Imagine, for a moment, that you are a parent traveling to Disney World with your kids. You’re having fun riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. You’re skipping around with Pluto and Goofy. You’re stuffing as much turkey leg into your mouth as possible (eww). When suddenly you turn around to notice that your kids are no where to be seen. You franticly dart your eyes about the crowd, only to observe a sea of faces. What is your next step?
Calm down. Take a breath. We’re still only in your imagination.
How to Avoid Losing a Child at Disney World
… or how to avoid becoming “Lost Parents,” as Disney likes to put it.
I’m not saying it’s absolutely going to happen. But with tens of thousands of other guests in the theme parks, and the amount of excitement that you’ll all be having, I’m not saying that it won’t happen.
There are little things that you can do in preparation for losing your child. First, take a marker and write your phone number on their arm. Some of our readers have even suggested using a liquid skin bandage over the top of it so that it becomes waterproof.
Others have suggested that you write your number on the back of a celebration button that Disney give out. That way your phone number isn’t out in the open for everyone to see.
Show them what a Cast Member name tag looks like. Tell them that if they ever get separated from you they should go straight to the nearest adult wearing one. In fact, do that right now:
Thanks Tyler, Walt and Heather for the photos. You guys are awesome!
2. Keep Track of Your Children
One of the best pieces of advice that you will probably ever read from me, and something that I do every time I travel with the children in my family, is to take a photo of them while walking from the car (bus, boat, monorail etc.) to the park. By doing this, you will have an up to date photo, with what clothes they are wearing, just in case you need to give an accurate description to a Security Guard. The most important part is to get a clear view of their shoes. Rest assured I’ve never heard any stories of this happening at Disney World so far, but if your child were to be taken by someone else, they would likely change their shirt and pants, but not their shoes. It’s a worse case scenario thing.
3. Finding a Lost Child
If the unimaginable happens, make sure you remember these points:
- Check the other exits to attractions, shows and restaurants. Sometimes restrooms have alternative exits.
- Split up to cover more ground when searching for your child, and agree to regroup at a certain location at a certain time. Make sure that you, your partner and other children don’t also get lost.
- Notify the nearest Cast Member so that they can help. They will often call security who will put out a “Be on the Look Out” report.
- Go to your designated meeting space.
- Make sure you have a designated meeting space.
- Change your designated meeting space each day.
4. Wear Your Magic Bands
One of the most exciting things to come out of Walt Disney World in the last few years has been the Magic Band.
These bands hold information such as your park tickets, FastPass+ reservations, dining reservations and, you guessed it, your contact information. Don’t worry, Roz is always watching. Nineteen Eighty-Four style. But on a more calming note, if your child does get lost, they can have their Magic Band scanned to allow Cast Members to gain access to your contact number while in the parks. This makes things so much easier for you to be reunited with your child.
My hope is that you don’t ever have to go through the event of losing a child at Disney World. But if you do, I hope you can make great use of these tips to ensure you don’t lose them for too long.
Have you ever lost a child at Disney World? Share your experience with us and our readers down in the comments section!