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Old 10-15-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
WanderlustNZ
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Claustrophobic Fears

Hi everyone,
I should probably be posting on the main Park Forum, but given that everyone here on the ANZAC forum is so friendly and non-judgemental I thought I'd start here first.

Some background info on me:
About 7 years ago I was in San Francisco enjoying their annual Mardi Gras/Carnival. The parade went for hours and getting tired we decided to leave. Unfortunately, just minutes later, the parade finished right when we were standing at a busy intersection. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I was surrounded by literally thousands of people all trying to walk in opposing directions. As the crowd pushed and became more aggressive, I found myself crushed and unable to move even a metre for at least 10 minutes (but what felt like an eternity). At that stage, barely able to move or breath, I had a full-on panic attack and have been scared of large crowds ever since. If I get surrounded by lots of people on all sides I start to really panic. Even at concerts I will forgo the closing song just to avoid the mad rush leaving the stadium at the end.

Anyway, so what was the point of that long winded story? Basically, I am feeling abit nervous about crowds at our WDW. I'm fine with queues and busy buses etc, but my worry is times like getting out of the parks after fireworks etc.

Does anyone have any advice for any strategies I should employ, or any particular locations I should try and stand for the likes of fireworks, parades and ride waiting rooms etc. (I don't mind being up against a wall). Also, perhaps there are somethings I should avoid altogether.

My initial plan was to hang back after fireworks and wait for the crowds to disperse, but would a late arrival at the bus stands make for REALLY long waits for a bus? I don't want my family to suffer for my phobia.

Thanks everyone in advance. Long day at work today but will check in when I get home.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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I think you've already mentioned the main one - after the fireworks. I personally also hang back after the fireworks. I remember in Tokyo, we found a bench, bought ice creams and watched everybody go by. Thats one of my fave memories from that trip. The lines aren't going to get worse for the busses...they probably won't get much better either, but they are awful after the fireworks anyway.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
Ms. Shuttergirl
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I agree about hanging back after the fireworks. Get an ice cream, have a stroll, do some shopping in the Main Street shops, line up to see Mickey, take your time. If you give it a reasonable amount of time the crowds should be better than if you try to head out with everyone else.

It's such a scary feeling being surrounded like you were in San Fran. It's no wonder you are wary of crowds but I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well you can manage this fear at WDW.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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The other option is to leave a touch early, the fireworks go for a long time and you can tell when it is coming up to the finale. We did this at Epcot, positioned ourselves near the exit to future world and then when the fireworks were coming to a crescendo, we bolted and were first on the bus! We did literally run though.

. At magic kingdom I would do as others suggest and hang around for a while.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:31 PM   #5
ColinA
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Stay in Magic Kingdom and sleep in Swiss Family Treehouse or the Castle for the night!
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #6
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hey, dont stress about it, that makes the attacks worse...just monitor your "comfort level" and if it gets too high, just find a spot to regroup. The cast members are great, so just ask for help if you have to. I feel for you,do what you need to...people understand
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:16 AM   #7
WanderlustNZ
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Thanks so much everyone, your advice and support is much appreciated. It sounds like waiting around for the crowds to disperse after the fireworks will be the best bet.
I'm thinking I might also put in a seating request for the Disney cruise. Sitting near an exit, a wide passageway or even against a wall are all great, but I have been known to get a bit anxious being placed in the middle of a busy, crowded dining room. I'm hoping Disney don't mind accommodating such odd requests.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:54 AM   #8
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Hey from all of the research I have done and all of the advice I have been given, living up to requests and helping people is Disney's thing! The staff should be more than happy to help you with your requests!
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderlustNZ View Post
Thanks so much everyone, your advice and support is much appreciated. It sounds like waiting around for the crowds to disperse after the fireworks will be the best bet.
I'm thinking I might also put in a seating request for the Disney cruise. Sitting near an exit, a wide passageway or even against a wall are all great, but I have been known to get a bit anxious being placed in the middle of a busy, crowded dining room. I'm hoping Disney don't mind accommodating such odd requests.
Re seating just talk to the greeter at the door of the dining room, they will be happy to accommodate you....also maybe have a look at your cabin location and deck....how are you in planes??? Maybe just medicate yourself but take along the prescription associated with the medication for customs etc...sea sick tablets are great, and just let the cabin crew know....it will all be good..
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:44 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone.

Thanks everyone.

I will talk to Disney about seating as, from what you're all saying, it sounds like they do a great job of accommodating people the best they can. I'm highly unlikely to have a panic attack of any sort in a busy dining room, I just know I feel more relaxed when I aren't being surrounded on all sides.
While I probably sound like a basket-case, I'm actually fine on planes and in most situations in general. It's really just situations where there is a lot of loud voices and movement around me and I start to feel like people are encroaching on my personal space. For example, the Pirate Party on the cruise makes me a bit worried as I've heard that there is generally standing room only.

As well as being crushed by an angry crowd in San Fran, I also had a situation when travelling in the Middle East. We were visiting some markets and my husband had got a few metres ahead of me. I seemed to be the only woman around and suddenly all these men were surrounding me and rubbing their hands against me. It was awful, and as you can imagine, did nothing to help my anxiety issues.

As far as my cabin on the Fantasy goes, I'm really excited. It's an 8A outside cabin (5520). But from what I've been able to research it's as huge as mini-suite, has a dividing wall, and two TVs. Can't wait!
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:10 AM   #11
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WanderlustNZ, a nice place for you to see the MK fireworks might be from the dessert party at the Tomorrowland Terrace (because only a certain # of people can go to that, it's lovely and roomy) or alternatively, from one of the restaurants that overlook MK (Ohana or California Grill) - the music is piped in and the atmosphere is magical.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:13 PM   #12
WanderlustNZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franrose View Post
WanderlustNZ, a nice place for you to see the MK fireworks might be from the dessert party at the Tomorrowland Terrace (because only a certain # of people can go to that, it's lovely and roomy) or alternatively, from one of the restaurants that overlook MK (Ohana or California Grill) - the music is piped in and the atmosphere is magical.
Great tip. Thanks! The dessert parties sound great.
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