Plus Size World (Walt Disney World)
By Road Trip Diva
Let us paint a picture, shall we? You have been planning your Walt Disney World vacation for weeks now (months if you are smart). You have picked your dates, booked your resort, arranged your travel plans, made dining reservations, put together touring plans, and scheduled everything down to the last minute (using Diva help of course). You are more than confident that you will leave no fun stone unturned. You sit down to relax by watching Disney videos on YouTube, because by this point you are completely obsessed with everything to do with your upcoming trip into the world of magic. As you chomp on your popcorn feeling very content with all your careful planning it hits you…You may be what is lovingly referred to as Pooh sized (or Ursula sized if you are into the villain side of things). Dun! Dun! Dun! Suddenly horrible thoughts flood your head. OMG what if I don’t fit in a seat or a restraint won’t close and I have to make the walk of shame. What if I cannot handle the bazillion miles I’m about to have to walk and I slow my family down. Or what if I can’t find that totally wicked awesome Mickey t-shirt in my size- or, or, or… Well fear not folks because as an Ursula sized Diva myself I am here to give you the skinny (pun intended) on how to love The World while living large (another pun)!
1.) Attractions: If you’re like me this is your biggest worry! Nobody wants to use a valuable FastPass (or gasp wait in a line eeewwww) to get on something like Space Mountain that little Suzie is so excited to ride and find they don’t fit. Then have to make an utterly terrifyingly embarrassing walk of shame out of line and tell little Suzie maybe next time. As a 5”4’, 200 mumble, mumble numbers closer to 300 sized gal with pant sizes in that start with a 2, and shirt sizes that have more Xs on them than I care to mention I can say with absolute utter confidence that you will fit! WDW is a very plus size friendly environment. Now you will have to sacrifice some modern luxuries like grace when getting in and out of the ride seats, and leg room while riding but it’s a small price to pay. The show seats are all accommodating of a plus size person (even more so than my local movie theater), and not once did I feel wedged in or that a can of cooking spray might be needed to get me out. I had no problem with rides with single restraint bars closing or being too tight like: Space Mountain or Expedition Everest. When riding things with a shared restraint bar like: Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, or Primeval Whirl, there may be a larger gap between your child and the bar and you and the bar. However, in my experience the cast members did not seem to mind and my child was perfectly safe. Attractions with seat belt restraints like: Test Track, Dinosaur, or Kali River Rapids prove to be no challenge for a little more to love sized mid section either. This restraint that normally would strike fear into the center of my heart is actually my favorite kind of restraint in The World. The belts have more than ample length. What I have found that works best is to pull the belt out as far as it goes before I sit then buckle it in. It is so much easier than trying to pry it out after you have sat on it. The one attraction you may have trouble with is the Astro Orbiter located in Tomorrow Land above the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. It is a little narrow and can feel very snug if you ride it with another person even a child, and quite frankly a video of me getting in and or out of it should be on Americas Funniest Videos. But if you ride alone there should be far more room and the ride will be much more enjoyable for you. And if after all this wonderful advice you still don’t believe me take a look at this mildly outdated but still very useful video that I found and see for yourself.
2.) Walking: There is no way around it you will have to walk a lot! However, you can do it! My suggestion (as someone who despises exercise of any kind) is start early. Maybe a month or so before your trip take a walk with your family each day. I know this sounds crazy and I can hear you moaning already, “Ugh if I’m worried about walking while I’m there why would I add too my walking before I go?” Well quite simply put it’s all about toughening up buttercup. Use the time to bond with your family, and talk about what you are most excited to see on your trip. This will help you build up your stamina, keep the excitement momentum moving forward and most importantly make sure those comfortable sneakers you plan to bring with you don’t have any sneaky uncomfortable spots you never noticed before. This brings me to my next point, with walking come blisters. Some people get them crazy bad (me, me, me) and some don’t get them at all (like my husband, grrrr), no matter the category you are in make sure you are prepared to care for them. Two things create blisters: moisture and friction. There are several products to combat these things. First are moisture wicking socks. Traditional cotton socks hold in moisture making the skin on your feet softer and the friction worse leaving you just asking for trouble. Moisture wicking socks pull the moisture away from your feet leaving them dryer and cooler and cuts down on the friction. Basically, the sock rule is the less cotton in your socks the better. Next most wonderful invention is Blister Blockers. If you feel a spot on your foot starting to hurt, maybe turning a little red, but no blister has formed yet, this is called a hot spot. Put the blister Blocker on this spot to cover it to prevent a blister from forming. The friction creating the pain will now be on the blocker instead of your skin giving you relief. Blister Blockers are far more effective than band-aids, because they stick to your skin over the entire area creating a total barrier while a band-aid has the portion that is not sticky. And most time that non-sticky part rubs even worse compounding the issue. Stay clear of band-aids! If you have missed the warning sings and a blister does form your best friend will be moleskin. It is sold in a roll or sheets, and can be cut forming sort of a donut and placed around the blister providing extra protection. When all else fails in the world of blisters and excessive walking, take a break for goodness sake. Enjoy some of the stunning but often-overlooked details of The World while enjoying a yummy snack on a shady bench.
3.) Merchandise: As strange and often times incredibly amusing as it can be it’s no secret that fashion laws evaporate when you enter The World, as people don the attire of favorite characters and ears spontaneously pop up as far as the eyes can see. I can see how you might easily fall victim to this phenomenon as well and can’t wait to sport the most bedazzled Mickey t-shirt you can find. Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you know merchandise can be found everywhere you turn, as the majority of attractions not so subtly dump out in a shop of some sort. I do know that it sometimes can be a bit difficult to find plus size clothing within the parks, so my best advice on the this one. ASK! Simple duh moment right? But you would be surprised by how many people shy away from this, but trust me a cast member will be more than happy to help you (spend your money) and make you the most fashion forward park guest ever. If you ask and they do not have your size available simply snap a picture of said absolutely fabulous t-shirt with your phone or camera and head on down to The World of Disney located in downtown Disney Marketplace. Here there are more than 12 rooms of items for you to explore! This store typically keeps more plus size items in stock. Use the picture you snapped to help you search (if something shinier does not catch your eye first) or show a cast member who can find it for you.
Of course the dreaded fear of others perception is something, that plagues the minds of Pooh shaped folks everywhere. The one thing I know for sure, in WDW you are not alone! People from all over the globe come to WDW for vacations, so rest assured you will see people of all shapes and sizes, some smaller and no doubt some bigger. All of these people (like you) have laid down and arm and a leg to visit the most magical place ever, so they will be far more concerned with enjoying their stay than checking out your waist line. And even if they aren’t, the chance of you ever seeing them again is smaller than you living out the rest of your days on the moon. So relax, have fun, and enjoy every bit of magic that you can soak up into your big beautiful body because you and me, we are incredible!