Any thoughts on rides like Tower of Terror and Everest where Mom and Day want to ride, but their let's say hypathetically 9 year old twins wimp out? Is there something in place to allow parents to ride while Disney has a cast memeber watch the kids? I know it sounds selfish, but there are a few things that we still like to ride(even if the kiddies chicken out) We only have 4 in the group so if one of us watches the kids while the other one rides, it will also stink to ride alone. Any advice out there?
If there was a Disney Rehab, I would be close to attending because I am an addict!!!
The only way I know of for parents to ride something together while the kids chicken out, is to get a parents helper from kids nite out (expensive) or sign up the kids for a program at their resort and then in the short 2 hours go and ride the ride. There are kidcot stations around EPCOT where they can color. But I usually always see a parent hanging around.
There's no place for kids to wait that is even casually supervised.
Here's a summary of the child swap "fastpass":
You get a piece of paper called a child swap which basically operates like a fast pass. Usually there is a way for the first adult riding the ride to just use the child swap right away. This usually involves just hopping from the standby line to the fast pass line after the entrance but before you get to the actual end of the people standing there in the standby line.
When adult 1 is done riding, all 4 of you go up and ask for a child swap, and adult 2 uses it in the exact same way.
I do not remember the last time I actually waited in a line longer than 10 minutes.
The only places where the child swap cheat doesn't work is Toy Story Mania. (This is a big deal, high security, no fooling around 150 minute standby line usually.) It also doesn't work on non-fast pass rides. And for Dumbo, you just have to wait.
For a 9 year old: they might be old enough. the only technology suggestion I would use is to get a chaperone phone or other GPS locater (for children). Sew it or velcro it into their pants or something. If they wander off, chances are they'll be escorted to lost children. At 9, they can communicate who they are and stay away from strangers and recognize who cast members are. And if you've lojacked them, then you have that peace of mind.
Here's what happens when someone "chickens out" on Tower or terror specifically, and any ride in general.
On TOT, they ride an elevator down a few floors and get taken to the exit where everyone else will exit. There are a few benches there where they can wait.
For rides where the exit is in a different area than the entrance, there is a procedure to get guests to the exit rather than have them turn around and try to walk against traffic trying to get on the ride.
So, two 9 year olds should be capable of waiting by themselves by the exit for 5 to 10 minutes while you ride.
You can usually scope out the exit before getting in line to ride.
But ask for a child swap before getting in line as a matter of course. (It's like getting a free instant fastpass good for 3 people.)
Try leaving them alone in a fairly "safe" place near home. Telling them to wait for 10 minutes while you "do something". Then spy on them. See if they will actually wait.
At the 4th grade mark, there's probably quite a few nine year olds who could wait as a pair in a designated place for 5 to 10 minutes.
I have much smaller children, and my wife an I can't leave them alone (obviously). We either ride separately or when grandma comes along for the trip and watches the boys, then and only then can we ride together.
Thanks Michael. Can I just have free trips instead of a difficult job? (LOL) I wouldn't want to have to do all the leg work, communications, staying on top of various discount programs, etc..., that travel agents do
But I sure do feel for the parents who just want time together again.
As a side note, I've ridden tower of terror by myself many times, and one time my wife and I rode together and a family of 4 or 5 was in our car. That family included mom and dad and some kids.
The kicker is that one of the kids was a 3 year old girl who had just cleared the height requirement to go on!!! She liked the ride okay, but wasn't clamoring to go back on.
Bottom line: A 3 year old can ride tower of terror. It's not very motion challenging compared to a roller coaster. Feel free to share my anecdote with the 9 year twins. I don't think they would want to be shown up by a 3 year old girl.