MK rides for a nervous 4 year old!

undertheseaforme

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Parents who have taken a nervousy kid to Disney World- please advise! How did your child do with the rides? Shes 2 right now and scared of everything! She gets scared of cartoons if their is a “bad guy” . She is scared when we play hide and go seek, or if her dad talks in a deep voice etc lol . She will have turned 4 in September 2021 and we are going in December. Have any of you with nervous kids outgrow their scaredyness by 4? I’m hoping she will enjoy the rides mostly at MK at least. I know stitch and the mountains are out of the question. haunted mansion is my favorite ride but im not counting on her going on that. :( I would love to do 7 dwarfs as a family but I dont know if she will handle that. Thanks
 

Betty Rohrer

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2010
Parents who have taken a nervousy kid to Disney World- please advise! How did your child do with the rides? Shes 2 right now and scared of everything! She gets scared of cartoons if their is a “bad guy” . She is scared when we play hide and go seek, or if her dad talks in a deep voice etc lol . She will have turned 4 in September 2021 and we are going in December. Have any of you with nervous kids outgrow their scaredyness by 4? I’m hoping she will enjoy the rides mostly at MK at least. I know stitch and the mountains are out of the question. haunted mansion is my favorite ride but im not counting on her going on that. :( I would love to do 7 dwarfs as a family but I dont know if she will handle that. Thanks
the main thing I would be doing with her would be local parks now. if possible get a season pass and go often even if just for an hour or 2. pick a couple of kiddy rides that you can ride with her. spend time watching others. you need to give her the time to begin learning to ride rides. I work at a Park called Dutch Wonderland in Pa. I would begin with the train and monster truck rides and maybe the merry go round. i would not do the monorail as it is a long ride time wise plus being off ground. as she gets used to riding add the dozers and panda bears. progress to the you drive cars as they are loud. let her be your guide and this may take all season. this can be done at any park i am just using the one i know best
 

Luv Bunnies

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Developmentally speaking, there's a huge difference between a 2-year old and a 4-year old. I wouldn't worry too much right now about what she'll be like 2 years from now. As she continues to develop language and reasoning, she will likely be very different by the time the trip rolls around.
 
  • westie55

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 24, 2015
    I am a mom of a 2 and a 4 year old. I agree that 4 is completely different from 2 and even from 3. Local fairs and amusement parks are also completely different than disney. My 2 year old will ride nothing locally cause he is afraid of riding alone. At Disney, children can do almost every ride without a height restriction in your lap. That makes a big difference. At 2 my older son wouldn't do rides at fairs or our local Boardwalk at all. He liked them ok at 3. A few days before his 4th birthday, he rode Mine Train, Splash Mountain, and SDD with me and loved them all. Now, every kid is different. Some 4 year olds hate rides, but odds are in your favor that your 4 year old will be able to handle most of the rides at Disney that aren't thrill rides. There are many.
     

    kmurphy11795

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2015
    We have done 2 different things to help with this. First, we have showed our children pictures of people that they look up to on the ride (cousins, friends). Second, we have take the "virtual ride" on youtube. This way the can see there is nothing to be afraid of and the real thing is just so much better.
     

    Betty Rohrer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2010
    We have done 2 different things to help with this. First, we have showed our children pictures of people that they look up to on the ride (cousins, friends). Second, we have take the "virtual ride" on youtube. This way the can see there is nothing to be afraid of and the real thing is just so much better.
    the virtual ride videos did nothing for one granddaughter. she loved watching the videos but when we got there the rides were so much bigger than the screen. she was sure they were different rides
     

    Betty Rohrer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2010
    I am a mom of a 2 and a 4 year old. I agree that 4 is completely different from 2 and even from 3. Local fairs and amusement parks are also completely different than disney. My 2 year old will ride nothing locally cause he is afraid of riding alone. At Disney, children can do almost every ride without a height restriction in your lap. That makes a big difference. At 2 my older son wouldn't do rides at fairs or our local Boardwalk at all. He liked them ok at 3. A few days before his 4th birthday, he rode Mine Train, Splash Mountain, and SDD with me and loved them all. Now, every kid is different. Some 4 year olds hate rides, but odds are in your favor that your 4 year old will be able to handle most of the rides at Disney that aren't thrill rides. There are many.
    where I was talking about you could ride most rides with your child like Disney. there are a few small kids rides that only small kids could ride. this is a theme park like Disney just smaller not a fair or Boardwalk type ride. my kids and now grandkids started riding there. most were toddlers not even 2 years old. I have had one who loved the rides there but wouldn't touch most rides at Disney at 4 but had ridden most of the rides there all her life. her favorite rides at Disney were the buses, Small World, the cars and watching the animals. had another who thought Tower Of Terror was indoor drop ride and that was his favorite ride at age 4 so yes all kids are different
     
  • WDWTRAVELLER

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 4, 2020
    I have a 4 year old that was good for the first couple years we visited Disney. Last year we went and do you think i could get her to go on any ride. not even the littlest one. What I did was i started very small. (its a small world) made a game out of in the line up to encourage her that everything is good. (played i spy) in the line up. when she could see the boats she started to get upset. I told her that we would have a contest to see who could count the most little people on the ride. This would keep her attention on something other then fear. This really worked well and i did this for a few different rides. she finally was starting to enjoy Disney again. This is what worked for me. I hope you come up with something, Disney is a place for Fun and laughter. Not fear
     

    Anna131517

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 19, 2019
    We went this past January and our four year old frightens easily. She hated haunted mansion and seven dwarf’s mine train. She loved no height restriction rides. Four is also prime princess age and our daughter loved meet and greets, character meals, shows, enchanted tales with belle, country bear jamboree, the car ride in Tomorrowland (forget the name right now), dumbo, alladins flying carpets, the carousel, little mermaid, small world, winnie the Pooh, people mover, Swiss family Robinson treehouse, and tom sawyers Island. And the festival of fantasy parade and fireworks. Just enjoy the tamer rides, shows, and meals. You can’t make a timid kid like scarier rides.
     

    saraheliz

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2009
    Honestly, you just don't know how it will go. My oldest was shy, timid, frightened easily at that age (she still is very quiet at 13). We took her to Disney at 4 years old (she had gone the week she turned 3 but wasn't big enough for much scary at that age as she was very tiny). She saw Splash Mountain and wanted to go on it- my husband took her and said "this is either going to be awesome or the biggest mistake ever." She LOVED it. Loved it. She would have gone on more but several other rides she was tall enough were closed for refurb....but if she was tall enough, she went. :) By contrast, my second born, who hasn't stopped talking since she was born, is super outgoing and friendly and not scared of anything, very physical and was the kid standing on the dining room table at a year old if you turned your back....well she went at 8, almost 9 years old and while she went on most of the rides, she was not a fan of big drops, etc, and refused to go on Everest at all. So, honestly, I would try not to stress too much, let her warm up slowly to easy rides and go from there. My kids' personalities are totally opposite of the rides they like.
     

    squirrel!33

    "It's kind of fun to do the impossible"
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2020
    It took my daughter until around 8 or 9 to not be afraid of Haunted Mansion. She is a very imaginative kid and that first room just got her every time. They have the "escape exit" that you can use if kids freak out about going on the ride. She was also scared of roller coasters and that lasted a little longer - until age 10 or 11. Now she is a daredevil! Every kid has their own timeline and unfortunately there isn't much that can be done to speed it up.
     
  • epsmith921

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2012
    While I do agree that a lot can and will change in the next 1.5 years, almost everything without a height restriction should be good (and you know the ones that aren’t). The other thing we did was tell our anxious kid that anything scary was fake. Still believes in all the good magical things, but that oddly helped. Also if you know the rides and anything that might be problematic you can try preparing her for. So like say seeing the croc or Captain Hook on Peter Pan - maybe letting her know that you’ll see hook on the ride and asking if she thinks she can do it or if she’d like to cover her eyes for that part or skip the ride entirely. Mine at least tends to get quite proud of herself for not being scared of things she was super scared of at first. But surprises are a no go for her so we try to prepare a bit when appropriate.
     



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