If the train's not out of the station, it's a judgment call if the train's been cleared for dispatch. Typically, the operator would stop the train only of s/he felt the child was going to try to exit the ride. (Once a train starts moving, stopping it shuts down the ride.)
The idea is to prevent a crying child from boarding the train. But if a child starts crying after boarding, standard operating procedure if to try to get the child's family to exit the train before it needs to dispatch. Only if they refuse - and the child keeps crying - would we have to hold the train, and run the risk of the cascade stop.
I see that problem with the crying child, but where were they when they could have saved me?!?!?!?!?!
Good point on the height requirement. I always was curious on why some were really high and they had to go through health issues too. I mean Soarin has a bunch of requirements too and its one of the smoothest rides at WDW!
As someone studying mechanical engineering, I see this happen in all aspects of transport and dynamic attractions, and I haven't even finished school! I know people who refuse to fly because it's dangerous, but then tailgate cars by a foot while driving 60 mph. I know people that have gone boating while drunk, but refuse to bungee jump because the probability of death is too high. These designers know what they're doing. Yes, there have been deaths and injuries due to unforeseen circumstances, but they're pretty damn good at what they do.
I used to be really bothered by parents who would argue that their children should get to go on the ride even though they were too short. One woman once told me that she was a lawyer and would write a waiver to allow her kid to go. I thought it was terrible that as a 19-year-old college student, I was more concerned for the safety of these kids than their parents were.
Parents just didn't understand why we couldn't just look the other way. In addition to the safety concerns of the child that Robert mentioned.. I was always concerned about the media and my legal liability too. Any little incident that happens at Disney is instantly a lead story in Orlando, and every bit of info possible is squeezed out of the story. If something happened to a child on a ride, the child's height is instantly going to be looked at by the press and by the parents legal team. In addition to protecting the child, I was also looking out for myself by standing firm.
Ketchup packets in kids shoe,
Wearing there mother or fathers shoes,
Tissue in shoes
Those are just some of the things I've had to deal with.
With a crying guest, especially with a child, its up to the parent if they want to ride or not. If the child is crying I will pull aside the family and see if the child stops or not. If there not to disruptive I will put them on the ride, with other guests and send the elevator. Now if the child is crying and cant com down but the family insists on going on and forcing the child on I will pull them aside and put them on there own elevator where the child can cry as much as they want. I will only do this though depending on wait time and time of day.
Anyway that emergency stop sounds wicked. A 30 mph train stopping in 8 feet! That is something i dont want to experience.
The crying child issue is a tricky one. But the parents will often know already if their kid's a screamer. On rides like Tower of Terror it's nonsense to take a small child. Then there's the effect on other riders. How fair is it to make someone wait 90 mins in line and then have it spoiled by a crying child. Parents have be realistic and have respect for fellow riders.
Mind you I cried on Stitch's Escape. But only on the way out because it was so bad and it was 30 minutes of my life that I knew I'd never get back.
As I said, we are rule followers and I agree that the height requirements are in place for safety reasons so while I understood, I just wish there was some consistency in the way chldren are measured. One full day of our vacation was ruined because of a CM - not at all a magical experience for us on that day.
AND ITS MOSTLY THE DARN PARENTS!!!!! DARN DARN DARN! I would measure the kids and if they were short, I always tried to sound very excited about the rides they COULD go on-- and they'd be very happy... but then the parents get mad about the rides their kids COULD NOT go on... and THAT'S when the kids start crying. (And yes, it doesn't help that BGT's rides were always compared to Disney's shorter height requirements)
UGGGGGH. i'm ranting and ranting and ranting!!!!
I really believe that every theme park has things to see and do no matter how small you are. It's not ALL about roller coasters.
My son was always big for his age so he met most of the height requirements early on. His maturity level was not commensurate with his height. I remember waiting in line at SM for over an hour. He was fine until we got up to the part of the queue where you could actually see the loading area. That is when he decided that this was not the ride for him...we exited. I hate seeing parents forcing their kids onto rides they are not ready for.
A part of society that no one has mentioned are the little people (or whatever the proper PC term is) of the world. Many of them do not reach the height requirement. I would love to hear their stories.
As for the height restriction issue. If they installed one or two laser measurers (like they have in hotels and Nike stores) somewhere near the entrance then parents would have an accurate printout for their child that could be shown to the CM at the line.It could also print the list of rides that the child was able to go on to save more time. Just an idea.
That was almost a year ago and she still talks about the Barnstormer. We are going again in a few weeks (to celebrate my graduation from Grad School, any excuse to go back) and now she is ready to tackle Big Thunder Mountain! Oh and I measured her already and she is the proper height for the ride. So no hat adjustments on this visit.