(What If They’re Too Short/Young?)
By Dave Shute
OVERVIEW: TOO SHORT OR TOO YOUNG FOR DISNEY WORLD
If this may be your kids’ only childhood visit, wait til the youngest/ shortest is 48″ tall and around 8 or 9 years old.
If you do, then they will be able to ride all attractions with height restrictions, and should have the emotional maturity to appreciate most of the best of Disney, and to have fun even on the “scary” rides.
If this is impossible for you, the material below suggests that setting 44 inches as your target minimum height costs you only little.
However, children of this height may be as young as five and a half–or even younger.
For young children, test the effect that their first scary ride has on them, and base your exposure of them to further scary rides (listed below) on how that goes.
(See this page for help if you have no intention of following this advice!)
HEIGHT AND WALT DISNEY WORLD
The thumbnail (click to open; when open, click again to enlarge) shows height requirements for 15 rides, so that you can see exactly what your child will miss at the height you expect him or her to be when you attend Walt Disney World.
These 15 rides include 7 of the 9 most popular rides at Walt Disney World. You’ll see that after 48 inches, the next key height is 44 inches.
If your child is less than 48 inches, but at least 44 inches, at the time of your vacation, then your child will miss only two rides, and only one of these—Rock n’ Roller Coaster—is one of Walt Disney World’s ten most popular rides.
However, if your child is less than 44 inches, then he or she will miss in addition Space Mountain, Mission: Space, and Expedition Everest–missing in total 3 of the 9 most popular rides.
At less than 40 inches, your child will miss 7 of the 9 most popular rides at the parks.
AGE AND WALT DISNEY WORLD
Children less emotionally and cognitively developed than the typical third grader will have some of the best of Disney World go right over their heads, and may have trouble with some of the best, but scary, rides.
Test one such ride on your children and base their exposure to the rest on their reaction to the first.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 50% of both American girls and boys hit 44 inches by age five and a half. 90% of girls are 44 inches or taller by age seven, and 90% of boys by age six and a half.
These children may be too young for the scary parts of some of the best Walt Disney World has to offer.
Six attractions–three of them being among the nine most popular rides at Walt Disney World– for which a 44 inch tall child is tall enough may be too scary: Stitch’s Great Escape, Mission: Space, Tower of Terror, Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, and Space Mountain.
The last is “just” a roller coaster, and is too scary only if your child is not rational enough to understand that he or she takes much bigger risks of injury when riding in a car than on a roller coaster.
The first five are a little tougher: the actual physical and visual experience that is being imitated–the “story” of the ride and its effects–can be a little scary even for older children.
If you must bring children with less than the emotional and cognitive development of a third grader, base your exposure of your children to the final four on this list based on their reaction to the first one of these they encounter. If the first one is too much, keep them off the rest of Tower of Terror, Mission: Space, Stitch’s Great Escape, Dinosaur, and Expedition Everest.
See this page for help if you have no intention of following this advice!
LINKS FOR HOW OLD/TALL YOUR KIDS SHOULD BE
- How Old/Tall Your Children Should Be
- What if They’re Too Short/Young?
- Taking Your Too Short/Young Kids Anyway,&*#$@!!
- The Comprehensive Guide to Rides
- Rides That Might be Skipped