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    • Earl of Wesalton
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    8/17: A New Experience At Walt Disney World

    Sunday was my first day back since the end of summer blackout dates. I had spent the summer planning and acquiring different items, like a lunch box with sandwiches, sodas, chips, and trail mix, a portable usb charger (because outlets are extremely difficult to find), and a large, lightweight back pack to carry everything in. I was super prepared. I brought my iPad, action cam, even hand sanitizer and tissues.

    My girlfriend and I started the day a little late, leaving Tampa at about 10am and walked through the gates at Epcot at 11am. Because of the late start, we missed our first FP+ selection, Mission: SPACE, but we had arrived in time to catch the end of our second FP+ selection, Spaceship Earth.

    The first thing I noticed when I entered the park was the heat. Going from sitting in a nice cool car for an hour to 93 degree heat, 90% humidity, and the sun only an hour away from high noon was extremely tough. At one point in the FP+ line for Spaceship Earth, we were standing still in direct sunlight in a crowded line and I can guarantee it was 100 degrees. Things were OK once we got on, but the ride was moving considerably slow and completely stopped a few times. My eyes refused to adjust to the darkness and I was completely blind until we passed the mammoth battle scene and moved into the cave paintings scene. I truly love the historical AA's on this ride, it really helps me feel like I'm being transported through time, although the little boy in the moon landing living room has the complexion of a corpse. Moving so slow did allow me to get better looks at all the scenes, but by the time we got to the finale at the top with the view of the Earth from space, I was starting to get a little bit of anxiety. I feel like there is something dangerous about that room at the top. I'd love to see it with the lights on.

    My picture in the video was messed up, my hair was missing a large U shaped chunk, so we skipped the after ride area where you email yourself the picture and exited facing Innoventions West.

    Sum of All Thrills had a pretty long wait, and after being on Spaceship Earth it was about time to catch our final, previously reserved FP+ for Test Track. We exited Innoventions facing TT.

    Standing in front of TT, waiting for 12:15 to hit, I really started to notice the heat. Even in the shade, I was pouring sweat. I became a bit flustered and charged towards a fan to get a little relief. When I dropped my backpack, I felt a rush of coldness hit my back after being covered up in the heat. I was relieved for a few minutes until we were allowed in with our FP+.

    It was cool inside the queue of TT, so I finally got a little time to cool of. It took about 5 minutes to get to the design studio, and then another 10 or so minutes until we boarded the ride. This was my first time on Test Track, and I must say, I was extremely impressed. The new futuristic theme is awesome and feels like your riding in a video game. If you haven't been on it since the update, I extremely recommend it. I have seen videos of the original TT and my girlfriend had been on the original and she told me what it was like back then as we walked through. This new update totally removes all the cheesiness from the days when you where in a warehouse, and puts you in a futuristic "simulator" theme. I think it's cool that they theme a practical ride after a simulator. While it was a new experience, Test Track is not the "New Experience At Walt Disney World" that I was talking about in the title of this post. That comes in a little bit.

    After Test Track, we walked through MouseGear to catch a glimpse of the Dreamfinder's flying machine, and headed on to The Land for lunch.

    Being about 1pm, the heat was very intense. The walk to The Land was very tough, the weight of the backpack was taking its toll, and because it was covering my entire back, I was miserably overheating. That last stretch, just before you walk into The Land building, has a steep incline and I was huffing and puffing by the time I walked through the doors.

    We made our way downstairs and snagged an empty table with one side having booth seating. I sat on the booth side and pulled out my lunch box and my iPad. Now, I know this next part may be a little too descriptive, but I am trying to be as accurate as I can be. After finishing my very bland sandwich and a soda, I went to the restroom to relieve myself, but had a difficult time going because of the constant rush of people coming in and out. I found myself sitting there for what seemed like half an hour with very little "results". I cleaned my hands, but they still have old paper towel dispensers so I found myself washing my hands again with hand sanitizer once I made it back to the table. I hate public restrooms.

    My GF said she was starting to get worried about me because I was gone so long. I felt a little bit weak, but I just brushed it off as having a tough time in the RR. I packed up my backpack, pulling another soda out of the lunch box to lighten the load. We left The Land and headed up to the World Showcase. Again the heat was deadly, but the soda I had pulled out kept me cool enough to not loose my mind. They have construction walls and screens up in the garden area between Future World and the World Showcase and they constrict the crowd traffic to a winding path wide enough to accommodate a two way single file line and allow absolutely no air flow. I can't say it enough, it was tough. I was soaked with sweat as we passed the poor ladies of Canada in their Flannel skirts and I wondered if they had ice packs in their underwears.

    We made it to the International Gateway just in time to board Friendship 4 to DHS. My GF wanted to ride Tower of Terror and I wanted to see some Frozen Fun. The Friendship boats have 4 extremely old air conditioners similar to ones found in pop up campers, and each one of them was blowing hot air. Sitting there at the dock in that enclosed Friendship boat made me think for the first time that maybe a trip to Disney World during the hottest part of the day was probably a bad idea. I passed the time on the My Disney Experience app, where I decided against FP+ because everything except for Toy Story Midway Mania (65 mins) had a 20 minute stand by wait time.

    After a twenty five minute ride on a sweltering boat, we arrived at at the dock of DHS. We made our way into the park and down Sunset. As we made our way to the queue of Tower of Terror, I began to feel the effects of what I titled this thread with. "A New Experience At Walt Disney World". I felt funny. Like bad funny, but not bad enough to say anything. I was weak and I kinda felt out of it. I was soaked with sweat as we stood outside the Hollywood Tower Hotel in the queue. My GF asked me "Are you OK?" and I played it off saying "I'm fine". We we got inside and I was shivering from the air conditioning. We got on the elevator and after the drop sequence, I felt a tingling feeling in my hands similar to the symptoms of hyperventilation. It stopped after a minute or so, but I was still weak and I still felt out of it. I had no idea what was happening to me. We exited the ride and my GF wanted a cup of ice water, so we made our way over to the farmers market looking area next to R'n'RC. About halfway into the area, I had to stop my girlfriend and sit down. I was sweating profusely and completely exhausted. My GF made me realize I had only had the few sodas to drink, but I didn't feel dehydrated. I have been dehydrated and know the symptoms and I didn't have a headache and I wasn't even thirsty. After I caught my breath a little bit, we made our way towards the Star Tours side of the park. Halfway there, beside the giant hat, I became completely exhausted again and had to sit down again. This time, we sat a few more minutes, and I felt actually thought I felt a little better. I was probably delusional because I didn't want to leave and I continued to push myself further. We made it to the ABC Commissary where my GF finally got a large ice water where I took a few gulps and continued on. Just past the Sci-Fi Drive In and Tattooine Traders, I broke down from exhaustion the hardest time yet. I sat down next to Star Tours stroller parking and pulled ice packs from my lunch box and put them on my head and neck. I became flustered and got up and stormed into Tattooine Traders to stand under the fan that creates a wind barrier at the door. After I cooled off enough to gain my composure, I walked back to where I left my GF and sat back down next to her. I drank some water and sat there for about 5 minutes. My GF said "Ok, let's just go home." which is good because I am hard headed and would have continued to push myself until i would have passed out.

    On our way out of the park, I noticed the Guardians of the Galaxy 3D preview that was scheduled to end Friday 8/15 was still open and just about to start. When we entered the theatre, I started violently shivering again from the AC. Enough that my GF was worried and demanded that I put on the rain jacket I had packed. I refused and as the preview began I acclimated to the AC and calmed down.

    The preview was great. The scene was where Star Lord shows up to some abandoned planet and found some metal ball treasure like thing. I haven't see GotG yet, but now I really want to.

    The rest in the cold theater gave me enough energy to make it out of the park, but I broke down again by the Coke machines by the buses, causing us to miss the bus to Epcot that was boarding. After I mustered up enough energy to make it over to the benches, I wondered "Why are these bus stops out in the middle of the sun with no shade?" and I stared down every bus entering the parking lot hoping it said Epcot on it. After a few minutes, the Epcot bus arrived and we boarded.

    On the bus, I began to feel worse and my feet started cramping up. The bus ride from DHS to Epcot is short and direct, but as we passed the "Welcome to Epcot" gate, I started to feel nauseous. I looked at the crack at the bottom of the busses back door, and could see outside and wondered, if I puked, would most of it go out the crack? I took some slow, deep, breaths and was able to calm my stomach enough to get off the bus without ruining that drivers day and began the last bit of walking we had to do, from the bus drop off to the car in the parking lot. I felt really nauseous and broke down another two times before we got to the car. Steps from the car, I could not hold it in anymore and vomited two times. I was sweating and the heat was stinging my skin in the hot parking lot, the only place to sit was in the car, which was hotter than the temperature outside in the parking lot. I started to feel exhausted again and with no place to cool off, no shade, and no water left, I began to panic. With some help from my girlfriends calming words and some slow breaths with my face very close to an AC vent in the car, I began to calm down. Feeling terrible, we headed back to Tampa.

    We stopped at a Circle K in Champions Gate, a few exits east of WDW to get gas and water, and I threw up again in the restroom. Fortunately, the car was cool enough to relax and my GF brought me a Gatorade, which I could only sip. After about a half hour on the road, I started to feel better. We made it home and I was tired, but I wasn't sick like I was earlier.

    When I got home, I wanted figure out what happened to me. I had never experienced anything like that and it was pretty scary. I had heard of heat exhaustion, but I didn't really know what it was. So I did a little research and found out that is exactly what happened. Heat exhaustion due to salt depletion. A sugary breakfast and sugary soda mixed with hiking around WDW in 93+ degree heat with a 40 pound backpack can definitely do that, and I had all the symptoms. As I read this info, I got up and poured table salt on my tongue. Half an hour later I was back to normal.

    This was most definitely one of the worst experiences I have had at WDW and it was solely from my own ignorance. I am only 28 years old and even though I have always lived in Florida, I have NEVER experienced heat exhaustion and I had no idea what was going on. I feel some what ashamed of myself for being so ignorant.

    Albeit "A New Experience At Walt Disney World", heat exhaustion due to salt depletion is one I hope none of you have to go through. While drinking fluids is good, you have to remember to replace your body salts when you sweat. If I would have added some salt to that bland sandwich, I might have been OK, but I was totally clueless to the symptoms of heat exhaustion due to salt depletion.

    Research heat exhaustion if you plan on visiting WDW in the 9 out of 12 months that it is hot here in FL. Know the symptoms BOTH types of heat exhaustion (salt and water depletion), so you can provide proper care for yourself or loved ones if heat exhaustion occurs.

    Stay safe!
    Last edited by PlutoHasFleas; 08-18-2014 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Typos


    Transformation Through Adventure

    "If you go somewhere you've never been before, try something you've never done before, see something you've never seen before, that experience alone makes you a new person. You are transformed. If you go out and seek adventure, adventure itself will change you and you will be transformed."
    -Joe Rohde

    PlutoHasFleas: The MiceChat Blog

  2. #2

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    Re: 8/17: A New Experience At Walt Disney World

    I am truly sorry you had such an unpleasant experience, and for both you and your girlfriend having to get through that instead of having fun - but very good information for other visitors to note and hopefully keep in mind, so thank you for that!
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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    Re: 8/17: A New Experience At Walt Disney World

    You should have brought more water with you instead of soda. Soda is actually dehydrating with the sugar/artificial sweeteners and caffeine. When it's hot and humid like that and the heat index being at least 100 you HAVE to stay cool and hydrated as much as possible by drinking lots of water. That's probably another reason you had "trouble" in the bathroom... you were dehydrated.

    Now... Epcot is my favorite park at WDW. It's been my favorite since my first visit in 1987. when I had an AP it's the park I frequented the most. It's not as great as it used to be, but it's still a lot of fun. I was there on an almost monthly basis and I've had some really hot and humid summer visits there as well, but I was prepared and always bring my big, refillable water bottle with me. I'd fill it up with water the night before and stick it in my fridge or even my freezer, and it would stay cold during the drive to Orlando (like you, I also live in the Tampa Bay area). When I started running low on water, I knew which water fountains to hit (the ones that didn't have weird smelling/tasting water) or I'd just get a free cup of ice water at any counter service restaurant and refill the bottle. Sure I'd get a soda with one of my meals or some coffee at either a Joffrey's stand or Starbucks because I NEED my caffeine (seriously need it as I'll get a whopper of a headache if I don't have at least one soda or cup of coffee by around 1pm at the very latest). I'll even just pop into Club Cool and have a few little cups of the sodas there that I know have caffeine in them to get my fix. Also when the heat starts to really get to me, I'll duck inside an attraction where I know I'll be in the AC for awhile (Universe of Energy is perfect for this) or duck into a shop and just slowly browse and play. I also like hanging out in the hallway behind Club Cool/Starbucks - on the other side of the Character Spot exit. There some electrical outlets back there I sometimes use to recharge my phone (but I also have one of those battery cases for my phone but I bring my regular charge too just in case). Good, quiet place to cool off and rest a bit. Another thing to bring along is something you can prepare the night before: wet a washcloth, stick it in a ziplock bag and freeze it overnight. Get a small, inexpensive, soft cooler to put stuff you want to keep cold in. When you start feeling too hot, take out one of the frozen washcloths and put it on the back of your neck. You'll instandly feel a bit cooler. When the washcloth isn't cold anymore you can just re-douse it with cold water in the bathroom.

    Anyhow, at least you basically figured out what happened to you so you'll be better prepared next time.

  4. #4

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    • Earl of Wesalton
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    Re: 8/17: A New Experience At Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    ... you were dehydrated.
    See that's what threw me off. I wasn't dehydrated. I know what I feel like when I get dehydrated. The 3 12oz caffine free Sprites that I drank had replineshed enough fluid to keep me from dehydrating. Then once my GF got the large (free) water from the ABC Comissary, I drank a good amount and continued to feel worse over the next hour. It was only once I drank the Gatorade, with its high sodium content, that I started to feel better.
    Drinking cold fluids and taking breaks in the AC is all good, but when your body loses a lot of salt from sweating, and you dont replenish your body salts, you will get sick like I did.
    Heat exhaustion due to water depletion has very different symptoms from salt depletion. While I know to keep hydrated, I never thought about salt.


    Transformation Through Adventure

    "If you go somewhere you've never been before, try something you've never done before, see something you've never seen before, that experience alone makes you a new person. You are transformed. If you go out and seek adventure, adventure itself will change you and you will be transformed."
    -Joe Rohde

    PlutoHasFleas: The MiceChat Blog

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    Re: 8/17: A New Experience At Walt Disney World

    Definitely agree. Less soda, more water. Soda just makes things worse. And pack gatorade or powerade. Those drinks are designed to replenish electrolytes.






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    Re: 8/17: A New Experience At Walt Disney World

    Wow, glad to hear that you are ok now! I'll make sure to drink a lot of powerade when I go!
    Just a lurker now. ._.

    WDW: 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2014
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    Re: 8/17: A New Experience At Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by PlutoHasFleas View Post
    See that's what threw me off. I wasn't dehydrated. I know what I feel like when I get dehydrated. The 3 12oz caffine free Sprites that I drank had replineshed enough fluid to keep me from dehydrating. Then once my GF got the large (free) water from the ABC Comissary, I drank a good amount and continued to feel worse over the next hour. It was only once I drank the Gatorade, with its high sodium content, that I started to feel better.
    Drinking cold fluids and taking breaks in the AC is all good, but when your body loses a lot of salt from sweating, and you dont replenish your body salts, you will get sick like I did.
    Heat exhaustion due to water depletion has very different symptoms from salt depletion. While I know to keep hydrated, I never thought about salt.
    Do you sweat a lot normally? I actually don't, so something like that has never happened to me. I sweat a bit, but I know some people who will sweat buckets even when it's cold out (it's just part of their genetic makeup). I've done the dehydrated thing to a mild point, but what's gotten me in the past is not eating enough (or not eating anything). I get so caught up in exploring the parks and riding rides that sometimes I forget to stop and eat something and sometimes that comes to bite me in the butt. Worst was when I went to some concerts one weekend at the House of Blues back in 2000 (long story). But now I'm much older and wiser and know better to do the stupid things I did when I was in my 20s.

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    • Earl of Wesalton
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    Re: 8/17: A New Experience At Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    Do you sweat a lot normally? I actually don't, so something like that has never happened to me.
    No. If I was used to sweating a lot, I would probably have had this happen before.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    But now I'm much older and wiser and know better to do the stupid things I did when I was in my 20s.
    Wow... really?


    Transformation Through Adventure

    "If you go somewhere you've never been before, try something you've never done before, see something you've never seen before, that experience alone makes you a new person. You are transformed. If you go out and seek adventure, adventure itself will change you and you will be transformed."
    -Joe Rohde

    PlutoHasFleas: The MiceChat Blog

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    Re: 8/17: A New Experience At Walt Disney World

    ORDDU: You might be surprised as to how many other guests go through this same sort of experience at the parks during hot weather. It even happened to one member of our coven back in June of this year. One of our members was drinking too many soda's and not enough water. She nearly passed out while in line to the new dwarf coaster at M.K. Let this be a good lesson to all: Drink more water!! Not every witch melts when she touches water!! (Only the witches from Oz have water allergies...)

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    Re: 8/17: A New Experience At Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by PlutoHasFleas View Post
    Wow... really?
    I try! I've learned from my mistakes... more or less. Only way to really learn actually is the hard way (which I did many, many times). You'll probably feel the same when you get to be my age (BTW, I'm 40).

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