Pins Can be Motivating


Two important facts about the Dis Savvy family.

1.  My oldest Katybug has inherited her mother’s fear of new things

2.  My family does NOT do the Disney pin trading/collecting things

Having said that, we have found a way to make pins work for us in the parks.

As Katybug was growing up on Disney trips, she didn’t meet the height requirement for many rides so had to sit out.  She also has “pre-attraction anxiety” about certain rides.

This ride strikes fear in the heart of my Katybug.  So much so that at the mere mention of the words “We’re going to Magic Kingdom,” she will immediately begin pouting, whining and crying about going because there is a chance we might go on the ride.  She HATES the ride down the hill.  Loves the rest of the ride – hates that part.  We endure the dirty looks and judgemental stares of everyone in line as my 8 year old cries about not wanting to go on.  I smile and explain to them all that she will be fine once we pass one part of the ride and that she does like the rest of it. (thank Disney the hill is early in the ride!)

She also wouldn’t ride the Dumbos.  Yes, you read correctly..the sweet, lovable Dumbos freaked her out.  “They go high.”  What do you say to that?  (Though I wasn’t complaining about missing that long line!)

Why should you care about my child’s anxieties?  Because you may have one of these children.  Or you may have a child turn into this type of child.  Never fear!!!  I came up with a solution!  REWARDS!

Please note – these are not bribes!  A bribe is giving your child something BEFORE they are expected to do the desired behavior.  A reward is given after.

I first used this idea on Mission:SPACE.  My husband thought she should ride Mission: SPACE.  Honestly, I did not think this was a good idea.  At the time, she still wouldn’t ride Soarin’.  I was much more interested in getting her on that one first.  I went along with it and hubby got her on the ride.  She didn’t completely hate it, but she won’t go back on it.  As a REWARD for her bravery, I bought her this:

Then the light bulb went on.  THIS WAS IT!!!  Katybug, let’s go on the Dumbos. “No.”  We can get a pin after. “OK.”

Here’s the really great thing about this system.  On return trips, when the “NO” started forming, we could point to her pin and remind her she rode it and we would talk about it and she would go back on.

This March we talked about Maelstrom and she started to throw a fit.  I said, “We’ll get a pin after.”  She calmed down and asked if I would hold her tight when we went down the hill.  Of course I did and we rode this ride more times than we have in years.

We also suggested she try Star Tours since she is familiar with the movies now.  The lower lip started jutting out and I quickly said “We’ll get a pin.”  Immediate smile on her face and she was running to the line.  The good news on this one is she was chosen as the rebel spy and ended up going on the ride about 4 more times that day!!!  She actually said “I wish I started riding this ride sooner.”

Now if I could just find a pin for putting dirty clothes in the hamper or cleaning up toys or going to bed without whining.  *Sigh.  That’s a totally different Disney Dream 🙂


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  • What a great idea. A terrific way to build some confidence in trying new things and at least as parents you know the ride won’t be too long or too horrible for her.

    Did you get her to go on Soarin’?

  • yes, she does go on Soarin’ now and it’s her FAVORITE ride in EPCOT. We use the baby swap because Allygator is too small so she goes on twice in a row usually.

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