1st Trip to Disney? Why Hand Sanitizers are a Must Bring

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how not to get sick on vacation at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

If you ever washed your hands 10 times a day to ensure you didn’t get sick on vacation, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess! Time is definitely money at Walt Disney World. Going on vacation in Orlando is going to cost you lots of pretty pennies, and if any family members wind up sick in bed, then there are certainly better things to do with your time, and conversely, your money.

It can be fairly easy for someone to pick up a nasty bug from one of the thousands of Disney visitors that run their sweaty, sticky, dirty, germy hands all over every surface. I am totally guilty of touching everything at WDW, from the walls of Pirates of the Caribbean ride to hundreds of pieces of merchandise in the gift shops. I touch everything. The problem is that when you touch the roller coaster cars, the railings, the this and the that, you might to forget to wash your hands. And then you eat a snack or a meal. Pretty soon your stomach starts to ache or you start running a fever.

Uh oh. And once you get sick, now you are in big trouble.

Read: Would a Disney Princess Spend $25 for WDW T-Shirt? 

why take Bath & Body works hand sanitizers to Disney World

If you are planning your first trip to Disney, it’s time to pack the hand sanitizers. If you’ve been to Disney before, chances are you already have some bottles stored in a vacation box just waiting on the next trip. Or perhaps in your purse right now. 

80 percent of common infections, including the H1N1 flu virus, can be spread through contaminated hands. James Scott, a microbiologist at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health said, “A hand sanitizer cleans your hands much better than soap and water, so it reduces the bacterial burden to a much greater extent than soap and water. And your hands tend to stay cleaner longer than if you were to use soap and water.”

Having the flu or some sort of cold will be a huge time and money waster on your long-anticipated vacation.

I am the first one to admit that I abhor most hand sanitizers, but since I teach at a public high school, I have to use it every day.  I hate the smell and the texture, but mainly the smell of anti-bacterial gels. I have found $1.50 bottles of Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer to be the best thing going. Kid friendly colors, scents like cupcake and strawberry, and you can find them on sale for $1 every now and then.

Disney Princesses love sweet-smelling lotions and gels.

And the best part of Bath & Body Works anti-bacterial gels since we published this article in 2012, you can still purchase them on sale for $1. 

Read: Celebrating Birthdays at Walt Disney World with FREEbies: A Cheapskate Princess Guide!

Bath and Body workd hand sanitizers for vacations

Erica stopped by to comment, “Yes! We will definitely be stocking up on hand sanitizer the next time we go to WDW. We went on a family trip (my family, my sisters, nephew, parents, and grandparents) when my son was 9 months old. He got really sick with a stomach bug the 2nd night (and since it started with him, I’m suspecting the portable crib or some other hotel surface since he touched almost NOTHING in the park since I had him in a sling), and it slowly but surely made it to every member of the family except for me. Each person was only sick for a day or two, but it lasted probably a week and a half, well after we were all home because it went through everyone one at a time! No amount of hand washing could keep the aunts and grandparents/ great grandparents safe from the bug that hit the kids first. So this is excellent advice. That is NOT an experience I want to relive. I will be hovering over my kids with the hand sanitizer next time!”

Amy left a good pointer for readers as well, “This is a really good tip. But I think it is important to mention that while regular hand sanitizer will protect against the spread of the common cold and influenza, most do not kills the most common viruses that cause the stomach virus such as norovirus. So, I would still recommend soap and water before eating.

Agreed – hand washing should probably be your first line of defense. 

Getting sick can side track your vacation for days, wasting valuable time and hard-earned money as you sleep off whatever germ you picked up.

It’s only smart to wash those hand as often as you can and keep some travel sized bottles of hand sanitizers in your Disney bag. 

Read: “Best of the Best” Walt Disney World Freebies

Thanks for stopping by, and here’s to wishing you health and happiness on your next Disney vacation!


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Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


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Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

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