View Full Version : 40+ inches tall... but old enough?
09-21-2008, 09:48 PM
My son, just turned 3 a few weeks ago is right at 40 inches now. We'll be taking a trip to WDW next May and I know he'll technically be big enough for a bunch of rides that he might not be ready for. A few important pieces of information... he LOVES going fast, he can't ever get high enough on the swings etc. Loves to go "zoom zoom" in the car (loves it when I accelerate a little harder than normal), etc. He is very easy going, and is not grossed out or disturbed by much. The other night I found him playing with a spider. When I tried to kill it the spider ran into a vent. A few minutes later he comes out with a dead spider on his finger saying "look at what I have Daddy..". Thank God we also have a little girl in the house to even things out for my wife!!
What experiences have you guys had with your 3-5 year olds on rides like Splash Mountain, Soarin, Test Track, Pirates, etc. I know each child is different, I know my son well and I have a good idea of how I think he'll react to these, I'm just looking for others experiences.
09-21-2008, 10:53 PM
My son is 3.5 and 40" tall. We're actually at Disney right now! He likes Soarin' and Test Track so far. We also did Kali River Rapids and he enjoyed that. I think he will like BTMRR and Splash, so we'll try those later this week. I wouldn't even consider taking him on Dinosaur or Tower of Terror, even though he is tall enough. He has been on pirates before and he liked it. I think those are all the ones you asked about -- hope that helps! I'll let you know if he actually goes on Splash and BTMRR and what the reaction was!
09-21-2008, 10:58 PM
On his 3rd birthday trip, my DS enjoyed Splash Mountain and Test Track (loved TT!!). Soarin wasn't open yet but I wouldn't hesitate to take a 3yo on Soarin. He wasn't too crazy about Goofy's Barnstormer (surprising to me, honestly) so we didn't try any of the other roller coaster-type rides. When we went two years later, he loved many rides (except Haunted Mansion, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Tower of Terror - anything with a scary story) - Test Track, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Rock n Roller Coaster. Mission Space was his all-time favorite on his 5yo trip. There's a huge difference between a new 3yo, a 4yo and a 5yo IMO.
09-22-2008, 03:00 AM
We had similar in August- our four year old is really dainty but was just tall enough for alot of rides, she soon let us know which ones she didn't want to go on (she went on splash mountain, soarin, test track, big thunder mountain, kali river rapids) the only ride she was tall enough for and didn't like was Stitch, ohh and we couldn't get her on Dinosaur- she wouldn't go and I'm kind of glad we didn't take her on as she'd have peed herself!!! (we took her in honey i shrunk the audience too and she really didn't like that one so if you have a jumpy child do not take them in that!)- she freaked out and really didn't enjoy it at all, she didn't like the snow white ride either.
The only thing our five year old didn't go on was rocking roller coaster- he was tall enough so we took him on everything - the CM at the front of expedition everest took one look at how young he was and said "He HAS been on coasters before hasn't he?" :laughing: The only ride he didn't like was space mountain I think because he's a very tactile person (he has ASD)and you're in a single person car for that so he wasn't touching anyone (and we couldn't get him on Kali river rapids but i think that was more his wanting to hang out with grandad and his baby brother) DS is a very solid build though.
09-22-2008, 05:10 AM
Our daughters are very tall for their ages and love rides. Our first trip DD was going to be 3 the day we got home from Disney. She rode everything including ToT, all the "mountians", Dinasaur, TT, everything but RnRC, she was not tall enough for that. She enjoyed eveyone saying "Wow, you rode that? How old are you?" and she'd say 2. She loved that!
The other 2 were the same way as her, got to go on everything and loved it all. youngest DD was 4 on the last trip and would have spent all day on Soarin, EE, and the mountians. She was so sad to not be tall enough for RnRC, but she will be all the more excited to ride it now.
I think you have to know your kid. I knew mine would be fine and they were better than fine, they loved the rides. As long as Disney says they were tall enough I would let them try. But if you think he will be scared, hold off, you don't want a traumatic memory at Disney. have fun!!!
09-22-2008, 05:38 AM
I'm facing this question with DS. He will be 32 months old for this trip and he's tall - I think he's just about 40" (hard to get him stand up straight). I knew we're going to take him on Goofy's Barnstormer this year - I think he'll love it. I don't think POTC has a height minimum so we'll try that too along with HM if he wants to. I have some WDW videos here that I have been trying to show him so he is somewhat familiar with the rides/fireworks/parades at WDW. We also listen to WDW music in the car. If he is 40" the only big ride we'll take him on is Soarin' (we'll request the lowest glider).
09-22-2008, 07:43 AM
Most of the rides that might be too intense he is still too small to ride (EE, RocknRollercoaster, Space Mtn, Mission Space). My DD was 4 and just 40" and she rode all of the rides with a 40" height requirement. She enjoyed most of them. Her favorites were Test Track and Soarin. ToT was a bit too intense for her. She talked about it for months before and really wanted to ride, so I let her go with DH. Well, I havent been for years and I forgot most of the ride. I don't know that the drops were too bad for her, but she was really scared by the ride leading up to the drops. She came off and just told me she did not want to ride again.
09-22-2008, 07:59 AM
My advice would be to use your best instincts and then let him go on what he wants to go on, BUT make sure you do some tame rides first. Just in case something more intense scares him, he won't be afraid of all rides that way and refuse to ride the rest of the visit. ;)
My DS3 falls into the tall-but-not-so-brave category. He liked Goofy's Barnstormer, but I could also tell it made him nervous, and he didn't LOVE it. So, we didn't take him on coasters that were more intense. He LOVED the Speedway and really wanted to try TestTrack, so we did take him on that. He was whimpering during it :guilty: but then when he got off, he said he loved it. :confused3 He didn't mind the speed - it was the dark and the cold room (where I think we got misted by water a little?) that bothered him. He doesn't like to be surprised, so I know he would HATE ToT.
09-22-2008, 08:01 AM
I'm taking my niece for her first trip next month and she's 4 and 42". I've been multiple times so my plan is to describe the ride to her and let her decide whether or not she wants to do them. We have a local place that has smaller versions of the log flume rides, river raft ride and roller coasters for kids and she loves them so I have no doubt she'll want to do Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Kali. I won't do Space Mountain, EE or RNC so there's no way she's going to. Dinosaur & Tot are up in the air. I'll let her decide. I think she'll also be fine on Pirates and Haunted Mansion.
09-22-2008, 08:34 AM
My ds is also tall for his age. He rode Barnstormer when he was two and he's been on all the 40" rides before he was four. He also is a thrill seeker and loves going fast as well. The only ride I really regretted taking him on at such a tender age was ToT. He was shaking when we got off that ride. And no, it wasn't my idea...but I allowed dh to talk me into taking him on it against my better judgement. He wasn't hurt and he doesn't talk about it like he was scared by it now, but he was visibly shaking when we got off, so I immediately regretted it. As far as Splash Mtn goes, he enjoyed that a lot because he loves to get wet. I don't think he really was scared too much by the big drop because it was over so quick. Most of the ride is really cute and fun, imo. Soarin' is pretty tame, but there is height involved. It's not scary IMO. DS loves test track...it's a fast car ride so what's not to love? Lol. As far as PotC goes, he has been on that, and Haunted Mansion, many, many times over our multiple trips since he turned one. He loves PotC and could never get enough of that. Strangly, he decided he was afraid of the ghosts and Master Gracie (sp?) in HM on our last trip. I'm sure it's just a phase though. He was never scared by anything at HM before. Btw, PotC and HM do not have height restrictions, but may be too intense for some kids. DS also loved BTMRR and since he is slender, we all fit in one car and he sat between us, quite secure.
Also, if you're worried that a ride may be too intense, but you're not sure, you can still err on the side of caution and use rider swap, or just take turns using fast pass. We did this before letting ds ride Space Mtn on our last trip. He has been tall enough for a while now, but we weren't sure if it would be a little too bumpy and intense for him, so we rode it without him. I had never ridden it before with the thought of how it might feel to a small child in mind. I thought it was good to refresh my memory of what the ride is actually like w/my ds's likes and dislikes in mind. SpMtn is closing for an extensive refurb in Jan '09 so if you're going before it closes, you definitely won't want to miss it. The height requirement at WDW is 44" so your ds may very well not be tall enough for that ride yet, anyway. edit to add: oops, I just re-read your post and you'll be there in May...from what I understand, the refurb may take up to 14mos to complete according to this thread (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1893992&referrerid=93883). sorry!
09-22-2008, 09:09 AM
My poor short kids. :rotfl: AJ was just barely 40# when we took him last year, so shortly before he was 4.5yo. His favorite was BTMR and Splash Mt. Those are about the only ones we did that really had height limits on them that he met. He is not an easy going child and easily frightened so it says a lot if he had fun on those! My youngest son is only 36" now at almost 4, it'll be a while before we head back to WDW so he can ride the rides. My dd is the same way, if not shorter than Evan was at this age so she'll be w/out those rides for a while too. :)
09-22-2008, 02:11 PM
You know you're child. If you think he's able to handle it, I say go for it. I would suggest you start off with something moderatlely tame, like Splash Moutain and see how he does then build up to the more intense rides.
I have a grandson who has always been tall for his age. When he was 5 I took him to Disneyland. He was tall enough for every ride and he loved them all. He had no problems on Splash mountain, space mountain, Indiana Jones, and Soarin. The only thing he couldnt do was California Screamin' and I was glad cuz I didnt want to join him :)
09-22-2008, 02:21 PM
DS had just turned 4 on our first trip.
He LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Splash Mountain, Mission Space (green) and Test Track. He also had no problems with Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, Big Thunder Mtn., etc.
The only ride that he didn't like was Dinosaur. That one is pretty scary for a little guy.
Oh, I almost forgot - he wouldn't even walk thru the lobby of Tower of Terror. :scared1:
Edited to add: He also freaked out in the Haunted Mansion, and DH had to use the emergency exit with him.
09-22-2008, 02:55 PM
I guess it would depend alot on whether or not he's gone on any other rides-similar ones at least. I think he'd be scared on TOT too! My kids were always ready until we walked up to the entrance-and they were like 9 & 5!!!!!!:rotfl2:
09-22-2008, 03:37 PM
Drops are a little different than fast. My kids didn't like Splash due to the big drop.
Note that brains don't set in skulls until around three - my father in law the neuroscientist is agast anyone would put a child under five on anything other than a SMOOTH coaster for this reason. I'd wait until about then for BTMRR, which is not smooth. Test track is for the most part smooth, so is Soarin and Splash. Goofy's Barnstormer is a smooth coaster.
09-22-2008, 05:31 PM
DD who will be 4 in November had the following reviews:
Kali - AWESOME
Splash - AWESOME
BTMR - FAVORITE
ToT - LOVED IT!! I prepared her for what she would see, she was OK.
DInosaur - No Way!! She Hated it!! She was not crying, but her first words were "I do not want to go on that again mommy"
Soarin' - LOVED IT!!!
I think those are the only ones.
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