Have you experienced a lost child at Disney? What did you do to find your child?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Bete, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 1999
    I'm petrified at the thought of this happening.

    I'm implementing an information sheet for our boys to carry in their pockets; we have two, four year olds. This will include our cell phone numbers and the resort we will be staying at.

    We will train our boys if they do get lost to recognize a cast member and get help from them.

    I honestly believe they will stay close to us and not run away but they have never been in this situation before in a public place so large.

    Hopefully, there are not too many circumstances where this has actually happened to anyone, but I would like to hear about it if you are willing to share your ordeal.

    Also, how do you prepare your young ones to deal with this?
  2. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

    Nov 29, 2015
    I lost track of my 11 year-old at one of Disney's water parks. We had discussed in advance where to meet if separated (the water parks have a kids' lost & found area), and that's where he was.

    I never got separated from him during his first trip when he was five, because I never let him out of my sight during that trip.
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  4. danielocha30

    danielocha30 DIS Veteran

    Jul 10, 2014
    I got lost myself at 8 years old. My family freaked and mind you this was 30 years ago when cellphones were not around. I told a cast member and in a matter of minutes without moving from the spot they found my group. I acted quickly and didn’t wandered that was huge help.
  5. E_Bec

    E_Bec Earning My Ears

    Jun 30, 2018
    Exactly this! I was 8, 1992, no cell phones.... I wandered off thinking I was following my mom’s friend. When I realized I was lost, I spoke to a cast member- and my dad came running up within minutes. Staying put once I realized I was lost is probably how they found me so quickly!

    I’ve never thought about doing anything different for my own kids- never even considered the possibility that they would get lost, but I think the info sheet would give you comfort that they’ll be safe.

    We also once lost our diaper bag with my son’s meds. We panicked for a few minutes, but again- within minutes someone saw us searching frantically, and brought it to us. They had found it at a nearby table. This is not the same as losing I kid- I know! But it goes to show, I think, that People generally seem to be helpful and kind :)
  6. LongLiveRafiki

    LongLiveRafiki DIS Veteran

    Feb 8, 2017
    We lost our not quite 2 year old within an hour of being at our resort-first family Disney trip. DH apparently set him down while we were ordering QS and he wandered off. Thankfully, we found him less than 5 mins later in the attached gift shop at SSR, sitting on the floor looking at Mickey postcards. We asked a couple CMs and they hadn't seen a toddler...

    Anyway, best advice is to take a pic of your kid in the morning. A full body pic including their shoes as shoes are something that are likely not going to change in abduction cases. Have your phone number on their clothes, a dog tag on a bracelet, a necklace, shoe tag, temp tattoo- something, that way if someone finds them, they can be reunited with you quicker. If they are old enough to understand, show them how to identify CMs and to identify one if they are lost. Teach them to stay where they are and you or a CM will find them. Teach them not to go with a stranger, and how to know who is safe, and if they ever feel uncomfortable, to scream, cuz worst case scenario, if someone unsavory is trying to get them to go with them, screaming will at least draw attention and hopefully scare them away as well as get the kid help.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
    marcyleecorgan, jerseygal and Bete like this.
  7. daisy2013

    daisy2013 Earning My Ears

    Jun 25, 2018
    A couple things to remember- cast members will not search the clothing of a lost child. So something in their pocket may not be found unless your child can hand it to them.
    We have used a couple methods
    Temporary tattoos with our cell phone numbers. They lasted about 2-3 days each and we would put them on the inside of their arm.
    Last time we used a set of dog tags they would wear either on their shoes if they had laces or around their neck.
    We also took photos just about every morning.
    Disney has a great lost child recovery practice. I think most kids are reunited in minutes.
  8. mco65

    mco65 get busy living, or get busy dying!

    May 2, 2012
    Lost my son (~4) for about 15 minutes one trip. We were at AK and as we all came out of the Lion Kings festival we all stopped to look at the map, he didn't' stop.. walked right into the Pocohanntis show... he was not far away but I couldn't' see him because of the foliage around the show. Eventually someone told me a little boy, wearing the same hat as my daughter was lost and with a cast member inside Pocohanntis... so it was a relief but it was a long 15 minutes... :( About a year later we were back at WDW with some friends and their little boy, about my sons age (~5) got lost, again at AK... they didn't find him for an hour and he was at the Childrens lost and found. I will never forget his mom calling me on my cell as she was frantically searching for her son asking if i had found him yet.. ugh. Oddly both were at AK and i think its more common there because of the foliage... who knows.. luckily for us both cases ended happily and i suspect all do at WDW. I would expect a child missing (long term) at WDW would be reported on the news and i never hear of that.
  9. isabellea

    isabellea Combining beach and Disney!

    Jan 22, 2014
    Lost my youngest in Once upon a toy store at DS once when she was 2yo. I told a CM and right away they positioned CMs at all the doors. We found her underneath a rack playing with toys. After that trip I bought safety bracelets (similar to bracelets you get at events) from Mabel’s Labels with the message If lost please call ########. https://mabelslabels.com/kids-safety-bracelets.html
    Bete likes this.
  10. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 1999
    Love the idea of the safety tattoos.

    Having twins can make for double trouble, here.

    I think exiting shows and doing gift shops can be danger zones.

    I'm surprised about not hearing about running after characters and getting lost that way.
  11. Betty Rohrer

    Betty Rohrer DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2010
    one other thing for you to do each day take a picture of each child so if lost you can show CM what child was wearing and not rely on your memory. we did have one of our large group go missing. had one person head to lost children/security office and rest stayed in area looking and talking to CMs in the area. a CM was walking child in to office as our member got there. you are talking about less than 5 minutes
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  12. TwinkleKS

    TwinkleKS DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2013
    My kids wore Road IDs when they were little. There are a few different options ... bracelets, something you can thread into their shoes, more of a necklace. We never had issues though and have three kids all pretty much the same age. Now they are a little older and know my phone number in case of emergency.
    Bete likes this.
  13. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

    Feb 20, 2006
    I don’t think there are characters just strolling around. I have 5 kids, including twins, I’ve lost most of them, only 1 at WDW. It’s a horrible feeling, but you will be reunited. I lost one at the Crayola Factory and didn’t realize it until my name was called over the PA system.
  14. MissManda

    MissManda DIS Veteran

    Apr 22, 2011
    A few years ago we briefly lost our 10 year old nephew at Animal Kingdom. We had a group of 4 adults and 4 kids and had all taken a bathroom break. When we all grouped back up, we thought that we were all walking off in the same direction. Unfortunately, my nephew got distracted by something and didn't walk with us. You would have thought that 4 adults would have noticed a missing child right a way but it took us a few minutes. Luckily we back tracked and found him in the same spot that we had left him in. I don't even think he realized that we had left him until my husband hollered really loud to get his attention. Then the light bulb went off and he got upset. (In hindsight, we shouldn't have yelled for him and just walked up to him.). It was just a couple of minutes but it was scary.
  15. StageTek

    StageTek It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

    Apr 20, 2007
    I took my 8 year old niece. She wondered off. I went directly to security. As I walked in they were on the radio about a lost girl. Less than 5 minutes later she walked in with a very nice officer. she was a little shaken but the officer was so nice to her she later joked that she wanted to get lost again.

    Disney does a spectacular job with lost kids!
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  16. MooseBucks

    MooseBucks Living the Dream

    Feb 12, 2017
    Fortunately it hasn’t happened to us but if I did ever lose a child I’d like it to be at Disney. I’m not surprised at the numerous stories of being reunited within minutes.
  17. melissa723

    melissa723 Mouseketeer

    Apr 24, 2014
    I lost my daughter (2.5 yrs old at the time) at AKL. Scariest moment of my life! We were staying Club Level, and she was sitting in the kids area watching tv while she ate. The rest of us (my parents, and now ex-DH) were at another table eating our breakfast. I would constantly look over to make sure she was ok, but sometime between the times I was checking on her, she disappeared. We had 4 adults watching 1 kid in the CL lounge, and we lost her...to say I felt like an awful parent was an understatement. I searched the entire floor, with the rest of them splitting up to search other areas of the hotel. I then grabbed a CM in the lounge and told him what had happened. I knew exactly what she was wearing down to the color of her hair elastics so that he could alert the rest of the CMs. A few minutes later that CM comes running over to me saying that another CM had her with him in the lobby. She had been following another family around, and when the mother of that family realized she had a stranger's child with her, she found a CM who then took over the job of locating the child's "lost" parents. They were about to put the resort on lock down, but thankfully it never came to that. Apparently she had watched us hit those elevator buttons all week long and decided she wanted to try it out for herself. The thoughts that ran through my head were horrible, and after remaining calm for the first few minutes, my composure just crumbled. A few wonderfully caring guests in the lounge saw my panic and actually came over to comfort me while everyone else had been searching. It was probably only 5 minutes of pure terror, but for me, it felt like an eternity.
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  18. cindilouwho76

    cindilouwho76 Earning My Ears

    May 15, 2017
    The first time we went to WDW, I was also petrified that one of my kids (ages 5 and 2) would get separated from us. So, in preparation we talked about if they can't see us, go directly to a CM. I also bought temporary tattoos from Etsy and took a picture of the kids in the morning. Thankfully nothing happened, but I felt comfortable that the kids would know what to do.

    We are going again this fall. My kids are older (ages 9 and 6) and although they know our phone numbers, I still bought temporary tattoos. I'm afraid that if they get lost and scared they will forget the numbers! And we have already been talking about going to a CM if we get separated. I think that if you talk about a plan before, you and your kids will know exactly what to do.
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  19. kjw42

    kjw42 Mouseketeer

    Jul 27, 2015
    We did the safety tattoos as well and placed them in a visible location. You can buy the special paper on amazon and print them off yourself. We also brought alcohol wipes to facilitate removal when they started looking worn.

    We lost our DS 3, for a few minutes at animal kingdom. We were going through a heavy crowd watching a street show, single file holding hands. When we got to the other side, we realized he was no longer holding our DD 7, hand and was missing. We went back through the crowd and he was still on the other side, crying. The whole even only lasted 2-3 minutes ( however it felt much longer!) and he was already being assisted by several cast members. We had worked on phone numbers, finding assistance and showing his tattoo to a cast member, but I think it all went out the window when he panicked. After that we made sure to put it prominently on his forearm, instead of on his bicep.
    Bete likes this.
  20. wuzzles

    wuzzles Mouseketeer

    Jan 25, 2013
    So am I the only one that read that a little too fast and replaced forearm with forehead in my mind? :rotfl2:
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  21. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 1999
    I hear you. God Bless it had a happy ending.
    melissa723 likes this.

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