Girl, 7, denied trick-or-treating at Six Flags Over Texas due to height

Posted Wednesday, October 25, 2006 3:22 PM | Contributed by Rowtyd

A North Texas 7-year-old was turned away from trick-or-treating at Six Flags because she was too tall. Employees told her she didn't fit the rules for walking through a Looney Toons maze. Then, they said she could go in, but couldn't take candy like the other kids

Read more and see video from KXAS/Dallas.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006 3:27 PM
Just wanted to repost my take here too:

Oh please!

My daughter is 8 and 56+ inches. (in fact, the podcast crew guessed her at 11 or 12 years old)

She hasn't been able to get on most kiddie rides since she hit 54 inches - during the 'offseason' between 2004 and 2005. In fact, she has to use the same 'credit whoring' techniques we all do to get on kiddie coasters - luckily she has a little brother for access.

Maybe I should have called up the newspaper when she couldn't participate in the costume contest this weekend at CP because it's for kids 54" and under.

Amusement parks base everything on size.

This 'having to accomodate everyone' thing is getting real old, real fast. There is no way the parks can account for the extremely tall, obese, underweight, short, handicapped, stupid, martians, religious freaks, vegans or whatever your bag is. You set the rules (in this case to keep the 'trick-or-treating' to the younger kids) and that's that.

It's time to understand the parks do their best to accomodate everyone and if you happen to fall outside those specifics, then it's just dumb luck.

'Humiliated' because you were denied some candy!? Maybe if mommy and daddy would open their eyes and read the specifics and/or attraction requirements then little Victoria wouldn't have been so humiliated. I think the wrong people are apologizing here.

Christ, the world scares me sometimes...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 3:58 PM
Well this is just plain stupid because,unlike a height restriction for a ride there is no safety risk involved in allowing the guest to participate.

About the only "safety risk" involved with this kid is cavities from eating all that junk food.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 4:11 PM
This kid went to the park expecting to have a fun time. It's not her fault she happens to be taller than other kids. She's still a kid and wants to get candy like everyone else. Rides have height restrictions mainly for safety reasons. I never realized it was unsafe to eat candy past a certain height.

I'm not sure I would have called the paper regarding this, but it's just another example of Six Flags having their heads up their a**es. All you need to do is look at the kid and you could tell she's a child from her face. This is just one in a long line of people who want results when it comes to customer service at Six Flags. We've been waiting for the past 10 years and I haven't seen results yet. This is the same chain who left people hanging upside down for a half hour before letting them know help was coming. After having to be removed from the ride manually, they got a free ticket to come again. I don't want a free ticket. I want to visit a park that provides an experience worth spending my money on.

This girl's height may be dumb luck, but any park chain that has a customer relations policy based on dumb luck is doomed and that's what we're seeing with Six Flags.

I visited Kentucky Kingdom with a handicap girl and even after we were seen, nobody saved us a seat on the rides. We were forced to fight over cerain rows with other park guests. There is a problem when only one worker in the park knew how to accomidate handicap guests.

The issue should be with Six Flags, not the customer.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 4:12 PM
Lord Gonchar, in my opinion you should have been upset about your daughter not being able to be the costume contest. I don't know how excited she was about it, but if she is only eight years old, she should be barred regardless of height.

I understand height and size rules on rides, but if this girl was able to walk through the Looney Tunes maze and is only seven years old she should be able to trick or treat. What happened is very silly and I can understand why the girl and her mother were upset. Maybe she can live without the candy, but they went to the park to have fun not to be excluded. Maybe parks should have an age limit for these types of things instead of a height limit. That is, of course, unless the maze in question had a reason for not accomodating someone of her size. That is obviously not the case since she was able to walk through the maze just fine.

I know that age limits are more difficult to enforce, but every buffet restaraunt and movie theater in the country manages to make it work.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 4:23 PM
Yeah, but if you let one person through claiming they're a certain age but unusually tall, then you have to let everyone through - otherwise someone else is complaining and the paper runs a story from the opposite side of things. What happens when that 13-year old punk who's a little short for his age starts raising hell because he's only a couple of inches over the limit as well?

The point is there has to be a line. It's an attraction meant for smaller children. Yes, there will be weird exceptions where children get turned away who could probably legitimately be the kind of kid the attraction is meant for, but for every exception there are thousands upon thousands of kids who aren't affected one bit.

Better solution?

The parent apologizes to their child:

"Sorry, honey. I didn't see this was for kids 54" or smaller. Sometimes I forget you're getting so big and this is meant for littler kids."

Then follows up with a solution:

"Why don't we run over to (insert nearby in-park shop name) and get some candy for you?"

Seems to make more sense than fighting the system, causing a problem and calling the press.

Things are so simple in my world. :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 4:29 PM
Hersheypark does the trick or treating by age, 12 and under only which I feel is a much more fair system (Hershey is also one of the few non Disney parks to offer child admissions based on age and not height).
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 4:29 PM
She was turned away from an attraction because she failed to meet a height restriction? Oh the humanity! This happens all the time. If I can't take a 10-year-old that's 4'5" on a B&M, then this 4'7" girl certainly can't use this attraction.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 5:00 PM
Gonch, you're talking about a country where dodgeball is banned because it causes kids to be excluded, tag is banned because kids might get hurt and everyone gets a participation ribbon because they might feel left out.

I don't have kids yet, but I'm sure at some point in raising them, they are going to get left out, or cut from a team or picked last for kickball (if its still allowed). And it'll mark a great time to teach them a life lesson - no one (not even God) has ever said life is fair, nor will it ever be.

The girls parents need to use this as a chance to teach her about not always getting what she wants.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 5:25 PM
The article said a SF supervisor stated an exception should have been made for her, that the height requirement is there to ensure that younger people have access to the attractions. So why wasn't it?
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:05 PM
I think I'm with Gonch on this one.

While maybe it is dumb to have an attraction such as this with a maximum height requirement, I think the employee did the right thing by not letting this kid in.

Having someone come out and say that "an exception should have been made in this case" seems like BS to me. Change the policy if you want, but don't tell me that a 16 year old kid at the entrance should be making exceptions to rules (even if they are stupid).

You know, I felt bad turning a dwarf (I think that's the right word) who was probably 30 years old away from Magnum, but he wasn't tall enough, so he couldn't ride.

Rules are rules and if you make exceptions for one person, you will have to do it for everyone.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:31 PM
I think they prefer the term oom...wait that's not it. Midg...nope. Ahh, Little Person.

Can't control it, and no amount of complaining is going to make you taller or shorter so just have to deal with it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:43 PM
Just wondering, Gonch, did your daughter really want to take part in the CP costume contest? How well does she understand what she can and can't do because of her height? Of course in her case, getting to ride "big" coasters may be more than enough of a trade-off.

I can feel for the little kid though. At 7, she may only want to do little kid things like a treat-or-treat maze. I imagine it's tough telling a kid they can't do something all the other kids their age are doing, no matter the reason.

I'll agree that the thing got overblown though. Some of the "humiliation" felt by the kid probably came from standing there watching her mother rant and rave.

She should do what every red-blooded American kid does when they don't get Halloween candy-- soap up SF's windows and toilet paper the park. :)
*** This post was edited by RatherGoodBear 10/25/2006 10:49:08 PM ***
*** This post was edited by RatherGoodBear 10/25/2006 10:50:08 PM ***

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 11:01 PM
No, my daughter had no desire to partake. Just using that as an example. The CP site states specifically that the contest is split into two groups - pre-school kids and grade school kids. It also states that one must be under 54" to participate. I'd assume a third grader qualifies as 'grade school', right? But she's too tall.

So if CP specifies the age range, then why also the height thing? I suspect for the same reason SF specified a height - to prevent abuse of the system.

And yes, it sucks to not be able to do something you want to do. Sucks a little worse for a kid even. But man, are kids so wussified today that they can't possibly deal with a setback as minor as not getting candy?

And even worse. What's the message being sent here?

Don't get what you want? Well then... cry 'humiliation', call the press and make a scene until you do get what you want...or more.

At any rate, is it really that big of deal either way. Which is worse? Denying one kid a handful of candy for the sake of maintaining some kind of order and standard or calling the press and claiming 'humiliation' because you were denied a handful of candy?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 11:30 PM
I wouldn't have been news if it happened in any other park chain. At some point someone in Six Flags management has to realize they are getting way too good at ticking off their guests. And these are just the stories we hear about. There is something off about the set up of the company, some sort of disconnect because other amusement park chains just don't seem to be running into this degree of difficulty with their guests. For the sake of company one would hope this apology is an acknowledgment of some issue, an issue they could possibly do something about.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 11:32 PM
What about all the humiliated adults who can't fit in coasters because they are too tall? Where's the sob news story for them?

Oh, that's right they aren't cute little girls...*** This post was edited by redman822 10/25/2006 11:33:09 PM ***

Thursday, October 26, 2006 12:21 AM
I think many of you are quite cruel on this issue. It is obvious to anyone looking at this girl that she is only 7. To deny her access to a trick or treat maze because of height is ludicrous. Height restrictions on rides make sense due to safety. Keeping older kids out of the maze to keep them from taking it over also make sense. This girl was *obviously* too young to pose a threat to other kids and size is not a safety issue with an attraction of this type. The maze should be limited by age, with the parents trusted as a source for that child's age. That should work well enough almost all the time. For god's sake, it a short older person sneaks in and starts to misbehave, simply apply some discipline and throw them out! How often would this happen? Hardly ever I would guess as long as a parent had to be there to vow for their age...

I can not believe some of the comments I see here. The little girl can not help it she is so tall. She should not be denied the fun of others her age simply due to height if there is not a legitimate safety issue.

I guess many of you were ticked off when they made handicapped restrooms mandatory in public places. I can hear some of you now, "Bunch of wussies, they should just realize they are incapable of using public restrooms and deal with it...we have to draw the line somewhere...They just have to deal with the fact they can not walk..."

It is cruel to leave this child out of the fun because of height for NO VALID REASON at all. Safety a problem? No.... Child too old? No..... Child a troublemaker who would elbow out the other children... well look at her, that is an obvious no. It sounds like you want her mom say to her, "Sorry honey, you are are tall freak who is not allowed to be with the other kids your age..." I know being denied candy sounds like no big deal to most of you, but to a *7-year old*, to be left out of a fun time that other kids your age can easily do could lead to some serious self-esteem issues. She could start to view her height as a really negative thing, and that would not be fair.

I think some of you are shockingly insenstive on this issue. I understand your talk about limits and rules, but this is an obvious mistake that easily could have been avoided by using common sense and a little sensitivity.
*** This post was edited by Mikewhy 10/26/2006 12:33:11 AM ***

Thursday, October 26, 2006 12:53 AM
Thursday, October 26, 2006 7:40 AM
I did not mean to be too harsh to anyone here, but at the same time, I do not think that my comparison was that outrageous. In both situations you are denying somebody access to something that most people their age can do because of a physical condition they have no control over, (Of course the need to go to the restroom is much more important than trick-or-treating, and in that way my comparison was unbalanced, but still valid in my opinion...)

And I agree that an established standard is needed. And that standard should simply be for this attraction that no one over 4 foot 7 will be allowed *UNLESS* they are with a parent who will vouch that they are under a certain age, say 9 years old or whatever age they want to limit the maze to. In that way, you do not prevent a young child from taking part for a reason that in no way has any impact on safety. I am sure the number of young looking adults who will get others to "pretend" to be their parents so they can take part in a Halloween maze will be almost nil, and in that case simply make sure you throw out anyone causing trouble in the attraction, which should be the case anyway even with small children.

Thursday, October 26, 2006 7:58 AM
I'll play both sides of the fence on this one.

It reminds me of the hoosier lotto where the guy won 5 bucks, waited past the deadline and didn't get his money. He ended up suing and got a quick million over the whole ordeal.

When he confronted officials about the money, someone should have just paid the idiot 5 bucks and gone on their merry way.

Where exactly is the line drawn? While some will argue since the cut off is 54 inches for kiddie rides then it should be for the trick or treating. And this seems fair enough. But also the issue of how stringent these rules are followed should be raised also. IMO if they set the guidelines to 7 years and 54 inches is someone that is 7 years and 1 day old, and 54.5 inches to tall?

Now that i've played devils advocate here a bit, this is my personal opinion. This is the exact same reasons why the Six Flags chains are unpopular with people. Had this girl gone to a tricker treating event at holiday world she would have been treated like all the other kids.

In this specific example the height and age are incredibally arbitrary. In no way shape or form will she or anyone else be endangered because she too big for a ride. That said, they should have not said anything and done all in their power to make sure all had a good time. The day six flags realizes that its not always about the 20 million dollar coasters, but the experience the guest has at the park, the chain will turn around. You can't have happy guests without rides, and you can't have happy guest with jerk employees.


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