Attractions at Disney World to Avoid For Easily Frightened Children and Alternatives

Haunted Mansion

Planning a Disney vacation with your child can be an adventure filled with excitement and anticipation. For some guests, part of the fun of Disney World is experiencing attractions for the first time and being surprised by all of the experiences. But if you have a child who is easily frightened or anxious about rides then you might find yourself conducting more research on what to avoid during your vacation than the average guest. While most attractions at Disney World are family-friendly and appropriate for guests of all ages, there are still a few attractions that some sensitive children might find frightening. If you are traveling with a child who is easily frightened then here are some attractions at Disney World to avoid and some alternatives to experience instead.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Located in Magic Kingdom‘s Adventureland, Pirates of the Caribbean is a slow-moving boat ride that is suitable for guests of all ages and heights. This attraction is a classic Disney attraction that inspired the film series and has been updated throughout the years to feature characters from the franchise. This attraction takes guests through several scenes showcasing pirate life. Some children might become easily frightened during this attraction due to its darkness, and at-times eerie undertones. The ride begins with a ghostly voice speaking the iconic line: “dead men tell no tales” as the boat makes its way through a dark and windy area, and finally plunges down a very small drop and into a “battle” scene. Near the end of the attraction the boat passes through a village that has artificial fire effects making it seem like some buildings are on fire. Some of these elements could frighten your child.

Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean. Photo: Disney

Alternative: Jungle Cruise

An alternative to Pirates of the Caribbean that still has an adventurous spirit would be Jungle Cruise. Also located in Adventureland, Jungle Cruise is a boat ride attraction that takes guests on a tour of a jungle river. Guests see animatronic animals throughout the attraction and their tour guide skipper makes jokes and entertains the boat.

Jungle Cruise
Jungle Cruise. Photo: Emily Murray.

Haunted Mansion

While there is no gore or over-the-top scares during Haunted Mansion, some children might still find themselves scared by the spooky ambiance of this attraction. Located in Liberty Square, Haunted Mansion takes guests through a manor that is home to “happy haunts”. This attraction begins in the queue area where guests enter a room that stretches. This sequence can be quite frightening for little ones as the lights go out and guests are momentarily in a pitch-black room while a scream is heard. After this, guests board the ride vehicles and make their way through several haunted scenes. The attraction is dark, and the ghostly effects might frighten children.

Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion. Photo: Disney

Alternative: Liberty Square Riverboat

If you need an alternative attraction while the rest of your family enjoys Haunted Mansion then take your little one for a ride on Liberty Square Riverboat. This steam-powered riverboat takes guests on a tour through the river, and you’ll catch sight of native American villages, early settlements, and more.

Liberty Square Riverboat Magic Kingdom.
Liberty Square Riverboat. Photo: Emily Murray

It’s Tough to be a Bug

Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s 4D film adventure “It’s Tough to be a Bug” is a fun attraction that can frighten young guests. This 3D film showcases life as a bug and stars Flik from the movie “A Bug’s Life”. While this film is funny and entertaining, some smaller guests might be frightened of the darkness, loud sounds, and the 4D effects of fog, water, and even touch.

It's Tough To Be A Bug.
It’s Tough To Be A Bug. Photo: Disney.

Alternative: Discovery Island Trails

Instead try exploring Discovery Island Trails nearby this attraction. Guests can come across several exhibits including stork, flamingos, red kangaroos, and Asian small-clawed otters. Discovery Island Trails really embodies the spirit of Animal Kingdom and provides a fun exploration experience for kids.

Na’vi River Journey

The exciting world of Pandora at Animal Kingdom is full of wonder! From the floating mountains to the glowing rocks, this area can be quite fun for children to see. Na’vi River Journey is a slow-moving boat ride through the glowing forests and rivers of Pandora. Overall, this attraction isn’t scary although it can become dark at times. However, the grand finale of the attraction features a larger-than-life animatronic of a Na’vi shaman. For kids who aren’t familiar with the movie series this visual might be frightening.

Shaman of Song in Na'vi River Journey
Shaman of Song in Na’vi River Journey

Alternative: Dinoland U.S.A.

If you wish to visit a kid-friendly attraction nearby then check out DinoLand U.S.A. This area is modeled after a prehistoric carnival and features fun games and attractions like Triceratops Spin and The Boneyard. This area is a great playground for kids!

DinoLand. Photo: Emily Murray.

Are there any attractions that you skip with your children? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Photo: Emily Murray

Written by

Megan Woodard

Contributing Writer

Megan was born into a Disney family. Her first trip to Disney World was when she was only 18 months old. Now as an adult, Megan loves to share the magic of Disney with her two toddlers. Keeping up with Disney news and Disney World knowledge is a fun hobby for Megan. Disney World is her favorite place to be and continuously brings back her childhood joy.

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