The Popular Disney Parks Outfit 'Hack' Parents May Not Realize Puts Their Kids In Danger

When visiting a Disney park, you might see guests sporting Mickey ear headbands and collectible pins (and even Disney pins worn as earrings, a hack deemed dangerous by the internet). But look a little closer and you may notice a less obvious accessory: shoe inserts. From store-bought shoe lifts to tissues stuffed inside footwear, some parents turn to a variety of inserts to make their children appear taller. The reason for the artificial boost, as you might've guessed, is to make it easier for the child to clear height restrictions on Disney rides.

Some parents also buy shoes designed to add height ahead of a planned Disney trip. This might mean purchasing a pair of platform sneakers, thick-soled cowboy boots, or padded gym shoes. When those don't work, they may get crafty, gluing flip-flops to sneakers the way @the.kelly.fam did in a now-deleted TikTok.


"Live a little" sure but you still have to obey the rules of the business you willingly went to. #disneyworld #disneyhorror #dcp #disneysecrets #disneyland

♬ original sound – Tyson Blatter

However, these hacks put kids in danger, warned Walt Disney World Cast Member @t_blatt on TikTok. The content creator explained that height restrictions are one rule that people often don't take seriously until it's too late. "Do not let your kid become a statistic," he urged in his viral clip.

The importance of height restrictions

Height restrictions primarily exist to ensure that ride restraints will fit all passengers' bodies securely, preventing accidental falls and injuries. According to non-profit organization Saferparks, children who are under or barely at a ride's height requirements are much more likely to be ejected from the ride than those who are taller. While these incidents are rare, they do exist, as happened in Illinois in 2011. A three-year-old boy fell from a ride believed to have lax height requirements, leading to his tragic death.

Height restrictions also help theme parks, such as Disney parks, judge a child's maturity level. If, for instance, a roller coaster comes to an emergency stop and passengers must be evacuated, shorter — and, often, younger — children may be more at risk of getting hurt. Being able to comply with staff members' orders, especially when a parent isn't present, can be crucial when things go awry.

Additionally, if park staff realize a kid wearing shoe lifts is actually too short to ride, the little one might feel confused or even embarrassed when their padded shoes are exposed. The disappointment can quickly sour a day at Disney and result in a lot of tears and stress. To put it simply, there are tips for riding the most rides at Disney, but if your child is too short for some attractions, using shoe inserts is one hack best avoided.

What to do if you see a child wearing shoe inserts at Disney

By now, you probably realize that faking your kid's height at Disney — or any other theme park, for that matter — isn't worth the risk. But what if you notice another parent trying out the popular hack? For the sake of their child's safety and everyone else's, it's a good idea to say something. Approaching the parent directly might not always go over so well, and you'd probably rather worry about, say, getting rained on at Disney than getting into a fight. With this in mind, alert a Cast Member of another visitor's suspicious shoes to avoid getting caught in the crosshairs.

If you see someone promoting height hacks on social media, it's also a good idea to message the creator or comment on the post explaining the possible dangers of defying Disney ride requirements. After @the.kelly.fam shared their sneaky flip-flop trick on TikTok, they received a wave of criticism, which likely explains why the original video no longer exists. To some people, stuffing a child's sneakers or adding platform soles to their shoes might seem harmless, but educating each other on the seriousness of the hack can help keep Disney parks safe and free of preventable tragedies.