Disney is often associated with princesses and magic and Mickey Mouse.
No one likes to think that the Magic Kingdom can be anything other than a Magical Place where dreams come true.
But, even rides that are meant for the whole family can be scary to a little one.
And since many Disney rides are indoors, sometimes it’s hard to tell what could be too scary for your child…until it’s too late.
5 Surprising Rides In The Magic Kingdom That May Be Too Scary For Little Ones
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates aren’t exactly known for their warm, friendly demeanor. But, thanks to some rum, at least they’re singing and appearing to have a good time.
But, this classic boat ride is also called a dark ride for a reason.
Why it’s scary: Every part of the ride is dark, starting from the queue. Shortly after the ride begins, there is a small drop. While it’s not very big, it’s in complete darkness. And it doesn’t help that the drop happens right after you see a pirate skull shine a bright light in your face to take your picture.
Once you pass the drop, the rest of the ride is slow and smooth.
But, the pirates, along with the fear of more drops can be scary for some kids.
The Haunted Mansion is another classic dark ride.
The ride, itself, is pretty tame. But, it’s still “haunted” with ghosts. 999 to be exact.
Why it’s scary: The pre-show brings you to the Stretching Room. The narrator speaks to you in a menacing voice before hearing loud thunder, screams, and cackles in the poorly lit room. This all happens before even being led to the ride vehicles.
Tip for making the ride not-so-scary: When my sons was younger, they wanted to ride Haunted Mansion. But, they got scared during the pre-show and didn’t want to continue.
So, we talked to a Cast Member, who allowed us to exit the ride.
Had I known at the time that skipping the pre-show was an option, I definitely would have done it.
On our next trip, one of my sons wanted to try Haunted Mansion again (including “the room”).
Now a little older, that’s when he realized that the only “scary part” (for him) was the pre-show.
If you feel your child is like mine and you feel he/she can handle the ride, but not the pre-show, ask a Cast Member if you can “skip the room”. Then you can wait for the rest of your party near the doom buggies.
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
What could be scary about a singing mermaid and all her sea life friends?
Well, nothing, until you round the corner and are faced with a giant Ursula.
Why it’s scary: Ursula is rarely a favorite character of small children.
So, seeing a giant animatronic of the villain can be frightening, especially when she’s situated pretty darn close to your ride vehicle.
“It’s just like Dumbo,” is usually how I hear this ride described. While not totally wrong, there is one aspect of the ride that makes it NOT the same as Dumbo.
Why it’s scary: It’s high! The only way to get to the ride is by a hot, crowded elevator. Once on the ride, you pull the lever to soar even higher.
If you have a little one who is afraid of heights, this may be one to skip. If you want a break from Dumbo, you can also ride The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, in Adventureland.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
This one surprises many parents. What could be scary about Winnie the Pooh?
The ride sits right next to the Pooh and Tigger meet and greet. Even the queue has fun activities and games to keep your little one busy while they’re waiting in line.
Why it’s scary: The ride starts out all nice and cute. And in reality, the whole ride is so tame I’ve seen infants sleep through the whole thing.
But, there’s definitely something about the dream sequence with the Heffalumps and Woozles that scare some children.
And if you have children who don’t like dark rides, the Tigger scene can be pretty dark. And while fun for some, the dark plus sudden “bouncing” isn’t a good combination.
YouTube is a tremendous resource for studying up on Disney rides.
Vloggers have done a wonderful job documenting the rides with full-length videos.
Even if you’re not a “YouTube person”, I often suggest that my clients watch some of them (POV is the best) before deciding which fastpasses you want.
Let your child decide
If you’ve seen the videos and you’re still unsure if your child should ride or not, let them decide.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many kids being dragged on rides they’re obviously scared of.