Being at DisneyWorld with a young child who is taller than other kids his age put us in a bit of a pickle. While he was big enough to ride a lot of the things that most 3 year olds aren’t tall enough to ride, would those rides be too much for him? I wonder if the height requirements are set not just for safety reasons, but in hopes that most kids who met the minimum height would be old enough to handle it.
If Holden were under the required height for certain rides, it would be easy enough to tell him no, because he just wouldn’t be allowed… but he was tall enough to ride just about everything, so I didn’t have a valid excuse to tell him flat out no to the things I thought perhaps were a little too old for him as far as fear goes.
When it came down to it, I let Holden make the choice on what he thought he was prepared for. I explained to him each ride in detail and what he’d be getting himself into by choosing to ride it… and that method did and did not work out for us.
Holden had strict limitations on what he was willing to go on. I would have loved for him to ride EVERYTHING, because I am a thrill seeker at heart, but he adamantly refused to ride ANYTHING with water. Anything that would splash or throw water on him was out of the question. There goes Splash Mountain! Damn.
The first ‘big kid’ ride he decided he must go on was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, probably just because it was a train and a coaster in one. Two things he really wanted to ride. I feared we’d get up to the front of the line and he’d completely chicken out but that was not the case. He braved it out, went on the ride with me, and seemed to have a pretty good time with only a few moments of terror. Since Thomas and I had done fast pass for the ride and informed the attendant that we were doing kid swap, immediately after my ride with Holden, Thomas got to take him again. The second time around did not go so well. From what i’m told, he screamed hysterically the entire time. Big change in just a few minutes.
The next ride he decided he wanted to ride was “Dinosaur” at the Animal Kingdom. I’d not heard much about it, so I didn’t know what to expect, so I took him on the ride without really a second thought like i’d given to Big Thunder Mountain. Ohhhhh I should have done more research. The level of terror was astronomical. It was a scary ass ride. Jerky and dark and bloody dinosaurs jumping out at your thrashing jeep. As much as I tried to calm him, he didn’t enjoy a single bit of that ride. He was upset even a few minutes after getting off of it… and for some reason I can not fathom, went into the gift shop and INSISTED on having a toy replica of the dinosaur in the ride that scared him. I couldn’t say no. He deserved something for being scarred for life.
“I never want to ride any ride ever again!!”
He refused to ride again with Thomas like he had on Big Thunder, poor Thomas had to ride alone.
That sentiment didn’t last long. The next day we made a trip to Epcot, and as soon as we walked by the “Test Track” ride and Holden could see that it was a ride where you got to ride in a car, he wanted to go. He INSISTED. There was no talking him out of it, and after seeing how fast that damn ride was, I really tried to talk him out of it. We even got the fast pass, which didn’t put us in the line for another hour, which gave us more time to try and talk him out of yet another ride that would terrify him, but there was no talking him down.
Once it was finally our turn to go, he was amped. He wanted to get on, like, NOW. In our car was a couple and one of their fathers, all of whom were very sweet, and very impressed that such a young child wanted to ride such an intense ride. I apologized in advance to them for what I thought was going to be a ride fill of screaming… and I wasn’t disappointed. It was VERY jerky. A lot of turns, a lot of fast stops, a lot of whining about “where are we going??”
The whole car tried to talk him through the ride and tell him it was fun, that it would be ok… but by the time the car got outside to the actual track and sped to intense speeds, there was no turning back for Holden, he was freaking out. Not as bad as the other rides, mind you, but I could still see that familiar look of terror wash over his face.
I warned him! That’s what you get for being so tall! I just hope this doesn’t ruin his rollercoaster riding ways once he gets older. I would LOVE to be able to ride real rollercoasters with him… ohhh how I miss the scary coasters. I guess we’ll see. Holden is now begging to go to Busch Gardens Williamsburg (less than a half an hour away). It’s just too bad they tore down the Big Bad Wolf. Way to crap all over my very own terrifying childhood memories!
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