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Age restrictions on rides?


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The height restrictions are usually good enough for most rides. The more intense rides should require younger riders to be accompanied by a parent.

 

Here's a perfect example of the second situation: I was 54" tall when I turned 6 years old and was already a roller coaster junkie. My family went to Cedar Point in the Summer of 1994 for a few days and fell in love with the big new ride, Raptor. On the last day of the trip, my mom took me with her on the ride and I could not stop smiling!

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You can be never too old or young ride something as long as you're tall enough to ride it. So the whole age restriction thing is just a silly rule, they don't make IDs for anyone under 16 so it would be hard for ride ops to ask a kid for some ID just to ride a ride that they're tall enough to ride. But the age restriction discourages "short" adults to ride kiddie rides and discourages "tall" kids to ride big thrill rides.

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Height is the easiest way to determine if someone can be safely restrained into a ride; you either are tall enough or not, and there is no question as every ride has some measuring device. Age restrictions are silly because they are too difficult to enforce. Visual profiling by age will cause a lot of unnecessary arguing. Also, how can a guest/operator prove if that they aren't/are lying? "May I see your child's birth certificate?" Restricting by age is like opening pandora's box.

 

An argument for minimum age restrictions is the maturity level associated with experiencing some of the more intense rides or rides with easier opportunities for riders to stand up, attempt to exit early, or using the restraints properly (examples include old rides with manual locks or non-locking restraints). It is best to restrict this based on height. Height can be related to age and maturity to a decent degree, and height is easy to enforce. Height requirement levels associated with age (ride alone or ride with responsible person) can be set based on the average age and/or maturity level that is found by experts in whatever appropriate field. Of course, any minimum height should reflect the ability of a ride to safely secure a guest. Heights can vary from the average age/maturity, but height is a cut and dry measurement than can be easily controlled at a ride.

 

As for a maximum age, the warning signs do more than enough to inform guests about physical conditions that are not safe for riding. For example, Kings Island was not held responsible for the death on Top Gun (Flight Deck) several years ago when it was found out that the woman had a heart condition which is one of the posted restrictions. My sympathy goes out to anyone and their family who has coped with an injury or death associated with an amusement ride, but operators can't make decisions on assumptions guests' physical conditions that aren't easily recognizable such as heart problems, back problems, and even pregnancy to name a few (do any of you think it's appropriate to ask a woman if she is pregnant or just overweight even if it looks obvious?).

 

Now, posting suggested ages is not a bad idea. We do this on several of our kiddie rides at Waldameer, based on what the ride does and how children are restrained. Of course, a manufacturer or insurance company could enforce an age requirement, but that hasn't happened here yet.

 

I agree with you, some people look younger than the age they really are, you just can't tell. As long as the younger children are with an adult- which they usually are, then they should be fine to ride.

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The whole age restriction thing should really be under parental discretion. In other it really should be up to the parents regardless of how old the kids are whether or not the kids should ride the ride even if they're tall enough to ride it!

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The whole age restriction thing should really be under parental discretion. In other it really should be up to the parents regardless of how old the kids are whether or not the kids should ride the ride even if they're tall enough to ride it!

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I think parents should be with young kids on those rides, or at least drop them off at the station. It's not safe to have a child alone on a ride, because the child could have a health problem, or had a recent surgery, and doesn't know they can't ride roller coasters during that time. Parents should be with them to make sure it's safe for them to ride or not.

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^Having worked in a haunt for a while, I can say that there are younger children who actually enjoy that stuff. Yeah, it's not too common, but there's the occasional kid who's having a blast. On the other hand, there are grown adults who will want out after the first room.

 

It's not necessarily the age that becomes problematic in that sense, it's the maturity and limit of the participant.

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