Have you wondered if your highly sensitive child will enjoy their experience on Peter Pan’s Flight? Peter Pan’s Flight is a classic Disney ride, which was an opening day attraction at Walt Disney World on October 1, 1971. It is located in the Fantasyland section of Magic Kingdom, right across from “it’s a small world”. It is a slow-moving ride where you board a “flying pirate ship” over London, and then to Never Land. The pirate ships are suspended from a rail on the ceiling, to simulate the sense of flying.
Because it is a fairly gentle ride, there is no minimum height requirement. Infants and small toddlers, expectant moms, and older adults (if ambulatory) should be able to ride without a problem. I often see this ride and “it’s a small world” being recommended as some of the best rides at Magic Kingdom for very young children, kids who scare easily, and those who dislike typical thrill rides.
But what about for highly sensitive or sensory sensitive children? Let’s go through some of the attraction details to see whether your highly sensitive child will enjoy Peter Pan’s Flight, or totally hate it and freak out.
Sudden Noises 2/5
Sudden noises have a tendency to startle highly sensitive children, since all their senses tend to be more heightened. Peter Pan’s Flight does have some sudden noises throughout such as a dog barking, drumming sounds, and distinct yelling and “boom!” sounds. Near the end of the ride, you’ll hear Captain Hook shouting “Help me, Mr. Smee, help me!” But overall, it’s not too bad.
Noise Level 2/5
Highly sensitive children are often more aware of the noise level, no matter where they are. Peter Pan’s Flight is fairly loud, with some of the sounds mentioned above, along with constant background music. The sounds themselves aren’t all unpleasant, but the noise level could be uncomfortable with some highly sensitive children.
Peter Pan’s Flight is all indoors and VERY dark. Not quite Space Mountain-level dark, but it still is darker than other indoor rides like “it’s a small world” or Toy Story Mania. The whole premise of the ride is that you are flying through the night sky, so of course it makes sense for it to be dark. But kids who have a fear of the dark may have a more difficult time on this ride.
Bright & Flashing Lights 1/5
Bright lights can be borderline painful for some highly sensitive or sensory sensitive children. And sudden transitions from dark to bright can also be bothersome. Luckily, this shouldn’t be an issue on Peter Pan’s Flight. There are some sections of Peter Pan’s Flight that are slightly more brightly lit than others, but nothing extra overstimulating.
The feeling of going fast can be thrilling for some kids, but that is not always the case for many highly sensitive kids who tend to err on the side caution. Thankfully, Peter Pan’s Flight speed level is quite slow and gentle. Because it is so slow-moving, the wait times for this ride tend to be quite high. There are some instances of quick little turns as you fly about in your ship, but nothing overwhelming for most.
You won’t find any drops on this ride like you’d find on a true thrill ride (like Tower of Terror) or rollercoaster (like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train). There is a sliiiight sensation of flying, which could make you feel like you might fall at any given time. But even those with a fear of heights should be able to handle this ride.
“Scary” Visuals 2/5
What’s scary for one child isn’t always scary for another. Since Peter Pan’s Flight tells the story about Peter Pan’s adventures, there are a few parts that might be scary for some highly sensitive children. You’ll see Wendy walking the plank of the pirate ship. You’ll also see glowing volcanoes, which aren’t particularly scary. But if you have a fear of volcanoes, like J does, you’ll definitely notice. Near the end of the ride, Captain Hook is balancing precariously on the jaws of a green crocodile. It’s mostly lighthearted and fun, but it might be helpful to give your highly sensitive children a heads up about what they will see.
Proximity to Others 0/5
Highly sensitive or sensory sensitive kids can have a hard time being crowded and confined spaces, especially with other people they don’t know. But no worries about getting super close to others on this ride! Each flying pirate ship typically seats two people, though one adult and two small children can definitely fit. Our family of four usually splits up with one adult with one child, so we are on two separate ships.
Strong Smells 0/5
Just like their other senses, highly sensitive or sensory sensitive kids can find scents to be overstimulating. When certain smells are too strong, it can induce headaches or nausea for some people. If your highly sensitive child is bothered by strong smells, Peter Pan’s Flight won’t be a problem for them. I don’t recall any use of smells throughout the ride.
Getting wet on rides and attractions can be part of the fun. But that doesn’t hold true if you’ve got sensitive kids who hate the sensation of wet clothes, or hate getting unexpectedly wet. You won’t have to worry about that with this ride as there is absolutely no chance of getting wet on Peter Pan’s Flight!
How do we understand the rating? A lower score means less sensory overload, while a higher score means a greater likelihood of being overwhelmed and overstimulated. Peter Pan’s Flight is a pretty gentle ride, and shouldn’t be too overstimulating for your highly sensitive child. For extra sensitive ears, wearing ear plugs or a pair of noise-canceling headphones will do the trick. However, if your child HATES the dark, you might consider avoiding this one.
What has YOUR experience been on Peter Pan’s Flight? Is it on your list of must-dos for your visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom? Join my private Facebook Group to share your opinion and get more tips on planning your Disney trip with your highly sensitive kids! And follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
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