View Full Version : Ever get sick from drinking the water?? I did (I think)

08-11-2002, 11:03 PM
I just got back from a wonderful vacation at the Polynesian resort. It was absolutely the best Disney vacation that I have ever had in my life ( until the last day). The staff was friendly, the rooms were gorgeous, and the beauty of the resort made me look forward to coming home at night after a full day at the parks! However, the last night I was there I got really, really, REALLY sick...and so did the people across the hall from me and the people above my room ( I know this because you can hear right through the walls. They are very thin) :( I thought at first it was because I was dehydrated, but then my boyfriend got sick too ( and he had consumed ALOT of fluids when we were down there). It wasn't from anything I ate, b/c it's 3 days after I first got sick and I still feel icky. The only thing I can think of that would get so many people sick was from drinking TOO MUCH of the tap water from the Polynesian, and this is why: It was HORRIBLE! It smelled like toilet water and it tasted gross. My boyfriend (who never complains about anything) even commented on how bad it was. I was just wondering if anybody else has had this experience at any of the Disney resorts. I'm really hoping that it was something else (like a virus or something) because I never want ANYONE to have to go through what I did (and plus, it's cheaper to fill up a water bottle with water fountain water). As a precaution I would really, REALLY recommend bringing your own bottled water. But even though that happened the Polynesian is still my most favorite resort in the whole entire world!!:)

08-11-2002, 11:12 PM
To prevent this, when I travel anywhere, I drink bottled water/drinks mostly.
Our first WDW trip, I scoffed at DH for paying $2.50 per bottle for drinking water. Well, by night seven I wasn't feeling so hot myself. I think my system was at it's limit.
Their water may not be bad, but your system isn't adjusted to it.
I have known people to get very ill from drinking tap water when visiting other parts of the U.S.
And consider too your eating, drinking and sleeping habits are a lot different when on vacation at WDW.

08-12-2002, 12:04 AM
Supposedly the water at WDW has a high sulfur content that doesn't always agree with people. I am really surprised that WDW hasn't done more about it, as it is a frequent complaint.

I haven't ever had a problem with the water, but I was never a big water drinker either until recently.

Miss Park Avenue
08-12-2002, 12:36 AM
I couldn't help but post after reading this, It's soooo late! I want to go to bed but......

My mom, dad, sister, my two DD and I stayed at OKW in Jan 2001 and all but my dad got sick. Yes, five sick people in one vacation! I was affected the least but I was taking care of the baby and my dad took my four year old out while my mom and sister could not get out of bed. Finally on the last day, after countless calls to the front desk for clean towels and sheets, we took my mom, sis, and the baby to the er to get them checked out and the nurse there told us that even Floridians don't drink their own water! I'm sure some will write and say that they drink the water and are fine but we never touch the stuff anymore. It's worth it to buy the bottled then to go through what we did. The worst was when we got back from the hospital, not a half an hour goes by and the 4yr old started throwing up. She threw up all night and on our drive back home, we stopped at a er in Georgia and she was in the hospital for 3 days! My parents had to drive home, they were all still really weak and sick and my husband drove from home down to us. I had to send the baby home with my mom. My little girl nearly died. I shutter to think of what could have happened.

We thought about our water consumption on that trip. We did bring bottled water and I drank that mostly but I just grabbed tap water to use with juice for the baby's bottle. My mom and sister drank the bottled water too but used tap water for ice and made pina colatas with it. My 4yr old is a waif and has always gets easily dehydrated when she is sick. Ever since that trip we use bottled water for everything and ask for drinks with no ice. OKW has full kitchens and bottled water goes into the coffee maker, the ice cube trays EVERYTHING! We don't ever want to have to go through that again!

08-12-2002, 07:51 AM
This comes up on these boards every so often. It is not Florida's water that tastes bad, it varies with the county and the source. Therefore, it is ORLANDO's water you are talking about;) . My water up here does not smell or taste like what they have at WDW. And it does not always smell or taste like that there, I think it depends on the timing of something.(???) Anyway, if the water was not drinkable, there would be signs everywhere advising you not to drink it(like in some foreign countries). I know when we travel to other states that the water is "different" and we usually avoid it. Orlando water is "different" than my water in N. Florida. We don't drink it(the taste is different), just use it for brushing teeth. If the water was truly bad, everyone would be getting sick and no one would like WDW!! Water is used to make ice, so many people are drinking it in some form.
Many people get sick from dehydration while at WDW, from the abundant viruses that are around, and I have heard of food poisoning there this year(I think it was at PO though).
If lots of people are getting sick in one resort, I would report it as there may be an outbreak of food poisoning or something that needs to be checked out(pool water etc)!

08-12-2002, 08:32 AM
My DD drinks bottled water whenever she leaves home, as her system is super sensitive and different water affects her. The rest of us drink bottled water at WDW because we think the water smells funny!!!

08-12-2002, 09:19 AM
I always use the Brita filter for water in FL. We usually refer to this illness as the Mickey Flu. We usually only get it if we are there for a full week. I guess its not our imagination. DH never gets it because he never drinks anything with ice or the water. The last 2 times I have been there I have been fine but I got thefilter and I use it for all wter consumption. DD finally started to use it and she was fine her last trip too.

Miss Park Avenue
08-12-2002, 10:08 AM
I was thinking of getting those individual water bottles with the Brita filters in them to just fill with dinking fountain water. Has anyone ever tried those. They cost about $7, $6 if it's on special. Does it make the water taste better?

I know our family is a little extreme when it comes to the water issue, but I wasn't exaggerating when I said that my daughter almost died. it was a terrifying experience.

08-12-2002, 10:38 AM
I have never tried that Brita water bottle thing, but it's only because I have never seen it before ( I don't think they sell it by me). I would be interested in finding out where to get it though because I am never drinking that water again.

08-12-2002, 10:48 AM
It's very possible to get sick from water you aren't used to when you travel. It doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with the water at all. It's just something different that your body isn't used to.

You can rest assured that the water at WDW is technically safe. It doesn't have any micro-organisms that would make large numbers of people sick. If it ever did, it would be all over the news just like it is when any municiple water supply is contaminated. The water is just different. Water varies regionally based on where the water comes from and how exactly it's treated. It's not possible to make all water taste "good" because of geography. In the case of central Florida, there is simply too much sulpher in the ground to ever completely get rid of the taste.

08-12-2002, 10:56 AM
During our trip in May, my friend who is allergic to sulfur started feeling really rotten after filling up her water bottle all day with tap water. The rest of us were fine!

08-12-2002, 11:02 AM
My DGD and I drank the water last year during our four day stay. We didn't get sick, throwing up sick, but I got what felt like a bladder infection. Feel like ya gotta go, but nothing, then burning. While there, I thought I might not have been drinking enough water, so I drank more. I still had the bladder infection symptoms until I got back home. I never did know exactly what that was all about.

08-12-2002, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by Miss Park Avenue
I was thinking of getting those individual water bottles with the Brita filters in them to just fill with dinking fountain water. Has anyone ever tried those. They cost about $7, $6 if it's on special. Does it make the water taste better?

Yes! The water tastes better out of the Britta bottle. We bought one last year and bring it with us everywhere. The only disadvantage is that it's a little big, like a large biking water bottle. Just remember to change the filter at the start of your trip :).

We're not sensitive to the water, but I prefer the taste of bottled.

08-12-2002, 11:42 AM

08-12-2002, 12:46 PM
After figuring out what was making me sick on 2 separate visits, I thought it was clorine poisening. I never knew about the sulfer. I still think it was the clorine, though. Same symptoms as our dog had when he was swimming in a pool and drank a bunch of the pool water. The vet said it was the clorine. I use the bita bottles at home, but have never chanced it again in Florida. I always by a few large bottle of water and a small one to refill at the 7/11 we usually stop at. I also ask for "a little ice" in the drinks at the restaurants. (that has never bothered me) DH got sooo mad at me one year because I was soooo sick. We stayed at the Swan and had to pay extra for the really late checkout. I still ended up laying on one of the couches in the lobby for a couple of hours before we left for the airport. It really ruined our vacation, but atleast it was at the end of it. but, then again, I am usually the one to ruin our vacations by getting sick somehow. Who else has had an emergency gallbladder surgery in Celebration's hospital? We always joke that we are the Griswolds. ;)

08-12-2002, 01:17 PM
Keep in mind that Sulfur(found in water) and Sulfa(as in the antibiotic drug) or two entirely different things;) !
Bladder infections on vacation are very common and usually a result of not going to the bathroom when you should(in line at WDW and you hold it), not drinking enough water, and wearing a wet swimsuit or shorts that got wet(rides). Not from drinking water.
The water in WDW tastes and smells bad at times, but it would not be offered if it was truely bad for you! Just bring your own or a filter if it disagrees with you. :D My water here is NOT at all like WDW. The state does not all use the same water supply. I know when we travel to various places in FL that each place is different.

08-12-2002, 06:16 PM
idontknow I wish I would have known that you could pay to check out late. I got sick from 11:00 at night until 8:00 the next morning..and checkout was 11:00 am! I called the front desk and they let me stay until 12:00 no charge, but I would have definately paid for a couple extra hours (our plane didnt leave until 9:15 pm). We wound up sleeping in the lobby for 5 hours :( We were supposed to go to Animal Kingdom too that day. I was so dissappointed.

08-12-2002, 06:17 PM
First off, the Walt Disney corp. has a whole section that deals with environmental quality issues related to their parks. They have a whole section on environmental quality & permitting.

I do know that all drinking water has to meet certain standards and must be tested regularly. The standards include bacteria, viruses & other disease producers, heavy metals, radionucleides, and all sorts of chemicals. http://www.epa.gov/safewater/hfacts.html

It's quite possible for people to develop perceived illnesses from drinking yucky smelling water. And the WDW illnesses must be due to the yucky water, not travel stress, excitement, too many hot dogs, thrill rides, or not washing hands before eating.

If you are feeling paranoid, you can stick to bottled water. The Brita sports bottle is only designed to remove chlorine, not other chemicals and certainly not pathogens. Other Brita filters get some heavy metals, some odor causing things and a handful of chemicals. If you want a filter, go to a sporting goods place & get a real one.

WDW gets it 's water from the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Here's their water quality report http://www.state.fl.us/rcid/WQ/2002WQR3.pdf

The Water Quality Data Table below shows that the Reedy Creek Improvement District system had no violations. We're proud that your drinking water continues to meet or exceed all federal and state requirements for safe drinking water. We have determined through our monitoring and testing that only a few of these substances have even been detected from among the 135 regulated and unregulated substances for which we test annually.

Is a giant (and a giant TARGET for a lot of people) like Disney going to turn a blind eye to bad water? I find that hard to believe, as many people as are there any given day.

Conspiracy nuts aside, if this were happening, it'd be all over the media.

Bev Hamilton

08-12-2002, 07:32 PM
dianna112198, I think it was $30 to stay until 3pm. I could be wrong though, but it was "about" that much for "about" that time. ;)

As for the water, I figure it is just my system that will not tolerate that much of a change in water. Nothing against the water supplier, it's just my system. It doesn't matter where we go on vacation any more, I always drink bottled water, not just at Disney.

08-12-2002, 07:40 PM
Ever since I was little, I get diarrhea on the third day of vacation. Happens every time, no matter where I am. I could tell you a story about me, the Tom Sawyer Rafts, and Kaopectate from a trip in '76 but I will skip it. :rolleyes:
Some peoples' systems are just more sensitve to a change in water. Mineral contents, water hardness etc vary and that is what causes it. No viruses, no cryptosporidium, no giardia, no bacteria.

08-12-2002, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by Wonderlandmom
Keep in mind that Sulfur(found in water) and Sulfa(as in the antibiotic drug) or two entirely different things;) !
Bladder infections on vacation are very common and usually a result of not going to the bathroom when you should(in line at WDW and you hold it), not drinking enough water, and wearing a wet swimsuit or shorts that got wet(rides). Not from drinking water.
The water in WDW tastes and smells bad at times, but it would not be offered if it was truely bad for you! Just bring your own or a filter if it disagrees with you. :D My water here is NOT at all like WDW. The state does not all use the same water supply. I know when we travel to various places in FL that each place is different.

I must not have explained myself...I DON'T think anything is wrong with the water. I think the symptoms I was having were due to not drinking enough water. I had a water bottle with me that I refilled with WDW tap & ice, and I was drinking alot of it....but, I was really perspiring alot too, so I don't think I was drinking enough. As much as I was perspiring, I could've drank the seven seas lagoon dry and it still wouldn't have been enough!LOL:rolleyes:

08-12-2002, 08:00 PM
Are you sure it wasnt food poisioning?? Were you concierge? Is it possible that you all might have eaten in the same restuarant?? For several people to get sick like that it sounds like food poisioning.

Miss Park Avenue
08-12-2002, 09:45 PM
lvs_eeyore.. where you asking about me? If you were, we never really knew what it was. They took tests of my daughter but I never heard the results. We live about 20 hours away from that hospital in New Brunswick GA. Great hospital though, the people there were so nice to us!

We just never really knew what caused it. The only thing we had to go on was the nurse there in Celebration telling us that Florida's water just barely creeps above the acceptance levels. And if it's dry, it can be worse. I don't know how true that info was. I'm sure they wouldn't let the masses drink bad water. We went over and over what everyone ate and drank trying to nail it down. I guress we just try to be careful with the water because of what the nurse said. I still do use tap water to brush my teeth. And we keep a close eye on my DD (now five) she will run and run and not stop to eat. I carry bottled water with me on a strap and insist that she takes sips every couple of minutes. I don't complain about the cost of the bottled water. I just accept it as part of the cost of keeping everyone healthy.

If your system is sensitive, though, I reccommend getting bottled water!

08-12-2002, 10:58 PM
When I first got sick, I thought it might of been food poisoning or dehydration. I had a high fever, chills, cotton mouth, dizziness, and the toilet and I...well, we bonded that night. But a few years back, my mom and sis gor food poisoning from the chicken at the Japanese restaraunt in Epcot. They were really sick for, like, 3 hours then they were fine. I was sick for, like, 3 days. Also, I really didn't eat any chicken when I was down there ( I don't know what else you can get food poisoning from) It could have been a virus, but I just could't understand how so many people in the same building were getting sick (oh yeah, I forgot..when we first checked into our room there was a big wet spot on the floor and puke splatters (eww gross) in the trash can in our bathroom. Maybe the people there before us had a virus and spread it to the whole Tokelau building at the Polynesian. The whole reason I care so much about this was because 1.) I hate getting sick (it scares me to death and I feel like it's the end of the world. lol ) and 2.) It ruined my last day there and I want to do whatever I can to prevent this from happening to myself or anyone else in the future. Everyones input on this has been very helpful and informative, and I thank everyone for there responses!:D

08-12-2002, 11:03 PM
Oh yeah, and we didn't stay concierge so we weren't all eating the same food, but that would have been a good explanation if we were. How much would that stink! Everyone getting sick from the concierge food. Yuck.

08-13-2002, 09:59 AM
(looks around, stands and applauds wonderlandmom and phamton loudly)

08-13-2002, 11:34 AM
I've gotten "sick" on a couple trips to FL (not just WDW). It's amazing how your body reacts to water in different parts of the country. Of course, people always warn you about the water in Mexico.... but you just don't think about it here in the US.

merryweather's twin
08-13-2002, 12:25 PM
We allways use bottled water and no ice in the drinks. I know the kids get some water from fountian drinks but it was the amount of sulfer that made our son so sick on our first trip(he was small and we made him drink from a fountain every time we saw one!). How do I know this you ask... Our Dr. is an AP holder and when he ran a 104-105 fever for 5 days and no tylonal or advil or anything else would help they ran every test under the sun.He had a very high mineral count in his blood... Sulfer was off the charts. He is alergic to sulfer and and sulfa ands amox- Penn . His allergy is so bad that if you feed him a bunch of dried fruit he will be sick about 24-48 hours later. I think the high minerals have to do with the way they get the water... they collect the rain water in the street side ditches and it filters through the ground and they bring it back up and use it. I do not think it is bad for most people... I do not think it has special germs or is bad for you BUT if you are sensitive to sulfer or hard water do not drink it when possible. I guess learned that if the water smells funny and tastes bad do not drink it!!! I am sure that it does not hurt most people but they do not remove the sulfer and it can effect some. Have a good day!:D

08-13-2002, 12:28 PM
My dh drinks A LOT of water and has drank it all over. The first night we were there, he got so sick to his stomach and was throwing up all night , sick the next day and started getting better. 5yo who also drinks a pretty good amount of water *likes it better than juice or milk) also got sick and threw up all over MK, the bus and the bed the second night. Oldest dd doesn't drink too much water and got a little sick by the third day. The baby and I who didn't drink any water didn't get sick.
We never heard the water was bad but after that trip before I read the water was bad dh and I are convinced never will we drink any of the water. Next time bottled water. Dh said the water tasted nasty (he doesn't drink it cold) and it did smell funny.
Bottled water and a filter Brita next time.

We love in No. Fl but have well water and a softener

08-13-2002, 01:23 PM
Wonderlandmom bows.;)
I must say that FL and Mexico's water supply have nothing in common. There are a lot of misconceptions and assumptions out there that are incorrect.
Dianna, sounds like a virus was spread. I too hate that kind of sickness:eek: ! Seeing that in a garbage can would make me sick!
There are SO many people at WDW and SO many sick people, that you cannot rule out viruses(I read TONS of trip reports that include persons sick before they even arrive!). Sensitive systems may play a part, but the H2O is not "bad". I think when people get sick on a trip, the just automatically blame water at WDW for some reason, and these misconceptions spread. Think of all the germs on those fountain spigots. And I don't like that water and try not to drink too much. I prefer a Diet coke with ice:D !

08-13-2002, 01:35 PM
Wonderlandmom, tell that to my dh :p :earseek:
He will always be convinced of that water. Just mentions it and his stomach hurts. He rarely gets sick and has strong sickness tolerance so when he does get sick he's a sad case. It wasn't because of the taste either. He'll drink anything and eat anything that doesn't eat or drink him ... ;)
But as you say it may it may be the water didn't agree with our family. It was only those who drank the water who got the stomach bug. I stick with my diet coke.

08-13-2002, 01:45 PM
Sometimes water can bother you if if it's not bad...it's just different. Even when travelling between PA and CT or NY, my Day often would take his own water with him.

When I mentioned Mexico, I didn't mean to compare FL to Mexico in that way...

...and besides, Mexians bodies are used to their water too, and I've heard may get sick in the US.

08-13-2002, 01:51 PM
I remember the days when it was impossible to find water except from fountains- no bottled water, no Brita filters. If you weren't a soda drinker (which I wasn't then and still not now) you were SOL. I know alot of people will not drink the water down the Jersey shore- I happen to like it. I like Disney water too. No one I know has ever gotten more than a mild case of the runs from the water at Disney- certainly not violently ill.
BTW, the bottled water at WDW is Zepyhrhills- a natural spring water from..... FLORIDA. Here is the blurb from their website


It comes from one of the deepest water sources in Florida near the town of Zephyrhills, known as the City of Pure Water. It Originates from the "Pasco High", a geological formation deep below ground. Isolated from human or industrial contact because of its depth, a limestone, sand and silt aquifer naturally filters the water and gives it it's mineral balance.

08-13-2002, 01:56 PM

I've been to WDW more times than I can even begin to count (first trip: New Year's Eve 1979!) and have always stayed at one of the on-site resorts, most recently the Contemporary. I generally stay a full week.

I've never gotten even remotely queasy during any of my stays, and I'm a *HUGE* fan of drinking fountains. That may be evidence that I have a "tougher constitution" than most, I don't know. I have a couple of friends who have been ill while staying there but they never could find any one thing they might have done that their travelling companion didn't, be it eating, drinking or visiting somewhere the other person didn't.

I can't give up my water fountains anyway--I'd miss the talking fountains at Epcot :)

08-13-2002, 02:50 PM
Here's another theory -- it's from swimming in the pools.

We've been to WDW about ten times, and all but the last two saw us down with stomach/intestinal bugs by day 5. I finally realized that there were an awful lot of little kids wearing diapers/"swimmies" in the WDW pools, so we stopped using them.

BINGO! No one has gotten sick on a WDW vacation since!

Jackie H.
08-13-2002, 02:50 PM

I wouldn't rule out food poisioning. Lots of food can carry stuff to make you sick. Lettuce is a very likely thing to make you sick. I was sick once off of lettuce (Dr. told me from some sort of test) and I was sick for almost a week! And it was a lot like you described.

Also, I'll try not to be too descriptive, but if food handlers don't have clean hands....well, let's just say a local restuarant here put over 30 people in the hospital - some for over a week. (It went out of business almost immediately after that happened.)

My daughter seems to get sick every trip we take to WDW! She never gets sick anywhere else....if fact she is the healthiest one of any of us. My hubby would be the next healthiest and he felt pretty bad the last trip down. I have said my daughter is on a "puke all over the world" tour.....(she doesn't like this very much :rolleyes:

Anyway, I wonder if the water could disagree with her? I have a case of bottled water for our trip in just over 2 weeks. I think I will be extra sure that she only drinks that!

08-13-2002, 03:31 PM
There are LOTS of food you can get sick from. People handling the food can spread stuff as can spoilage. Some of these illnesses last for days(weeks), such as Shigilosis. I also think children swallowing pool water is worse than having a sip of tap water.:eek: My DS gets Diarrhea just from the excitement that a trip brings! He also gets is as a reaction to the chemicals in a pool:rolleyes: !
As much as we like them at WDW, buffets are a very common place for food poisoning.

08-13-2002, 03:47 PM
I'm pretty sure my family didn't get sick from the pools as we didn't go swimming until the fourth day. They felt to bad til about then

08-13-2002, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by musicfan
Here's another theory -- it's from swimming in the pools.

Now THERE'S an idea. The chlorine and filtering system would take care of some/most things but you never know, there's always the possibility of something either in the water that the chlorine doesn't take care of or perhaps even growing in the standing water and puddles around the pools.

This is not, of course, an exclusively Disney problem but would seem to be a good "common denominator," since lots of us that stay at the resort also use the pool at least once during our stay.

Trip before last, the SO got a nasty eye infection after being splashed in the face with water from Kali River. I wouldn't at all be surprised if there was a cause-and-effect going on there.

08-13-2002, 09:46 PM
When I was little we went to the Jersey shore every summer and I got sick from the water every summer. It usually took 3 days. DD gets it at DW. We live in Jersey now so maybe we have a tolerence but we do drink more bottled water now too.

08-14-2002, 12:04 AM
ew ew ew ew ew. All this talk about viruses, and diapers in the water, and people with dirty hand making your food...YUK..next time I'll have to bring a biohazard suit with me. lol. The idea that you can get sick from drinking the pool water maked perfect sense. In fact, when I was coming down the volcano slide I must have swallowed a whole gallon of pool water. I can't even imagine all the nasty things floating around that pool, Plus it is so close to the lagoon...and supposedly you can't swim in that water because it is so unhealthy. OK so tips for next trip:
1.) Don't eat
2.) Don't drink
3.) Don't swim
4.) Don't breathe
lol sorry. I am just making fun of myself. I am so paranoid about getting sick

08-14-2002, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by musicfan
I finally realized that there were an awful lot of little kids wearing diapers/"swimmies" in the WDW pools, so we stopped using them.

I'm confused by this. Do you mean you stopped using the WDW pools?

I don't thin we could keep my 2 year old away from the pools! He loves the water. We're trying to teach him to keep his mouth closed so he doesn't swallow water.

08-14-2002, 11:55 AM
Beach water can truly cause stomach upset if swallowed. I have read quite a bit, being a Floridian, on this. Teach them to spit it out if it gets in their mouth:eek: !
Tap water is safe though, it has gone through all the filtering systems. :D