Experts Say This Disney World Habit Is Making You More EXHAUSTED

Published: March 12, 2024

Every time we come back from a Disney World vacation, we say that we need another vacation to actually recover from the exhausting chaos that is a Disney trip. Waking up early for rope drop, walking 20,000+ steps every day, and going on thrill ride after thrill ride definitely takes its toll, and by the end of our trip, we’re usually completely wiped out.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Disney World)

Some of the tiring realities of Disney World are unavoidable (we’re probably not going to stop waking up early to be some of the first people on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!), but there’s one bad habit that experts say makes exhaustion so much WORSE, and once you know what it is, it’s actually so easy to fix.

The Bad Habit: Not Drinking Enough Water

In all of our research, experts across the field (doctors, scientists, various professionals with lots of letters after their names, etc.) agreed that not drinking water can certainly lead to exhaustion and frequently cause other bad side effects as well.

Hydrate early and often

If you read that and immediately felt guilty, just know that you’re not alone. We are also so guilty of forgetting to drink water while we’re walking around the parks! It’s easy to get caught up in the moment as you’re rushing to the next ride or taking in all the cool ambiance of the parks and forget to stop and grab some H2O.

But there are some very good reasons why you should really work to break the bad habit of not staying hydrated.

What Happens When You Don’t Drink Enough Water

Dr. Marjan Moghaddam, D.O., discussed some of the side effects of dehydration with Henry Ford Health. They said, “If you’re not replenishing your fluid intake, your energy levels could plummet and you could experience fatigue and brain fog. So the next time you reach for another cup of coffee, see if it’s water that you need instead.”

Get some water with your coffee!

To us, “dehydration” sounds more severe than “not drinking enough water,” but in our research, we found that most experts agree that as soon as you feel thirsty, you’re dehydrated. Listen to your body! It’s telling you what you need.

But WHY does dehydration make you feel tired? According to the Health Care Associates of Texas, it’s a sort of domino effect that happens inside your body. When you’re not putting enough fluid into your body, your blood volume decreases, and that decrease in volume puts extra pressure on your heart to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to your organs, including your muscles. In other words, you’re making your heart work harder, and much-needed nutrients aren’t getting to your muscles as quickly, and that makes you feel tired as your body tries to work overtime to make up for it.


In addition to fatigue, you could experience headaches and migraines. Dr. Moghaddam said, “One of the first things you might notice when you’re dehydrated is a throbbing headache. The good news? If dehydration is the cause, it should go away shortly after you drink a large glass of water.”

Free Cups of Water

The Mayo Clinic also warned about possible heat injury that could occur due to dehydration: “If you don’t drink enough fluids when you’re exercising vigorously and perspiring heavily, you may end up with a heat injury, ranging in severity from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion or potentially life-threatening heatstroke.”

Now we know the problem, so what’s the solution? More water, of course!

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The Mayo Clinic says that the average, healthy man should get about 15.5 cups of fluids a day, and the average, healthy woman should get about 11.5 cups per day.

Water is Free in Disney

The exact amount of water you should be drinking depends on a lot of factors, like your weight, exercise habits, other medical conditions, etc., but a decent rule of thumb is to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day, or about 64 ounces of water.

Where To Get Water in Disney World

Water is readily available in Disney World! You can get free cups of ice water at any quick service restaurant — just go up to a Cast Member and ask!

Stay hydrated, folks!

If you bring your own water bottle, you can refill it at any of the many water bottle refill stations throughout the parks and hotels.

Water Bottle Refill Station

Disney recently added a new feature to the My Disney Experience app that allows you to search for those refill stations and locate the one closest to you, which makes it even easier to stay hydrated!


Water is also free at the table service restaurants, of course, so make sure you’re hydrating while you eat, too.

Another Dangerous Disney World Habit: Staying Out in the Heat for Too Long

Another problematic habit that’s easy to fall into at Disney World is staying out in the heat for too long. Orlando gets HOT, so you need to listen to your body and take frequent breaks inside the A/C to cool off.

Crowds in Magic Kingdom

The science behind this problem is similar to the reason why you get tired from dehydration. Dr. Michele Casey (medical director at Duke Health in North Carolina) told the Scientific American, “Your body, especially in the sun, has to work hard to maintain a consistent, normal, internal temperature.” The extra work it has to do makes you feel more tired.

Some of the adjustments your body does to cool off include dilating blood vessels and secreting sweat, which require your heart to work harder, thus making you feel lethargic.

Sunset Boulevard

To combat the side effects of being outside in the heat too long, make sure you’re taking lots of breaks. An easy way to do that is to head to an indoor attraction. Hall of Presidents in Magic Kingdom is a good, long break in the A/C, and it rarely has a line! Even the waiting area is air-conditioned.

Hall of Presidents

Here are some other indoor attractions (with indoor or mostly indoor queues) that provide a good break from the heat:

  • Magic Kingdom: Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid, Haunted Mansion, and Mickey’s Philharmagic
  • EPCOT: The American Adventure, Awesome Planet, Beauty and the Beast Singalong, Disney Pixar Short Film Festival, Spaceship Earth, Frozen Ever After, and The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Star Tours, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-a-Long, MuppetVision 3D, and Walt Disney Presents
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Avatar: Flight of Passage, DINOSAUR, Festival of the Lion King, and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue … and Beyond

It’s easy to get distracted in Disney World and forget these simple rules, but don’t let yourself fall into these bad habits while you’re there! Remembering to listen to your body, stay hydrated, and take frequent breaks in the A/C will make your vacation so much better.

Stay tuned to DFB for more tips and advice as you plan your upcoming Disney World vacation!

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Oh boy, planning a Disney trip can be quite the adventure, and we totally get it! But fear not, dear friends, we compiled EVERYTHING you need (and the things to avoid!) to plan the ULTIMATE Disney vacation.

Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever!

How do you make sure you stay hydrated at Disney World? Share your tricks in the comments!

The post Experts Say This Disney World Habit Is Making You More EXHAUSTED first appeared on the disney food blog.