Visiting Walt Disney World is so exciting but lots of parents struggle visiting with kids of different ages and heights. Never fear – you can make it happen! Different heights don’t mean you’ll have to miss out on your favorites during your visits. So how exactly do you make it work? Here are three tips for you:
Walt Disney World has a fantastic system to help parents make the most of the attractions called Rider Switch (some people call it Baby or Rider Swap). Simply walk up to the entrance to the attraction and ask about the Rider Switch option (not all attractions participate). Be prepared to have the child that’s too short for the attraction with you because sometimes Cast Members will ask to see the child. This prevents people from abusing the system and taking advantage to get the pass to return if they don’t have someone who’s too short with them. What you’ll get back from the Cast Member is a paper (old fashioned) FastPass+ for you to return any time in the day and wait in the FastPass line. The passes are usually good for up to two people-so you can experience the attraction with your kids while someone else waits with the kid who’s too short then they can experience the attraction with the kids while you wait with the kiddo who’s too short.
Divide and Conquer
Sometimes it’s easier to just plan to split up. Before splitting up, have a good plan for meeting back up if that’s important to you. Will you start the day off together as a family, then split up and meet back up for dinner together? Maybe you’ll head off on your own adventures and meet back up for lunch or dinner together. Or maybe you’ll leave the resort for your own adventures and meet back up when you’re all ready to crawl back into bed at the end of the day. With PhotoPass photographers, you won’t have to worry about missing out on anything. And you can always text selfies to each other. If you’re the planner type and the other person you’re traveling with isn’t, a fun scavenger hunt could ensure hitting the must do items while you’re split up exploring the parks or resorts.
On Their Own
Once your kids are older, they will want to take in some of the attractions on their own. I have a few rules for my kids before they head off on their own adventures. Think about how well the kids know the park you’re visiting, if they’re familiar with the attraction they’re going to experience, and how they’ll stay in contact with you while you’re separated. In our experience, kids ten years old or older are able to ride on their own so double digits is the magic number. If you’re comfortable, start slowly. Let them wait in a short line on their own where you’re able to see them. Celebrate them growing up and becoming more independence. Explain how important it is for them to stay where they’re expected to be and go over basic safety information with them (what a Cast Member in the area looks like because all the costumes are different, not talking to strangers, not horsing around, etc) so everyone is on the same page.
So just because you’ve got kids who might not meet the height requirement doesn’t mean anyone needs to miss out on attractions at Walt Disney World. Have you visited with kids at different ages and heights? How did you make it work for your family?
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