Mom And Son Safari
  • On Oct 15, 2008
    Susan from OR Asked

    Hi, 17 days until first trip to WDW. Any ideas on what attractions to start an 8yr on who is a little nervous? I think he will be fine once he gets going, but I don't want to start with something that may make him apprehensive to ride anything else.

    Starting slow is a wonderful idea! During my first trip to WDW way back in 1975, we went on Space Mountain first. My sister, who was five years old at the time, was terrified and then refused to go on other rides for the duration of the trip. Yikes.

    It's difficult to make specific suggestions without knowing your son's issues. Some kids are fine with speed, but hate drops. Others will drop, but can't handle dark or noise. (This was an issue with my oldest daughter. We had to RUN out the Enchanted Tiki Birds because of a momentary simulated thunderstorm.) A good plan would be to get a guidebook that describes each ride in detail. The Unofficial Guide to WDW is good. Even better would be the PassPorter Open Mouse Guide to WDW. This book is for guests with disabilities, but it has awesome info for any Disney traveler because it describes the physical sensations for each ride in the greatest detail.

    That being said, one item you can use as a guide is the rides's height requirement. Low or no height requirements generally equal tam rides. Some of the most child-friendly attractions in the Magic Kingdom that have no height requirement are Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, the Carousel, Buzz Lightyear, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Small World, Peter Pan, Tom Sawyer Island, WDW Railroad, the Tea Party, and the Country Bear Jamboree.

    However, there are rides with no height restriction that could pose potential pitfalls. One of the best examples of this is the Haunted Mansion. The ride is slow and there are no drops or bumps, but the entire concept of a haunted mansion is problematic for some. Other rides that are quite tame that have tiny parts that are dark include the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean.

    For roller coaster type rides, Goofy's Barnstormer is the shortest and tamest. I would then move up to Big Thunder Mountain and then Space Mountain last. SM is not any faster than BTM, but the dark factor does intensify the sensations.
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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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