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  1. #1

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    Question Standardized height checks?

    We are traveling down with our 4-year old in a couple weeks. According to my measurement, he is a little over 40", which means he finally gets to ride some of the cooler rides. Last I was there, they had to measure at every single ride, every single time. I was wondering why there was not a single place to measure and then give the kid a colored wristband to identify their measurement. This way to don't have to deal with it all the time. So I found this site: Disneyland Resort Introduces New Height-Measurement System as Part of Global Safety Program. | North America > United States from AllBusiness.com. What a great idea! Then I ran across a posting on hear opposing it because of the potential for people swapping the bracelets around. So my idea is why not give each kid a temporary tattoo on their hand to mark their height. They could not swap that.

    What do you think? Do you remember when they were testing the other system? Was it really that bad? Should they make it standard? Have they already and I just don't know it??

  2. #2

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    Re: Standardized height checks?

    this would be great because a lot of the measurment devices are off, even w/in the same ride. My son made it on the one outside the fast pass for indy, the one before you get into the temple, then we were told he didn't reach the one right before they board you.

    My daughter went on Splash and Space mountains, only to be turned away from Jumping Jellyfish at DCA. That day my wife had a tape measure in her purse and measured the jumping Jelly Fish sign, and indeed, it was off.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Standardized height checks?

    We too have had the same issues. One night my oldest daughter was allowed to ride Screamin', only to be turned down the next day. It's got to be tough on the CM's, so we never throw a fit like some do. We just try and be very polite, and prepare our kids in case they don't "measure up".

    On a side note, we have measuring contests at our house every month..sometimes every week!
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  4. #4

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    Re: Standardized height checks?

    There are a couple factors that contributed to the standardized height check not working. A primary issue was that those operating the standardized height checks were not trained properly. Kids stood on their toes, parents stuffed kids shoes with tissue, some CM's didn't want to mess up the kids hair so a 1/2in above was considered "good enough"... list goes on. The kid would be very excited to get the bracelet, only to make it to the attraction and be turned away. That's not a generalization that all CM's did a bad job, some did an amazing job, but there were a LOT of kids that slipped through that crack.

    Another issue was the wristbands themselves. I'm trying to remember but I believe initially it was paper, then moved to a stretchy plastic that changes color... I remember the paper ones because they were meant to be form fitting and most times they were. Then you 'd have a child that was obviously too small with a bracelet on that was dangling from their wrist and there was no doubt they'd switched with an older sibling (usually standing next to them). We also had a few clever parents who would cut the band, resize it, then tape it back together. In most cases the parent was "outraged and going to complain to a manager" that we even wanted to check the kid's height... sorry... if the kid is under they're under.

    I know at least one MC on here who works for DOSH. Maybe they can explain it better because I never had a clear answer. I am not sure if DOSH sets the rules, or if Disney sets them and DOSH rubber stamps them... but the height checks on attractions are required safety positions. If a child that is even 1/4in off gets on the ride and is injured, Disney is liable... this happened on Mission to Mars I might add.

    Sometimes the measuring sticks are off... that is what the CM has to go by. "Way back when" I knew several CM's who carried a tape measure and would physically measure the spot when challenged... at least once it earned them a complaint about being "rude" . The one that really counts, more then anything else, is the one right before you get on the ride. That is the "final say" and a if a Lead is called they will use that to determine if the child is tall enough to ride.

    My recommendation, and I told a lot of parents this, is to mark a spot on the wall at home an inch above what the required measurement was. That inch is insurance. It insures that the child is not "close" and won't be a "judgment call". It also spares the child of the heartache of having their hopes up and then being told they can't go on.

    I've had some very positive experiences at height check. I specifically remember an older brother who was an inch above the check... He refused to go on the ride because his little brother wasn't tall enough. I've also had some very bad experiences at height check. Please realize the CM's at height check are not on a power trip. They are not there to ruin someone's day or to make children cry. They don't make the rules, they simply have to enforce them.

    As to the temporary tattoo... hairspray... all I am going to say on that one. There is a reason you need a ticket AND a hand stamp to get in the parks these days. If there is a way around the system people will find it and they will attempt to exploit it. No matter how "standardized" the height check system becomes they will likely continue to re-check at attractions as a backup... because again Disney is liable should a small child get on.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Standardized height checks?

    Having height measurements at each ride is more cost effective then wristbands. I worked at a park that had wristbands, and it was constantly an issue. Peoples wrists would get sweaty, kids would pull them off, the grounds were littered with them, the price they cost the company was ridiculous considering how many we had to use every day.....it seemed to be a never ending problem! I know the measuring devices at the rides are annoying and often inconsistent, but I think it's the best way overall.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Standardized height checks?

    Standardized height checks were tried and failed miserably at Disneyland. There are still enough CM's and managers around who had experience with that total failure that the system will never return; not with wristbands, not with wash-off tattoos, not with RFID tags, and not even with metal plates surgically implanted into the kid's heads.

    Parents will lie, cheat and steal to get their kids on a theme park ride they aren't tall enough to ride. California theme parks are now legislated and inspected regularly (weekly/daily at Disneyland) by the State of California. One slip up on a safety requirement like that and it can cause the ride to be shut down and all CM's to be retrained before it can reopen. The media would have a field day with a State-mandated problem like that at Disneyland.

    Standardized height checks will never return. If your kid doesn't measure up, he doesn't measure up. And bringing it to the attention of a manager isn't going to help, it will only cause the organization to dig in their heels more because you might be a State inspector testing us.

  7. #7

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    Re: Standardized height checks?

    I tend to agree that standardized height checks wouldn't work, especially if you could just remove the band and put it on another child. I know its a pain, but I think its required. I watched a mother absolutely lose it on a cast member outside of the tower of terror one morning because her son couldn't ride--was just short of the measure.

    I guess when your on vacation safety is the furthest thing from your mind?

  8. #8

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    Re: Standardized height checks?

    Disney actually put a lot of thought into this one. They even came up with some really cool height measuring devices that they patented: Disney Height Measurement Patent. They talk about the wrist bands in the patent and that has issues as Tech mentions. However, installing these at any ride that has a height requirement would not be that difficult and would eliminate the need for wristbands or anything.

    These types of measuring devices could be installed in a totally themed way so that guests do not even realize they are there, or don't realize where the measuring device is or how it is working. Cast members would really only have to look for kids with really tall hair or really tall shoes and that isn't hard to do. If there is a doubt, do a quick check with the stick, but this should eliminate most of the need to do that.

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  9. #9

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    Re: Standardized height checks?

    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft16 View Post
    Disney actually put a lot of thought into this one. They even came up with some really cool height measuring devices that they patented: Disney Height Measurement Patent. They talk about the wrist bands in the patent and that has issues as Tech mentions. However, installing these at any ride that has a height requirement would not be that difficult and would eliminate the need for wristbands or anything.

    These types of measuring devices could be installed in a totally themed way so that guests do not even realize they are there, or don't realize where the measuring device is or how it is working. Cast members would really only have to look for kids with really tall hair or really tall shoes and that isn't hard to do. If there is a doubt, do a quick check with the stick, but this should eliminate most of the need to do that.
    Not gonna lie, that's pretty darn cool! I'd love to see that implemented in the parks.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Standardized height checks?

    Solution #26b: don't take your kids to Disneyland if they're between 39" and 41". Couple months of every person's life, except for "little people" who are right in that range.
    AP'ers excepted, since they can go anytime they want. I'm thinking more about tourists taking a long trip right when a child is in this range.
    Solution 27a: thank the CM for their concern for your child's safety and move on to the next attraction. Perhaps to the Zoltar Fortune Teller arcade game.
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