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Thread: Letting the Big Kids Go

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    Letting the Big Kids Go

    Letting the Big Kids Go by Adrienne Krock

    The Parenting Panel discusses how they let their older children tour the Disney theme parks with a little more independence from their parents.

    Read it here!


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    Registered User DisneyGator's Avatar
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    My kids aren't really at the age to set on their own yet (11 and under). But...Safety is always something I think about. However, at DL, I know that everyone there spent a ton to get in, so I feel like there's a lot less bad dudes.

    Once my kids are older, they may want to go do their own thing, which I'm not too big on right now. It's called a family vacation for a reason. My hope is that when that day comes, I've done a good enough job of parenting that they don't do anything dumb. Like Pence said last night, you can't fake good kids.

    Working for Disney. No, no. Working (in a Modesto office) for (the money to take a trip to) Disney (World/Land)

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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGator View Post
    However, at DL, I know that everyone there spent a ton to get in, so I feel like there's a lot less bad dudes.
    Just remember local passes can be bought for a low one time down payment and monthly installments, so it's not that expensive if you live close. And many perverted people make plenty of money.


    We've been visiting Discovery Kingdom a lot this year since we decided to skip Disneyland this year with the new baby. It's a poor replacement, but it's still a fun day. My oldest is six and keeps asking to ride rides alone, as in in her own car or row. She's searching for that independence, but I keep explaining to her that part of the fun is riding together. She's the only one tall enough to ride bigger rides with us, and she's begging to ride alone. In too much hurry to grow up...

  5. #4

    I've let the kids go off in pairs starting around age 12. Two years ago, we were at WDW. We had our 19 year old son and 12 year old son. We were exhausted, so we told the boys we were going back to the hotel to rest. That would give them the freedom to go on whatever they wanted (they tend to be willing to wait in longer lines and ride things over and over, which we don't have the patience for....).

    We ended up stopping to watch the Country Bears show before heading out. We ran into the boys on the way out. They were NOT riding rides. They were doing the treasure hunts with the pirate maps...lol!!!

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    jsilkey- love that story, reminds me of the time we went to Disneyland, everyone had a night to do what they wanted, 13 year old wanted to ride Splash over and over, she ended up making friends in the line and they all rode like 6 times. After the third time the CMs told them they could just stay and not get out but the other kids had to get out and walk by the parents to check in between rides so that's what they all did! ( DH and I got bad parent awards that night we were no where near her, might have actually been in DCA!)


  7. #6
    Healthy and Happy june1st1997's Avatar
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    I give DD (10) a lot of freedom (for us) at Disneyland and Cal Adv. She has her own cel phone and is a super responsible and sensible kid. There are some guidelines. 1st, she is with a friend. And not just any friend, it needs to be a friend I know is also sensible. 2nd, she must answer the phone when I call or text. 3rd, She doesn't just go of willy nilly. She tells me where they are going and we come up with a place to meet - usually at the exit of the ride. She has at times decided the wait is too long or the ride is down. If that happens, she calls and tells me where she is going next. She has also called to ask me to grab lunch and a table and she will meet me there once she and friend get off the ride.

    In 2016 we have been to DLR 12 days (over several trips), in that time I have ridden 5 rides. 4 of them just 4 days ago.

    I can't give her this freedom in the real world, but I can at Disneyland.

    Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't

    She's 4. She has a mind of her own and the scars to prove it.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by june1st1997 View Post
    I give DD (10) a lot of freedom (for us) at Disneyland and Cal Adv. ...
    There are some guidelines. 1st, she is with a friend. And not just any friend, it needs to be a friend I know is also sensible.
    Just wondering... is the friend at least 14 years old?
    Asking since Disneyland and WDW have a minimum age requirement (14) to be in the parks unaccompanied. (Without an adult)
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    Healthy and Happy june1st1997's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GusMan View Post
    Just wondering... is the friend at least 14 years old?
    Asking since Disneyland and WDW have a minimum age requirement (14) to be in the parks unaccompanied. (Without an adult)

    No, the friend is also 10. I'm in the park, so they are not unaccompanied. 90% of the time I am at the exit of the ride they are riding.

    Disney allows children to ride unaccompanied at 7. They cannot ride with anyone under 7, unless they are over 14.
    Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't

    She's 4. She has a mind of her own and the scars to prove it.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by june1st1997 View Post
    No, the friend is also 10. I'm in the park, so they are not unaccompanied. 90% of the time I am at the exit of the ride they are riding.

    Disney allows children to ride unaccompanied at 7. They cannot ride with anyone under 7, unless they are over 14.
    They also cannot enter a park alone unless they're over 14, but being inside the park is fine. They just can't hop without you.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by june1st1997 View Post
    No, the friend is also 10. I'm in the park, so they are not unaccompanied. 90% of the time I am at the exit of the ride they are riding.

    Disney allows children to ride unaccompanied at 7. They cannot ride with anyone under 7, unless they are over 14.
    Ok, that makes more sense - thanks for clarifying.
    In the context of your other post, I interpreted your comment differently since the premise of what the panel wrote was along the lines of letting kids enjoy the parks without parents.

    I would agree, riding alone is different than being unaccompanied.
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  12. #11
    Healthy and Happy june1st1997's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GusMan View Post
    Ok, that makes more sense - thanks for clarifying.
    In the context of your other post, I interpreted your comment differently since the premise of what the panel wrote was along the lines of letting kids enjoy the parks without parents.

    I would agree, riding alone is different than being unaccompanied.

    Oh ya, I can see that. I let her and her friend walk to space mountain while I grab coffee on the way in or I will hang back 5 mins after snacks or lunch so she and her friend can walk to the next ride with the illusion of freedom. In DD's eyes - she is enjoying the park without a parent. She is choosing the rides, choosing when and where to eat. She is hanging with her friend not me.

    I can see how "a lot of freedom' is vague.

    There is no way in the world I would let her hop with out me. Not now and I seriously doubt it will happen at 14. More like 16.
    Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't

    She's 4. She has a mind of her own and the scars to prove it.

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