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Old 01-06-2013, 03:03 PM   #61
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Just wanted to say thank you to seven dwarfs for sharing that terrible experience. I'm so sorry this has happened to your family. It's certainly given me a new perspective and I will be on guard at WDW. Sending you all my kindest thoughts...
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:55 PM   #62
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I'm in the minority,and I would not leave my 12 year old.
again,it's not really about the maturity of the child,but other people.
We have three boys, ages 5, 12 and 13, and I feel the same. They are responsible and (when need be!) mature, but I'm just uneasy about others. Most likely, everything would be fine, but I'd be worried enough that it wouldn't be worth it for me. With three kids, I've skipped a significant number of rides and attractions over the years (including ToT - my favorite!) and I'm OK with that.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:00 PM   #63
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I would not. On our last trip there was a guy, standing about 5 feet from his wife, looking at two fully-clothed young women (19 - 22ish) rubbing his "business" with his palm/fingers and kinda licking his lips. This was in a store, out in the open, not concealed in the darkness at all. He was escorted out by security. He didnt appear to be drunk and didnt appear to have a mental disability. His wife was totally oblivious to his actions prior to security showing up.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:05 PM   #64
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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.
Agree with this poster. Our daughter was very mature at 12 and was already babysitting next door (took a course, had certificate).

Did not hesitate to let her be alone with designated check-in times. She was taught how to handle herself and get help, if needed.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:07 PM   #65
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I say have her wait in line with you both and then when it's your turn to ride she can go take the chicken exit and just wait for you at the ride exit. So, she will only be alone a minimal amount of time. I waited in line for TOT with my family, took the chicken exit which was the elevator down to a waiting area, there were a ton of people, families, kids and such waiting. So she would be inside the ride, right at the exit, not roaming around outside. Advise her to sit still until your off and do not go with anyone except you or without speaking to a CM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:16 PM   #66
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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.
Yes, I think she would be fine. There is always a CM or security around somewhere and if you got FPs that would decrease the time she would have to wait for you.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:20 PM   #67
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I agree with the previous posters in utilizing the chicken exit. I took my daughter and 2 friends for her 13 birthday. 1 of the friends wasn't big on rides, so we all entered together and I used the chicken exit for myself and one friend. The chicken exit is pretty close to boarding on most rides so the wait would be minimal...
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:26 PM   #68
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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?
If she is mature enough I don't see why she can't sit or stand somewhere and wait for you to ride on something. I think the gift shop may be boring after 10 minutes so you might include a nearby seating area or bench. I might make sure she has something to keep her amused if the wait is too long, (ipod or game) but I don't see why she can't hang on a bench with a snack somewhere.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:30 PM   #69
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It depends upon the maturity level of the girl, but I would let my dd alone in a gift shop. I did let my dd (just turned 14 before the trip) have free roaming time for a little while in Studios and Epcot, and it went fine.

Of course, no place anywhere is guaranteed to be 100% safe, but in a gift shop with lots of people and cast members it's a pretty safe environment.

If you're uncomfortable with letting her alone for long, have her use the chicken exit.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:31 PM   #70
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Using the chicken exit is fine, especially if she wants to see the pre-show or you think she may change her mind and ride. Leaving her in the gift shop to begin with is fine, even letting her go ride a separate ride and meet back up with you is fine. Heck I did that with DS and he was 7!! After our separate rides he was right there waiting where I told him to be. Don't worry, she is not a little kid anymore, she'll be driving and on her own in a few years. You need to start increasing the amount of freedom she has if she's going to be prepared.

Random bad things to occasionally happen, that's life. Is it likely to happen to you, not really. Just the other day I heard about a small plane crashing into someones house, this doesn't make me afraid to sit in my living room. I know tragedy can strike anytime, anywhere, I also know it's statistically unlikely and highly unpreventable anyway so why worry about it.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:37 PM   #71
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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.
This is a good idea and one that I will use in the future. I'm the ride chicken in our group and waiting-even with FPs or a GAC- can seem forever plus there's no place to sit. This way your child ( and me ) can visit with you and only have to stand around the gift shop for a short time.

Edited to add- I would trust a 12 yo who is mature. Just wanted to point out that the wait can be BORING.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:57 PM   #72
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My son is 10 and I would let him take the chicken exit and wait for us in the gift shop as there are always plenty of families and CMs around.

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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!!
Gents' toilets however are another matter entirely. I have heard some terrrible stories of things that go on in gents' public toilets.
In Manchester this Summer, a 14 year old boy was raped by 2 men in a city centre, dept store toilet .
So "ridiculous " or not, if I am in an area I don't know or I feel at all unsure I will make my son use the ladies' toilet! I do let him use the gents' toilets at Disney but will wait outside and would be prepared to go in if I thought there was a problem.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:31 PM   #73
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As far as toilets, I think a male child that is 10 should be in a mens room, with mom/dad or an adult just outside the entrance waiting, with instructions to... use a stall, wash up and get out. Kids need to be taught safety and empower them to "go with their gut..ie, feel something "weird" when they walk in, they should walk right out. I think Disney is the same as any other public place, its not any "safer" as some want to believe...its real people, good And bad...
As far as a 12 year old being left in a gift shop...well, Id rather not do that, waits and rides can be long and some even break down, ever get stuck on a ride?? Its happened to us several times...so IF I even considered it, Id have the child with me until they could exit thru the ride, theyd have a cell phone with them and told to Not leave that gift store at all, and to ONLY speak with a CM behind a counter if the need arises. Personally Id forgo the rides and have the friend do a single rider where they could.
OP: go with your gut, you know your child best...every child is different!
Have a good trip!
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:38 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccaariel
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.
I agree. I totally would leave my 12 year old alone. Disney is one of the safest places to be. There are tons of kids and parents around. CM too. She will be fine! I agree with the pp about letting your DD take the chicken exit on the rides and wait at the gift shop.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:43 PM   #75
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Heck yeah!

We just left my 12 year old nephew alone in the gift shop of TOT last week. (He hates TOT but my 10 year old nephew loves it.) He was fine, he has a phone, and he's been there tons of times so he knows his way around. We actually let them go off to the men's room, to stores, etc, by themselves a lot this trip. If they can't spread their wings in Disney, where can they?? There's bad stuff happening all over, you can't control that. But at least at Disney, security is amazing, and CMs all over will help kids that need it. And they were fine and thrilled with some independence.
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