Walt Disney World is a magical place for families to spend their vacation. However, for many families, safety is a big concern. While Walt Disney World is a very safe place, there are some things you can do to ease your mind about your children’s safety. This will ensure you can enjoy your magical vacation with your family!
Disney goes to great lengths to ensure guest safety at Walt Disney World. Relying on only Disney to keep your children safe is a mistake though, as unfortunately, things do happen.
One of my strongest memories of visiting Walt Disney World involves a lost child. When I was 17, I visited Disney with my entire family.
I was watching my cousin in the Honey I Shrunk The Kids: Movie Set Adventure Playground while my aunt was experiencing another attraction. One minute, I had my eyes on him, and the next, he was gone.
I will never forget the sheer panic I experienced in the minutes that followed. Luckily, my cousin was safe because he followed tip number 6 below, but I never want to experience that scenario again. Hopefully, some of my tips will ensure that you never have to experience it either.
Here are 6 tips for keeping your children safe in the happiest place on Earth.
1. Take a full-body picture of your children each morning
Every morning before you leave for the park, take a photo of your children with their entire body in the photo. This is a great idea because if you happen to become separated, you’ll have a picture of exactly what they look like, including what they are wearing. This accurate information will help you and your child be reunited more quickly.
2. Have your contact information on your child somewhere
This is important especially if your children are too young to memorize your phone number. However, some children may be old enough to memorize your phone number but may not be able to recall it in an emergency.
You can have bracelets, necklaces, labels, or even temporary tattoos made with your contact information on it. Some families write it on masking tape and attach it to their child’s clothing.
Many people recommend putting it on the inside of their child’s magic band, but I don’t recommend this. One, it could easily rub off if your child is sweating. Additionally, if they also happen to lose their magic band, the information will be lost along with it.
Make sure your children know where you have placed your contact information, so they can share that information with anyone who helps them.
3. Use a stroller
This one can be controversial because some people think they don’t need a stroller for their older children. I personally rely on the stroller to keep my children safe during crowded times, such as exiting the parks after nighttime entertainment or rope drop running for a popular ride.
In these circumstances, it would be easy for a child to pull away or get separated from you. Not only is there the fear of getting lost, but children can easily be trampled in these crowded scenarios.
Knowing my child is safe in the stroller gives me some peace of mind that everyone will stay together during congested times.
Not having a stroller in these instances would prevent me from even experiencing them. I would worry too much that my child would be lost within the crowd, and I’d likely skip them all together!
Are you still wondering if a stroller is right for your family? Maybe this article can help!
4. Choose a meeting spot
It is always a good idea to pick out a landmark or central meeting spot. Point this out to your children immediately upon entering the park and make a plan to come back here if you get separated. They can share this information with anyone who may be helping them.
It would be best to pick an actual location and not just a ride since deciding where to wait in that instance can be open to interpretation.
5. Consider matching shirts
There have been times when I have lost track of my child in a crowd, only to find them again when I remember that they are wearing the same clothing as me or their siblings. This has helped me to keep track of my children more times than I can count!
In the dark, I like to give my children glow sticks. This helps me to spot them even when it is hard to see.
Bonus: If you needed an excuse to talk your spouse into wearing matching outfits, you’re welcome!
6. Familiarize your children with Cast Members and their name tags
If your children become separated from you, they should go to the first Cast Member they find and tell them they have lost their family. It would be ideal to go to a food stand or gift shop to find one, as opposed to wandering through the streets and hoping to find someone walking.
Show your children the Cast Members and their name tags and instruct them on what to look for. There are many types of Cast Member uniforms, but the name tags are largely similar.
Disney trains Cast Members on how to handle a lost child, and they will ensure your child is kept safe and reunited with their parents.
I am so grateful my cousin knew to find a Cast Member the day I lost sight of him. When I finally found him, he was calmly and happily chatting away with the Cast Member he found. He never worried for a moment!
A note on Magic Bands
I have seen many people state that children will be safe in Disney World as long as they are wearing a Magic Band. Often, guests believe that their information is on these bands, and can be scanned in an emergency to help families reunite. This does not appear to be true and should not be relied on.
Also, as I stated above, Magic Bands can easily fall off and then they would be of no use. More than once, a member of my family has lost a Magic Band, and because of those instances I would not rely on a Magic Band to help my child in an emergency.