/ Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Part 2 – What About The Scary Rides?

by Chris Fox

I live close enough to Disney World that an annual trip is usually a possibility but far enough away that any more trips are pretty much out of the question.  So I usually turn to Disney guidebooks to get my fix.  One of the reoccurring themes that I read about is the rides that may be too scary for young kids.  Usually they just warn about the potential for freaked out children but nobody talks about ways of preparing your kids.  Never fear, I have come to remedy that.

Let’s pick a ride as an example.  The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is one that seems to be surprisingly scary for some kids.  Those pesky heffalumps and woozles can be a bit much for kids that haven’t experienced them before.  But they can experience them before they get to the Magic Kingdom.  The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh the ride is based on the movie of the same name.  The scenes that you ride through are the same ones that are in the movie, including the dream sequence with the heffalumps and woozles.  Had our unsuspecting child known that these creatures exist (or at least were in the ride) he/she would have been better prepared and potentially less scared and that’s where the movie can help.

Watching the movies also allows parents to judge whether their child can handle the ride based on how they react to the movie.  If my daughter watches Winnie the Pooh and gets through the dream scene just fine, then I know there is a good chance that she will be able to ride without getting scared.  If she gets nervous while watching the movie and doesn’t really like it but still doesn’t freak out, I can make the judgment call to either skip the ride or let her know what she should expect.  It’s easy enough to say, “There will be heffulumps and woozles but it will be over shortly.”  If she freaks out and can’t sleep after watching that scene in the movie, perhaps we will wait to go on the ride.

This can work for most of the dark rides.  If your child can handle Snow White the movie there is a good chance that they will be able to handle Snow White the ride.

What about rides like The Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror?  Though they both have movies based on them, the movies may not be as helpful.  I would argue that the Tower of Terror should be skipped all together for young kids as that ride is not really meant for them.  The Haunted Mansion however, though almost filled to the brim with grim grinning ghosts (yet there’s always room for one more), still has a lighter, humorous side to it.

Like any good rule, there are always exceptions.  We’ll take a look at those in my next post.

Chris is an avid fan of both theme parks and Disney, so it just makes sense that he would love something that combines the two.  He is a new dad to a daughter of two months and an aspiring writer in the process of launching a Disney World related blog at the beginning of the year (thedisneytourist.blogspot.com).