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Kids in parks without an adult, what age would you say is acceptable ?

Discussion in 'Walt Disney World Parks & Attractions' started by Lucys Dad, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Lucys Dad

    Lucys Dad New Member

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    What age would you allow your kids to go off and do their own thing ? Our daughter will be 11 this year and is an only child. However, her 14 year old cousin is going this year with her parents. Both are well behaved and certainly would not get up to any mischief but are they still a bit young to be going off around a park alone ?

    They actually asked if they could get the boat from WL where we are staying to MK on their own but my wife nearly fainted :lol:

    I'm not sure it would be acceptable to allow them to go to MK alone from WL but would be happy to take them to the park and then let them roam around on their own.

    Does that sound acceptable ? Any thoughts ?

    Thanks
     
  2. dizneymom

    dizneymom New Member

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    We were like that too. We let them loose in the park at 12,15, 17 but they were with the neighbor kids and they stayed together. So they were a gang of 6. We made the boys literally promise on their life, they would watch the girls. But we were also in the same park.
     
  3. SorcererMickey

    SorcererMickey New Member

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    Going thru similar situation, I'd say take them but have them carry their own tickets and go in thru the entrance ahead of you, seems silly but your 11 year old will get a kick out of it. You said they are very responsible but set the expectations ahead of time, that its a big step and you want them to enjoy it. Look at a map and have them plan the rides they will be going to and set times they need to call and check in. Have a time limit and reiterate that its a big step. Great lesson in balancing fun and responsibilities. And finally, be flexible, they're girls and they just wanna have fun :)
     
  4. leslie1983

    leslie1983 New Member

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    I agree with SM have check in times and make sure they let you know which attraction they are at. That way they will have the freedom but are also being responsible and you will be more at ease.


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  5. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    Just out of interest, what age do Disney let children in the park without an adult?
     
  6. ThinkTink

    ThinkTink Moderator

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    I've started letting my girls wander from me, but in the same area. I.e., if we are in the MK we will all be in TL, just different spots. In EP we split up in the WS, but are in the same countries. Of course, they were only 11&12 at the time, but have been many times so know the lay of the land.

    When we went to the meet and had gathered at the BW for coctails, I let them go to the arcade with all the other kids, while I stayed behind for drinks.

    I figure the odds are pretty good they are safe from stranger dangers inside of the parks. There are too many "free of charge " places an evil person could snatch a kid from other than paying admission to intentionally hurt a child.

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  7. Tishypops

    Tishypops New Member

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    I think what SM suggested sounds like a good plan maybe say we will start with us in the park at the same time and if you can show that I can trust you maybe in your next trip they can go to the park alone.
    Disney is an incredibly safe environment I agree but maybe explain there are dangers everywhere and if you are going to trust her to do something without you then she needs to understand that and understand that you will worry. Saying that I think because it is relatively speaking a 'safe' environment it is probably one of the best places for her to learn to be responsible when doing her own thing.


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  8. Tishypops

    Tishypops New Member

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    Omgoodness the thought of Abi (my eldest dd) doing her own thing in 5 years terrifies me!!


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  9. amandalynn92

    amandalynn92 New Member

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    I would say that as long as you set some rules for her, and make sure that you have set "check in times" you would be safe! Especially if she will be going with her cousin. Just have them pick out the rides they want to go on and tell them to meet you back at a set location say an hour or two later. I'm not sure if either of them have a phone, but if they do it will make it much easier for you to keep in contact with them! I agree with what SM said about how this is the perfect opportunity for them to learn responsibility as well as have a little fun together!

    Have a great trip!
     
  10. dizneymom

    dizneymom New Member

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    Last summer DD and I were at WDW and one of her best friends worked at Disney in the college program. She called and invited DD to spend the day in AK. I do not like Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World Orlando and there was no way I wanted to spend the day in the same park...so I did a LOT of praying and let her go by herself on the bus to meet her friend at Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World Orlando while I did the shopping monorail resorts. She was fine. She was almost 21. (she's my baby-youngest-only girl...may have trouble letting go....) but it was good for both of us to spend time a part. We are hoping her friend will still be there this year when we get there this year. I am sure they will want to do it again. I am happy to say I am ready for it this year!
     
  11. Tishypops

    Tishypops New Member

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    Omgoodness 21? Although saying my nephew is 18 and I don't think I could trust him to go off on his own despite the fact when I was his age I bought my house lol


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  12. Disney Dad

    Disney Dad Disney Enthusiast

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    I have gone through the whole "but we want to do (insert attraction here) " syndrom. Thankfuly with the advent of cell phones and knowing that Walt Disney World Security is about the best you can get I defaulted to the whines and cries. DS was 14 and DD was 12 when I first let them "wander", but we were all in the same park and they had a set time to meet us for meals. This last trip DS was 18 and DD 15...they pretty much went into whatever park they wanted after the rest of us went back to the resort to sleep or swim. Knowing they were on Disney property and had a cell phone to contact them with made it easier.
     
  13. akdisneygirl

    akdisneygirl New Member

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    I believe our daughter was about 13 the first time we let her go back to the room without us. We were at Epcot, and it was pouring-my husband and I wanted to do some shopping, she wanted to go back to the room at the Beach Club. She had her phone, and I did feel nervous having her go on her own, but she called when she got to the room. I do feel like WDW is one of the safest places kids can wander on their own-because not only are there so many cast members, but there are so many families. You know how they say kids should find a mom with kids if ever they feel unsafe? They wouldn't have to look far for that in WDW.

    We tend to stick together in the parks, it is just the three of us, and my daughter and I love the rides, my husband gets motion sick easily. So with us, it is letting my daughter go back to the room by herself, I think she relishes the alone time after being with us so much! She is almost 18 now, and she does enjoy doing her own thing now and again.

    Being able to communicate by phone really does help alleviate parental fears. I would never have let her go on her own at 13 without being able to contact her.
     
  14. Steamboat Willie

    Steamboat Willie New Member

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    I would let them wander the parks themselves as long as they either:
    a) have a mobile so you can contact them; or
    b) agree to meet you a couple of times a day to make sure they are OK (mealtimes would probably be the best way for this)

    Not sure I would allow an 11 year-old on the boat without an adult regardless of how well behaved they are.

    So I'd say it was OK for them to go around the park, but no OK to travel to the parks on their own.
     
  15. Indydisneyfan

    Indydisneyfan New Member

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    Early teens but need to stay in the same park and have a cell phone or walkie talkies.
     
  16. SportsMickey

    SportsMickey A walking SportsCenter

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    I was doing it 12 with pre-appointed check in times and locations (very pre cellphones). Miss a check in time and you were like glue to mom and dad the rest of the trip. Taught good time management
     
  17. lizzx10r

    lizzx10r New Member

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    Last trip DS was 15, but 6ft 3". He wanted to stay at the BC while we went to Disney Hollywood Studios theme park at WDW. We agreed that he would meet us under the hat at 4pm. He caught the boat from YC and was there dead on 4pm - a very happy lad. I did worry about him (he is my baby).
    Just make sure that you set rules and they stick to them.
     
  18. Southern Dad

    Southern Dad New Member

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    It was a different time but back in the 70's I had two aunts working at the Magic Kingdom. They would get us in the park each morning and turn us loose with a fistful of ride tickets and $5 for lunch money.

    I was seven and my brother was five. Man, have times changed. Now my daughter is nine and I GPS tag her when we go to WDW even though she is almost never out of my site.

    Next trip, in addition to my DD10 (she will be by then) we will be taking my former step-daughter who is 15 and my ex-wife's new kid who will be 4. The 15 and 10 are trying to convince me that I can watch the little one while they go off by their self. I'm still nervous. Where did I pack those GPS tags?


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  19. Vikki

    Vikki Moderator

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    What's a GPS tag?
     
  20. Southern Dad

    Southern Dad New Member

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    A company called Brickhouse has made child locators for years. I think the one we used for years was actually FM, not GPS but it would tell what direction and how far she was from me.

    Now that she is older, I put one tag on the cordless phone, one tag on the TV remote, one tag on my keyring and we even tried one tag on the cat.

    She has an iPhone now and I can track her from my iPhone or iPad.

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