Dear Disney: can you please do something about the height requirement inconsistencies?

dk413

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 19, 2015
We just got back from an, overall, great trip but what's the deal with the height requirement inconsistencies? Let me preface this by saying I am all about safety so if my children are not the correct height for a ride I do not want them riding it, but my son, who is just over 40 inches according to his latest pediatrician visit, and according to the fact that he bashed his head on the height requirement thing the first time he stepped under it, was cleared to ride Test Track and Splash Mountain at the entrance....only to be denied both times by the CMs at the very front of the line. After we had waited for the ride. After he had got his hopes up that he could ride it. And he was not the only one. We saw this happen all. the. time. Kids would clear. Kids would wait. Kids would get to the front. Denied. Kids get super upset. Parents get super angry. CMs goes on autopilot because they probably say it a million times a day: "Im sorry for the inconsistency but you cannot ride". I thought my magic band made it pretty clear that I was not Wayne Szalinski and that I had no intentions of shrinking my kids at any point during the line-waiting process, so why would they not have just made the final decision at the entrance? Or why not have an official measuring spot where they can actually measure kids correctly (ie feet against the wall, stand up straight etc) can give wristbands to kids if they meet certain height requirements so you're not putting all that pressure on the CMs at the front of the line?
 

scrump

<font color=royalblue>so the decision has been mad
Joined
Oct 3, 2003
I remember once in Tokyo Disneyland, we were waiting at rope drop and a CM was going around measuring kids' heights. My kids both got writstbands color coded to their height range, clearing them to ride their appropriate attractions. They were not measured again that day at individual attractions. It didn't seem to be a resort wide policy, as we didn't run into it again that trip, but I thought it was a good idea - but I can also see that being a huge undertaking if you were really to pre-measure every kid...

I can see why you were frustrated! We are headed to WDW for the first time in a loooong time, so this is one of the scenarios that I hope we don't run into.
 

mom2rtk

Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
We just got back from an, overall, great trip but what's the deal with the height requirement inconsistencies? Let me preface this by saying I am all about safety so if my children are not the correct height for a ride I do not want them riding it, but my son, who is just over 40 inches according to his latest pediatrician visit, and according to the fact that he bashed his head on the height requirement thing the first time he stepped under it, was cleared to ride Test Track and Splash Mountain at the entrance....only to be denied both times by the CMs at the very front of the line. After we had waited for the ride. After he had got his hopes up that he could ride it. And he was not the only one. We saw this happen all. the. time. Kids would clear. Kids would wait. Kids would get to the front. Denied. Kids get super upset. Parents get super angry. CMs goes on autopilot because they probably say it a million times a day: "Im sorry for the inconsistency but you cannot ride". I thought my magic band made it pretty clear that I was not Wayne Szalinski and that I had no intentions of shrinking my kids at any point during the line-waiting process, so why would they not have just made the final decision at the entrance? Or why not have an official measuring spot where they can actually measure kids correctly (ie feet against the wall, stand up straight etc) can give wristbands to kids if they meet certain height requirements so you're not putting all that pressure on the CMs at the front of the line?
It’s your job as a parent to prepare them for the fact that they need two yeses to get on the ride with a height requirement. It’s awful to get inconsistent answers but it’s the nature of the beast.
I remember once in Tokyo Disneyland, we were waiting at rope drop and a CM was going around measuring kids' heights. My kids both got writstbands color coded to their height range, clearing them to ride their appropriate attractions. They were not measured again that day at individual attractions. It didn't seem to be a resort wide policy, as we didn't run into it again that trip, but I thought it was a good idea - but I can also see that being a huge undertaking if you were really to pre-measure every kid...

I can see why you were frustrated! We are headed to WDW for the first time in a loooong time, so this is one of the scenarios that I hope we don't run into.
They don’t use the pre-measure wristband method at Disney World or Disneyland because people will slip the wristbands off and put them on other kids.
 
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  • JakeAZ

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2018
    They don’t use the pre-measure wristband method at Disney World or Disneyland because people will slip the wristbands off and put them on other kids.
    Wristband technology has come a long way. I go to the Phoenix Open golf tournament every year. For their corporate boxes, you get a wrist band that can only be removed with scissors. You cannot make the band looser.

    Something like this.

    This would be received with 100% positivity. It would make the guest experience better. Why they don't do it? Who knows.

    To say the kid is tall enough to wait in the line but not tall enough to ride is insane. It's a terrible experience. There is no justification for this. This isn't the 90s. The technology is there to make this easy.
     

    emilyrachael

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 29, 2009
    This was always my fear....for them to past the first measurement but not the second. It's not fair to make kids wait in line and THEN turn them away.

    It seems like the ground at some of the places they measure kids can be uneven or sloped. Why not build a little FLAT platform for the kids to stand on to be measured. It wouldn't be that hard then to make sure the measuring sticks are the same.
     

    KrazeeK120

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 29, 2012
    It’s your job as a parent to prepare them for the fact that they need two yeses to get on the line with a height requirement. It’s awful to get inconsistent answers but it’s the nature of the beast.
    It shouldn’t be the nature of the beast though. The height bars should be accurate. And I’m betting there are a LOT of parents out there who don’t realize that the height bars aren’t always set correctly and don’t know to prepare their kids.

    Interestingly, on our last trip, my son was barely over 38 inches. He cleared the height bars at the beginning of both SDD and 7DMT. He was not measured again at the end of the line. I was surprised. I wonder how they decide who gets measured a second time.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    Wristband technology has come a long way. I go to the Phoenix Open golf tournament every year. For their corporate boxes, you get a wrist band that can only be removed with scissors. You cannot make the band looser.

    Something like this.

    This would be received with 100% positivity. It would make the guest experience better. Why they don't do it? Who knows.

    To say the kid is tall enough to wait in the line but not tall enough to ride is insane. It's a terrible experience. There is no justification for this. This isn't the 90s. The technology is there to make this easy.
    You don't even need to go that fancy. The plastic wristbands that lock once you close them would work just as well at a fraction of the price. If they are secured tight enough that they can't be slipped off, but have to be cut with scissors, it will work. Great Wolf lodge uses those and people wear them for multiple days. You can't slip them off.
     
  • dk413

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2015
    It’s your job as a parent to prepare them for the fact that they need two yeses to get on the line with a height requirement. It’s awful to get inconsistent answers but it’s the nature of the beast.

    They don’t use the pre-measure wristband method at Disney World or Disneyland because people will slip the wristbands off and put them on other kids.
    If you know there are 2 check points. We had no idea for Test Track. The CM at the entrance didn’t tell us and I hadn’t been on that ride since I was about 12 so didn’t really remember where check points were...
    For splash mountain I knew. And I did prepare him. But all the preparing in the world did not prevent a massive meltdown at the other end (and my son is usually super calm so if he melted down I can only imagine what other parents have to endure at this checkpoint). But regardless. Why does it have to be the nature of the beast? Why not just change it to a more sensible system? It makes zero sense. Or if you’re not going to change it, at least let the parents know at the entrance that there’s another checkpoint that they have to get through so we can decide if we want to waste an hour of our life waiting for a ride that we may/may not be able to go on.
     

    mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    They should. Hershey Park used to give wristbands, it was great. However, they stopped, and my 4 year old had a meltdown not being allowed to ride, even though he had rode twice that day already, and all of his siblings were riding, including his twin who was exactly the same size.
     

    2019TripIdeas

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2018
    We're nervous about this on our January trip. We did Disneyland last spring and many of the "same" rides at Disneyland have higher height requirements at WDW (totally know there are differences in the ride, so I trust the reasoning there 100%). My daughter may have rides that she "passed" for at Disneyland that she won't be able to ride at WDW, and she's a total thrill junkie who loved Space Mountain, BTMRR, etc. She was a just barely 40" I think on that trip so I did tell her about the two measurements when we were there. After passing the first one (and CMs usually did check her specifically) I always said "okay but you still have to pass one more height check" etc. She understood it but interestingly mostly wasn't re-measured at the second one minus I remember BTMRR re-checking her (and now in retrospect I'm thinking she went on Matterhorn too- so if so I'm really wondering how she made that 42" unless it was just the shoes?). Likewise, I thought FOR SURE our youngest (then under 32") wouldn't be allowed on Autopia at all. He was and no one checked him at any point. I felt fine about him going on because of the style of the ride, but I had been ready to get taken out of line the whole time.

    OP, specifically which rides did you have the issue on? We have the 5 year old who is now running 43.5" and a 3 year old who is 38" with a bit over two months to go so I'm curious where you had the issue. I'm over here trying to think thru if I risk it on fastpasses that they might not even be able to do if they don't grow.
     
  • JakeAZ

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2018
    You don't even need to go that fancy. The plastic wristbands that lock once you close them would work just as well at a fraction of the price
    I agree it doesn't need to be that fancy, but I'm sure Disney could name their price on something like that.
     

    dk413

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2015
    We're nervous about this on our January trip. We did Disneyland last spring and many of the "same" rides at Disneyland have higher height requirements at WDW (totally know there are differences in the ride, so I trust the reasoning there 100%). My daughter may have rides that she "passed" for at Disneyland that she won't be able to ride at WDW, and she's a total thrill junkie who loved Space Mountain, BTMRR, etc. She was a just barely 40" I think on that trip so I did tell her about the two measurements when we were there. After passing the first one (and CMs usually did check her specifically) I always said "okay but you still have to pass one more height check" etc. She understood it but interestingly mostly wasn't re-measured at the second one minus I remember BTMRR re-checking her (and now in retrospect I'm thinking she went on Matterhorn too- so if so I'm really wondering how she made that 42" unless it was just the shoes?). Likewise, I thought FOR SURE our youngest (then under 32") wouldn't be allowed on Autopia at all. He was and no one checked him at any point. I felt fine about him going on because of the style of the ride, but I had been ready to get taken out of line the whole time.

    OP, specifically which rides did you have the issue on? We have the 5 year old who is now running 43.5" and a 3 year old who is 38" with a bit over two months to go so I'm curious where you had the issue. I'm over here trying to think thru if I risk it on fastpasses that they might not even be able to do if they don't grow.
    So my son was measured at the pediatrician 2 days before we left and according to them he was 40 1/2 inches. This was our experience:

    7DMT (38” height requirement)- they didn’t even measure him. Just looked at him at the entrance and waved him through. Again, no measuring when we got to the ride either. I did see some hardcore measuring of some smaller kids at the entrance to the ride though, but I did not see anyone getting remeasured at the second checkpoint. It was more of a visual “yeah he looks big enough” type thing.

    Test track (40” height requirement): he met the requirement at the entrance twice, hitting his head on the measuring stick both times (twice because the ride broke down while we were waiting for it the first time so had to come back and wait in line a second time). Was pulled to the side as he was getting onto his car for the second checkpoint and remeasured. His head was brushing the measuring stick but wasn’t smacking into it like it was at the first checkpoint. He was not allowed to ride.

    Splash Mountain (40” height requirement): He was measured at the entrance and his head was just at the line (similar to where it was at the second checkpoint at TT). He was allowed to go through. He measured at exactly the same spot at the second checkpoint but this time they said he couldn’t ride. Same thing happened to the girl right behind us.
     

    ofcabbagesandkings

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2014
    Did they do any attempt at guest recovery for this? It's one thing if you had a fastness for TT, but to wait an hour or longer and then be denied boarding when your child was waived through at the first checkpoint is really outrageous. They should have given you a FP for another ride to make up for your lost time. In my opinion, there is no reason that kids should be checked twice at all. If they are tall enough at the start of the line, they're not going to magically shrink in the time it takes them to get to the end. And it is much easier for parents to manage the disappointment before the anticipation of riding has been built up.
     

    JakeAZ

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2018
    So my son was measured at the pediatrician 2 days before we left and according to them he was 40 1/2 inches. This was our experience:

    7DMT (38” height requirement)- they didn’t even measure him. Just looked at him at the entrance and waved him through. Again, no measuring when we got to the ride either. I did see some hardcore measuring of some smaller kids at the entrance to the ride though, but I did not see anyone getting remeasured at the second checkpoint. It was more of a visual “yeah he looks big enough” type thing.

    Test track (40” height requirement): he met the requirement at the entrance twice, hitting his head on the measuring stick both times (twice because the ride broke down while we were waiting for it the first time so had to come back and wait in line a second time). Was pulled to the side as he was getting onto his car for the second checkpoint and remeasured. His head was brushing the measuring stick but wasn’t smacking into it like it was at the first checkpoint. He was not allowed to ride.

    Splash Mountain (40” height requirement): He was measured at the entrance and his head was just at the line (similar to where it was at the second checkpoint at TT). He was allowed to go through. He measured at exactly the same spot at the second checkpoint but this time they said he couldn’t ride. Same thing happened to the girl right behind us.
    This is 100% unacceptable. No kid, who passed the entrance height requirement, should have to wait hour(s) in line to be told they can't ride, at loading. One check point is enough. If they are tall enough at the main entrance, that should be it.
    In addition to the major disappointment the kid experiences, time is money at DW. A 1-2 hour wait, only to accomplish nothing, could be spent on another ride.
    Not hitting the height requirement at the main entrance of ride is disappointing, but you can then move on to another ride. If the kids makes it past that checkpoint, in their mind, they believe they will be riding.
     

    jo-jo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2011
    I'm assuming he was measured at 40 1/2 inches ,at the Drs ,in socking feet. And yet he barely hit the bar for 40 inches? I would think his shoes would have added at least 1/2 inch. I wonder how correct the bar heights are?
     

    Jonfw2

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2019
    If you KNOW your kids are tall enough, but just barely, here's what I'd do: get a couple of comfortable shoe inserts and throw them in there just to remove all doubt.

    NOTE: PLEASE don't ratio me. I'm not saying this for kids who are 2 inches too short. This is specifically for if Disney's measuring devices are inconsistent.
     

    tjmw2727

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2001
    The CM(s) actually loading the ride have ultimate responsibility to be sure every guest is eligible to ride, their job and our safety depends on it. They have no idea if your child was measured at the entrance or not, lots of families try and sneak borderline kids in with a group and some are successful.

    Actually - the purpose of the check at the beginning of the line is to avoid a child having to wait only to be turned away in this situation - but YES the measuring should be accurate in both places. IMHO the fault here would be with the outside CM letting underheight riders through.
     
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    Heather07438

    WDW Apprentice
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    We just got back from an, overall, great trip but what's the deal with the height requirement inconsistencies? Let me preface this by saying I am all about safety so if my children are not the correct height for a ride I do not want them riding it, but my son, who is just over 40 inches according to his latest pediatrician visit, and according to the fact that he bashed his head on the height requirement thing the first time he stepped under it, was cleared to ride Test Track and Splash Mountain at the entrance....only to be denied both times by the CMs at the very front of the line. After we had waited for the ride. After he had got his hopes up that he could ride it. And he was not the only one. We saw this happen all. the. time. Kids would clear. Kids would wait. Kids would get to the front. Denied. Kids get super upset. Parents get super angry. CMs goes on autopilot because they probably say it a million times a day: "Im sorry for the inconsistency but you cannot ride". I thought my magic band made it pretty clear that I was not Wayne Szalinski and that I had no intentions of shrinking my kids at any point during the line-waiting process, so why would they not have just made the final decision at the entrance? Or why not have an official measuring spot where they can actually measure kids correctly (ie feet against the wall, stand up straight etc) can give wristbands to kids if they meet certain height requirements so you're not putting all that pressure on the CMs at the front of the line?
    I truly sympathize with your experience. Nobody wants to stand on these lines to be turned away, that's horrible. Something can be done for more consistent requirements.

    It is possible to shrink, especially early day with a long line wait. During horizontal sleep our vertabrae spread out allowing more fluid to fill our disks. Then after rising, gravity on our heavy heads helps squeeze out that juice which can compact our height by a centimeter or more. Even only a millimeter or two could be the difference between under or over 40".
     

    dk413

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2015
    I'm assuming he was measured at 40 1/2 inches ,at the Drs ,in socking feet. And yet he barely hit the bar for 40 inches? I would think his shoes would have added at least 1/2 inch. I wonder how correct the bar heights are?
    Actually didn’t even think about that. You’re 100% correct. He was measured in his socks at the doctors. In the park he was wearing Nike flex runners. I just measured the soles and at the thinnest point they are about 1/2 inch thick. At the backs they are about an inch.
    But without a wall it’s very difficult to get a 3 year old to stand up straight. However, when hours are at stake, millimeters count and lots of money is being spent on tickets, you really need to have a proper, consistent measuring system. Or at least a sensible one that doesn’t require 3 year olds to stand in line forever only to be turned away at the last minute.
     

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