingly. No one wants their trip ruined or to wreck other people’s vacations, but it almost seems unavoidable now.

guests, children with donald duck, disney cruise

Credit: Disney

The Need for Consideration

It’s important to remember that a trip to Disney World isn’t just a vacation; it’s an experience shared with countless others.

Neglecting basic health and safety etiquette can lead to disastrous consequences, from ruining someone’s long-awaited family vacation to affecting the livelihoods of cast members who simply cannot afford to take time off when sick.

guests wearing face masks

Credit: Disney

While Disney World remains a popular destination, the recent behavior of some guests raises concerns about what people have chosen to shrug off over the past four years. It’s crucial that all guests remember the importance of empathy, consideration, and basic courtesy to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone at the park.

As we navigate the post-pandemic era, let us not forget the lessons learned and try not to be “that person” coughing all over others with reckless abandon while in a crowded theme park.

Have you ever had a negative experience with a sick guest while visiting Walt Disney World? Tell us about it in the comments below!

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.


  1. My wife and I have experienced this as well. I don’t get where common courtesy has gotten lost, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we had experienced this kind of rude behavior. I say rude cause that is what it is, when you are standing in line or close to people at a show, cover your mouth if you need to cough or sneeze, no one wants that done to them. What is worse is if you say something, then the person committing the disgusting act, behaves like you are the one out of line for not just dealing with it. So if you get sick while on vacation, stop being selfish and only thinking of yourself, stay at the hotel for the day, or at least do the decent thing and cover your mouth and nose if you have to cough or sneeze.

  2. So true, people have lost all common courtesy. Carry tissues, cough into the elbow or shirt sleeve. Colds, Covid and flu is still out there. I really think the parks should have kept out the Hand washing/sanitation stations within the parks as they had during the lower crowd attendance Covid timeframe! Trying to stay healthy and virus free is a plus these days when on a vacation. We try very hard to do that!

  3. lorraine cramer

    i understand we spend a bundle of money to go to Disney world, but one year a child about 9 started throwing up in line ahead of us and then turned around and coughed on us………..First I got it a couple days later and I stayed in our room for 3 days and missed all the stuff at the parks, then my husband caught it from me and spent 2 days in the room . Hopefully we didnt spread it around , we tried to stay away from people. He got me food and drinks then I did the same for him…….Its just rediculous that this family and many others dont keep in their rooms for at least a day or two to feel better. Sorry it ruins their plans but dont ruin mine because you are inconsiderate.

  4. And this is why it is SO IMPORTANT to get travel insurance when taking a trip with this kind of cost. If you are sick, stay home! Or at the very minimum, wear a mask.

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