Many things go into planning a Walt Disney World vacation with kids. There are the obvious things like making your Disney Resort hotel reservations, securing Advance Dining Reservations, and planning FastPass+ experiences.
But did you know that there is one thing you can do with your kids before your vacation that can minimize potential meltdowns, help plan FastPass+ choices, and aid with wardrobe choices?
Keep reading to learn what we consider one of the most important things you can do with your kids BEFORE your Disney trip.
A child’s first ride on Space Mountain is an unforgettable Disney milestone — and one that many parents look forward to experiencing with their kiddos. Imagine planning a child’s first “blast off” to outer space, only to be turned down at the queue because your mini Mouseketeer didn’t meet the height requirement. 3…2…1…meltdown!
The Safety Standard
If you are traveling to Walt Disney World with kids, measuring their height in advance of your vacation is essential. Height requirements have been put in place after rigorous safety testing and are strictly enforced by Cast Members to keep your families safe. Another thing to note is that regardless of age or weight, height requirements are enforced.
In fact, many attractions have two height measurement stations — one at the entrance to the queue and another closer to the attraction loading area. Being prepared for this will not only save you precious time but avoid unnecessary heartbreaks.
If the Shoe Fits
Kids are always measured with shoes on. Shoes like Crocs may have a much higher heel height than a pair of dressier ballet flats may have. It is recommended that you measure your child at home with the same shoes they will be wearing in the theme parks.
Hair We Go
You will also want to plan hairstyle and hat choices in advance of your vacation. If a child is wearing a high, voluminous ponytail or bun, they may be asked to take their hair down before being measured. If it interferes with the height measurement station, the Cast Member will not be able to get an accurate measurement. This is also the case with tall hats or Minnie or Mickey ear bands.
Check Yourself (and the Ride Heights)
Once you have measured your kids, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the current height requirements for Walt Disney World attractions by visiting our quick height requirement reference guide. Please keep in mind that height requirements can change. We encourage you to double-check before your vacation!
Next, you will be ready to start making FastPass+ selections! Now that you know which attractions your child can and can’t experience, making these selections will be much easier!
If your child is not tall enough to ride an attraction you want to experience, don’t forget about the Rider Switch program which allows adult guests to take turns waiting with little ones or guests unable to ride. Want to learn more about Rider Switch and which attractions offer it? View our comprehensive Rider Switch guide here!
One last thing to keep in mind is that just because your child is tall enough to ride an attraction, that doesn’t mean that she/he may be emotionally ready to experience it.
For example, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror has a 40” height requirement, which means that a very tall 3-4 year old may be tall enough to ride it, but a child that age may not be emotionally ready to enter “The Twilight Zone.”
However, If you do have a thrill-seeking Mouseketeer in your family, we’ve compiled a list of the best beginner Walt Disney World thrill rides for kids (along with their height requirements). We hope this is helpful in planning a Disney vacation that “measures up!”
Do you plan on measuring your kiddos before your next Walt Disney World vacation? Please let us know your thoughts below!