Having a headache while visiting the most magical place on Earth can be crippling. While no one wants to forego any attractions in the event of an oncoming headache, it may be wise to reevaluate your must-do list and avoid certain rides, at least until you get a handle on nipping the headache at large in the bud.
Not doing so may actually intensify the effects and result in total ruination of your entire time spent at Walt Disney World Resort. But fortunately, Disney World is host to plenty of alternate experiences to suit everyone. So, even if you avoid a certain attraction in the event of a headache, you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
Everyone must decide for themselves what they feel they can personally take on, given the intensity of the pending headache. But here’s a guide to help you out on those rides you really ought to avoid if you don’t want to be feeling ill for the rest of the day.
This ride is nothing short of awesome. But with all those bright flashing lights in tandem with high speeds and not being able to see the unexpected dips, turns, or even the track, for that matter, things can get pretty intense for more sensitive nerves. And that alone creates the perfect recipe for a manifest headache.
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Being in an arcade can be a most drilling experience for one hoping to avoid that dull pain just starting in your head from blowing up into a full-fledged headache. You have all those sounds, flashing lights, sudden spinning movements, and an intense objective to stay focused and keep your aim steady throughout the entire ride.
The Tomorrowland Speedway
While this ride really is far less intense than other driving rides, like bumper cars, it can still be a little intense for those who suffer from migraines in particular, as well as those who are easily bothered by strong smells, like that of strong, lingering essence of gasoline in the air.
Despite being one of the most kid-friendly roller coasters in all of Walt Disney World, it’s still an incredibly jerky ride. I’ve been personally bumped around each and every time. So, for someone who is just beginning to feel the slight makings of a coming headache, do yourself a favor and sit this one out.
Big Thunder Mountain
Here is another bumpy roller coaster, which is set on a rickety mine-like track with all the rugged terrain necessary for carrying out the theme so precisely. That being said, despite this being one of my favorite rides of all time, it isn’t something I’d be jumping in line to ride if my head is pounding.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
On a similar note of ruggedness to the aforementioned, this one may, in fact, actually be slightly more intense than Big Thunder Mountain. And it also has the potential to bring on an even bigger headache with all the jerking, sharp turns, and the stop and start speeds.
The Mad Tea Party
Not only is this a headache-inducing attraction, but it’s a nauseating one for those of us who can’t take all the high-speed dizzy spinning. Unless you’re a little kid who is mysteriously immune to the effects of this ride, just avoid it unless you’re looking to spend a good portion of your time at Magic Kingdom Park feeling altogether sick.
This is not the ride for those who are easily car sick and prone to headaches. Because you are essentially testing out a vehicle, there are a lot of sudden stops, starts, jerks, and other unexpected motions along the way. Then that sudden takeoff through the doors onto an open roadway, accelerating to speeds of 65 mph, is sure to leave you with more than just a throbbing headache.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
While this new 4D attraction over at the France Pavilion of the World Showcase is a fun-loving ride for families, headache sufferers are warned that there are many visual elements at work that can really cause aggravation. If motion via a quick jolting trackless riding car combined with overbearing screen elements that are larger-than-life (you are supposed to be the size of a rodent, after all) are too much to handle, do yourself a favor and take a coffee and crepe break while the rest of your party proceeds with this one.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Just because this is the newest must-do roller coaster at Walt Disney World Resort doesn’t mean it should necessarily be a must-do on your list. It’s action-packed, fast-moving, and boasts plenty of twists, turns, jerks, and jolts. Because it’s a dark ride, you don’t have the benefit of viewing the tracks up ahead to prepare yourself for what’s to come. And did I mention the blasting music inspired by Peter Quill’s own personal mixed tape? All that can either culminate into an epic entertaining adventure or just a massive migraine paired with dizzying nausea.
This ride has a known reputation and disclaimer for making folks sick, which is why there are actually two versions now—the more intense Orange Team and the “docile” Green Team. While the Orange Team is definitely off-limits to frequent headache sufferers, it may be surprising when you come to realize that even the Green Team can be too much to handle on those days when you’re not feeling your very best. While the more intense motions and dizzying elements are omitted from the Green Team, it still essentially tilts you upward for blastoff and has you staring at a screen, navigating back and forth, moving all around. Combined with the sounds, it really can aggravate an oncoming headache even further.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Star Tours—The Adventure Continues
Here is a long-time favorite for Star Wars fans, as well as those who just really like interactive dark ride experiences that are essentially set in a seated theater setup. But don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you’re seated and essentially watching a screen that it’s all smooth sailing. You will be jolted, tilted, and may potentially end up sick to your stomach, given all the onscreen effects combined with what you are feeling within the interactive room or sorts. Then there are all those sounds to contend with, many of which are loud and distracting and can really drill into your already pounding head.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
There is another Star Wars-based attraction you may want to avoid for many of the same reasons highlighted previously. For this ride, you will essentially be exposed to sudden jerking movements in tandem with flashing graphical onscreen images. And that’s not even mentioning all the interactive actions you must take on from your own end.
Toy Story Mania
If the aforementioned Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin over at Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom is too much to handle during an oncoming headache episode, then this one is a guarantee to cause equal harm. Like the first, this is a spinning carnival-inspired interactive dark ride with flashing lights, sounds, and sudden jerking around.
Alien Swirling Saucers
If you’re one of those people who can’t handle such amusement Park rides as Tilt-A-Whirl or the Scrambler, then you definitely need to forego this one. In a nutshell, it’s basically a carbon copy of the previously mentioned carnival classics, only set to a Toy Story theme.
Slinky Dog Dash
Here is another fun kiddie coaster the whole family can ride together. But again, it is a coaster and one that does have some surprise velocity and speed at certain parts of the ride. So, if you’re already feeling a dull headache coming on, you may want to opt-out of this one.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
When you’re feeling an intense headache culminating, especially one mixed with a tinge of vertigo, the last thing you need is to be dropped vertically at intense speeds and then algorithmically lifted and repeatedly dropped again at unexpected intervals. Therefore, for obvious reasons, this is surely not the ride you ought to be pursuing if you have even the slightest headache.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
This has long been hailed as one of the most intense roller coasters at Walt Disney World. Not only do you go from speeds of 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds, but you also undergo continuous twists, turns, jerks, and even a flip upside down. Combine that with the loud, blasting music in your ears the entire time, and you’ll understand firsthand how this ride can bring on a headache.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Kali River Rapids
This ride has mixed reviews. It’s a refreshing all-immersive soak-down on a hot day but can really aggravate those who don’t feel like walking around drenched afterward. You are essentially being bounced around in a whitewater rafting adventure, which can be too intense for those with dull headaches from the start. But again, you have that lingering, uncomfortable wetness to contend with following the experience. And if you’re like me, being wet and going in and out of over-cranked AC interiors can really leave you feeling ill.
I absolutely love this bumpy, trackless dark ride blast to the past. But I admit that it’s not something to ride when you’re battling a headache. You have all that rugged movement, twists, turns, and loud and imposing animatronic dinosaurs thrown into the mix. It really can be a bit too intense for sensitive nerves.
This is one of the greatest coasters ever in all of Walt Disney World—a zenith in more ways than one. It is, after all, very high up in a mountain and sends riders zipping in, out, upwards, backward, and so on and so forth. But all that stop-and-go movement, the extreme elevations, and not to mention that menacing yeti, in addition, can be a little too much for those battling a headache at the time of riding.
Avatar Flights of Passage
Here is another one of those newer must-do attractions. Based on the still newer Pandora—The World of Avatar section of Animal Kingdom Park, this interactive ride on a banshee is an incredibly nauseating experience. And being forced into that position beforehand can only add to the discomfort for one who already has a headache building up.
Everyone has their own triggers to take into consideration when essentially making decisions on which rides to avoid at Disney World theme parks or not. Perhaps you can handle some of the listed examples. Or maybe even the calmest rides can set you off when you’re at your worst. You know your body better than anyone else and must essentially make all final decisions.