How safe is Space Mountain for those just meeting height requirement?

ValueBuyer

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
My daughter is 43.75 inches in height and 44.5 with shoes on. The height requirement is 44 inches at space mountain.

I was looking at the pictures of the restraint system on the ride and it does not look very robust (please bear with me as a worried parent :) ). My daughter is also slim. Could anyone please provide any input on how safe it would be for someone just meeting the height requirement?

I went on the ride 4-5 times but do not remember much about the restraint system.

Thank you!
 

KayaWildfire

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Well it has a lap bar that is just for that rider so I always felt better about space than big thunder or like because I always feel like a skinny kid could just slide right out when riding with even an average adult. The ride actually goes rather slow and there is really only like 1 largish drop. It feels faster because it is dark.
 

mullysisters

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
It is the ultimate bone rattler for me. FP+ side more than Stby line side. Your neck gets thrown side to side, I brace my head against the seat headrest. There is no zero gravity and I have never felt like I would "come out" of the restraint. I'm 5'2".
PS its my favourite ride at Disney or tied with EE.
 
  • shocker

    It's a WDW realty that not every moment is magical
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2008
    The restraint system is less robust where restraint systems don't need to be very robust to be effective. It will lock down onto her thighs/stomach area. SM doesn't go upside down & the side of the car will come up to about her shoulder height. If you're feeling particularly concerned I would suggest sitting behind her & you can keep hands on her shoulders & know she's not going anywhere. The overall speed of SM tops out about 35 mph (very slow in coaster world), she's likely gone faster on a bike (with no restraint).

    I put each of my kids on first upside down coasters at age 5. With the oldest I looked over & thought 'what have I done?' She looked tiny in that restraint.
     

    PrincessWithABlaster

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2016
    SM is an original ride so it’s been running for nearly 50 years. As far as I know there has never been a child thrown from the vehicle (I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong). I’d say it’s been proven that the restraint system is adequate for the ride.

    My little guy rode it when he was just tall enough. I did have him sit in front of me but I don’t think there’s any reason for concern.

    Edited to add that I just looked it up and it’s not original. It opened in 1975 so almost 45 years old
     

    Afabena

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 20, 2018
    My son went on the first time recently and he just met the height limit. The restraint is a bar over your hips/waist. There is no over the shoulder restraint.
    We put him in the very front seat and he was fine. At one point I felt like the coaster skip a second over the track (I’m sure its part of the ride) and I thought OMG he is in the front! But he was totally calm and had no issues. In the ride photo I am a nervous wreck with my eyes closed and he is all smiles!
    Have fun!
     
  • cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    Yeah, my daughter was extremely slim when she first met the height requirement and I was terrified. Ride mode behind her gripping her shoulders. Word of warning—don’t smack your chin on the seat back!! (Ow!!) And yes, I had a couple of terrified ride pics to show for it too! But she was fine. The leg restraint is pretty tight and physics pretty much does the real work anyway.
     

    Capang

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2014
    My daughter is 43.75 inches in height and 44.5 with shoes on. The height requirement is 44 inches at space mountain.

    I was looking at the pictures of the restraint system on the ride and it does not look very robust (please bear with me as a worried parent :) ). My daughter is also slim. Could anyone please provide any input on how safe it would be for someone just meeting the height requirement?

    I went on the ride 4-5 times but do not remember much about the restraint system.

    Thank you!
    If she meets the height requirement she will be fine. Keep in mind though that the measuring sticks may be slightly more than the required height. We also shrink a slight bit during the day. Earlier this month I saw all kinds of kids turned away from SM and RnRC who looked to me to meet requirements. They even called supervisors over to remeasure and they err on the side of caution. So just be prepared in case it doesn't happen.
     
  • YawningDodo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2014
    If she meets the height requirement she will be fine. Keep in mind though that the measuring sticks may be slightly more than the required height. We also shrink a slight bit during the day. Earlier this month I saw all kinds of kids turned away from SM and RnRC who looked to me to meet requirements. They even called supervisors over to remeasure and they err on the side of caution. So just be prepared in case it doesn't happen.
    Yep, this. And as a former ride operator at a non-Disney park, please understand that they will re-measure every time, so if she's right on the edge it's the CM's call every single time you go through. I had so many parents angry at me for re-measuring a kid my coworker had measured earlier...as if I were supposed to be psychically linked with said coworkers or something....

    You just have to be prepared for it to go one way or another. My closest personal experience was riding roller coasters at Kings Island--one of them was fine early in the day, but later in the day I was retaining water and the restraint wouldn't click. When you're right on the edge it's literally ride by ride.
     

    cmarsh31

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2015
    Yeah, my daughter was extremely slim when she first met the height requirement and I was terrified. Ride mode behind her gripping her shoulders. Word of warning—don’t smack your chin on the seat back!! (Ow!!) And yes, I had a couple of terrified ride pics to show for it too! But she was fine. The leg restraint is pretty tight and physics pretty much does the real work anyway.
    Yup. My daughter eventually turned around and asked me if I was ok, because I was squeezing her shoulders so hard... and maybe screaming a bit. She definitely lifted up a bit in the seat but she loved every second of it. I tried to remind myself that I was younger & smaller than she was at the time when I rode SM for my first time, and I'm clearly still here!
     

    PrincessWithABlaster

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2016
    Exactly. Has anyone ever actually been truly injured on any WDW ride ever due to the restraint system or something like that? Not sure I've ever heard of it happening.
    People were injured on Kali during an evacuation once. Older people have been injured getting on and off rides. People have been injured for doing things they shouldn’t (jumping from ride vehicle to ride vehicle) but I didn’t see anything that was caused by the restraint system. Wikipedia has a page of incidents that have occurred at Disney. Most of the incidents are health issues related to pre-existing conditions.
     

    2019TripIdeas

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2018
    Our girl was 4 and very much on the smaller side on our last trip to Disneyland. She just barely made the 40" required there to ride all the mountains on that trip. She absolutely loved them and didn't understand why I was hanging on to her so tight, ha! I felt more "comfortable" on the rides with shared lap bar with her (I'm 5'4, and average-to-smallerish build), versus how I felt with her on those rides with my 6'0 and just bigger built husband- I felt like she was being tossed around with him in those scenarios, but she again didn't mind at all!

    Now we're crossing our fingers she'll be able to ride the same rides that have the higher requirement at WDW in a few months. She's 5, 43" currently and about 35 lbs. Her siblings are 3 (getting close to 38") and 2 (35"ish) so we'll definitely have to do some swapping out. That said, I definitely didn't worry about WDWs safety in terms of appropriateness to ride anything- I'm confident they've got that worked out and I feel like cast members would stop a ride while loading/before it took off if they were questioning anything.
     

    Betty Rohrer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2010
    Our girl was 4 and very much on the smaller side on our last trip to Disneyland. She just barely made the 40" required there to ride all the mountains on that trip. She absolutely loved them and didn't understand why I was hanging on to her so tight, ha! I felt more "comfortable" on the rides with shared lap bar with her (I'm 5'4, and average-to-smallerish build), versus how I felt with her on those rides with my 6'0 and just bigger built husband- I felt like she was being tossed around with him in those scenarios, but she again didn't mind at all!

    Now we're crossing our fingers she'll be able to ride the same rides that have the higher requirement at WDW in a few months. She's 5, 43" currently and about 35 lbs. Her siblings are 3 (getting close to 38") and 2 (35"ish) so we'll definitely have to do some swapping out. That said, I definitely didn't worry about WDWs safety in terms of appropriateness to ride anything- I'm confident they've got that worked out and I feel like cast members would stop a ride while loading/before it took off if they were questioning anything.
    one thing to remember Space mountain at World is different from Land in that each is in own seat not beside each other. you most likely will not be able to touch her and she will most likely not be able to see you in the dark seated behind each other
     

    Figaroo

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2016
    My DD was pretty much the exact size of your DD when she first rode. It’s the weight that always worried me. Like- couldn’t she slip right out of that restraint?!? But, she was totally fine and loved it. The first ride I sat behind her and kept my hand on her shoulder just so I knew that she was still there 🙂
     

    Figment Mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 31, 2014
    I totally get the concern, but if there was the remotest chance of it happening then she wouldn't be allowed on the ride. I think it's safe to say that it would be physically impossible for her to slip out.

    And Disney would never operate with 1/4 inch safety margins.
     


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