Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 58
  1. #1

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Bay
    Posts
    645

    Post How young is too young to go alone?

    Way, way back in the 70s, when I lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (yeah, that's what it's called ) and was all of 15 years old, my parents would take my two brothers and me to Six Flags Over Texas on Saturdays. They'd srop us off at the main gate at about 1PM and then pick us up at 10PM after the park closed. As I said, I was 15. My brothers were ten and nine.

    Let me repeat that: I was 15 and my brothers were 10 and 9. And we didn't go with each other, we three split up at the gate and never ran into each other again the whole time we were there except by accident. My parents weren't the least bit afraid that anything bad would happen to us, that we wouldn't be robbed or molested or anything. The worst that they thought would happen was that we'd spend all our money in the arcades and not eat anything (and food was reasonably priced, like $2.00 for a burger, fries and a soda; my dad gave us three $5 apiece and we could make that last all day).

    Anyway, were our parents being foolish or irresponsible by letting my 9-year-old brother vist a theme park alone? Would you do this yourselves? Today, I think a kid should be no less than 15 to go alone, even to DLR. Am I being paranoid? Have times changed or is it me?
    Everyone is entitled to an informed opinion.
    Harlan Ellison

    I may not be the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but I do shine.

    Texan by birth, Californian by choice.

    There should be a sticky thread called "This Day in Disney History." The company has a long history and this would be a good way to acknowledge it. Walt was born 112 years ago; that's quite a chunk of American history and culture.

  2. #2

    • ThinkingOfMermaidLagoons
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    162

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    Yes times have changed. Totally different time and world perspective. Apples and oranges. Can't even compare or judge from where we are now.

    Mine are not teens yet, but getting there. I may feel differently when they are that age. I know my feelings on school age kids have changed since the preschool days. You don't know until you are there. Having said that disclaimer....

    I don't see why anyone would let any teen in high school just go to Disneyland by him/herself. What for? Are you asking about a situation that is without meeting up with a group? With a group I can see 16 or junior/senior in high school. Maybe a year or two younger if there was at least an adult or two from the group at the park that they could check in with every couple hours. Not just a call or text on the cell.

    I'll be interested to hear what parents with teens currently think and do, too.

  3. #3

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    48

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    This will be a fun one to watch. We don't live close enough to just 'drop off' the kids. But I recall a few years back the thought of the kids going into a different area w/o my horrified me. But last year my then 11 year old and our friends 2 oldest (12 &14) wanted to go to a different area of the park to ride 2 rides while the littler ones were doing some other rides. I didn't blink an eye and let her go with them. Of course- she had a to meet us back in a designated area in one hour etc, etc.
    It's naive, but in Disneyland, it feels so safe. I don't think I'd hesitate to let my 12 year old go for a few hours w/ a friend. (where the thought of her being in the mall for 2 hours w/ a friend horrifies me)
    Of course, I love Disneyland- so I can't imagine dropping her off and going to do something else- I'd be in the park too!

  4. #4

    • Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    6 hours from the House of Mouse
    Posts
    3,650

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    I would not have a problem with them going TOGETHER. My kids were allowed in the park when my older daughter was about 12. She had a 13yo brother, and a 10yo brother. They all knew if they separated, that was the end of it, and they would spend the day with mom and little sister (9yo who hated the E rides.) Now, I was in the park, or nearby. And there was only 1 park. (A couple years later DCA opened and they were allowed to park hop, but not leave the esplanade.) We didn't have cell phones until about the time DCA opened. So, a lot depended on meeting at specific times. And they had to provide receipts for money spent........ They learned at a young age about expense reports....
    If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

  5. #5

    • "What? What?"
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Burbank, CA
    Posts
    477

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    12. That's how old I was the first time I was "alone" at the park. However, our parents were in the park just not with us. I would be freaked out to leave a kid at Disneyland and not be around just in case.
    @FromMatterhorn on Twitter

  6. #6

    • Very Helpful Old Feller
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Well, reckon my heart's in Texas but right now I live down N'Olins way...
    Posts
    616

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    Howdy Pards,

    Well, this grizzled ol' timer thinks Walt designed the place with the idea that THE WHOLE FAMILY ENJOY IT TOGETHER.

    Course, I grew up in the days when, as a family, we actually sat at the table and had meals together.

    And, ya know, bein' a strong family unit gets more important as the years go by. Droppin' kids off somewheres to be by themselves to my way of thinkin' is NOT the best option.

    Savor every minute you can TOGETHER as a family...and Disneyland is an excellent place to do that. Walt was always kinda focused on the family...from that time back in Griffith Park when he was settin' on a bench while his girls were ridin' the Merry Go Round. Settin' on a bench and thinkin' "there should be something built. Someplace where the children and the parents could have fun together."

    Cherish your family...make it strong...keep it strong...savor every moment you can together.

    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol' Dan
    "I can see the cattle grazin' o'er the hills at early morn…
    I can see the campfires smokin’ at the breaking of the dawn,
    I can hear the bronco's neighin', I can hear the cowboys sing,
    I'd like to be in Texas for the Round-up in the Spring."


  7. #7

    • ThinkingOfMermaidLagoons
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    162

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Ol' Dan View Post
    Howdy Pards,

    Well, this grizzled ol' timer thinks Walt designed the place with the idea that THE WHOLE FAMILY ENJOY IT TOGETHER.
    Good point. And you also helped me think of something. We travel from Nor Cal to go to Disneyland. It is a family trip. We haven't gone with another family or brought buddies yet. So we always stick together. If we did have a friend along, I could see them wanting to go to one ride in the park while we were on another one. Not a big deal there at 12+.

    But I imagine it is really different for the locals. Especially with Downtown Disney and no ticket needed for that.

  8. #8

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    48

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    Thanks for the reminder Wild Ol Dan I completely agree. Your comments reminded me of when we visited and our oldest was just 5. A mom in line by us to meet Mickey was saying how her oldest was in bed at the hotel still and she hoped that the teenager would meet them at the park around two. That statement made me so sad thinking that one day the kids wouldn't want to wake up first thing and be there with the family. Fortunatly- so far- we have raised Disney fanatics (6 of my 2yo sons first 10 words were Disney related!) and they are upset if they aren't one first or 2nd in line to enter the park in the morning...every day of the trip.... So we have continued the family part of it. But I know the hour she had with her friends is something she still looks at as being a 'big girl'...and wouldn't take that away from her

  9. #9

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    431

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    I went alone with my friend when I was 13. That was back in the 80s though. If we lived there I wouldn't have a problem dropping my 14 or 15 yr old off to spend the day with their friends. I don't think anything is going to happen to them. I have really good kids though. If they were at all mischievious then I may think differently. In this day and age of cell phones I would feel even better about it. One of the things I wouldn't like is picking them up and not being able to call or find out where they were. But with cell phones I can.

  10. #10

    • Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    1,040

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    My parent use to tell me and my sister when i was 16 and she was 14 almost 15 to go have fun because they didn't want to ride rides so we went in together and we separated at the hub and they just hung out in main street. I guess times have changed but i like going out on my own its like an adventure although I'm 18 now I still text parents or call them while in the park to see where there at or what were doing, even though they tell me i don't need to lol


    It's a music Celebration
    Come on, come on, come on
    Strike up the band,
    Feel the beat, what a great sensation
    Come on, come on, come on
    Move and clap your hands,
    Get into the Spirit
    Let everyone hear it,
    So come on, come on

  11. #11

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    42 miles from the Happiest Place on Earth
    Posts
    180

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    My oldest is going to be 15 this month. We go every month. I have let him and his 12 year old brother go to other parts of the park without me, but I don't think I would let him go without me period.
    Disney bucket list:

    Go to Club 33
    Tour the Walt Disney Studios
    Work for Disney

  12. #12

    • Still Dizzy
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    533

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    My twin boys are 10 and right now the most they are allowed to do alone right now is go on a single ride and meet me back in a location. Usually happens when either we are eating at like Cafe Orleans and they finished and want to go on Haunted Mansion. Or if they really want to go on Splash Mountain and I don't feel like it so I'll let them go on it. I definitely am not ready yet for them to go by themselves for any extended period of time.

    When I was a teenager, I would separate from my mom for a while at the park. Usually it was because I was a teenager full of energy and she wanted to go at a slower pace. She would give me an hour or two on my own so I could go run around doing all the rides. Usually she would go stake out a fantasmic/fireworks spot and I'd meet her back there after a bit.

    I'd probably let my boys go off and do their own thing in the park when they hit like 14 or so with regular check in times.

  13. #13

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    431

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    Quote Originally Posted by jennc04 View Post
    Thanks for the reminder Wild Ol Dan I completely agree. Your comments reminded me of when we visited and our oldest was just 5. A mom in line by us to meet Mickey was saying how her oldest was in bed at the hotel still and she hoped that the teenager would meet them at the park around two. That statement made me so sad thinking that one day the kids wouldn't want to wake up first thing and be there with the family. Fortunatly- so far- we have raised Disney fanatics (6 of my 2yo sons first 10 words were Disney related!) and they are upset if they aren't one first or 2nd in line to enter the park in the morning...every day of the trip.... So we have continued the family part of it. But I know the hour she had with her friends is something she still looks at as being a 'big girl'...and wouldn't take that away from her
    Luckily my kids want to be with us when we are there. They don't like going off alone with the teenagers, they want to be with us. They also want to be at the gate at rope drop and get antsy when they are ready to go before me. It would make me sad if they wanted to stay at the hotel. I don't know if I'd even want to take them if that was the case.

  14. #14

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    48

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    So agree! I would leave them at home and go on vacation by myself Sadly- my niece is that way. Her family just went and she is 13. Didn't want to go. So she entered the park and sat on one of the benches in protest. My SIL says girls will be girls....I told her brats will be brats (yeah- she didn't love that response)

  15. #15

    • Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Anaheim
    Posts
    1,227

    Re: How young is too young to go alone?

    Times have changed, but I'm also a proponent of the "Free-Range Parenting" idea. Speaking in general, the experiences we give our children are all practice for adulthood. You don't magically gain all of the skills you need to be an adult on your 18th birthday. Yet the way parents protect their kids right up until high school graduation day, then sending them off to college or to get a job the next day. Life skills, including good judgment, decision-making, and financial responsibility, are learned skills that require practice. Letting your children practice and make mistakes when they are young and the stakes are small allows them to make good decisions when they're older and the stakes are much larger.

    It just seems so odd to me to say that you wouldn't trust a child alone in an amusement park until they're 15, a single year before that same child will be behind the wheel of a car. Where's the sense of perspective? And how much practice in good decision-making is that child going to have if he or she had to wait until 15 to be trusted in an enclosed area crawling with security and employees?

    The question for me, that I think is the important one, is why not let your children walk around Disneyland by themselves? And for each of those reasons, ask yourself "is there something I can teach my child to prevent this from happening?" And if so, "is this a skill my child will need to master for later?" Not wandering off, not leaving the park, being aware of surroundings including people, trusting your instinct, making a ruckus in a dangerous situation, reporting concerns to employees especially security, keeping an eye on the time, keeping your cell phone turned on, not spending all your money on cotton candy, obeying safety precautions, etc. etc. These are all things that even young children can, and SHOULD, master well before their teen years, and certainly will need in adulthood.

    I'm not saying you should drop a young child off in the morning and pick them up at midnight, but there are certainly degrees of freedom that can be exercised at every age, and when a child has proven him/herself to be trustworthy and reliable, why not? And if your child is not trustworthy or reliable, why not?

    We live in a fear-based society, but most of the time those fears are completely out of proportion to reality. Child abductions by strangers, for example, are falling every year. 90% of child abuse is perpetuated by someone the child or his/her family knows. Have some perspective.

    And as far as Disney trips being 100% family togetherness, I have to disagree. I'm not saying you should completely ignore your child for the duration of the trip, but there's nothing wrong with everyone exercising a little independence. Happy families do not have to be glued to each other 24/7. Just because you're not spending every waking minute with your child, that doesn't mean you're not enjoying or appreciating what little time you have with them before they grow up.

    Bottom line for me is that one of parents' main jobs is helping their children become competent, capable, happy adults. You do not do this by never letting your child leave your side or never trusting your child with any kind of responsibility or never letting your child have his/her own interests and desires at a Disney park or anywhere else.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Question] How young is too young for Disneyland?
    By Kittiekyo in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 95
    Last Post: 09-12-2008, 07:08 PM
  2. DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?
    By fo'c's'le swab in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 107
    Last Post: 08-04-2007, 12:49 PM
  3. How young is too young?
    By sir clinksalot in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 105
    Last Post: 03-02-2005, 03:35 PM
  4. Kids and movies... how young is TOO young?
    By libraryvixen in forum Gibson Girls
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-17-2005, 07:51 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •