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Old 01-06-2013, 11:57 AM   #16
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As long as she is of at least average maturity for a 12 year old she should be fine. If she has a cell phone, I'd even be comfortable letting her wander a bit, otherwise I'd probably make her stay parked on a bench or confined to a small area.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ShannonMB View Post
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?
My vote is that she is old enough at 12 to be in a gift shop by herself. 12 is when most of the day camps quit taking kids around here so I would be fine at WDW leaving a 12 yr old in a shop while I rode a ride. Then again, since it could take a little while, I would probably buy her a cup of "froo froo coffee" or hot chocolate and a muffin and let her sit in The Writer's Stop. She can look at books, drink, relax, etc. If she likes that kind of stuff, she is less likely to get bored and wander off.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:04 PM   #18
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Get in line with all 3 of you; when you get to the front, explain to the attendant that your 12 year old won't be riding. The CM will direct her to the gift shop and she will only be alone for a few minutes. This is what I've done when traveling with my 2 nieces, one of whom is a ride demon and the other of whom is a ride chicken.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:05 PM   #19
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The only real guidance Disney offers is that children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by someone 16 or older. So you're two years past that limit.

At the parks as a teen/tween growing up we were often allowed to break up into small groups on field trips and do our own thing - on school sponsored field trips mind you. I remember running around Universal Studios Orlando until 1am in 7th grade.

Leaving the park for any reason was forbidden of course, and getting in trouble would result in suspension/detention/etc.. Everyone had money or vouchers for food depending on the trip (you'll see kids that age group ALONE with these at Epcot/MK if you pay attention on any given day).
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:11 PM   #20
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12 is middle school. That usually means old enough to walk to school, ride a bike, or take a bus. She'll be in High School in another (few) trip(s) to Disney or so.

I don't see why being alone at Disney World would be an issue. Then again, I was walking parks by myself when I was 10.

I do echo the you know your child best sentiments. Talk to her and see how you feel about it then.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:13 PM   #21
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IMHO I found Disney World to be a great training ground on how my daughter could cope on her own and also how I was able to handle it. We started at the age of 9 in Epcot, being separated but within eyesight 15-20 minutes at a time. When she was 13 and wanted Chinese food instead of Norwegian we sent her off to the next country to order on her own and bring it back. I considered this practice to when I had to send her off to high school this year taking public transportation, which had me in a panic. I still worry a little bit but the practicing in WDW helped alot.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:14 PM   #22
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I never get why people ask questions like this on the Dis - you will obviously get answers as varied as can be, and never a consensus. You have to go with what your own parenting style dictates.

I have a 12 year old. I, frankly, can't even wrap my brain around the perspective of someone who would not leave their 12 year old alone for a little while in a Disney gift shop. But I know those people are out there (and according to the teachers I know, becoming more and more prevalent).
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:41 PM   #23
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This will work for Tower of Terror and minimize the time your daughter is alone.

Have both of them go through the entire line queue together. When you get to the front of the line, ask the CM where the chicken exit is located. She'll be escorted to an elevator and ride down to the exit area where people that have already ridden the ride come into the gift shop. There is even a bench there where your daughter can sit while she waits.

Her alone time will probably be no longer than 5 minutes.

I know this from experience

I don't know about RnRC because I was convinced to go on that one. I kept my eyes closed the entire time and had no idea we were upside down at some point.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:42 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by MinnieGirl33 View Post
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.
All rides have a Chicken Exit and the ToT Que theming is awesome to see! Maybe if she walked through with you she might change her mind. Also let her know that RnRRC is over so fast she'll never even realize that she was ever Upsidedown!

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:53 PM   #25
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I'd also only do it if I had FP's for the ride because the wait could be too long - but otherwise your daughter is old enough to hang out in the gift shop. If you don't have FP's I'd take her through the que and let her do the chicken exit which will go to the gift shop.

The exit of ToT has a place to sit and wait near the gift shop (indoors) but I think at RnRC there is no place to sit except to go outside.

I wouldn't even ask this question here because eventually it will turn nasty! :-(
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:57 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by mom2rtk View Post
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.
Yes, I agree completely with this
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:58 PM   #27
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We have 13 year old and have been splitting up for a couple of years for short periods of time. My only suggestion is set a meeting place- cell service can be really spotty in certain buildings/shops, so always know when and where you'll meet.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:02 PM   #28
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Heck No, with reason!

Long story short, few years ago, my daughter and a few other kids were molested in the pool at CBR, with people everywhere. WHen we found out and called cops, they said more pedophiles visit and hang out out disney, then anywhere else! Knowing this now, my now 12 year old daughter and 8 year old son will be in eyesight at ALL times on our visit in 3 weeks.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:04 PM   #29
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I would not leave my child at the age of 12 alone anywhere in Disney. I know Disney seems so friendly and full of workers and that bad things can't happen there. I also know we have made many trips to Disney and never had anything bad happen with a stranger. Until this past summer trip.

I would like to share that my daughter (12) was touched in an inappropriate manor while on the stitch attraction. She was sitting by her sister who was 8and I was sitting next to the eight year old. There were many empty seats as it was not that busy. The gentleman was sitting behind her and did not allow his harness to tighten. I noticed him alone on the ride and that his harness was not down but just thought maybe he doesn't like space mountain and his family is riding that and maybe he doesn't like the idea of a harness. During the dark parts he slipped out of his seat. At first she was not sure what it was, and I think she was in such shock. But then once she processed what was going on, she took her hand with her nails and dug into his hairy hands. (I hope she drew blood!)

I have talked to my children about strangers, and the "what ifs". I have also told them over and over what to do in a situation like this. Even after many talks, my daughter froze up and by the time she was able to tell me what had happened, the man was gone. It was for his best because he would have taken his last breath had my husband and I found him. My daughter said she now understands why I have a 2 person rule. She used to think it was silly. I have six kids so we do everything in two's. It was an awful situation that has forever changed my family.

I believe this man knew what he was doing and that it wasn't his first time and won't be his last until he is caught. He knew the ride well. Since there is no video in the ride they were unable to locate the man. I believe had there been just a touch of light during the dark parts, this would not have happened.

I am sad to have to share such an awful experience my family had during the happiest place on earth. But, I believe it is important to share to prevent others from going through what she did. I would never leave my 12year old daughter anywhere alone in Disney. You can not put a price on a childs safety. This has forever changed my daughter and I am very sad that it has changed her thoughts of Disney. I also know it can happen anywhere.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:05 PM   #30
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I trusted my 9 year old to sit on a bench outside haunted mansion while we rode it. Twelve is plenty old enough. Just have a plan if you get separated and cant find each other. Some people need to cut the cord a little. This bologna of women taking their 10 year old sons in the women's bathroom bothers the hell out of me. Flame me all you want. It's ridiculous!!
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