These Disney World Attractions Aren’t Thrill Rides, but They May Still Scare Your Child

Walt Disney World has lots of great attractions for kids of all ages! And while it’s fairly obvious that big thrill rides such as Tower of Terror may cause your kids a bit of fright (if they’re even tall enough to ride it), those aren’t the only attractions to be aware of.

The Barnstormer

There are a few non-thrill attractions that may cause your kiddos’ smiles to turn upside down. Whether it’s because they’re dark or loud or have a giant sea witch, these rides may spook your kids even if there isn’t a height requirement.

We aren’t saying don’t ride them — we love all of these — but just keep this in mind and know your kids before you go. You may want to let them know one or two scary things are coming but not to worry!

Want to show your kids some on-ride videos before you leave home? We have several over on our YouTube channel!

1. Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion is an ICONIC Disney classic — but it’s also dark and spooky and full of ghosts! It’s understandable this might scare your kids — at least the first half. The second part is basically a ghost party, and it was designed that way on purpose. The idea was that even though you might be frightened at first, by the end you’ll be singing along with those silly ghosts, and you’ll forget all about the hand pushing its way out of its coffin. 😉

Haunted Mansion’s Singing Busts

Remind your kids that the ghosts are silly and just playing around if they seem spooked — and if you’re a big Mansion fan yourself you can always give them a play by play of what’s coming next.

2. It’s Tough to Be a Bug

This is a cute 3D show INSIDE the Tree of Life! You’ll don bug eyes (glasses) and learn about life as a bug from Flik (the ant from “A Bug’s Life). Sounds adorable, right?

It’s Tough to Be a Bug!

WRONG. In addition to cute lil’ butterflies and friendly ants, there are also hornets who sting you, a huge scary Hopper animatronic, and big spiders who dangle from the ceiling in the dark.

I’ve literally never been to a show and not heard a least one kid start screaming and need to be taken out. In reality it IS a fun show, and we love the queue weaving through the Tree’s roots, but the dark scary big bug things are pretty frightening. Keep this in mind before bringing in your kid’s without warning. 🙂

3. Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid

In this adorable dark ride you’ll climb aboard a clamshell and journey under the sea to visit Ariel, Sebastian, and Flounder!


But you’ll also come face to face with this GIANT URSULA. If your kids aren’t fans of the sea witch, this could be alarming. (I know from experience. Wait…is this just me?!)

4. Pirates of the Caribbean 

Like Haunted Mansion, this is an iconic Magic Kingdom attraction that’s not to be missed. But keep in mind it may startle your youngest!

Pirates of the Caribbean

I took my five year old nephew on this a few weeks ago, and he was not so sure about the opening scene. Which — totally understandable! There’s skeletons and creepy music and a drop in the dark. But as soon as he saw the pirate ship and Captain Jack he was way more into it.

This is another one that you probably want to warn your more worrisome kiddos about, letting them know the pirates are going to be happy and singing in no time. Also, it helps to point out the silly bird on the guy’s head.

What non-thrill rides make your kids nervous? Let us know in the comments!

Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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2 Replies to “These Disney World Attractions Aren’t Thrill Rides, but They May Still Scare Your Child”

  1. My then five year old daughter was terrified of the Haunted Mansion so my wife told her it was a library. My daughter knew what a library was since I was always bringing books home. Boy was she mad when we got into the attraction. But after that it became her favorite ride.

  2. My then two and a half year old daughter was terrified of Figment! She didn’t like the dark and loud noises. We were terrified to take her on anything else that was “dark” the rest of our trip, but she ended up loving Under the Sea, so clearly a toddler’s mood is minute by minute.