I’m arriving on Wednesday with my 10-year old twins (boy/girl) and my 14-year old son. I’m a single mom and have never taken all three to WDW at once. My boys will want to wait in line for some of the longer rides — my daughter won’t. My older son is responsible and would stick with his younger brother. We all have cell phones and such but I’m still a nervous Nellie. How comfortable are you with walking around with one child while your two others do rides and meeting up later? Any tips? Thanks!
Agree a code word/phrase…something innocuous, so that if the children need you but for some reason don’t want to openly ask for you, they can just telephone or text and use the word/phrase. Agree a meeting place inside the park, in case someone gets lost and another outside the park in case of an emergency. The biggest ‘risk’ is probably that DSs 14 and 10 may argue, or one may need the loo and the other may not want to leave a queue, so emphasise the importance of staying together and obviously stranger-danger. Tell them to trust their instincts and intuition and that if someone/something feels 'not right ', don’t worry about being polite/rude, just distance themselves and get to a safe place. I think that they will be fine.
The year before last we let the kids go off and do something together while we rode ToT. DD was then 12, DS 8
I was a bit nervous but it was fine and we have since done that a few other times. Gotta let them grow up and WDW while not immune from evils is safer than many places kids go around without parents.
Just out of interest…why is WDW safer?
Disney security at entrance checking all in and out, many CMs who can be run to for help if needed, and better class of people
I am curious because chat quite often has threads about aggressive queue jumping, general pushing and shoving etc and the impression one garners from those threads is that often, for their own personal safety, CMs don’t intervene. There will be some ‘bad’ people everywhere and I don’t think that I would ever tell a child that everyone at WDW is ‘safe’.
Yes, there is no protecting kids from obnoxious behavior. But I think tweens and teens (I wouldn’t allow younger) are reasonably safe from truly dangerous behavior when allowed to roam a bit from the parental protection bubble inside the Disney security perimeter.
I would definitely let the kids split up to queue for a ride or two at 14 and 10, while you and DD go do something else and then meet back at a certain time at a certain spot.
We gave our older ones (barely 15 and 12 at the time) a bit of freedom that way in Disney last trip. I feel as comfortable letting my kids roam in the bubble (both in parks and on Disney transport to the resort) as I do in our hometown. I feel more comfortable there than I would in a different vacation spot, like a new city. There are dangers everywhere of course, but I feel like my kids at least know where to find CMs, how the transport works, and of course we have cell phones with gps tracking to reconnect. Now at 17+, the oldest has a driver’s license and a lot more freedom everywhere. He is nearly an “adult” (ha!), so the point is moot for us now. We are planning to send our kids back to the resort early from a park one evening so DH and I can get dinner/drinks without them for just a couple of hours. Little bits of freedom build big confidence and self-sufficiency IMHO.
Me too. In the words of Arthur Ransome, ‘Better drowned than duffers if not duffers won’t drown.’
Thanks for all the feedback. You all gave me some great ideas — I’m going to make sure they know how to find a CM and the safe word is a great idea. I appreciate your replies!!!
I’m a single mom also of 3 kiddos. I do this all the time, starting when my oldest was 13 and second oldest was 11. My third was 5-years old at the time. I drop them at the line and make sure they are in. I give instructions on where to stand after. Once at universal I underestimated how long the ride would last, and they started disagreeing on what to do. They caught a security guards attention, but I was there by then. I think they are used to it, we aren’t the only single moms. But, make sure they understand not to argue and they need to take their phones!