Backyard Carnival / Disney "rides"

DD6 loves fairs, carnivals, and amusement parks, with her favorite being WDW. I’m planning her birthday party and it’s going to have a carnival theme. I’d love to have some amusement park inspired “rides.” I have found lots of ideas for backyard games, but not much on rides. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. (I don’t have the resources, know how, or inclination for anything too fancy or complicated like an actual backyard coaster.)

  1. Virtual reality roller coaster ride - google cardboard VR headset and iPhone
  2. “Tilt-A-Whirl” - rotating office chair with a volunteer “cast member” spinning it (i.e. grandma)
  3. Maybe a zip line? We have lots of trees in our yard. I could label it “Skyliner” :slightly_smiling_face:

I figured that if anyone would have other ideas, it would be the folks here. Any suggestions?

I’d be a bit nervous about this one. Office chairs tend to be a little top heavy, so there is a greater risk of tip over.

I’m also nervous about this one because…well…there’s a story there. Growing up, our neighbors put up a zipline. It was going to be great fun. But then, when one of them went to test it, he couldn’t stop and ended up slamming into the side of the tree or shed it was attached to (forget now which it was). The zipline was quickly abandoned. :slight_smile:

Yeah… you have to make sure that there’s enough slack on the line to stop the zipper. I think there are probably instructions on the internet to help calculate that these days, though.

I don’t have experience with zip lines, but my neighbors have one and my father used to run a ropes course (physical ed teacher) so I think that I can get enough input to do it safely.

I spin my kids around in my office chair all of the time. (It’s actually part of my son’s occupational therapy, believe it or not.) I’m not too worried about that one.

But thanks for sharing your concerns!

Actually, that reminds me of another OT tool we have, a small scooter board. It’s kind of like an extra wide skateboard. I wonder if I could do anything with that. Maybe I could draw a “track” on the driveway with chalk, have them sit on it criss cross, and pull them around on the track. That one might require a helmet just in case. :slightly_smiling_face:

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You could do a People Mover ride. Just line up some chairs that don’t move. If the kids ask, you can tell them you had trouble getting new parts…


Seriously, though, if you have a lawn tractor you can pull them in a cart behind it.

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Ok, I actually lol’d at that.

@Beth33 your ideas are very clever.
How about a slide down into a wading pool, on a plastic sled. Like KRR or Splash, depending on if the sled is round or straight. Or just put the sled on a Slip n Slide (Do they still make those?) and give it a push.


Ooh, I like it! They do indeed still make slip and slides. We haven’t pulled ours out in a while. I’ll have to check and see if it still works. And convince DH that it’s a good idea to run it when it will probably be in the 60s (party in May in MA). I mean, if they’re in a sled, they’ll stay dry right? No chance of 6-12 year olds deciding to plunge into the puddles :grin::wink:

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That’s the logic we all use at WDW, why not at your house?:rofl:

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Tagging @davej on this one. I think it was him who described some pretty elaborate and creative ideas he did for his kids not too long ago.

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From March through October last year, I did a weekly re-creation of a Disney “ride/experience” for DD5 and DS3 in our house. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of them would translate to the outdoors or work for large groups of kids (lots of set-up needed for each turn in my rides).

They were a combination of pulling them across wood floors on blankets, moving and swirling office chairs, tv and computer screens, music, sliding down covered stairs, crawling through forts and mazes, knocking down cushions covering door openings, looking for various hidden objects, carnival games, props, and costumes.

Nowadays the backyard zipline kits come with a long sturdy spring that prevent you from reaching all the way to the destination tree - we got the kids one for Christmas and it’s great fun!

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Don’t forget to put an orange cone in every other chair.

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