WDW AT LARGE
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Nancy's Trip to WDW - Or How I "Fit-In"
by Nancy Miller
Thanks for this site! It really informed me and reassured me. Thanks Deb! And much thanks to Gardenia!! Having gone to WDW for the very first time, I wanted to give Deb this update in hopes I might reassure any large people going to WDW.
I am an agile 5'4" BBW who weighs 220 and has measurements of 53", 50", 53". The reason I tell you that is so you can figure how I fit on the rides. :D
Turnstiles: I didn't have any problem at all getting through any of the turnstiles - I did have to do it sideways but I fit through all of them. My funny problem was figuring out that you had to press through the entry ones after your pass ran through - LOL - I got the hang of it eventually.
Ride that was the Tightest for me: Thunder Mountain - Magic Kingdom. But the bar did come down and lock around my girth. The only note I'd give on this one is try to do it as a single rider. I rode with my very skinny 10-year-old nephew and he slid around a lot. I had a blast on it and during E-Ticket Night rode it three times one after another. It's a lot scarier at night. And first time in the morning, it was at it's slowest.
R&Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, Test Track: I fit easily enough on all of these. And "caught-some-air" by riding with my hands ups (except for Space Mountain - don't do it on that one). I loved all of these coasters/rides. I had no problem getting in, fitting in or getting out!! Only problem was they all were too short in ride duration - I wish they were longer!!!!
Shows with theatre seating: I fit in all the seats - Drew Carey's was the snuggest but it wasn't uncomfortable.
Simulator-type rides Dinosaur, Star Tours, Body Wars: No problem with these either.
Kali Rapids, Animal Kingdom: When I could ride solo in one of the two-seats (all the seats in the ride are two-person seating), I fit fine. I had plenty of belt left. But if you have to ride with another have the CM put a young person (meaning small, skinny person). The seat belt is for the two-seat and myself and a chunky sister-in-law couldn't fasten the seat belt. I didn't see the CM's offering seat belt extensions at all (I rode the ride several times) so this is one ride that it's good to be a Party-of-1. Also at non-peak times you can easily be the only person on the two-seat but at busy times I noticed the CM's filling every seat on the ride. One other word on Kali Rapids - think about taking a change of clothes and getting a locker. I got very wet in February and walking around in wet underware and shorts isn't very fun.
Getting In and Out of the Rides: I had no problem whatsoever - there are plenty of foot space and hand rails in and outside of the rides. And there are a few CMs at the end of the ride guiding you to the exits and there to help.
Moving Sidewalks on some of the Rides: I would mention that a few of the more easy rides have a moving sidewalk moving you and the "cars" along the ride. You might want to take extra care here. Sometimes these are in darker areas of the rides and move at a brisk pace.
About the Amount of Walking and Standing at WDW: I wanted to make
note of this because all I read up on WDW did mention a lot of walking
but I learned the word "a lot" is very relative. There are many
miles (in excess of 5 miles +) and long amounts of time standing on your
feet when you are touring a park. Your precious feet get very little rest.
I went with my brother and his family who take on a park like a commando
team so my experience had to of been excessive (I believe I ended up walking
6-8 miles a day and stood on my feet a total of at
least 3 hours as a total of all the minutes of standing in que lines) but I couldn't believe how much walking and standing you do.
I work a very sedentary job (sitting in front of a computer monitor or desk for 8 hours) and even tho I tried to "prep" for WDW by walking 2-4 miles the month before, I was not prepared for all the walking.
This is not to scare any of you off!! Just foreknowledge is forwarned!!
My advice for walking and standing through WDW is:
Try 3 months before doing more walking. Check with your Doctor first and start out slow - walk a mile a day till that feels comfortable then go for two miles. Try to work up to easily walking 4-6 miles a day. And try to increase your standing comfort. Believe me you will bless yourself for doing this ahead of time. ( IF YOU CAN'T DO A WALKING PROGRAM definitely consider getting one of the motorized scooters at the parks. There were lots of people using them. And it will increase your enjoyment.)
Try and do the parks in a clockwise or counterclockwise fashion and stick to it. Less walking if you do it in a circle than zig-zagging. My party zig-zagged a lot because we wanted to do the key rides/shows a few times then got Fast Passes and had to return (often to opposite points in the park) in a few hours. I KNOW that is why I overwalked the parks, my feet attested well to that fact! :D
Definitely 6 months before your trip search out comfortable walking shoes and break them in on your walking program. I took Merrel's, Rockports and Teva Walking Sandals. Both the Merrell's and Rockports ended up being bad shoes for all the walking I did (I had broken them in ahead of time and walking my normal 4 miles they were fine). The Teva walking sandals ended up being the best walking shoe for me. Go figure. The TEVAs looked like those would of been the worse but they ended up being the best (at least for me).
Get Anti-Blister Socks, tape, and soaking your feet: My anti-blister socks helped but I did get one blister. Definitely take band-aids or tape to help with new blisters or to try and prevent them. And soaking your feet - this tip is an important one. If you're not use to walking many miles and standing on your feet for a major part of the day - definitely soak your feet even for just 15-minutes in your resort pool or in your room. It helped my feet immensely.
Rest for longer periods in the parks. My party was rushing here and there all during the day/night so the brief periods off my feet (on rides, seeing shows, eating) was just way too brief. Having done the commando-style of "assaulting" the parks (LOL) I've decided for me it would of been better to do the morning for about 4-5 hours - return to the resort for a few hours of rest - then go back in the late afternoon evening. I believe a good rest each day, in the middle of the day with my feet up, would of helped them immensely.
You're Not Alone: I want to reassure all of you that I saw lots of Big and Beautiful people enjoying WDW. Please don't let your size prevent you from experiencing heaven on earth - WDW. I had no trouble whatsoever "fitting - in!" Go and enjoy it!!
I hope all of these comments have helped - if you'd like to correspond with me personally - firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm already planning my January 2002 trip because it truly is Heaven On Earth!