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Mother Calls Out Parents Who Force Their 'Terrified' Children Onto Amusement Park Rides

Photo: @a.gabrielle94 / TikTok 
mother, rides, parenting, children

If you’ve ever been to a Disney theme park, you’ve likely encountered the parent dragging their screaming and terrified child onto a ride they clearly are opposed to getting on.

While some people may find this comical, and the parents certainly are not concerned about their child’s protests, the experience may not only ruin the trip for the child but for the whole family, as well as disturb others around them.

One woman is pointing this out after she witnessed a father forcing his clearly terrified son onto a Disney ride, despite his repeated proclamations that he did not want to get on.

The woman says that parents are traumatizing their children by forcing them to go on rides they express that they have no desire to do.

Although Disney parks have attractions that are geared toward children, some of them simply want nothing to do with them and are afraid to ride them.

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A TikTok video depicts a mother forcing her screaming and terrified daughter onto a Disneyland ride. As the child attempts to fight her way out of the vehicle before the ride is started, the mother restrains her tightly, preventing her from going anywhere.

The video notably struck a chord with Disney park goer, Gabrielle, who posted her own video in response.

This is not the first time Gabrielle has witnessed an incident like this. During her most recent trip to Disneyland, she revealed that she saw a father attempting to drag his petrified son onto a ride he repeatedly stated he did not want to go on.

Gabrielle and her aunt were in line for Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, an accelerated drop tower dark ride attraction that drops riders up to 13 stories several times in just one ride cycle. Behind them, there was a family with four kids, one of them being a little boy who was crying and telling his parents he did not want to get on the ride.

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Not only did the boy’s parents ignore his cries, but Gabrielle also noticed the father attempting to silence his son in a rather disturbing manner.

“The father started to apply pressure on the back of the child’s neck,” she says. “The child told his father, ‘Ouch that hurts, please stop’ as he’s crying, and the father would gaslight him and tell him, ‘No that doesn’t hurt, your sister doesn’t complain when I do it to her so stop.’”

This continued the entire time Gabrielle and the family were in line to get on the ride, and she says that it was “extremely uncomfortable to watch.”

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She eventually decided to step in and alerted staff members about the situation. Thankfully, they called on security and wound up escorting the little boy and his mother off the line before the rest of the family boarded the ride.

However, it was what the father told staff about his son that left Gabrielle even more disturbed. “The father stated that the child was autistic and he explained that the reason for grabbing his son by the back of the neck... was to ‘redirect’ him and to ‘focus his attention.’”

While Gabrielle states that she is normally not one to “step into other’s people’s business,” what she witnessed at Disneyland between the father and child made her so heartbroken, she felt compelled to say something.

“The child was being extremely gaslit to the extreme. The parents were saying, ‘You’re ruining this trip for everyone, and ‘If you don’t get on this ride, nobody’s gonna be able to enjoy their time,' and ‘it’s not all about you.’”

Gabrielle could not comprehend why one of the boy’s parents couldn't have stayed back with him while the rest of the family went on the ride, and later the parents could switch positions so both of them would have the opportunity to ride.

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“That’s what me and my fiancé do with my son,” she shares.

Other people agreed with Gabrielle and thanked her for speaking up in the boy’s defense. “Both parents in this are complete narcissists. I’m SO thankful you spoke up!!!” one TikTok user commented. “It’s one thing to comfort and encourage your kids to try new things, it’s another to be violent,” another user pointed out.

People shared how their own parents forcing them to go on rides they did not want to go on as children negatively impacted them.

“My parents forced me on a water log ride in movie world when I was four and it gave me a phobia of rollercoasters, heights, fast movement, and more,” one user revealed. “This happened when I was seven. I was forced onto space mountain. I was afraid of the dark and heights. I’m 32 now and terrified of roller coasters.”

While parents are likely not purposely trying to inflict harm on their children by forcing them to go on rides, believing that they may actually wind up liking them, it is not always the best decision.

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Ride operators report that many child injuries occur on rides that they are forced on by their parents, and attempt to get off while the vehicle is in motion. Additionally, children could end up traumatized and hysterical, rooting a possible lifelong fear of roller coasters, drop towers, dark rides, and other attractions.

When parents want to introduce their children to rides, it is best to allow them to watch videos of the ride beforehand, so that they are familiar with what they are getting themselves into and can make a decision on whether or not they want to ride or wait until they’re a little older.

While it is important to encourage your children to take risks and try new things, no means no, and their boundaries must be respected rather than completely disregarded.

After all, amusement park rides may not be everyone's jam, even as adults, and that is completely okay. There are games, food, and other activities families can partake in besides rides.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.