Monday, October 3, 2011

Which Way Did He Go?

I'm sure a normal concern of parents planning a trip to Walt Disney World is having their child run off or somehow get lost during the trip.  With so many people there, even during the off season, it's a normal worry.  A friend and mother of two once said she was going to have her toddler on a leash - I've seen different examples of these.  The wrist strap connect mom and child or even the backpack version - kid wears a backpack and mom has a leash to it.
Running in a small, enclosed area - not so scary!
While I see how that would be useful, I'm not sure if I would use one - just not my thing.  Of course, as of now, I've only traveled to WDW with 1 child, so maybe when we decide to add a 2nd child to the mix it may change a little.

But, what can you do to prevent the situation?

  • Make sure the children know their names and yours (if old enough)
  • Write their full name and maybe yours and a contact phone number on a label in their clothes.
  • Don't blink.
So, obviously, not blinking isn't an option.  Kids do get separated from their parents and we have to know how to handle it.

From experience -
At Disney's Hollywood Studios in the past year, I watched a child around 6 or 7 look scared/confused - looking for his parents.  As I was approaching him to try to help, a Cast Member - actually, a Character driving "off set" completely broke character and tried to help the young boy.  Within minutes, his parents had found him, but watching the cast member jump into the role of helper.  If your children are old enough to understand, let them know ahead of time that Cast Members are there to help them, just in case.  
A wonderful Cast Member showing Minnie to Noah
Cast Members are there for more than their roles in park production.  They are all trained to handle lost children.  If your child is lost/looks lost/confused/scared, most likely (as I witnessed) a cast member will jump into that role.  From what I read on Mouse Planet, there is an actual complete system in place.  Whether this is still the case or not, I don't know.  Most likely, the children will be brought to the Child Care Center (located in each park).

Most importantly - if your child is missing, find a cast member as quickly as possible.  If you can, split up (and keep cell phones handy!) - have 1 adult look for the child and another talk with the cast member.  


  1. The article and commets below are great and timely. We are about to head off to the World with a 20 mo who hates to be in his stroller. My husband refuses to do the leash thing so I think we will be using the 'don't blink' method.

    I definitely will be adding his info to everything. And my big takeaway is to let him talk to cast members so that he would not be afraid if we do get split up. I also like the idea of having them show him their tags so he starts to associate with that.

  2. I am a mother of triplets that are 2 1/2 yrs old. I always said I will never run around with a child on a leash, but then we planned a trip to Disney when they were just 23 months old. I knew it would be alot of in and out of the stroller and what if the impossible happens and I loose a child. So I broke down and went to BJ's and let the girls each pick out their own leash. They all picked out little pink dog back bag style and thought it was alot of fun to wear a dog on their back. There was a small pouch on the back so I could put the names fo the 3 girls, my cell, hubby's cell and the hotel where we were staying. I am never the mom that has my kids on leashes, but Disney was just a different story. I did have a young woman state very loudly in a store in downtown disney that she would never put her kid on a leash like a dog...and I did have a few choice words to lash back at her for her rude statement. (Her expression not realizing how loud she was was priceless...LOL) Anyhow, I have rarely used them since occassionally the girls ask to use them when they notice they are in the car. We are heading to Disney in December and plan on bringing the leashes just in case again. (On a side note, thank you so much for the very helpful blog a few weeks back about driving to Disney. Shortly after that blog I came across $29 flights from Spirit and jumped on the deal. Granted it wasn't the week I was hoping to go down with friends, but we are going back to Disney before the girls turn 3.)

  3. I agree! we're lucky Noah likes his stroller.. at least at the parks. My husband hates the leash, so I make him chase Noah, but I've definitely been tempted!

  4. Before I had a child, I thought the leashes were terrible. But then I became a mother and went to Disney World. I bought one for our first trip because my daughter hated the stroller - would not sit in it. I got stares and dirty looks, but you know what. My daughter was safe and I knew it. Piece of mind does strange things to a parent!

  5. My 4 year-old nephew got lost on our last trip to Disneyland... gotta say, the CMs were fabulous, & our family was reunited & off to our next magical experience in no time.

  6. I lost my son twice! Once at the intersection of Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain (of all places). In the end, he had decided to go with daddy to ride Splash Mt and apparently my husband did not feel that was information to share with me. Either way, I went straight to a cast member who was just awesome! As panicked as I felt, he kept me calm. Now as soon as we get to Disney, we show the kids the cast member name tags, so they know who to look for.