Anxiety, DAS & Soarin

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by southernfriedmom, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. southernfriedmom

    southernfriedmom Mouseketeer

    Aug 1, 2012
    We are WDW regulars (10x in last 2 years) with a DD4 w/ severe anxiety issues but we just entered new territory now that she is 40+ inches. A lot if her anxiety comes with crowds in tight places, strangers talking to her, and very much the unknown. For example I thought we'd be fine taking her into VotLM without our stroller/DAS last week but we narrowly avoided a panic attack b/c she said she didn't remember it & needed out now. We've watched TT & 7DMT on YouTube to which she decided she wouldn't do. I really think she would enjoy Soarin but I can't figure out a way to help her get over the unknown with that ride. So I have two questions... 1. Anyone with high anxiety children: do you just respect their wishes not to ride rides or do you try any techniques to encourage them? 2. Could we wait through the line with her and then just walk out through the screen room if she's too scared but at least this would allow her a visual of the ride? Would love opinions of others with children with anxiety issues. It's always hard finding a balance between encouraging her to face her fears & accepting her anxiety. So many of her issues are completely irrational- she will not let us take her picture without an extreme panic/meltdown and has been that way for years. As a matter of fact, she didn't take a bath without screaming the entire time until the day before her first birthday.
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  3. stormer

    stormer DIS Veteran

    Sep 28, 2007
    I would think if she changed her mind and you explained it to the CM they would just let you walk through. Soarin in a tough one for my son because even with DAS or FP+ it seems like it is still a pretty long wait. He has a hard time with that que.
  4. SMD

    SMD DIS Veteran

    Feb 15, 2004
    Here's where I think you will run into an issue with Soarin. When the ride starts, the room goes dark and the seats sort of jerk while the rise to the height of 40 feet. You can't really see, but you know you're moving. Then when the video starts, you can see how high you are. When the ride ends, the lights go out again and the seats descend rapidly. Again, you can't see it, but you feel it. If she has the kind of anxiety you describe, and is afraid of the dark or heights, you might want to skip this one.
  5. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2009
    There is a clip of the engineer showing how he used an erector set to develop the ride. I bet it's on YouTube. You could show her that to give her an idea of the actual ride mechanism and movement.
  6. Aladora

    Aladora DIS Veteran

    Aug 22, 2011
    I can answer your first question and take a guess at the second.

    We always encourage our son to try things that he might be anxious about but at the end we always respect his wishes.

    We've taken him to DL now 5 times and each time we talk about the rides that he might not be looking forward to. Now that he has gone a few times we have the rule that he has to try each ride at least once. There are some that we just don't bother with anymore, such as ToT. He did it once a few years ago and was not a fan of it so if I want to ride, I grab a FP and DH takes DS on Monsters Inc or they go to see Muppets3D while I go and ride ToT.

    It can be hard to find the balance and I know that many people try and use Disney trips to get their kids to expand their horizons but I would weigh the cost of forcing her versus the benefit of getting her to try something new.

    As for the second question, I would guess that you could just walk right through Soarin' and out the exit if you get in and she decides she won't ride but it might be best to talk to the CM at the line entrance and see.
  7. MareSINY

    MareSINY DIS Veteran

    Aug 15, 2005
    When my niece was 4 we took her on Soarin. She's high anxiety and has autism. She was fine until the screen lit up and she FREAKED! My sister had to tell her to just close her eyes. It was stressful for all of us because she was visibly upset and frightened. Flash ahead to 6 years old her and I went alone to Disney and she LOVED it! Hoooped and hollered the entire time laughing her butt off. Don't force it, wait until she's ready.
  8. NoleFan

    NoleFan DIS Veteran

    Mar 30, 2013
    My DS8 with autism did not like Soarin' initially at age 5. He closed his eyes a few times and I recall specifically at the beginning. We went on it this weekend and he LOVED it....even asked to ride it again.
  9. kermiebudge

    kermiebudge Mouseketeer

    Nov 2, 2012
    I've got two kids- complete polar opposites... One is fearless (DS) and my DD9 has anxiety. With her too, it's the unknowns that get to her...combined with massive crowds- I can totally relate.

    We never, ever pushed her into getting on a ride that she was uncomfortable with. However, we often found that seeing the expression on her brother's face post-ride was many times just enough to motivate her to try it. Or a few warm-up rides. Peter Pan's Flight *may* ease you into the Magic Carpets, which may help with Soarin'.... Also found if I said (she's usually stuck to my leg) "You don't want to ride? No problem, you wait here with Dad and I'm going to ride with your right back" that it miraculously inspired her to give it a go ;) If I thought she was truly horrified though, I would never let her try it out. And you always have an escape route if needed!!!

    We also watched TONS of youtube (LOVE YT!!!) ride tours, park tours, resort tours, and restaurant tours ahead of time. I'd ask her for her help planning what we do, what we ride and when. It sooooo helped her feel prepared and even empowered to help make decisions.

    It's a balancing act, but WDW is the perfect place to gently encourage that butterfly to spread her wings a bit. After a few years and many trips later, I can't get her off EE, Space, Splash or even ToT!!!

    On the other hand, to this day if someone or a character gets in her face to talk to her- total shut down. Baby steps!!!

    Good luck :goodvibes
  10. halssister

    halssister Earning My Ears

    Jan 30, 2010
    My son has autism and anxiety (we didn't realize just how much until the past couple years!) and doesn't really like many rides,but I really wanted to do Soarin' and knew DH wouldn't do it with me (he gets sick on almost every ride.....we mainly did shows and things at the parks, not rides). My son found a video of Soarin on YouTube and watched it over and over again, it showed the video that they show during the ride. I think it helped a lot, but he still did a little nervous whine the entire ride and grabbed my arm. Afterwards, he said he didn't like it, but many hours later asked to ride again. So I guess you never know for sure.
    Do they have a few seats on it that don't actually rise up? I thought I had heard that but maybe I'm imagining things. Like you would just be sitting in a seat watching the giant video screen, feeling the "breeze" etc but not feeling like you were moving.
  11. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

    Dec 30, 2005
    All three rows of the seats rise up.
  12. WantToGoNow

    WantToGoNow DIS Veteran

    Sep 27, 2005
    My ds13 has a lot of anxiety issues. He has panicked on many rides. He didn't like Soarin until he was 10.
  13. WheeledTraveler

    WheeledTraveler DIS Veteran

    Oct 10, 2007
    All 3 rows do rise, but to different levels. The front row is lowest and the back is highest. (I don't know if that would make any difference, but I wanted to mention it.)
  14. chirurgeon

    chirurgeon I am a delicate flower and need my sleep.

    Jan 4, 2000
    I'm sorry, but the row heights are reversed, row 1 is the highest, 2 mid height and 3 is the lowest.

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