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Old 10-31-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
StyledSugar
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Kids venturing by themselves

How old were your kids before you allowed them to wander DL by themselves?

My daughter is 14 and my son is 9 (almost 10). They have done other parks or midways closer to home by themselves but DL is so much larger. They are insisting that we allow them to go off on their own and that they'll be fine, I'm just overreacting, etc. etc. etc. Of course they are promising me everthing -- we'll stick together, we'll check in every 30 minutes, we'll be on time for reservations, we won't go by ourselves the wholeeeeeee time (in reaction to my comment that we are on a FAMILY VACATION! lol). You know, the usual for kids that age.

What do all of you think? I know my kids are responsible, smart, and have a good head on their shoulders but I just don't know. DL is so huge! lol
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:27 AM   #2
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The size of the Parks wouldnt both me
. ...in fact I'd probably feel more comfortable at a Disney than at a local midway where its a lot cheaper to get in and the staff aren't as well trained. Do you guys have cellphones with you? At least one parent should have one and instruct your kids where to go or who to look for if they get lost. We don't let DD8 run around on her own obviously but we took the time to point out what she should do in case we ever got separated. I
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:30 AM   #3
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A friend of mine has kids 14 and 10 years old. They are allowed to get in line "alone" if the parents don't want to ride, and they can explore areas of the park "alone" (parents in same area) with a time to check back at a prearranged spot.

Disneyland is safer than most places...but there are no guarantees and each family has to decide for themselves.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StyledSugar View Post
How old were your kids before you allowed them to wander DL by themselves?

My daughter is 14 and my son is 9 (almost 10). They have done other parks or midways closer to home by themselves but DL is so much larger. They are insisting that we allow them to go off on their own and that they'll be fine, I'm just overreacting, etc. etc. etc. Of course they are promising me everthing -- we'll stick together, we'll check in every 30 minutes, we'll be on time for reservations, we won't go by ourselves the wholeeeeeee time (in reaction to my comment that we are on a FAMILY VACATION! lol). You know, the usual for kids that age.

What do all of you think? I know my kids are responsible, smart, and have a good head on their shoulders but I just don't know. DL is so huge! lol
My kids are now 27/26/24/22. The older 3 started roaming the parks when they were 13/12/10. I had a lot of rules, and I knew they would abide by them It was also when there was only Disneyland, adn they weren't allowed to leave the park.

You know your kids best, I wouldn't have worried with mine, but every set of kids is different.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:34 AM   #5
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We did this when my twins were a fresh 8 yo. My husband and I sat at the New Orleans and ate a Monte Cristo while we allowed the kids to go on either Splash Mountain, Winnie the Pooh, Pirates, the Treehouse or Haunted Mansion by themselves. They had to check in after each ride and stay together. We go in January so they lines aren't long. They did great...and my husband and I actually got some time alone!
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:34 AM   #6
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Yeah, that's what my DH said (about the local midway). We let them go on the rides and play games for a few hours by themselves this year at the Calgary Stampede (noticed you were from BC so I figured you'd know what that is lol) and they were fine.

We will have our cell phones with us so I guess they could always call if they needed anything before our scheduled meet time. I'm probably being over protective....as usual. lol
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:44 AM   #7
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They should be fine, DL is very safe, they have alott of security everywhere. When I was a kid my parents would make us meet at the castle every 3-4 hours and this was way before cell phones;
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:45 AM   #8
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If you have iPhones there is an app called friend finder and when activated will show you right where they are as long as they have the phone with them. But you and them both would need iPhones.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:49 AM   #9
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Thank you for the responses. My kids are good, smart kids who will be responsible. It's just myself that is worried about them but that's because I'm the mom and that's my job.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:53 AM   #10
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I feel it's safe to let kids have a little space too.

Cell phones have been a real issue at times.

We have traveled with other families and tried to meet up by calling on cell phones. Only to have the cell's not make a connection. SO Frustrating!!!

I guess it depends on the cell provider....

That's where it's a good idea to have a meet up time, in case the cells don't connect.

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Old 10-31-2012, 12:55 AM   #11
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Growing up our town park and rec had a Disneyland trip that you could sign up for starting in 7th grade and they would take us on buses and during the day you had to check in twice at the castle with the chaperones.

On family vacations we never split up and did our own thing. My parents rode everything (even the scary stuff) and we all had fun together. No reason to split up.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickeymousedude View Post
they have alott of security everywhere.
I wonder where they were on our last trip?
We saw a large man pick up his girlfriend(?) and spin around in the middle of the walkway coming within an inch of dropping her into a stroller with a baby in it. When the dad pushing the stroller (rightfully) said "Watch out!", the large man started throwing f-bombs around and threatening the dad. All in front of my kid and many other young children. The father finally gathered his family and walked away from the insults being thrown at him.

This took place in front of Midway Mania, in broad daylight.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:12 AM   #13
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depends on the kid but I went to Disneyland every year (as part of our band trip) in middle school and the kids roamed around the park without supervision. (this was in the early 90's before DCA opened.
I take high school trips with my bands and choirs all the time to DL and DCA and they roam the parks on their own too, if your child is 14 that is high school age and I think that would be perfectly fine to roam the park.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StyledSugar View Post
How old were your kids before you allowed them to wander DL by themselves?

My daughter is 14 and my son is 9 (almost 10). They have done other parks or midways closer to home by themselves but DL is so much larger. They are insisting that we allow them to go off on their own and that they'll be fine, I'm just overreacting, etc. etc. etc. Of course they are promising me everthing -- we'll stick together, we'll check in every 30 minutes, we'll be on time for reservations, we won't go by ourselves the wholeeeeeee time (in reaction to my comment that we are on a FAMILY VACATION! lol). You know, the usual for kids that age.

What do all of you think? I know my kids are responsible, smart, and have a good head on their shoulders but I just don't know. DL is so huge! lol
Yes this to certainly doable IMHO for a 14 and 9 yr old. My kids are now 15 and 10 yrs, and it is not a problem for them to be on their own for chunks of time at the parks. Just set the ground rules in advance. For us they are: 1) no park hopping or leaving the park we are currently in; 2) meet up at set check-in time and place (reminding them not to get in a long line too close to our check-in); 3) be reasonable about junky snacks as we are expecting them to be hungry for a healthy lunch or dinner; 4) use their Disneyparks gift cards wisely as that is their $ to spend over X# of days; 5) be respectful of each other's limitations - if one is tired or doesn't want to go on a ride they feel is too scary than the other cooperates. I think that's it. And yes as others have mentioned, this gives mom and dad an opportunity to enjoy some fun date-time at Dland! There are so many lovely, romantic things for a couple to do. Have a good time.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:02 PM   #15
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I would let them as long as they stick together. Ten might be a little too young (depending on the child) but 14 is old enough to be on her own and supervise him.

For me, my almost 10 year old and 8 year old have ADHD and some pretty significant impulse control issues. Even at home, we have to watch them like hawks. So I am not sure at what age I will let them roam the park by themselves. We'll cross that bridge when they are older.

This is slightly off topic, but we have family friends that we took with us a few years back to DL. Our kids were all little at the time (five and under) and it was her very first time in the park. She was so paranoid the whole time we were there. Turns out her mom and dad used to tell her and her siblings that they wouldn't take them to Disneyland because they were just sure they would be kidnapped there. Like the park was full of pedophiles and such. While of course we watch our little ones very closely, it kind of made me laugh. I assured her that DL was much safer than other places she takes her kids every day. Not that it couldn't happen at DL, but that it would be much less likely there than at the mall. She told me later that she think her parents told her that because she was one of six children and they couldn't afford or didn't want to take the whole family.
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