One of the most frustrating things to experience at a theme park is getting to a ride your kid has been talking about forever, only to find that he or she is not tall enough to ride it. The temper tantrums I have seen those poor kids throw, oh boy! So it’s a good idea to check first and make sure your child is tall enough to ride the ride before getting to it.
First let me explain just why they have height limits. Each ride is made with what they figure is an “average” size of the person who will be riding it. Rides for little kids of course are made for child size. Bigger rides are made for a happy medium between kids heights and full, tall adults. The restraints that hold you in are made to fit MOST sizes, but there is a limit as to how much difference they can hold.
Mild rides that don’t turn upside down or throw you around too much have a smaller height limit because there is less chance your going to get thrown out even if the restraints are loose on you. More extreme rides that do loops and throw you around must hold you in your seat very tightly. So you must be taller so the shoulder harness can securely lock you in place.
If your too short you could be thrown right off the ride, or fall out when it’s upside down. Theme parks don’t like flying kids, so they have height requirements! It’s for your own safety, and cost the parks less then having bruised kids suing them! Since every ride is different there actually are several different ride height requirements in every theme park.
All the big three theme parks, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World, have ride height requirements. All of them have rides made for little kids as well as more extreme rides made for teens and adults. If your child is not tall enough they will NOT let them on, no matter how sweet your smile is! Wearing platform shoes will not sway them either.
Almost any ride, even little kiddie rides, require you to be at least 34 inches tall. Some rides let an adult hold a child in their lap if it’s a very mild ride. Walt Disney has a few child rides with 35 and 36 inch height requirements. The next most common height requirement is 38 inches tall. These can be lots of different types of rides, including simulators and kid roller coasters.
The next most common ride height requirements are 40, 42 and 44 inches tall. These take in a wide range of rides, most a bit more wild that go fast, have sharp turns or spins. Roller coasters that don’t go upside down fall in this range, at least some do. The next jump up is 48 inches. You can go on most rides once your at least 48 inches, including some extreme roller coasters that do loops and other wild rides.
Finally there are just a few of the most extreme rides that have a 51, 52 and 54 inch height requirement. Almost all of these are extreme roller coasters or rides that throw you straight up. So, if your kids are between 34 and 54 inches tall there will be some rides they will not be able to go on. Each rides height requirement is clearly posted in front of each ride.
You can go to each theme parks website and find out the ride height requirements for every single ride in each park. Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World all have rides that range from the 34 inch tall to 54 inch tall requirements. So check them out before you go so you don’t have a very upset child on your hands!