The Kiddie Ride

The plaque on the ride says: In memory of "The Crocodile Hunter" - Steve Irwin - a great Australian, Conservationist and Wildlife Warrior.[1]note 

Ah, kiddie rides. Those things that practically suck the spare change out of your pockets (particularly if you're a parent) and are largely found in or near shopping malls. The things that attract little kids (and Periphery Demographic crowds like bored or drunken teenagers) like magnets.

Originally invented as a Christmas present by an engineer for his kids, and then commercialized as a portable alternative of the carousel (and additional income earner for grocers), these have since crossed into Merchandise-Driven (and occasionally, Misaimed Marketing) subtrope territory with the introduction of the licensed kiddie ride. Now kids will be able to rent up to one and a half minutes of their favorite characters' time for a dollar or two.

Subset of The Merch.

If a TV show targeted at children gets very popular, it's bound to spawn at least one kiddie ride. If it has an Earworm theme tune, the ride will play a snippet of it every five minutes to attract attention, and on repeat while in operation.

Note: This index is a list of shows and franchises that have been immortalized by having their characters licensed for being made into a kiddie ride. It does not involve works that feature a kiddie ride in their plots; those belong under another trope.
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    Advertising 
  • Harris Teeter in the US has a dragon kiddie ride called Harry the Happy Dragon made specially for it's stores.
  • EMT created this, featuring the mascot of a shopping chain called Obi Bauhaus Baumarkt in Germany. It has to be seen to be believed.
    • EMT had also created rides that advertised Haribo Fritt candies and Benetton's racing team.
  • Jolly Roger somehow earned the rights to make a Tony the Tiger kiddie ride from cornflake conglomerate Kelloggs.
    • Jolly Roger has also created a ride based on Basset's Jelly Babies candies.
  • Chuck E. Cheese has moved from just having an arcade in their restaurant to having a set of specially customized rides featuring their mascots.
  • McDonald's once had a carousel featuring some pretty strange figures for it's playland. It also had a Birdie kiddie ride.
  • Toys R Us has had several Geoffrey Giraffe rides made, the most common taking the form of Geoffrey on a Jetski.
  • In Japan, Pharmaceutical conglomerate Sato Chemicals actually commissioned rides featuring their mascots Sato-chan and Satoko-chan. They can usually be found in front of pharmacies.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Animla Yokocho
  • Anpanman: Fairly common in Japan with several different types of rides made.
  • Doraemon: All made by Namco Bandai under the Banpresto brand, there's a Doraemon time machine ride with an interactive screen and buttons (actually, there are two versions of the time machine ride- the one with the interactive screen mentioned, and a older, smaller version of the ride that lacks the screen), a Giant Doraemon that fits two kids and move in a spinning motion (also having an interactive screen and buttons), a Doraemon pirate ship (again, with an interactive screen and buttons), one with Doraemon sitting on a cloud with the rider, and a fire engine with Doraemon on it. Again, sadly, officially they're No Export for You and can only be found in Japan, although like other Japanese arcade machines they've been unofficially exported to other Asian countries via grey-market imports. Aside from that, however, there's also dozens of Chinese-made unlicensed knockoffs which are sadly, much more prevalent.
  • Dragon Ball: One where the child gets to ride on Nimbus with Goku.
  • Gundam
  • Hamtaro
  • Hello Kitty - Notable for being the few franchises where kiddie rides are manufactured in both Japan and Europe (the other being Thomas the Tank Engine).
    • Allegedly, Sanrio embraces this trope, as aside from Hello Kitty, there's also Jewelpet kiddie rides among others.
      • From Japan, we have (in loose chronological order) Hello Kitty teaching in front of a blackboard, Hello Kitty holding on to some balloons (both are rocking rides, by the way), three Hello Kitty cars (one with a monitor to play out a simple game with the rider), a Hello Kitty Cinderella coach (again with monitor to play out a game), a battery-operated car, a "magical" piano with Hello Kitty standing on the top, and Hello Kitty hanging on to a Winged Unicorn which the rider will ride on. And that's just the known models. There are apparently several manufacturers, but the most prevalent one is apparently Namco Bandai.
      • From Europe, we have two models of a different Hello Kitty car (one single seater where the rider gets to sit next to Hello Kitty and one two seater where Hello Kitty is sitting in the back instead), a Ferris wheel, and a see-saw ride with Hello Kitty on the other end. All models are made by Cogan Italy.
  • Ojamajo Doremi
  • One Piece
  • Sailor Moon - A Namco Bandai ride. It dispenses either candy or capsule toys when the ride ends.

    Comics 
  • Astérix: An Obelix see-saw, courtesy of EMT (the makers of the offensive Donald Duck and Marsupilami ride).
  • Batman - Tons of Batmobile rides. Perhaps one of the earliest known example of licensed vehicle rides. Also spawned a rocking bat-cave, and later, a carousel ride.
  • Peanuts - Has four licensed rides- A Bi-Plane with Snoopy and Woodstock, a Fire Truck, a Ice-Cream Truck; all released in 1996 by Kiddie's (Kiddie Ride Enterprises), and Snoopy's doghouse with wheels on it by Jolly Roger. Also dozens of unlicensed ripoffs.
  • Spider-Man - With Spidey in either a helicopter, motorcycle, or sports car. There is also a Spider-Man vehicle carousel.
  • Incredible Hulk- You get to drive a jeep with Hulk in the back seat. Manufactured by Kiddie's in the late 1990s.
  • Superman - With Superman stopping the train you're in.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The licensed turtle van and turtle-copter, along with several lesser quality knockoffs.
  • Garfield - Two models exist- one with Garfield driving a taxi, the other design is a giant Garfield which the rider sits in, plus one unlicensed rip-off of the latter model, complete with a bow on Garfield's head. The licensed rides were made in the 1990s by Jolly Roger, the same company that put out Stuart Little, Clifford, Arthur and Peanuts rides.
  • X-Men - One of Wolverine in a disproportionately tiny Blackbird, manufactured by Kiddie's in the late 1990s.

     Film 
  • 102 Dalmatians - Both a single puppy and a puppy carousel, from Merkur.
  • Dumbo
  • Godzilla - A carousel and an interactive ride where you get to sit inside the titular monster. Both by Banpresto (Bandai-Namco)

    Literature 
  • Arthur - A school bus ride was made by Jolly Roger in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s.
  • Blinky Bill - One by OMC electronics, featuring a car that's made out of wood.
  • Richard Scarrys Busy Town - Lowly's apple car and Banana Gorilla's Bananamobile (the latter is actually quite rare), made by Jolly Roger.
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog - One made by Jolly Roger in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s.
  • Mr. Men - Two models (a Mr. Funny car and a Mr. Bump seesaw) were made by Jolly Roger in the 1990s. There was also a Mr. Happy Train that was made in limited numbers, apparently by OMC Electronics.
  • Noddys Toyland Adventures - Noddy rides are just as popular as the Postman Pat rides, and it shows. Almost a dozen designs exist (including one version that plays back a LaserDisc video onto a monitor positioned in front of the ride), and the ride manufacturer license has changed hands several times. The latest ride designed is a carousel by Northern Leisure/Kiddy Rides UK. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all the rides feature Noddy's little yellow car. The rides have also been exported worldwide- one has been seen in a Walmart in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, of all places.
  • Paddington Bear - an open-top blue taxi by OMC Electronics based on the 70s stop-motion series, and later, a regular taxi by Jolly Roger (which comes in two colors- Dark Red and Black) which was based on the 1997 Cinar series.
  • Spot the Dog - Did not do well in arcades and malls in the United Kingdom due to the design (most operators complained that the ride design put too much focus on the train as Spot is just a relatively small figure on the back. Allegedly only 11 units were produced in the UK OMC factory for the entire European market), but apparently did well enough in Australia to warrant a rumored second design.
  • Stuart Little - One of a 50s car by Jolly Roger.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine - At least half a dozen models come from the UK alone, and with at least another half dozen models (including an interactive model with a video screen) being produced in Japan by Banpresto (Namco Bandai). Additionally several models including a carousel (and a roofless variant) were produced by Kiddie Rides Australia
  • Winnie-the-Pooh - No less than five designs exist, including a spinner, a carousel and a see-saw.

    Live Action TV 
  • Andy Pandy - spawned a carousel.
  • Bananas in Pyjamas - One of B1 and B2 in a car, by Fun2Learn.
  • Barney & Friends - At least four different ride designs are known to exist (Barney car, Barney train, Barney tractor, and a carousel). The car and train models were made by Fun2Learn in the late 90s, while the tractor and carousel were made by Jolly Roger in the early 2000s.
  • Bear in the Big Blue House - One was made by Fun2Learn in the early 2000s.
  • Brum - Made by Amutec in the late 90s/early 2000s. The ride has had several minor revisions during it's run.
  • Crocodile Hunter - As seen on the page image, complete with fiberglass Steve Irwin mannequin, by Kiddie Rides Australia. Each ride also has a plaque saying that each ride was built in memory of the late Steve Irwin.
  • Doctor Who gave rise to a coin-operated Dalek ride back in The Sixties.
  • Here's Humphrey - A two seater car and a single seater car.
  • Hi-5 - Spawned a carousel.
  • In The Night Garden - Spawned an Iggle Piggle boat, courtesy of Jolly Roger.
  • Jay Jay The Jet Plane - several models.
  • Lazytown - The ride vehicle is a contraption made specifically for the ride called a "flypod".
  • Muffin the Mule - The titular mule by Edwin Hall in the 60s. There was supposed to be one of the revival animated series, but the revivial series flopped before the ride could be made.
  • The Muppets has several, most notably of the Muppet Babies characters, from EMT.
  • Play School - The Australian version, at least, spawned a carousel.
  • Sesame Street - Kiddie Ride Enterprises (Kiddie's Manufacturing) manufactured three rides in the U.S. in 1997-1998; a race car featuring Elmo and Zoe, a fire truck featuring Ernie and Bert, and an airplane featuring Big Bird and Little Bird. A few other rides based on the show, particularly prevalent in other countries, were manufactured by Fun2Learn, featuring Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Big Bird & Elmo in various vehicles.
  • The Sooty Show - An interactive educational camper van was produced by RG Mitchells.
  • Teletubbies actually had three. Two carousels (one single-seater and one three-seater) with the main characters and the other one featuring the Ensemble Darkhorse Noo-Noo.
  • Thunderbirds - Spawned two rides, both by R. G. Mitchell.
  • Tweenies - Actually spawned two rides: the rocket from the opening theme, and Ensemble Darkhorse Doodles.
  • Ultra Series: several, including a ride with a simple racing game. It is also the original template of the ride on a superhero's back rides that are so prevalent in Japan and copied by several Chinese knockoff makers. All are made by Banpresto (Bandai-Namco)
  • The Wiggles - The big red car, a carousel, and a rare Ensemble Darkhorse Dorothy the Dinosaur swing ride.note 

    Video Games 
  • Super Mario Bros.: There's one where you get to ride on Yoshi and watch a Mario figure kick a Koopa Troopa shell repetitively while the ride was in motion. It's by Banpresto (now Namco Bandai), who at that time (the mid-90s) has an alliance with Nintendo for amusement arcade games. There's another ride in the shape of a carriage with a monitor and interactive buttons. Unfortunately, they're Japan-only (although they've been parallel imported into several Asian countries).
    • There's also a Mario Kart ride made by OMC Electronics.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog is also not exempted- the Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car and Sonic Cosmo Fighter are two early kiddie rides made by Sega themselves back in the classic Sonic days. These rides also featured built-in monitors that played out a basic "game" while the ride is in use, blurring the line a bit between them and arcade games. (The Segasonic Popcorn Shop from the same era worked similarly, though it was a vending machine rather than a ride.) There's also a modern Sonic ride based on Sonic's car in Sonic And Sega All Stars Racing, again built by Sega themselves. Unlike the other Sonic attempts, this one is a straight up kiddie ride.
  • Pokémon, both the Anime and the games, are also not exempted to the treatment. Especially prominent are rides featuring Pikachu.

    Western Animation 
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks - A car with Alvin in it by EMT.
  • Bob the Builder - Scoop and Roley, courtesy of Jolly Roger. Also spawned a carousel.
  • Budgie The Little Helicopter - The titular helicopter has one courtesy of R. G. Mitchell.
  • Chuggington has inevitably spawned a carousel.
  • Classic Disney characters- Perhaps most infamously, a questionably designed Donald Duck ride. The ride itself was designed so that Donald was laying on his back, chilling, while the rider would be on his tummy... and his bill would end up being close to any given rider's crotch. The ride was originally designed by ElektroMobilTechnik (EMT) GmbH when they first secured the Disney license, but the license persisted when Merkur bought over EMT, in which then production of those rides were dropped and more sensible designs were made. However, some of the EMT-era machines are still out in the open, including in Johnny's Saloon in Huntington Beach, California, USA, where it's used as a naughty photo op (for adults, of course). Merkur still holds the license to manufacture Disney rides, however the license is now shared with Cogan Italy.
    • Also from the maker of said Donald Duck ride: A slightly less suggestive but still questionably designed Marsupilami ride.
      • In the interest of full disclosure, there is a third ride in said design, but it was that of a generic bear.
  • Dora the Explorer
  • Fireman Sam - One of Jupiter by OMC Electronics.
  • The Flintstones. Rides include Fred and Barney's cars along with Dino, made by Kiddie's Manufacturing in 1994. The ride license has changed hands to Memopark Italy however, and a revamped version of the cars and Dino has been released.
  • The Koala Brothers - the brothers' plane.
  • The Lion King - Made by Merkur Electronics, featuring Pumbaa. One could argue that they missed an opportunity to produce a cub!Simba ride, or even an adult!Simba one, given the numerous adult!Simba knockoffs in Asia (and that Bafco UK produced a safari van ride with a lion cub that looked suspiciously like cub!Simba on it).
  • Little Einsteins - A Rocket ride, but the kids only exists as stickers stuck to the ride. From Merkur.
  • Mighty Mouse - Carrying a rocket.
  • My Little Pony - One based on My Little Pony Tales, by Jolly Roger. Notable in that the ride frequently mismatches the cutie mark and the colors of the pony.
  • Muppet Babies - Several models by EMT Germany.
  • Peppa Pig - two models of a car ride (one with a monitor and one without), a rocket, and two models of a carousel (comes in two-seater and three-seater variants).
  • Pingu - a rather weird half-barrel-half-sled thing with Pingu and Robby, designed by OMC electronics.
  • The Pink Panther - At least three designs were made by Jolly Roger in the 1990s: a police van with the Panther sitting on top and a seesaw which were both made in 1994; and a train with both the Panther and Clouseau, made later in 1998.
  • Pip Ahoy! - The Bucket (Uncle Skipper's boat) has been made into a kiddie ride by Northern Leisure. The ride has an interactive Pip figure which, sadly, the kids can't touch as it's encased inside the ride.
  • Poppy Cat - One in an airplane.
  • Postman Pat - The post van (which has been redesigned twice overnote  ), the helicopter from Postman Pat: SDS, and a ride where you get to sit on a sack of mail next to Pat. The signature van design is a pretty common ride all over the UK.
  • The Real Ghostbusters - Now you can drive Ecto-1!
  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! has spawned a ride based on the Mystery Machine.
  • The Smurfs- can't say for sure if the ATM Italy rides from the 80s were officially licensed, but now Cogan Italy is producing a line of officially licensed Smurf rides.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: Brace yourselves- after years of only cheapo unlicensed Chinese ripoffs, Northern Leisure has gotten the rights to produce an official Spongebob ride from Nickelodeon.
  • Tickety Toc - There's one for Pufferty, the dog-train hybrid who carries Tommy and Tallulah (who're also on the ride) to Chime Time. The ride is manufactured by Jolly Roger. The ride also apparently has a screen and plays a video while it's in motion.
  • Tom and Jerry - Kiddie's Manufacturing released two models of rides featuring Tom and Jerry in the mid 1990s. One with the two riding a motorcycle , and a "Cheesemobile" car with 5 buttons that make strange sounds. Some versions of the Cheesemobile are labeled as "Kiddie's Cheese Rider" on the platform.
  • Transformers Rescue Bots - Due to it's target demographic, has actually spawned a carousel.
  • Wacky Races- Dick Dastardly and Muttley, by Kiddie Rides USA.
  • Woody Woodpecker - Two designs were made by Jolly Roger in the 1990s: one with Woody and Chilly Willy in a plane (made in 1995), and another with the two on a fire engine (made a few years later).