Tips for child afraid of falling out of rides

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Burgermom, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Burgermom

    Burgermom Mouseketeer

    Jul 22, 2015

    We are planning our first trip to WDW and my almost 6 year old son is somewhat concerned about some rides. He says that he is afraid of heights and when I ask him what he means by that he explains that he is worried that he will fall out of the ride.
    We have been on many rides at fairs and our local amusement park and speed, turns, hills, etc don't seem to bother him (ex: rollercoasters) but things similar to Dumbo (where you are up in the air) seem to frighten him.
    Is there any advice on how to reassure him that he will not fall out of the ride? What do parents do to soothe their kids (hold hands, etc)
    Are there any rides at Disney that feel as though you are going to fall out (Because I think I will avoid those) I heard that you can feel that way on Astro Orbiter so we will avoid this one but wondering if there are others.
    thanks :)
  2. unrequited23

    unrequited23 DIS Veteran

    May 26, 2015
    I would show him the ride videos and also explain that he could make his elephant, magic carpet or triceratops go as high or low as he would like. I would skip Astro Orbiter this trip, or plan on doing it at the end. I also would not force the issue too much--I can only think of 4 rides that go up in the air compared to everything else there is to do there. I can sympathize my youngest is not a fan of any of the dark rides except It's a Small World, but loves open air, high or fast moving rides.
    Burgermom likes this.
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  4. Betty Rohrer

    Betty Rohrer DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2010
    remember that even Dumbo at 6 he will have to have an adult ride with him as you have to be 7 to ride alone so you will be there with him on the ride
    Burgermom likes this.
  5. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2003
    He may change his mind when you arrive. He'll see the other children, some younger, on the rides and that may ease his fear. Like the above posted you will be able to ride with him which may make the difference. One thing I've learned you never know until your there. Our 3rd child was scared to death of Carousel of Progress, no kidding, but loved the rollercoasters. Have a great trip, your son is such a great age to enjoy the magic.
    Burgermom likes this.
  6. Wild4Walt

    Wild4Walt DIS Veteran

    Jul 28, 2008
    Maybe explain to him that most rides has seat belts to keep him in. ( I'm almost positive Dumbo has them ) and for rides that don't ( like Splash Mountain ) have him watch a video of it and see what he says.
  7. Pesky

    Pesky "Who's the monkey?!"

    Apr 9, 2012
    I told mine that there are laws that require the ride to be built so that it will be very safe (true). And that after the ride is built, it has to be inspected by safety officials. And then it has to be inspected by the maintenance department EVERY.DAY. I pointed out that is why there are those restraint systems like the lap bars and such and even for the rides that don't, they are designed to still be safe by using scientific principles like gravity. That while the ride is designed to be very exciting, people don't realize it is tested a lot to make sure it is very safe too. That reassured by youngest who worries about those things too.
    Victoria3 and marcyleecorgan like this.
  8. Momto2plustwins

    Momto2plustwins Earning My Ears

    Jul 5, 2016
    I’m right there with him. My hands sweat even watching videos of rides high up.
    I cuddle with my kids and don’t look down...that seems to help. I also pray.

    I’m always scared on the last part of Dumbo, and on Peter Pan. I still ride them, but I’m anxious. I’ve never been on Astro Orbiter and doubt I will.
  9. DisneyChris2016

    DisneyChris2016 Mouseketeer

    Apr 13, 2016
    I actually don't think Astro Orbiter is that bad because of the rider configuration (one if front of the other) - if you rode with him he would basically be right between your legs and you could hug him the whole time, so if you being right there makes him feel safe, it shouldn't be that bad. But it is quite high in the air (you actually ride an elevator up to get to the ride), so if he's anxious about it, just skip it.

    Dumbo and similar rides, you sit right next to him and can hold onto him as tightly as he feels a need for. I would just tell him you'll be right there and you would never let him fall.

    One ride I would recommend skipping is Soarin'. That one you actually are raised up in the air, and your feet dangle, so even though you are wearing a seatbelt (and kids have an extra strap between their legs) it's easier to "feel" like falling is a possibility.

    Anything else, I'd just take your cues from him. Let him see the rides for himself and address his concerns as they arise. There are plenty of things to do at Disney that won't bother him in the least.
  10. Carla1183

    Carla1183 Mouseketeer

    Oct 17, 2016
    This is what we did. Even my 4 year old was more reassured by the truth and logic than anything else. We simply explained to them that Disney World would get in huge, huge trouble if kids were getting hurt and falling out of rides, and then they wouldn't be open anymore. That they have all the safety rules in place for just that reason, that they test all the rides. We also point out some things they aren't allowed to ride as an example "See, you can't ride Rock n Rollercoaster because you are too short. They know that might possibly not be safe, so they won't let you ride it. So if they are letting you ride something else, you know they know it is very safe"
  11. JessicaW1234

    JessicaW1234 DIS Veteran

    Aug 1, 2009
    You could show him you are on the "outside" on Dumbo (the side with the opening) so you will keep him away from falling out
  12. srwarden1928

    srwarden1928 DIS Veteran

    Apr 3, 2008
    If you try Soarin, make SURE that you use the strap between the legs for him. I use it for myself, and I am 6'0, 250, because I am always afraid I will fall out, but I wouldn't want to miss it.
  13. OhanaBreadPudding

    OhanaBreadPudding Mouseketeer

    Mar 6, 2012
    My son comes up with a lot of irrational fears. The suggestions are great so far, but we started a “then what” approach and it has helped a lot.

    “I’m afraid i will fall out”
    “Okay, I understand that fear. But if you fall out, then What will happen?”
    “........ i’ll get hurt?”
    “You would get hurt. But then what?”
    “’ll take me to the hospital?”
    “We would take you right away. And then what?”
    “The Doctor will make me feel better?”
    “Absolutely he/she would. Then what would happen?”
    “I’ll feel better?”
    “Yup! And then we can get back to the park and keep having fun!”

    Obviously if he fell out of a ride it wouldn’t be that simple. The chances of that happening are paractically non existent though, so after you explain to him that it couldn’t happen, walking him through could help. since we started making my son think through all of the things that could happen and giving him solutions, his fears have improved so much.
  14. Sarcazm

    Sarcazm Mouseketeer

    May 6, 2017
    So, when I was a young child, I remember my first trip to Six Flags. My first roller coaster ride was the Flashback at Six Flags over Texas. The first thing it does is go up backwards. I was scared to death because I thought I was going to fall out of my seat. My parents FINALLY explained that the harnesses lock. I was perfectly fine after that.

    There's a significant effort in engineering roller coasters (and other rides) to ensure safety. If they weren't safe, no one would ride them (except maybe people who are adrenaline junkies).

    You could probably find a video on Youtube on how rides are constructed.

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