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Heading to Disneyland with a child? You are probably wondering what they can and can not ride. Disneyland rides height requirements are one of the most popular topics among Disneyland forums. But the next question parents ask is “how accurate are the Disneyland height requirement markers?”
Maybe you have a child that is 39 inches, but really wants to ride Splash Mountain, or maybe you are like us and have twins that are almost two inches different in height. Either way, you are probably wanting to figure out if there is any way that your child may make it on a ride, or maybe be denied entry to a ride that you thought they were tall enough for.
One Of The Most Popular Questions From Parents About Disneyland
Since the question of how accurate Disney height requirements are is such a popular topic, I am not shocked that is asked multiple times per week in our Disneyland With Kids Facebook group. (Speaking of which, if you are not a member yet, you totally should be!)
Being the awesome admin that I am, I wanted to get our group members the answer to this question about Disneyland ride height requirements. So, when I found a keychain measuring tape at the Dollar Tree, I couldn’t resist taking it to Disneyland to measure all of the ride height requirement markers for everyone asking this question.
Yes, I Measured The Disneyland Height Requirement Markers
Some of the Cast Members laughed when I pulled out my tape measure and began measuring the height requirement markers at Disneyland. Others watched me, probably sure I was some crazy mom, ready to argue why my child should be allowed on the ride. Either way, nobody stopped me and even the Cast Members were curious to find out exactly how accurate the Disneyland height requirement measuring sticks were.
Before I get to the results, I need to give full disclosure. I did not measure every single ride. I missed measuring the coaster, formerly California Screamin’ soon to be the Incredicoaster, as it is closed for reimagineering. I also did not measure most of the height requirements at the loading zone because of crowds. Splash Mountain was closed for refurbishment so I was only able to measure the height requirement marker at the Fastpass kiosks. All other rides I measured both the Fastpass kiosk stick (if it had Fastpass) and the Disneyland height requirement marker at the beginning of the ride queue.
The First Thing To Know About The Disneyland Ride Height Requirement Markers
The first thing I noticed about the Disneyland height requirement markers was that two markers on the same ride may measure differently. Say what? That is right, so your child may measure up fine at the beginning of the queue, only to be turned away when remeasured at the loading zone.
The difference I found between markers was very minimal, but it could be up to an 1/8 of an inch difference. Which could be enough to make it so a child can not ride. It can be heart breaking for a child to wait in line only to be turned down at final boarding, but the Cast Members assured me when a child is close at the beginning of the queue, they warn parents that the CM at the loading zone has the final say.
So How Accurate Are The Disneyland Height Requirements?
I had always heard rumors that Disneyland height requirement sticks were actually taller than the listed height requirement. However, I had never had a child that actually measure that height not get on a ride. In fact, in the picture of the Goof at Soarin’ (Over California at the time, now Soarin’ Around the World) he was only 39.45 incheds at his doctor appointment a few weeks earlier. So I was really interested to see if those rumors were true.
Truth is, the majority of Disneyland height requirement markers are pretty accurate
After measuring almost all of the Disneyland height requirement markers in the resort, I found NONE of the height requirement markers were taller than the listed height requirement. Not a single one that I measured. That means stories of kids who were 40 inches at a recent doctor appointment but still denied entry on Star Tours were not due to the markers. (Keep reading to find out other reasons your kid may not measure up when you think they should.)
But not all of the height requirement markers are accurate
But just because none of them were over does not mean every single marker was accurate. In fact, I found a few that were over a quarter of an inch off…but in your child’s favor!
Suprisingly, the biggest discrepancy we saw was at Gadget’s Go Coaster. A ride we had been debating about this trip. See, one of our twins was definitely tall enough. He was around 36 inches at his last appointment, the height requirement for this roller coaster is 35 inches.
His twin brother however, had only measured around 34.25 inches at their last appointment. 3/4 of an inch shorter than the listed height requirement. We were worried, but decided to see if he was tall enough with shoes on. When we tried measuring at home, he was still under 35″ so we thought it was a long shot. However, I had already measured several rides at this point and knew there was always a chance the marker would be off.
They did remeasure the shorter one at the loading area, but since his twin is noticably taller, he did not have to be remeasured. Now, the real question is did they like the ride? You can judge!
So now the question still remains, if they are accurate, or in the child’s favor….
Why Didn’t Your Child Meet the Disneyland Height Requirement?
So why didn’t your child meet the height requirement marker at Disneyland? There are actually several things that could be happening.
1. Your child was measured wrong pre-trip
Believe it or not, the height at your doctors’ office can be off. Some doctors still use measuring devices that have to be mounted 6 inches off the ground or so. If they were mounted in the wrong spot, even 1/4 of an inch off, that can make a difference.
Or maybe you measured your own child at home. It can be difficult to measure a child at home. Getting them to stand still, while you try to use the tape measure and mark it, making sure they stand tall and look forward. It is possible you measured incorrectly. Plus, if you measure on carpet, that can make the measurement off as well.
2. Your child shrunk
I don’t mean your child is actually shrinking, but as people, especially kids, get tired, they tend to not stand as tall or straight through out the day. Your child may stand tall and straight the first ride the first day, but then go back and not be admitted on the ride at the end of day three.
If you want your child to do a ride that they barely meet the height requirement, be sure to hit up that ride early in the day. Disneyland height requirements must be met each time the child rides. So even if your child was tall enough and you can show a picture of them on Space Mountain from earlier int he day, if they don’t hit that marker, they won’t be riding that evening.
3. You planned on shoes adding more height than they do
A lot of time as parents we measure our kids with shoes on to see if they meet the height requirement when they have footwear on. Sometimes we don’t account for the fact that they may wear down the insoles over time. Or maybe you chose a different pair of shoes. It is best to measure children without shoes at home, so you aren’t counting on that extra height. Easier said then done I know.
4. Your child slouched. Here are some reasons why:
I was so frustrated when we went on the Goof’s second trip after he had hit the 40 inch requirement. The CM asked him to stand for the height check. He said “See if you fit under here.” and then he told me that the Goof was too short.
The Goof had slouched because he thought he was supposed to fit under there. I told the CM that he was slouching because of how he had worded it. I then told the Goof to stand up straight and not try to fit under it. Surprise, he was a good inch over the marker.
As a parent, listen to how the CM instructs your child and step in if you see them slouching. If they fit under the marker, they are considered too short.
Also, practice with your child having them stand straight and look straight ahead. Practicing at home can make it easier for them to stand still and be measured at Disneyland.
So What Is The Verdict On Disneyland Height Requirements
In the end, Disneyland Height Requirements are accurate, or favor the child, but there are a lot of things to take into account when figuring out if your child will be tall enough to ride. If you are like our family and measure your kids growth by the next Disneyland height requirement, be sure to wait to go until your child has hit the height requirement, not when they are half an inch to short and you are hoping they can somehow grow or find a shoe with thick soles.
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