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?