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  1. #1

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    roller coaster and 3 year old

    My 40 and 1/2 inch tall 3 year old will be making his first trip to Disneyland next week, and I need to decide which, if any, big rides to take him on. Which do you think I should try first - BTMRR, Splash Mtn., or the Matterhorn? Basically, which one is the least scary/rough? Also, he's big enough for Star Tours, but its been years since I was on it and I don't remember it very well. I'm not sure how the average tall 3 year old does on it. If memory serves, if you sit in the front and center the ride is less rough. Is this true and does it really make that much of a difference?

  2. #2

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    Re: roller coaster and 3 year old

    You know the three year olds I have seen absolutely love Disneyland roller coasters. I'm not saying I know your three year old, but that's my experience. The Matterhorn probably has the least thrills, but can be a little rough and maybe scary. I would say Big Thunder Mountain is the one to start off with, it's smooth, and the theatrical bits aren't too scary. Space Mountain should be the last, but if he really likes the first two, I'm willing to bet he will love Space Mountain. Have fun!

  3. #3

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    Re: roller coaster and 3 year old

    My son sleeps with the light on, so I'm not sure how he would deal with the dark on Space Mountain. I'd rather err on the side of caution and keep him off it rather than scare the pants off of him.

    I think he will like the other coasters, especially since his older sisters, whom he worships, will be going on them. I just want to start him out right. My fear is that is he rides a scarier one first, he won't want to try any other big rides.

  4. #4

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    Re: roller coaster and 3 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by clareita
    My son sleeps with the light on, so I'm not sure how he would deal with the dark on Space Mountain. I'd rather err on the side of caution and keep him off it rather than scare the pants off of him.

    I think he will like the other coasters, especially since his older sisters, whom he worships, will be going on them. I just want to start him out right. My fear is that is he rides a scarier one first, he won't want to try any other big rides.
    I would start with Splash Mountain or the Fantasyland side of Matterhorn. (Its smoother.) I would be cautious about Space Mountain and Star Tours at that age, unless he is very adventurous. Even my 5yo niece was scared by Space mountain (she came off telling everyone "That was NOT fun!!") Splash has limited drops and I would make sure he knows when drops are coming, especially if the scare him. You can also go to Visionsfantastic.com and preview rides with him to prepare him and get a feel if he will like them.
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  5. #5

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    Re: roller coaster and 3 year old

    I have 5 and 7 year old girls that are dare devils. The 5 year old just made the 40 inch mark this trip and wanted to do it all. We did Space Mountain, Splash, Matterhorn, BTMRR, Soarin and their favorite, Tower of Terror. But that is them and I don't think they would have done any at three. Last year when she was four and 37" she did Gadget and Matterhorn and I will say that Matterhorn is probably the un-smoothest of the bunch. Great ride, but it was an original concept for a ride years ago and the technology shows.

    For little ones, I feel Splash can be intimidating because of the big drop, but has a very child friendly atmosphere. BTMRR is smooth an open so darkness (for the most part) isn't a concern. Space Mountain is loud for little ones, however with the new track it is very smooth. Soarin (which isn't a coaster) is a very easy ice breaker, but won't prepare them for an actual coaster. I wouldn't think of TOT as an option unless he really gets into it, the drops are smooth, but can be very frightening.

    I'm not sure what your/his experience is with rides, my kids have grown up wanting thrills so if this is a first time experience you may want to start of with Gadget Go Coaster in Toontown since it is realitively smooth and short. If that doesn't overwhelm him then take your pick from what I have stated above. Good luck and have a great trip.
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  6. #6

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    Re: roller coaster and 3 year old

    It really just depends on the individual child. When I was 3, I loved riding the bobsleds, but I refused to sail into the whale's mouth on the canal boat ride. My oldest son was just the opposite, loving all the dark rides, but a little scared of the fast rides. My sister took him on Big Thunder when he was 3 and she said his lower lip quivered every time the train sped up. Most little ones that I see riding Big Thunder seem to enjoy it--that's probably a good one to start off with. I would say the bobsleds are okay, but when I was little, the inside wasn't closed off and finished, so the ride didn't have the scary growling snowman inside.

    I would just play it by ear and see how he reacts to Big Thunder and then proceed from there.

  7. #7

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    Re: roller coaster and 3 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t
    the Fantasyland side of Matterhorn. (Its smoother.)
    Very good point about Matterhorn, the Fantasyland (right) side is slower and smoother than the Tomorrowland side. Oh, and as stated, Star Tours can really shake you around.
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  8. #8

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    Re: roller coaster and 3 year old

    just tell your 3 year old the truth about the rides and they should know from what you say.

  9. #9

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    Re: roller coaster and 3 year old

    As stated before this mainly depends on your child. When we went with our deaughter she was tall enough for almost every ride. But Ursala in "The Little Mermaid" still scares her.
    She gladly went on Splash Mountain but when we got off the ride she saw the pictures and asked us to buy it. We said why, we can hardly see you in the picture. To wich she replied "I am never riding that ride again, and I would like the picture."
    Her cousin who is younger than her but has watched both POTC movies rode everything. So start with the coaster in Toon Town and just go from there.
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