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Visiting a Theme Park With Diabetes

by Lisa Fritscher

You can also ask a park employee to call Medical Services if you need help. The response team can provide you with a source of carbohydrate and offer other treatment, as needed.

Choosing attractions
Each attraction in a theme park has a list of health restrictions posted outside its entrance. For example, the sign may say that only people free of high blood pressure, motion sickness, and heart, back, or neck problems should get on the ride. However, such “one size fits all” recommendations are not necessarily correct for everyone. Some people with a back condition may be cleared by a doctor to ride all rides. Other people find that they are sensitive to a particular ride’s movements despite their condition not being listed in the ride restrictions. Having a detailed conversation with your doctor before your visit may help you to better understand which recommendations apply to you.

If you are at all unsure about a particular attraction, it is best to err on the side of caution. Either send someone familiar with your condition to experience the ride first, or skip it altogether. No thrill is worth risking your health or safety — or your enjoyment of the rest of your trip.

Vision or hearing impairments
The major theme parks provide numerous options for guests with vision or hearing impairments. Braille materials, assistive listening devices, and other alternatives are available at Guest Relations/Guest Services. Most shows offer sign language interpretation at designated times. Service animals are permitted at most attractions (but not on certain rides), and areas for walking animals are available.

Paths in theme parks are generally wide and easy to navigate, although keep in mind that some walkways are made of stone or brick. It is always advisable to travel with a companion, although if you are generally comfortable navigating crowds, there is no reason you should have particular trouble at a theme park. Just remember to take an easy pace and allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

Have fun!
Theme parks are among the most accessible destinations in the world for guests with almost any medical condition. However, taking advantage of their services requires some advance planning. Take the time to learn about your particular destination ahead of time. Consider your alternatives, and then create a master plan for your trip that takes all your needs into account.

At the same time, stay flexible! Don’t be a slave to your schedule. Pay attention to the signals your body provides. Rest when you need to rest, eat when you need to eat, drink plenty of water, and never be afraid to ask for whatever you need. With preparation and flexibility, no medical condition will stand in the way of having the theme park vacation of your dreams.

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