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Boosting Kids’ Height for Disney Rides: Clever Parenting Hack or Safety Risk?

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Let’s start with the answer to this one.

It’s a huge safety risk.

We know. It’s tempting.

You have waiting for so long for your visit to a Disney theme park. The day finally comes and you have been hoping that junior would finally reach that target height.

But no matter what you do, they still do not reach that crucial 40″ height requirement. Doesn’t matter how much you spike up their hair, tell them to stand up straight, buy them built-up shoes, or plead with the Cast Member.


If they aren’t tall enough, someone is going to be sitting the ride out with them.

It seems that even Thor has made this parenting error. In this video, Chris Hemsworth describes how he took his daughter to a Disney park when she was not tall enough to ride Tower of Terror.

It is worth watching this if only to see his Avengers co-stars Robert Downey, Jr and Scarlett Johansson’s reaction to his story of how he cheated the system and used Snickers Bars in his daughters’ shoes to make her taller.

Chris ended the anecdote by saying “So don’t do that. She’s fine, she’s well. I’m her hero.” He also concluded, “Maybe there’s a reason that there’s a height size,” 

Well yes there definitely is a reason.

And that reason is those height requirements are not in place for fun, to give the Cast Member a difficult customer service challenge, or to upset your little one who has their heart set on riding Space Mountain.

The reason is safety.

Height requirements are set by the ride manufacturers. And they have to take into account not only what would happen when a ride is running as it should. They also have to allow for when things go wrong with either the ride, or when the riders behave in unsafe ways.

When things are running correctly with the ride, the safety systems have to take into account height so that a person is secured safely into the ride.

If you are not up to those height requirements the safety harness may not fit. It may be at the wrong height. Or there may just be too much room for movement between you and the harness.

Related: Epcot Height Requirements – What You Need to Know

A lap bar has to be able to safely secure all the people using it.

For example, if one person is not tall enough to ride is sitting next to a taller person, the bar may not secure them and they could slip underneath. This seems to be the scenario that Chris Hemsworth describes – that his daughter was slipping underneath the lap bar on Tower of Terror.

Height requirements are also set according to what would happen if the rides’ safety systems have to be deployed.

There are numerous safety systems built into the ride. There are safety zones so that if one train does not leave one of the zones, the others will stop.

Whatever safety harness or bar in the ride vehicle has to be capable of keeping. you safe if the attraction has to come to a sudden stop.

So think about this next time you are trying to bargain and plead with the Cast Member. They have heard whatever you have to say a million times before.

And they are keeping you safe.

Related: Disney World Animal Kingdom Height Requirements