Disney will require guests under 14 to be accompanied by someone 14 or older for entry

Posted Monday, March 18, 2013 9:34 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney theme parks will soon require anyone under the age of 14 to be accompanied by someone who is older than 14, a Disney spokeswoman said Saturday. The new policy will take effect March 23 at all U.S. Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts and parks.

Read more from AP via The Today Show.

Monday, March 18, 2013 3:32 PM

Makes sense. Unattended kids could easily become a liability issue if they/someone else gets hurt. How much can a park do for an injured child with no parent/guardian around to give permission for something?

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Monday, March 18, 2013 4:11 PM
Jeff's avatar

Not much more than if they're accompanied by a 15-year-old, which this policy appears to allow. The intention must be something else.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, March 18, 2013 4:52 PM

How will they know? 15 year olds do not have ID

I would think this is to discourage buying child tickets for

kids that are too old but the line there is at 10.

Unless it has something to do with under 15 year olds buying tickets saying they live in Florida and can't prove it.(cali for DL)

Last edited by kevin38, Monday, March 18, 2013 4:54 PM
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Monday, March 18, 2013 5:37 PM

I think this had to do with trying to prevent parents from using Disney as a de facto summer camp program. An annual pass is cheaper than paying 12 weeks worth of summer camp registration.

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Monday, March 18, 2013 8:29 PM
bjames's avatar

ilovethewildone said:

Makes sense. Unattended kids could easily become a liability issue if they/someone else gets hurt. How much can a park do for an injured child with no parent/guardian around to give permission for something?

I agree, but differently. Who wants 14 year olds running around by themselves in Disney? It's annoying and unsafe.

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Monday, March 18, 2013 9:09 PM

Back when I was in charge of rides at a park, my GM had me change our accompanied by an adult verbiage, to accompanied by a supervising companion at least 14 years of age. The 14 years age came from a group that set that age as a standard for a babysitter. Apparently it was part of a committee thing at IAAPA.

I believe that park has since changed the age to 16.


Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!

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Monday, March 18, 2013 10:12 PM

I remember a few years back when some of the regional parks had concerns that parents were giving their kids season passes and using them as all day drop off baby sitters. So given this concern, what might happen at Disney? Mom and Dad put the kids on the monorail to Magic Kingdom while they head to Epcot to drink around the world? Maybe. But I have the same question- what makes a fifteen year old more responsible than a fourteen?
Oh, I just happened to think of something. I don't remember, it's been so long, but is 15 the age you turn when you're a freshman in high school? If so, then if they set the restriction higher than 14 they'd be breaking the rule for every marching band that entertains at the park. I dunno.

Last edited by RCMAC, Monday, March 18, 2013 10:13 PM
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Monday, March 18, 2013 11:03 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:

Not much more than if they're accompanied by a 15-year-old, which this policy appears to allow.



RCMAC said:

But I have the same question- what makes a fifteen year old more responsible than a fourteen?

Yeah, but what makes an 18-year-old (legal adult) more responsible than a 17-year-old (legal child)?

You have to draw the line somewhere. What seems so interesting here is where they chose to draw it. An odd enough choice that, like Jeff said, you have to wonder what the intentions are.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, March 18, 2013 11:04 PM
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 12:04 AM

So I'm off base with my 14 years old / high school marching band theory? If the admission policy was 15, 16, or 17 then the majority of band kids would have to have a chaperone to make things fair to other guests made to comply with the policy. If they cut it off at 14 then most of the band can walk in unaccompanied.
Anyway, it's an admission policy, not a run-the-park or ride-the-rides policy. Parents will still be able to accompany a child into the park but then turn him loose to wreak havoc while they sit on a bench somewhere all day. If I'm in line for a juvenile attraction, say Tea Party or Dumbo, I can look down the queue and see lots of kids. Adults may be nearby, maybe not. But they're not in line to supervise their rambunctious 10 and 11 year olds while they cause potential safety hazards to themselves or other guests.
Maybe it's as simple as Disney trying to address a problem and assigning what seems like a reasonable age without pissing too many people off.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 10:08 AM

RCMAC said:

If the admission policy was 15, 16, or 17 then the majority of band kids would have to have a chaperone to make things fair to other guests made to comply with the policy. If they cut it off at 14 then most of the band can walk in unaccompanied.

2 things - Why does it have to be "fair"? And wouldn't the band teacher count as a chaperone if we're going for system loopholes. The policy doesn't state the number of children per adult, just that any child be accompanied by an adult.


John
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 11:25 AM

That's true, but turns out it doesn't matter. One if my pet peeves around here is when we expound without 1) reading the article or 2) clicking the link. Which, sadly, is exactly what I did here. Says there, Disney conducted guest opinion surveys and consulted child welfare organizations to arrive at the age of 14 as the mark where we turn responsible.
Oops. Sorry.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 11:57 AM

"14 as the mark where we turn responsible"

As the parent of a 14 year old: HA.


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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 7:47 PM

When I was 6 years old, my vision started going downhill, and my eye doctor informed me that I needed glasses. I didn't want to wear glasses, so I told my Dad that I wanted to get contact lenses like him. This eye doctor was firm that a child could not handle contacts, and they would be a possibility once I got into my teens (keep in mind this was in the 80's, when a single pair of gas permeable contacts was the norm).

I cried quietly on the way home, and my Dad said we were going to a new eye doctor. We did, and this guy approached the situation much differently. He asked my Dad how responsible I was for my age, and if he thought I could handle them. After my Dad bragged me up, this doctor said he thought I'd be just fine, but that I had to be very careful. I needed to carefully insert and remove them, or I could risk damaging my eyes. I couldn't sleep in them, and there was a very specific cleaning procedure each night to follow. Lastly, he warned it might take a couple weeks before they felt comfortable in my eyes.

I obsessively took care of my contacts, and to this day, 23 years later, I believe I'm on my 3rd pair. I've never been able to give up the charm of hard contacts in favor of the new spiffy, soft ones. ;)

Some 6-year-old's are more responsible, independent, and careful than 20-year-old's. Isn't it a shame that Disney has to come up with a policy like this in the first place? It's disgusting to think about parents dumping their irresponsible kids off at Disney. But, I doubt this policy will do much harm to the responsible kids, as their parents will likely be watching over them in the park anyway.

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