Parents Put Children’s Lives at Risk in Disney World, Expert Says

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

An engineer talking into her phone camera, Slinky dog dash at Disney World, a blurred image of a TikTok of a Disney World "hack"

Credit: Inside the Magic

It can be devastating for children not to meet theme park attraction height requirements. Some parents have even created platform shoe DIYs to skirt the safety rules at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. After seeing these “hacks” online, an engineering expert took to TikTok to warn parents about sneaking little ones on Walt Disney World Resort rides.

Janna (@shortnfeisty11) is an engineering graduate of Purdue University, where she was the President of Theme Park Engineering and Design. She worked closely with theme park experts and was moved to advocate for strict safety guidelines after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson died on an illegally modified drop ride at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida.

@shortnfeisty11

no like actually it’s super dangerous #disneyland #disneyworld #disney #themeparks #rollercoasters #wdw

♬ original sound – Janna

“Putting platform shoes on your kid to make sure that they meet the height requirement at theme parks is actually incredibly dangerous and one of the stupidest things you could possibly do,” Janna began. “…There are some rides that very specifically need your femur to be a certain length because your body is physically pinned in by your femur. The femur is the strongest bone in the human body.”

“Because your femur is so strong, there’s some rides that you don’t even need over-the-shoulder restraints,” she continued. “You can just have a lap restraint because you are physically pinned in by your femur.”

According to Janna, children under a certain height don’t have long enough femurs to support the lap bar. Some rides even limit amputees.

Adults riding Expedition Everest
Credit: Chloe Rice/Disney

“However, people who are not the right height or do not possess the correct limbs are in a more dangerous position riding those rides,” she explained. “…Sometimes, if you’re an amputee, you need to have a specific amount of your leg left because otherwise it’s unsafe for you to ride.”

If theme park rides aren’t safe for some adults, Janna said, there’s no reason to skirt height and weight requirements for children.

“You’re putting your child in so much danger by essentially trying to trick the system into letting them ride something that physically is not safe for their bodies just so that they can have a thrill,” she concluded.

Guests ride Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

Most commenters agreed with Janna.

“My mom used to put me in platforms and I vividly remember almost slipping out of Tower of Terror more than once,” @theaquarianfaerie wrote.

“When I was verrrrry little, my dad snuck me on a roller coaster that only had a lap bar, so the bar was nowhere near me, I had to hold on for dear life or I was out of that thing,” said @despair.png.

Space Mountain at sunset at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Inside the Magic strongly advises against skirting height requirements and other safety Disney Parks safety rules. Walt Disney World Resort cast members want your family to enjoy your visit, but not at the expense of your health. Parents can use the rider swap service to experience thrill attractions separately without waiting twice.

Is sneaking children on Walt Disney World Resort rides dangerous? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that some comments outlined in this article are based on personal Disney Parks guest experiences. No two guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal view on Disney Park operations.

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