I probably should have ended the title of this post with a question mark. As you can probably tell by the main picture, I might have pushed my youngest a little fast to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. If anyone has a definitive answer to this question, it isn’t me. That said, I have encouraged both of my kids to ride Disney thrill rides. Sometimes, it worked out well. Other times, the pushing blew up in my face. So, here’s my experience and I would love to hear yours.
The first time we took our kids to Disney World, Aidan was 6 and Jennings was 1. Aidan was big enough to ride almost everything, so I pushed him a little further than he was comfortable with. He really enjoyed many bigger rides, including Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids. He nearly pulled my arm out of socket escaping from Tower of Terror (understandable, I think). And he had mixed reviews on some. Expedition Everest is the one in particular that I remember. He was pretty excited to ride it with me at first before the rider swap. But when it came time to ride with mom, he did not want to do it again. Eventually, he went back on and now it is his favorite ride!
Jennings, on the other hand, is a different story. Our July 2015 trip was the first time he was finally big enough to ride some Disney thrill rides. Needless to say, he did not care for Mine Train. Here is the pic of him on Splash Mountain:
He refuses to go on both Mine Train and Splash Mountain to this day. So, the next trip we took it easy on him. Last July, however, I thought it would be a great time to encourage Jennings to ride Space Mountain. I mean, who wouldn’t like a really fast roller coaster in the pitch black, right? He got off that ride and burst into tears. Here it is, if you can bear to watch this torture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq3KcONOmIc&list=PLMLSh4FYMx2z8GsKgc_TIijHcfmaogdiL&index=2
In our most recent trip over Spring Break this year, we didn’t push Jennings. He still has yet to step out of his shell, but I think that’s okay for now. I pushed Aidan and it worked out well. Now, he loves the thrill rides from Space Mountain to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Here he is from two weeks ago on Expedition Everest (believe it or not, he is loving it):
The bottom line is I think it is up to the kids. In my opinion, I think it is up to us Dads to encourage them to step out of their comfort zone. That said, I also think it’s up to us to recognize when we are pushing them too far.
So, what is your experience with kids and thrill rides? I’d love to hear your comments.
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My daughter was, and still is, 6 when we took for the first time back in November. She rode everything she was able to, except Tower of Terror, and handled everything really well…said it made her tummy feel weird. Flash forward to 2 weeks ago and she was terrified of every ride, although she had her hands in the air and a big smile on her face coming down the big drop on Space Mountain. She tends to get scared of the unknown, or what might happen, which is frustrating, or maybe disappointing, to my wife and I because we both love the bigger rides. We go again in November and are planning a much taper experience for her so hopefully she will look forward to everything a little more.
That’s so awesome that she rode so much! I think that’s a good plan going back!