Walt Disney World is an extremely large place – hundreds of acres and thousands of visitors. Then add in children with enough anxious excitement to power Space Mountain, the potential for you being separated from your child is high.
Your best defense against loosing your child at WDW is to be aware of this potential, be vigilant, and have a plan.
Remember too, though, that WDW is, for the most part, a safe environment. Everyday children get lost. The Cast Members are trained and experienced with returning children to their parents safely.
We have a few tips to help you on your next WDW trip.
- Be aware of places that pose risk of being separated.
Most children are lost in 2 locations – bathrooms and counter service restaurants. Both of these have dense crowds. Just turning the wrong way can cause a child to loose sight of you. In the Magic Kingdom the restrooms in Adventureland is place where many children AND adults get disoriented. You can enter these restroom in Adventureland and exit to Fronteirland. Another potential is after shows, especially Wishes! As crowds are leaving an area, it is very easy for your family to be separated. After Wishes, we like to sit and watch the crowds. For Illuminations, we’ll walk the Worldshowcase in the opposite direction of the crowd and slowly make our way to the exits.
- Teach your child what to do if they get lost.
Show them how to recognize a Cast Member by the name tags. Tell them to find the closet Cast Member and tell them they are lost. That is the quickest way at WDW for them to get back to you! Teach them not to try and find their way back to you. When lost the best strategy is to stay where you are and find the closest Cast Member. Teach them what to say to the Castmember including your cell phone number.
- Take a photo each morning.
Before you get started hitting the attractions, take a family photo. This will be an easy way to remember what everyone was wearing that day should you need to provide that info.
For children that are too young to remember your cell number or may forget in the moment, you need to have your number on them. On our first few WDW trips, we used Safetytat. This is a temporary tattoo with your number on it. They make them that are writable, or you can order the number per-printed.
Have fun and stay safe!