Following on from our previous article looking at the best attractions for pre-schoolers, here we give our pick of the 10 worst attractions for young children. There’s no real age guide to this, but the older they are, the more likely they are to like rather than hate these attractions.
Remember, these are only our opinions, and as every child is different, some may have some of these attractions on their favorites list!
Of course, a number of these have height restrictions which are a good guide to whether they are suitable for your kid’s age range, unless your child is taller than average.
1 – Stitch’s Great Escape – A few years back Disney tried to make The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter a little more child-friendly by introducing Stitch. They failed. The indoor show has guests sitting in a circle around the theater, strapped in with shoulder harnesses which can press down quite tightly. Parts of the show are in total darkness, with loud sounds and special effects that can scare children (and some adults) witless. Best avoided unless your kids are very tough and not easily scared.
2- Hall of Presidents – Nothing scary here, but listed for the boredom factor. A 25 minute show that is primarily made up of audio-animatronic presidents speaking. Definitely one to avoid unless you have children that love history or who need a nap.
3 – Mission: SPACE – Motion sickness alert! A simulated space adventure which sees guests being sent on a rocket to Mars. The spinning centrifuge on the ride causes motion sickness in many people, especially children who may find it hard to keep looking ahead to avoid disorientation and dizziness. It’s also dark and in a very confined space. There is now an option to ride an alternative version which just shows the film without the spinning centrifuge which simulates the rocket launch and loss of gravity.
4 – Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith – Fast roller coaster in the dark, with loops, twists and upside-down bits. Need I say more? If your child is tall enough to reach the height limit on this ride, make sure they’ve experienced other roller coasters and are comfortable in total darkness before subjecting them to this one.
5 – Space Mountain – Another fast wild-mouse-style roller coaster in the dark. Twists, turns and sudden drops with no shoulder restraints, only lap bars.
6 – Sounds Dangerous – Starring Drew Carey – The boredom factor meets total darkness! For the majority of the show the lights are turned out and you’re listening to a variety of sounds which include a swarm of buzzing bees. Not the most enthralling of shows and made worse for kids with the weird sounds and darkness.
7 – It’s Tough to be a Bug! – Not for kids (or adults) who are scared of bugs of any type. The special effects used in the show can be quite intense and include the sensation of insects running by your feet. If your kids aren’t scared of bugs this attraction will probably be fine for them.
8 – Dinosaur – This is a fast-paced, bumpy (jerky at times) ride through the dark in search of dinosaurs. It can be scary for children due to the darkness, the close presence of dinosaurs and loud noises.
9 – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Aside from the free-falling elevator, which drops 13 stories at speed down the elevator shaft, scary elements on this ride include lightning, darkness and the appearance of “ghosts.”
10 – Haunted Mansion – If children survive the first part of the attraction where guests are crowded into the “stretch rooms” and plunged into total darkness, they may find some of the special effects and sights on the actual ride a bit too much. Ghosts, tombstones, skeletons and spooky noises, although presented in a lighthearted way can still prove too scary.
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