Kids venturing by themselves

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

  1. DisneyMommy403

    DisneyMommy403 Wishing on a Star

    Jun 7, 2012
    I think they'll be fine. My parents used to leave me home alone at 9. Then again, that was the 90's, and the rules were pretty strict. All I did anyway was homework and tv. haha I was able to roam Disneyland by myself when I was 14. This was before 14 year olds had cell phones, so I was without... instead I was able to do whatever I wanted with my friends and other family teens, and we had to meet up with all the adults and littles at the castle before the fireworks. You know your kids best, you trust them, and they've shown themselves responsible before... maybe try it out, but stick to certain rules. Our rules were things like "no park hopping" "stick together" etc. Or, you can stick to a certain land... like have lunch at Paradise Garden Grill, and let your kids ride everything in Paradise Pier.

    Have a great trip! :wave2:
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  3. Crazy4Disney06

    Crazy4Disney06 DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2005
    My oldest son is 11. I would not allow him to go off by himself, but that's just me. At 14 I would be okay for them to go off for a short while by themselves but not into another park. I would keep a cell phone on them so you can get in contact with them if you need to. My dh tells me I'm an over protective parent though ;)
  4. Maddysdaddy

    Maddysdaddy DIS Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    I'm 39, and 'I' don't feel comfortable roaming around the Stampede. Of course that has more to do with extremely drunk middle-aged cougars prowling the fairgrounds in short shorts (and if you're from Calgary, you know what I mean - seriously, Stampede week is like Vegas around here - what happens during Stampede, stays in Stampede)... ;)
  5. niffer5150

    niffer5150 Mouseketeer

    Aug 29, 2012
    I would let my 12 yo. Go off alone. Shes been to dl at least once a year since she was 7. Its really not a huge park when you have cell phones with lattitude(gps tracking). I cant imagine a safer place for a kid. There's so many cm and its swarming with families in good moods.
  6. Mugglemama

    Mugglemama DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2008
    When I was a kid, our city Parks & Rec department also offered trips now and then to places like Magic Mountain, Knotts, and Disneyland.

    My best friend was 3 years younger than me. In the early 80's, we went to ALL of the above mentioned parks at least once with Parks & Rec when I was between 9 and 13 years old. Evidently, our city didn't require kids to be in middle school to go. We did Disneyland alone on one of those trips when we were 7 & 10, respectively. We did fine...however, we were both latchkey kids of single parents, and we were used to being on our own. Plus, my friend was a boy AND gigantic for his age (he was as tall as me almost every year...until of course, he passed me up), so, he was always mistaken for being a few years older than he actually was.

    For me, it would depend on the maturity and responsibility level of each particular kid. Honestly, the main thing that makes me leery of sending the under 12 crowd off without at least one person of the same sex, is that they'd then have to go into the bathrooms alone. I don't know about Canada...but the U.S. has had some pretty horrific things happen to little kids at the hands of child predators after going into a public bathroom alone. Now, I've NEVER, EVER heard of ANYTHING happening to a kid in a Disneyland bathroom. I'm hoping that if there was an event like that, the public would be made aware? But...I don't know.

    Anyway, that's just me. Only about 25% of my family and friends feel the way I do about young kids going into public bathrooms alone, soooo...I realize I'm in the minority. Still, it's something to consider.

    We've not had this issue really come up for us because our kids really enjoy sticking all together on our Disneyland visits. I think on our last trip my college aged daughter and her boyfriend took the younger kids on a ride or two without us, but then everyone wanted to meet back up and do stuff all together as a group again.

    My close friend has kids who are young, but HUGE for their ages. At 9, her son is 5ft tall! So,...she feels safe letting him do things on his own because everyone always mistakes him for being about 13, and his size makes him unlikely to be the target of a child predator. I can see where she's coming from.

    Hope your family has a wonderful time! :)
  7. disneymum58

    disneymum58 Mouseketeer

    Jun 30, 2009
    I'm from Calgary too and agree completely!
  8. Beee

    Beee Mouseketeer

    Mar 24, 2012
    I'm so glad you posted this thread as I was just starting to think about this for our trip next month. Our DD is nearly 13 and while I have no problem with her venturing off on her own around home I am not so sure in a different country! But then thought surely disneyland is probably the safest place for her to get that little bit of independence she will no doubt be craving. I think it is a great idea to have a pre arranged meeting place and time and to start with small things like one ride on her own and see from there as well as rules like staying in the same park etc.
  9. StyledSugar

    StyledSugar Love The Mouse

    Jul 10, 2011
    lol fair enough!!! Lots of Calgarians here and yes, you're all right. If I let them roam the Stampede grounds alone then I am over reacting to the idea of letting them walk around DL together.

    Thank you for all the responses. We will definitely let them try it out. I'm sure it will go fine and yes, we will have a set meeting spot as well as our cell phones. I'm sure they will be fine and no doubt enjoy the freedom of wandering the Happiest Place on Earth by themselves for the first time. :)
  10. mytymom79

    mytymom79 Earning My Ears

    Sep 15, 2010
    I dont know about DLR but last year my oldest boy (who is now 14 and 5'6 and 220lb solid brick ****house) was only 13 and I let him stray off a little bit in the same land at wdw. I even let him take his 4 year old brother on a few rides without me and waited nearby for them to find me afterwards.

    We leave in less than a week and I was thinking the same thing, I know my oldest is responsible and he is more than capable of watching his 6 year old brother but not sure I would let them stray a little bit or not out in Cali. ... But really who is going to mess with a boy like mine ?

    Just different territory for us this time around ! I am sure they will be fine, and I am sure if they want to do something and I want to rest, they would be alright in the same land as me.

    Plus my 6 year old is extremely shy, he will not leave his big bubby's hand or side. Trust me ! My parents who will be with me will be having a bird but I am sure once we get there they will want to do something off on there own.

    Let us know your decision, as I know how torn you can feel. However, reading these posts def helps !!!
  11. JennyN

    JennyN Mouseketeer

    Mar 7, 2009
    Am I the only odd parent, there is no way I would have let my daughter wander around DL (or anywhere else for that matter) on her own at 14, Now at almost 18 she knows I am over protective but she appreciates how much we treasure her.
  12. jory29

    jory29 DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2007

    I won't either, in case of an unforeseen event, such as, earthquake, ride 'out' that is stuck for a long time with child (or adult) in it, etc. etc. What if one of the adult parents (or God forbid, a child) had a serious situation occur and had to have medical care, etc... to me, it is just much easier if the kids stay with a parent... We are from Alberta too, and medical issues that take place in the USA, even with insurance, can be scary. We had a $1000 Dr. bill one time when my son and I needed care for strep throat - luckily it was eventually reimbursed by our medical insurance. If it had been something more serious, I wonder what the outcome would have been.

    I also love that when we are in Disneyland, it is such a nice family time... that being said, DH and I do sometimes each take one of our kids with us to spend time with just them, going on rides THEY like, that some others in the family don't, etc.... DH and I have a T-mobile sim card for our unlocked phones, to be able to communicate freely with each other. We also use whatsapp on our droid phones to text back to family for free on the $1.50 data plan (daily) that T-mobile offers. Pics. too! Mouse wait! Amazing! Anyway, I digress, lol...

    Works for us quite well to always have one adult with each child. (soon to be 16 and 10 & 1/2 years old.) Or... all of us together, exploring the parks at a leisurely pace, and seeing what the kids want to do.

    I understand why people let their kids go off on their own - at the same time, I understand why some choose to keep their family together as much as possible.

    All this being said, both of my kids can map out DL better than I can - and they know the meeting place is the Partner's Statue if they should get lost, as well, they know to tell a cast member, and they know our cell phone #'s when in the USA - but in my heart of hearts, I could not let the two venture off on their own - just in case!

    Edited to add:
    I don't think kids feel they are treasured 'more' if they can or can not go off on their own - I suspect it is how much respect you give your daughter that shows her how much you treasure her, JennyN... :) Obviously, she knows she is cherished, and you are a good Mom! I see your point - some kids (VERY young) are allowed to roam the parks on their own, cut lines, act like, well, 'hooligans' for lack of a better term, lol - and some of those parents, TBH, really maybe do not care. There are lots of DISers though who would let their kids roam DL parks which have excellent security, etc., and feel ok about it, and for them, it does work.

    To each their own, I guess. :)
  13. BigMickeyEars88

    BigMickeyEars88 Earning My Ears

    Nov 1, 2012
    Well my opinion it depends on how long you are staying like the first day just let them get all there energy out and go by them selves. Then they will slow down and then you guys can have a family oriented vacation. Also Disneyland is complety safe and i trust it very much so in my opinion i think it would be fine.FYI this is my first post ever so im new so sorry for any miss leading information. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:hyper:
  14. DisneyDuchess

    DisneyDuchess Earning My Ears

    Jan 14, 2012
    My parents started letting me going to Disneyland alone at around age twelve. My mom would drop my friends and I off in the morning and pick us right up at around midnight. Our eighth grade graduation trip was also to Disneyland, where the school allowed us to us to wander alone.

    Now I'm 17 and since my parents are not much Disney fans, they drop me and my friends off and we just explore and have one of the parents pick us up when we want to leave. Even though I'm on my own, I do NOT ever act rude or immature in the parks; cutting lines, being loud, profanity, pushy, ect... I might not be with my family, but that doesn't mean I can just disobey rules.
  15. Rebekkap

    Rebekkap Australian Mouseketeer!

    Jun 29, 2012
    In over 90% of child abuse cases, the child is abused by someone they know. If you want to keep your kids safe, the way to do it is not to assume the other families in Disney bathrooms are predators, or might be predators,but to teach your kids how to keep themselves safe from a predator, when it's someone they know and trust. Talk to them about what sort of touching is ok and what isn't, and make sure they understand that if someone touches them in a way that isn't ok, they can tell you about it, even if the person who touched them told them not to, or that it was a secret. And make sure you believe them and take them seriously if they do tell you something like that. Take notice if your kids don't want to be around someone - and don't force them to be.

    And even if you don't want them going to the bathroom on their own in other places, like at a shopping centre or at a gas station, I've never been into a bathroom at Disney that didn't have a dozen families with kids in there. Plenty of people around who would stop a predator doing anything to a kid - just by being there, even if you don't think other parents would step in to stop a kid being abused.
  16. Butterfly123

    Butterfly123 DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2011
    I think I would be comfortable as long as both kids had phones. That way if they accidently get seperated, you can get a hold of them...and they can get a hold of you. Instead of calling every half hour I'd have them call and check in after each ride...and let you know which ride they"ll be on next. Half an hour could be the same SM wait line! Plus texting is great in noisy places.
  17. awdsmama

    awdsmama DIS Veteran

    Nov 9, 2011
    When we were in DL I could barely hear my cell phone ring over the rides/attractions/people etc.
  18. dmband

    dmband DIS Veteran

    May 7, 2011
    False sense of security at least from a serious worry stand point like kid napping

    disneys security as a whole is a joke starting with the bag check line
    Our last trip Disney employees, yes employees stood by and watched a Brazilian tour group phyically assaulted a 7 yr old, security was called by people in the crowd and over an hr later they still were not there

    If you want to be safe and you want your kids safe then everyone needs to be smart and know how to handle different situations
    I personally would allow a 14 to go off for a bit depending on crowds and such
    9 maybe, together sure
  19. pixiewings71

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

    Jun 8, 2007
    So according to this I don't treasure my children? :rotfl::confused3:confused:

    My phone is always on vibrate (except at night when I'm sleeping) so even with the ringtone on it vibrates so I know someone is calling. At DL I usually have my phone in my back pocket, unless we are there when it's raining, then I usually have it in my coat pocket. :)

    I have never ever seen anything like that at DL/DCA/DTD and I've been there a lot. In the instances we've seen security called they arrive in minutes depending on their location.
  20. monkey30

    monkey30 Dreaming of my next vacation!

    Nov 1, 2009

    You will run into way more crazies at the Stampede then in Dl, saying that we just got back If my son(10) wanted to do a ride, and went in the SR line, I was fine with it. We made a meeting point around the area, we gave him some more freedom this trip, going here and there on his own with us close by, he did great.

    Only you know your kids and if they can handle the responsiblity of being on their own. Have a good time!
  21. bethwc101

    bethwc101 Mouseketeer

    May 7, 2012
    I would let them as long as one of them has a phone (or borrow one of the adults' phone while they are off) and they stick together at all times. IF they were to get separated have a designated meeting spot (I like Snow White's Wishing well because it is out of the way and hardly ever crowded. )I was off in parks like Six Flags and Disneyland when I was 10 as long as i stayed with my sister who was 12. If they are responsible and are fully away of the dangers of what could happen if they get split up. Have check in times every few hours or so and if they are not there on time don't let them go off again for the day. That's my experience. Kids want to feel like you trust them and are big enough to do things on their own. You give a little, they give a little and there will be minimal arguments and fighting.

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