Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!
I want to begin this week's tip with quick story.
My family and I were at Disney's Hollywood Studios in December 2008 and my younger son (who was about 8 at the time) really wanted to ride the Rock-n-Roller Coaster. He'd never been on the attraction before. I described the experience, giving great emphasis on the launch at the beginning and asked again if he wanted to ride.
He said yes.
So I got a pair of FastPasses and a little while later we were boarding the car and off we went. From the moment we launched, I knew this was a bad idea. I don't think I've ever seen a look of terror like I did on his face when we went from 0 to 60 in a hearbeat. Fortunately the ride only lasts a few minutes and we pulled into the unload area.
"I am NEVER riding that again!!" he said.
Six months later, he swore he had changed his mind, so we waited in a 60 minute line in sweltering heat (we already had FastPasses) only for him to change his mind at the last second when he saw one of the cars in front of us launch away.
The "chicken door" is there for a reason.
Now I tell you this story to tell you this week's tip: just because you think your children can handle a potentially scary attraction, don't assume it.
There are plenty of attractions at Walt Disney World that, for whatever reason, might be scary to some children (or even adults). It could be due to the scary content, like the Haunted Mansion; or due to the intense experience, like Rock-n-Roller Coaster or both, like the Tower of Terror.
Even rides you might not think are scary could be frightning to some. Ever been afraid of the dark? Imagine being in something apparently harmless like the TTA Peoplemover, but have a fear of the dark... that ride around Space Mountain can become something truly terrifying.
So if you or someone else has a few fears (don't we all!), you might want to do a bit of research to find out about attractions before you're put into a potentially frightning situation.
There are several resources out there: Just about every attraction can be found on YouTube, so you can watch a first-person ridethrough. Also, read up on the attractions. There are plenty of descriptions on the official Walt Disney World Web site as well as sites like Allears.net. Also check out a new site dedicated to classifying the terror factor of rides, The Disney Ride Classification Program.
I've checked out this site and it's pretty good. If you have a concern about a particular attraction, you can look it up to see it's rating and a description of the experience.
Before you set out for the parks and plan to ride attractions like Mission: Space (orange) or Dinosaur!, do a bit of research to find out what you're in for. You'll be glad you did.