In the battle of the world’s best theme parks, the Walt Disney World Resort and all the parks it encompasses – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom – are definitely top contenders. People love traveling to Disney World, from the over-the-top theming to the friendly guest service. And of course, don’t forget all the amazing Walt Disney World rides.
Unfortunately, like going to your local carnival or state fair, not all guests will be able to ride each and every one of the rides at the parks. Blame it on the Disney World height requirements! For this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about Disney World ride heights, including some tips for making the most of your trip to Disney no matter how big or small the youngest in your party are.
Walt Disney World Height Requirements
Disney ride height requirements are no joke. Guest safety is the number one concern of a Disney World cast member. And that’s exactly what Disney World height restrictions are: a safety issue. Whether it’s due to the construction of the ride and vehicle, the intensity of the ride, or some combination of the two, rider height has a significant impact on rider safety. For example, if someone is too small be securely held by a ride’s restraints.
As you can imagine, Disney World cast members are very strict when it comes to height requirements. Generally, cast members will measure any kid that appears to be near the minimum height requirements. Disney World also doesn’t have a system for tracking children’s height from throughout the park. So, if you have a child that is somewhere in the realm of Disney ride height requirements, expect to see how your kiddo sizes up throughout your time at Disney.
Additionally, keep in mind that just because something has no height limit, doesn’t mean that it’s completely kid friendly. Animal Kingdom’s “It’s Tough to Be a Bug!” doesn’t have a minimum height requirement but the show can still terrify little ones thanks to a visit from the intimidating Hopper. Not to mention that health warnings may have other riders sidelined even if they are more than tall enough. So, be sure to use your best judgement before jumping on any ride.
Disney World Theme Parks
Disney World is about as family-friendly as a theme park resort can get – especially when compared to its Universal neighbor down the road. The majority of rides don’t have a height restriction, and for the ones that do, it isn’t that out of reach for the younger kids. Not including the Disney World water parks, the average height requirement for Disney World rides is approximately 40 inches, or 102 centimeters.
Coincidentally, this is also the height that unlocks many of the more thrilling rides at Disney World. I should also point out that unlike in the Disney World water parks, there are no maximum height restrictions at any of the theme parks.
Let’s break all the rides down to see how they stack up.
Animal Kingdom Height Requirements
There are 8 total rides at Animal Kingdom, 4 with height restrictions and 4 without. However, that doesn’t include all the attractions that aren’t rides, of which there are a lot at Animal Kingdom. This park, as the name implies, is all about animals, whether alive, extinct, or imaginary. And while there are a fair number of rides that do fit the bill, you’ll also want to set aside plenty of time to explore the park’s wildlife trails, shows, animal exhibits, and other attractions.
If you’re planning a trip to Disney’s nature park, here are the Animal Kingdom height requirements you’ll want to keep in mind.
Avatar Flight of Passage: Guests must be taller than 44 inches (113 centimeters)
DINOSAUR: Guests must be taller than 40 inches (102 centimeters)
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain: Guests must be taller than 44 inches (113 centimeters)
Kali River Rapids: Guests must be taller than 38 inches (97 centimeters)
Animal Kingdom Rides With No Height Restrictions
Na’vi River Journey
Wildlife Express Trail
Epcot Height Requirements
There are 10 rides at Epcot, 3 with height requirements and 7 without. We’d call that pretty darn good for the theme park that people usually think of as being the least kid friendly. However, once you get past all the festivals and drinking around the world, you’ll see that Epcot has a lot to offer families, especially when you take into account all the films, performing acts, Kidcot Fun Stops around World Showcase, and other attractions available.
Here are all the Epcot height requirements you need to know for your next Disney World vacation.
Mission: Space: Guests must be taller than 40 inches (102 centimeters)
Soarin’ Around the World: Guests must be taller than 40 inches (102 centimeters)
Test Track: Guests must be taller than 40 inches (102 centimeters)
Hollywood Studios has 9 rides, 7 with height restrictions and 2 without. Yes, if there was any Disney World theme park that could compare with the thrills of Universal Orlando, this is it. If you’re worried that means Hollywood Studios isn’t kid-friendly enough for your family, don’t be! Hollywood Studios also has some can’t-miss shows that don’t come with a minimum height requirement, so you’re never at a loss for things to do with the smallest members of your group.
Check if your kiddos make the cut with these Hollywood Studios height requirements.
Alien Swirling Saucers: Guests must be taller than 32 inches (82 centimeters)
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run: Guests must be taller than 38 inches (97 centimeters)
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith: Guests must be taller than 48 inches (122 centimeters)
Slinky Dog Dash: Guests must be taller than 38 inches (97 centimeters)
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue: Guests must be taller than 40 inches (102 centimeters)
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance: Guests must be taller than 40 inches (102 centimeters)
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: Guests must be taller than 40 inches (102 centimeters)
Hollywood Studios Rides With No Height Restrictions
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Toy Story Mania!
Magic Kingdom Height Requirements
Magic Kingdom is the most family-friendly park at Disney World by really any measure. Of its 22 rides, only 6 have minimum height requirements. On top of that, there are also several shows, meet-and-greets, and other interactive activities throughout the park that guests of all sizes can enjoy. So, for everyone traveling with especially little Disney fans, Magic Kingdom should be the main park you want to hit during your vacation.
Will your little one be able to tackle the Magic Kingdom mountains? Find out with these Magic Kingdom height requirements.
The Barnstormer: Guests must be taller than 35 inches (89 centimeters)
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: Guests must be taller than 40 inches (102 centimeters)
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: Guests must be taller than 38 inches (97 centimeters)
Space Mountain: Guests must be taller than 44 inches (113 centimeters)
Splash Mountain: Guests must be taller than 40 inches (102 centimeters)
Tomorrowland Speedway: Guests must be taller than 32 inches (82 centimeters)
Magic Kingdom Rides With No Height Restrictions
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
“it’s a small world”
Liberty Square Riverboat
Mad Tea Party
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Peter Pan’s Flight
Pirates of the Caribbean
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Tomorrowland Transit Authority
Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid
Walt Disney World Railroad
Disney World Water Parks
The Disney World water parks are a great way to escape the Florida heat and go somewhere other than the theme parks, all while still enjoying the immersive storytelling, detailed theming, and family fun that Disney is known for. Not only do Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon have some of the tallest height requirements at Disney World, but they also have the only rides with maximum height restrictions on resort property. Although the littlest guests won’t be able to go down more intense slides like Summit Plummet or Crush ‘n’ Gusher, they do have pint-sized play areas all to themselves.
Blizzard Beach Height Requirements
After a freak Florida snow storm blew through town, the citizens of Blizzard Beach decided to turn the area into the world’s most fleeting ski resort. Now, the snow is melting, and the whole place is a winter wonderland of a water park. While you can find tube slides here too, body slides are the highlight at Blizzard Beach, as is the lazy river powered by chilly “ice melt.”
Chairlift: Guests must be taller than 32 inches (82 centimeters)
Downhill Double Dipper: Guests must be taller than 48 inches (122 centimeters)
Slush Gusher: Guests must be taller than 48 inches (122 centimeters)
Summit Plummet: Guests must be taller than 48 inches (122 centimeters)
Tike’s Peak: Guests must be shorter than 48 inches (122 centimeters)
Blizzard Beach Water Park Rides With No Height Restrictions
Cross Country Creek
Ski Patrol Training Camp
Typhoon Lagoon Height Requirements
Mother Nature in revolt seems to be the theme at Disney World’s water parks. After a monster storm left the community of Typhoon Lagoon in shambles, its citizens decided to rebuild the resort with the flotsam and jetsam left over from the typhoon. Tube slides slightly outnumber the body slides at Typhoon Lagoon, but the real headliner is the towering waves of the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool.
Bay Slides: Guests must be shorter than 60 inches (152 centimeters)
Crush ‘n’ Gusher: Guests must be taller than 48 inches (122 centimeters)
Humunga Kowabunga: Guests must be taller than 48 inches (122 centimeters)
Ketchakiddee Creek: Guests must be shorter than 48 inches (122 centimeters)
Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Rides With No Height Restrictions
Miss Adventure Falls
Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool
All Disney World Ride Heights Ranked
Now that you’ve seen all the Disney World ride height requirements broken down by theme park, let’s sort them out by height altogether.
Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Magic Kingdom: Space Mountain
40 Inches (102 Centimeters) or Taller
Animal Kingdom: DINOSAUR
Epcot: Mission: Space, Soarin’ Around the World, Test Track
Hollywood Studios: Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Magic Kingdom: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain
38 Inches (97 Centimeters) or Taller
Animal Kingdom: Kali River Rapids
Hollywood Studios: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Slinky Dog Dash
Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
35 Inches (89 Centimeters) or Taller
The Barnstormer at Magic Kingdom is the only ride at Disney World with a minimum height requirement of 35 inches, or 89 centimeters.
32 Inches (82 Centimeters) or Taller
Blizzard Beach: Chairlift
Hollywood Studios: Alien Swirling Saucers
Magic Kingdom: Tomorrowland Speedway
60 Inches (152 Centimeters) or Shorter
The Bay Slides at Disney Typhoon Lagoon Water Park are the only ride at Disney World with a maximum height requirement of 60 inches, or 152 centimeters.
48 Inches (122 Centimeters) or Shorter
Blizzard Beach: Tike’s Peak
Typhoon Lagoon: Ketchakiddee Creek
Rider Switch: How to Work Around Disney World Ride Heights (Sort of)
Now that you’ve seen all the various height restrictions at Disney World, you’re probably wondering what you’re going to do when your little one isn’t tall enough to ride. Luckily, Disney makes this vertically challenged quandary easy with their Parent Swap (or rider switch, rider swap, baby swap, or other similar names) program.
Rather than having to choose between going on a ride or staying behind with a young child, or needing to wait in line twice so both parents can ride, parents or any other guardians can simply rotate out so that each is able to ride while the other waits with their (potentially very frustrated) little one. To do a rider swap:
Ask a cast member at the attraction if they offer rider switch. Any ride with a height restriction should have it.
Once you’re at the ride with your entire party, tell the cast member that you want to do a parent swap.
The first half of your party will continue on the ride.
At least one adult and the too-small child(ren) will be sent to a separate waiting area while the rest of your group rides. The chaperoning adult will also receive a rider switch credit and possibly a specific return time.
After the first part of your group goes on the ride, they take over supervision of the small child. The adult(s) that was waiting with the child, along with anyone else who didn’t ride the first time and are tall enough, are then able to go on the ride without having to wait in the regular queue. If the adult waited with the child alone, they are able to bring up to 2 other guests with them to ride even if they were already part of the group that just went on the ride (as long as someone stays behind to supervise, of course).
Although the rider switch has been around for a while, it’s still a pretty underrated Disney hack. If you have kiddos that don’t quite meet the height cutoff for Disney World rides just yet, we highly recommend you give the parent swap a go. Not only does it save you time, but it saves fun for everyone as well.
Making Disney World Fun for Riders of All Heights and Ages
Putting it frankly, not meeting the minimum height requirement at Disney World sucks. Even yours truly remembers falling victim to what, then, seemed like cold, cruel, and unfair treatment at the hands of the powers in charge of The Place Where Dreams Come True.
Waiting with my mom outside Space Mountain for what seemed like forever as the rest of our family rode felt like a particularly awful form of timeout. Does this now seem like a bit of an exaggeration on my part? Definitely. Although, in my defense, I was there for my 5th birthday, and what birthday kid doesn’t think they should be able to get whatever they want.
All that being said, being short doesn’t have to feel like a disappointment at Disney World. As we already said, there are plenty of rides at Disney World without a height requirement, along with attractions like shows, films, live entertainment, interactive activities, meet-and-greets, and more that never require a minimum height.
In addition to rider switch, we highly recommend you intersperse your rides with lots of other height-requirement-free attractions to make sure no one feels left out. Or, if your family doesn’t mind splitting up, consider dividing and conquering, sending part of your group off to tackle the larger rides while the others stick to more milder attractions.
With some creativity and a bit of give and take, you and your family are sure to have a Disney vacation that’s fun for everyone.
Well, that wraps up our comprehensive guide to Disney World ride height requirements. We hope that we’ve helped make your Disney vacation planning a little bit easier. What tips do you have for parents worried about disappointed, too-small children? Let us know in the comments! Also be sure to check out our Touring Plans for all 4 Disney Parks!