Dollywood is a fantastic Pigeon Forge amusement park that boasts over 50 rides across 150 acres. With so many attractions, it is easy for people of all types of interest to find something that engages them. Especially if you love country music and history. That said, this is foremost an amusement park and as such, roller coasters certainly play a big role in the appeal. But what if there’s something keeping you from enjoying those rides to the fullest? What if you suffer from motion sickness?
Motion sickness is a fairly common illness that is caused when some type of travel motion disturbs the inner ear. This disturbance can cause uneasiness, fatigue, nausea, and sometimes even vomiting. The feelings of uneasiness can be mild, or they can be extreme; they can happen only when doing an extreme type of travel like riding roller coasters, or they can happen on something as seemingly innocuous as a short car ride.
The good news is there are solutions! Consider the following tips for how to enjoy the maximum fun and thrills roller coasters have to offer without motion sickness:
7 Tips to Enjoy Roller Coasters Without Motion Sickness
1. Start by Choosing the Right Amusement Day Snacks
While foods are not the source of motion sickness, the effects of motion sickness can be greatly exaggerated depending upon what type of food you consumed. Spicy, salty, and otherwise strongly flavored foods should be huge no-nos. Both before you enter an amusement park and while you are enjoying the attractions there. Instead, choose bland foods and be sure to eat a meal before you arrive so that it has had time to settle. Toast, plain cereal, and crackers are all good basic choices.
2. Take the Right Medication (We Recommend Dramamine Non-Drowsy)
No, this is not a paid post, but it is a recognition of what works. Dramamine is to motion sickness like Kleenex is to tissue, with the reason being it simply works so well and so reliably. Buy a bottle before you arrive at the park and begin taking the over-the-counter medication as directed thirty minutes to an hour before you enter. So long as you follow the instructions and start with a settled stomach, you should be able to enjoy the entire day with roller coasters and minimal to no motion sickness.
3. Keep a Straight Posture
Remember, the root cause of motion sickness is an imbalance within your inner ear which happens when your brain gets mixed signals regarding what is going on with your movements. While a roller coaster is going to twist you every which way and send you careening down the track while doing so, keeping as good of a posture as possible in the seat can help reduce the extreme effects. You want your head facing forward and in alignment with your shoulders and spine. This can help prevent against tilting your head while in motions, which tends to cause or exacerbate motion sickness.
4. Pick a Good Seat
Avoid ever sitting in the front or rear end of a roller coaster. The front rows tend to be the worst in terms of inducing motion sickness because there are so many different points in front of you for your brain to focus on and cause those undesired mixed signals. Meanwhile, the rear cars are also bad because they tend to have a back whip that is more likely to jerk one’s head.
Instead, opt for the middle seats, the ideal spot for all who suffer motion sickness on roller coasters. This is because the middle cars don’t have that jerking and jarring of the rear cars, and you have the benefit of having cars in front of you upon which to focus. Focusing on a fixed point is the best way to steady your brain when in the throes of motion sickness. In fact, whenever you feel motion sickness on a boat or in a car, stare at the horizon line, and 9 times out of 10, the feeling will pass. On a roller coaster, you’re going a bit too fast for that so focus on the car in front of you.
5. Close Your Eyes and Breathe
When focusing on something isn’t working, take that focus away completely by closing your eyes. Closing your eyes will completely eliminate the visual disorientation that largely sends the signals to your brain that get mixed up and create motion sickness. Remove the visuals and you can remove the unwanted stimuli.
6. Try an Acupressure Bands
The science isn’t quite out on whether or how these make a big difference for motion sickness — but the reviews seem to indicate acupressure wristbands for motion sickness work. These wristbands rely on acupuncture techniques to reduce or eliminate symptoms before they can occur. This may be the very best solution for those who hate medication.
7. Have a Rescue Pack on Stand-By
As the final backup, have a backup rescue snack pack handy. This pack should include plenty of water to get you hydrated as well as bland foods that will keep your body full but not queasy. Saltines, ginger drops, and goldfish crackers are all great choices for that. If you hate plain water, go for soda water but stick away from any other types of carbonated beverages. And don’t forget to have your Dramamine tucked in this pack!
Now, Go Out and Enjoy Your Dolly wood Experience
We hope this list of handy tips for enjoying roller coasters without motion sickness inspires you and gives you some good strategies. Roller coasters are not a must-do, but they certainly do add to the thrills and enjoyment of a day out at the amusement park. Plus, Dollywood just has so many to check out and enjoy! For best effects, ease your way into the roller coaster experience by starting with less daunting coasters like Mystery Mine and the Firechaser Express, and hold the crazy upside-down choices like Wild Eagle for once you’re sure you’re good to go without suffering bad motion sickness.