How To Ride Big Disneyland Attractions With Kids – Strangers Not An Option!
It’s no secret that most people come to Disneyland with kids! Most of the time this poses no problem at all, as there are plenty of attractions that are loads of fun for the whole family. However there are times when you just want to ride some of the BIG kid attractions, but you may figure that with kids this is probably impossible right? Before we answer that question, how about a little story?
Our oldest son is about 41 inches tall as of this writing, and this is one inch over the minimum height requirement for California Screamin’ at Disney California Adventure. He has been on every ride at both parks with the exception of this one, and of course we were trying everything (including bribery) to get him to take his first ride on a “real” roller coaster.
Out of nowhere a nice couple asks us “Are you guys going on this ride?” We told them no (our bribes weren’t working) so without hesitation they informed us that they just got married, and really wanted to ride California Screamin’ together. However they had one problem…they had their 3 year old daughter with them who clearly wasn’t tall enough to ride.
To our shock they said “can you do us a favor and watch her while we ride?”. I think my wife and I both looked at each other with disbelief, but we were so thrown a back that we just said yes!
They said OK great and proceeded to skip on over to the ride. OK the skipping part isn’t true, but the leaving your kid with total strangers part shockingly enough is! We even had to ask them what their daughters name was. We won’t post that here, but it’s the same name as a possessed child from a certain horror novel and movie made in the 1970′s (less the pea soup projectile vomit and swearing), 10 points if you can guess!
Anyhow they attempted to ride the ride with a Guest Assistance Card, but for whatever reason it didn’t work out the way they wanted it to, so we were let off the hook! As I’m writing this my wife and I are still laughing at the ridiculous plan these parents came up with to ride California Screamin’. We would never EVER leave our children with complete strangers and we certainly DO NOT recommend this as an option.
Instead we recommend following these 3 (safer) tips to enjoy big attractions when you have kids in tow.
Switch It Up
On most rides with height restrictions at the Disneyland Resort there is “Magical Pass” that you can get from a cast member called a Rider Switch Pass. Well there isn’t pixie dust falling off of it, but it will feel magical when you get to use it!
This pass is ONLY for parents that have a child that is not tall enough or brave enough to enjoy the attraction. Here is how it works:
- Parent #1 waits with nervous child/children
- Parent #2 collects Rider Switch Pass from Cast Member and gets crazy on scary attraction.
- Parent #1 gives RSP to parent #2 and takes over watching nervous child/children
- Parent #2 gives RSP to Cast Member at ride exit or FASTPASS entrance and gets crazy on same scary attraction
- Repeat as needed
So simple even a child could do it, but in this case your child is still too nervous, so this just simply doesn’t apply, so just forget we even said it! Seriously this a great way to skip the stand by queue and get on bigger attractions with little to no wait at all.
Faster Is Better
Use FASTPASSES whenever they are available so both parents can get on attractions within minutes of one another. This not only saves a ton of time, but it will also make it much easier on the kids who are waiting, unless of course your kids have everlasting patience. Ours don’t so FASTPASSES are most certainly in our arsenal every time we visit!
You can only have one FASTPASS at a time (in most cases) so be sure to go get one for the next big attraction you want to ride as soon as you get off the other. This will give you time to do the things the kids want to do while you wait on your next fast pass time to come up!
Party Of One
There may be times when one parent wants to ride a certain attraction and the other doesn’t. No need to worry because a handful of popular attractions offer a Single Rider line. This is a separate line from the stand by line and it’s used to fill in any open seats that would otherwise leave empty. The Single Rider line is significantly shorter and can cut your wait time in half, if not more!
Combine one or more of these options to REALLY maximize your time and fun. For example, use the Single Rider line to bypass the stand by line (if available) and grab a Rider Switch Pass so the next parent doesn’t have to wait in the Single Rider line!
You don’t have to leave your kids with strangers to have fun at the Disneyland Resort. Follow these 3 tips on your next visit, and you’ll be sure to have a great time. Do you have any tips that help you manage how your family does attractions? Please let us know in the comments below!
Until next time…
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