Big Enough, But Old Enough?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Northeast U.S.
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    Big Enough, But Old Enough?

    Adding to the complicated swirling vortex of thought in my poor head:

    My 3 year old is 45 lbs and 42" now, going through a growth spurt, and we won't be at WDW til December. I can only guess he will have another inch or two tacked on by then. My toddler is 16 months old and weighs 30 lbs and while not 40" yet, is quite tall.

    I know the toddler will be essentially restricted to "kiddie" rides, and I'm SO ok with that. What I wonder is whether the 3 (soon to be 4) year old SHOULD ride things like Splash Mountain with mummy. He's tall enough but is it too much? I don't want to jeopardize his health or safety, but I also don't want to be The Mother Who Wrecked The Vacation By Being An Overprotective Freak.

    Waaaaah. Why don't these things come with an owner's manual??? Any input greatly appreciated!

    WDW Jan. 2000
    WDW Dec. 6-12 2005
    Next Trip....When???????

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Florida
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    10,070
    Think about those people who took their 4-year-old on Mission Space and he never made it off the ride. I can't even begin to imagine how parents could take a child of that age on a ride like that!!!

    I think you should start with the small rides and see how he reacts. I think Splash Mountain will be too much for a toddler. Barnstormer is much more tame. But I'd start with even tamer rides and see how he handles them.

    Stick to the rides that don't have those big warnings posted in front of them and you should be fine. Another thing you can do if you're not sure is ask questions. Talk to CMs about the rides. But mostly, judge by your child's reactions to the tamer rides. If he gets scared by the drop on Pirates of the Caribbean or Maelstrom, then you know his limits. If the dinosaurs on Ellen's Energy Adventure scare him, avoid Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    North pole
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    241
    I can only tell you from our examples, my son who is now 8 and a hair under 55 inches was also very tall for his age. We let him ride space mountain but that was the limit if, if the ride hight was 42 he waited, they have those requirements for good reason, usually because of the restraints system.I would rather be the vacation wrecker than the kid killer!!!! think it over.
    "THE IMPORTANT THING IS THE FAMILY,IF YOU KEEP THE FAMILY TOGETHER-AND THAT'S THE BACKBONE OF OUR BUSINESS,CATERING TO FAMILIES-THAT'S WHAT WE DO" WALT DISNEY

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    My Laughin' Place
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    89
    Another thing to consider are some of the shows, especially the films with 3-D affects. While they may seem very appealing to a small child from the outside, the loud noises and visual affects scare the daylights out of some of them. It's Tough to be a Bug can be absolutely terrifying to a 3-6 year old.

    consider too the characters being depicted. When we took my friends 5 year old on Splash Mountain back in May he absolutely loved it. So the next night at Epcot, we thought nothing of bringing him on Maelstrom. But those trolls really did him in. I wouldn't say that it ruined the rest of the trip for him, he was still very brave and went on any attraction that we put him on (of course after the Maelstrom incident, we were very careful what to put him on, Dinosaur at AK was out of the question), but while in the queue area for each attraction, we had to reassure him that there were no "monsters" in the ride.

    So I guess I would echo others advice, try the kids out little by little, but don't think just of the rides motion, think of other stimulii too, such as characters, darkness and noise.

    Hope this helps and I hope you and your family have a magical trip

    Andrew

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Southeast UK
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    I think a 3 year old would get a bigger kick out of meeting the characters than riding some of the bigger rides. There are plenty of tame rides for a youngun'. Personally I would not have taken my 3 year old on Splash or Space Mountains, but rides like IASW or Winnie the Pooh would be great for all of you to enjoy together. I think Pirates would be okay too. However, you know your child better than anyone and will be the best judge as to what he might like or not.

    I agree with Alice, perhaps start with a little ride such as Dumbo and see how he gets on.
    xxX Claire Xxx

    Wish I was there

  6. #6

    Cool Hmmmm

    Some rides might be okay....I think Splash Mountain might be okay, but that might be the extent of letting him go on "Adult Rides"...no way on Mission: Space. Even if he's of "legal height", I think the other rides are just too rough for a 3 year old's body.
    Ray șoș


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Midlothian, VA
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    246

    Re: Big Enough, But Old Enough?

    I'm pretty much in the same boat. Tommy will be 4 (and he is already 44 in tall) when we will be at WDW. We have been watching every disney movie known to man to get him familiar with the characters, we also let him watch a DVD of MK that pretty much goes through some of the rides. I also got a couple of CDs with the music to some of the rides and we listen to them in the car. I am fortunate enough to live near Kings Dominion, so we have taken him there to ride some rides and he loves rides.... he gets it from me :-)
    And my vote is HECK NO for Mission: Space... my dad went on it and he said that it can get rough ... If I am not mistaken... isn't there an option that you can take that is motionless... or am I thinking of another ride?? Oh Cast Members??
    I on the other hand WILL be going on it :-D YAY!! And thank goodness for Child Swap!

    Ofcourse, use your better judgement and that wonderful mother instict!

    Have fun!!
    Last edited by ktboo0702; 06-12-2006 at 11:53 AM.
    Happy Squeezy Hugs-N-Stuff,
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Auburn, Wa
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    1,104

    Re: Big Enough, But Old Enough?

    Okay, I know that once I say this some people might think that I am a reckless mother but please note that I am not at all that way. My son was much like yours. When he was 3 he rode Splash, Thunder and Space at DL. He was over the height requirement and we knew he loved rides from other experiences so we chose to let him choose the ones he wanted to go on if he was tall enough. Now, keep in mind that if we knew he was scared of the dark he wouldn't go on Space or if he didn't like to get wet no splash. I think that it is essentially what you know about your son that should help you decide. Last year at WDW I had a hard time letting him ride Mission Space at age 6 and that was before the incidents. But he rode Rock n Rollercoaster without hesitation. So I guess my advice is to really think about his personality and remember that whatever either of you choose not for him to go on that there will be another trip in the future that he will get to experience it. Whew did I blab to much? LOL! Have Fun!
    Holly

    If you can Dream it, You can Do it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    RI which is not Disney...it's like...1000 miles away from WDW and even more away from DL ;(
    Posts
    167

    Re: Big Enough, But Old Enough?

    I have a 3 year old sister and she's extremely adventurous. I agree with Holly213, whatever you and your son think he can handle put him on. If he sees Thunder Mountain and says...I don't think I want to go on, don't make him. But the Barnstormer is good to see what he likes. I thought Brynn would hate it but she made me go on it 3 times in a row. And childswap is extremely helpful. We'd save the passes because they don't have a time limit and then come back later but I'm not sure if you're supposed to do that...check out Soarin too. But like everyone else said, no Mission Space. And good choice with December, that's when we're going on our next trip!
    The Dolphin-April 1999
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Midlothian, VA
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    246

    Re: Big Enough, But Old Enough?

    Tinkerbella.... Too bad you aren't staying another day... we are flying in the morning of Dec 7th! Hope you guys have fun!!

    Holly213... I don't think you are wreckless at all. While watching our planning DVD, Tommy says that he wants to ride Thunder mountain ( it's gotta be the train cars) so, when we get there, if he wants to ride, he can, and if not, that's ok too.
    Happy Squeezy Hugs-N-Stuff,
    KTboo
    I'd Rather Be At Walt Disney World!
    *Dreaming of being a Cast Member*

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