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Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

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  • [Question] Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

    Hello all,

    My son has just shown me an elaborate powerpoint he's been working on for weeks. In the powerpoint, he asks if he can fly down to Disneyland in the morning, stay the day and overnight, and fly back the next morning.
    He knows Disneyland like the back of his hand, and I would have no doubts he would be able to handle himself inside the park.
    But my main concern is, letting him fly down, take a shuttle there, stay overnight, and have him fly back the next morning. He's 13.
    Would you trust your child to do this? Me and my wife can't go with him, we both have commitments back here, even for a day and a night.

    Thanks!

    (By the way, he'd fly from SFO to SNA, and has an uncle right around there he could call if anything goes astray.)
    Fear of the unknown.

    They are afraid of new ideas.


    You know, to me, the most beautiful things in all the universe, are the most mysterious.











  • #2
    Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

    Originally posted by Chesire View Post
    Hello all,

    My son has just shown me an elaborate powerpoint he's been working on for weeks. In the powerpoint, he asks if he can fly down to Disneyland in the morning, stay the day and overnight, and fly back the next morning.
    He knows Disneyland like the back of his hand, and I would have no doubts he would be able to handle himself inside the park.
    But my main concern is, letting him fly down, take a shuttle there, stay overnight, and have him fly back the next morning. He's 13.
    Would you trust your child to do this? Me and my wife can't go with him, we both have commitments back here, even for a day and a night.

    Thanks!

    (By the way, he'd fly from SFO to SNA, and has an uncle right around there he could call if anything goes astray.)
    No. IMHO, there's insufficient reason (in fact I can't think of any) why you need to take this risk. Again, it's not DLR that I'm worried about, nor the flight itself. But I would be worried about everything else. In fact I wouldn't trust even an older child.

    Can you find another adult who'll supervise once in SoCal? (friend, chaperone, even the Uncle?) I would trust a 13 year old to make the flight when there are people at both ends.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

      Not in a million years. It's cute that he created a Powerpoint presentation to sell you on the idea, but I'd laugh my *** off if my 13 year old suggested it.

      It's not even legal for him to check into a room without an adult.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

        The fact that he created a power point is pretty cool. Good goin kid. I'm not sure if I would allow it myself, but I can say that I flew to Fresno alone (with my older brother, but he was also under 13) younger than this. But that was over 30 years ago. Tough call.


        For some some great trip reports, features and reviews, please check out http://www.thedisneylandreport.com.

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        • #5
          Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

          Where would the 13-year-old stay? As FlameGirl said, you have to be 18 to check in to a hotel. Surely he's not going to stay in the airport while he waits for the park to open?

          Besides that, this is a very costly one-day trip for just him. Airfare, shuttle, lodging...I don't know him, but I can't say he has a sense of money and I think that if you let him do this, it just means he gets his foot in the door for bigger things.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

            OK, here's my take after raising 2 very different boys (now 28 & 23). IF, and only if, uncle-in-the-area were to pick him up at the airport, deliver him to DL, pick him up from DL & have him overnight and then deliver him to the airport (per usual guidelines for kids traveling alone, i.e. turning him over to airline personnel supervision) would I have ever allowed my OLDER son to do this at 13. My younger son, never in a million years. My older son was mature enough at 13 to behave and make good decisions & would have been OK at DL by himself. My younger son at 13 was more impulsive & less likely to think his decisions through. Although as shy as he was, he probably would never have wanted to go to DL alone. Although, IDK, in this day of internet predators, I guess I'd really have to say I'd think twice about even allowing my older son to go into the park alone, even if escorted by a relative. You hear of some really bright kids being taken in these days by those creeps.

            Curious though, just where was your guy planning on spending the night? Where did he come up with the idea of going alone? The minds of teenage boys are wonderful things, aren't they?
            "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

              Only you know if you child is "mature" enough for such a trip. Even if his Uncle picked him up at the airport and dropped him off at Disney, he still can't check in or stay anywhere without an adult, a credit card and matching ID. I could see letting him fly down for the day, have the Uncle meet him, and then have the uncle put him back on a plane at night, but that would be pushing it and asking a lot from the Uncle. And if he were to be even slightly injured (twisted ankle, small cut etc.) and couldn't get in touch with the uncle, I don't think Disney First Aid dept. would release him without an adult around. I would say, save up for a time when you or the family can go down together. Then if you want to let him run free in Disney while you sit by the pool and have a cocktail, more power to you!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                You know you kid better than us. That being said I'd have an extremely tough time sending a child with all of those responsibilities. If something goes bad, you are way to far away to be equipped to handle an emergency.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                  At that age I had an Amtrak US railpass. I went from Texas to Illinois, Minnesota , Washington (state), and California before heading back to Texas on my own.

                  I was not killed, mugged, molested, drugged or converted at any point during the trip. I say as long has he has a reliable place to stay for the night as part of the plan then send him.

                  On the other hand, his use of "PowerPoint" is cause for concern. At that age he should be aware of the many fine open source alternatives.
                  "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

                  -Mark Twain

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                    Hats off to the young man for presenting such a well thought out plan.

                    However, at 13, I would not send him alone. At 16, absolutely.
                    Just countin' the days til the next visit!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                      Absolutley not. Let me explain why. First off, at 13 year, flying alone is considered an unaccompanied minor (UAM) which means the UAM needs to be signed by a parent/guardian at both departure and at arrival. Secone, minors can not schedule shuttle services legally. Finally, Hotel patrons must have proper identification and over the age of 18 for Hotel access.
                      "Raiders Suck"
                      -Walt Disney

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                        On a side note, did the presentation cover the issue of the airline considering him an Unaccompanied minor? At 13 (depending on the airline) he might need someone to drop him off and meet him at both ends.

                        Also, Does Disney have a policy on what age kids are allowed into the park unaccompanied?


                        EDITED TO ADD: Darn, I took a few moments to look up the link and Daboltz beat me to posting about this issue.
                        "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

                        -Mark Twain

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                          I would say no. Opens the door to Pandora's Box if you ask me. Next year as a 14 year old he just might whip out a PowerPoint explaining why you should let him go to Cancun for spring break....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                            Originally posted by Daboltz View Post
                            Absolutley not. Let me explain why. First off, at 13 year, flying alone is considered an unaccompanied minor (UAM) which means the UAM needs to be signed by a parent/guardian at both departure and at arrival. Secone, minors can not schedule shuttle services legally. Finally, Hotel patrons must have proper identification and over the age of 18 for Hotel access.
                            This. The liability is incredible. Even though Disneyland is one of the safest places on Earth, Anaheim in general... is not. Unless he was accompanied by someone well over 18 to be a guardian for him during his stay no way. I was freaked enough as a parent when my daughter was 18 and working at Disneyland and staying in Anaheim. Alone at 13?? Oh no.

                            And for the record... putting on my moderator hat for a bit...

                            Originally posted by Chesire View Post
                            Wow, this thread just makes me want to take a trip down south and take some pictures.

                            Too bad I'm 13 and the only Disney freak in the family.

                            But for when I do go down, can y'all suggest some good, inexpensive, DSLR cameras that can get me crystal clear shots, with a nice zoom, and a nice focus, for a beginner?

                            Bah, uploader won't let me upload any of my nice photos.
                            If you wish to post on the site as the "parent" you need to use your own account. Writing as someone else or using some one else's account is against the rules. So if you want to ask questions about letting your son go to the resort, please use your own account.

                            Unless this is the account owner pretending to be the parent? :whistling:




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                            • #15
                              Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                              Originally posted by Daboltz View Post
                              Absolutley not. Let me explain why. First off, at 13 year, flying alone is considered an unaccompanied minor (UAM) which means the UAM needs to be signed by a parent/guardian at both departure and at arrival. Secone, minors can not schedule shuttle services legally. Finally, Hotel patrons must have proper identification and over the age of 18 for Hotel access.
                              13 on some airlines is old enough to fly alone without UM status.

                              Southwest only requires UM status if between ages of 5-11. (Children ages five through 11 traveling without an accompanying Passenger age 12 or older must travel as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) on Southwest Airlines.)

                              American Airlines (
                              Use of the Unaccompanied Minor service is not required for young adults 12 through 17)

                              While most airlines do require a 13 year old to be a UM, there are a couple exceptions.



                              Now no hotel will permit a 13 year old to stay without an adult, its a huge liability for the hotel and not something that a hotel is willing to take on.





                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                                As a mother of two young boys and a Disney freak, I have to agree with previous posters. While I would be impressed with my son's initiative and presentation, I would ONLY allow this if the uncle was picking up/dropping off and hosting him overnight. It would also depend on how sure I could be that my child would be able to conduct himself appropriately in the parks (no line cutting, no cussing, etc).

                                From the way this is presented it sounds like he would be taking shuttles and staying in a hotel. I would not be comfortable with that aspect at all. I am not sure how old he would have to be before I would be comfortable with something like that without a proper chaperone or at the very least a responsible friend. Maybe 16?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                                  From the way this is presented it sounds like he intends to go and do it all himself, and the Uncle is available to call only if something goes wrong.

                                  I can't imagine any parent letting a child go alone on a trip like this....I agree that it sounds like the kid is posting here as the parent, trying to get backup to convince his parents that he should be allowed to go.
                                  As nice as the other parks are, we must always remember that it all began at Disneyland. Disneyland should be the crown jewel in the Disney crown.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                                    You do realize that Disneyland is not necessarily in the best of neighborhoods, do you? Sure it is safe enough, but not if you are a 13 year old who probably has not yet mastered the skills enough to either recognize trouble or to get out of it should they happen to fall into it.

                                    ETA - I read the rest of your post. Sorry about that.

                                    Still, I have a 14 year old son and never in a million years would I consider cutting him loose in DL all by himself. And I am a local, only 15 miles away. If his uncle is willing to do this then thats great. But I sure as heck wouldn't.
                                    Last edited by DisneyIPresume; 08-17-2012, 01:44 PM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                                      The first time I was in Disneyland without my parents was when I was when I was 13 but I was with my best friend, and my parents were in the park but promised to let me and my friend have fun alone. I also was alone at Disneyland when I was 14 when I went there with my middle school band, because I was fed up with my group for some reason so I just ditched them and went on my own for the afternoon. I'd say ONCE IN THE PARK it's completely safe for a 13 year old, but once outside of the gates you're in the middle of Anaheim, which is definitely a dangerous neighborhood. How did you plan on having your son pay for things? I don't think many 13 year olds have credit cards.

                                      And I was just thinking...I went to DCA alone recently and I really wish I could've gone with my family/friends. You see things differently but it's SOOO much better when you're spending your day friends/family.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Would you let your teen fly down to Disney, stay a day, and fly back alone?

                                        Originally posted by penguinsoda View Post
                                        This. The liability is incredible. Even though Disneyland is one of the safest places on Earth, Anaheim in general... is not. Unless he was accompanied by someone well over 18 to be a guardian for him during his stay no way. I was freaked enough as a parent when my daughter was 18 and working at Disneyland and staying in Anaheim. Alone at 13?? Oh no.

                                        And for the record... putting on my moderator hat for a bit...



                                        If you wish to post on the site as the "parent" you need to use your own account. Writing as someone else or using some one else's account is against the rules. So if you want to ask questions about letting your son go to the resort, please use your own account.

                                        Unless this is the account owner pretending to be the parent? :whistling:

                                        Cheshire, if what Penguinsoda suspects is true, you have just proved that you are NOT mature enough to go to DL alone!:judge:
                                        "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

                                        Comment

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