Need help getting my nervous 5-year-old excited for DLR

Disneytrippin'

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 30, 2016
Maybe go to the website and go through all the things he would like to do.

There are things he can do like learn to draw a character at the Animation Academy.

Mickeys philharmonic is silly.
The Tiki Room.
He can see Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen.
He can meet and talk to Crush from Finding Nemo.
See Spiderman swing from buildings.
Parades and shows and churros. Oh My!
 

Disneytrippin'

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 30, 2016
I think you should focus on the rides that he can see first. Then he can watch for a while and decide to try it or not. It gives him some control and might make him feel more comfortable.

DL:
Train
Monorail
Casey Junior Train
Storybook Canal
Carousel
Tea Cups
Dumbo
Astro Orbitor
Autopia
Mark Twain Riverboat
Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island

DCA:
Mater
Luigi
Inside Out Whirlwind
Jumpin’ Jellyfish
Mickey’s Fun Wheel

I would definitely avoid all of the FL dark rides…they are DARK and sometimes SCARY! I think the first dark rides I might try would be Monsters and Winnie the Pooh.

Good luck! And have fun!
Mickeys fun wheel??? That one terrifies me.lol
 

CeCe0906

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Seconding the YouTube suggestion. I took my granddaughter to WDW last summer. She has sensory issues, anxiety panic disorder. New stuff especially. But as long as she know "what happens next" things are better. We spent time on YouTube videos, and the plane ride we got a map and planned our day. We had a great time, she did great because she was in control. We even did Big Thunder and Slinky Dog and Rise! For the dark ride stuff we also did some "with the lights on" videos.

Her first chosen ride? In all of Magic Kingdom? The Carousel!

We are going to DL this summer with her younger cousins, and she is big talking about doing Space Mountain this time.

Just be flexible, and I know you will have a fun time.
 

DLgal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Do NOT take him to the Tiki Room. There is a part that gets super intense with chanting that reaches a crescendo with some very loud simulated Thunder and lightning, followed by the birds shrieking. Lots of kids lose it at that part and have to be taken out. Every time.
 

3TinksAndAnEeyore

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 23, 2007
I feel your angst! My youngest DD (now 16) was like this when she was your son’s age. Attractions like Haunted Mansion, PotC, and Snow White were completely off the table. She loved Big Thunder (because she could see it), did okay with Matterhorn (we told her silly Harold the Bigfoot would “pretend roar” at us and we were supposed to yell “Bad Yeti!” at him…our whole family still yells at poor Harold to this day). Space Mountain was off the table until she surprised us by asking to go on and she ended up loving it! We utilized rider swap quite a bit for other rides.

One idea, if your son is the type to be interested in this type of show, is to watch the Behind the Attraction series on Disney +.
https://disneyplus.com/series/behind-the-attraction/5T3ZYTt94CmQ?sharesource=iOS
 

starlite_

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
I remember being scared of the Haunted Mansion when I was little. What worked for me was that my dad went on it first to "test it out". When I saw he was fine I was fine to go in it with my mom no problem. I know you've gotten lots of wonderful advice already but thought I'll share in case my perspective as the scared child helps :)
 

BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
I say this as a human who (and there is video and photographic evidence), at 4 years of age, was terrified of every character she interacted with until Mary Poppins calmed her down: maybe don’t interact with the fur characters. Face is different because they are actually seen, but even then I met a ton of princesses and still was afraid until Mary because she was and still is a favorite. Maybe figure out who his faves are and see if he would be ok with them
 

Pluto468

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Do NOT take him to the Tiki Room. There is a part that gets super intense with chanting that reaches a crescendo with some very loud simulated Thunder and lightning, followed by the birds shrieking. Lots of kids lose it at that part and have to be taken out. Every time.
I agree with this. My ds loved it up until this part. We had to leave when it got really loud and flashy. He was around 3.5 at the time. After that we always sat by the exit! When my dd was 6 she was freaked out by that part, too, but didn't have to leave. She just covered her eyes and sat in my lap.
 

WishUponAStar3

Believer In Big Dreams!
Joined
May 23, 2011
Do NOT take him to the Tiki Room. There is a part that gets super intense with chanting that reaches a crescendo with some very loud simulated Thunder and lightning, followed by the birds shrieking. Lots of kids lose it at that part and have to be taken out. Every time.
Thank you for this warning!! I was planning to take him to this one, thinking it would be less intimidating than a ride, but I could totally picture him being very freaked out by that part!
 

WishUponAStar3

Believer In Big Dreams!
Joined
May 23, 2011
I remember being scared of the Haunted Mansion when I was little. What worked for me was that my dad went on it first to "test it out". When I saw he was fine I was fine to go in it with my mom no problem. I know you've gotten lots of wonderful advice already but thought I'll share in case my perspective as the scared child helps :)
Aww, I love this suggestion!
 

WishUponAStar3

Believer In Big Dreams!
Joined
May 23, 2011
I say this as a human who (and there is video and photographic evidence), at 4 years of age, was terrified of every character she interacted with until Mary Poppins calmed her down: maybe don’t interact with the fur characters. Face is different because they are actually seen, but even then I met a ton of princesses and still was afraid until Mary because she was and still is a favorite. Maybe figure out who his faves are and see if he would be ok with them
I love that Mary is the one who got you out of the character fears!
 

BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
I love that Mary is the one who got you out of the character fears!
My family does too! From my memory I can tell you it was her and Bert and the penguins. From video and photographs, I can tell you it was in EPCOT and that I swatted away (I didn’t hit them because my parents shut that down) one of the penguins away because he got too close and Mary was very Mary with me after that lol. Bert apparently got a kick out of it! 😂

As my dad says, our young minds must think they have transformed into giants than what we are used to seeing on tv or in a movie!
 

CeCe0906

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
My granddaughter and I were there when they were only doing socially distanced visits. She loved waving to the characters and princesses. And I excitedly told her the news that you could actually interact and maybe get a hug and she got real quiet and asked if she "had" to. But she did seem interested about getting an autograph.
So maybe talk about it ahead of time.
 

WishUponAStar3

Believer In Big Dreams!
Joined
May 23, 2011
My granddaughter and I were there when they were only doing socially distanced visits. She loved waving to the characters and princesses. And I excitedly told her the news that you could actually interact and maybe get a hug and she got real quiet and asked if she "had" to. But she did seem interested about getting an autograph.
So maybe talk about it ahead of time.
Oh, this is such good point. I just assume he will be excited to meet his favorite characters, but you never know what could trigger shyness or nerves. Of course the one character he REALLY wants to meet is Bluey from Disney Jr, but it appears Bluey is nowhere in the parks- ah, well!
 

Gypsybear

It's all about the Villains
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
I agree with a previous poster. Let your son pick the rides. He might seem comfortable, but things might change once he's actually there. So take it at his pace. Tell him he's in control.
 

lastbestplace

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
My sound-sensitive 5 year old hated the Tiki Room. She was also scared by the section of the railroad that has the Grand Canyon and dinosaur scene - I think that's between the Tomorrowland and Main St Stations.
 

Jason2015

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
I do want to point out (and I apologize if it has been pointed out by others) There is a section on the RR between Tomorrowland Station and Main Street Station that is dark and includes a couple of dioramas. One is of the Grand Canyon, the other of Dinosaurs. They aren't what most would consider "scary." But for somebody who is nervous about things they can be a bit startling. There are some youtube videos of them that will give you an idea if they'd be okay for your kiddo. Just Google: Disneyland Railroad Dioramas
 








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