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Old 01-06-2013, 11:28 AM   #1
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Would you leave your 12 year old in the gift shop...

My daughter (12) and I will be travelling to Disney in March with another adult, a 21 year old gal who love, love, loves everything Disney and has never been. DD and I are beyond thrilled to take her for the first time and can't wait to see her face when she finally sees what she's always dreamed of!

DD is a bit of a ride chicken and still won't even consider ToT or RnRC (although she actually is willing to give Everest a try for the first time this trip!). I want our friend to get to see these, and I can't decide if I should send her on her own and stay back with DD, or if, for crying out loud the kid is 12 years old, I was babysitting at her age, and of course she will be just fine hanging out until we get off and go along! I hate to miss them myself on any trip! It's just the 3 of us travelling.

Which part of me is crazy? I should add that she occasionally is home for an hour or so alone, is a very bright and responsible girl, and knows all about stranger danger. If she were with a friend it would be a no brainer. But alone? Opinions?

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Old 01-06-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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You k ow your child best. I have an almost eight year old I would allow to wait. I have an almost six year old that I doubt I will leave like at before she is 30.

If you told her to stay and not wander off -would she follow direction?
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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I wouldn't with my DD. My DD is 10 now, but I wouldn't leave her alone at 12. When my son was 12, I didn't leave him alone. I trusted him & he was mature. I worry about the adult's behavior that are roaming around.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:34 AM   #4
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Obviously, you know your girl and will make the right decision. Personally, I think an average, well-behaved and reasonably responsible 12-year-old is safe wandering a gift shop at WDW while you ride rides. Re-enforce stranger danger, who she should trust (CM, security) if anything does arise and where to meet and she'll be fine.

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Old 01-06-2013, 11:36 AM   #5
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Another vote for "no" here. But only you know your child best. It is actually the other people I worry about, and not so much about my kid wandering off. How about you wait with DD and let the friend ride and then when she comes back, let the friend wait with DD while you go ride. Not ideal, I know, but it solves both problems.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:37 AM   #6
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Yes but ... only if you and your friend used FP's for those rides. Because they would most likely have long standby waits, and your daughter might feel anxious waiting that long by herself in a giftshop.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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As a pp only you know how responsible your kid is, but personally speaking I wouldn't leave my 12 year old unattended as I feel no place seems safe anymore.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:42 AM   #8
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Yes. Make sure she has a cell phone and strict instructions on where she is to stay while you're gone.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:43 AM   #9
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My DD 12 is checking out babysitting courses for this summer. So can watch OTHER people's kids.

So yes, I would and did. On our last trip. She also did a few fastpass runs for us. And LOVED it.

No place is completely safe, including Disney. But it is a great place to let them spread their wings a bit and try out a little independence. But I agree with making sure they have a phone.

I woudln't leave her at the local mall, but for a little bit at Disney? Definitely.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:47 AM   #10
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I agreed with the "you know your child" I was alone at the mall/movie theater/roller rink by that age. As an alternative there are many kids clubs throughout Disney ad you do not need to be a resort guest to use them. I would offer this as an alternative to waiting for you. Who knows she may just want a break for mom too
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:51 AM   #11
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If she has a phone I would say she should be fine. The only real reason the phone is needed is in case you have trouble finding her. My son rode rides at DL alone this summer. He is 13. During the time he was in line, F! let out and the crowds were INSANE for a brief time. Had he come out then, we never would have found each other. He didn't have a phone with him. Lesson learned.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:51 AM   #12
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My DD is now 13, but I would have had no problem leaving her in a gift shop alone at WDW when she was 12. In fact, I know I did! What is going to happen to your DD? She won't be raped or otherwise sexually assaulted by some pervert, dragged away and killed by a passing murderer, propositioned or groomed by a pedophile or knocked upside the head and have her iPod taken by a bandit.

Make sure she has a cell phone so you can text when you're off the ride in case she wanders away.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:53 AM   #13
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Yes, I would.

Another idea is to have them wait in line together & have your DD use the chicken exit. She could then simply wait at the off-load point. It would, at least, minimize time she spends alone.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:56 AM   #14
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My sister and I were 12 and 13 when our parents turned us loose in the Magic Kingdom.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:56 AM   #15
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Disney World is one of the safest places on earth, and at 12, she's old enough to know basic rules like "don't go off with a stranger" and whatnot. I think she'd be fine, as long as she's okay with being left. At 12, I was a babysitter, and my brother took the subway by himself to school. The age certainly isn't a problem. As long as she's okay with it, I say go for it.

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