Cast Members, and even some of us as guests, have seen tricks parents try to pull off to get their child onto an attraction that they are not naturally tall enough to ride. There are good reasons behind the Disney height requirements. If your child does not meet the height requirement, you can still ride the attraction. Look for the section below about Rider Switch. Let’s examine some of the issues that commonly arise when this is discussed.
The height requirements exist because it can damage the child’s internal organs, their bodies cannot handle the g-forces caused by the ride. This is a scientifically sound height requirement. It does not exist because Disney Cast Members make these things up and want to personally keep your kid off the ride. The height sticks are there for your child’s safety.
Don’t put ice cream in your kids’ shoes so they will be tall enough. –Seriously, no ice cream sandwiches, nothing. Your child will not be safe to ride the attraction if they are not tall enough. Guests have been known to do all kinds of things and yes, this one really happened. Putting things in their shoes, or trying to have them wear two pairs of shoes, etc., will only be putting your child at risk.
Research before you go which rides your children can ride. Measure them carefully at home to get an accurate height. They should wear the same shoes they will wear in the park, if available. Visit the official Walt Disney World site and you will see the height requirements along with photos, a description, any warnings, for each attraction. You can even make a personalized map set of the parks with the attractions you will want to visit and they will mail them to you. They are really nice maps and make a great souvenir. Knowing what attractions are appropriate for your children’s ages, and understanding the height or age requirements for them, will help you choose the right FastPass+ reservations too. Your time in the parks will be much more enjoyable with this research done ahead of time. There won’t be any hurt feelings if you know ahead of time what your child can/cannot ride.
Don’t make your kids go on rides that they don’t want to ride. Children have been known to actually cry out for help to a Cast Member saying “Please don’t make me ride this!” while the parents are insisting their child ride. If your child does not want to ride please use Disney’s Rider Switch having one adult stay with the child who is not riding, the other parent can ride with the rest of the party. After the first parent/adult rides they can then watch the child who is not riding and the second parent/adult can ride with up to two other from the party and go through the FastPass+ line to do it. It is so much more pleasant that taking a screaming child onto a ride they don’t want to go on.
If it is determined that your child does not meet the height requirement please do not be angry with the Cast Member. They are using the height stick that every other child in the park is measured by and it is extremely accurate. The point is, there is no reason to argue about this. No one is out to ruin your vacation. Think about your child and how embarrassed they are when you are yelling at a Cast Member about their height. Kids see the sticks and understand they are there for a reason and if they aren’t tall enough they see it as a fact. They can ride the next time they come. Don’t ruin your day by fighting with Cast Members, Coordinators or Managers because it is not going to change the height measurement.
Keep in mind there are other warnings in addition to height requirements for each ride. There are health restrictions such as for people with bad backs, women who are pregnant, those prone to motion sickness, claustrophobia or fear of dark places for example. It is easy to read the signs at the attraction entrance or simply ask a Cast Member any questions you have.
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Check out these height requirements for each park and be prepared to plan accordingly:
- DINOSAUR – 40″
- Expedition Everest – 44″
- Kali River Rapids – 38″
- Avatar – Flight of Passage – 44″
- Primeval Whirl – 48″
- Mission: Space – 44″
- Soarin’ – 40″
- Test Track – 40″
- Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster – 48″
- Star Tours – 40″
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – 40″
- Barnstormer – 35″
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – 40″
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – 38″
- Space Mountain – 44″
- Splash Mountain – 40″
- Tomorrowland Speedway – 32″ (riding), 54″ (driving)
- Chair Lift – 32″
- Downhill Double Dipper – 48″
- Slush Gusher – 48″
- Summit Plummet – 48″
- Crush ‘n’ Gusher – 48″
- Humunga Kowabunga – 48″