Walt Disney World parks attract thousands of guests every day, and its not uncommon to feel a bit under the weather after a visit. However, during the winter months, it’s more than just the sniffles going around the parks. Even though the temperatures make flu season in Florida a little erratic, if you are visiting between December and February (which is when flu activity generally peaks, according to the CDC), there are a few attractions you might want to consider skipping if you don’t want to go home with a little extra souvenir.
1. Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin isn’t much of a draw at the Magic Kingdom, but this attraction does have its fans, especially among the younger set. Though it’s undeniably fun to shoot lasers at glow-in-the-dark bad guys, there’s two big problems: those guns and that spin joystick. Touching these two elements is required to fully experience this attraction, but considering hundreds of guests also touch them every hour (many of them possibly quite young), those who experience this attraction during flu season may end up fighting a much bigger bad guy long after they've left this attraction (and this one can't be defeated via blaster!)
Though guests can always just wipe down the guns and the movement stick with some anti-bacterial wipes (and apply hand sanitizer liberally once they are off the attraction), if you see people sneezing in line for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, it’s best just to stay off this attraction if at all possible.
2. Stitch’s Great Escape
If the dubious reputation of Walt Disney World’s most maligned attraction isn’t enough to keep you away from Stitch’s Great Escape, perhaps the fact that you are stuck in a dark room and are strapped into harnesses that make it very hard for guests to cover their mouths when coughing will.
This ride might as well be called Stitch’s Great Viral Incubator, as it is essentially the perfect place for viruses like the flu to spread. And worst of all, even if you take the extra steps to wipe down the harness/seat before you sit down, if someone coughs or sneezes during the show portion of the attraction, it’s all over. You might as well just call your doctor’s office in advance and let them know Stitch and his smelly hot dog burps gave you the flu.
3. Mission: Space
No matter how you feel about Mission: Space’s quality as an attraction, there's no denying that sitting in a tiny, enclosed (and possibly spinning) enclosure presents several issues. And while the problems with this ride system are too numerous to name here, one issue is that such cramped area makes it very easy for highly infectious diseases like the flu to spread.
Another issue with Mission: Space is that this attraction, much like Stitch’s Great Escape, has harnesses that aren’t exactly friendly to a wide range of arm movements. Anyone on this attraction who feels a sneeze coming on will probably have to let it fly, and by the time everyone arrives on Mars (way to stick the landing guys!), the flu will have slingshotted around the cabin and will be heading straight for your home base. If you’re looking to stay well, either avoid this attraction, or only ride with other guests you’re absolutely sure are well.