I just had a realization that next time we go to Orlando my oldest child will be at least 15, if not 16. Then the other kids would be either 13 / 14 and 10 / 11. In the past visits I always hired the in room babysitter at WDW (called Kids…something) for one evening so that my DH and I could have a date night. But, next time, would I need to do that, or could I leave them alone a few hours? I’m aware that laws of FL or WDW could change before then, but what is your experience? I tend to think that the older boys would be very embarrassed to have the babysitter there, but I would definitely want it to be legal if we left them. I know they would be safe and they would be able to contact us etc.
I wouldn’t think twice about it but I don’t know the law in Florida.
It looks like FL doesn’t have a minimum age. IMHO your kids are old enough to be alone, but you are in a place w/o friend/family support and so you need to make sure they can reach you in an emergency. Also, kids do things they shouldn’t when parents are away… mine did… one bad choice was followed by an ER visit. Only you know your kids
We would totally not flinch about leaving our kids alone - in fact we are absolutely going to for a little while on one particular day. DD17 and DS13. They stay home alone together and individually all the time. They know the rules and as long as they have the ability to reach someone and know what to do in an emergency it’s not a lot different.
Heck I’m not above leaving them behind if they can’t make RD or don’t want to and can make their way to us by Disney transport later.
Saw a, gonna guess, 12 year old girl take a bus from boardwalk to disney springs in May on her own. No one said nothin (but you could see the driver was a little surprised she was on her own).
That said: so long as they don’t torch the place and/or be a nuisance, I can’t imagine anyone caring.
At those ages? I wouldn’t even question leaving them in a hotel room for a few hours. We left our 14/11/9yo for about 2 hours in a recent trip and would have felt comfortable for even longer.
It wouldn’t have even occurred to me to get a babysitter.
You know your kids best, but I think they’d be fine. Would you leave them at home whilst you went shopping? Do you trust them to look out for each other, to not start screaming at each other?
Make sure they have a phone and maybe a gift card or charging privileges so they can get something to eat or drink if you’re delayed.
We left our then 14 year old in our BC room on a couple of occasions. He was tired one day we went to DHS and wanted to sleep in, so he joined us for lunch at the park. The other day we were going to Hoop de Doo and he wasn’t feeling up,to,going.
In fact later that trip when we did the DVC tour at SSR and decide to buy, we sent him with a DVC driver back to the BC to collect our passports from the room safe. The DVC driver went with him and waited outside the room for him.
Last trip we left our then 16 year old at Bay Lake while we went to Universal for about 6 hours. He went to MK himself and had a great time.
Both times they had phones, and we used WhatsApp to check in with the youngest a couple of times from Universal. And they had charging privileges on their bands, with a limit set by the front desk, so they could get food if they wanted.
When I was probably 14 my family left me behind in our hotel room at WDW (All star movies, IIRC) while they went to Blizzard beach. I had gotten sick the day before (achy, sluggish) and it was when they had extra hours at MK and we were there until around 1AM. I just could NOT get out of bed and definitely couldn’t do it to go to the waterpark and be in the sun all day.
That being said, I was fine. My mom probably only went for maybe 3-4 hours before she came back and this was in the pre-cell phone days. But I knew how to get food, I knew what I was NOT supposed to do and I definitely didn’t feel like doing anything anyway.
By the time we were 15/16, we were splitting up in the parks almost every day and we had a rendezvous place and time (again, pre-cell phone) that we knew we HAD to meet back up and check in.
I say it’s totally fine.
But I’m a much more relaxed parent than many.
We took our youngest to WDW twice and left our 16 year old and a 21 year old kids home alone for a week each time. It’s about knowing your kids and knowing if they’re reasonably trustworthy. I say reasonably bc all kids do dumb stuff and push the envelope.
(ah, there’s the cat. I knew he’d come around this thread)
Laugh it up, monkey woman. Your blithe abandonment of your offspring in the current degenerate state of the Sacred Spaces - a blasted hellscape that makes the Gaza Strip look like the Palm Beach Ocean Club - was overdetermined.
In 1979, my parents abandoned me on the grounds of the Polynesian for hours so that they could see Al Martino at the old Top of the World in the Contemporary, and I’ve never quite recovered. I have nightmares of being abducted by a band of Osceola county hillbillies and reappearing as a desultory slab of meatloaf in the deli case at the Winn-Dixie in St. Cloud.
It’s just that I love this story so…
Wouldn’t think twice. Is it even possible to hire a babysitter for a 14 and 16 year old??!! Can’t imagine anyone would want that job!!
I read somewhere once 14yo is generally considered by psychologists to be the appropriate age to leave them alone but I think it also depends on your kid and honestly girls mature before boys. But I leave my 16 year old home all the time for date nights and have been for a couple of years.
Ha ha ha right?
Last month we got DD16 and her 3 friends (16-17) their own room. Our room was conveniently right next door. Most days we left them behind. With the exception of one sit down meal per day with the whole family (18 total), they practically had their own Disney trip sans adults. I’m sure it was brilliant for them. My rational was that most of the cheerleading and band trips are taken when the kids are 15-16-17 and there are very few chaperones.
I nearly fainted that CA didn’t have a minimum age for staying home alone!
But maturity cannot be determined by age alone. Parents know their children best.
My kids were dropped off at home by their school carpools beginning at ages 14 and 12. They were alone for a couple of hours 3 days a week until I got home. They were instructed to stay inside, do their homework, and not answer the doorbell. Around that time, a good friend who lives up the hill from us experienced a new type of scouting for home invasion and soon it became more common. Someone incessantly rang the doorbell. If nobody answered, they broke a window in back. My friend didn’t answer the doorbell because she didn’t know the person. The accomplice broke the back window, my friend screamed, and he fled.
Thus, we instigated Project Incessant Doorbell. We instructed the kids not to ignore the doorbell. Instead, the older one was instructed to yell loudly, “Go away! We don’t know you. I’m calling the 911.” And one was to call 911 and the other one was to call a neighbor who’s home most afternoons. Thankfully, they never had to activate Project Incessant Doorbell!
Yep. I was in high school for a school trip to California and Mexico. Not only were us 14- 18 year olds un-chaperoned at DL, Universal, and the San Diego Zoo, but they left us on our own for most of the day trip to Mexico. It was funny watching one of my classmates trying to hide drug paraphernalia in the bus trash can before we went through the border patrol. He had thought it would be a funny souvenir.
But yes, I think those ages are fine to be alone in the room with a cell phone and snacks.