View Full Version : Kids taking friends... and more...
11-13-2004, 10:39 AM
Well, years and years ago I said to my two DDs, when the oldest is in 9th grade, you can both bring friends with you. I am now about to pay for that flippant comment....
I'm looking for some info - upsides and downsides of kids taking friends - and how arrangements were made etc..
ALSO - at what age do you let your kids get on the bus to MK etc by themselves and go into the parks alone? Slowly but surely I've been losening the reigns - - I stay in the same region as they are and I can see them going from ride to ride - but they can't necessarily see me - so it gives them some feelings of independence! (We all have walkie talkies btw.)
Thanks for any comments.
11-13-2004, 10:49 AM
Sue, thank you for starting this thread! My oldest is 8th grade and she has been begging to bring a friend some time in the next year or so. We are a family of 6 so we could easily bring a friend for her and DD11 and all fit in our 2 bedroom. I too would like to see if others have done this and how it went. Some of their friends would drive DH nuts, so that would be another consideration. Occasionally this comes up on the family board, but most folks over there have younger kids. I will let you be the test dummy for this and then let me know if I should relent or not LOL
11-13-2004, 12:03 PM
If your child is old enough and responsible enough to babysit, then I'd consider the child old enough to move freely around the park system, preferably with a cell-phone to keep in touch.
Our DS, 11, has completed Red Cross babysitting certification and is now trying out short and simple assignments for about a year, so he's not quite ready for free movement in the parks but getting close. We plan to return to WDW in the spring of 06, and he's very likely to get free movement for at least part of our visit. We'll probably even let him chaperone DS, who will be 11 on that trip.
11-13-2004, 12:09 PM
We let our oldest DD bring a friend the past 2 years. She is 13. The first year the friend was a friend of mines DD and a little bit older than my dd. NIGHTMARE trip! They fought so much. My mistake.
We let it happen again with DD's choice of friend (and our approval). It worked out wonderful. The girls had so much fun. We let them take the bus to DtD and shop alone from OKW. We split up in the parks and met at certain times..........we kept in touch with Nextals. They walked around the OKW resort and swam at night.
Althought they preferred to sleep late in the mornign we were sure to wake them. And their room was trashed!! My other 2 DD's preferred to sleep in the pullout!! but, we were on vacation and the least of my worry was keeping their dirty and clean clothes (they tended to try on every outfit they had!!) off the floor!!
The friend had her park passes and had money for meals. We supplied all the food inside the villa and a few meals at night.
We willdo it again in April and august...
11-13-2004, 12:27 PM
First thing you should do is have an understnading with the parents of the other children just what is expected and what you are going to do as far as letting them go to the parks by themselves. Who is going to pay for what should be talkied about also. You could have a very nice time or it could be a nightmare. What we did was take kids that we took on day trips to other places so we knew them well before flying or driving to WDW. If you do not know the kids well them my advice would be to forget it. I always paid for all my guests tickets, and most of the main meals but that is just me, you would be adviced to have all this understood up front. The main thing is know the families well especially the kids.
11-13-2004, 01:44 PM
We have let DD take a friend twice. The first time we had free admission ticket from dvc (before 2000) and we drove so the friend paid for a few of her meals. The second time we flew so the friend paid for airfare and her park admission we paid for everything else. Thank goodness both times (different friends) they got along terrific. The first trip both were only 13 we were with them most of the time. We did let them go to a water park by themselves and stay a little longer sometimes in the park but we had parents permission to do so. 2nd time both were 18 so we kept in touch with cellphones. You'll be suprised they will prob want to be with you most of the time at least thats our experience we realy had no problems (maybe we were very lucky). The second trip her friends parents treated us to a really nice dinner. That was nice and not expected.
11-13-2004, 11:20 PM
She will be getting her babysitting certificate very soon.... my guts tell me she will be fine... but my NERVES are another thing altogether!
I do know the family and the girl, and i think all will be well. i like the idea of a short trip first. I just can't imagine a meltdown on day 2 of a 7 day trip!!
11-14-2004, 07:33 AM
The first time we let our kids "do" the parks without us, they were about 11 and 14; they had each brought a friend with on the trip.
The rule was that they didn't have to hang out with us, but they DID have to be in the same park as us! We had walkie-talkies and had "check-ins" periodically, to make sure everyone was OK. We also had physical meetings (at a central location, like the Partners statue in the MK) every few hours as well.
I felt much more comfortable knowing that we were at least in the same park as they were, so if they needed us, we were close by. They both had been to WDW often enough that there was no question about whether they knew their way around well enough or not.
Good luck. I'm sure they'll enjoy and respect their freedom!
11-14-2004, 09:13 AM
This is so great to read. I've had the feeling that it was getting to be time - and I know when I was her age etc... but it was a different world then.
We are going to have one more trip as just family... Then in 2006 we'll have each bring a friend... She'll be one month shy of 14 and her sister will be 11 1/2.
Next year I will loosen the reigns even more in the parks for practice.
Thanks again for the advice.
This is great to read. We usually bring someone for my DD12.
Although she doesn't have great sense of direction, my DN15 does. I'm hoping they will want to stay with us but I will be willing to give them a bit more freedom in the park & around the resorts too.
I'm sure my DD will think this is great!
11-16-2004, 05:36 AM
I would say 9th grade is old enough to let them come and go on the bus system alone. My sister lets her kids do it ( at first I was horrified). I don't live in a city, and that is where my horror comes from, but look at any large city, kids in Boston actually ride the T to school. So, if city kids have to navigate the public transportation system, then I feel Disney is a TON safer than any city.
I watched my sister allow her kids to come and go last year, her youngest (twins) were in 9th grade. It was really nice. The kids were really kept on their toes, because if they screwed up just once, they knew this incredible perk was going to disappear. It was great for my sister and BIL to be able to sight see and enjoy some rides as a "couple" and not as the parents. They loved the alone time they got.
Now I fully intend on giving my kids the same kind of freedom in HS.
11-16-2004, 10:40 AM
Couple of things you may want to consider. Ask the parents to sign a medical release in the event their child needs medical services while they're with you. Also get a copy of their medical card.
Suggest they buy their child a prepaid calling card. That way you're not hit at check- out with a hugh phone bill.
We've brought along DD's friend the past few years and so far things have gone really well.
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