Mother, Son, Giraffe, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom, Savannah
  • On Feb 18, 2009
    Tammy from TN Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My daughter will turn 8 in June. She wants to go to Animal Kingdom. This will be her umpteenth time there.For her birthday she wants to do an upclose tour. Do you know why the age requirement is 14 or 16 for them ?

    I understand your question. My 9-year-old daughter wants to be an Imagineer when she grows up -- mommy approves :-) -- she is well behaved and would LOVE the inside information available on some of the backstage tours. So why does she have to wait until she's 16? Two reasons: safety and magic.

    Many of the behind-the-scenes tours at WDW include portions that are designated adults-only for either legal or insurance reasons. I don't know the specifics of the tours you're interested in, but as an example, when I went on the Backstage Magic tour, we visited a machine shop where some of the rides were being repaired and constructed. The guests were required to wear safety equipment such as hard hats and eye protection. Such areas are not appropriate for children.

    The other, more philosophical, reason that kids are not allowed behind the scenes is that Disney is a place that is all about magic. How do princesses come to life? How can an elephant fly? And so on. There are things going on backstage that might break the spell of some of the magic for children. And WDW really wants to keep that magic alive for as long as possible.

    I had the opportunity to go backstage at WDW for the first time just over a year ago as part of my Moms Panel training. I have to say that while it was incredibly cool to see the machinations behind the mouse, there was a little part of me that was sad to see the service vehicles behind Main Street USA. So, while it can be disappointing that children are not allowed to experience some of the Disney tours, there are good reasons for them to wait until they're a bit older.
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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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