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  1. #1

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    DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    About 6 months ago, MollyTrolly started a really interesting thread regarding the age at which you yourself were allowed to roam DL freely sans parental supervision. I wanted to open that discussion back up with a few more observations to consider.

    I would seek ALL opinions in this matter: parent's, non-parent's, teenager's, grandparent's; all viewpoints are not only welcomed, but essential to see the entire issue completely.

    What was your specific "Age of Accountability"? Does it differ from your opinion now regarding what age is appropriate to experience DL 'unchaperoned'? Cell phones certainly can give parents peace-of-mind while seperated from their kids, but are they being relied upon too much? Are cell phones being expected to do a job they were not designed to do; police and track children? Has new technology made it easier for parents and children in the Parks? Does this, in turn, make it easier to send kids off at a younger age than in times past?

    I have seen many instances in DL that caused me to wonder, "How could that child's Mom or Dad let him/her wander around by themselves?". No matter how savvy or mature one may believe their child is, they are still young people with very little experience dealing with conflict and danger outside of TV and video games; and a cell phone is no substitute for parental guidance or the physical presence of a parent.

    I have also witnessed many incidents of 'teenagers' ( you rascally bunch) enjoying their freedom a bit too liberally as well. The potential for destructive and harmful behavior increases exponentially as we reach maturity; should parental precautions be taken to minimize this 'potential', or is this really just an unavoidable part of 'growing up'?

    Certainly, standards are subjective in this matter, as all children are individual and reach maturity levels at different chronological points in life; however, if DL was mandated to set firm policy as to the minimum age requirement for 'unsupervised access' to the Park, what, in your opinion, should that age be?

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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    I think 13 years old would be a good age to be allowed to roam alone.

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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    two things

    - it depends on the child, in both maturity and how naive they are
    - letting them go alone can be done in phases

    Letting your child goto a specific area by themselves with a friend to start... then letting them go anywhere they want for a set time period.. with check-ins.. followed later by 'be back by...'

    I don't think Disney should be trying to set or enforce any such age policy. Parents should be parents and be held accountable when they aren't.
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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    Note that 7 is the minimum age to ride unaccompanied on rides.

    That shouldn't be an age where they are allowed to be in the park by themselves but it's surely a very bottom line.

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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    If you know where you're going, and if you are mature and have a cell phone with you at all times...then you can be alone.

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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    Quote Originally Posted by BCC View Post
    If you know where you're going, and if you are mature and have a cell phone with you at all times...then you can be alone.
    Maturity is sometimes elusive. Teens often think they have it when they don't. That said, when my oldest daughter was 10, I would let her and her brothers (one older and one younger) go on their own, in a group. We had meeting times and places and specific rules. No cell phones then, and it was only one park. They always stuck to the rules and never lost the priviledge of going alone. That said, the youngest is now 17, and only in the last couple years has earned the priv of going without mom. And even that was lost the last trip. It really depends on the child. While my oldest daughter was very mature at a very young age, my youngest is still trying to get there.
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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    I don't think that you can really give a specific age.. like several people had said.. it really depends on the maturity level of the child in question..

    Sometimes.. even age thirteen can be too immature.. so it really depends on the child..


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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    I guess I was pretty mature, because I was allowed to roam with my two-years-older cousin when I was 10 (which I guess made her 12). I think my parents started letting me go alone when I was 12, as long as I had my mom's cell phone. Now I have my own and I often take the bus alone to Disneyland!
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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    I agree also that it depends on the child. But for me, the child would have to prove they could handle being alone in other situations before I let them loose in a big crowded place like Disneyland. If they can't handle being alone for a bit at home, at a mall or similar places, then they aren't fit to be alone at DL.

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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    Quote Originally Posted by BCC View Post
    If you know where you're going, and if you are mature and have a cell phone with you at all times...then you can be alone.
    That seems reasonable on the surface, however, I have YET to meet a child or teen who didn't think they could handle ANY situation, if the argument suits their purpose.
    Last edited by fo'c's'le swab; 07-27-2007 at 07:20 AM.

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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    I think I was about 13 when my mom turned me loose with one of my friends -- never by myself. We always also checked in the througout the day with the adults. My friends and I were always fine on our own, but I think that it's entirely dependent on the child in question.

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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    16.

    I don't trust anyone younger than that.

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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    We used to go to Disneyland once a year at the day care I attended. Everyone had to go with a chaperone until you hit 7th grade. Then you could go in groups of at least 6, and you had to check in several times throughout the day. I think it was around 8th grade when my mom started letting me go to the park with friends on our own.

    I'm fairly sure we weren't terrors though. We just went to go watch the various in-park concerts... and memorize the entirety of the Hunchback of Notre Dame show.

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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    Quote Originally Posted by Giddy4Aladdin View Post
    I don't think that you can really give a specific age.. like several people had said.. it really depends on the maturity level of the child in question..

    Sometimes.. even age thirteen can be too immature.. so it really depends on the child..
    But in many cases where the law is concerned, an age MUST be determined. MPAA rating systems, for example (PG-13, R, NC-17, etc.); Driving permit ages; work permit ages, and so forth. One of my questions was if mandated, what is a fair "Age of Accountability" for unsupervised access to DL.

  15. #15

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    Re: DL's 'Unchaperoned' Guests: How Young is Too Young?

    I started roaming around DL and DCA when I was about 14, just hanging around, being there in the evening just to savor what it is.

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