Rollercoasters are usually designed for a single purpose: to thrill and excite riders.
Of course, there are rollercoasters purposefully slow and relaxing, but thrill seekers know to search out the high profiles for a truly exhilarating time. Rollercoasters can be tricky to recommend. Some young kids can’t get enough, while even the slightest drop could frighten older ones away.
Parents bringing kids to amusement and theme parks should not worry too much about rollercoaster safety. Theme parks inspect roller coasters daily, and go into deeper inspections using x-rays and magnetic scanners on slightly longer intervals. Simply put, if a coaster is operating, you can be sure it is safe. As long as the kids clear the height requirement, safety, beyond fear and potential nausea, shouldn’t be a problem.
If your small children look at Kingda Ka and immediately get queasy, it would be hard to blame them. Luckily, there are plenty of tame rollercoasters perfect for kids.
Walt Disney World would not be much of a family destination if the only attractions it housed were giant, thrilling roller coasters. The four parks are filled with rides the entire family can enjoy, including a few chill rollercoasters. The Barnstormer is situated in Magic Kingdom. This ride is in Fantasy Land and only includes a few minor drops and turns. The ride’s height limit is 35 inches.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a newer roller coaster in the park. The lines can get long, but interesting scenery, a brisk 34 mph speed and metal track make this roller coaster a great step up from the Barnstormer without ever needing to leave the park.
Animal Kingdom is home to a few other roller coasters, like Expedition Everest and the Primeval Whirl, which don’t feature tracks that are too intimidating, but can get frightening thanks to the theme and spinning cars.
It is impossible to talk about kids’ amusement parks without mentioning Sesame Place. This Langhorne, Pennsylvania, theme park is totally focused on the children’s show Sesame Street. The park has two child-appropriate rollercoasters.
Vapor Trail was Sesame Place’s first roller coaster and has long been billed as the first roller coaster for a child’s first time. Super Grover takes riders through space as he flies, making this ride a fun and immersive experience for kids. There is a 44-inch limit on the ride.
Oscar’s Wacky Taxi is the newest roller coaster. The roller coaster is a wooden-steel hybrid guided by Oscar the Grouch himself. The restrictions are a little looser on this one, with a 40-inch minimum height.
One of Arizona’s premier resorts, JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa puts the fun back in winter, especially for families looking to escape snow and cold. Guests enjoy daily hikes, swimming, a kids’ club, teen fun and plenty of sunshine.
Don’t expect Turin to fit your image of Italy. It’s Italian, all right — the evening passeggiata and a love of good food and wine are alive and well. But you’ll look in vain for medieval cobbled streets, crumbling castles and works by Michelangelo (who never set foot here). Instead, although you’ll find some Roman ruins, you’ll also find a faux medieval village, a world-class film museum and a café life that rivals Vienna’s. You and your family will have fun here.
Time is running out if you’re gift gathering for the travelers on your holiday shopping list. If you still have stockings to fill, here are some fun picks:
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
Are your kids astronaut wannabes? Or maybe a holiday tradition in your family is to re-watch Macauley Culkin’s Home Alone every year. Either way, the brand new, dual-branded 342-room Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown South Loop and the historic 1928 Whitehall Hotel have packages designed for the little ones in your family.