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  1. #46

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    Who said anything about the kids feeling bad? It's about fairness to whomever is paying the admission. I know that if I were a parent, I'd be upset if I had to start paying for my kid at age 2 when another child got free admission for several more years. That isn't fair. Setting the end to free admission at an arbitrary age cutoff IS fair because it applies to every child for the same length of time.
    Sorry but I can't buy into the "That isn't fair" argument. Life in general isn't fair... someone wants to be a jockey and ride race horses but nature gave them a gene that makes them 6 foot tall, someone wants to walk but they weren't born with legs... The world isn't fair on so many levels I don't see why any place should be trying to be fair, it is what it is.

    If you want to argue for what is fair, then having a simple standard that people can't cheat like height is much more fair than the age cutoff. Age is probably the least fair way to do just about anything in the world, from gate admission to the cost of buffets.
    Last edited by Mackster; 06-04-2014 at 11:56 AM.

  2. #47

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    Under 40" wouldn't need to be free. Charge everyone 1/2 price under 40", infants and all. They can ride the majority of the rides in the park. Everyone over 40", pays the full price.
    Actually I was hoping they would charge double for under 40 and triple if they were in a stroller.... just to lower the congestion a bit.

  3. #48

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackster View Post
    Sorry but I can't buy into the "That isn't fair" argument. Life in general isn't fair... someone wants to be a jockey and ride race horses but nature gave them a gene that makes them 5 foot tall, someone wants to walk but they weren't born with legs... The world isn't fair on so many levels I don't see why any place should be trying to be fair, it is what it is.

    If you want to argue for what is fair, then having a simple standard that people can't cheat like height is much more fair than the age cutoff. Age is probably the least fair way to do just about anything in the world, from gate admission to the cost of buffets.
    But there's no getting around that in this case, age is fair. An age cutoff, and a requirement for a birth certificate or proof of age, guarantee that every single kid that comes through that gate has the same time limit for free admission: thirty-five months. No more, no less.
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  4. #49

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyAaron View Post
    How is that less fair than parents paying more for the five year old that isn't tall enough?

    Shoot, there are a lot of adults that cannot mentally handle all of the 'E' tickets.

    Personally, I think it's more fair to charge by height in that at least Disney is charging by the ride restrictions Disney itself enforces.
    I don't see where it is not fair. Height restrictions are based on safety alone, and as much as Disney attempts to accommodate all guests who may have challenges of all types (including adults who may fall under the height requirement), it is not based on fairness.

    Nobody can build an amusement park that is one size fits all, and that is why even with height restrictions there are many options available to guests; which are and good enough to charge full price admission for.

  5. #50

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    But there's no getting around that in this case, age is fair. An age cutoff, and a requirement for a birth certificate or proof of age, guarantee that every single kid that comes through that gate has the same time limit for free admission: thirty-five months. No more, no less.
    Birth certificates are sometimes asked for by health insurance companies, schools and other entities in order to verify age or eligibility for benefits. However, they are usually required to be notarized first, and still may be subject to additional scrutiny. Birth certificates from different counties, states and nations would all look different, so how would Disney employees be qualified to determine if they are legitimate documents? Many birth certificates are just simple pieces of paper issued by a hospital (not a certificate of live birth). I could see some folks using this as a way to commit fraud at the gates; show up with a official looking fake birth certificate printed out at home on a laser printer and claim that your 4 year old is under 3 years old and then what happens? Would Disney want to be in the business of challenging a claimed official document and getting it wrong?

    The current system works because Disney assumes that some people will push the age of their kids, and Disney is already prepared to accept a few almost 4 year old kids here and there. As the kids start to look older the CMs are trained to use their customer service skills to softly challenge the age just by asking a simple question. I'm sure they are also trained not to make a Federal case out of it, to allow for discretion (based on a policy they are trained in), and if the child looks obviously of pre-school age to refer the incident to a supervisor which will then have a whole other level of training and authority to make other decisions with.

    So while I agree with you that a documented age cutoff is objective and therefore fair. I don't see it as something that could be easily implemented with the current variations in birth documents. The gains for Disney are not in my opinion better than the possible headaches to enforce that.
    Last edited by Whipland; 06-04-2014 at 06:36 PM.

  6. #51

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    We do carry our son's birth certificate for the airlines, but were quite surprised to be asked about age at the Disney World gate...he was only 18 months! The cast member looked a bit sheepish and told us to head on through.

    He is big for his age, but I wouldn't like them to change the system to height based due to the fact (as many of you have already stated) that he will be much too young for the thrill rides even when he is the proper height.
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  7. #52

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Esmeralda View Post
    We do carry our son's birth certificate for the airlines, but were quite surprised to be asked about age at the Disney World gate...he was only 18 months! The cast member looked a bit sheepish and told us to head on through.

    He is big for his age, but I wouldn't like them to change the system to height based due to the fact (as many of you have already stated) that he will be much too young for the thrill rides even when he is the proper height.
    Are you saying that you don't take him on ANY rides right now? If that is how you are doing it then I would say the current system is fair... but realistically when parent take even a 2 year old to Disney they are taking them on rides, standing in lines with them at meet and greets and basically slowing down the lines for people that paid to get in. To me the best system is one where everyone pays something to get in period. And if any deviation in the amount paid is to be made it should be on height based on the rides a visitor can get on. Sure some people would never ride some thrill rides, but that is their choice and they would still have the option ride them if they wanted.

  8. #53

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    It's true that there's no way to fake the height requirement (at least to make a kid *shorter*) the way one could fake a child's age - but that could be easily remedied by asking for a birth certificate. And again, I think it's fairer because it gives all kids the exact same timespan for the free admission. If we go by height, your kid might have three years of free admission, or five, or two...

    I guess I'm sensing a general disagreement on where this "fairness" needs to apply. On the age side of the debate, the argument is every kid is free (or discounted) for the exact same span of time. And if you're talking about explaining "fair" in terms of time, then yes, on the age side of the fence, that'd be "fair".
    But if part of the reasoning from the park (and I'm not saying it is but one could posit) is that the younger children are currently free/discounted for a certain period of time because there is stuff they cannot due for safety reasons in the park, then that lends itself to the height side of the fence.

    Am I getting a discount because my kid is young because of some universal magnanimous feeling that children ought to be discounted? Or because families have more people so giving them a price break on the kids, however tiny, ensures they'll be more likely actually come from the point of view of the paying parents? Or because there's knowledge that the amount of things one on average can experience in the park will be less either for a small child or because a small child is in the party? A lot of these things are either in the eye of the beholder or based on proprietary metrics they'd never divulge. But it's very easy, simple, and harder to argue against: the price is based on what we think the value of unlimited access to all the stuff in the park for whatever time period applies to the ticket; we have height restrictions on some attractions; if we know before you go in the gate that you absolutely cannot do those things because of the height limit, we give you a discount proportional to that value that you cannot possibly utilize. Now that does leave the door open to people with disabilities saying "but I couldn't do blah I don't get a discount for that". But I'm guessing the other side of that debate would probably be, the discount comes because they, the resort, are preventing you from doing something: we have a height limit. We won't allow you. Someone being not emotionally ready, or physically able is not the resort preventing you from utilizing what the ticket allows. That's just you yourself having a limitation, which, you know, people do. Just as some people plain don't like certain attractions and would never do them, but they don't get a discount for that because the resort isn't stopping them from doing it. (And hopefully most ADA type issues are covered by either alternate access or an alternate experience.)

    I mean, it's a common social convention that kids by age get certain discounts, so the age thing generally goes over OK. But I think the height thing, were it implemented, is harder to argue with, even if it is less "fair" from a time perspective. Kids meals are generally cheaper because they contain less food because kids usually eat less. So they're paying less literally because they are receiving less. I think not being tall enough for certain things is sort of analogous to that: paying less because you "get" less. It just depends on what reasoning you're trying to convince the adults with, and which is more likely to be successful and result in the greatest revenue.

  9. #54

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    I don't agree at all with a height based system as I've stated earlier. But maybe the Disney should just be tougher on guests when a parent tries to take advantage of free entry for a questionably tall child. Really, if you think about it, people don't want to waste their time sitting in an office waiting around for some sort of verification.
    Did anybody watch the season finale of "The Middle" a few weeks ago? They family had to sit in that room and wait to find out if they would let them into WDW and one of the kids complained of "wasting time" sitting there. Families don't want to do that. IDK how often in a full day this happens but maybe an hour or 90mins of stalling would get the presumably lying parents to finally say "Okay, okay! I'll pay!"
    I'd be willing to bet the CMs working the front gates have become really good at spotting liars. I suspect the amount of times they'd pull aside a person with a very tall and under 3 child would be rare.

  10. #55

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by theatremouse View Post

    I guess I'm sensing a general disagreement on where this "fairness" needs to apply. On the age side of the debate, the argument is every kid is free (or discounted) for the exact same span of time. And if you're talking about explaining "fair" in terms of time, then yes, on the age side of the fence, that'd be "fair".
    But if part of the reasoning from the park (and I'm not saying it is but one could posit) is that the younger children are currently free/discounted for a certain period of time because there is stuff they cannot due for safety reasons in the park, then that lends itself to the height side of the fence.

    Am I getting a discount because my kid is young because of some universal magnanimous feeling that children ought to be discounted? Or because families have more people so giving them a price break on the kids, however tiny, ensures they'll be more likely actually come from the point of view of the paying parents? Or because there's knowledge that the amount of things one on average can experience in the park will be less either for a small child or because a small child is in the party? A lot of these things are either in the eye of the beholder or based on proprietary metrics they'd never divulge. But it's very easy, simple, and harder to argue against: the price is based on what we think the value of unlimited access to all the stuff in the park for whatever time period applies to the ticket; we have height restrictions on some attractions; if we know before you go in the gate that you absolutely cannot do those things because of the height limit, we give you a discount proportional to that value that you cannot possibly utilize. Now that does leave the door open to people with disabilities saying "but I couldn't do blah I don't get a discount for that". But I'm guessing the other side of that debate would probably be, the discount comes because they, the resort, are preventing you from doing something: we have a height limit. We won't allow you. Someone being not emotionally ready, or physically able is not the resort preventing you from utilizing what the ticket allows. That's just you yourself having a limitation, which, you know, people do. Just as some people plain don't like certain attractions and would never do them, but they don't get a discount for that because the resort isn't stopping them from doing it. (And hopefully most ADA type issues are covered by either alternate access or an alternate experience.)

    I mean, it's a common social convention that kids by age get certain discounts, so the age thing generally goes over OK. But I think the height thing, were it implemented, is harder to argue with, even if it is less "fair" from a time perspective. Kids meals are generally cheaper because they contain less food because kids usually eat less. So they're paying less literally because they are receiving less. I think not being tall enough for certain things is sort of analogous to that: paying less because you "get" less. It just depends on what reasoning you're trying to convince the adults with, and which is more likely to be successful and result in the greatest revenue.
    And there is one other thing a height based system could do... Make life for CMs at height restricted rides easier. Imagine a system where they measure little Billy one time at the gate and based on his height determine the price and then provide him a colored wrist band based on the height. Now the CMs can just quickly glance at it and know if he gets on Indy, no more parents arguing that they are tall enough or kids trying to stand taller... It simplifies the whole process.

  11. #56

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackster View Post
    And there is one other thing a height based system could do... Make life for CMs at height restricted rides easier. Imagine a system where they measure little Billy one time at the gate and based on his height determine the price and then provide him a colored wrist band based on the height. Now the CMs can just quickly glance at it and know if he gets on Indy, no more parents arguing that they are tall enough or kids trying to stand taller... It simplifies the whole process.
    Haha, this is an old idea that got tried in the 90s and guests/CMs suggest it all the time. The reason why we can't have nice things is guests were transferring wristbands to their shorter kids. Oh, and an auditor won't buy the CM's excuse of "But the child was wearing the correct wristband!" when a 2 year old sneaks on to Splash Mountain. The auditor fails the attraction, it has to go down for at least a month or two, and at least 300k guests miss an E-ticket during peak season.(As far as I know CM error during an audit was never severe enough to cause an E-ticket shutdown but it's entirely possible.)

    The height system for admission would help clear up the entrances to Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Racers, Tower of Terror, Star Tours, etc. since most of the height check drama/temper tantrums would take place at the Main Gate and us Attractions CMs would deal with a fraction of the height check problems we currently deal with. In between juggling uncooperative Single Riders, guests moving to the front row without telling us, guests meeting up with their party at the last minute, celebrities, broken/dirty vehicles, etc., Grouper at several E-tickets has a ton on their plate. Having fewer borderline kids to height check at Grouper would help us out at Racers and other E-tickets so much. Getting more guests to ride the most popular E-ticket in the world every day with a shorter wait is something everyone wants and shifting 80% of height check delays from Racers to Main Gate would definitely up our hourly counts. So, yeah, I'm a little bit biased in favor of height-based admission tickets.

  12. #57

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by nerdycm View Post
    Haha, this is an old idea that got tried in the 90s and guests/CMs suggest it all the time. The reason why we can't have nice things is guests were transferring wristbands to their shorter kids. Oh, and an auditor won't buy the CM's excuse of "But the child was wearing the correct wristband!" when a 2 year old sneaks on to Splash Mountain. The auditor fails the attraction, it has to go down for at least a month or two, and at least 300k guests miss an E-ticket during peak season.(As far as I know CM error during an audit was never severe enough to cause an E-ticket shutdown but it's entirely possible.)

    The height system for admission would help clear up the entrances to Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Racers, Tower of Terror, Star Tours, etc. since most of the height check drama/temper tantrums would take place at the Main Gate and us Attractions CMs would deal with a fraction of the height check problems we currently deal with. In between juggling uncooperative Single Riders, guests moving to the front row without telling us, guests meeting up with their party at the last minute, celebrities, broken/dirty vehicles, etc., Grouper at several E-tickets has a ton on their plate. Having fewer borderline kids to height check at Grouper would help us out at Racers and other E-tickets so much. Getting more guests to ride the most popular E-ticket in the world every day with a shorter wait is something everyone wants and shifting 80% of height check delays from Racers to Main Gate would definitely up our hourly counts. So, yeah, I'm a little bit biased in favor of height-based admission tickets.
    Do you think it would really, though? Some of the attractions might have a different height requirement than the one at the front gate. Plus, for safety's sake, I'm sure the CMs would STILL have to measure the kids at the two height checks. And considering the lengths parents have gone to in order to try to sneak their too-short children onto rides they're not ready for (tall hair; platform shoes, etc.), the cynic in me thinks that parents would just try floating their kids around to each attraction anyway in the hopes of getting past the height check, just as they do now.
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  13. #58

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    Do you think it would really, though? Some of the attractions might have a different height requirement than the one at the front gate. Plus, for safety's sake, I'm sure the CMs would STILL have to measure the kids at the two height checks. And considering the lengths parents have gone to in order to try to sneak their too-short children onto rides they're not ready for (tall hair; platform shoes, etc.), the cynic in me thinks that parents would just try floating their kids around to each attraction anyway in the hopes of getting past the height check, just as they do now.
    The high capacity, hectic, and frequent bottle-necking attractions aren't the 32'', 35'', and 36'' attractions, they're the 40'', 42'', 45'', and 48'' attractions. That's partially why I'd set it at 40'' instead of 32'' or 35''. Of course us Attractions CMs would still have to deal with height checks and the current shenanigans of shoe-stuffing, hair in a bun, etc. However, dishonest parents would now have to pull off shortening shenanigans at Main Gate and lengthening shenanigans at E-tickets, which is more difficult than the current age shenanigans at Main Gate and lengthening shenanigans at E-tickets.

    I also think height disappointments before ticket purchase would cut back on the sneakiness we currently see at Racers and other E-tickets. Case in point: the number of guest concerns we have at Racers related to height checks drops drastically after the Pixar Play Parade/the last Aladdin show of the day. One theory is younger, shorter guests leave the park at this time but my supporting theory is after 8 hours of rejection at 40'' E-tickets the parents will finally concede their little angel isn't tall enough. Or maybe they'll realize 40'' is the same at Soarin', Racers, Star Tours, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder, Space Mountain, and Tower of Terror. My point here is to get height rejections done earlier in the day so we see less shenanigans and hold-ups at E-tickets in the afternoon/evening. Less hold-ups in the afternoon/evening should increase the E-ticket counts, which will be super helpful in absorbing Friday afternoon/evening AP crowds. Nobody expects height check shenanigans to go away but I think certain strategies like height pricing can reduce them and minimize current collateral damage like empty seats on an E-ticket, crowded walkways, unnecessary labor hours spent by Managers, etc.

  14. #59

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    Quote Originally Posted by nerdycm View Post
    The high capacity, hectic, and frequent bottle-necking attractions aren't the 32'', 35'', and 36'' attractions, they're the 40'', 42'', 45'', and 48'' attractions. That's partially why I'd set it at 40'' instead of 32'' or 35''.
    So is it your point that at the entrance gate children who are under 40 inches do not need a ticket? Considering that some children are still under 40" at age 5 I don't think that would make good business sense in my opinion.

    In terms of the current various height restrictions for the various rides (32 - 48"), my solution to giving guests prior warning of this would be to have at the ticket booths (and possibly the entrance gate) a billboard which showed all of the height restrictions with the names of the rides listed next to them. And I'd do this in Disney style by depicting various Disney characters as silhouettes at the various heights which kids could stand next to and gauge for themselves which rides they are tall enough to go on before parents purchase a ticket or enter the park.

    This way they know for certain upfront what the deal is and the disappointment you mentioned happens outside the park and not while in line for the ride.

  15. #60

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    Re: How do they know when your child is too old?

    I think a lot of parents know full well that their kid is too short, or just on the cusp, before they ever get to the ride, as evidenced by all the tricks mentioned by nerdycm and others. They're hoping that they can bully or fool the CM into letting them through. And even when they're told that their kid is too short for one ride, they will go right over to another ride with the same height requirement, or try again later in the hopes that a different CM will be on.

    So while I think the silhouettes are an awesome idea and will help those parents who are honest, I don't think it will do anything at all to alleviate the issues caused by those parents who think the rules shouldn't apply to their kid.
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