While a pilgrim is generally thought of as someone who ‘came over’ on the Mayflower, pursuing religious freedom, a Disney pilgrim is one who visits Disney venues religiously, “with consistent and conscientious regularity.”
Our first journey to WDW as adults, was intended to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip for my husband, Bob, daughters Bridget and Courtney, and me. We planned, and scheduled every day using guide books from the library, and advice gathered online. Everybody made their list of ‘must do’ rides and shows, and pored over maps planning the best routes for the early morning Magic Hours. It was all so exciting!
Perhaps you’ve picked up on the fault in our plan. Maybe you’re remembering your first trip, it’s possible that you’ve had the same experience. Yes, all of our planning and mapping failed to take into account that your feet, at least their condition, can make or break your trip. We were the victims of BLISTERS! Hence the word ‘Footnotes’ in the title.
We had planned to immerse ourselves in seven days of magical explorations, fun-filled adventures, and memorable experiences at Walt Disney World. It was memorable all right, but not all memories were good. By day two, I had a blister on each baby toe. Bearable, but annoying. By day three I had blisters along the bottom of each and every toe, and had resorted to wearing Band-aids, and two pairs of socks with my Teva sandals, my sneakers were my enemy. I really want to hang my head in shame when I think of day four, when I had to have my daughter push me through the Magic Kingdom in a wheelchair!
While I was very uncomfortable, I was able to enjoy most of the trip, and boy, did I learn from it! In an effort to make sure that you don’t have to endure the same pain, allow me to offer you some tips:
1. Two pair of thin socks are better than one pair of regular. In fact, on our next trip (so much for once-in-a-lifetime) we ordered some amazing double-layer socks from Wrightsock. Well worth the price of comfort, and no more blisters!
2. Toe tubing/cushions work for any size toe, or finger. You can buy this in most retail stores and pharmacies, you might even discover it in the store at your resort. You simply cut to length, and slide the foam tubing over the toe. Viola! You are ready to go.
3. Don’t wear new sneakers, you really need to break them in for two or three weeks, before you go.
4. I can’t stress this enough…DO NOT WEAR FLIP-FLOPS, or fashion sandals to walk the parks! You’re just asking for pain and injury. Keep in mind you’re not only walking on some really hot pavement, covering long distances over the course of the day, you’re also dodging feet, baby carriages, scooters, and moving walkways on rides like the Haunted Mansion. Those conveyer belts can do some serious damage to toes!
5. Talcum powder in your shoes will help absorb the extra moisture from sweaty feet (but will leave white footprints all over the carpet).
6. Don’t walk around all day in wet sneakers. Rides like Splash Mountain, and Kali River Rapids can leave your sneakers, and the socks inside, wet and uncomfortable. Carry an extra pair of socks on the days you know you will be getting wet, and change after the ride.
7. Give yourself, and your feet some rest during the day. If you’re on property, go back to the hotel. If you’re staying off property, jump on the monorail, and head straight to the first resort that strikes your fancy. Once there, you can either sit and relax in the air conditioned lobby, or have a snack by the pool.
There are thousand of other recommendations out there if you look, I’m just sharing what I have learned first hand, or foot as it were. When your feet hurt, your tolerance for waiting in lines is very low. If you take all the right steps (yes, pun intended) you will enjoy every minute of your trip!
Trish Barker is an authorized Disney Vacation Planner with Main Street Adventures. She welcomes the chance to book your dream vacation and make all your wishes come true!
She can be reached by email at Trish@MainStreetAdventures.com, or you can call her at (508) 681-0945.