Does motion sickness hinder your ability to have fun on car rides or even worse, theme parks? Motion sickness is caused when one part of your balance-sensing system, like your eyes, sensory nerves or inner ear senses that your body is moving but the other parts aren’t. Motion simulator rides can be the bane of your existence if you’re sensitive to movement. It could even make you feel like you’re about to revisit your breakfast after the ride, but knowing which attractions to avoid and what you can do to overcome that queasy feeling can help you have a better time Orlando’s theme parks. Here are a few rides you might want to skip if you’re trying to avoid getting motion sick and several things you can do beforehand if you decide to commit to a ride.
In Mission:SPACE at Disney’s Epcot, riders can choose between two different ride experiences based on how the guest handles motion sickness and whether they have any present health concerns. Choosing the orange card upon approaching the attraction will give the rider a more intense experience, while choosing the green card will offer a milder experience. During the ride, a multi-arm centrifuge helps create an illusion of acceleration by spinning and tilting the capsules in which you are seated. If you opt for the “orange team,” you’ll experience forces up to 2.5G, effectively multiplying your weight by 2.5. The G forces can make guests feel queasy, and believe it or not, motion sickness bags were added to the ride several months after the ride opened.
Tip: If you decide that you have to ride ALL the rides including Mission:SPACE, take a non-drowsy Dramamine or Bonine pill about an hour before you hop on the ride to reduce the chance of feeling motion sick.
2. Mad Tea Party
Riding the Teacups at Disney’s Magic Kingdom can go one of two ways. You can sit back and relax as your teacup moves around the attraction, or you can put all of your strength into spinning the teacups until your arms feel like falling off. If you’re prone to motion sickness, you’ll likely want to avoid spinning the cups yourself, or avoid the ride altogether. Make sure you let your friends and family know about your motion sickness before hopping on; there’s always that one person who can’t help themselves and try spinning the teacups as quickly as possible!
Tip: According to a clinical review in The BMJ, simple behavioral countermeasures can be effective treatments for people who experience motion sickness. Motion sickness can be reduced when a stable visual reference point is provided, like perhaps focusing your attention on the person sitting in front of you. Repeated exposure to whatever it is that makes you feel nauseated can also be effective in treating motion sickness. In this case, you can gradually build up a tolerance by spinning the teacup a little faster each time you ride it!
3. Primeval Whirl
Although it looks like your typical carnival-themed roller coaster, Primeval Whirl can leave many guests feeling a little woozy. The track features several quick drops, but the real kicker is the fact that the vehicle you’re seated inside spins while it travels throughout the track. You can also expect to be bumped, bounced and jerked around throughout the duration of the ride; if you’re not left feeling motion sick, you may end up a tad bit banged up and even dizzy when you’re done on the Animal Kingdom’s Primeval Whirl.
Tip: While you’re more likely to feel bruised than sick after this ride, you can reduce the chance for motion sickness by just riding it out. Sometimes you may feel better if you know that these are only temporary feelings that will be gone soon. Before you hop on, remind yourself that you’re not going to get sick. A study from the American Psychological Association found that “verbal placebos,” or telling yourself that you’re not going to get sick, is all it takes to reduce that sea-sick feeling.
4. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Many motion simulators can be off-limits for some guests who are susceptible to motion sickness, including the Islands of Adventure ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The ride itself has developed a reputation for making riders feel sick, mostly due to how the ride vehicle takes guests in all different directions to create a fully immersive experience. Riders will transition from 2D screens that make you feel like you’re flying through the Quidditch pitch, to real-life features that put you inches away from the Whomping Willow or Dementors. The unpredictable motion of the robotic arm that moves your vehicle is what can really make guests feel queasy.
Tip: It’s not easy going to the Wizarding World just to skip out on the rides – if you do decide to take the journey, try moving your head as little as possible and keep it straight while riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. If you let your head tilt from side to side, you may be more inclined to sickness. Close your eyes, take deep breaths and concentrate on your breathing to reduce that nauseated feeling.
5. The Simpsons Ride
Although this Universal Studios ride isn’t as intense as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, it’s has received its fair share of complaints for making guests feel nauseated. If you end up sitting outside of the center of the ride vehicle, you may get a distorted view of the screen, which can make some riders more prone motion sickness. In some cases, things may move a little too fast for your eyes to realize, which could also result in queasiness. This would be a good attraction to check out if you’re just trying to get used to the feeling of motion simulation rides, as it is not as intense as our number 4 ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
Tip: Avoid eating before the ride and try to focus your attention straight ahead if you’re starting to feel sick. The ride is known for jerky and back and forth movements, so avoid this ride altogether if you know you won’t be able to handle it.
If you’re prone to motion sickness and you’re visiting Orlando’s theme parks, talk to the ride attendant to get a better idea of how likely it would be that the ride you’re about to commit to will make you feel sea-sick. You can also skip these rides until you can overcome your motion sickness, or try one of the tips we listed to see if it helps you! Planning your next visit to Orlando? Remember that we offer discount theme park tickets for all of your favorite theme parks including Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and more!