tiny thrill seekers - How?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Our seven year-old daughter loves Big Thunder Mountain. She puts her hands up and yells "weeeeee" from start to finish with the biggest smile on her face. It is by far her favorite attraction at WDW, following closely by Test Track. She is taking full advantage of the "rider switch" right now because her younger brother won't even consider riding anything he deems "fast."

In our little family, we have one thrill seeker and one opposed. No one wants to be the parent who drags their kids on an attraction they have no interest in or worse yet, a deep fear of. I think we have all unfortunately seen that play by play. As a parent, it is easy to see how it happens. At the cost of admission, it is hard to justify the kids not going on attractions. "This is what I paid for!" 

Things to keep in mind:
There is a sweet spot for little ones and "scary attractions." My 20 month-old son would not have closed his eyes for a single second on Pirates, but his nearly five year old sister would have NONE of it. The cue alone pushed her over the edge.

Speaking of cues, Talk about them. Pirates is a perfect example of a cue that is so well-themed that it makes kids think the attraction will be equally dark and creepy. We tried to joke all the way through the cue about "how real this pretend dungeon looked."

Older kids can read. They can read a map, they are like heat sensors seeking out thrills. Set expectations before you go. If they aren't ready this time and there WILL be a next time, remind them of that.

Consider making an agreement to work your way up to the thrills. "If you can handle Big Thunder, you can try Space."

You are the expert on your kids and what they can and, more importantly, cannot handle. I wouldn't dream of taking my kids back through "Tough to be a bug" for a long, long time, but your kids might absolutely love it.

Ride through videos will be helpful, but nothing can quite prepare your child for a ride that goes backward in the dark if they have never done it before.

An enthusiastic kid at home might turn away from an attraction they had been excited about when the time comes to cue up. A reluctant kid at home might be the first in line for something outside of their usual comfort zone.

Whatever the outcome, don't let it ruin your day, move on quickly if it all goes downhill, and remember that ice cream fixes just about everything.

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