Thursday, June 23, 2016

Is That Ride Kid Friendly?

So you’ve booked your Walt Disney World vacation, you’ve made your Fastpass+ selections, you’ve finally arrived to the park, and you’re walking up to the Tower of Terror when your kid says, “I don’t know if I want to ride…”  All the thoughts that are now going through your mind, not the least of which is, “I better not have wasted a Fastpass+!”

1. Don’t feel bad, when my kid said it, I silently called him a wuss.
2. Don’t fret. I personally think Disney World does a great job giving insight into what you will experience on the rides.
Rock'n'Roller Coaster, one of the most thrilling attractions at WDW!

Can you fully explain the drop on Tower of Tower to your kiddo?  No. But, you do have a great visual of the ride from the street below and you can hear the sounds of the people screaming on the ride. This unveiling is true with most of Disney’s “thrill” rides.

Splash Mountain 



For example, Rock'n Roller Coaster allows you to view the launch while you still have a chance to take the chicken exit.  Expedition Everest and Splash Mountain show you the drops from different areas, giving you the option to ride or skip waiting in line. By taking a ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority you can view part of the Space Mountain ride.

We didn’t push the issue with any of our kids. If they wanted to ride-- fine, and if not they would wait for us by the ride photos at the end.  I know not everyone has kids old enough to do that, so in that case you can take advantage of Child Swap so both parents can take turns riding.

Expedition Everest
Cast Members are also great when a member of your party “opts out” at the last minute.  We waited for Expedition Everest one day only to get to the Cast Member asking how many were in our party.  “Five” was barely out of my mouth when I noticed tears from Kid #1. We told her she didn’t have to go, and asked if it would be okay if she stepped out of line, to which the Cast Member kindly responded, “Of course!  Come with me and I’ll show you a great place to wait.  You can look at all the people getting their pictures taken on the ride!”  As we drew closer to Tower of Terror, Kid #2 said, “Nope.  I’m good.  Meet you in the gift shop!”  We really appreciate that Disney isn’t trying to keep their thrills a secret, and in most situations, your kids can judge for themselves if they are ready for a particular ride or not.

The one unexpected wildcard—The Haunted Mansion.  If you think any part of it will scare your kiddo, skip it, or ride it alone first and judge.  While as adults we understand what is real and what isn’t, kids of all ages still get very scared by the darkness, and those 999 happy haunts aren’t ALL as happy as they might lead you to believe.  Don't assume they will be fine and take the chance of traumatizing them for the rest of the day (or week!)

-Agent Jill

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