Walt Disney World rides are attractions are some of the safest in the industry, but that doesn’t mean that they’re right for all guests at all times. That’s where attraction Health and Safety Warnings come into play. If you have certain medical issues or physical considerations, individual attractions might not be appropriate for you.
But how do you find out if an attraction will impact your health? Information about issues that might impact guest health or safety are posted in several ways:
- On the printed park maps
- On signage within the parks
- On the Walt Disney World website
Perhaps the most common safety warning at WDW rides are height requirements which prohibit guests under a stated height from boarding the attraction. Disney does a great job communicating height requirements with consistent messaging about the requirement throughout all forms of guest communication.
Communication about other warnings is much more muddled, appearing in different language on different media. The wording used in these places is inconsistent.
Beyond height requirements there are other types of warnings, notably:
- Physical Considerations
- Expectant Mothers Should Not Ride
- Children Must Be Supervised
- Service Animals Not Permitted on Attraction
- ECV or Wheelchair Transfer Protocols
Almost immediately you’re asking questions like what does “Physical Considerations” mean. This can only be answered in a roundabout way.
For example, the warning sign posted at the Tomorrowland Speedway reads, “For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure.” On the printed Magic Kingdom park map, this information is not enumerated; however, there is a small red triangle symbol on the attraction listed which is keyed to the phase “Physical Considerations.” There are slight variations among attractions, but in general attractions with the red triangle on the paper map will have some version of the “be in good health” statement posted near the ride.
You’ll also note that the sign adds information that “Expectant mothers should not ride,” but the printed park map does not state that warning. (Oddly, the printed map does list the pregnancy warning for The Barnstormer and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but not for Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain, both of which do list the warning on their signage.
The pregnancy warning is, however, noted on the WDW website for all of these attractions and for several others.
Still another confusing warning that appears on many of the website attraction descriptions and on most of the in-park signs, but rarely on the printed map, are variations of “Supervise Children at All Times.” The WDW website warnings for some attractions elaborate this by adding “Children under age 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older.” Further confounding the issue, the general park rules, as posted on the WDW website, state that the “Supervise Children” policy applies to all of Walt Disney World, making it somewhat unclear why some attractions have this policy reiterated, but others do not.
Below is a round-up of the attraction warning information found on the WDW website and map.
The in-park warning signs often give additional bits of information that is variously missing from either the website or the map. For example, the Splash Mountain sign gives the helpful “You May Get Wet” and the Space Mountain sign lets you know that the attraction is dark, both of which may be important information for guests with certain medical and/or psychological issues.
The bottom line is that any guest with medical considerations should consult a variety of sources when deciding whether to participate in an attraction. Do advance work online, consult maps, consult signage, and also speak to cast members at the attraction about your specific concerns.
Additional resources include our guides to Walt Disney World attraction vehicles and seating and the Touring Plans descriptions of specific attractions.