(Oak Grove, MO)
I am a single dad with two daughters who will be 5 and 6 when we go to Disney World in 1 year. Will we face complications riding certain rides if I am the only adult? What rides are strictly “two-seaters”?
This ride might be trouble
Photo by Samantha Decker
Dad’s Third Wheel Answer
Sean, Disney does their best to accommodate families. When Uncle Walt built Disneyland, many rides were suitable for a family of 4 seated 2 and 2. That is certainly changing and over the years, many existing rides have been upgraded and new rides have been built to meet the needs of the changing demographics of the American (and global) family. While you may face complications on a few attractions, overall it will be easy to provide your daughters with the Perfect family vacation.
Most rides at Walt Disney World will pose absolutely no issue for your family. Attractions like It’s a Small World, The Jungle Cruise, and Kilimanjaro Safari have seating that will accommodate the whole family in one row or ride vehicle. Shows such as Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Mickey’s Philharmagic, along with interactive experiences like Disney’s Kim possible world Showcase Adventure will pose no problem whatsoever.
There are some rides that will seat everyone in the same car but in two rows – many of these are thrill rides such as Splash Mountain, and your daughters may not be tall enough for these attractions anyway. The Walt Disney World website actually lists height requirements for each attraction, and I would suggest measuring your daughters and verifying which rides they will be too small for so you know in advance and can distract them to avoid disappointment at the parks.
Some rides are designed to seat 2 people or 1 adult and 2 small children (like The Haunted Mansion). These attractions will probably be able to accommodate your family, depending on size. If you’re Pooh-sized like Dad, it may be a tight squeeze. If your family is built like Rabbit, however, you’ll be able to fit no problem.
On rides like Toy Story Mania, your whole family should fit just fine, but there are only two cannons, so Dad will get to sit in the middle while the girls shoot at the on-screen targets.
There are a couple rides that will likely cause problems, including the classic favorite, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin which allow 2 riders on each row. You might want to sit behind the girls.
Dad’s friends at Touringplans.com actually have a great article on accommodating various travel party sizes at Walt Disney World. It’s extremely thorough and I would certainly recommend checking it out. While you’re there, you might want to take a peek at their suggested touring plans for families with small children to make the most of your time!
Dad’s Bottom Line
Sean, being well informed about seating capacity before your trip is a fabulous way to manage your expectations at the park, and will be a great tool in helping you guide your daughters around the park to help eliminate any disappointment. You’re going to have a magical vacation – trust me.