Harriet’s First Rollercoaster (And How to Introduce Your Kids to Rollercoasters)

We want the kids to love exciting activities, so getting them both on a rollercoaster for the first time was an important first step.

While on our recent month-long trip to the UK, we made a conscious decision to introduce the kids to as many new experiences as possible.

One such experience was Harriet and Luca’s first time on a rollercoaster. Here’s how it went, along with some tips on how to introduce your kids to high-adrenaline activities like rollercoasters for the first time.

A Trip to Gulliver’s World

Dan is an adrenaline junkie, so he wants the kids to follow in his footsteps so they can do those types of activities with him as they grow up.

The first step was getting them both on a rollercoaster for the first time. The kid-themed Gulliver’s World theme park—a half-hour drive outside Manchester—was the perfect environment.

Gulliver’s World is designed specifically for families with young children and offers a wide range of rides, attractions, and shows. The park is divided into different areas, such as Gully Town, Adventure Land, and Fantasy World, each with its own set of rides and attractions. In addition to the rides, the park also offers a variety of shows, such as magic shows, puppet shows, and live animal shows.

Growing up in Manchester, Dan had cut his own teeth on the Gulliver’s World rollercoasters as a young kid, so he was thrilled to be able to see the place for the first time in more than 30 years and carry on the tradition.

Our rollercoaster of choice was the Caterpillar ride. Indeed, Dan has crystal clear memories of going on the same ride all those years ago.

Neither Harriet nor Luca showed any fear at all—both jumped into the carriage and were giggling with excitement by the time we got to the top of the main drop.

And how did they handle the drop itself? Watch the video below and judge for yourself!

How to Introduce Your Kids to Rollercoasters for the First Time

So, how did we make sure Harriet and Luca embraced the idea and had so much fun? Here are our tips for introducing your kids to rollercoasters for the first time.

Remember, it is very important to be aware of your child’s individual comfort level with heights and fast speeds.

  • Start with small coasters: Begin with smaller, less intense roller coasters that are designed for children. These will give your child the opportunity to experience the thrill of a roller coaster without overwhelming them.
  • Talk to your child: Before going on a roller coaster, talk to your child about what to expect and address any concerns they may have.
  • Set clear rules: Establish clear rules and guidelines for your child, such as keeping hands and feet inside the car at all times and following the safety instructions provided by the park.
  • Watch the ride first: Let your child watch you or another family member ride the roller coaster before they go on it. This can help them to see that it’s not as scary as they may think.
  • Choose the right time: Consider the time of day and weather when planning your trip. It may be best to avoid roller coasters during peak heat or in inclement weather.
  • Respect their feelings: Remember that everyone has different comfort levels with roller coasters, and it’s important to respect your child’s feelings if they don’t want to go on a particular ride.
  • Gradually increase the intensity: Once your child is comfortable with smaller roller coasters, gradually introduce them to larger and more intense rides.
  • Take photos: Take photos or videos of your child on the ride, this can be a good memory for them and also a way to show them that they did it.

What Else Did We Do at Gulliver’s World?

Aside from the rollercoasters and other smaller rides, the best aspect of visiting Gulliver’s World at Christmas was Santa’s Grotto.

This isn’t your typical grotto. You jump on a small, themed train to go to the grotto and the grotto itself is large, with an entire (wonderfully-decorated) house dedicated to the exhibition. You get to watch a ten-minute show from an elf before you go in to see Santa himself. The Santa visit alone is worth a trip to the attraction.

Check out the video below to get a taste of what it is like:

Your Experiences With Kids and Rollercoasters

Have you taken your kids on rollercoasters? How did you introduce them to the idea? We’d love to see your photos and hear your stories. Either leave a comment below on tag us on Instagram or TikTok.

Make sure you also read about what we bought for the long plane ride to the UK to keep them both entertained!

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