What’s the Worst Thing That Can Happen at Disney World? Here’s What to Do…

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.

Frontierland during the Christmas holidays. It’s not hard to believe kids get lost here every day.  

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.

One minute they are standing in a crowd, and the next, they are no where in sight. Yikes!

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

Come see us at Disney’s Cheapskate Princess on Facebook and Cheapskate Princess on Pinterest.


About Disney's Cheapskate Princess

Disney's Cheapskate Princess writes about Disney merchandise, attractions, and delicious snacks. Visit her at cheapskateprincess.com.
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12 Responses to What’s the Worst Thing That Can Happen at Disney World? Here’s What to Do…

  1. also, 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.

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  4. Brittney says:

    We haven’t lost a kid but we did lose my wallet on our last trip to DL. Fell out of my husbands pocket. Amazingly the lady that found it was trying to teach her granddaughter a lesson and was in line in front of us at lost and found turning it in with EVERYTHING in it! AMAZING!

  5. 4boymomma says:

    This happened to us a few trips ago. I was pushing my youngest in the stroller, and had one son on one side (age 8) and one son on the other (age 5). I turn my head to talk to my oldest and when I turned my head the other way, my 5 year old was nowhere to be seen. It was right by the entrance to Japan in EPCOT. We “parked” the stroller immediately and left my eldest standing there. We called & looked – 4 adults searching but couldn’t see him. I went and told a Cast Member in the nearest store. Within seconds a security guy was with me. He asked for a description and what he was wearing – I could say “same as him” as I ask my boys to wear matching or same coloured shirts when we are in the park so we adults can train our eyes to seek out that colour. (Also, don’t put them in green on St Patrick’s day, red at Christmas etc). He radioed in a description and staff started to pour out of buildings.

    I was told as “Mom” to stay put in the last place we’d seen him. It was hard not to freak out (and I am not the freaking out kind) mainly because of the water close by. Our children stayed with me. I did not move.

    He was found pretty quickly (but it felt like an eternity), not by Disney security, but by our friend in a country two over. He was walking on the lines like a balance beam and couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. After our vacation when we were looking at a series of photos taken by our friends right before my son wandered off, you can see the little tinker disappearing around the corner!

    He was wearing a silicone wristband engraved with my & Dad’s cellphone number. The security guy thought that was a fantastic idea. But my son has a tendency to fiddle with it, so now we use these kids temporary tattoos so no-one can take them off! http://www.safetytat.com/ Even my now big son wears one (under his shirt), just in case my cellphone number falls out of his head should he get lost or distressed!

    We were very thankful to all the staff involved.

    Funnily enough, my son now sticks a little closer at WDW, and that’s OK with me!

    • Love to use this story whe I re-run this on Mouze Kateerz.com. If you’d be Ok with that, tell me your name and what city you are from. Thanks so much for stopping by the Disney Moms. Amanda

    • I am re-running this with a few revisions, and I would love to use your first name and the city you are from!!
      Amanda from Mouzekateerz.com

  6. mom2mandj says:

    This happened to DD (5 yrs. old) a couple of weeks ago in AK. It was very crowded, and I was walking in front with DS, and DH was holding her hand. Then his niece took a wrong turn and DH let go of her hand to grab his neice. I saw him running and left DS with my SIL and asked him where she was. He said he thought she was with me. My blood ran cold. I told DH to go get a cast member and tell them we had a lost child while I ran back the way we had come. I soon saw her with 2 CMs and safe. She had remembered that I had told her that if we got separated to look for someone with a name tag and tell them she was lost, and she did just that. The CM that DH found had already called someone and told him that she had been found. I was so relieved! I did thank the CMs profusely. The one thing that bothered me was that after the CMs left and I was holding her, this woman stuck to me asking me all kinds of questions that I didn’t want to answer. I was happy she went to look for CMs and not let this woman talk her into anything. I just wanted to hug my kid and go back to my family (and give DH hell for letting go of her hand).

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