8 Things To Watch Out For On Disney World Rides

Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain Photo Credit: Disney

The awesome rides are a huge part of what makes Walt Disney World so much fun. But even these amazing rides can cause some unpleasant experiences. Here are eight things to watch out for on your next Disney visit, and how to make the best out of them!

1.  Motion Sickness

If you’re like me, you know the effects of motion sickness all too well. If you’re prone to motion sickness pay attention to the warning signs outside of each attraction – they’ll let you know if the motion of the ride might make you sick. Ask a cast member if you aren’t sure – they can let you know what the ride is like so you can better judge if you can handle the ride. Have trouble with roller coasters? Take a break while your party rides Space Mountain, Rock n Roller Coaster, and Expedition: Everest. Simulator rides leave you with all-to-real nausea? Skip Star Tours. If spinning rides are a problem for you, you’re going to want to avoid Mission Space: Orange Team (Team Green might be ok as it doesn’t spin), Primeval Whirl, and the Mad Tea Party. Yes, I know the Mad Tea Party is a ride that even little kids can experience, but if you get motion sick, skip it! And if you insist on riding, for the love of Mickey DON’T SPIN YOUR CUP! While it’s a bummer to sit out a cool ride, the effects of motion sickness can last for hours and ruin your entire Disney day. Better safe than sorry.

2. Rowdy Guests

Unfortunately this one is really beyond your control. Some Disney guests allow having a good time to let them get a little out of control or they get so caught up they forget to supervise their children. While loud, obnoxious guests are annoying enough, nothing ruins a ride like having the sound track interrupted so a cast member can announce, “Please remain seated at all times!” or having a ride stop because a guest is breaking the rules. By all means, if you witness disruptive or dangerous behavior from a fellow guest, be sure to report it to a cast member. And hope for more polite guests on your next ride.

3. Ride Closures

Every ride in Walt Disney World has to go down for routine maintenance from time to time. Disney publishes scheduled ride closures in advance, so you will know before you go if a particular ride will be unavailable. But sometimes a ride must close unexpectedly, for maintenance issues or for bad weather. If it happens to you, try to remain positive. There are many other things to do in the park, and you can still have a great day. And please don’t take out your frustrations on cast members; the sudden lightening storm certainly isn’t their fault!

4. Pressuring Someone onto a Ride

This is especially common with young children. They are afraid of a ride, but you’re sure once they are on that they’ll love it! So you drag the child on and strap them in, kicking and screaming. I can say from personal experience that this usually backfires. Not only will the child likely cry for the entire ride, they are often too scared to ride anything else in the park! If your child (or an adult) in your group is afraid of a ride, it’s best to let them sit it out. Disney offers a baby swap option so both parents of young children can still get to ride without having to wait in line twice. And don’t make fun of anyone who opts out of a ride; it’s just not nice and makes them not want to come to Disney with you again.

5. Height Restrictions

A great cause of upset for kids, parents, and cast members are ride height restrictions. Be sure to check your child’s height BEFORE you wait 90 minutes in line for Space Mountain! Height restriction information is readily available on the WDW website and the My Disney Experience app, as well as on signs at the ride entrance. If you are unsure if someone is tall enough, check with the cast member at the front entrance of the ride. They should have a height guide and can ensure that everyone in your party is tall enough. Remember that ride height restrictions are about safety; the ride’s restraint system might not work properly if riders are not tall enough. Trying to cheat the system puts your child in danger, so just don’t do it! Also, if a cast member says that your child is too short to ride, please don’t argue. Yes, it’s disappointing, but you are arguing against safety and you aren’t going to win (and it doesn’t set a good example for your kids!). Finally, don’t forget the height restrictions are just about height and have nothing to do with age. My five-year-olds are tall enough for Expedition: Everest, but I know that the ride is too intense for them. Just because a child can ride doesn’t mean that he should.

6. Lost Articles

There is a reason that cast members remind you to secure loose articles before the start of a ride! Hats, sunglasses, smart phones and tablets have a nasty way of coming loose during rides. While in some cases a cast member can retrieve the item for you, your iPhone probably isn’t going to be rescued from the waters of Pirates of the Caribbean. On faster rides a loose article could become a dangerous projectile, so please make use of the baskets and pouches provided, or leave items with someone who isn’t riding.

7. Ride Stoppage

Sometimes you’re happily riding along and suddenly your vehicle comes to a stop with no explanation. Should this happen to you, sit tight. Frequently a ride has been stopped to allow someone more time to enter or exit a ride vehicle, or to secure a wheelchair on a ride. These stoppages are short and your ride will be moving again quickly. Mechanical failure can also cause a ride to come to a halt. Again, remain seated and wait for a cast member to give you instructions. Often they will get the ride moving again quickly. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to exit the ride on your own; it could be very dangerous.

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8. Getting wet!

While some of us argue that getting wet is the best way to cool off on a hot Florida day, getting too wet can be seriously uncomfortable and possibly damaging to your smart phone or camera. Rides like Pirates of the Caribbean warn that you might get wet, but you don’t need to worry at all about getting soaked or waterproofing your electronics – they’ll be fine in your bag or pocket. Splash Mountain gets you a little wetter – if it’s a cool day or you don’t like being wet, you might want to bring a change of clothes or wear something that dries quickly, like athletic apparel. Electronics will probably be OK in your pocket or bag, but it doesn’t hurt to put them in a zip-top plastic bag. Kali River Rapids leaves some riders a little wet and some completely soaked, so be prepared! Quick-drying clothes or an outfit change are good ideas. There are complimentary lockers across from the ride entrance, so your wallet and smart phone can remain secure and dry. On days we’re headed to Animal Kingdom I usually throw a pair of flip-flops in my bag so I can keep my sneakers dry (shoes are required on Kali River Rapids). At the very least, a pair of dry socks will help prevent blisters from wearing wet shoes.

The rides at Walt Disney World can be so much fun and a huge part of your amazing Disney day. Just be sure to follow the rules, pay attention to cast members, and plan ahead and you’re sure to have a great time!

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About Laurel

Laurel took her first trip to Walt Disney World when she was only 18 months old and hasn’t stopped visiting since. Now she enjoys taking her own twins and husband as often as she can. And don’t tell the boys, but sometimes she goes without them, too.

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