The parents of the four-year old boy who died after riding Mission: Space at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park want height restrictions changed to restrict younger passengers from riding. Disney, of course, is balking. There is little or no evidence that the boy died due to some defect with the ride. They set their existing height limit, 44", based on heavy testing and manufacturer recommendations. Why should they change?
They should change, but not the way the boy’s family is suggesting. There is not always a direct correlation between height and constitution. Instead attractions should be given an ‘intensity’ rating. Red for very intense (not recommended for children or repeated experiences), Yellow for Moderately intense (parents should ride before boarding with young children), Green for appropriate for all ages. Very few attractions would get a red (Mission: Space, Tower of Terror). Yellow is great for rides that may be scary, not just intense (Great Movie Ride, Haunted Mansion, etc). Green would be the majority of rides. Other indicators would remain, Height Restrictions as per manufacturer recommendations, back, neck, pregnant, etc. These symbols could be added to the maps almost immediately, and to attraction signage as time progresses.