Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is home to many family-friendly attractions, but some of them might be too intense for guests to enjoy. Here I will analyze Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland in the hopes of assisting families who have young children or members of their travel party who might be uncomfortable experiencing certain attractions as they lay out their plans.
Keep in mind, everyone experiences fears and anxieties differently. Something that may seem fun to one person may really trigger another.
SPOILER ALERT! If you do not want attraction spoilers, now is the time to stop reading because this post contains all the spoilers. But, if you are like me and need to know what to expect before inviting a member of your travel party to experience an attraction with you, carry on!
Pirates of the Caribbean
In my mind, Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic Disney attraction. I enjoy the antics of the pirates, but I do remember a time in my life when I thought it was pretty scary. It is a dark boat ride that winds through exciting scenes that seem fun to many visitors but can feel very real to small children.
- Darkness: This ride is dim throughout and pitch black in some places. You might want to prepare travelers who are afraid of the dark for this.
- Spooky Sounds: The ride starts off with spooky, ghostly sounds. It really sets the tone for the whole thing and intensifies the idea of “this is scary” particularly for young, impressionable travelers.
- Skeletons: There are skeletons and skulls on this ride. One is steering a ship. A beach is littered with bones. If this bothers your children, prepare them for it or sit this one out.
- Storms: The atmosphere towards the start of the ride is windy and stormy with lightning flashes. Guests who are fearful of storms should prepare for this.
- Small Drop: There is a small sliding drop at the beginning of the ride. It is very similar to the one on Frozen Ever After.
- You Might Get Wet: the small drop generates a splash. It typically isn’t a big splash, and I usually stay dry on this one, but I have been on a particularly heavy boat and got a little wet as a result. If you have members of your travel party who cannot stand wet clothes, bring some spares just in case.
- Cannon Fire: the first scene after the drop features a ship firing cannons upon the ride boats. You might get splashed here too. They are noisy and accompanied with simulated explosion visuals.
- Loud Sounds: The cannon booms, spooky sounds, storm sounds, and screams may be tough for those who do not tolerate loud noises, so if you are traveling with someone who might benefit from sound protection, consider having it on hand.
- Pirates: The pirates on this ride are primarily up to no good. As you travel from the scene with the canons, you will see pirate pillaging the town. They are armed with swords and guns. Screams can be heard. Some people are tied up. One man is being lowered into a well. Some people are being chased (But in some cases, the tables are turned on the pirates).
- Fire: As you go under a bridge, you approach a part of the town that is burning.
The ride starts off with scary elements, but it ends on a fun note; in fact, one of my favorite dark ride scenes occurs towards the end. Perhaps your travel mates who are intimidated at first will forget their fears by the time they exit the ride and have happy memories of it.
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
This is a spinner attraction where guests ride on flying carpets, and it is not meant to be frightening. It is similar to Dumbo and Triceratops Spin.
Each carpet seats 4 riders, 2 in the front, and 2 in the back. Guests in the back use a scarab to control how high the carpet soars. Guests in the front can tilt the carpet.
Pirate Tip: if controlling the altitude matters to you or a member of your party, aim for spots in the back of a carpet. You may want to do that even if your child hasn’t indicated it is important because he/she might decide it is important partway through the ride.
- Heights: The ride does not go terribly high, but I have traveled with someone who is too afraid of heights to try it.
- Loud Noise: The air compressor can be noisy when the ride stops.
- You Might Get Wet: There is a golden camel that spits water. This camel randomly spits on unsuspecting passers-by, so steer clear of it if you don’t want to get wet as you pass. My little boy and I were once recipients of golden camel spit. Fortunately, he thought it was funny. If you have members of your travel party who cannot stand wet clothes, bring some spares just in case.
The Jungle Cruise
The Jungle Cruise is a boat ride that takes guests on an animatronic tour of several jungle rivers around the world that all magically converge for our amusement.
Visitors are accompanied by a skipper who delivers a little comedy as you navigate various dangers. This ride is pretty hilarious, especially if you like “dad-jokes” and get a guide with excellent timing. However, it can be a tough ride for little kids.
- Spider in the queue: The ride queue for Jungle Cruise is home to a large caged animatronic spider. This spider shoots forward unexpectedly, which can startle curious children. My little boy, who a.) loves spiders and b.) loves thrill rides, was traumatized by the faux spider attack. He said he liked the ride but does not think he can face the spider again. Oddly enough, my little girl, who is afraid of everything, thought the spider was fine. Go figure.
- Large Butterflies: as you first enter the Amazon, you will pass large butterflies.
- Heads on Spears: as you float along the Amazon early on in the ride, you see skulls on spears. The guide will make light of it, but the visual can be disturbing for some.
- Large Snake: There is a large animatronic python. Those with a fear of snakes may appreciate the warning.
- Lions Eating a Zebra: As you transition from the Amazon to the Nile, you will pass 2 animatronic elephants and then approach the African Veldt. Here you will see lions eating a zebra. The guides typically try to make light of this as well and might tell you the zebra is sleeping. This could be another disturbing visual for young guests, especially those who haven’t learned about the Circle of Life. You may want to prepare yourself to answer some questions if any members of your party fall into that camp.
- Crocodiles: There are some animatronic crocodiles on a bank.
- Airplane wreckage: There is some wreckage in the jungle. If you have a member of your travel party who is afraid of flying, this could be a trigger, especially if you are flying home once your trip is over.
- Hippos: Hippos pop out of the water. I remember being upset about this ride when I was little because the guides used to shoot the hippos with a cap gun (Am I dating myself too much here?). But it has since been re-scripted. There was a time when the guide fired a cap gun into the air to scare the hippos away, but when I rode earlier this year, I don’t recall any cap guns at all. Skippers now scare the hippos away by other means. Be sure to comment if you have noticed any difference on recent trips.
- A Boat Filled with Skulls: Next up is a boat filled with an arrangement of skulls. This might be disturbing for some. You pass the tribe of headhunters, who are presumably responsible for the skulls as well.
- Dark Tunnel: The boat enters a dark tunnel. This may be problematic for those who are afraid of the dark or who are claustrophobic. I am mildly claustrophobic, and it does not bother me in the same way something like Mission Space does, but others may find it hard to deal with. Inside the tunnel you will see spiders, snakes, statues, and a tiger.
- Man holding Shrunken Heads: One of the last sights is of a man holding shrunken heads, which may be upsetting for some.
Although the Jungle Cruise has no height restrictions and is fun for older children and adults, you may consider skipping it if you have particularly sensitive little ones. And, watch out for that spider in the queue!
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
The Tiki room is a show featuring singing animatronic birds. I have fond childhood memories of watching it with my family when I was a little girl. I do not remember thinking it was scary, and sometimes I still catch myself singing the theme song.
For this reason, I was surprised when I took my little girl, who was 2 at the time, and we didn’t even make it past the pre-show.
- Pre-Show: I do not find the pre-show scary, but, as I said, my little girl disagreed with me. Maybe it is because the birds are very loud. Either way, she proclaimed, “I do not like these eagles!” She hid her face and said she didn’t want to go in. We ended up on Magic Carpets…again while I explained to her the difference between tropical birds and eagles.
- Birds: If you are afraid of birds, this is probably not for you.
- Loud Noise: As I mentioned, the pre-show is loud. There are some loud noises and whistles during the show. It isn’t “gotcha noises,” it is just Disney-style high volume.
- Darkness: It becomes dark, and a spotlight falls on drummers that begin playing the drums. Wood-carved masks begin singing along. Some children may find this creepy.
- Storm: A storm with thunder and lightning follows the drum sequence. The lights go out again, and the audience can hear distressed monkeys and birds.
The show ends on a light note. Now that I think about it, for a show that has achieved a reputation for being tame, it does have a few startling moments.
Swiss Family Tree House
This attraction is a walk-through replica of the treehouse from the movie the Swiss Family Robinson. It does involve a lot of walking and climbing over 150 stairs. It is up in a high tree, so those with a fear of heights may not enjoy it. But otherwise, the scariest thing about it is it may start your children dreaming of fancy playhouses. Oh, and the fact that it’s closing for refurbishment this year! Details HERE.
Overall, Adventureland is truly for those with adventurous spirits. Although there is no roller coaster or true thrill ride in the land, it does have attractions that are thrilling in their own right. While Adventureland has no attractions with height restrictions, deciding which attractions will suit your travel party may be a tall order.
If you want even MORE detailed reviews, be on the lookout for attraction specific Social Stories from KTP’s Rebecca.
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