Let’s be frank. Walt Disney World is made for kids of all ages, but there are certain elements that may be a little scary for kids of a certain age.
I’ve covered the attractions that can affect those who have motion discomfort (read it here) in addition to attractions that are perfect for kids under 5 (read it here) and kids under 10 (read it here). This isn’t a list like that…
Every child is different. This isn’t a definitive list, and more of an opinion piece written by someone who worked in the Disney Parks and has spent my fair share of time at the following attractions. I was also scared of the Teacups when I was a kid…just as an FYI lol:)
BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD
I’ve talked about how the queue line is impressive (but long and uncomfortable during the summer), however there’s an element that kids may take more seriously than adults.
When the trains are going by at full speed, it can be a very scary experience. In fact, most kids can’t actually see through the windows of the building that the line goes through…so they may not know what’s coming when they get onto the train. Maybe take some time when you’re in the line and lift the kids up and show them what’s going on and what to expect.
Oh, and hold on to your kids on the ride itself! If you’re riding with them, the bar comes down to your legs…so it leaves a little extra room for your kids to slide around when the sudden turns of the coaster happen. Just be safe!
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Where to start with the Haunted Mansion.
Ok, so you’re going into a haunted house with ghosts. Eerie sounds, sudden movements, and awesome special effects. These all make a memorable experience for adults, but if you’re a kid that may not understand that it’s an “attraction” and not real…it’ll be something that they may not like. Explain what they’re getting into by showing them a few youtube videos or photos of what to expect.
In addition, the stretching room is an element of the attraction that can be very creepy…especially if the kid is surrounded by tall adults and only able to hear the spiel. If you think that this may be an issue, ask the cast member to skip the room.
It’s completely acceptable to ask and may be something that you’ll want to gradually introduce over a period of visits.
Seeing as though it’s the same ride mechanism as Dumbo or Magic Carpets of Aladdin – just on the roof of a 3 story building in Tomorrowland, think about starting with an attraction that doesn’t bring in such a huge height issue.
You may think this is a small thing, but you get a great view of the entire park from this ride. This means that you’re ABOVE the park. Lil high
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
The number of kids that I see freak out right after they get in the boat and we set off on the adventure…it’s actually pretty sad. Explain to your kids that there is a drop in the dark, but after that one single experience…it’s just a nice boat ride.
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HAPPILY EVER AFTER FIREWORKS
Disney World is famous for their nighttime spectaculars, but sometimes the loud noises are enough to send your kids into a stage of panic and pain that you may not realize. Young folks have under-developed hearing sensitivities that adults don’t, so this may be a great opportunity for you to stop in at the dollar store or head over to Amazon and pick up some Kids Soft Silicone Ear Plugs for when the fireworks are going off.
I’ve heard of parents using other noise-cancelling products, but make sure that you test them out with your child BEFORE standing on Main Street USA surrounded by thousands of other folks. It’ll save you a lot of hassle and will definitely help get your kids accustomed to the feeling of not being able to hear.
There are so many other little things that may affect your family, but it’s all about being aware of the situations that you’re going into. Be open and honest with your kids and you’ll save tears and meltdowns in the process.
We’ll be doing articles about the other parks, but as Magic Kingdom is known as the Family Vacation Kingdom…this was a great starting point.
Is there anything else that you would want to share on this topic? Let me know via social media (@stepstomagic) and I’ll be sure to pass on the info!