So you have planned and planned for your Disney World vacation, you have made your fast pass plus reservations, your kids know what attractions they want to do and the characters they want to see. After all this planning, you are about to get in line for your first attraction only to find that someone in your group is too short to ride. This is a frustrating experience after building your kids up to go on the attractions. Or maybe they barely make the height requirement one day and the next day they are told that they are not tall enough to ride. This has happened to my family a couple times (even with our planning and knowledge of the height requirements). One incident we had was with my youngest child. On our first day of vacation we all went to the Barnstormer and got on with no problems at all. Two days later we went to the Barnstormer again and my youngest was not able to ride. The Castmember told us he was too short. Although he was disappointed, we quickly rectified the problem with a ride on Dumbo. The reason this may happen is safety, Disney is very safety conscious and if your child is just at the height requirement it could go either way. Another time, I was going to take my oldest child on Kali River Rapids, she was just shy of making it on. When this happened my daughter was devastated, however, the Castmember asked us if we were going to return to Disney World anytime soon and I told him that we were coming back in a few months. When I told him about our next trip, he handed my daughter a card that stated it was a fast pass if she made the height requirement. The next time we went my daughter was tall enough and proud to present her card to go on the ride. Now that I have told you a few of my dealings with the height requirements, how tall do you have to be to ride these rides? Here is a list of the requirements starting with the Magic Kingdom.
In Tomorrowland, Space Mountain has a requirement of 44 inches, but may be too intense for some kids, not to mention each person is in their own seat single file, so use your judgement on whether your child is ready. Although Stitches Great Escape is not a ride, you must be 40 inches to experience the attraction. To sit in a car at the Tomorrowland Speedway you have to be 32 inches tall, however you must be 54 inches to drive. Although Fantasyland was an area designed for families to ride all the attractions together, with the new Fantasyland expansion this has changed. To ride the Barnstormer you must be 35 inches and the upcoming Seven Dwarves Mine Cart is rumored to have a height requirement of 38 inches. None of the attractions in Liberty Square have height restrictions, however use your judgement on how well your child would do with the Haunted Mansion. Over in Frontierland, Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain have a requirement of 40 inches. In Adventureland there are no height restrictions and all are pretty tame.
In Epcot, there are only a few height restrictions. To ride Test Track, you must be 40 inches tall. This is a great ride to see if your kids are ready for big thrill rides, you can sit right next to them and it’s similar to being in a regular car. At Mission Space, although there is an intense version and a less intense version, you still must be 44 inches to ride both. The only other attraction in Epcot to have a height requirement is Soarin which is 40 inches, but watch out if your child has a fear of heights, this would be one to skip.
At Hollywood Studios there are three attractions that have height requirements. Star Tours and Tower of Terror are both 40 inches. Star Tours can be intense with its motions so if your child gets motion sick you might want to skip it and the 3D effects may frighten them. If your child gets skittish with heights, Tower of Terror is another attraction you want to avoid. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is 48 inches with corkscrews and loops, not for the coaster novice.
Animal Kingdom has four attractions with height requirements. Kali River Rapids is 38 inches and is perfectly acceptable for anyone. Expedition Everest has a height requirement of 44 inches and not for those who don’t like heights. Primeval Whirl has a restriction of 48 inches tall. It is not overly tall but you may get dizzy. The final attraction with a height requirement is Dinosaur which is 40 inches. Although your child may be tall enough to ride, it is intense (my wife screams on it every time). Another attraction that my be scary for kids is It’s Tough to be a Bug. There are no height restrictions but can be scary with the 3D and 4D effects.
As with any attraction, keep your kid’s limitations in mind. Putting them on an attraction too early may traumatized them for attractions later on. Don’t forget that the height restrictions are there for safety reasons and that it’s not worth the risk to try to cheat it. Your child’s safety should be your top priority.
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