Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess.com
You get sick, your wallet is stollen, or you take a wrong turn and get lost. Lots of bad things can happen on a vacation. I asked several Disney Moms what was the worst thing that could happen on a Disney trip, and they all agreed that having a child get lost would be one of the very worst thing they could think of happening. I’m not talking about just around the corner – lost. I’m talking about gone and you have to ask for help finding him or her – lost.
Disney World is certainly a busy place. During off-season it’s busy, and during peak season, it’s knock-ya-down crazy. So if you look up and the unthinkable happens, your child has totally disappeared, what do you do? The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World offers some great tips on keeping up with or oops- recovering lost children.
How can you keep up with them?
- Sew a label in your child’s shirt with their name, your name and your cell number.
- Not a seamstress? You can write this info. on a piece of masking tape, and then attaching it to their shirt. Security personal recommend you print this information in small letters, and position the tape on the outside of the child’s shirt about 5 inches below their armpit. (That’s good to know, because I would have thought it should be placed inside the shirt collar.)
- Color code children under the age of 8 in distinctive looking clothing, like purple, tie dye, something you’ll recognize instantly. I actually did this with my pre-teen sons recently at both water parks. I had them wear red shirts, having convinced them their shirt would keep them from getting a sunburn, and I could spot them instantly in a sea of naked torsos.
- Place a small luggage tag on the child’s shoe.
- Take a picture of your child every morning as you head to the parks, so you know exactly what they look like.
- Dress the family in matching Disney shirts, which works best with bright colors.
- Make sure one adult is assigned to be responsible for certain children. Mom shouldn’t be saddled with this burden all by herself.
I read somewhere that three to four children get lost in the Magic Kingdom every day. Every Day!! That’s just in the Magic Kingdom; there’s three more parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney, which is a complete zoo during holidays. That’s pretty scary to a parent like me. “Like me” means that between my ADD and a camera leveled constantly to my eye, it’s honestly a wonder I haven’t lost one child every trip.
What do you do once you’ve lost them? Let’s take a look park by park.
- Magic Kingdom– First, report the lost child to a Disney Cast Member. Then go over to the Baby Care Center by the Crystal Palace restaurant and at City Hall by the train station. They keep lost-children logs here.
- Epcot– First, report the lost child to a Disney Cast Member. Now go over and look at the Baby Care Center at the Odyssey Center.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Report the lost child to the Guest Services building, which is right at the end of Hollywood Boulevard.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom– go to the Baby Care Center in Discovery Island.
Chances are, you may not remember any of these locations when you are in lost-child crisis mode. If you ask a Cast Member what to do, they will direct you to the proper place. Disney’s employees are trained to handle these situations, and just remember, multiple children turn up missing in the Disney theme parks every day. Disney will not go over the loud-speaker to issue a lost child call, but rather, they will use internal communications. Cast Members take lost children immediately to the Baby Care Centers in every park.
What are the most common reasons children get lost?
- With your partner, you get preoccupied.
- You are a single parent, and you get preoccupied.
- Exits. You think a ride gets out in a different place than it actually does, so you’re waiting in the wrong spot.
- You get separated when a show or ride ends.
- You lose them in or outside of a restroom.
- You lose them during a parade.
- Mass Crowd Movement- If there is a large crowd going anywhere, exiting a show or heading for the parking lot, you can get separated. Look at the above photos again if this seems silly.
- Character Greetings. Mickey shows up and Little Johnny runs off.
- Animal Kingdom. This is just a tricky place to stay together.
If the unthinkable happens and your child wanders off, take a deep breath and go find a Cast Member. Once your child is found, give them a hug, remind them not to go anywhere they can’t see you, and head off to finish your day. Say a little prayer of thanks for their safe return, and say another little prayer that you avoid the flu and hang on to your wallet.
And Disney Cast Member Samantha remined me of more detail to cover before you resume your fun day. “Thank the Cast Members who have helped you. I know it’s probably the last thing in your mind after a safe return, but honestly, we work really hard to get you guys reunited again. A quick thanks would be appreciated greatly.”
Thanks Samantha, that’s exactly right!
Thanks for stopping by The Disney Moms today, and we hope you have a fabulous vacation!
Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess.com