How to prepare for a big scary ride
One of the frustrating parts about the Disneyland parks can be the height requirements. While they exist for safety, they can still be frustrating for both you and your child. What is more frustrating is when your child is tall enough but still refuses to ride the ride.
We found ourselves measuring her about a week before we left to see which new rides we could go on, this was exciting for us, but for her thinking about a big, fast, tall, and sometimes dark ride was scary. She would start worrying about the new rides even before we got on the plane, so we had to figure out how to give her peace of mind. She, like most of us, has a fear of the unknown.
What worked well was to start getting her excited a couple weeks in advance by watching YouTube videos of the rides. We would start with simple rides that she could relate to and then watch some of the rides she wasn’t as familiar with. Rides like the Matterhorn are not only tall and fast but also have the dreaded Yeti! We found that showing her the ride video actually generating some additional fear about the Yeti, but using the thought that information can resolve fears we found a video about the creation of the ride. This video showed how the actual Yeti was created, it gave us the opportunity to help her understand that it wasn’t real. As we did this and talked excitedly about these new rides, it would generate excitement and help alleviate some fear.
When we got to Disneyland she wasn’t scared to ride the ride, she knew it was safe and that the scary parts were fake. As a 5-year-old her favorite rides are Guardians of the Galaxy and Splash Mountain, two of the biggest rides at each park! I believe the more information you give your kiddos the better equipped they are to deal with their fears, it takes the fear of the unknown out of it. They are not as likely to make up a scarier version of ride in their mind. That said, it is also probably wise to use a Fastpass on each new ride to minimize the time they have to think about it.