Kids venturing by themselves

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by StyledSugar, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. StyledSugar

    StyledSugar Love The Mouse

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    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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  3. sweethannah

    sweethannah Rebel Spy, 3 times in a row!

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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
     
  4. Dizzy4DL

    Dizzy4DL Happiest when I have a countdown

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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. :)
     
  5. Malcon10t

    Malcon10t DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  6. twinslovedisney

    twinslovedisney Earning My Ears

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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!
     
  7. StyledSugar

    StyledSugar Love The Mouse

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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
     
  8. Mickeymousedude

    Mickeymousedude Earning My Ears

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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;;)
     
  9. coaches24

    coaches24 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  10. StyledSugar

    StyledSugar Love The Mouse

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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. :rotfl:
     
  11. Geemo

    Geemo DIS Veteran

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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.

    Geemo
     
  12. DSNY4ever

    DSNY4ever <font color=darkorchid>I am going to keep hunting

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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.
     
  13. Dizzy4DL

    Dizzy4DL Happiest when I have a countdown

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    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. :sad2:

    This took place in front of Midway Mania, in broad daylight.
     
  14. Minuet888

    Minuet888 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  15. Congo Queen

    Congo Queen DLand Devotee Since 1966

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    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.
     
  16. scrapshappen

    scrapshappen DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  17. inluvwithbuzz

    inluvwithbuzz Mouseketeer

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    I am from Calgary. And I would personally feel more comfortable with my kids roaming around Disneyland by themselves more than I would the Stampede.
     
  18. jetskigrl

    jetskigrl No mumbojumbo here

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    I started letting my DD and her BFF go off alone when they were 11, I think. But she has grown up (basically) at DLR and knows every square inch of the place. She knows where to go and who to contact if she has problems. So I didn't worry about her. She had her cell phone and we all met up at specific times. We started with one ride, then one hour and worked up to longer amount of times as she proved responsible. But we have found that we generally spend most of our time together anyway so it doesn't happen very often anymore.

    She is 14 now and I have no problem letting her and her brother go on rides by themselves and meet up with us afterwards. Even if they got separated, I know my ds would know where to go and who to ask. But again, the understanding is that they have to stay together and meet back where we tell them to.
     
  19. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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    Mine were 12 and 9, we had been going to DL for a while by then and they knew the parks very well so I was OK with it. They also had cell phones so I was even more comfortable with it. lol
     
  20. Carolwoodpr

    Carolwoodpr DIS Veteran

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    Our son is 10 now. He has been going to Disneyland 3 times a year since he was a baby. Last year when he was 9 we started letting him go off alone. He has a cell phone with our numbers plugged in, knows the difference between a stranger and a CM and knows the park better than most adults.

    I have to say letting him off alone was hard for me because we got separated when he was 5 and I lost him in Redwood Creek. That was the scariest 10 minutes of my life. He was fine when I found him.

    When I am at Disneyland I love to people watch. I watch children like a hawk, especially if they don't seem to have a parent with them. I am sure I am not the only Mom who does this. Your children should be fine.

    And you could always tell them if someone grabs you and it is not a CM, scream. Not like you are scared but scream Help, or something like that to get the attention of others.

    Be sure to let us know what you decide to do!
     
  21. Carolwoodpr

    Carolwoodpr DIS Veteran

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    Oh, letting our son loose also depends on the crowds for us. The busier it is the closer we keep him to us. We are going Christmas week and know it will be crazy busy and he already knows he won't be leaving us often.
     

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